17 January 2014

The business of prosecution

Steven J Rapp is a prosecutor.  He needs to exact a judgment in favor of his client.  That’s his JD.  So he has come on business that much is clear.  He is not a judge and does not have to weigh evidence or assess veracity of claims.  Naturally, he is selective. 

Steven J Rapp refers to the Darusman Report, again a document compiled by considering claims by interested parties.  Like the authors of that report, Rapp has listened to claims and allegations. He has not questioned motive, he has not sought clarification, he has not questioned the reliability of claimant or informant and he has not bothered to solicit representation by key, reliable, unimpeachable and disinterested sources.  His is thus an exercise of sourcing, selective naturally, for the purpose of legitimating a politically position on Sri Lanka.  That’s his business.

The US Embassy tweet which he claims was prompted by a need to respond to media articles and a protest is mischievous.  There is claim without substantiation.  That claim is now ‘fact’ or rather turning it into fact is what his visit was all about.  It is quite akin to wanting a separate state and conjuring ‘grievances’ to justify dream as well as means used to conclude a land-theft exercise. 

The ‘credible witnesses’ are all politically compromised.  We have ex-LTTE cadres. Then there is the TNA, shameless mouthpieces of the LTTE. There  are the Catholic priests, Rayappu Joseph and Thomas Saundranayagam, current avatars of a long line of ‘priests’ for whom terrorists were ‘boys’ and who directly or indirectly supported the LTTE.  No mention of Dr Shanmugarajah who witnessed what ‘the boys’ did, saw the fighting and attended to the wounded.  There nothing of his account which roundly debunks the oft-quoted claims by LTTE operatives who have become the darlings of Channel 4, Human Rights Watch and others like Rapp.  No mention of Hindu/Frontline journalist Murali Reddy who was there during the last days of the conflict.  He hasn’t taken into account the hard evidence of various organizations involved in channeling supplies to civilians held hostage by the LTTE in the first five months of 2009. 

Why not? 

He doesn’t have to.  Rapp is in the prosecuting business.  It is his business to be silent and if necessary suppress all facts that are detrimental to his case.  He would not have his scripted narrative disrupted by anything, especially fact.  He would rather go with fiction.  He has. 

And after all is said and done, after Rapp has folded and wrapped his pomposity and left the island, we are left with a Sri Lanka that must learn to live with the Rapps of this world and learn to reconcile in spite of their pernicious meddling.  We can, and that, Mr Rapp, is the best answer this country can give you. 



gdesilva said...

Sri Lanka should send a local human rights lawyer to Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Pakistan on a fact finding mission. Such a person can be given the title 'High Commissioner at Large on human rights'. The only problem will be access to US prisons and killing fields in those countries.