Hold Gotabhaya accountable for war-crimes, writes NYU Professor of Law

[TamilNet, Monday, 02 June 2014, 03:14 GMT]
"Even if Gota[bhaya Rajapakse] never sees the inside walls of a US prison, the White House could send a powerful signal of its commitment to accountability by formally investigating and, if the evidence is there, indicting Gota[bhaya]," writes Ryan Goodman, Professor of Law at New York University School of Law in the on line forum called Justice and Security which provides rigorous analysis of U.S. foreign policy, national security and law. "Because of Gota’s citizenship the US would also be less vulnerable to accusations of meddling. And, indeed, the US administration could also suspend its own criminal inquiry, in a very public way, on the ground that it will give Sri Lanka’s political establishment an opportunity to do the right thing. Congressional members can very publicly support the initiation of a full-blown criminal inquiry by the Justice Department," Goodman said.

Prof. Ryan Goodman
Prof. Ryan Goodman
"...there is also prima facie evidence in the public record that he [Gotabhaya] ordered the execution of political leaders and their families upon their surrender, that he directed the systematic bombing of civilian hospitals, and that he repeatedly suggested that he could target and deliberately kill innocent civilians in order to win the war against the LTTE. That’s just the public record," Goodman writes, adding, "[t]here is good reason to believe the Justice Department is sitting on a trove of additional incriminating evidence against Gotabhaya."

Noting Gotabhaya's US citizenship, Goodman adds, "[a]s a citizen of the United States, Sri Lanka’s Defense Secretary is directly liable under Congress’s War Crimes Act—a legal windfall for any US effort to investigate and prosecute him across international borders. His citizenship also expands US policy space—by reducing US vulnerability to accusations of meddling if we go after one of our own. That’s the upside to taking such actions."

Goodman also urged the U.S. administration to publicly release some of the intelligence that it might have in its possession such as phone intercepts of Gota’s orders and satellite imagery of the last stages of the war. "In a post-Snowden world, revelation that the United States has these capacities and engages in such SIGINT operations is nothing new. At least the cost is not as high to revealing this information, and its public exposure can be especially valuable in mobilizing efforts toward accountability," Goodman notes.


External Links:
NYU: Sri Lanka’s Greatest War Criminal is a US Citizen: It’s Time to Hold Him Accountable
NYU: Honor Roll of US Congressional Members Who’ve Stood for Accountability in Sri Lanka

 

Latest 15 Reports
23.03.21 12:41   Photo
No focus on Tamil genocide, geopolitics gets played out in Geneva in favour of QUAD formation
21.03.21 13:34   Photo
Navi Pillay explains ‘human rights’ limitations in Geneva on Tamil genocide
15.03.21 20:36   Photo
Deceived Tamil activists in UK falsely claimed ‘substantial changes’ to Zero draft
09.03.21 21:34   Photo
UK repeatedly wronged Tamils says hunger-striker, demands genocide justice
26.02.21 11:53   Photo
Tamils witness false dilemma in Geneva as geopolitical formations pit against each other
19.02.21 14:02   Photo
UK not prepared to push for ICC option in new UNHRC Resolution
07.02.21 23:16   Photo
Unprecedented P2P uprising paves the way for rights-oriented politics of Tamils and Muslims
22.01.21 08:01   Photo
Gotabaya sets up deceptive COI citing ‘sovereignty’ and ‘non-aligned’ foreign policy
18.01.21 23:44   Photo
Tamil activists resisted three sources of outside influence while drafting demands to UNHRC
16.01.21 11:03  
Tamil national parties demand UN to inquire into crime of genocide and set up IIIM
09.01.21 09:37   Photo
Demolition of Tamil genocide monument, fourth emblematic trauma since 1974: Rev Fr Sakthivel
08.01.21 23:51   Photo
Colombo destroys Mu'l'livaaykkaal memorial monument at Jaffna University
07.01.21 11:22   Photo
With emphasis on genocide, Suresh calls for ICC-referral, IIIM and referendum
07.01.21 00:04   Photo
Boyle prefers IIIM demand over ICC-referral, says specific reference to genocide essential
06.01.21 14:26  
Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar trades off Tamils’ sovereign rights
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=37242