US attaché clarification, a linguistic legerdemain, accuses Boyle

[TamilNet, Monday, 06 June 2011, 00:03 GMT]
Response from the US State Department on the comments made this week by US defence attaché Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith in Colombo at the controversial 3-day seminar organised by the Sri Lankan military to expound on its defeat of the LTTE earlier this week that the remarks "reflected his personal opinions," and that "[t]hey [the comments] do not reflect the policy of the United States Government,” was "all linguistic legerdemain by the United States Government," accused Professor Francis Boyle, an expert in International Law and a professor at the University of Illinois School of Law.

Prof Francis A Boyle
Prof Francis A Boyle
US defence attaché Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith (Courtesy: Sunday Times)
US defence attaché Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith
"This Defense Attaché is high-level Diplomatic Agent for the United States government protected by diplomatic privileges and immunities under international law and relevant treaties. He acts only pursuant to Instructions by his Government. Thus the United States government did accept the invitation by the GOSL to attend and participate in this Conference and to make this Statement," asserts Prof. Boyle.

"His [attaché's] Statement was made acting pursuant to Instructions by the United States government and represents the Official Position of the United States Government. In this case, he could have been acting pursuant to Instructions by the Pentagon and not by the State Department, which proves who really is conducting the foreign policy of the United States Government," Boyle explained, alerting the Tamil expatriate activists of the likely policy underpinning of US diplomatic behavior viś-a-viś Sri Lanka.

"As for the substance of his Statement, I see no point here in trying to establish precisely what happened during the denouement of the GOSL’s genocidal massacre of about 50,000 Tamils in Vanni two years ago.

"That is why we need the U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to establish an International War Crimes Investigation Commission to look into it, which he has admitted he has the power to do unilaterally. Whatever these circumstances of surrender by LTTE leaders might have been, so long as they were waiving a White Flag or its functional Equivalent—and all reports indicate they were—they were not legitimate targets of attack. Killing someone waiving a White Flag or its Equivalent during armed combat is a serious war crime," Boyle said.

"Why did this US Defense Attaché, probably acting pursuant to Instructions by the Pentagon, want to muddy the waters and confuse the legal situation to the benefit of the GOSL?" Boyle further questioned the motivation behind the US Defense Attaché's conduct.


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External Links:
USGov: Sri Lanka Defense Symposium


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