Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-phmbd Total loading time: 0.625 Render date: 2022-07-05T00:06:40.944Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

The End Days of the Fourth Eelam War: Sri Lanka's Denialist Challenge to the Laws of War

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  31 January 2022

Megan Price*
Affiliation:
University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (m.price2@uq.edu.au)

Abstract

During the final months of Sri Lanka's 2006–2009 civil war, Sri Lankan armed forces engaged in a disproportionate and indiscriminate shelling campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which culminated in the deaths of tens of thousands of civilians. Conventional wisdom suggests that Sri Lanka undermined international humanitarian law (IHL). Significantly, however, the Sri Lankan government did not directly challenge such law or attempt to justify its departure from it. Rather, it invented a new set of facts about its conduct to sidestep its legal obligations. Though indirect, this challenge was no less significant than had Sri Lanka explicitly rejected those obligations. Drawing on Clark et al.'s concept of denialism, this article details the nature of Sri Lanka's challenge to the standing of IHL. At the core of its denialist move, Sri Lanka maintained that while the LTTE was using civilians as human shields, government forces were adhering to a zero civilian casualty approach. With this claim, Sri Lanka absolved itself of any responsibility for the toll inflicted on civilians and sealed its conduct off from the ambit of IHL. This case illustrates how actors can considerably undermine the law using strategies of contestation far more subtle than direct confrontation.

Type
Feature
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka (Geneva: UN Secretary-General, March 31, 2011), p. 21, www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/POC%20Rep%20on%20Account%20in%20Sri%20Lanka.pdf.

2 Ratner, Steven R., “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” American Journal of International Law 106, no. 4 (October 2012), pp. 795808CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at pp. 798–99.

3 Chris Smith, “The Military Dynamics of the Peace Process and Its Aftermath,” in Jonathan Goodhand, Jonathan Spencer, and Benedikt Korf, eds., Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka: Caught in the Peace Trap? (London: Routledge, 2011), at p. 84.

4 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 49.

5 See, for example, Human Rights Watch, War on the Displaced: Sri Lankan Army and LTTE Abuses against Civilians in the Vanni (New York: Human Rights Watch, February 2009), www.hrw.org/report/2009/02/19/war-displaced/sri-lankan-army-and-ltte-abuses-against-civilians-vanni; International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka, Asia Report No. 191, May 17, 2010, d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/191-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka.pdf; Charles Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka (Geneva: United Nations, November 2012), digitallibrary.un.org/record/737299; Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War”; The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka; and Weiss, Gordon, The Cage: The Fight for Sri Lanka and the Last Days of the Tamil Tigers (New York: Bellevue Literary Press, 2012)Google Scholar.

6 Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 797.

7 Kimberly Nackers, “Sri Lanka,” in Alex J. Bellamy and Tim Dunne, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Responsibility to Protect (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), at p. 877.

8 International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka; Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 808; and “Sri Lanka's Disturbing Actions Met by ‘Deafening Global Silence,’” Elders, August 3, 2010, theelders.org/news/sri-lanka-s-disturbing-actions-met-deafening-global-silence.

9 “Sri Lanka's Disturbing Actions Met by ‘Deafening Global Silence.’”

10 United Nations Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on Its Eleventh Special Session, A/HRC/S-11/2, June 26, 2009, p. 3, www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/SpecialSessions/Session11/Pages/11thSpecialSession.aspx.

11 Clark, Ian, Kaempf, Sebastian, Reus-Smit, Christian, and Tannock, Emily, “Crisis in the Laws of War? Beyond Compliance and Effectiveness,” European Journal of International Relations 24, no. 2 (June 2018), pp. 319–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 337.

12 Ibid., p. 335.

13 Mahinda Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the Sixty-Third Session of the United Nations General Assembly” (address, United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 24, 2008), www.un.org/en/ga/63/generaldebate/pdf/srilanka_en.pdf.

14 Rohitha Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns: A Sri Lankan Perspective” (address, IISS Shangri-la summit, Singapore, May 31, 2009) www.srilankaguardian.org/2009/05/winning-counter-insurgency-campaigns.html; Mahinda Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009” (Address, Diplomatic Community in Colombo, May 7, 2009), www.srilankaembassy.be/old/HomePagePhoto/May2009/07-05-2009/07-05-2009-01.pdf; The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, pp. iii–iv; and Weiss, The Cage, p. 87.

15 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), A/HRC/30/CRP.2, September 16, 2015, p. 146, www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/LKIndex.aspx; Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009”; The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 1.

16 Clark, Ian, Waging War: A New Philosophical Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), p. 50CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?,” p. 321; and Sebastian Kaempf, “Double Standards in US Warfare: Exploring the Historical Legacy of Civilian Protection and the Complex Nature of the Moral-Legal Nexus,” Review of International Studies 35, no. 3 (July 2009), pp. 651–74, at p. 668.

17 Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?”

18 DeVotta, Neil, “The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and the Lost Quest for Separatism in Sri Lanka,” Asian Survey 49, no. 6 (November/December 2009), pp. 1021–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 1027.

19 Urvashi Aneja, “International NGOs and the Implementation of the Norm for Need-Based Humanitarian Assistance in Sri Lanka,” in Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard, eds., Implementation and World Politics: How International Norms Change Practice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), p. 97.

20 Goodhand, Jonathan and Walton, Oliver, “The Limits of Liberal Peacebuilding? International Engagement in the Sri Lankan Peace Process,” Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding 3, no. 3 (2009), pp. 303–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 312; and Gunnar Sørbø, Jonathan Goodhand, Bart Klem, Ada Elisabeth Nissen, and Hilde Selbervik, Pawns of Peace: Evaluation of Norwegian Peace Efforts in Sri Lanka, 1997–2009 (Oslo: Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, September 2011), p. 103, www.oecd.org/countries/srilanka/49035074.pdf.

21 S. I. Keethaponcalan, “The Indian Factor in the Peace Process and Conflict Resolution in Sri Lanka,” in Goodhand et al., Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, at p. 41.

22 Jonathan Goodhand, “Stabilising a Victor's Peace? Humanitarian Action and Reconstruction in Eastern Sri Lanka,” in “States of Fragility: Stabilisation and Its Implications for Humanitarian Action,” special issue, Disasters 34, no. S3 (October 2010), pp. S342–67, at p. S345; and Jeffrey Lunsted, “Superpowers and Small Conflicts: The United States and Sri Lanka,” in Goodhand et al., Conflict and Peacebuilding in Sri Lanka, at p. 62; and Sørbø et al., Pawns of Peace, p. 33.

23 Council of the European Union, Declaration by the Presidency on Behalf of the European Union concerning Listing of the LTTE as a Terrorist Organisation, P/06/78 (Brussels: European Commission, May 31, 2006), uropa.eu/rapid/press-release_PESC-06-78_en.htm; and “Canada's New Government Lists the LTTE as a Terrorist Organization,” Government of Canada, April 10, 2006, www.canada.ca/en/news/archive/2006/04/canada-new-government-lists-ltte-terrorist-organization.html?=undefined&wbdisable=true.

24 DeVotta, “The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” p. 1037.

25 Basrur, Rajesh M., “Global Quest and Regional Reversal: Rising India and South Asia,” International Studies 47, nos. 2–4 (April 2010), pp. 84100Google Scholar, at p. 91; and Selvadurai, S. D. and Smith, M. L. R., “Black Tigers, Bronze Lotus: The Evolution and Dynamics of Sri Lanka's Strategies of Dirty War,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism 36, no. 7 (2013), pp. 547–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 562.

26 Ahmed Hashim, When Counterinsurgency Wins: Sri Lanka's Defeat of the Tamil Tigers (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), p. 143.

27 Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 798.

28 Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 13.

29 International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka; “Sri Lanka's Disturbing Actions Met by ‘Deafening Global Silence’”; and Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 808.

30 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 21.

31 Ibid., p. 21.

32 Tikku, Mohan K., After the Fall: Sri Lanka in Victory and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), p. 153CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

33 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 19.

34 Tikku, After the Fall, p. 146; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 19.

35 Weiss, The Cage, p. 90.

36 DeVotta, “The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” p. 1045.

37 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 19.

38 Ibid., p. 21.

39 Ibid., p. 33.

40 Ibid., p. 37.

41 Weiss, The Cage, p. 189.

42 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 41.

43 Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 808.

44 Weiss, The Cage, p. 182.

45 U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress on Incidents during the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of State, 2009), 2009-2017.state.gov/documents/organization/131025.pdf.

46 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 4.

47 See Human Rights Watch, War on the Displaced; and ICG, “War Crimes in Sri Lanka”; and Weiss, The Cage; “Sri Lanka's Killing Fields,” Channel 4 News, www.channel4.com/programmes/sri-lankas-killing-fields.

48 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka.

49 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 49.

50 Ibid., p. 71.

51 Ibid., p. 49.

52 Ibid., pp. iii–iv.

53 Bellamy, Alex J., “The Responsibility to Protect Turns Ten,” Ethics & International Affairs 29, no. 2 (Summer 2015), pp. 161–85CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 164; and Nackers, “Sri Lanka,” at p. 883.

54 Hopgood, Stephen, “The Last Rites for Humanitarian Intervention: Darfur, Sri Lanka and R2P,” Global Responsibility to Protect 6, no. 2 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 200.

55 India even publicly rebuked the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, after she called on the Council members to establish an independent inquiry. See Destradi, Sandra, “India and Sri Lanka's Civil War: The Failure of Regional Conflict Management in South Asia,” Asian Survey 52, no 3 (May/June 2012), pp. 595616CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 598.

56 United Nations Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on Its Eleventh Special Session, p. 3.

57 DeVotta, “The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,” p. 1048.

58 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Promoting Recognition, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka, A/HRC/46/20, February 9, 2021, p. 5, undocs.org/en/A/HRC/46/20.

59 “UN to Collect Evidence of Alleged Sri Lanka War Crimes,” BBC News, March 23, 2021, www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-56502221.

60 Martti Ahtisaari, quoted in “Sri Lanka's Disturbing Actions Met by ‘Deafening Global Silence.’”

61 Ratner, “Accountability and the Sri Lankan Civil War,” p. 808. Ratner was part of the UN secretary-general's Panel of Experts.

62 International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka, p. ii.

63 Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini, Human Shields: A History of People in the Line of Fire (Oakland: University of California Press), pp. 140–50.

64 Ibid., p. 147.

65 Glennon, Michael J., “How International Rules Die,” Georgetown Law Journal 93, no. 3 (March 2005), pp. 939991Google Scholar, at p. 940.

66 Hirsch, Michal Ben-Josef and Dixon, Jennifer M., “Conceptualizing and Assessing Norm Strength in International Relations,” European Journal of International Relations 27, no. 2 (June 2021), pp. 521547CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 524; and Hurd, Ian, “Legitimacy and Authority in International Politics,” International Organization 53, no. 2 (Spring 1999), pp. 379408CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 391.

67 Hirsch and Dixon, “Conceptualizing and Assessing Norm Strength in International Relations,” p. 523; and Deitelhoff, Nicole and Zimmermann, Lisbeth, “Norms under Challenge: Unpacking the Dynamics of Norm Robustness,” Journal of Global Security Studies 4, no. 1 (January 2019), pp. 217CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 6.

68 Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?”

69 Hirsch and Dixon, “Conceptualizing and Assessing Norm Strength in International Relations,” p. 523.

70 Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?,” p. 330.

71 Deitelhoff and Zimmermann, “Norms under Challenge,” pp. 6–7.

72 Wayne Sandholtz, Prohibiting Plunder: How Norms Change (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 19.

73 Deitelhoff, Nicole and Zimmerman, Lisbeth, “Things We Lost in the Fire: How Different Types of Contestation Affect the Validity of International Norms,” International Studies Review 22, no. 1 (March 2020), pp. 5176Google Scholar, at p. 51.

74 Ibid., p. 57.

75 Ibid., p. 52.

76 Ibid., p. 51.

77 Badescu, Cristina G. and Weiss, Thomas G., “Misrepresenting R2P and Advancing Norms: An Alternative Spiral?,” International Studies Perspectives 11, no. 4 (November 2010), pp. 354–74CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Brunnée, Jutta and Toope, Stephen J., “Norm Robustness and Contestation in International Law: Self-Defense against Nonstate Actors,” Journal of Global Security Studies 4, no. 1 (January 2019), pp. 7387CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

78 Panke, Diana and Petersohn, Ulrich, “Why International Norms Disappear Sometimes,” European Journal of International Relations 18, no. 4 (December 2012), pp. 719–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 721.

79 Búzás, Zoltán, “Evading International Law: How Agents Comply with the Letter of the Law but Violate Its Purpose,” European Journal of International Relations 23, no. 4 (December 2017), pp. 857–83CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 858.

80 Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?,” p. 330.

81 Ibid., p. 321.

82 Clark, Waging War, p. 50; and Kaempf, “Double Standards in US Warfare,” p. 668.

83 Clark et al., “Crisis in the Laws of War?,” p. 333.

84 Ibid., p. 334.

85 Ibid., p. 324.

86 Craig Jones, The War Lawyers: The United States, Israel, and Judicial Warfare (Oxford: Oxford University Press), p. 164.

87 Ibid., p. 335.

88 Ravinatha P. Aryasinha, “Time to Act: the LTTE, Its Front Organizations, and the Challenge to Europe, 2008,” Sri Lanka Guardian, December 14, 2008, www.srilankaguardian.org/2008/12/time-to-act-ltte-its-front.html; Rohitha Bogollagama, “Foreign Minister Calls for UN Listing of LTTE as an International Terrorist Group” (speech, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, Canberra, October 13, 2008), mfa.gov.lk/foreign-minister-calls-for-un-listing-of-ltte-as-an-international-terrorist-group-2/; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament,” (Address by Ms Saroja Sirisena, Brussels March 30, 2009), www.srilankaembassy.be/old/HomePagePhoto/March2009/MediaRelease-330032009Part2.pdf; and Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa . . . [at] the United Nations General Assembly.”

89 “Mahinda Samarasinghe,” interview by Stephen Sackur, HARDtalk, March 3, 2009, news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/hardtalk/7921185.stm; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament”; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 34.

90 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns”; Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009.”

91 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, p. 146. See also Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009”; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. ii.

92 Smith, “The Military Dynamics of the Peace Process and Its Aftermath,” at p. 80; and Mahinda Rajapaksa, “Development and Peacemaking: Challenges in Sri Lanka” (address, Asia Society, New York, September 20, 2006), asiasociety.org/development-and-peacemaking-challenges-sri-lanka.

93 Hashim, When Counterinsurgency Wins, p. 143.

94 Rohitha Bogollagama, “Sri Lanka Looking beyond Terrorism: A Road Map to Peace” (address, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, October 4, 2007), www.slembassyusa.org/statements/2007/sl_looking_beyond_terrorism_at_SAIS_04oct07.html.

95 Goodhand and Walton, “The Limits of Liberal Peacebuilding?,” p. 312.

96 Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa . . . [at] the United Nations General Assembly.”

97 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 13.

98 Ibid., p. 21.

99 Ibid., p. 19.

100 Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa . . . [at] the United Nations General Assembly,” at p. 3.

101 Aryasinha, “Time to Act”; Bogollagama, “Foreign Minister Calls for LTTE Listing as Terrorist Group”; and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament.”

102 Weiss, The Cage, p. 234.

103 Tikku, After the Fall, p. 146.

104 Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009.”

105 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns.”

106 “Mahinda Samarasinghe,” interview by Stephen Sackur; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament”; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 34.

107 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 49.

108 Ibid., p. 37.

109 Ibid., p. 49.

110 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 29.

111 “Mahinda Samarasinghe,” interview by Stephen Sackur (words of Mahinda Samarasinghe).

112 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. ii; U.S. Department of State, Report to Congress on Incidents during the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka, p. 3; and Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 10.

113 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 49.

114 Ibid., p. 59.

115 Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 65.

116 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 40.

117 Navanethem Pillay, quoted in Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 67.

118 Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament.”

119 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns”; Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009.”

120 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns.”

121 The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, pp. iii–iv.

122 International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka, p. 11.

123 The Petrie report provides a detailed account of the Convoy 11 incident. See Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, pp. 57–62.

124 Whereas this incident was witnessed firsthand, satellite imagery was relied on for many of the other incidents. The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 186.

125 Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 10.

126 Ibid., p. 59.

127 International Crisis Group, War Crimes in Sri Lanka, p. 13; Somini Sengupta, “U.N. Staff and Hospital Come under Shelling as Sri Lanka Fights Cornered Rebels,” New York Times, January 27, 2009; and Weiss, The Cage, p. 87.

128 Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009.”

129 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, p. 146; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 48.

130 Weiss, The Cage, p. 87.

131 Gordon and Perugini, Human Shields, p. 147.

132 Ibid., p. 149.

133 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns.”

134 Walzer, Michael, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations (New York: Basic Books, 2015), p. 32Google Scholar.

135 William Tecumseh Sherman, quoted in Ibid., p. 32.

136 Vitaly Churkin, quoted in Glanville, Luke, “The Limits of Rhetorical Entrapment in a Post-Truth Age,” Critical Studies on Security 7, no. 2 (2019), pp. 14CrossRefGoogle Scholar, at p. 2.

137 Sergey Lavrov, quoted in Alastair Jamieson, “Russia's Lavrov Says Syria Chemical Weapons Attack Was ‘Staged,’” NBC News, April 13, 2018, www.nbcnews.com/news/world/russia-s-lavrov-says-syria-chemical-weapons-attack-was-staged-n865686.

138 Aryasinha, “Time to Act”; Bogollagama, “Foreign Minister Calls for LTTE Listing as Terrorist Group”; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament”; and Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa . . . [at] the United Nations General Assembly.”

139 “Mahinda Samarasinghe,” interview by Stephen Sackur; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka, “Sri Lanka Statement at the Sub-committee on Human Rights of the European Parliament”; and the UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 34.

140 Petrie, Report of the Secretary-General's Internal Review Panel on United Nations Action in Sri Lanka, p. 65.

141 Bogollagama, “Winning Counter-Insurgency Campaigns”; Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009.”

142 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka, p. 146; Rajapaksa, “Address by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to the Diplomatic Community in Colombo on Current Developments in Sri Lanka, 2009”; and The UN Secretary-General's Panel of Experts, Report of the Secretary-General's Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, p. 48.

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The End Days of the Fourth Eelam War: Sri Lanka's Denialist Challenge to the Laws of War
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The End Days of the Fourth Eelam War: Sri Lanka's Denialist Challenge to the Laws of War
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The End Days of the Fourth Eelam War: Sri Lanka's Denialist Challenge to the Laws of War
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *