SPUR Condemns Ban Ki-moons Double Standards
Posted on June 28th, 2010

Dr DASARATH JAYASURIYA PRESIDEN SPUR VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

The Society for Peace Unity and Human Rights (SPUR) condemns the ill considered and provocative action of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, to appoint an expert panel to advise him on human rights issues related to Sri Lanka’s mighty struggle during 2009 to liberate its citizens from Tamil Tiger terror.

Ban Ki-moon seems to have very little or no influence over many international events of significance taking place around the world. Although his term extends to 2011, a number of important countries including some in the security council have signalled that his term will not be extended and hence, Ban is a lame duck looking to create waves by bullying a developing Nation, a nation punching well above its weight playing a leading role in the Non-aligned Movement and holding the Presidency of the G15 Group.

Has Ban taken the big stick to Sri Lanka to please the nations clamouring for his departure and to divert attention from more pressing issues around the globe such as the Gaza blockade and the murder of Turkish nationals in international waters?

Sri Lanka is a key player in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and it holds the Presidency of the G15 forum which includes two of the BRIC countries, India and Brazil. Key decisions taken at NAM and G15 have embarrassed USA and the UN. Due to pressure from USA, Ban was about to tighten UN sanctions on Iran when Brazil and Turkey brokered the deal to make Iran’s nuclear program more transparent. Further more, pandering to vindictive INGOs and Tamil Tiger Terror lobby, USA has been clamoring for a human rights panel to investigate Sri Lanka for sometime. NAM has been quite outspoken in its criticism of current UN structures and power dynamics, mostly in how the organization has been utilized by powerful states in ways that violate the movement’s principles. In recent years the US has also become a target of the organization. The US invasion of Iraq and the War on Terrorism, its attempts to stifle Iran’s nuclear plans, and its other actions have been denounced as human rights violations and attempts to run roughshod over the sovereignty of smaller nations.

SPUR also has strong reservations about al three members of Ban’s Panel. Marzuki Darusman, the former Indonesian attorney general was a member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons that quit observing human rights investigations in Sri Lanka in April 2008 after attempting to over-rid the local administration. Hence we believe he is unsuitable and will be biased against Sri Lanka. Yasmin Sooka is the Executive Director of an International South African NGO, the Foundation for Human Rights. Ms Sooka was also a commissioner in South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Whist the South African government had focused on reconciliation, Ms Sooka had a different agenda to prosecute. This hidden agenda is consistent with the usual INGO fetish to interfere in internal affaires of sovereign nations under the guise of protecting human rights. Dissatisfied with the charter to find out the truth and work for reconciliation, Sooka said that the “Truth commissions had played an important role in dealing with the right to truth, but they were not the only instruments that could do

so. We can clearly see where MS Sooka is going to take the Ban panel as she is interested more in reforming the military and prosecuting our armed forces rather than focus on reconciliation. Professor Steven R. Ratner, the Bruno Simma Collegiate Professor of Law the third member of the panel too has aligned himself with the non-state actors making him unsuitable to carry the responsibility.

Ban continues to parrot rubbish saying he “remains convinced that accountability is an essential foundation for durable peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka”. Through the panel the Secretary-General expects to enable the UN to make a constructive contribution in this regard. He expects the expert panel to examine “the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience with regard to accountability processes, taking into account the nature and scope of any alleged violations in Sri Lanka”. However, Marzuki has further complicated

the issue by speaking of the necessity to investigate Sri Lanka.

Whilst Ban continues to agitate and antagonise Sri Lanka, true friend such as Japan have taken more constructive steps to support Sri Lanka in its endeavours to heal the wounds of Tamil Tiger Terror. The Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi stated on 20 June that the United Nations should not interfere in Sri Lanka but only offer suggestions and ideas in dialogue with the Government. He added that the proposed UN panel to advise Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon should only offer insights and views to the Sri Lankan Government if needed, which has also created its own Commission of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation. After praising the efforts of the Sri Lankan Government in settling the Internally Displaced Persons, Mr Akashi announced a 39 Billion Yen fund to accelerate welfare work in the North of Sri Lanka.

In summary, SPUR strongly believes that Ban Ki-moon’s initiative to establish an independent panel to advise him on Sri Lanka’s human rights record is:

(1) Arbitrary as it attempts to countermand the majority decision of the United Nations and.

Regressive: as it promotes the Tamil Tiger sympathetic Diaspora view that Sri Lanka should be punished for saving its citizens, especially 400,000 Tamil citizens from being held hostage by the LTTE.

(2) Unconstructive: as it drives moderate Sri Lankan’s who are helping the Tamil community affected by LTTE terror to bring normalcy to their lives, to be more defensive and be suspicious of any political initiatives considered by the President to accelerate reconciliation and consolidate peace.

(3) Divisive: as political stooges and bankrupt opposition parliamentarians would see this as an opportunity to haphazardly attack the government in the international arena, thus forcing the Government to respond. This would divert the government’s attention from focussing on more pressing work benefiting the Nation.

(4) Counterproductive: as any diversions from hindering the progress of many development initiatives launched by the President throughout Sri Lanka will affect the services provided to the community at large; especially the Tamils and Sinhalese living in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

(5) Offensive: as it gives the ever shrinking but well funded LTTE sympathetic separatist Diaspora a “rallying point” to keep the dying embers of the separatist Eelam flame still glowing.

Ban’s actions have no bearing on the future of Sri Lanka except empowering the agenda of INGO’s such as those headed by Ms Sooka.

We unreservedly condemn Ban’s action and urge the Government of Sri Lanka, not to deal with nor allow this rouge panel entry to Sri Lanka. We also urge the Government to facilitate and accelerate the sittings of the Commission of Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation appointed by the President and ratified by the Parliament in Sri Lanka.

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