SMOKE, MIRRORS AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Posted on February 28th, 2013

Editorial The Daily News Sri Lanka

Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said it correctly but politely. Navi Pillay the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights sent her advance team, saying they will be preparing the ground for her own visit to the country on a later date.

The advance party was given all the facilities, and the necessary documentation. But, there was no sign of Navi Pillay after their departure. There is no sign of Navi Pillay yet, except in Geneva, where she has pulled a bulky report out of her bag – and who made the inputs to it, but the very same advance team that was said to be preparing the ground for her own planned trip?

The (UN) Office for the High Commission on Human Rights has turned out to be a textbook case for sharp practice and subterfuge. There is smoke and mirrors, cloaks and daggers there.

Not the way in which a UN civil service organization is supposed to conduct business, to put it mildly.

Since Navi Pillay generally gets her material from the NGOs that pump her with disinformation at the rate of ten bags full of type-written pages per hour, she really did not have to send her fact finding delegation which was of course masquerading as an advance squad for her own supposed visit.

But, she badly needed to say that her information was obtained on the spot and first hand. The advance team gave some much needed credence to her theories, to make them look fleshed out and authentic, whereas in reality they were all based on NGO fiction.

But the Sri Lankan delegation in that antiseptic Swiss city of Geneva is doing what it is supposed to do – presenting a case in a court that seems already to have prejudged the outcome.

However, this witch-hunt against Sri Lanka has to go on record as one of the most odious in any kind of world body in recent times.

This simply cannot go on. World bodies cannot be allowed to rely on information obtained by paid NGO hands, in order to begin dictating terms on issues that have to do with national security for instance.

Take the issue of High Security Zones. The majority of these zones have been vacated, and as Minister Samarasinghe says, there are but a few HSZ’s that remain, most of these also not amounting to the kind of maximum security areas that people knew about in the past. In Palaly for instance, restrictions have been lifted, and civilians, for example, enjoy unrestricted access to the airport.

How does the UN Human Rights Council mandate a government to vacate the remaining High Security Zones, when the maintenance of security in key installations is strictly a matter that the government of the country is responsible for?

In other words, half of what the UN Human Rights Council is discussing today does not fall under the rubric of human rights in the first place.

As the Minister of External Affairs said recently, this is a highly politicized body. Voting is done on the basis of power blocks, and not on an assessment of the facts weighed on the balance.

Sri Lanka however does not have the luxury of walking out of the Council or terming it irrelevant the way Israel once did because this country does not have superpower backers that step in on the basis of parochial loyalties.

But the case against some countries to put it mildly, is based on more than a modicum of truth, but it cannot be pushed very far due to powerful actors. The case against other countries by contrast, is trumped up and fabricated, as it is against Sri Lanka, but is pursued vigorously due mostly to the same powerful actors.

Who said colonialism was over, then? Today, we carry on our front page, an independent assessment by a US congressman who says his country’s resolution should be withdrawn. But, on the UNHRC floor, it’s Showtime. Movies are being screened, novels are being launched. There is hardly a moment for the intrusion of hard reality there.

3 Responses to “SMOKE, MIRRORS AND HUMAN RIGHTS”

  1. S de Silva Says:

    Well there are none so blind as those who refuse to see – like Navi Pillai! – S de Silva – London

  2. aravinda Says:

    Soon we will hear that Sri Lanka is having chemical weapons, WMDs, and in verge of enriching high grade Uranium and launching a ballistic missile. When will this witch hunt end? It will end LTTE remnants run out of money to buy UN diplomats and Western politicians!

  3. Amarasiri Says:

    “As the Minister of External Affairs said recently, this is a highly politicized body. Voting is done on the basis of power blocks, and not on an assessment of the facts weighed on the balance”

    Sri Lanka however does not have the luxury of walking out of the Council or terming it irrelevant the way Israel once did because this country does not have superpower backers that step in on the basis of parochial loyalties.

    **********

    This is called DOUBLE STANDARDS. So, the Credibility of UN and UNHRC is not there.

    1. UN was formed by the victors of World War II.
    2. Now it a Uni polar and Multi polar world, practicing Double Standards.
    3. Smaller countries, Afghanistan ( Invaded by Soviet Union 1989), Iraq Invaded by USA (1990 and 2003), Bangla Desh ( India East Pakistan- 1971) many others including Sri Lanka is on the outside have been victims.

    The question is what is the need for Sri Lanka to abide by the Double Standards.

    Need to reply saying that Sri Lanka will abode by a single standard, bit double standards.

    Also say that Sri Lanka will have a single standard internally as well.

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