Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Make Armed Groups Accountable to Their Violence

Some of the most serious human rights violations today are not committed by States, but by non-state armed groups (Policzer). Some years ago, and to some extent still, there is a belief that since only states protect rights, only states can violate human rights. As a result, even gross violations by non-state groups were defined as merely “criminal” violence that fell within the domestic jurisdiction of sovereign states (Policzer).

Recent attempts to broaden the scope of Human Rights to include non-state actors have had some success, but serious gaps still exist (Policzer). The problem lies in the lack of adequate tools developed to deal with rights violations by Non-state actors. It is far easier to make states accountable for their behavior than non-state groups (Policzer). United Nations and other political and economic agreements, treaties, and institutions provide special rights and responsibilities to monitor and exert diplomatic and economic pressure on states. The reasons why Non-State actors escape the full wreath of the Human Rights lobby are due to the following reasons.

  1. Non-state groups do not have formal political status; they are not susceptible to the same political pressures as governments. Many non-state groups are fighting for political recognition; any formal dealing with them is likely to be diplomatically controversial (Policzer).
  2. Non-state groups do not receive government loans; they are also not susceptible to the same financial pressures as governments. Non-state groups are not susceptible to IMF or World Bank conditionality policies (Policzer).
  3. Many non-state groups do not seek the same international or domestic legitimacy as states or governments, “naming and shaming” – arguably the most common instrument of the human rights community against states – is also unlikely to have the same effect on non-state actors (Policzer).

A system of punishment for errant armed groups blatantly violating Human Rights does exist outside of the normal procedure. For armed groups like LTTE, which has to maintain a bureaucratic coercion organization within its quasi-state, fundraising is of utmost importance for war and administrative purposes. Incidentally, many of these funds are raised in countries that are the backyards of International Human Rights groups.

The challenge for the international community is to understand the internal dynamics within the LTTE enough in order to punish that organization, and force it to conform to Human Rights Laws, while it does the same through Arbour and others on the Sri Lankan Government. The International Community must demonstrate an equal handedness in its approach or face significant media backlashes.

This is taking place now in North America and Europe. In Canada for example, the tides turned against the Tigers after a media backlash against the Canadian Government following the visit by a Canadian Minister to an LTTE fundraising event. Similar backlashes have occurred in the United States and France. The International Community would have to make a concerted effort to study the Internal and External environments of Non-State groups violating Human Rights, before passing judgments against the state-actor alone.

21 comments:

LKDOOD said...

BBC VIDEO REPORT OF THE INCIDENT

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chamal said...

"The International Community would have to make a concerted effort to study the Internal and External environments of Non-State groups violating Human Rights, before passing judgments against the state-actor alone"
Which is exactly the thing they don't do of course.

LKDOOD said...

Lankan govt decides to 'eliminate' Prabhakaran to bring peace

LINK

LKDOOD said...

Terrorists fleeing after Buttala attack murder 6 civilians at Okkampitiya

LINK

verbatim said...

But how do you make the state forces accountable for the disappearances and other massacres of civilians. (like 5 students in Trinco and 17 aid workers in Mutur).

And what happened to the bigwigs who ordered Chemmani episode in 90s.

Also, how do you punish the state forces who kill civilians and then palm them off as tiger cadres. If you look at the last year figures, army claimed to have killed 5000 LTTE cadres in 2007, but tigers acknowledged about a thousand cadres deaths for 2007. The discrepancy in these numbers is partly filled by propaganda and unfortunately another portion of this gap is filled by innocent tamil civilians.

I think tigers did their best to avoid civilian killings in this phase of war, atleast initially, but since their better bahaviour is not acknowledged/rewarded by the IC and the govt's bad behaviour is not punished by the IC, the tigers may be less willing to continue with their good bahaviour.

This portends a bad omen for the civilians of the both sides.

verbatim said...

The DPU/LRRP operatives of the govt do not distinguish between civilians. They infiltrate tiger held areas and set of clamores against any vehicle they see. They get lucky at times (like Col. Charles), but they also kill lot of civilians. Rev. Nikolaspillai and his assitants died from clamore that was placed not far from where LRRP got Col. Charles.

When the govt DPU/LRRP operatives do not distinguish between tigers and civilians but they target vehicles in tiger held area, it is rather futile exercise to expect LTTE DPU/LRRP operatives to distinguish between civilian vehicle and military vehicle.

Also, only the very stupid can expect the DPU/LRRP operations to be one way street. If the govt is forcing the tigers to do picket duty in the roads held by them, they will also force the govt forces to do picket duty in the roads held by the govt. It is no brainer.

LKDOOD said...

Be resolute and calm in face of provocation - President

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verbatim said...

Why are the schools being closed by the army top brass? Is it because they would need those buildings to keep and care for their wounded? What guarantee do they have that they will be able to secure supply routes for effective casualty withdrawal.

LKDOOD said...

D-Day is today-Eelam War IV officially declared: Beware!

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Sam Perera said...

verbatim,

LTTE is an illegal entity in Sri Lanka who no rights to run an armed struggle against. On the otherhand, SLA is the legitmate armed force of Sri Lanka who has to safeguard the country. LRRP/DPU or what ever, any act of violence by LTTE is illegal and hence require a propotional response by legitimate authorities of Sri Lanka, i.e SLA.

onecountry said...

This guy thinks that SLA needs schools to take care of injured soldiers. He perhaps doesnt know that SLA doesnt need underground or temperorary hospitals when every hospital in the country is available to them along with ambulences, helicopters etc. Closure of schools is to prevent attacks like today.

He also thinks that LTTE shooting and hacking farmers is by accident.

LKDOOD said...

UN Watch Expresses Concern After Sri Lanka Rejects UN Human Rights Monitoring as ‘Unqualified’

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LKDOOD said...

Government Responds Louise Arbor: Abrogation of CFA, Government’s Inalienable Right in the Face of LTTE’s Grievous Violations

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NZ regret on end to Sri Lanka ceasefire agreement

LINK

LKDOOD said...

Norwegian Tamils march against the abrogation of CFA(pictures included in report)

LINK

LKDOOD said...

Don’t be misled by rumours

LINK

TropicalStorm said...

verbatim

Once an ltte bitch shot a young tamil boy in front of his parents and pissed into his mouth while he struggled on the ground. He drowned in the urine. His crime was refusing to become a terrorist.

That type of (Good by your standards) behavior will prove to have been a mistake too.

Today, the majority of the most successful strikes against LTTe top monkeys are accomplished with the intel the tamil civillians themselves provide to MI.

Sun Tzu's disciple said...

""Make Armed Groups Accountable to Their Violence""

Two types of armed groups:
1.State eg GoSL
2.Non-state eg LTTE

Till now state terrorism has only/mostly got words of condemnation (unless you are a pariah state like Iran/Taliban) whereas non-state terrorism has got all the strongarm measures.

Example:

The LTTE for its omissions and commissions of Human Rights violations have been severely hounded by the IC--starting with India in 1991 to USA/Canada to EU and beyond now.
Without these acts of the IC I think the SL military could never even have dreamt of defeating the LTTE, even with support of Pariah states like Iran/Pakistan/China/Israel, that it is confidently predicting now. So I find it funny when some bloggers here(not DW)making great mockery of the IC regards keeping peace:)

Now ,Re GoSL and IC:

I think the IC has dealt with GoSL with kid gloves all this while ,while the regime has been going around butchering Tamil civilians and aid workers at a steady rate, making even Chile's Pinochet look like an angel.All this while the Govt did not even attempt to hide it and Ministers were even boasting at times.Then when the IC/UN/HRC/AI/SLMM/IIGEP/diplomats eg make any mention of human rights the GoSL machinery goes into overdrive labelling all the above as 'Tiger stooges'.
You cannot welcome IC proscription of Tigers without expecting them to gaze over you too.And this present regime has made sure to paint the LTTE as less evil than the GoSL is, through its brutal actions.

Navindran said...

The present phase of bombings are as expected from the LTTE. However I believe the worst is yet to come. I guess for all those who support the war on both sides the consequence this year will be very very severe.

You will have to lose your loved ones. If you wish to justify their deaths as sacrifices for your beliefs so be it. I do expects deaths to come in the thousands for both sides.

LTTE is not banned in Sri Lanka. Hence how can they be terrorist. The Sri Lankan government does not want to ban them because they do not want to ire the international community. Hence the LTTE wants to be banned.

Calling the LTTE terrorist was one thing. Getting them banned and labelled terroist was another. The LTTE know that the international community is not going to remove the ban. Hence they decide to go back to their old ways and do what terrorist do best and terrorize.

I guess Ranil was the real panzy and Mahindha is the Great Hero. Luckily Ranil who the LTTE signed the CFA with was removed. The useless CFA has only helped the LTTE while the Sri Lankan armed forces suffered immensely. Now that the CFA is torn up thanks to patriots like the JVP, the Armed Forces can be strong again and the LTTE weak.

God Bless Sri Lanka.

IntelAttack said...

"But how do you make the state forces accountable for the disappearances and other massacres of civilians. (like 5 students in Trinco and 17 aid workers in Mutur)."
And what happened to the bigwigs who ordered Chemmani episode in 90s.


If the State forces ARE accountable for "disappearances and other massacres of civilians", they SHOULD be punished according to the prevailing laws of the state. No responsible government accepts this. But the root difference between a Government and a Terrorist Outfit is the same damn thing. LTTE terrorists ACCEPTS these kind of acts as Revenges while condemning them through their pro-media.

"If you look at the last year figures, army claimed to have killed 5000 LTTE cadres in 2007, but tigers acknowledged about a thousand cadres deaths for 2007. The discrepancy in these numbers is partly filled by propaganda and unfortunately another portion of this gap is filled by innocent tamil civilians."

Both parties release their own figures about KIA, MIA, disappearances and civilians killed. The whole world knows who kills civilians and publishes them in their own media as if it was done by other party. Please do not talk like a child as 99.9% of healthy (mentally) people can understand LTTE's tactics. But 100% of LTTE terrorists/ their supporters are either mentally ill or genetically disordered.

“I think tigers did their best to avoid civilian killings in this phase of war, atleast initially, but since their better bahaviour is not acknowledged/rewarded by the IC and the govt's bad behaviour is not punished by the IC, the tigers may be less willing to continue with their good bahaviour.”

Avoiding civilians killing at least initially and continuing child recruitments and forcible recruitments of women and men to a terrorists outfit is not acceptable. The recruited people are used as human bombs. So even they TRIED to avoid civilians killings they plan to kill thousands in parallel.

”This portends a bad omen for the civilians of the both sides."

Very true!

"The DPU/LRRP operatives of the govt do not distinguish between civilians. They infiltrate tiger held areas and set of clamores against any vehicle they see. They get lucky at times (like Col. Charles), but they also kill lot of civilians. Rev. Nikolaspillai and his assitants died from clamore that was placed not far from where LRRP got Col. Charles."

DPU/LRRP operatives do their best to avoid civilian casualties. The obvious reason why a DPU/LRRP exists to stop mass troop movement to un-liberated areas or stop carpet bombing like most other countries does and avoid innocent civilian deaths. Whether they just bomb random or all incoming vehicles after penetrate deep in to enemy areas risking their lives or whether they achieve the targets on strong intelligence reports is a thing left for you to use you brain a bit.
According to you, lucky chances of SLA is far higher than LTTE. That’s another thing to think.


"When the govt DPU/LRRP operatives do not distinguish between tigers and civilians but they target vehicles in tiger held area, it is rather futile exercise to expect LTTE DPU/LRRP operatives to distinguish between civilian vehicle and military vehicle."

Another childish argument! LTTE Mad Black Maggots bomb busses carrying civilians mistakenly? Don't let Pottu Amman hear this. He would get you for underestimating the world’s most dangerous terrorist organization.

"Also, only the very stupid can expect the DPU/LRRP operations to be one way street. If the govt is forcing the tigers to do picket duty in the roads held by them, they will also force the govt forces to do picket duty in the roads held by the govt. It is no brainer."

Governments job is to protect the country. Terrorists job is to distroy the country. You can pu up these kind of arguments for almost anything in the world. Government and LTTE cannot be compared with such idiotic arguments.

"Why are the schools being closed by the army top brass? Is it because they would need those buildings to keep and care for their wounded? What guarantee do they have that they will be able to secure supply routes for effective casualty withdrawal."

I think everyone, including LTTE but you know why schools are closed. Another dumb argument! Wounded soldiers will be treated in Hospitals. Come out from your Jungle mentality. This is 2008 and we are mentally healthy people. Please don't post things like this again!

Srilankan said...

Tropicalstorm.. i had forgotton about that "peaceful" incident regarding that young tamil criminal whose duty it was to povide cannon fodder for MBRl's.How dare he refuse to join the LTTE HEROES.??.I wonder if this LTTE heroine is still alive..

Ranil said...

DA
excellent article DA...
we should be campaigning much harder in this area with IC

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