World View: Report: Sri Lankan Government Torturing and Raping Tamils

Sri Lankan activists demanding the release of Tamil detainees held in custody for long periods without trial demonstrate outside the main prison in Colombo on October 16, 2015. The prisoners were arrested during Sri Lanka's 37-year civil war for suspected involvement with Tamil rebels fighting for a separate homeland for …
Ishara S. KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Iran releases American sailors as end of sanctions approaches
  • Report: Sri Lankan government repeatedly torturing and raping Tamils
  • Sri Lanka joining the torture club, with Syria, Burundi, Zimbabwe

Iran releases American sailors as end of sanctions approaches

Screen grab from Iranian video showing capture of American soldiers
Screen grab from Iranian video showing capture of American soldiers

If things go as planned, Iran will have access to $100 billion in frozen bank accounts, starting next week when American sanctions are lifted.

It is thought that this is the reason the Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) so quickly released the ten American sailors captured a day earlier, allegedly for violating Iran’s territorial waters. It’s believed very unlikely that the sanctions would be lifted if Iran were holding ten American sailors for no reason.

According to some reports, there were widespread Iranian social media postings pressuring the government to release the sailors, so that Iran could collect the money from the raised sanctions.

Iran released a video showing the American soldiers on their knees at gunpoint, and an American sailor apologizing and saying:

It was a mistake that was our fault and we apologize for our mistake. It was a misunderstanding. We did not mean to go into Iranian territorial water. The Iranian behavior was fantastic while we were here. We thank you very much for your hospitality and your assistance.

When British sailors allegedly entered Iranian waters in 2007, they were accused of being spies, paraded on television in a big Iranian song and dance, and only released two weeks later after forced confessions. CNN and NBC News

Report: Sri Lankan government repeatedly torturing and raping Tamils

Evidence is mounting that Sri Lankan government security forces are continuing high levels of torture and sexual violence on Tamils, as revenge attacks since the Sri Lankan civil war ended in 2009.

The Sri Lanka civil war was fought between two ancient races: The Sinhalese (Buddhist) and the Tamils (Hindu). WW II was a generational crisis war for India and for Ceylon, the former name of Sri Lanka. There was relative peace on the island until 1976, when the Tamils began demanding a separate Tamil state, and formed a separatist group called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), or just “Tamil Tigers.”

In January 2008, the low-level violence turned into a full scale generational crisis war, as we reported at the time. (From 2008: “Sri Lanka government declares all out war against Tamil Tiger rebels”)

Under United Nations and intense international pressure, the Sinhalese-led Sri Lankan government has repeatedly promised to pursue reconciliation with the Tamils. But a new report by the “International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka” (ITJPSL), based on interviews with victims, indicates that Tamils are being targeted for torture and rape.

According to the report, the abductions and torture were pre-planned in each case, after collecting information about the victims’ political activities, perpetrated by senior officers in the police and military intelligence. Torture included being hung upside-down and beaten, being branded with metal rods, and asphyxiated using a plastic bag soaked with petrol or chili. Both male and female victims were raped repeatedly. IRIN (United Nations) and International Truth & Justice Project Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka joining the torture club, with Syria, Burundi, Zimbabwe

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Sri Lanka is beginning down the same path that we’ve been seeing in Burundi, Syria and Zimbabwe, following a generational crisis war that’s also a civil war.

These examples, particularly the Syrian war, have led us to add to the generational theory related to the outcome following a generational crisis war, as we’ve been describing for several months.

Among generational crisis wars, an external war is fundamentally different than an internal civil war between two ethnic groups. If two ethnic groups have lived together in peace for decades, have intermarried and worked together, and if then there’s a civil war where one of these ethnic groups tortures, massacres and slaughters their next-door neighbors in the other ethnic group, then the outcome will be fundamentally different than if the same torture and slaughter had been rendered by an external group. In either case, the country will spend the Recovery Era setting up rules and institutions designed to prevent any such war from occurring again. But in one case, the country will enter the Awakening era unified, except for generational political differences, and in the other case, the country will be increasingly torn along the same ethnic fault line.

In some cases, where the government during the Recovery Era is controlled by the winning ethnic group, the government uses “preventing another civil war” as an excuse to target the losing ethnic group, whether by economic discrimination, torture, revenge murder, or mass slaughter.

  • For example, in a July article about Burundi, I described how Burundi’s Hutu president Pierre Nkurunziza was using such violence to quell Tutsi protests, supposedly to avoid a repeat of the 1994 Rwanda-Burundi genocidal war between Hutus and Tutsis.
  • As another example, in a June article about Zimbabwe, I described how Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, from the Shona tribe, was even worse. His 1984 pacification campaign, targeting the Ndebele tribe, was known as “Operation Gukurahundi” (The rain that washes away the chaff before the spring rain). During that campaign, accomplished with the help of Mugabe’s 5th Brigade, trained by North Korea, tens of thousands of people, mostly from the Ndebele tribe, were tortured and slaughtered.
  • In Syria, Shia/Alawite president Bashar al-Assad began in 2011 to conduct a campaign to exterminate innocent Sunni protesters. He’s killed children by sending missiles into exam rooms and bedrooms. He’s used Sarin gas against his own people, and he’s killed countless more with barrel bombs loaded with explosives, metals, and chlorine gas. In addition, he’s used electrocution, eye-gouging, strangulation, starvation, and beating on tens of thousands of prisoners on a massive “industrial strength” scale, and does so with complete impunity, and has been doing so for many years

So now it’s beginning to appear that Sri Lanka is joining the same torture club as these other three countries. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these are not four unique situations, but rather four countries following exactly the same pattern. As generational theory develops in this area, it will be possible to make a broad range of predictions about the futures of many countries. There really is nothing new under the sun.

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Iran, Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, IRGC, Sri Lanka, Sinhalese, Tamil, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, LTTE, Tamil Tigers, Burundi, Pierre Nkurunziza, Hutus, Tutsis, Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, Operation Gukurahundi, Syria, Bashar al-Assad
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