-By A Special Correspondent
(Lanka-e-News -30.Dec.2023, 10.00 PM) The Tamil Human Rights Group in London has submitted a legal case against Sri Lanka's newly appointed High Commissioner to the UK, Rohitha Bogollagama. The allegations stem from his tenure as the Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka during the final stages of the country's civil conflict in 2009. The Tamil Human Rights Group contends that Bogollagama deliberately misled the international community, concealing offensive military operations against innocent Tamil civilians in the north and allegedly contributing to the massacre of an estimated 72,000 civilians.
During the critical period in 2009, Bogollagama, as the Foreign Minister, is accused of falsifying accounts of the situation in the conflict zone. The Tamil Human Rights Group claims that he used his diplomatic position to cover up military actions against Tamil civilians, allowing the military to continue its onslaught. The group alleges that Bogollagama provided a "green card" for the military to carry out operations within the Tamil enclave.
The legal case against Bogollagama relies on evidence suggesting his complicity in actions that could be construed as genocidal. The Tamil Human Rights Group argues that Bogollagama's role in supporting or orchestrating military operations during the civil conflict may have led to widespread displacement, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings.
The legal case also brings attention to the international community's response during the conflict. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner visited Colombo on May 1, 2009. Miliband stated that international calls for a ceasefire were driven by overwhelming concern for the well-being of civilians and the long-term peace in Sri Lanka. Both ministers urged Sri Lanka to accept a ceasefire to save the lives of civilians in the war zone.
The British and French ministers accused the Tamil Tigers of holding civilians as human shields and demanded their release. They also called on the Sri Lankan government to allow aid workers into the war zone. The government denied this request but agreed to provide access to aid workers in other parts of the north.
The legal case against Bogollagama underscores the broader international concern for civilian lives during the conflict. Reports of growing civilian casualties and cases of starvation in the war zone prompted calls for urgent action to protect civilians. The legal proceedings will examine whether diplomatic and political figures like Bogollagama should be held accountable for actions during times of conflict.
The legal case against Sri Lankan High Commissioner Rohitha Bogollagama highlights the complexities of holding individuals accountable for alleged involvement in human rights abuses during conflicts. As the legal proceedings unfold, it remains to be seen how this case will contribute to the broader dialogue on accountability, justice, and the protection of civilians in conflict zones. The accusations against Bogollagama serve as a reminder of the need for transparency and accountability in addressing the legacies of past conflicts.
by (2023-12-30 16:29:45)
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