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Sunday, 15 July 2018
Sunday, 15 July 2018 | Sri Lanka Watch
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Rules of military engagement needs re-evaluation- Kohona PDF Print E-mail
Ambassador Palitha Kohona, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN said that much of the rules of war are based on the presumption that the parties to the conflict are conventional armies of responsible states engaging other state parties. 

Dr. Kohona told the UN Security Council “terrorists totally disregard these laws and principles as they wage asymmetric warfare. They mingle with and use civilians to achieve their goals. Once again, the practical realities based on the experiences of Member States must be seriously looked at instead of a theoretical application of humanitarian norms to all situations,”.

He pointed out that in Sri Lanka, the LTTE made the Tamil civilian population a part of their military strategy and this posed extraordinary operational challenges to the security forces engaged in combating the terrorist group while ensuring civilian protection.

Ambassador Kohona said “The terrorists’ inhumane strategy was to create a situation conducive to large scale civilian casualties by herding the civilians to form a human shield and by placing heavy guns in their midst…Our security forces, consistent with their orders, had no choice but to intervene to rescue the civilians by creating a safe passage for them,”

The Permenent Representative of Sri Lanka at the UN has further stated that the Sri Lanka is deeply committed to the protection of human rights and the implementation of International Humanitarian Law.
“We have engaged closely with the international community and related human rights and humanitarian mechanisms, the UN Agencies, the ICRC and local and international NGOs.  This close cooperation has extended to the aftermath of the conflict, in providing for the needs of the displaced population.  We also welcome the progressive strengthening of this concept by the international community over the past decade, including through focusing on vulnerable categories such as women and children,” he added.

Dr. Palitha Kohona told the UN Security Council to take Sri Lanka’s fight against the LTTE as an example, that the challenges posed by terrorism in many parts of the world today and UNSC should  necessitate a re-evaluation of the rules of military engagement . 

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