“…and countries like Sri Lanka have yet to ensure full accountability in addressing serious human rights violations…”

Dear Ambassador Elissa Golberg, Your statement on Sri Lanka at UNHRC in Geneva ~ LankaWeb
Posted on June 25th, 2012

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1. Canada

25 June 2012

Ambassador Elissa Golberg

Canada’s Ambassador & Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva
5 Avenue de l’Aviana, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland.

Dear Ambassador Golberg:

I have just read your statement of June 18, 2012, on behalf of Canada to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.   In  your statement you said “….and countries like Sri Lanka have yet to ensure full accountability in addressing serious human rights violations…”

With that statement, you have failed us Canadians one more time when commenting on Sri Lanka, as did Foreign Minister John Baird when he performed his Song and Dance at the UN Security Council about Sri Lanka, and former Conservative Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon  who put out a pathetic Press Release after the Tamil Tigers, the most ruthless terrorist group in the world were militarily eliminated after a 27-year long blooding war, on 19 May 2009.  He had difficulty to acknowledge the amazing feat when every other western country patted the back of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government saying , “Marvellous, well done, chaps, we got lots to learn from you guys how to get rid of terrorists single handed without requesting  for even Canadian troops to come and help you all as is being done in Afghanistan!”  So the Canadian’s negative policy on Sri Lanka keeps marching on unabated.

As a Sri Lankan-Canadian here is the problem that I am grappling with.  All you Canadian Sri Lanka watching politicians and Foreign Affairs Sri Lanka watching bureaucrats obviously do not believe in the Cosmic Law of‘Cause and Effect’ like I do.  Perhaps, this is a deliberate effort in case you all paint yourselves into the corner as a bunch of hypocrites.

The “Effect” that you are complaining about is, “….ensure full accountability in addressing serious human rights violations”.  Right, Ambassador Golberg?  Are you not interested to find out the “Cause” of all this and go after the culprits who kept the Tamil Tigers life-line alive providing them with oxygen?  Well, I don’t think you are going to challenge me when I say that one of the culprits was none other than, yours and my Canada.  Here’s the reason why Canada should hang its head low in shame and not white-wash ourselves and say, “Sri Lanka, we Canadians are Holier than Thou.”

For 13 long Liberal years under the helm of Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, Canada let the Canadian Tamil Tiger sympathizers collect, mainly by extortion,  2 million dollars a month to stuff the Tamil Tiger war-chest to buy a sophisticated armoury of guns, bullets, land mines, claymore mines, et cetera to go on killing innocent Sri Lankan civilians in scores of hundreds, and taking away their ‘right-to-life’ which had been hijacked for 27 years by Tamil Tigers.  And you with a straight ‘We are Holier thou” face, complained to the UNHRC demanding Sri Lanka’s accountability for getting rid  single handed of these Tamil Tigers, the most ruthless terrorists in the world.   That is a bit pretentious, onerous, vulgar, and disingenuous, isn’t it, Ambassador Golberg?  You experienced what terrorism was all about having watched the Talibans in Kandahar going about with their Tamil Tiger copy-cat killings that also killed our Canadian soldiers.

Aren’t we Canadians a bunch hypocrites, when on May 6, 2000, Liberal Finance Minister, Paul Martin, and his cabinet colleague, Minister responsible for CIDA, Maria Minna and several Liberal MPs, supported the fund raising event for the Tamil Tigers by attending a $60-a plate dinner in Toronto.  And you complain about “Sri Lanka’s accountability”.   Ha!  What rubbish, and your comment is not worth two prairie straws swaying in the wind in the more sky than land country.

Perhaps, Canada can be a bit more honest and accept being accountable for the deaths of 114 people and for the 1,338 others who were maimed for life being victims when the Tamil Tigers brought down the Central Bank Building in the Fort, Colombo, on 31 January 1996. Ambassador Golberg, you can claim your right to ask me, “Why should Canada admit to be  accountable for those deaths and injured?”

Here’s why, Ambassador Golberg.  It was in 1994 that Canada allowed a Tamil Tiger sympathizer to cut a cheque from his account in a bank in Vancouver for $7.5 million to buy 50 tonnes of RDX and plastic explosives from a Chemical Factory in the Ukraine.  These were the explosives that were used in the truck bomb that brought down the Central Bank Building in Colombo, on January 31, 1996.    And it were the same explosive material that were used to bomb the  entrance to the Temple of the Buddha’s Tooth Relic in Kandy on 25 January 1998, killing 12 and seriously injuring 13 others.  You better believe it, whether you and I like it or not, we both have Sinhala and Muslim blood on our palms together with 34 million other Canadians.  And my Conservative Government had the gall and temerity to get you to make a statement saying,  “…and countries like Sri Lanka have yet to ensure full accountability in addressing serious human rights violation.”  That is being bombastic,  cruel, and having a colonial attitude saying that “we are the masters of your destiny, Sri Lanka”.  That shows our hypocrisy to its 10th degree.

And you slapped the wrist of the UN Human Rights Council Commissioner for “her reference in her report to the situation in Quebec.”  You said, “The Government of Quebec has pursued mediation efforts with student representatives.  Demonstrations continue to occur – daily.  Freedom of assembly is alive and well in Quebec.  The law adopted in Quebec frames the exercise of these freedoms by preserving peace, order and public safety.”

Hmmm…I am not sure of that!  I think the reference to Canada and human rights violation in the context of the Quebec students, was as according to the students spokesperson Leo Bureau-Blouin, Bill 78 is the biggest set back to the students fundamental rights.  The students marched down Montreal streets and knocking on cauldrons along the sidewalks in defence of Free Speech.    It is important to note that the Quebec bar association, many legal experts, unions, opinion leaders and even anti-corruption hero Judge John Gomery, severely criticized Bill 78 for its restrictive laws that impedes on human rights.  So which ever way you try to slice the pie and white-wash Canada, the issue of the freedoms of fundamental rights sticks out like a sore thumb.  If Sri Lanka had tried this stunt and curb the University student’s freedom of speech, you bet, Canada would have been one of the first countries who would have pounced on Sri Lanka as human rights violators and advocating that “Canada is Holier than Thou”.

While the worst student protests in Canadian history took place at Concordia University in Montreal in 1969, when hundreds of students protested against a professor who consistently gave lower marks to black students.  They destroyed the computer lab, set fire to the building, rioted in the streets and caused more than $2 million in damage. That the curbs by the Quebec Government on the ongoing protest by the students in Montreal that the UNHRC Commissioner has pointed out as a human rights violation, you bet, will very likely earn a page in Canadian history too like the Concordia incident!

Since Sri Lanka is on it way to recovery, rehabilitation and reconciliation having been haemorrhaged for 27 bloody years by a  Tamil terrorist war that was aided and abetted by Canada, it is time that Canada jump off Sri Lanka’s back and stop playing the monkey, in the game of “We are Holier than Thou”, because  however much we try to pretend, we are just not as bunch of bright eyed goody two-shoes.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

Upon review of Mr. Weerasinghe’s outrage at Ambassador Elissa Golberg’s statement to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, WCI has the following reflection:

Mr. Weerasinghe’s opinion of human rights issues in Canada and account of LTTE funding by Canada is interesting. The good, bad and ugly of human rights is an infinite topic of debate.

“For 13 long Liberal years under the helm of Prime Ministers Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, Canada let the Canadian Tamil Tiger sympathizers collect, mainly by extortion,  2 million dollars a month to stuff the Tamil Tiger war-chest to buy a sophisticated armoury of guns, bullets, land mines, claymore mines, et cetera…” Is there corroboration of his facts and figures?

Sri Lanka is not a country promoting free speech. Media is scrutinized and controlled by the Sinhalese-run government. Most news from and about Sri Lanka principally written and published by Sri Lanka’s Ministry Of Defence and Urban Development is biased and written in government-favored premeditated light.

The LTTE and the Sri Lankan government are accountable for war crimes against all Sri Lankan civilians during their civil war.

President Rajapaksa’s military annihilated the LTTE, ending the war.

Mr. Weerasinghe’s journalistic tantrum failed to address the existing ongoing impunity of kidnappings and murders of Sri Lankan journalists and human rights activists who dare to speak out against the current Rajapaksa regime.

Amnesty International knows which side their bread is buttered on. However their latest report,

The Human Rights Situation in Sri Lanka, June 2012
A statement for the June Human Rights Council Session

published 13 June, 2012 reconfirms that human rights conditions have not improved for Sri Lanka’s Tamils in the three years since the end of the war.

| Symbolic ‘war crimes’ tribunal to try Bush, Blair ~ time for a Real Trial next indicting Obomber too!

| Symbolic ‘war crimes’ tribunal to try Bush, Blair ~ time for a Real Trial next indicting Obomber too!

Symbolic ‘war crimes’ tribunal to try Bush, Blair

By SEAN YOONG,

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian-led activists will hold a symbolic trial this month for former President George W. Bush and British ex-leader Tony Blair on charges of committing crimes against peace in the Iraq war, the event’s organizers said Tuesday.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is an initiative of Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

The tribunal will convene a four-day public hearing starting Saturday to determine whether Bush and Blair committed crimes against peace and violated international law in the Iraq invasion, said Malaysian lawyer Yaacob Hussain Marican.

“For these people who have been immune from prosecution, we want to put them on trial in this forum to prove that they committed war crimes,” Yaacob told The Associated Press.

Activists sent information about the charges to Bush and Blair recently but received no response, Yaacob said.

Francis Boyle, an American international law professor based in Illinois, will be among the prosecutors at the hearing, which follows two years of investigations by a Malaysian peace foundation founded by Mahathir that looked into complaints by people affected by the Iraqi war.

The effort is modeled after a 1967 Vietnam war crimes panel convened in Sweden and Denmark by philosophers Bertrand Russell and Jean-Paul Sartre, Yaacob said. The Vietnam tribunal said the U.S. committed acts of aggression against Vietnam and bombarded civilian targets, but it was mostly ignored in United States.

The Kuala Lumpur tribunal will have a seven-member panel of judges including two retired judges from Malaysia’s highest court, peace activist Alfred Lambremont Webre of the United States and Mumbai-based lawyer Niloufer Bhagwat of India.

If the tribunal finds Bush and Blair guilty, it will enter their names into a symbolic “Register of War Criminals.”

The tribunal is also scheduled to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against former U.S. officials including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Yaacob said.

Also see earlier blog post:

| Witness legal history being made by the in absentia due trial of Bush + Blair for War Crimes: Nov 19-22! http://wp.me/p1xXtb-nb

Truth about gaza (WAKE UP WORLD)!

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the worlds major sources of instability. Americans are directly connected to this conflict, and increasingly imperiled by its devastation.

It is the goal of If Americans Knew to provide full and accurate information on this critical issue, and on our power and duty to bring a resolution.

“I saw the images and they were disturbing. Images are of the Israeli assault against civilians in Gaza. I did not imagine things in Gaza are going as they are; therefore I forwarded it on to you so that you witness the crimes against humanity that the Israelis carry out.”

Vodpod videos no longer available.

URGENT! ADD YOUR VOICE to HELP the VOICELESS of SRI LANKA | WE, the PEOPLE, NEED 5,000 SIGNATURES BY 29 OCT. 2011

URGENT! WE MUST ACT NOW! PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION created by AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL WIDELY!

WE, the PEOPLE, NEED 5,000 SIGNATURES BY

29 OCT. 2011, on

THIS PETITION

located on THE WHITE HOUSE, WASHINGTON DC website

BECAUSE…

WE, the PEOPLE, PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
SUPPORT AN INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION INTO WAR CRIMES AND OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES COMMITTED IN SRI LANKA!

Both the Sri Lankan government and the opposition Tamil Tigers reportedly COMMITTED WAR CRIMES, CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES during the war in Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan government has a poor record of effectively investigating violations by its forces, as documented by Amnesty International.

An international investigation into the crimes and abuses committed by both sides during the war is needed if the victims are to receive justice.

The U.S. government should publicly support such an international investigation as a first step toward achieving accountability in Sri Lanka for these crimes and abuses.

Created: Sep 29, 2011
Issues: Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Foreign Policy, Human Rights

Human Rights Laws are only as good as the Executors who enforce them

© HWB, September 27, 2011

In theory, human rights should be a simple concept, but the reality of human rights laws is a sphere of complexity. Adding to that particular realm representing humanity is the fact that not everything is simply black and white.

Though it should be exactly that simple.

Because as human beings our human rights are inalienable.

However, the truth is, this is just not so. As recent as the twentieth century right here in Virginia, the infamous Dr. Walter Ashby Plecker, a small-town doctor who was registrar of the state’s Bureau of Vital Statistics from 1912 to 1946, worked very hard to refute the existence of the indigenous peoples in Virginia. To accomplish this feat, Dr. Plecker made it his life’s priority to help pass the 1924 Racial Integrity Act, “An Act to Preserve Racial Integrity”.

Denouncing the existence of a people, not only by means of robbing them of their homeland and dumping them into Bantustans, but performing ethical genocide, as well as literal, of their identity, their history and traditions is nothing short of the worst of crimes against humanity and human rights.

In 2010, the ACLU posted about the atrocity taking place in Virginia concerning the plight of three women, who were brought here under false pretenses and forced to work against their will in the home of a military attaché to the Embassy of Kuwait, where they were subjected to physical and psychological abuse. Eventually, these women fled and filed suit against their abusers. It comes as no surprise that due to “diplomatic immunity”, their suit was dismissed.

It cannot be denied that if the “Land of Liberty and Justice”, the greatest nation in the world, does not uphold and implement human rights laws, the rest of the world will follow in those footsteps only too readily.

The struggle for human rights is a ruthless, as well as never-ending, world war for humankind, and no matter the United Nations’ “Covenant on Civil and Political Rights” of nations and individuals, or the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights”, agreements and laws written to insure the execution of human rights for all humans, these agreements and laws are only as good as those willing to enforce them.

Ma’an News Agency: UN statehood bid ‘threatens Palestinian rights’

Published today (updated) 24/08/2011 20:28

Palestinian Abbas addresses the United Nations General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York [MaanImages/Omar Rashidi, File]

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — The Palestinian team responsible for preparing the United Nations initiative in September has been given an independent legal opinion that warns of risks involved with its plan to join the UN.

An initiative to transfer the Palestinians’ representation from the PLO to a state will terminate the legal status held by the PLO in the UN since 1975 that it is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, according to the document.Crucially, there will no longer be an institution that can represent the inalienable rights of the entire Palestinian people in the UN and related international institutions, according to the brief.Representation for the right to self-determination will be gravely affected, as it is a right of all Palestinians, both inside and outside the homeland, the opinion says. A change in status would severely disenfranchise the right of refugees to return to their homes and properties from which they were displaced.

The seven-page opinion, obtained by Ma’an, was submitted to the Palestinian side by Guy Goodwin-Gill, a professor of public international law at Oxford University and a member of the team that won the 2004 non-binding judgement by the International Court of Justice that the route of Israel’s wall was illegal.

The Palestinian team, headed by Saeb Erekat, has been preparing an initiative to replace the PLO at the UN, substituting it with the State of Palestine as the representative of the Palestinian people.An actual state cannot be created in September, as Israel’s occupation continues, so the debate is focused on whether membership should be requested from the Security Council or if the General Assembly should be asked to grant recognition of a state as an “observer,” a status that conveys less than full UN membership.

Yet, almost no considerations have been made in terms of the dramatic legal implications for Palestinian rights which this legal brief says will occur should the PLO lose its status.

The brief is to “flag the matters requiring attention” so that a substantial amount of people who have interests in, for example, the right of return, are not “accidentally disenfranchised.”

First of all, the prospect of substituting the PLO with the State of Palestine raises “constitutional” problems in that they engage the Palestinian National Charter and the organization and entities which make up the PLO, according to the brief. Second is “the question of the ‘capacity’ of the State of Palestine effectively to take on the role and responsibilities of the PLO in the UN; and thirdly, the question of popular representation,” the opinion says.

The Palestinian Authority, which was established by the PLO as a short-term, administrative entity, “has limited legislative and executive competence, limited territorial jurisdiction, and limited personal jurisdiction over Palestinians not present in the areas for which it has been accorded responsibility,” the brief points out.

It notes that the PA “is a subsidiary body, competent only to exercise those powers conferred on it by the Palestinian National Council. By definition, it does not have the capacity to assume greater powers.”

The PA cannot “dissolve” its parent body or establish itself independently of the PNC and the PLO, the report also says. Moreover, it is the PLO and the PNC which derive their legitimacy “from the fact that they represent all sectors of the displaced Palestinian people, no matter where they presently live or have refuge.”

Particularly crucial are the potential implications for Palestinians in the Diaspora. The majority of Palestinians are refugees, and all of them are represented by the PLO through the PNC.

“They constitute more than half of the people of Palestine, and if they are ‘disenfranchised’ and lose their representation in the UN, it will not only prejudice their entitlement to equal representation … but also their ability to vocalise their views, to participate in matters of national governance, including the formation and political identity of the State, and to exercise the right of return,” the legal briefing says.

Karma Nabulsi, a former PLO representative and now a professor at Oxford University, says she is familiar with the document. Palestinian officials have also seen the legal opinion, she says.

“Without question, no Palestinian will accept losing such core rights for such a limited diplomatic initiative in September,” she says. “First, we will not have liberated territory upon which to establish a State. But in losing the PLO as the sole legitimate representative at the UN, our people immediately lose our claims as refugees to be part of our official representation, recognized by the world.

“This is an urgent and critical issue for our whole people. We must ensure our representatives advance our rights in international forum, not weaken or endanger them. Of course now that the legal dangers have been raised so fully, I am confident the initiative will protect the status of the PLO as sole legitimate representative in the UN in order to advance the rights” of the Palestinian people.

Nabulsi says Goodwin-Gill opinion has defined and clarified the “red lines” in legal terms.

“The PLO is the representative of the people, not just a part of the people; the PLO is the architect and creator of the Palestinian Authority; that any change in who represents the people or a part of the people requires an expression of the popular will and international recognition,” she explained.

“Neither the Palestinian Authority nor the PLO can alter the role and structure of the PLO without the agreement of the entire Palestinian people. In any case, the PLO and the Palestinian people were not aware that by losing the PLO as representative at the UN, it would create such legal dangers. Now they are.”

She concluded: “Obviously, we need clarity from the PLO on this critical issue, and it is important that the Palestinian public everywhere, especially the refugees in the [Diaspora], are given concrete reassurances that representation of their core rights — on both representation and right of return — will remain untouched in September.”

In the weeks ahead, the IMEU will offer journalists a series of informative and timely briefings on the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN.

Please join us online or by phone this Thursday, August 25, 2011, for the first of these briefings:

“Escalation in the Occupied Territories: Will Violence Derail Palestinian UN Vote Before September?” 

As the September UN vote on Palestinian statehood approaches, Israel has ratcheted up its military incursions around the West Bank. In Hebron this past Monday an Israeli raid resulted in dozens of injuries and arrests. In Jenin, the renowned Freedom Theater has come under intense harassment, with young actors being detained without charge for weeks on end. And after unknown assailants in the Sinai killed eight Israelis, Israel subjected Gaza to two days of bombing despite the fact that Gaza groups denied responsibility for the attack. The bombardment of Gaza — which left 15 Palestinians dead, at least 5 of whom were civilians, including a two-year-old and a 13-year-old child — threatened a new outbreak of violence and briefly ended the unilateral ceasefire enforced by Hamas in the coastal strip for the past two years. The uptick in tensions has left many Palestinians wondering whether Israel is hoping to stir up unrest in order to derail the upcoming push for Palestinian statehood.

We hope you will join this timely discussion.

WHEN: Thursday, August 25, 2011 @ 11:30 AM ET.

GUEST: Diana Buttu, former legal adviser to Palestinian negotiators and a current Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Ms. Buttu is also a Policy Advisor to Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network.

LISTEN live by calling (347) 989-8355 or by visiting http://www.blogtalkradio.com/imeu/2011/08/25/escalation-will-violence-derail-palestinian-un-vote-before

HOW: QUESTIONS may be posed live via telephone, by pressing 1 during the call to be placed in the queue, by live chat on the press briefing webpage, or via Twitter by including @THEIMEU in your tweet with your question.

If you miss the call, the discussion will be archived at the link above or you can find it by visiting the IMEU at www.imeu.net.

CONTACT: Call Ismail Khalidi at (646) 824-7982 or email ismail@imeu.net for quick access to sources in the U.S., Israel and Palestine for this and other developing stories.

IMEU: Eilat Attacks and Escalation in Gaza

FOREVER! Gaza in our hearts!

INSTITUTE FOR MIDDLE EAST UNDERSTANDING
IMEU ~ 21 August 2011

In Gaza City on August 20, 2011 ~ murdered by Israel

A deadly three-pronged attack by unidentified gunmen on Israeli soldiers and civilians near the Red Sea resort town of Eilat on Thursday triggered a serious escalation in violence, with Israel launching three nights of air raids on the Gaza Strip.Following the attacks, Israeli forces also pursued the attackers into Egypt, where Egyptian security officers were shot dead, sparking a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.
Prior attacks
Even before Thursday’s attack, Israel carried out a series of deadly military actions in Gaza last week.Early on Tuesday 16 August, Israeli warplanes launched an airstrike that killed a 29-year-old Palestinian man. The Israeli military said the strike was in response to a rocket from Gaza that caused no damage or injuries.In a separate incident later on Tuesday, Israeli troops shot dead a teenager near Gaza’s boundary with Israel. Palestinian medical officials said the teen was shot more than 10 times.
Triple strike
According to Britain’s Guardian newspaper, six Israeli civilians and one soldier were killed during Thursday’s triple attack.In the first incident, men following a public bus opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles. The attack took place on Israel’s Highway 12, about 12 miles north of the city of Eilat.

In the second incident, an Israeli military vehicle several miles away was hit by a roadside bomb, while mortars were fired at workers building a fence along Israel’s border with Egypt.

The third incident was a gun battle between Israeli forces and militants. According to the UN peacekeeping force in the Sinai, Israeli forces pursued the gunmen across the Egyptian border, and an Israeli helicopter fired on Egyptian security officers, killing at least three of them.

Gaza blamed

Israeli officials immediately blamed the attacks on Palestinian armed groups from Gaza, claiming the gunmen crossed into the Sinai Peninsula through tunnels from Gaza, and then infiltrated Israel.

“This is not speculation, not conjecture, not joining the dots. They are sure these terrorists left Gaza,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev.

In the first Israeli airstrike following the Eilat attacks, Israel targeted the leadership of the Popular Resistance Committees, a secretive armed group in Gaza. According to the Palestinian news agency Maan, the strike hit the home of official Khaled Shaath, who was killed instantly. His two-year-old son Malek later died of injuries sustained in the strike.

The raid, in the city of Rafah, killed four other men reported to be senior members of the PRC.

Following the bombardment, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared, “We have killed the heads of the organization that sent the terrorists.”

Lack of evidence

Aside from the insistence of Israeli officials, no evidence has come to light clearly linking the Eilat incident to any group in Gaza. Indeed, Hamas and the PRC themselves denied responsibility for the attacks.

In addition, the governor of Egypt’s North Sinai region, Abdel Wahab Mabruk, denied militants had entered the territory from Gaza, citing his country’s heavy security presence in the area.

In a striking turnaround on Saturday, the Israeli military’s chief spokesperson, Lt. Colonel Avital Leibovitz, denied that Israel blamed the PRC for the Eilat attack.

In an interview with The Real News Network’s Lia Tarachansky, Leibovitz said, “We did not say that this group was responsible for the terror attack. We based this on intelligence information as well as some facts that [we] actually presented an hour ago to some wires and journalists.”

As evidence that the attackers came from Gaza, she said, “Some of the findings that were from the bodies of the terrorists, and they are using, for example, Kalashnikov bullets and Kalashnikov rifles [which] are very common in Gaza.”

Leibovitz’s claim makes little sense, however, since the Kalashnikov is the most popular gun on the planet, with more than 75 million produced since the Second World War. Paul Woodward, the author of the blog War in Context, responded to this assertion saying, “that’s about as logical as saying they know they came from Gaza because they appeared to be Arabs.”

Gaza under fire

Despite the apparent lack of concrete evidence linking the Eilat attackers to groups in Gaza, Israel pressed ahead with an air offensive on Gaza.

The first night of airstrikes left a total of seven Palestinians dead, including a 13-year-old boy named Mahmoud Abu Samra, who according to medics was killed when Israeli warplanes struck a Hamas intelligence compound in Gaza City.

After three nights of Israeli bombardment, the death toll in Gaza stood at 14 Palestinians dead and more than 40 wounded.

The bombing also damaged civilian infrastructure, including government and NGO offices, water and sewage pumps, and a psychotherapy clinic.

Lopsided response

Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, including the PRC and the military wing of Hamas, responded to the Israeli strikes by launching rockets into Israeli territory.

Some of these rockets were homemade projectiles – so-called Qassam rockets – that ordinarily have a maximum range of five kilometers, although some have been recorded to fly up to 20 kilometers (12 miles). These crude rockets are completely unguided and rarely cause casualties.

Armed groups also fired Grad missiles, another primitive weapon, originally developed by the Soviet military in the 1960s. In contrast with the Qassam, however, the Grad is in fact a deadly weapon. One Israeli man was killed by a Grad fired from Gaza into the city of Beersheba on Friday.

By any measure, however, the armaments of the Palestinian guerilla fighters are no match for those of the Israeli armed forces. In three days of strikes on Gaza, the Israeli military has already used American-made F-16 fighter jets and Apache helicopters, along with unmanned aerial drones.

Israel is one of the best-armed states in the region, possessing more than 500 combat aircraft, more than 3,300 tanks, nuclear weapons, and its own communications and surveillance satellites.

End of the ceasefire

After 24 hours of strikes, the military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, announced on Friday that it no longer considers itself bound by a unilateral ceasefire that had been in place since the end of Israel’s winter offensive in Gaza in 2009.

The truce was agreed upon by all of the armed factions in Gaza, and was periodically reaffirmed in consultations among the groups. However, a handful of small, radical Salafist groups refused to abide by the ceasefire.

In spite of intermittent confrontations, the ceasefire had produced relative calm in Gaza and its surroundings. The Hamas government took pains to enforce the truce, frequently jailing members of splinter groups who violated the agreement.

Hamas and the rival Fatah movement reaffirmed the ceasefire when they signed a reconciliation agreement in April 2011.

Although some Palestinian individuals and groups violated the ceasefire over the course of two and a half years, Israel has violated it with far more deadly consequences.

According to data compiled by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, from the end of the 2009 offensive until 28 July 2011, Israeli military action killed 202 Palestinians in Gaza.

By contrast, during the same period, according to the UN database, Palestinian armed groups killed only three Israeli soldiers. Israeli government data show that Palestinian shelling from Gaza during this time killed another two people.

FOREVER! Gaza in our hearts!

Sri Lanka: Rajapaksa’s Apartheid Didactic Agenda

by HWB ~ 20 August 2011

Human Rights ~ THE POWER OF EDUCATION

“The textbooks encourage children to develop ‘apartheid attitudes’” toward Tamils. Sri Lanka’s future Sinhalese generations must learn “Tolerance” – Respect and Accept!

Extermination of “The Last Surviving Classical Civilization on Earth”

Not only has the Sinhalese-run government of Sri Lanka conducted systematic genocide of Tamils for decades, but they are, and have been, carrying out educational genocide against Tamils by planting and nurturing seeds of apartheid and intolerance in the young impressionable minds of Sinhalese schoolchildren through their educational system. Specifically in the subject of “Social Studies”.

Regi Siriwardene, a well-respected Sinhalese writer, in an analysis of the effects of school textbooks on ethnic relations in Sri Lanka (1984): “Millions of school children are taught, in the name of social studies, through text-books published by the state, the myths of divergent racial origins which will help to divide the Sinhalese and Tamils for more generations to come….”

The Tamils who settled in Sri Lanka around the 2nd century BC, according to archaeological findings, are descendants of the Dravidian language-speaking tribal people of South India. The Sri Lankan Tamils, or Ceylon Tamils, are descendants of the Tamils of the old Jaffna Kingdom. Their history is rich, diverse and invaluable, contributing immensely to the growth and advancement of Sri Lanka over a period of thousands of years. Tamils have been referred to as the last surviving classical civilization on earth.

“Quality of Life” for Tamils, Immorally Unjustifiably Stigmatized “TERRORISTS”

The international community may ignore facts and turn the other cheek, but facts do not lie, and they do not go away without intervention. The fact is that there are still hundreds of thousands of Tamils living in IDP (Internally Displaced People) camps or with host families; because they have nowhere to go, nor do they have the means to support and feed themselves and their families. Their homes have either been brutally and illegally confiscated by the Sri Lankan government, or their homes were destroyed during the war. The government is not making any effort, much less do they care, to help Tamils who survived the merciless civil war to make a fresh start.

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (iDMC), as of 01 July 2011, over two years since the war ended in May 2009, almost 210,000 “new” IDPs have returned to camps, and among the more than 157,000 “old” IDP returnees are people displaced from High Security Zones (HSZ), including the Walikamam North HSZ in Jaffna, where the return process began in May. The government claims that IDPs, i.e. Tamils, would be able to return to their homes, provided they have one, by the end of 2011. This remains to be seen, since the SL government has been ruthlessly robbing Tamils of their lands and their homes.

Sri Lanka’s civil war, which officially began on July 23, 1983 and ended on May 18, 2009, lasting 26-years, may be “officially” over as far as that there are no longer aerial attacks and bombings, though heavy military presence via armed-to-the-teeth Sinhalese soldiers and constant various checkpoints are extremely prominent to this day throughout the country. Disappearances and murders of Tamils and journalists advocating Human Rights are still rampant.

TamilNet’s article from 13 January 2011 bluntly reported that “an esoteric team of military intelligence led by Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is directly involved in the killings and abductions in the North”. Needless to say, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother, signifying the Sri Lankan government is not a transparent democracy, controlled and ruled by the immediate family of and with the “Great King, Mahinda Rajapaksa”, Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese iron fist of tyranny.

Referring to these points is essential in the sense that they are not only ambiguously volatile, but they ascertain that the quality of life has far from improved for Tamils since the war ended, and their hopes and aspirations for equality and freedom in their own country are non-existent. Tamils continue to live in trepidation and hopelessness.

 

Tamils, Born “Terrorists” by Default

Whether openly suggestive or cunningly subtle, the Sri Lankan government infers all Tamils as ‘guilty by association’ to the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), as supporters or ‘terrorists’, for being Tamil.

SL President Mahinda Rajapaksa has stated: “The elder generation is entrusted with the responsibility of creating a younger generation that will *NOT BETRAY* the country at any cost.”

UPDATE, 24 August 2011: PLEASE NOTE! ~ Sometime between 20 Aug 2011 and 24 Aug 2011, someone REVISED Rajapaksa’s words above to the following:

“President Rajapaksa said the elder generation is entrusted with the responsibility of creating a younger generation that will *LOVE* the country at any cost.” 

Conclusive to the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, one must presume that by “the elder generation”, Mr. Rajapaksa clearly implies the Sinhalese peoples.

Given the president’s remark, there can be no doubt that the indigenous Tamil peoples have not only been forsaken by the international community, but they are discarded and abandoned by their own government, operated on apartheid policy.

Of course, Rajapaksa endorses education, as any president worth his salt should…for Sinhalese children:

Mahinda Rajapaksa – Education for Children (Video: 39 sec)

Mahinda Rajapaksa – Education for Children (Video: 39 sec)

Mahinda Rajapaksa for children (Video: 2 min 59 sec)

Mahinda Rajapaksa for children (Video: 2 min 59 sec)

 

Simple: “Education ~ The Building Block for Our Children’s Future”

Why education matters for global security”, by Irina Bokova (Director General, UNESCO), 01 March 2011:

“Education must rise on the agenda of peace building. We know the wrong type of education can fuel conflict. The use of education systems to foster hatred has contributed to the underlying causes of conflicts, from Rwanda to Sri Lanka, but also in Guatemala and Sudan.”

Sri Lanka has been a member state of the United Nations since 14 December 1955:

“Protocol, relating to the entry into force of an agreement bringing the UNESCO into official relationship with the United Nations which was approved by the General Assembly, was signed February 3, 1947.”

The official Constitution of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization of 16 November 1945 implicitly declares the following:

“The Governments of the States parties to this Constitution on behalf of their peoples declare

that since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed;

that ignorance of each other’s ways and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war;

that the great and terrible war which has now ended was a war made possible by the denial of the democratic principles of the dignity, equality and mutual respect of men, and by the propagation, in their place, through ignorance and prejudice, of the doctrine of the inequality of men and races;

that the wide diffusion of culture, and the education of humanity for justice and liberty and peace are indispensable to the dignity of man and constitute a sacred duty which all the nations must fulfill in a spirit of mutual assistance and concern;

that a peace based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind.

For these reasons, the States parties to this Constitution, believing in full and equal opportunities for education for all, in the unrestricted pursuit of objective truth, and in the free exchange of ideas and knowledge, are agreed and determined to develop and to increase the means of communication between their peoples and to employ these means for the purposes of mutual understanding and a truer and more perfect knowledge of each other’s lives;

In consequence whereof they do hereby create the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation for the purpose of advancing, through the educational and scientific and cultural relations of the peoples of the world, the objectives of international peace and of the common welfare of mankind for which the United Nations Organisation was established and which its Charter proclaims.”

Human Rights Activists fight for the voiceless and discarded. They are ONE VOICE for freedom, justice, equality and peace. What they accomplish today in the name of Humanity and Human Rights for All must not only be taught to our children, but it must be protected, appreciated and respected for all future generations.

Discrimination and intolerance based on history, color, culture, religion and traditions are never requisites of and for Human Rights and Democracy.

“We cannot choose our families or our ethnicity, but we have absolute power of whom we choose to be.” ~ H.W.

ISRAEL – THE WORLD’S BIGGEST TERRORIST STATE

NO OCCUPATION lasts forever.

Palestine will be FREE!!!!!!

Cut the BS … people all over the world are finally starting to realise what Israel actually is. To all who say Israel provides Gaza with aid so that makes Hamas the enemy, Israel only provides a tiny fraction of aid ~ IF IT WASN’T FOR THE TUNNELS GAZA WOULD STARVE AS WE SPEAK!!!!!.

WAKE UP!!!!!!

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