(03.02.2014 – Email)
Addressing a gathering in Mathugama, President Rajapaksa has said “If one were to probe the last days of Wold War II, you could bring war crimes charges” referring to efforts by the US to move a resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.
President’s reference to the days of Wold War II has quite correctly expressed the silent question of the right thinking people, living anywhere in the world, have in their mind although many of the new generation may not aware of the devastation caused by the US bombing of Hiroshima on 6th August 1945 and followed in Nagasaki, just three days later, in Japan.
Unlike many other bombing raids, the goal for this raid had not been a military installation but rather an entire city. The atomic bomb that exploded over Hiroshima killed civilian women and children in addition to soldiers. Hiroshima’s population has been estimated at 350,000; approximately 70,000 died immediately from the explosion and another 70,000 died from radiation within five years. Two-thirds of Hiroshima was entirely destroyed.
The bomb was created using uranium-235, a radioactive isotope of uranium and the product had never been tested before although US spent billions for its research. It is said that some scientists and politicians pushed for not warning Japan of the bombing in order to save face in case the bomb malfunctioned.
The bombing destroyed approximately 40 percent of Nagasaki. With a population of 270,000, approximately 70,000 people died by the end of the year.
Apart from the World War II, the whole world is aware of the extent of war crimes committed and continue to process crimes , not only war crimes, since World war II.
US has committed war crimes in Vietnam, Laos , Cambodia, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan and the like, the list goes on.
In 1969, the United States began a four year long carpet-bombing campaign in the skies of Cambodia, devastating the countryside and causing socio-political upheaval that eventually led to the installation of the Pol Pot regime.
During the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese Liberation Front and the PAVN (Vietnam People’s Army) used a network of supply routes that partially ran through Laos and Cambodia. As the War progressed, the U.S. invaded both Cambodia and Laos in order to disrupt these routes.
The United States dropped upwards of 2.7 million tons of bombs on Cambodia, exceeding the amount it had dropped on Japan during WWII (including Hiroshima and Nagasaki) by almost a million tons. During this time, about 30 per cent of the country’s population was internally displaced.
It was estimated that as many as 500,000 people died as a direct result of the bombings while perhaps hundreds of thousands more died from the effects of displacement, disease or starvation during this period.
From 1964 to 1973, the U.S. dropped more than two million tons of ordnance on Laos during 580,000 bombing missions—equal to a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, 24-hours a day, for 9 years – making Laos the most heavily bombed country per capita in history. The bombings were part of the U.S. Secret War in Laos to support the Royal Lao Government against the Pathet Lao and to interdict traffic along the Ho Chi Minh Trail. The bombings destroyed many villages and displaced hundreds of thousands of Lao civilians during the nine-year period.
Up to a third of the bombs dropped did not explode, leaving Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Over 20,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO in Laos since the bombing ceased.
A UN report notes that Laos is, per capita, the most bombed country on the planet, with .84 tons of explosives dropped per person from the years 1965 to 1974. Over 280 million bombs were dropped on Laos. It’s estimated that up to 80 million of them never exploded. It is estimated that it may take up to 3000 years to clean up all unexploded ordnance in Laos alone.
The above war crimes have been committed with the fullest support of the US allies. Unfortunately, the whole world is silent today on the above crimes although the reports with facts and figures are freely available. The obvious question we have is what moral rights these perpetrators have to talk about human rights and crimes of any nature and to pretend that they are they are the world’s guardians of human rights.
– S. Akurugoda
• Allied war crimes during World War II – From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia