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Governtment of Sri Lanka

The Great War Crime Games -  1 : 6 February 2011

PolPot HitlerIt was I think Aristotle who said that the roots of injustice lay in comparing like things with unlike things, and unlike things with like things. Sadly, Aristotle is no longer well known in the West, not even intuitively, with Platonian certainties seeming a better way of dealing with current problems.

I am generalizing, of course, but I suspect Aristotle does not figure large in the general awareness of the bright young lady[1] who interviewed me with regard to un undergraduate project she was preparing, comparing Nazi Germany and Rwanda and Sri Lanka with regard to war crimes.

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The Great War Crime Games -  2 : 9 February 2011

Combat TroopsI looked earlier at what I believe is the only specific allegation about war crimes brought against Sri Lanka, namely that based on the video broadcast by Channel 4 – though, as noted, the place where the incident was supposed to have taken place remains unspecified, and the time has been specified divergently. Apart from that there are only vast generalizations, and some assertions that were later belied.

The greatest of the generalizations is that of the numbers killed during the last few months of the fighting, where the figure enunciated by the Times, 20,000, is now seen as a base on which to build, and build, and build, regardless of evidence.

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The Great War Crime Games -  3 : 16 February 2011

The Periclean scholar, who had begun by thinking that there were possible comparisons between Hitler’s Germany and Sri Lanka, did show some acumen in suggesting that, given the distance between facts and allegations, there was need to explore why the allegations came so thick and fast, with such untenable comparisons. I thought it best to answer this through questions, which led her to exclaim, while wracking her brains for the answers, that she was not used to answering questions. Her research had evidently involved just asking questions, the Socratic method evidently not part of the stock in trade of her intellectual training.

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The Great War Crime Games -  4 : 23 February 2011

In recognizing the role of the Tamil diaspora in propagating the idea that the Sri Lankan government is guilty of War Crimes, we must also recognize the rationale behind their stratagem. And to some extent, though we need to combat their falsehoods, understanding should lead to some measure at least of forgiveness, since they certainly suffered much in the eighties. It is as much our responsibility to disabuse them of the notion that nothing has changed since then, as it is theirs to get rid of an outdated mindset that has done so much damage to the Tamil people left in Sri Lanka, abandoned as they were for so long to the rapacious Tigers.

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The Great War Crime Games -  5 : 2 March 2011

We can understand why some sections of the diaspora are so intent on persecuting us with regard to war crimes. While dealing firmly with their allegations, we should forgive them and see how they can be convinced that the situation has changed since the times when they left Sri Lanka in understandable bitterness.

We can also understand why some sections of the political opposition, including their fellow travellers in the politically motivated advocacy sector, push the same agenda. Their rationales, and the benefits they obtain through this agenda, should be checked on and placed before the public, to ensure the transparency and accountability they honour in the breach.

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The Great War Crime Games – 6 : 7 March 2011

Ultimately, I suspect, the farrago about alleged Sri Lankan War Crimes will continue to reverberate or will fade away depending on whether the American government decides to encourage it or not. Unfortunately it is difficult to predict what will happen, precisely because American foreign policy is not just confusing, but also very confused. There are obviously realists in significant positions in Washington, but there are also vague idealists, who are susceptible to all sorts of pressures. Some of them indeed come from commercial advocacy backgrounds and, since they may well have to go back to them, will need to maintain and indeed strengthen their credentials amongst organizations committed to strident activism[1].

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