Black July 1983: the Charge is Genocide
Who were the planners who were in a position
to direct and influence the police and the army
which functioned directly under President Jayawardene?...
Who, then were the planners who were in a position to direct and
influence the police and the army which functioned directly under
President Jayawardene: a police and an army which were led by
officers hand picked by President Jayawardene during the six year
period of his presidency which commenced in 1977?
It was a police force which was encouraged to violate human
rights by a government, which on more than one occasion, promoted
police officers and commended their conduct within hours of the
Supreme Court finding that such officers had acted in breach of the
fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
"..The President freely conceded that he had personally
ordered the promotion of the two police officers (in June 1983),
and the payment out of public funds of the damages and costs.
This he said had been necessary to maintain police morale...at a
time when he found the Supreme Court a hindrance to some of his
policies. The conclusion is inescapable that he was deliberately
seeking to teach the Judges a lesson in order to make them more
pliable to the Executive's wishes..." (Paul
Sieghart: Sri Lanka - A Mounting Tragedy of Errors - Report
of a Mission to Sri Lanka in January 1984 on behalf of the
International Commission of Jurists and its British Section,
Justice, March 1984)
''The government when presented with evidence that the
army or the police have committed atrocities against defenceless
Tamils has usually reacted with a shrug of the shoulders.
Sometimes, indeed, police misconduct has actually been rewarded.
In two separate cases recently, the Supreme Court found that
police officers had acted illegally. In both cases the officers
concerned were both promoted after the judgment. The security
forces have interpreted this as a license to do as they please
with impunity, and President Jayawardene has not seemed eager to
disabuse them. Early last month he introduced legislation to
cremate or bury dead bodies if they think it necessary without
any inquest or post mortem taking place.'' (London Times, 30
The planners were persons whose instructions would be obeyed
by the police and army, and whose instructions, 'to look the other
way', would not be countermanded by any one else. Because, if
the instructions were countermanded, then the plan would fail. And,
it was a contingent plan that depended heavily on the army and the
police looking the other way.