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David Blacker’s Blog

Why does the Darusman Panel Ignore Evidence of War Crimes?

In June 2010, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appointed a panel to investigate and and advise him on the possibility of large scale human rights violations in the closing stages of the war in Sri Lanka, primarily in the first quarter of 2009. This was done close on the heels of the UN Human Rights Council’s rejection of a call by advocacy groups for a full-scale international investigation. Ban appointed his Special Rights Investigator to North Korea, Marzuki Darusman, as the panel’s chair and, in April 2011, the panel released its report. This report has been variously viewed by the different parties. At one end of the spectrum it is seen as totally biased and unfair by the government of Sri Lanka, and at the other end as proof of genocide by the Tamil nationalists. Somewhere in the middle, most balanced observers have seen it as a scathing indictment against both the victorious Sri Lankan military and the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Certain international advocacy groups such as Amnesty International, the International Crisis Group, and Human Rights Watch, then immediately mounted a media campaign accusing the GoSL of war crimes, and one particularly contentious issue is that in this campaign, the panel’s use of the phrase “credible allegation” has been replaced by that of “credible evidence”, giving the impression that the panel has evidence of war crimes committed by the GoSL. The recently aired Channel 4 documentary, Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, opens with this lie.

In reality, the panel uses the phrase only twice; in the positive, saying that it had credible evidence that superiors in the Sri Lankan chain of command were responsible for any violations committed by their subordinates; and in the negative, claiming to have no credible evidence of the LTTE’s use of human shields. Everywhere else, the term used is that of credible allegations. At no point does the Darusman Report reveal what evidence it examined, which portions were deemed credible, and which portions were rejected. Nor does it explain how an allegation was deemed credible, and whether this credibility was based on actual evidence, eyewitness testimony, or both. In spite of this, legal minds contend that credible evidence is necessary for an allegation to be termed credible, though it is unclear as to how the Darusman panel adjudged credibility.

Let’s take the statement by the panel that they cannot find credible evidence of the Tigers using civilians as human shields. This is what the report says:

“…With respect to the credible allegations of the LTTE’s refusal to allow civilians to leave the combat zone, the Panel believes that these actions did not, in law, amount to the use of human shields insofar as it did not find credible evidence of the LTTE deliberately moving civilians towards military targets to protect the latter from attacks as is required by the customary definition of that war crime (Rule 97, ICRC Study).”

Rule 97 of the Customary International Humanitarian Law, as set out by the ICRC, prohibits the use of human shields, and is based on a number of customary practices, international conventions, military manuals, and state laws which are cited in support of Rule 97.

Now, given that in addition to eyewitness testimonies to the fact, there exists video footage shot by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) of the Sri Lanka Air Force which clearly show violations of Rule 97, the Darusman report seems to fly in the face of the actual evidence.

The first clip shows the Tigers holding agitated and terrified civilians at gunpoint on the beach close to Mullaitivu. Part 2 of the second clip shows Tiger gunboats being dragged up the beach and concealed just feet away from civilian dwellings. While the Youtube clips are of a low resolution, the original footage shows the actual grid coordinates of the area being viewed. These two clips alone contain enough evidence of the violation of Rule 97, the use of human shields. When looked at alongside photographs that show LTTE installations located amongst refugee dwellings, footage of tiger armour and artillery operating within the GoSL-declared No Fire Zones, and civilians fleeing to the government side at every opportunity, the evidence is overwhelming.

Now Rule 97 defines the use of human shields thus:

“The prohibition of using human shields in the Geneva Conventions, Additional Protocol I and the Statute of the International Criminal Court are couched in terms of using the presence (or movements) of civilians or other protected persons to render certain points or areas (or military forces) immune from military operations. Most examples given in military manuals, or which have been the object of condemnations, have been cases where persons were actually taken to military objectives in order to shield those objectives from attacks. The military manuals of New Zealand and the United Kingdom give as examples the placing of persons in or next to ammunition trains. There were many condemnations of the threat by Iraq to round up and place prisoners of war and civilians in strategic sites and around military defence points. Other condemnations on the basis of this prohibition related to rounding up civilians and putting them in front of military units in the conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and Liberia.

In the Review of the Indictments in the Karadžić and Mladić case, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia qualified physically securing or otherwise holding peacekeeping forces against their will at potential NATO air targets, including ammunition bunkers, a radar site and a communications centre, as using “human shields”.

It can be concluded that the use of human shields requires an intentional co-location of military objectives and civilians or persons hors de combat with the specific intent of trying to prevent the targeting of those military objectives.”

As with all war crimes, intent to commit the crime is crucial to proving guilt. Therefore it is necessary to prove that the perpetrators were aware of what they were doing; that they were shelling a hospital that they knew housed civilians, that they were holding civilians in order to protect a military target from enemy attack, and so forth. So a lawyer defending the Tigers, or indeed the Darusman report, could argue that while the above footage shows definite violations, it does not show the Tigers violating Rule 97 on the prohibition of the use of human shields. Certainly, the Tiger actions recorded by the UAVs show the Tigers to be in violation of Rule 23 in which “each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”; Rule 24 in which “each party to the conflict must, to the extent feasible, remove civilian persons and objects under its control from the vicinity of military objectives”; Rule 96, in which “the taking of hostages is prohibited”; and possibly a few others. However, it could be argued that the intent to use the civilians to shield a military target isn’t evidenced in the footage.

Therefore, a defending lawyer would argue that the Tigers need to be seen to be displaying intent by a particular act, namely that of deliberately moving or placing the civilians in a position that makes it clear that their presence would make the target immune from attack. For this, the defence would cite the New Zealand Armed Forces’ Interim Law of Armed Conflict Manual DM112 which says, “The manual further states: “The presence of a protected person in a particular place or area must not be used to give that place immunity from military operations (for example by placing trainloads of protected persons in railway sidings alongside ammunition trains)”; and Britain’s Manual of Military Law 1958 Part III: the Law of War on Land which says, “In the past prominent inhabitants were placed on engines of trains running on the lines of communication in occupied territories to ensure the safety of the trains. Such a measure exposed innocent inhabitants to the illegitimate acts of train wrecking by private enemy individuals, and also to the lawful operations of raiding parties of the armed forces of the belligerent. It now comes within the prohibition of the [1949 Geneva Convention IV].” Taken in isolation, these two military manuals might give the impression that deliberate movement of civilians to a specific location or object is necessary for intent and, thereby guilt, to be ascertained.

However, as I said before, Rule 97 cites a number of articles and laws as support, and when taken as a whole, they lay out a number of actions which may be examined to arrive at the perpetrators’ intent, which is the bottom line. The fact that intent can be inferred by other actions beside moving the protected persons to a particular location can be confirmed by examining the only criminal case cited in Rule 97, that of Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, who were charged by the International Criminal Court in the Hague in July 1995. While parts I and II of the indictment relate to genocide and the Sarajevo sniping, it is Part III that concerns us, namely the charges of taking hostages and using human shields. Paragraphs 46 and 47, on page 14 of the indictment, say this:

“46. Between 26 May 1995 and 2 June 1995, Bosnian Serb military personnel, under the direction and control of RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC, seized 284 UN peacekeepers in Pale, Sarajevo, Gorazde and other locations and held them hostage in order to prevent further North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) airstrikes. Bosnian Serb military personnel held the UN peacekeepers throughout their captivity by force or by the threat of force. In some instances, the UN hostages were assaulted. During and after protracted negotiations with Bosnian Serb leaders, the UN hostages were released in stages between 3 June 1995 and 19 June 1995.

47. After seizing UN peacekeepers in the Pale area, Bosnian Serb military personnel, under the direction and control of RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC, immediately selected certain UN hostages to use as “human shields,” including but not limited to Capt. Patrick A. Rechner (Canada), Capt. Oldrich Zidlik (Czech Republic) Captain Teterevsky (Russia), Maj. Abdul Razak Bello (Nigeria), Capt. Ahmad Manzoor (Pakistan) and Maj. Gunnar Westlund (Sweden). From on or about 26 May 1995 through 27 May 1995, Bosnian Serb military personnel physically secured or otherwise held the UN peacekeepers against their will at potential NATO air targets, including the ammunition bunkers at Jahorinski Potok, the Jahorina radar site and a nearby communications centre in order to render these locations immune from further NATO airstrikes. High level Bosnian Serb political and military delegations inspected and photographed the UN hostages who were handcuffed at the ammunition bunkers at Jahorinski Potok.

48. RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC, individually and in concert with others planned, instigated, ordered or otherwise aided and abetted in the planning, preparation or execution of the taking of civilians, that is UN peacekeepers, as hostages and, additionally, using them as “human shields” and knew or had reason to know that subordinates were about to take and hold UN peacekeepers as hostages and about to use them as “human shields” or had done so and failed to take necessary and reasonable measures to prevent them from doing so or to punish the perpetrators thereof.”

Clearly, the indictment makes no mention of a specific movement of the UN peacekeepers to specific locations; merely that they were forcibly detained at these specific locations. The fact that the locations were stated military targets of NATO, and that the deliberate holding of the peacekeepers made the locations immune to attack was sufficient to infer intent. The indictment then goes on to say on page 15:

“In regard to UN peacekeepers seized and held hostage between 26 May 1995 and 19 June 1995, RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC, by their acts and omissions, committed:

Count 13: a GRAVE BREACH as recognised by Articles 2(h) (taking civilians as hostage), 7(1) and 7 (3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

Count 14: a VIOLATION OF THE LAWS OR CUSTOMS OF WAR (taking of hostages) as recognised by Articles 3, 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

In regard to the UN peacekeepers used as “human shields” on 26 and 27 May 1995, RADOVAN KARADZIC and RATKO MLADIC, by their acts and omissions, committed:

Count 15: a GRAVE BREACH as recognised by Articles 2(b) (inhuman treatment), 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.

Count 16: a VIOLATION OF THE LAWS OR CUSTOMS OF WAR (cruel treatment) as recognised by Articles 3, 7(1) and 7(3) of the Statute of the Tribunal.”

So, amongst other things, Karadzic and Mladic stand accused of using human shields, in spite of the fact that there was no apparent movement of the peacekeepers. Intent is inferred by the evidenced actions of the accused. Similar intent can therefore be inferred by the actions of the Tigers visible in the UAV footage, specifically holding and preventing civilians from leaving military targets, firing upon those attempting to do so, and co-locating military targets with the civilians.

Interestingly, the prosecutor in the Karadzic/Mladic case was the controversial South African judge Richard Goldstone, who headed the UNHRC’s team investigating the the Gaza conflict, submitting a report in 2009 that was highly critical of the Israeli government; a report Goldstone later claimed was based on insufficient information. Goldstone was also the prosecutor in the Rwandan Tribunal, and has gone on record saying that he hopes the Sri Lankan administration will not escape justice. It would be interesting to see what Goldstone would make of the evidence against the Tigers.

Now, one would expect lawyers of the capacity of Darusman to be capable of interpreting the evidence, the law, and the legal precedents in order to make an accurate assessment in the report. And that expectation would be a fair one if we looked at the panel report as an actual indictment or charge sheet of some kind; it is neither. The closest analogy in legal terms, is that of a police detective applying for a search warrant. Unlike in a court of law, he doesn’t need to present actual evidence; all he need do is show sufficient suspicion of guilt in order to obtain the necessary permission to violate privacy and investigate more closely. That is exactly what the Darusman report is trying to do. Set up by Ban ki-Moon after initial attempts at an investigation failed, it’s sole purpose is to create sufficient suspicion that the GoSL is guilty of war crimes. It is the GoSL that is resisting calls for an investigation, and it is this resistance that must be overcome. The Tigers, and their war crimes are irrelevant. At the moment, the Tiger remnants in the diaspora, certain UN departments, and the human rights advocacy groups want the same thing — investigations. To therefore acknowledge that the only actual available evidence shows war crimes to have been committed by the Tigers would be counter-productive.

The Darusman report isn’t about getting at the truth; it’s about overcoming GoSL resistance to a UN investigation. The only way to do that is to show the GoSL to be guilty. For that, the truth must be ignored for what is convenient, and the Darusman report does just that. Regardless of evidence, it makes the GoSL look guilty.

This article was reproduced in the Sunday Leader of June 19th 2011.

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June 16, 2011 - Posted by | government, Politics, Security, War | , , , , , ,

29 Comments »

  1. Excellent post. In my view when the Army set up the no fire zones, they in fact expected the LTTE to MOVE their artillery into the this zone. If they did not they would be sitting ducks from the air.

    This was a calculated strategy to get all LTTE munitions into one place, where the LTTE mistakenly thought they would not be fired upon. The Army then used drones and other means to identlfy these placement and shelled those areas within the no fire zone. Some went astray and killed civilians. LTTE kept firing from those places of civilian habitation.

    So it was the LTTE which brought their arms to the civilian places, rather than taking the civilians to the places where they had arms. It is then up to us to interpret that in fact by doing so the humans effectively became human shields, as they could point to the outside world that the army were firing into highly populated civilian areas.

    In a sense at the end LTTE were prepared to sacrifice the innocents as they thought they could get political mileage from international condemnation of the firing into this zone and therefore obtain the ceasefire that never came.

    Comment by Patta | June 16, 2011 | Reply

  2. Actually, the human shields were actually tied to specific militaery targets. They were not just taken hostage where they were and as they were. Para 20 of the review of the Indictment – penned if I am not mistaken by Judge Riad – which is what the ICRC Customary Study cites to says this explicity. – http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/related/en/rev-ii960716-e.pdf

    Confirmation of this is to be found in the submissions of the Prosecutor made on 8 July 2006 at page 904 – line 6 onwards.

    http://www.icty.org/x/cases/mladic/trans/en/960708IT.htm

    I fear your entire debate with Gehan and this post is rather pointless. You should have read the document you cited, without citing what appears to me to be only an exec summary of the indictment. The review is some 60 pages long. The evidence of intent came from the act of tying, and the tying is what separated the general hostages from the human shields. This is why not all hostages were considered human shields. The laws of physics tell me it’s impossible to tie someone without moving him, but I’ll let you find someone else to split hairs over that point.

    Nice work with the extensive citations. Pity they weren’t the correct ones. Cheers.

    Comment by aadhavan | June 17, 2011 | Reply

    • As already pointed out to Gehan Gunatilake on Groundviews, it wasn’t me who cited the executive summary, it was Gehan himself, just as it was Gehan who linked to the ICRC’s Rule 97. So if the evidence is incomplete, it is still Gehan’s evidence, in support of his argument. All I did was accept the evidence and cite it in my counter-argument.

      My debate with Gehan wasn’t that there had to be no specific act to infer intent, but that movement didn’t have to be that act. The tying or otherwise restraining of the peacekeepers, and the holding of the Tamil civilians at gunpoint at military targets are the same act.

      I am aware that movement is necessary to get the peacekeepers to the sites, as well as the civilians all the way across the Wanni to places like PTK and Puttumaatalan, but it isn’t that movement that infers intent.

      I suggest, Aadhavan, that you read through the debate and walk away before you join your colleague in his public embarrassment.

      Comment by David Blacker | June 17, 2011 | Reply

    • This is what para 20 of Riad’s review says:

      “In response to airstrikes by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) on Serbian military targets,between 26 May and 2 June 1995, Bosnian forces took hostage 284 United Nations peacekeepers assigned inter alia to the regions of Pale, Sarajevo, and Gorazde.

      Around 26 May 1995, Bosnian Serb forces selected United Nations military observers in the Pale region and used them as “human shields”. Those observers were tied to petential targets of NATO airstrikes, specifically the , munition depot at Joharinski Potok, the radar facility at Jahorina and a nearby communications centre.”

      The para then goes on to describe the individual actions of the accused. There is no mention again about the movement of the hostages being the causative action. Jahorina and Joharinski Potok are both in the Pale region, where the peacekeepers were captured in the first place. Look at a map, Aadhavan, if you can manage it.

      This is what page 904 lines 2-22 of the prosecutor’s submission says:

      ” 2 The evidence in support of these charges is very

      3 straightforward. Following NATO air strikes against Bosnian Serb

      4 military sites on 25th and 26th May, Bosnian Serb Army personnel

      5 detained 284 peacekeepers and used some of them as human shields in

      6 order to prevent further air strikes.

      7 Captain Patrick Rechner, a Canadian United Nations military

      8 observer who was taken hostage and handcuffed to a lightening rod next

      9 to an ammunition bunker by Bosnian Serb soldiers with the obvious

      10 consent of Dr. Karadzic and members of his government, testified about

      11 his experiences as a hostage and about his conversations with the vice

      12 president of the Republika Srpska, Nikola Koljevic, related to these

      13 blatant violations of international law.

      14 He said that Koljevic readily acknowledged that hostage taking

      15 was an approved policy of the government implemented to deter NATO air

      16 strikes. He said it was akin to electric-convulsive therapy.

      17 Our evidence shows that on two earlier occasions, in April

      18 1994 and in November 1994, the Bosnian Serb Army took United Nations

      19 military observers hostage. At the time Dr. Karadzic and General

      20 Mladic ordered hostages taken and used as human shields, they were

      21 fully aware that such conduct was a gross violation of international

      22 law.”

      Again, no mention of movement being the causative act. Restraint at a military target under, or about to come under, attack was sufficient. You have added nothing new to Gehan’s argument, but in fact have proven that movent was never part of any indictment.

      The only material I have cited in my argument is the ICRC’s Rule 97. Gehan brought up the indictment, executive summary, review, or whatever. I have quoted them only to show the holes in his reasoning 😀 So I see no reason to modify anything.

      The holding of the Tamil civilians is in an area under, or about to come under, SL military attack. The UAV footage gives the specific grid coordinates. You might have had a point about the boats if the Tigers were fighting NATO, but since the SL military has targeted Tiger positions in spite of the use of human shields, concealment was necessary. The civilians’ presence merely aided the concealment. Also, Rule 97 doesn’t say that concealment absolves a violator of the violation. It only says that co-location (and moving boats alongside a refugee camp is co-location) with the intent of using the civilian presence as a shield is a violation.

      All you’re doing, Aadhavan, is making the holes in Gehan’s defence even larger. Do you guys actually think no one’s gonna check the links you post? 😀 The cock-up isn’t mine; it is Gehan’s. You’re compunding it.

      Comment by David Blacker | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  3. Your post refers to the ICRC study which refers to the Review and then wrongly cross references to some exec summary of the indictment Blacker. This whole post is based on an analysis of the wrong material, so it’s rather pointless. Reading through some 100 odd comments, all of which are based on an analysis of the wrong document, is also quite useless. Don’t you want to modify this post now? Or is that too embarrassing? 🙂

    In relation to the NFZ, these clips show military targets being ‘concealed’ close to civilian ones and other clips showing the holding of civilians at gunpoint on a beach. Neither leads to the necessary conclusion that there was intent to shield. On the contrary, the attempt to conceal the boats indicates a very different intention. Human shields has nothing to do with concealing military targets – it has to do with using civilians to protect them from attack. If the civilians were used to protect the civilians from attack, why conceal? Your own evidence obliterates your own point. Next point counsel? 🙂 The holding of civilians at gunpoint on the beach. Ok, where’s the military target? You’re not even getting co-location. Forget intent, you don’t even have the actus reus here.

    The Panel did not find evidence of the sort you get in cases like Mladic where you have a positive act that proves intent. In Mladic, that additional positive act involved moving and tying. If you have a clip showing civilians being tied to an artillery gun or similar evidence, that would be the clincher. However, your videos do not present any of the evidence of the sort the the judges referred to in the Mladic review. That’s why the Panel was right and you are wrong.

    Next time you cite a document on your own blog,make sure the cross references are accurate. Blaming the person you’re debating for a massive cock-up is not nice when you’ve made the same mistake. I’m sure my colleague will own up, but I’ll berate him on GV. Not here.

    Comment by aadhavan | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  4. * If the civilians were used to protect the boats from attack, why conceal? Wouldn’t you want to display the boats very prominently with civilians forced to sit inside/just next to them if you intended to use the civlians as shields?

    Comment by aadhavan | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  5. Oh dear. Blacker you’ve done it again. You’ve effectively, completely and utterly eviscerated your own argument like only David Blacker can. It’s painful to watch, but funny a hell 🙂 If the Tigers knew that the army would shell them despite their use of ‘human shields, then they could not by definition’have intended to use human shields! Tu comprends or do I need to drill it in? 🙂

    Despite the copious spilling of words on the matter, you’ve miserably failed to understand what a human shield means. Human shields indicated an intention to render military targets immune from attack. In other words, you intend to bar the opposing side from attacking your military objects. This is evidently different to an attempt to conceal a military object in civilian dwellings. Nevertheless, you have completely shredded your own argument in inimitable style by suggesting that the Tigers were aware that the government would shell targets, whether protected by human shields or otherwise. This awareness is completely incompatible with the specific intent to render a military object immune. Sorry for rubbing it in. I thought the pedagogic purpose justified the insult.

    IHL, law and logic in general take time to master Blacker. Your significant investment of time in this venture suggests you’re on the right track. Please accept this encouragement in the spirit in which it is offered.

    Cheers.

    Comment by aadhavan | June 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Ha ha, don’t be silly, Aadhavan. I didn’t say that the SL military inevitably would attack in spite of the shields. I said that they have. Therefore the Tigers would be inclined to disguise their craft as part of the civilian dwellings. It is the presence of the civilians that enables the concealment.

      Unfortunately, in spite of your loud claims of victory, your long years of immersion in the law hasn’t given you much ability in actually arguing a case! Keep trying.

      On the other hand, I’m glad to see you’ve abandoned your colleague’s stupid insistence of movement being the sole causative action. I’m happy to be of service. Isn’t English comprehension necessary as a lawyer?

      Comment by David Blacker | June 17, 2011 | Reply

      • Rule 97 doesn’t require that you be successful in protecting your military target with human shields to be in violation; only that you attempt to do so.

        Comment by David Blacker | June 17, 2011 | Reply

  6. Not even close to a save Blacker. The fact that the Tigers were aware of the fact that the boats would likely be attacked whether or not civilians were purporting to shield the boats is necessarily inconsistent with the intention to render a target immune. The question is not one of success, but one of intention. It is definitionally impossible to intend to render a target immune from attack when you are aware that the policy of the other side is to attack human shields. I believe you understand this, but I fully understand the squirming. It’s also unbecoming to explain this to a grown man so I will stop now. I won’t bother with the law because the case has been concluded on the facts. I bow out with all due humility. The victory is all yours if you want it 😀 I could never claim victory where the competitor implodes.

    Comment by aadhavan | June 17, 2011 | Reply

    • Amusing as your attempt at a triumphant retreat into the sunset is, I can’t say I blame you. I’d wanna run away too if I had managed to make such a monumental idiot of myself.

      You speak of a GoSL policy of attacking in spite of the use of human shields. The lack of evidence of any such policy notwithstanding, you have basically conceded that the Tigers used human shields, and the GoSL attacked anyway. Thanks, Aadhavan, you’ve managed in two days to lose a debate that took Gehan two weeks to lose 😀 Implosion, you say?

      The fact is the Tigers use the civilian presence to conceal the co-located gunboats; ie using the civilians as human shields.

      The other fact you’ve yet to address is the lack of any mention in the Karadzic/Mladic indictment of the movement you and Gehan think is so crucial to infer intent.

      You’re right; the case has been concluded on the facts 😉

      Comment by David Blacker | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  7. lol…it’s funny seeing you writhe. But you do realise that if the Tigers were aware of the possibility that the army would attack anyway, which you said necessitated concealment of the boats, then you cannot by definition find the TIgers guilty of using human shields? I know there will be no honest answer forthcoming, but I like seeing you flounder…

    Mladic is completely irrelevant now because you’ve conceded the game on the facts. Bravo! I am writing a longer post addressing the among others the human shields issue where I intend to discuss the case, but given your creative brilliance, movement isn’t even a question here. Own goal!

    Comment by aadhavan | June 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Lol you’re back?! What happened to bowing out, riding into the sunset, and otherwise running away? I’m not too worried by your moronic personal attacks, Aadhavan; I’ve been insulted by far more articulate people than you. Is that what the Cambodian prosecutor taught you? 😀 No wonder Pol Pot died peacefully a free man.

      I have already explained why concealment depended on the presence of the human shields; I understand your comprehension issues, but try again.

      Also, I do understand your pathetic attempt to dismiss the Karadzic/Mladic case. If your screwed by the facts, best ignore ’em, eh?

      You’re a disgrace to your profession.

      Comment by David Blacker | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  8. Don’t take light internet banter this seriously Blacker. I’m sure you’re a good bugger and we’d get along fine if we put a drink or something. Cheers.

    Comment by aadhavan | June 18, 2011 | Reply

    • Ha, insults and attacks on the internet always amuse and enliven me, Aadhavan. They always come in the death throes of a debate and, like now, it shows me that that’s all my opponent has left in his arsenal.

      I’ve drunk with better than you, and I’ve drunk with worse than you. I’ve drunk with Tigers. So yeah, as long as you’re buying.

      Comment by David Blacker | June 18, 2011 | Reply

  9. “Human shields indicated an intention to render military targets immune from attack. In other words, you intend to bar the opposing side from attacking your military objects. This is evidently different to an attempt to conceal a military object in civilian dwellings. ” – only a lawyer (and a poor one at that) would think that makes any sense.

    Comment by N | June 19, 2011 | Reply

    • That’s ‘cos these lawyers are defending their egos, and not the report.

      Comment by David Blacker | June 19, 2011 | Reply

  10. […] USA deserve better guidance than they have been offered by the interventions of such persons as Darusman, Kouchner and […]

    Pingback by Mis-Reading Pirapāharan: Western Pawns beyond their Depth | Thuppahi's Blog | July 1, 2011 | Reply

  11. Sinhala pig David Blacker – your people killed numerous Tamils and your harping on about something totally different. Where is the condemnation from you for the massacres of Tamils by your Sinhala only government who insists on a Sinhala only religon and a Sinhala only national anthem.

    I hope that helps! Sinhala pig.

    Comment by Reece | July 12, 2011 | Reply

  12. Reece, well said !!

    Bloodthirsty mass murderer, David Blacker has a soul that blacker than hell itself.

    [Edited out: Please do not attribute to me things that I haven’t said. If you wish to comment on discussions taking place on other sites, do so there — DB]

    Comment by Veerasigham | July 12, 2011 | Reply

  13. Ahh… David Blacker censored my write-up. Your self-appointed role of The Most Obedient Servant to the Rajapaksa regime defies logic. You are every trick in the book to hoodwink the whole world. Are you thinking that all us…. are idiots ?

    Sri Lankan army and the Sinhala thugs like you did all the atrocities to the innocent Tamil civilians from the time of independence. The normally docile, law abiding Tamil youths to take up arms, after the Tamil political leaders exhausted all political avenues to get some equality, inter-ethnic amity, justice, reconciliation and pluralism

    People outside Sri Lanka only remember the 1983 atrocity. Later Sri Lanka got wiser and continued their genocide quietly, away from the world’s eyes. There were constant bombing, shelling, arrests, rapes, beatings, extrajudicial killings and arrests of innocent civilians in the Tamil areas in the guise of bombing the hideouts of LTTE

    Average Sinhala population pretended not to know these atrocities. LTTE retaliated as they had no choice to defend themselves and the Tamil population.

    After the LTTE is wiped out the same GENOCIDE CONTINUES TO THIS DAY IN TAMIL AREAS!!!

    The rapes, killings, abductions, thuggery continues unabated.

    Comment by Veerasigham | July 13, 2011 | Reply

  14. Seems to me that Sinhalese forces supported violence directed towards the innocent Tamils will never end..

    Comment by Veerasigham | July 13, 2011 | Reply

  15. Hi i enjoy reading you’re blog and i learned alot of thngs i didnt knw before.Looking forward to read you’re book, a cause untrue. I checked it in sarasavi bt it was out f stock.

    Comment by sach | July 13, 2011 | Reply

  16. Thanks, Sach. It’s mostly out of stock in SL, though hopefully Barefoot will get in some new copies soon. Meantime, I heard that the Yapa’s at the WTC has some, and you can order online too from Hachette.

    Comment by David Blacker | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  17. Thanx:D

    Comment by sach | July 15, 2011 | Reply

  18. David mate,

    Why sudden barrage on human rights probe on Sri Lanka by Tamil Nadu & US ? I can understand TN , the plod need Tamil votes so political mileage iz huge ! But, why did US congress get involved by cutting aid ? With all thats happening in Afghanistan, Iraq , Dafur & Pakistan where ,more atrocities are more wide spread & on going ! Doesn’t make sense !

    Comment by Rajarata | August 11, 2011 | Reply

    • In the case of the US, it’s probably an attempt to retain influence in the region, particularly in the face of India’s opposition to Chinese influence.

      Comment by David Blacker | August 12, 2011 | Reply

  19. […] a framework of analysis incorporating all the important criteria of human development.; See: LINK; See: LINK; See: […]

    Pingback by Introducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study of the Last Stages of Eelam War IV | Thuppahi's Blog | April 30, 2013 | Reply

  20. […] a framework of analysis incorporating all the important criteria of human development.; See:LINK; See: LINK; […]

    Pingback by Introducing “Numbers Game” – A Detailed Study Of The Last Stages Of Eelam War IV | Colombo Telegraph | May 1, 2013 | Reply


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