Were 20,000 civilians killed in Sri Lankan offensive?

Take a look at this article in The Times of London newspaper and tell me why we shouldn’t demand an immediate international investigation into the war crimes and human rights violations that occurred during the recent fighting between the Sri Lankan security forces and the opposition Tamil Tigers.  The U.S. and other governments should press for one at the UN Security Council and the UN Human Rights Council as soon as possible.

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47 thoughts on “Were 20,000 civilians killed in Sri Lankan offensive?

  1. Why UNHRC not speaking about Killining of fleeing Tamil Civilians by LTTE.
    Is Tamils civilians (who don't support LTTE) lives not important to them.
    This video taken By unmanned spy aircraft of SL army shows a LTTE gunman shooting at a Fleeing civilian crowd and civilians running some falling down.
    I know of people of all communities who cried after seeing this scenes…..

  2. Why UNHRC not speaking about Killining of fleeing Tamil Civilians by LTTE.
    Is Tamils civilians (who don’t support LTTE) lives not important to them.
    This video taken By unmanned spy aircraft of SL army shows a LTTE gunman shooting at a Fleeing civilian crowd and civilians running some falling down.
    I know of people of all communities who cried after seeing this scenes…..

  3. Jim, be careful. Just try to be more accurate. Don't quote unverified reports. I feel you're losing credibility. Good luck…

  4. Hi Jim,

    You are asking why we shouldn’t demand an immediate international investigation; here are some resons why,

    - None of these figures are verified

    - And the Times have quoted an unnames source which was later disputed by the UN itself. see http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUK

    - The assumptions and the conclusion sounds ridiculous to anyone with a brain developed than a 5th grader
    It says that the estimate is based on 1000 deaths per a day for 19 days.. yeah we know it adds upto 19,000 and plus its estimate of 7,000 upto the end of April makes it over 20, 000. But who the hell came up with this 1,000 deaths a day??? The picture Times article has shows a graveyard of about 100, so how the hell does it conclude that 1,000 deaths per a day happened.

    We SHOULD NOT waste time or money inquiring about any baseless accusation as such.

  5. Hi Jim,

    You are asking why we shouldn’t demand an immediate international investigation; here are some resons why,

    - None of these figures are verified

    - And the Times have quoted an unnames source which was later disputed by the UN itself. see http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUK

    - The assumptions and the conclusion sounds ridiculous to anyone with a brain developed than a 5th grader
    It says that the estimate is based on 1000 deaths per a day for 19 days.. yeah we know it adds upto 19,000 and plus its estimate of 7,000 upto the end of April makes it over 20, 000. But who the hell came up with this 1,000 deaths a day??? The picture Times article has shows a graveyard of about 100, so how the hell does it conclude that 1,000 deaths per a day happened.

    We SHOULD NOT waste time or money inquiring about any baseless accusation as such.

  6. Hi Jim,

    You are asking why we shouldn’t demand an immediate international investigation; here are some resons why,

    - None of these figures are verified

    - And the Times have quoted an unnames source which was later disputed by the UN itself. see http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUK

    - The assumptions and the conclusion sounds ridiculous to anyone with a brain developed than a 5th grader
    It says that the estimate is based on 1000 deaths per a day for 19 days.. yeah we know it adds upto 19,000 and plus its estimate of 7,000 upto the end of April makes it over 20, 000. But who the hell came up with this 1,000 deaths a day??? The picture Times article has shows a graveyard of about 100, so how the hell does it conclude that 1,000 deaths per a day happened.

    We SHOULD NOT waste time or money inquiring about any baseless accusation as such.

  7. 1. The Sinhalese muzzled their own journalists & kept all media out of their kill zones, even expelling British journalists from the country. Days after the war is over, they're still keeping the media as well as UN & aid groups out.

    2. At the same time, they blame the same media whom tbey expel & muzzle of not accepting their views OVER the UN's reports. Gag & blindfold the media, then blame it for being biased against the gaggers.

    3. China's position, that all human rights violations are her own internal matter, is now lanka's & india's position, too. Having driven the UN out of the scene, they now blame it for bias as well.

    4. The Sinhalese blame the Tigers for civilian casualites, but they won the war by their overwhelming firepower, which the Tigers couldn't match. The disproportional ratio in the firepower inflicted on the kill zones as well as the ethnicity of the dominant killing machine shows who the predominant killers of Tamil civilians were here.

    5. If the Sinhalese want the media to tell the truth, they only need to open the kill zone to it. Why didn't they do this, & still don't ?

    6. By the same token they ought to favor Amnesty & other rights groups' call for a complete investigation by a truth commission, which is after all the normal way the truth is reached after any war ends. Why are they so against the whole idea ?

  8. Jim, be careful. Just try to be more accurate. Don’t quote unverified reports. I feel you’re losing credibility. Good luck…

  9. Hi Jim,

    You are asking why we shouldn’t demand an immediate international investigation; here are some resons why,

    - None of these figures are verified

    - And the Times have quoted an unnames source which was later disputed by the UN itself. see
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/homepageCrisis/idUKN29443707._CH_.2420?rpc=401&

    - The assumptions and the conclusion sounds ridiculous to anyone with a brain developed than a 5th grader
    It says that the estimate is based on 1000 deaths per a day for 19 days.. yeah we know it adds upto 19,000 and plus its estimate of 7,000 upto the end of April makes it over 20, 000. But who the hell came up with this 1,000 deaths a day??? The picture Times article has shows a graveyard of about 100, so how the hell does it conclude that 1,000 deaths per a day happened.

    We SHOULD NOT waste time or money inquiring about any baseless accusation as such.

  10. 1. The Sinhalese muzzled their own journalists & kept all media out of their kill zones, even expelling British journalists from the country. Days after the war is over, they’re still keeping the media as well as UN & aid groups out.

    2. At the same time, they blame the same media whom tbey expel & muzzle of not accepting their views OVER the UN’s reports. Gag & blindfold the media, then blame it for being biased against the gaggers.

    3. China’s position, that all human rights violations are her own internal matter, is now lanka’s & india’s position, too. Having driven the UN out of the scene, they now blame it for bias as well.

    4. The Sinhalese blame the Tigers for civilian casualites, but they won the war by their overwhelming firepower, which the Tigers couldn’t match. The disproportional ratio in the firepower inflicted on the kill zones as well as the ethnicity of the dominant killing machine shows who the predominant killers of Tamil civilians were here.

    5. If the Sinhalese want the media to tell the truth, they only need to open the kill zone to it. Why didn’t they do this, & still don’t ?

    6. By the same token they ought to favor Amnesty & other rights groups’ call for a complete investigation by a truth commission, which is after all the normal way the truth is reached after any war ends. Why are they so against the whole idea ?

  11. In response to various comments posted above, I'd ask that people take a look at the press release issued by AI last Friday (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-release…. It's disingenuous, to say the least, to complain about reports being unverified when the Sri Lankan government was responsible for keeping independent observers away from the war zone. I'm not endorsing The Times' report; I'm saying that it and other allegations of human rights violations and war crimes need an international investigation. It's also not the time for patience; as we said in our latest press release, AI is continuing to get reports of human rights violations going on now affecting the displaced civilians, including torture, enforced disappearance and sexual violence. We need full, unimpeded access to the internment camps now for aid agencies, journalists and human rights monitors.

  12. John, You are worse than Jim. This is not the time to patronize them. Be patient.

  13. In response to various comments posted above, I'd ask that people take a look at the press release issued by AI last Friday (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-release…. It's disingenuous, to say the least, to complain about reports being unverified when the Sri Lankan government was responsible for keeping independent observers away from the war zone. I'm not endorsing The Times' report; I'm saying that it and other allegations of human rights violations and war crimes need an international investigation. It's also not the time for patience; as we said in our latest press release, AI is continuing to get reports of human rights violations going on now affecting the displaced civilians, including torture, enforced disappearance and sexual violence. We need full, unimpeded access to the internment camps now for aid agencies, journalists and human rights monitors.

  14. In response to various comments posted above, I'd ask that people take a look at the press release issued by AI last Friday (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-release…. It's disingenuous, to say the least, to complain about reports being unverified when the Sri Lankan government was responsible for keeping independent observers away from the war zone. I'm not endorsing The Times' report; I'm saying that it and other allegations of human rights violations and war crimes need an international investigation. It's also not the time for patience; as we said in our latest press release, AI is continuing to get reports of human rights violations going on now affecting the displaced civilians, including torture, enforced disappearance and sexual violence. We need full, unimpeded access to the internment camps now for aid agencies, journalists and human rights monitors.

  15. John, You are worse than Jim. This is not the time to patronize them. Be patient.

  16. In response to various comments posted above, I’d ask that people take a look at the press release issued by AI last Friday (at http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/sri-lanka-un-must-publicize-civilian-casualty-figures-20090529). It’s disingenuous, to say the least, to complain about reports being unverified when the Sri Lankan government was responsible for keeping independent observers away from the war zone. I’m not endorsing The Times’ report; I’m saying that it and other allegations of human rights violations and war crimes need an international investigation. It’s also not the time for patience; as we said in our latest press release, AI is continuing to get reports of human rights violations going on now affecting the displaced civilians, including torture, enforced disappearance and sexual violence. We need full, unimpeded access to the internment camps now for aid agencies, journalists and human rights monitors.

  17. Asian governments like lanka, india, china have one thing in common — in times of war, disaster or revolution, they deliberately lower the figures of the people affected by state violence, for both home & global consumption.

    From the start of this present campaign lanka denied & deflated the huge numbers of civilians in her kill zones, because the army wanted no consideration of noncombatants to stand in its way. Finally when the multitudes in her killing fields turned out to be scores of thousands more than lanka had given out to be, the world was treated to official spin familiar to all Souh Asia observers. The trend set here should rise steeper when mass slaughter is concerned. Unlike Jim i support the UN reports, especially as a not – final but well informed estimate of fatalities. Its as supportable, i believe, as the estimates used for the Iraq war.

    As for the pseudo "antiWesternisms" of the defenders of the Sinhalese status quo outraged by the "Western" media's coverage, it is, at this stage, equally predictable. This status quo itself lives off its collaboration with the West, but will not allow the poor & violated populations living under it to share a single one of those benefits. japan stil uses this antiWesternism to defend her WW2 abuses, china uses antiWesternisms to defend her Tibet policies & rights records, honor killers in pakistan spew antiWesternisms when media focus on their criminalities, & Sinhalese are just the latest imitators.

    Fake "antiWesternism" is old in the game among both the colonised & the colonisers throughout the world. It's used as a last resort, with nothing else at hand, & the usage denotes a crude level of discourse.

  18. Asian governments like lanka, india, china have one thing in common — in times of war, disaster or revolution, they deliberately lower the figures of the people affected by state violence, for both home & global consumption.

    From the start of this present campaign lanka denied & deflated the huge numbers of civilians in her kill zones, because the army wanted no consideration of noncombatants to stand in its way. Finally when the multitudes in her killing fields turned out to be scores of thousands more than lanka had given out to be, the world was treated to official spin familiar to all Souh Asia observers. The trend set here should rise steeper when mass slaughter is concerned. Unlike Jim i support the UN reports, especially as a not – final but well informed estimate of fatalities. Its as supportable, i believe, as the estimates used for the Iraq war.

    As for the pseudo “antiWesternisms” of the defenders of the Sinhalese status quo outraged by the “Western” media’s coverage, it is, at this stage, equally predictable. This status quo itself lives off its collaboration with the West, but will not allow the poor & violated populations living under it to share a single one of those benefits. japan stil uses this antiWesternism to defend her WW2 abuses, china uses antiWesternisms to defend her Tibet policies & rights records, honor killers in pakistan spew antiWesternisms when media focus on their criminalities, & Sinhalese are just the latest imitators.

    Fake “antiWesternism” is old in the game among both the colonised & the colonisers throughout the world. It’s used as a last resort, with nothing else at hand, & the usage denotes a crude level of discourse.

  19. Yes – around 22,000 were killed to be more precise – but they were all Terrorists who died in the War. it is like America killing all Al Quida members or Thaliban Members… !

    These 22,000 had to be killed to save more than 20 million peace loving people in Sri Lanka consisting of many races and religious beliefs..

  20. Actually, if you consider the History of the conflict, more than 100,000 have died from it's inception. Most of them being Singhalees who lived in the Northern Area who were killed by the LTTE, followd by Tamils who opposed the LTTE (killed by LTTE) and then Muslims who again lived in areas that the LTTE wanted to control.

  21. Jim – can you tell me one country that had eradicated Terrorism in the recent past ? Also how they did it ? and how many paid with their lives and who where these people who were killed ??

    Also tell me a single country that battled against a separatist group and liberated the area peacefully without division ?? and How they achieved it ?

  22. Yes – around 22,000 were killed to be more precise – but they were all Terrorists who died in the War. it is like America killing all Al Quida members or Thaliban Members… !

    These 22,000 had to be killed to save more than 20 million peace loving people in Sri Lanka consisting of many races and religious beliefs..

  23. Actually, if you consider the History of the conflict, more than 100,000 have died from it’s inception. Most of them being Singhalees who lived in the Northern Area who were killed by the LTTE, followd by Tamils who opposed the LTTE (killed by LTTE) and then Muslims who again lived in areas that the LTTE wanted to control.

  24. Jim – can you tell me one country that had eradicated Terrorism in the recent past ? Also how they did it ? and how many paid with their lives and who where these people who were killed ??

    Also tell me a single country that battled against a separatist group and liberated the area peacefully without division ?? and How they achieved it ?

  25. The war hasn't stopped.

    It's going on, under the guise of "peace".

    22000 killed ? Why, they were all terrorists.And therefore their deaths are justified.

    And this is lanka's public position ?? Dear God !! Is this real, what we're hearing ?

    Right now i cannot think of any recent war in which such a high concentration of people were killed — & that too with a dead certainty as to their political status.

    This war's going on under this socalled "peace", this "normalcy", & now it's menacing all & everyone who won't agree with the victors.

    This is not even a state of denial.

    It's a state of open war.

    For war can only be concluded with a process of comprehensive justice.

  26. lanka's war has been done in a way that rules out this process of justice.

    It cannot conduct such a process, for that would be the negation of the negation, its own voracious self.

    It's legacy is its own perpetuation.

  27. Mr. John !

    I refer to the following comment made by you..

    22000 killed ? Why, they were all terrorists.And therefore their deaths are justified.

    Dude ! – tell me another way of settling a person who aims a gun at you ?? Did America pr any other country do it (or doing it) differently with the Iraq's or Talibans ? I mean do the American Soldiers go hug a Taliban fighter who is all out to Kill them ?? Prior to the war, the estimate was 25,000 LTTE carders and after wards, GOSL claimed 22,000 (approximate numbers). In any WAR starting from the days of Human history, there were many who died from all parties who were involved. if you check the history from time when the Greeks to Vikings to Chines to Indians to Crusades to, World War 1 & 2, Iran/Iraq War to destroying the LTTE, millions would have died. There is nothing left to Justify in it…

    DON"T talk like a person who started walking on earth just today !!

    There is quite normalcy now – at least the people of all races walk on streets with hope of returning home than lay dead on the street. Remember, the Railway Station Bomb ? Ya – more than 20% of the people who died were Tamil which included 2 school children. Now Try Justify that !! –

    I CHALLENGE YOU on this !! JUSTIFY THE KILLING OF TAMIL STUDENTS AT PETTA RAILWAY STATION BOMB !!

    Go do something productive than go lye and being a traitor to your own kind !!

    People like you are the menace to the world. Liars and cheaters who bribe to achieve your low grade intentions. You are a shame to your own mother and father who brought you in to this world. I wonder how a person like you could walk on the streets with cloths on – shameless B…….S !

  28. The war hasn’t stopped.

    It’s going on, under the guise of “peace”.

    22000 killed ? Why, they were all terrorists.And therefore their deaths are justified.

    And this is lanka’s public position ?? Dear God !! Is this real, what we’re hearing ?

    Right now i cannot think of any recent war in which such a high concentration of people were killed — & that too with a dead certainty as to their political status.

    This war’s going on under this socalled “peace”, this “normalcy”, & now it’s menacing all & everyone who won’t agree with the victors.

    This is not even a state of denial.

    It’s a state of open war.

    For war can only be concluded with a process of comprehensive justice.

  29. lanka’s war has been done in a way that rules out this process of justice.

    It cannot conduct such a process, for that would be the negation of the negation, its own voracious self.

    It’s legacy is its own perpetuation.

  30. Mr. John !

    I refer to the following comment made by you..

    22000 killed ? Why, they were all terrorists.And therefore their deaths are justified.

    Dude ! – tell me another way of settling a person who aims a gun at you ?? Did America pr any other country do it (or doing it) differently with the Iraq’s or Talibans ? I mean do the American Soldiers go hug a Taliban fighter who is all out to Kill them ?? Prior to the war, the estimate was 25,000 LTTE carders and after wards, GOSL claimed 22,000 (approximate numbers). In any WAR starting from the days of Human history, there were many who died from all parties who were involved. if you check the history from time when the Greeks to Vikings to Chines to Indians to Crusades to, World War 1 & 2, Iran/Iraq War to destroying the LTTE, millions would have died. There is nothing left to Justify in it…

    DON”T talk like a person who started walking on earth just today !!

    There is quite normalcy now – at least the people of all races walk on streets with hope of returning home than lay dead on the street. Remember, the Railway Station Bomb ? Ya – more than 20% of the people who died were Tamil which included 2 school children. Now Try Justify that !! -

    I CHALLENGE YOU on this !! JUSTIFY THE KILLING OF TAMIL STUDENTS AT PETTA RAILWAY STATION BOMB !!

    Go do something productive than go lye and being a traitor to your own kind !!

    People like you are the menace to the world. Liars and cheaters who bribe to achieve your low grade intentions. You are a shame to your own mother and father who brought you in to this world. I wonder how a person like you could walk on the streets with cloths on – shameless B…….S !

  31. I believe that the issues are telling all the truth and nothing but the truth about what happened in the war against the LTTE, identifying who did what crimes, finding and releasing all the detained and the "disappeared" and beginning a truth and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka.

    Defeating the LTTE will not end this very nasty and dirty war. Bomb makers and suicide bombers in the "underground" can still maim and kill people, and the government can endlessly "disappear torture, and kill people' without end.

    Unbiased NGO and UN international observers and humanitarian workers can observe and assist the refugees so they can go home and rebuild their lives.

    Like in South Africa, Guatemala, Colombia, Rwanda, Burundi, etc. there must be an effective reconciliation between groups whose differences and prejudices led to violence. the desired endpoint is that Tamils, Sinhalese, and other groups can live in harmony and celebrtate their common lfe a citizens of Sri Lanka sharing without discrimination and bias in a civil society. This goal will require years of forbearance, restraint, forgievenss, truth telling,and hard work. The Sri Lanka government, the groups in Sri Lanka civil society, and the international community must work together in good will to bring reconciliation. Let us all start today with prayer and action.

    David MacLean
    Springfield, VA

  32. I believe that the issues are telling all the truth and nothing but the truth about what happened in the war against the LTTE, identifying who did what crimes, finding and releasing all the detained and the “disappeared” and beginning a truth and reconciliation process in Sri Lanka.

    Defeating the LTTE will not end this very nasty and dirty war. Bomb makers and suicide bombers in the “underground” can still maim and kill people, and the government can endlessly “disappear torture, and kill people’ without end.

    Unbiased NGO and UN international observers and humanitarian workers can observe and assist the refugees so they can go home and rebuild their lives.

    Like in South Africa, Guatemala, Colombia, Rwanda, Burundi, etc. there must be an effective reconciliation between groups whose differences and prejudices led to violence. the desired endpoint is that Tamils, Sinhalese, and other groups can live in harmony and celebrtate their common lfe a citizens of Sri Lanka sharing without discrimination and bias in a civil society. This goal will require years of forbearance, restraint, forgievenss, truth telling,and hard work. The Sri Lanka government, the groups in Sri Lanka civil society, and the international community must work together in good will to bring reconciliation. Let us all start today with prayer and action.

    David MacLean
    Springfield, VA

  33. I believe that David is telling all the truth and nothing but the truth.

    And I also believe that he is doing so in good faith and nothing but in good faith.

    But why do I feel that he is trying to patronise us….?

    Must be something wicked in me and nothing but the wickedness in me.

  34. I believe that David is telling all the truth and nothing but the truth.

    And I also believe that he is doing so in good faith and nothing but in good faith.

    But why do I feel that he is trying to patronise us….?

    Must be something wicked in me and nothing but the wickedness in me.

  35. Pingback: The Graveyards of Sri Lanka’s War Zone | Human Rights Now - Amnesty International USA Blog