Rajiv Gandhi’s War Crimes

Posted on 06/01/2012

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INDICTMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA

Rajiv Gandhi’s War Crimes
நெற்றிக்கண் திறப்பினும் குற்றம் குற்றமே… 
உண்மைகள் ஒருபோதும் உறங்குவதில்லை, உறங்கவும் கூடா…  Truth never sleeps – and it should not….

…at the Invitation of Sri Lanka

“The IPKF were given strict instructions not to use tactics or weapons that could cause major casualties among the civilian population of Jaffna, who were hostages to the LTTE.  The Indian Army have carried out these instructions with outstanding discipline and courage, accepting, in the process a high level of sacrifices for protecting the Tamil civilians“.  (Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in the Lok Sabha, 9 November 1987 – 18 days after the Jaffna Hospital Massacre on Diwali Day, 21 October 1987)

“The spokeswoman of the Indian High Commission in Colombo said: ‘The Indian peacekeeping force is fighting with one hand tied behind its back. It is carrying out this operation under severe constraints’. The constraints according to India are based on the army’s reluctance to use its full fire power so as to spare civilian casualties. Thus the advancing troops have no air cover, and are only occasionally using heavy weapons to reduce Tiger defences”. The Guardian, 19October 1987

“..the Indian Army came here, massacred innocent Tamil civiliansraped our women and plundered our valuables. The acronym IPKF will always stand for Indian People Killing Force where we are concerned. We will one day erect a memorial in the heart of Jaffna town, in the centre of Hospital Road, in memory of all the innocent civilians – ranging in age from the very old past 80 to young children massacred by the IPKF and to the women who were raped.” IPKF – Innocent People Killing Force,  Dr. T. Somasekaram   

“…as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the Indo Sri Lanka agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to protect…  I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own culture and ethics… The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against our Tamil brothers and sisters…” India’s former Foreign Secretary, A.P.Venkateshwaran,  speaking in London in April 1988


ஓ….எங்கள் குரல் கேட்கிறதா ?

Tamil civilians killed by the IPKF… Dr A. SivapathasuntheramDr M.K. GanesharatnamDr ParimelalaharMrs Vadivelu Mrs Leelawathie,  Mrs SivapakiamMrs RamanathanMr Shanmugalingam,  Mr Kanagalingam,  Mr KrishnarajahMr Selvarajah, R. Duraiswamy (SLAS) Retd. Secretary, Ministry of Local Government. M. Duraiwswamy Retd. Staff Officer Bank of Ceylon, Mr. S. Sivasubramaniam, retired Director of Irrigation, Mrs. Sivasubramaniam, his retired teacher wife and their only son,  Prof. P. Chandrasekeram, University of Jaffna, Dr R.W. Crossette Thambiah, Dr Selvaratnam Former DMO Maskeliya, Dr S. Pararajasingham J.M.O, L.F.M. Samuel Rtd. Teacher (St. Thomas College, Mt. Lavinia & Royal College), K.J. Sambanthar Retd. DLO & Asst. Land Commissioner, Jaffna, Mrs S. Sivanandaraja (mother), Mohanraj (son) Technical Officer, Irrigation .Dept, Mrs Kishnam, Mrs M. Sebastiampillai, Mrs N.R. Thuriappa, Mrs V. Ruthiralingam, C.S. Aaron, A. Subramanium Attorney at Law, Mr & Mrs Pancharatnam, Rtd. Teachers, K. Navaratnam Rtd. Divisional Supdt. of Post Offices, S. Nadarajah, Formerly SLBC, Tamil Service, P. Arooran , M. Nadaraja, S. Rasanayagam Rtd. Credit Controller CCC Ltd., Mrs M. Weerasegaram Pillai, (Mother), Pillai Yasotha Weerasegaram (Daughter), Mrs S. Thanapalasingham (Mother) Miss N. Thanapalasingham (Daughter) S. Kulasegerampillai, Retd. Station Master, Mrs M. Arumugam (sister of Senator S.Nadesan), Mrs R. Gnanamuttu , A. Candappu Rtd. State Officer, S. Selvaranee,  S. Shanmugasuntharam, Electrician, Jaffna Municipal Council, S. Thambiah, (father of T. Sabaratnam), Mrs. Thambimuttu, Kannan Iyer… and thousands more…

உண்மைகள் ஒருபோதும் உறங்குவதில்லை, உறங்கவும் கூடா
Truth never sleeps – and it should not….

Prologue – Sri Lanka…

“If victory was to be achieved, it could not be done by uniting all opposing forces but by dividing them and creating dissension among them… Sri Lankan Kings never opposed the entirety of India. When there was conflict with the Pandyans, they sought the aid of the Cholas and acted against the Pandyans. When the Pandyans and Cholas combined, they sought the aid of Kalinga. Sinhala Kings had that high intelligence and knowledge of statecraft.” – National Security Minister Lalith Athulathmudali at the 87th Mahapola held at the Sinhala Vidyalaya, Kahatagasdigliya on the 27 May 1984

The violence in the north) was also stopped by the Indian Peace Keeping Force. (Though the fighting went on) no Sinhalese, no Sinhalese soldiers were killed... only the Indian soldiers and the LTTE (were killed). Yes, (I had to invite a foreign army to do this on our sovereign soil)… I was doing what so many Sinhala kings had done in the past in similar circumstances.” – ex President Jayawardene, Interview with Mervyn de Silva, Lanka Guardian, 15 July 1990

That which Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, said… And that which Rajiv Gandhi, Commander in Chief of India’s Armed Forces did…

“…The exemplary Indian Army fought with one hand tied behind its back and the result was that 100,000 Tamils became refugees in their own homeland. The exemplary Indian Army was sparing in its use of heavy artillery, but sustained artillery shelling destroyed more than 50,000 homes in the Jaffna Peninsula. And Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi would have his members of Parliament believe that the Indian Army acted with ‘outstanding discipline and courage‘ accepting sacrifices ‘for protecting Tamil civilians‘.  Indo Sri Lanka Accord and the Tamil National Struggle –  Nadesan Satyendra, January 1988

The word  & deed… the Record Speaks…10 October 1987The Indian Army Launches Attack

“..On October 10th, while I was on my way to Jaffna town, I was told that the IPKF had gone and blasted the premises of ‘Eelamurasu’ and damaged the buildings of ‘Murasoli’ and arrested all the employees. These attacks were reported to have taken place at 1a.m. and 6 a.m. respectively. And at 6a.m., LTTE’s TV station at Kopay was damaged by the IPKF and the equipment and machinery was removed. These actions by the IPKF were seen as unwarranted and they led to the LTTE taking up arms again… The electricity supply was cut off and there were no lights throughout Jaffna from 10th October until our departure on the 14th of November…” more

November 1987Eduardo Marino, Report to International Alert – Some Observations and Conclusions following a trip to Jaffna Peninsula in November 1987

“Over a period of about 20 days (commencing 9 October 1987) , the Indian Army’s direct attack on LTTE positions, and defence from LTTE attacks, was coupled with the Indian Army’s attack and storming of still unevacuated Jaffna – and many villages and settlements throughout the Peninsula – with widespread (insofar as territory), indiscriminate (insofar as targetting) and sustained (insofar as intensity) artillery shelling. Only less widespread, sustained and indiscriminate, there was air-strafing from helicopter as well. It was not “cross-fire” that incidentally killed thousands of civilians. The majority were killed unavoidably inside their houses and huts under shelling, or were shot at random by the roads and on the streets. A large number of people were “only” wounded – yet, many of them died in the absence of medical care, especially under the 24-hour curfew over a period of about one month, to mid-November.

… The situation became grotesquely hopeless for many people in some areas : while the curfew was being rigorously enforced – that is, with an order in place to shoot-to-kill pedestrians -the inhabitants were simultaneously ordered out of their houses into the outskirt concentrations an absurd operational overlapping inevitably leaving a good number dead.

…. The population was not adequately warned nor given time for preparations, and the places to which they were referred (three improvised “camps” took the bulk of the people, one of them a big Hindu temple crammed with an estimated no less than 40000) had not been prepared with the bare minimum hygiene facilities as foreseen by the Law of War, not to mention drinking-water, food, medicine and lighting. … the central fact is that the Indian Army attacked Jaffna, and many other populated places throughout the Peninsula, shelling and firing massively and indiscriminately rather than at the LTTE selectively.

…In the North, the military result has been that the LTTE guerrilla has been dislodged – as distinct from destroyed or disarmed – from their main position, Jaffna town. Other consequences have included : material ruin for much of the population all over the Province; physical and moral suffering for no less than 1 million people, including thousands of civilian casualties counting both killed and wounded; real or lasting peace for none among the Tamils so far.

… For military reasons, besides firing and shelling, there has. been considerable burning of houses and huts – massively in some rural localities – by the Indian infantry : so as to deny the Tamil guerrillas fighting positions and hiding-places, especially on the sides of roads and other routes feasible for army convoys.

….On top of everything else there has been the “unmilitary” or “unsoldiery” side of events :- wanton killings out of rage, reprisals against non-combatants, looting of homes of middle and wealthier classes, soldier’s assault of women, a murderous attack on the main hospital victimising both patients and medical personnel, and killing of a number of unarmed and disarmed guerrilla suspects without trial according to the Law of War.”

21 October 1987Derek Brown in UK  Guardian – ‘ systematic artillery barrage’

The Indians have insisted throughout the 11 day offensive that they have used little artillery and no air cover to minimise civilian casualtiesThat claim was sagging yesterday under a heavy, and remarkably uniform, weight of evidence from refugees and the few scraps of independent confirmation coming out of the Jaffna peninsula.

The infantry advance, the student said, was preceded by a systematic artillery barrage. He had heard heavy guns firing daily, and had seen two women killed by the washing well in the Hindu Ladies College, one of the main refugee camps where thousands have sought shelter from the fighting. ‘The people have no food but they are not worried about that. Even if they are starving, they worry only about security. They have no cover from the shelling‘ he said.

He also flatly denied the Indian claim that there had been no air strikes. He had seen helicopters and fixed wing aircraft of the Sri Lankan air force attacking with bombs and machine guns.The Sri Lankans, indeed, have more or less openly admitted that their aircraft were used last week, but they have insisted that the operations were only on the direct request of the Indians..” 

Michael Hamlyn, London Times, 21 October 1987  – “A senior Sri Lankan security source admitted last night what had previously only been rumoured – that despite Indian protestations about their self denial of air cover during operations, on one occasion, air cover had been provided by the Sri Lankans at the Indians’ urgent request.

It happened when a group of commandos had been air dropped into an unsecured landing ground north of Jaffna and suffered heavy casualties. The Indians needed instant help, and the Sri Lankans brought up helicopters to give covering machine gun fire to an armoured rescue. A recording of radio messages during these operations smuggled out of the north and circulating in the capital makes it clear that the Indians and Sri Lankans were working close together

21 October 1987Diwali Day massacre at Jaffna General Hospital

“..The Indian Army came firing into the Radiology Block and fired indiscriminately at this whole mass of people huddled together. We saw patients dying. We lay there without moving a finger pretending to be dead. We were wondering all the time whether we would be burnt or shot when the bodies of the dead were collected … ” more

“India forbids journalists from entering the combat zone, and no independent confirmation of the situation in Jaffna was available… Reports from officials and refugees said two thirds of the city’s 150,000 residents had fled or sought refuge in schools, Hindu temples and public buildings..” – International Herald Tribune, 21 October 1987

22 October 1987Bruce Palling in the UK  Independent – ‘Hospital hit atleast seven times’

“The (Indian) spokeswoman said that Indian forces had not entered nor touched the Jaffna Hospital. But a report from a local correspondent, who recently returned from the Jaffna peninsula, said it was hit at least seven times earlier this week”

25 October 1987Simon Freeman, Sunday Times – ‘one Tamil family executed by the Indians by having a tank run over them

“… (in Mannar) we heard the familiar stories from Tamil refugees from Jaffna. Dr. B.B. Easwaraj, 27, who had fled the town two days earlier, said that large sections of Jaffna’s main hospital had been destroyed by shelling. Dozens of bodies of men, women and children lay rotting in the mortuary. 

Phillip Constantine,26, another refugee, said that one Tamil family had been executed by the Indians by having a tank run over them. Mannar like many areas in the north and east of Sri Lanka, has been devastated by almost a decade of fighting between the Tigers and the Sri Lankan army and now, the Indians. Three months ago, when the Indians arrived to act as peace keepers, the local Tamils greeted the Indians as saviours. But as one Sri Lankan police officer told me, they now regard them with the same contempt as they once did the Sri Lankan police and army..”

27 October 1987 Derek Brown in the UK Guardian – “It is the Tigers who seem to have won the battle for hearts and minds..”

“…Jaffna is a broken and silent place of refugees clustered in churches and temples among empty roads. The area behind the Fort bears all the signs of two savage campaigns, first by the Sri Lankan army and now by the Indians. It is the Tigers who seem to have won the battle for hearts and minds… though they wanted peace more than anything, the Tigers were ‘their’ boys and the Indians were outsiders… 

Last Thursday, he (a refugee) said that he had been ordered from his nearby house by Sikh soldiers, who were apparently clearing the area before an offensive. One of the soldiers struck him and when his daughter protested, she too was beaten. 

Another old man told how his daughter had been killed when she returned to the family home to fetch her jewellery…a middle aged woman had half a leg missing – blown off by an Indian shell. A 14 year old girl clutched a stomach wound. A young woman with a blood soaked plaster on her leg said she had been unconscious when Indian soldiers ‘liberated’ the hospital last week. She was certain that the Tigers had not been in occupation at the time, as the Indians claimed…”

8 November 1987London Sunday Times – ‘the countryside is just as ravaged as the towns’

“Tens of thousands of refugees are living in appalling conditions in makeshift camps in Jaffna, according to a senior Sri Lanka Red Cross official, despite claims by the government of President Junius Jayawardene and the Indian Army that the town is returning to normal…it is a ghost town. The streets are deserted. Thousands of people are living in temples because they are afraid to go back to their homes. They have no electricity. They need everything – clothes, medicine, even candles and matches. Many buildings have been destroyed. I saw three or four dead bodies on the streets…  20,000 refugees share three or four toilets… It is a similar story in the Tamil eastern coastal provinces… hundreds of buildings in Trincomalee have been destroyed… the countryside is just as ravaged as the towns. He (the Red Cross Official) said that he was describing what he had seen as accurately as possible in the hope that international publicity would help the victims..”

January 1988Amnesty International Annual Report,  for period January to December 1987 – Rape & Deliberate Killing of unarmed Tamil civilians

“After its forces entered Sri Lanka on 30 July, the IPKF was increasingly accused of raping Tamil women and of deliberately killing dozens of unarmed Tamil civilians, among them elderly people, women and children...in several cases there was eye witness evidence that the victims were non combatants shot without provocation…

Several dozen Tamil women, some of whom needed hospital treatment, testified that they were raped by IPKF personnel. A local magistrate in the north reportedly found the IPKF had been responsible for seven cases of rape in December.” –

30 April 1988A.P.Venkateshwaran, Former Indian Foreign Secretary, at World Federation of Tamils Conference

“…as an Indian I feel ashamed that under the Indo Sri Lanka agreement, our forces are fighting with Tamils whom they went to protect. Speaking of blaming the Indian soldiers, soldiers are meant to carry out commands, but I do believe that in our own Indian ethics, soldiers are not merely meant to carry out commands because if you look at the history and the mythology and the culture which is Indian…We are supposed to fight only for Dharma. Only if the war is righteous shall you fight it….  I believe that the Indian Government had betrayed its own culture and ethics. For the first time, it has sent out soldiers to fight when there was no cause for us to fight. There was no purpose for us to fight. When I speak to the Indian army officers, whom I know and who have come back after serving in Sri Lanka, they are the most puzzled and most unhappy people because they do not know the cause for which they are fighting. The guilt, therefore, rests entirely on those who sent them to do this dastardly business of fighting in Sri Lanka against our Tamil brothers and sisters…” more

January 1989Amnesty International Annual Report  for period January to December 1988

“Thousands of people were detained without charge or trial, and dozens ‘disappeared’ following arrest by the Sri Lankan security forces and by the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) deployed in the northeast. The fate of hundreds who had disappeared in previous years remained inadequately investigated. There were many allegations of torture. “

2 August 1989India’s Mylai – the Valvetiturai Massacre

On 2 August 1989, the so called Indian Peace Keeping Force deliberately killed 63 Tamil civilians in Valvettiturai in the Jaffna Peninsula in a massacre that was later described as India’s Mylai.”…this massacre is worse than My Lai. Then American troops simply ran amok. In the Sri Lankan village, the Indians seem to have been more systematic; the victims being forced to lie down, and then shot in the back..”.  more

19 September 1990Amnesty International Sri Lanka Briefing

“At least 43 people (Tamils) are known to have ‘disappeared’ following arrest by the IPKF… The majority of the ‘disappearances for which the IPKF were reportedly responsible occurred in the Jaffna District in October and November 1987, the period of the main IPKF offensive on Jaffna town”

7 March 1999A.P.Venkateshwaran, former Indian Foreign Secretary at Eelam Tamils Solidarity Conference  Madurai

“…Rajiv Gandhi foolishly sent Indian troops to Sri Lanka in 1987. But what happened afterwards was the Tamils were persecuted by the troops. The war against the Tamils was escalated. When the then Sri Lankan President J.R. Jayawardene met Rajiv Gandhi in 1986 during the SAARC conference in Bangalore, Jayawardene warned Rajiv that it would be dangerous for India if a separate state were be established in Eelam and then extended by merging Tamil Nadu. Rajiv easily believed what Jayawardene said. I talked to Rajiv immediately after JR left, as it was not proper for me to interfere in the talks between the two heads of state. I said that things would never develop the way Jayawardene’s predicted. ‘This was rubbish. Tamil Nadu will never be separated from India – and I like to say this as a Tamil’. But he, Rajiv believed what the head of a neighbouring state said than what I said. The Indian Peace Keeping Force was sent to Sri Lanka within a few months after I resigned my job. You all know what happened after this – thousands of Eelam Tamils were killed and more than 1500 Indian troops lost their lives. In the end, the Indian troops were asked to withdraw from Sri Lanka without any gratitude…”

21 March 2004IPKF – Innocent People Killing Force,  Dr. T. Somasekaram, 

“..the Indian Army came here, massacred innocent Tamil civiliansraped our women and plundered our valuables. The acronym IPKF will always stand for Indian People Killing Force where we are concerned.We will one day erect a memorial in the heart of Jaffna town, in the centre of Hospital Road, in memory of all the innocent civilians – ranging in age from the very old past 80 to young children massacred by the IPKF and to the women who were raped.”


துயிலும் இல்லம், Jaffna
includes those Eelam Tamils who died in the war against the Indian Army in 1987-1989

Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Article 8.2  “war crimes” means –(a) Grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, namely, any of the following acts against persons or property protected under the provisions of the relevant Geneva Convention: (i) Wilful killing;

 (ii) Torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments;

 (iii) Wilfully causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or health;

 (iv) Extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; …

 (b) Other serious violations of the laws and customs applicable in international armed conflict, within the established framework of international law, namely, any of the following acts:

 (i) Intentionally directing attacks against the civilian population as such or against individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities;

 (ii) Intentionally directing attacks against civilian objects, that is, objects which are not military objectives; ..

(iv) Intentionally launching an attack in the knowledge that such attack will cause incidental loss of life or injury to civilians or damage to civilian objects or widespread, long­term and severe damage to the natural environment which would be clearly excessive in relation to the concrete and direct overall military advantage anticipated;

 (v) Attacking or bombarding, by whatever means, towns, villages, dwellings or buildings which are undefended and which are not military objectives;

 (vi) Killing or wounding a combatant who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defence, has surrendered at discretion; ….

 (ix) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, historic monuments, hospitals and places where the sick and wounded are collected, provided they are not military objectives; …. 

 (xxi) Committing outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;

 (xxii) Committing rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, as defined in article 7, paragraph 2 (f), enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence also constituting a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions;

 (xxiii) Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations;

 (xxiv) Intentionally directing attacks against buildings, material, medical units and transport, and personnel using the distinctive emblems of the Geneva Conventions in conformity with international law;

(xxv) Intentionally using starvation of civilians as a method of warfare by depriving them of objects indispensable to their survival, including wilfully impeding relief supplies as provided for under the Geneva Conventions; …

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Source:  TamilNation.org
Content on this page last updated 28-08-2007 by TamilNation.org

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