Big power politics flush UN Charter down the toilet
Posted on March 3rd, 2013

H. L. D. Mahindapala

 Of all the human rights issues in global conflict and post-conflict zones why is India, EU and USA focussed relentlessly —  and, more importantly, selectively — on Sri Lanka? What is behind their persistent and the holier-than-thou obsession to hunt Sri Lanka with a vengeance? Is it pursued to fulfill the aims and objective of a higher morality, or the principles of the UN Charter, or a Mosesian legal code? Or is it because Sri Lanka has committed such unspeakable gross violation of human rights like the Indians in Kashmir, or the Americans in Afghanistan where President Obama is competing with Herod to beat the record of the slaughter of innocent children at the birth of Christ? Are they after justice or are they after vengeance for not toeing their political agenda?

This Troika — the international axis of anti-Sri Lankan manipulators — has hijacked the universal principles declared in the UN Charter, international humanitarian law, Vienna Declaration and Program Action (VDPA) R2P and other conventions and declarations related to human rights and use them as oppressive tools of neo-colonialism to force less powerful nations obey their dictates. The current deplorable plight of humanitarian law is that it has fallen into the hands of unscrupulous international mafia with America as its Godfather. Backed by might rather than right, they pursue only one noted policy for those who are outside their network: target anyone and everyone who are a threat to their self-interest. If they can’t target their perceived threat/enemies in the UN because of the veto of China and Russia then they shift their manoeuvres to a more pliable theatre like the UNHRC. This act of targeting its perceived threats/enemies is not a secret. Every American President in the post-World War II period in particular, including Nobel Peace Prize winng Obama, is on record saying that they reserve the right to strike at anything that threatens  their security which means destroying the security of others, including children.

Nor is this anything new. American history began with violent aggression, shooting from the hip, to destroy anything and everything that were seen as a threat to their expansion and occupation of the territory in the “wild west”, as they say, which did not belong to them. Occupation of virigin  land was of strategic importance to their survival in the new world and human rights were put aside for the  political necessities of imposing the white man’s rule over the indigenous owners of the land known then as Amerigo. First they led genocidal attack on the native Indians, After the mass massacres of the natives they penned them in reservations just in case they should get out of hand. The reservations were the precursors to the Guantanamo camps to come. Not satisfied with the genocidal attacks on the Amero-Indians the white man handed them small-pox infected blankets for protection. First examples of biological warfare. There is a moral in this for the world: Beware of Americans bringing blankets for the sick and the needy! It is worse than the Greeks bringing gifts.

Then they went for the Negroes running race-based clinics in Tuskegee, Alabama, between 1932 and 1972 to discover the effects of untreated syphillis. Hundreds of black Afro-Americans were selected and kept in the dark without letting them know that they had syphillis. Even when penicillin was discovered in the forties they were not treated because the doctors were more keen on finding out how syphillis progressed in the human body. Of course, they committed these crimes against their own people under the burning cross of KKK.

Rendition too is nothing new. It began with the white masters torturing the disobedient black slaves. Hardly anything has changed in America history. The only difference is that the American dream of oppressing, torturing, slaughtering human beings  and experimenting  with their new war weapons has gone global. To achieve this American dream nowadays they use either drones — the newest lethal weapon in modern warfare — or human rights. There is no difference between the two either. Both are used as exchangeable weapons to keep America safe.

The pretentious American morality refuse to accept the apparent contradiction in trying to run with drones aimed at protecting and preserving American security on a global scale and, on the other hand, hunt other nations with international humanitarian law forbidding them to use the same tactics and weapons for their security. When it comes to choosing between international humanitarian law and the security of America’s security they have never hesitated to opt for American security without caring tuppence for human rights. Big power goes invariably with big moral responsibilities. The principle of noblesse oblige apply. But those responsibilites are kept aside for either pious Sunday morning sermons, or to receive Nobel Peace prizes. From Saturday to Saturday — give or take a few hours on Sunday service — Americans have no qualms about bombing the hell out of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and then sitting down, under the mushrooming nuclear cloud, to draft the UN Charter enshrining all the grand principles of preventing war.

But what effect has the Declaration of the UN Charter had on America? Though there were no global wars  since World War II America has been in every bloody mini-wars since then — from the Bay of Pigs to Afghanistan. In Vietnam America not only burnt the fauna, flora and human beings in Vietnam by dropping “Agent Orange” but also exceeded the tonnage of bombs dropped in whole of World War II. This, in short, sums up the morality of America. And it has the audacity to invoke the principles of the UN Charter in moving the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. The resolution against Sri Lanka begins by saying :“Guided by the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant instruments,……” If American is “guided by the Charter of the United Nations ….and other relevant instruments” in moving the resolution against Sri Lanka what relevant chapter, para, sentence of international humanitarian law has guided America when its drones killed 200 children in Afghanistan? Was it the UN Charter or utter contempt for human life that caused the deaths of 600,000 children in Iraq (UN figures) when the American-led naval cordon thrown round Iraq cut off medical and food supplies?

This contempt for human life is not only a common to all big powers in the Troika targeting Sri Lanka but even among the UN officials who are apppointed to keep the law clean, untainted by double standards, hypocrisy or even gross violations of human rights. This is where Ms. Navanethem Pillay, the High Commissioner for the Human Rights Council comes in. In her opening statement to the 22nd session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms. Pillay focused specifically on VDPA as the most significant overarching human rights document produced in the last quarter of century. Agreed. She also said that the most pertinent feature in this document is its universality. Agreed wholeheartedly. So how come she sees the mote in the eye of Sri Lanka and not the log jams in the eyes of the bullying Troika — the axis of anti-Sri Lankan evil ?

Right now the focus is on issues of transitional justice that are touted as panaceas for the post-conflict period. In the transitional period between May 2009 and the final settlement of the issues arising in the post-conflict phase there has to be a mechanism for achieving peace and reconciliation. It is the transitional justice aimed at achieving peace and reconciliation that is contested domestically and internationally. Should it be truth-telling commissions like in S. Africa? Should it be ad hoc international tribunals for war criminals, as in Nuremberg? Should it be community-based explorations of the war-torn past at the grassroot level to build a new future as in gacaca in Rwanda? Or should Sri Lanka evolve its own method based on the LLRC report, or an alternative to it, or a mixture of both?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution in coming to terms with the past of each country facing complex post-conflict issues. Different nations have chosen different routes to reconciliation and peace. The riots this week in Bangaladesh were caused by sentencing to death Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, one of the leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami, Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist party, for the murder, abduction, rape, torture and persecution of his countrymen that occurred in the violent movement that gave birth to Bangladesh in 1971. Rwanda, where 800,000 Rwandans were massacred in 100 days, rejected both the S. African and the Nuremberg trial models, and adopted its own grassroot gacaca model.

Whatever the infirmities of these models may be, small nations have made serious attempts to reconcile with the horrors of the war-torn past. But why are these mechanisms for accountability missing in America? Who was responsible to protect the 600,000 Iraqi childred that died because the naval cordon of the Coalition of the Willing led by America cut off life-supporting essentials , using food and medicine as weapons of war? No NGO has asked for accountability of the 600,000 children killed under the watch of  Gereoge Bush. On the contrary when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was asked by Lesley Stahl on US “60 Minutes” (5/12/1996) whether the price was worth it she replied : “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.” Chilling, isn’t it? The blood runs cold when the highest ranking official in charge of American foreign policy says that it is worth killing 600,000 children just to protect America’s security from imagined threats of weapons of mass destruction never found in Iraq. Can moral depravity sink any lower than this American example of showing utter contempt for human life — and innocent children at that!

Anyway, the known models of reconciling with the past in conflict zones have varied from traditional grassroot gacaca in Rwanda to do-nothing-about-war-crimes policy in America and India. The vindictive international and national campagins against Sri Lanka have refused to acknowledge Sri Lanka’s own model. So far four methodologies have been operating at different levels: 1. the political process at the very top which seems to be in a stop-start mode with no consistent traction; 2. economic development which has gathered momentum and produced tangible and visible results right across the board from north to south which has resulted in an extraordinary growth of 27% in the north compared to 8% overall average nation-wide; 3. people-to-people programs initiated at individual and institutional levels and 4. implementation of LLRC report in parts. There is also the possibility of recasting the constitution to address the new post-conflict ground realities. Though these are discrete and independent processes which are moving on different planes, taking different routes, all are heading towards the same goal of reconciliation with the promise of arriving jointly and simultaneously on the ultimate destination of peace in the long run.

The hue and the cry so far has been on the lack of speed and not conforming to the political agendas of the Big Troika and their agents in the NGOs. When Robert O’Blake went before the Congress his main criticism was that Sri Lanka is “slow” in implementing the LLRC report. He did not say that Sri Lanka was not implementing it. Their indecent haste demanding instant solutions to a vexed and complex issue that had bedevilled the nation from the thirties of the 20th century is totally unrealistic and immoral, particularly in the light of America’s own historical experiences. For instance, O’Blake should know that Abraham Lincoln made the historic Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the Negro slaves, on January 1, 1863. What would O’Blake’s reply be if President Mahinda Rajapakse ask him why America failed to elect a prototype of an Obama in 1864?

Historical problems have not been solved according to the time table or mantras, or theories of imported from abroad. A telling example is the ending of the 33-year-old Tamil terrorist war. It was not done according to any foreign formula but according to the home-grown strategies and leadership. Each historical problem must find its own solutions which can evolve primarily from the soil which created the historical problems. Besides, the idiosyncratic peculiarities of the uneven development of history makes it impossible to make giant leaps from one stage to another overnight — the fatal flaw in Trotsky’s theory of the Permanent Revolution. He argued that feudal societies like Russia can skip the capitalist stage and jump straight into his ideal socialist state. Mao too failed in his Great Leap Forward. Modern China and Russia have proved that history takes its own evolutionary time to transit from one stage to another. In America too it took 150 years for the Emancipation Proclamation to mature historically and manifest itself in the person of Barrack Obama. Why is it right for America to take 150 years to make the change, taking their own route and why is it wrong for Sri Lanka to take its own route in its own time?

Incidentally, the record it has set now within less than four years is by any standards of post-conflict recovery a remarkable achievement. As  Scott Morrison, the Shadow Minister in the Liberal Party Opposition, wrote in The Australian, (March 1, 2013) if this level of achievement was recorded in Afghanistan or Iraq they would have been awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. Instead Sri Lanka is hauled up before the UNHRC with some sections of the local media going along with their sponsors in NGOs singing hossanas for the Troika in the axis of anti-Sri Lankan evil.

The fundamental failure in the interventionist foreign policy of the bullying Troika is in pushing demands that serve their domestic interests and not the interests of Sri Lanka. Their interventionist politics, dictating terms to Sri Lanka, are actually counter-productive impediments obstructing the road to smooth progress for the simple reason that they are intervening to resurrect the forces that destabilized Sri Lanka. It will be four years since the end of the Tamil terrorist war only in May this year. To expect overnight miracles, based on the political agendas of the Big Troika and their NGO agents, is contary to historical reality and even theoretical rationality. The South African Truth and Reconciliation took seven years (from May 10, 1994 to November 30, 2001) to close just the work of the Commission. Rwanda abandoned the Western Nuremberg model of international tribunals and adopted its own traditional model of reconciliation through gacaca and is yet to complete its work. To insist that Sri Lanka should do its job according to the time table of the Big Troika and their NGO agents amounts to nothing less than neo-colonialism.

It is time that Sri Lanka dismissed the hypocritical moralities passsed by UNHRC with contempt. Instead Sri Lanka should follow the excellent example set by India which had thrown into the waste paper basket all the resolutions passed by the Security Council on Kashmir — a territory occupied by India against international law  and principles laid down by the UN. When India talks of militarisation of the north and not holding elections in the north Sri Lanka should counter it by telling India bluntly: Mr. India, you set the example in Kashmir by withdrawing your forces and holding  the referendum recommended by the UN Security Council then we might — mark you, “might” not “will” — consider reducing our forces in the north and holding provincial council elections in the north according to your time table.

Until then the most pragmatic course of action for Sri Lanka is to tell the Troika to “fforeggub”, a la Dylan Thomas’s “llaregubb”!


14 Responses to “Big power politics flush UN Charter down the toilet”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Well done SL and Israel.

    SL foreign minister is meeting Israel president DURING UNHRC SESSION! Now that’s strategic.

    May be SL should USE its VERY FRIENDLY TIES with Israel to get into US good books. India will be left in the dark.

    Copy Israel, flush the UNHRC resolution down the toilet.

    “Feb 28, Colombo: Shimon Peres, President of Israel, while commending Sri Lanka for eradicating terrorism has offered his country’s assistance to develop Sri Lanka’s economy, the External Affairs Ministry said Thursday.

    Sri Lanka’s External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris has received the Israel President’s assurance when the two met at the President’s Office in Jerusalem on Tuesday (26).

    Minister Peiris has explained to President Peres the Sri Lankan government’s measures to carry forward development and reconciliation after the three-decade long conflict and the progress achieved with the measures.

    The Minister has pointed out that Sri Lanka’s approach based on economic development will benefit all the people in the country and explained the benefits already flowing in from the major infrastructure projects such as building highways, railroad systems, harbours and airports.

    Minister Peiris has briefed President Peres about the challenges which Sri Lanka is currently facing at the international level.

    The Israeli President, reaffirming his country’s assistance to Sri Lanka, has asked the Sri Lankan Minister what areas of Israeli expertise would benefit Sri Lanka the most. In response Sri Lankan Minister has noted the Israel’s special expertise with regard to water and irrigation, especially drip irrigation techniques.”

    – colombopage

  2. Marco Says:

    [Of all the human rights issues in global conflict and post-conflict zones why is India, EU and USA focussed relentlessly – and, more importantly, selectively — on Sri Lanka?]

    Thank you, HLDM. I read the first few lines and stopped thereafter.

    Simple!. GOSL stop giving undertakings that you will not or cannot implement.


  3. Sunil Mahattaya Says:

    Bravo Mr HLDM!
    The sheer accuracy of your posting makes mincemeat out of Sri Lanka’s antagonists at the UNHRC and rightly so as their transparencies point to ignorance and apathy in swallowing Tamil Tiger sympathetic codswallop that need to be incinerated not simply trashed.
    The many paradigms relative to the issues cited in this presentation and the emotions that go along with it can in all probabilities be understood only by sane and rational thinkers with no agendas and from neutral venues only.
    In this respect one can discount India, the EU, USA , the UK and the UN comprising a bunch of either blinkered ninnies or a bunch of egregiously biased bigots who continue to compound world problems rather than alleviate them towards redemption. Lately there are indications that Canada is also knocking at the door to join this lot with all the ” Harping” going on! Great comment on India’s stand on Kashmir relative to the bickerings about Northern Sri Lanka whose very progress is now in the process of gross impediment based on unjustified clarion calls for accountability from some whose culpabilities towards the very issue are far greater and much more apparent!

  4. Sirih Says:

    Pls. read this from Padraig Colman, living in SL.

  5. Sirih Says:

    There may be watered down resolution from US, things are moving towards middle ground .. Govt. need to be diplomatic.

  6. Amarasiri Says:


    “”It is time that Sri Lanka dismissed the hypocritical moralities passsed by UNHRC with contempt. Instead Sri Lanka should follow the excellent example set by India which had thrown into the waste paper basket all the resolutions passed by the Security Council on Kashmir — a territory occupied by India against international law and principles laid down by the UN. When India talks of militarisation of the north and not holding elections in the north Sri Lanka should counter it by telling India bluntly: Mr. India, you set the example in Kashmir by withdrawing your forces and holding the referendum recommended by the UN Security Council then we might — mark you, “might” not “will” — consider reducing our forces in the north and holding provincial council elections in the north according to your time table””



  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Dear Lankaweb editor,

    Please publish this video about SL boat people.

    It is a sad story of human struggle. I wish Australia ACCEPTS ALL boat people from SL.

    They don’t love SL and there is NO POINT keeping them in SL.

    Kudos to that particular man (looks like a Muslim) for telling the truth. Well said brother.

  8. Sri Rohana Says:

    Not only Kashmir why UNHR and Navinathan Pillai silence on Indian invasion on Kingdom of Sikkim in 1975. How come she dumb on Sikkim nationals human rights. Why not she asks Indian invaders to withdraw Indian army camps from Sikkim? What about self determination rights of Sikkim Nation? This is naked double standards Navi Pillai and UNHR (East Indian trading co of 21st century)
    Navi Pillai dumb on Indian invasions of Kashmir and Sikkim and plan to get Indian support for tamil tribal agenda to establish a minor tamil nadu (tamil eelam) in Sri Lanka. Typical tamil tribalism and racism against an independent country.
    Navipillai! It is not easy to establish a tamil state in Sri Lanka as long as Sinhala nation exist. Your tamil tribal Ellara failed in161B.C, then your favourite icon tamil terrorist megalomaniac Velupillai Prabakaran tried with the support of India, Britain, Norway and U.S. till 2009 but failed. Now Navipillai tries her best to establish a tamil state in Sri Lanka with U.N charter but ultimate result is same as Elara and Velupillai’s.

  9. S de Silva Says:

    Thank you HLD – you have made mince meat out of Navi Pillai’s balls – if she had any!!
    S de Silva – London

  10. Christie Says:

    It is India and Indians doing it, got nothing to do with others. Wickrams Singh from the US is an Indian. Navi pillai and Yasmin Sooka are Indians from South Adfrica. In canada there are a lot of Indians. In fact there are about twenty million million Indians outside India. Probably five million in the West. They all are behind Indians in the island nation. So that is the problem.

  11. Lorenzo Says:


    “A United Nations investigator has demanded that the US publish classified documents regarding the CIA’s human rights violations under former President George W. Bush, with hopes that the documents will lead to the prosecution of public officials.

    Documents about the CIA’s program of rendition and secret detention of suspected terrorists have remained classified, even though President Obama’s administration has publicly condemned the use of these “enhanced interrogation techniques”. The US has not prosecuted any of its agents for human rights violations.

    UN investigator Ben Emmerson, the UN special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism, said that the classified documents protect the names of individuals who are responsible for serious human rights violations.

    “Despite this clear repudiation of the unlawful actions carried out by the Bush-era CIA, many of the facts remain classified, and no public official has so far been brought to justice in the United States,” Emmerson said in a report to the UN Human Rights Council, according to Reuters.”

    Lets see what will happen here.

    One law for USA, one law for SL.

  12. Amarasiri Says:

    Here are some specific examples the Double Standards, WMD lies for OIL.


    To repeat: the chart above was created by deliberately selecting “low-end” estimates for Muslim fatalities, so these figures present the “best case” for the United States. Even so, the United States has killed nearly 30 Muslims for every American lost. The real ratio is probably much higher, and a reasonable upper bound for Muslim fatalities (based mostly on higher estimates of “excess deaths” in Iraq due to the sanctions regime and the post-2003 occupation) is well over one million, equivalent to over 100 Muslim fatalities for every American lost.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    TN jokers have gone MAD. Some fool has self immolated! Why not the other TNs follow him?

  14. Christie Says:

    My Indian Myna bird in Melbourne confirms the 40,000 dead were The Truth.
    On the seventh of March 2013 a forum was held by a Human Rights Busness group supposedly sponsored by a a Law firm called King & Mallesons or something. The panelists wereDr Sam Pari, Head of Tamils in OZ, Ms Harrison frtom the BBC (Voice of British and Indian imperialist, Gordon or Weiss who wrote The Cage and a Moderator from the Oz ethnic TV out fit SBS (SBS bit dumb on issues todayas ABC has taken over). A mad man asked the panel to confirm that the Sinhala army ate the dead. This could be what to expect from Chauvanist Sinhalese as the moderator referred to Sinhala chavanism. The three panelists went dumb.

    Last night I rang the UNHCR and spoke to two people, All mighty Indian colonial parasite Navi Pillai was not availabe unless you speak Tamil or Hindi. The African guy who took the call could not help me and passed me to an Indian woman called Berat. After a bit of discussion she had to go to a meeting. She claime Indians who work for UN are independents.

    BEAWARE OF INDIANS all around the world!!!
    PS: Indian Myna says this author was not there. But his inlaws and friends and oither relatives were there.

    Please abstain from having a go at the West where this author and most of the contributors and commentators seems to live. It is India and Indians (Indians include tamils). Why doent this author talks about the Sikhs, Kashmir, Andaman and Nicobar Islands without worrying about Negroes in the US.

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