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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/9/10

Backing the Wrong Side: Eva Golinger's Tamil Libel

By By Ron Ridenour  Posted by Dave Lindorff (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     (# of views)   No comments
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By Ron Ridenour

"Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse threatens to hang his partner in war crimes, former general Sarath Fonseka, in an indictment for "perpetrating genocide against Tamil civilians."
-- BBC TV Hardtalk, June 7


On June 7, BBC presenter Stephen Sackur confronted Sri Lanka Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, brother to Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapakse, with an assertion by Sarath Fonseka, former general who had led the final bloody assault against the Tamil Tigers, that he would testify before any independent investigation about alleged government abuses during the Tamil war. "I will not hide anything," Gen. Fonseca had vowed.

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Defense Secretary Rajapakse responded to the BBC interviewer, "That's a treason. We will hang him if he do that."

General Fonseka quit the military after the May 2009 defeat of the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and ran for the presidency in January, 2010. He came in second, losing to the incumbent, Rajapakse. The former war hero was then promptly arrested and remains in military detention, charged with corruption and politicking while in uniform. Mahinda Rajapakse, together with Gotbhaya and two other brothers--who also hold key government posts--are reportedly furious with Fonseka for an interview he did with The Sunday Leader, and for his assertion that two of those brothers, Gotabhaya and presidential adviser Basil, had issued the orders that "all LTTE leaders must be killed."

Tamils claim the four brothers' actions are just the latest chapter of a long history of Sinhalese government-sponsored genocide against them.

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The organization Tamils Against Genocide in February 2009 filed a case in a U.S. District Court in California charging genocide under the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

The case can be brought in the US because G. Rajapakse is a naturalized citizen and because Fonseka holds a US green card.

Since shortly after gaining independence from Britain, in 1948, Sinhalese governments have been restricting Tamils rights and privileges through laws and through street purges.

In May 2009, the Rajapakse government forced Tamil civilian survivors of the civil war into concentration "welfare" camps, much like those the US used in Vietnam, where they were euphemistically called "strategic hamlets." In violation of the UN Charter, between 280,000 and half million people were forcibly interned. Today, 100,000 remain incarcerated. One million of Sri Lanka's three million Tamils have fled the country's campaign of genocide....

___________

For the rest of this story by journalist RON RIDENOUR in the new online newspaper ThisCantBeHappening.net, please go to:
www.thiscantbehappening.net

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)
 
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