Sri Lanka's Secrets

How the Rajapaksa Regime Gets Away With Murder

By Trevor Grant

Contributions by: Geoffrey Robertson

As the civil war in Sri Lanka drew to its bloody end in 2009, the government of this island nation removed its protection from UN officials and employees, who, along with other international observers, were forced to leave the conflict zone. President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his inner circle wanted, it seemed, a war without witness. The end result was the deliberate slaughter of an estimated 70,000 innocent civilians. However, many survivors, as well as some who died, were able to capture on camera the horrifying conclusion to the war and the cruel deprivations of the internment camps that followed. Today, through their images and testimony, Mahinda Rajapaksa stands accused of war crimes. In Sri Lanka's Secrets, experienced journalist Trevor Grant presents the shocking story of the final days of this war, alongside the photographs and eye-witness accounts of many Tamils, including Maravan*, a social worker who fled to Australia by boat after being tortured by soldiers seeking his folio of photographs. Grant also details the continuing torture and abuse of Tamils in Sri Lanka, and some national governments' ongoing support for a regime that has abandoned any pretense of democracy. Foremost among these enthusiastic supporters has been the government of Australia, cynically preoccupied with 'stopping the boats' fleeing Sri Lankan state terror - at any cost. [* Maravan (a pseudonym to protect his identity) is a Jaffna-born Tamil who was employed by the Sri Lankan government as a social worker to help Tamil victims of the civil war. He fled to Australia in 2012 after five bouts of torture in government prisons. He is currently living in Australia, awaiting assessment of his refugee claim.] *** "While various human rights groups in the west are content with only counting the trees with respect to the island, Grant minces no words in calling a spade a spade. ...the book is not a tale of suffering devoid of political content because the author contextualizes the local and international scenario in which these atrocities happened. The author notes how foreign powers tilted the balance in favour of the Sri Lankan government. The author also criticizes the inaction of the UN during the war and after for being responsible for the genocidal atrocities committed on the Tamils, condemning it for 'callous indifference and abject incompetence.' " - TamilNet: 22.08.14 [Subject: Asian Studies, Politics, Genocide, Human Rights]~

Publication Date: 8/13/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781922235534