Will Sri Lanka end up in a Sierra Leone type Situation? Darussaman Panelists Feed the Conspiracy Theory
Posted on March 6th, 2014

By Bandu de Silva

 Whether Sri Lanka will have to finally face a Sierra Leone like situation depends on what the UNHRC decides on the draft Resolution which was finally submitted to the Council yesterday (March 7th ) in the original form with no major  modification of its Clause Three. The original Clause 3 led India to express some reservations on it and seek a modification. The only modification is the words “relevant mandated agencies” being replaced by “Relevant special procedures.” The modified form makes the position even more complicated. What are the special procedures anyway?   That the Draft Resolution surfaced now in even a worse form points to some confidence on the part of its movers that it could have a chance of going through the Council this time. The prospects should not be discounted, particularly if India would not throw her weight behind Sri Lanka but submit to both US and Tamil Nadu pressure.

In my assessment, the success of the Draft Resolution could result in a Sierra Leone type of situation for Sri Lanka with its implications for other countries in the future of being cited as a precedence.

In the case of Sierra Leone, it was the Security Council which authorized the UNSG to prepare the blueprint for action which was to prepare for the Special Court. Now in the case of Sri Lanka, the attempt is for the UNHRC to take over the Security Council’s burden and transfer the responsibility of drawing up the blueprint to the HR High Commissioner and through her to involve other ‘relevant special procedures.’

It is only now that St Lanka has realized this and her Permanent Representative in Geneva has pointed out that UNHRC is trying to assume the role of a Court. No. It is not the elected body which is trying to assume that role but the office of High Commissioner. Earlier, the Sri Lanka delegation lost perspective and made the mistake of concentrating on defending the LLRC recommendations as Minister Samarasinghe’s statement demonstrated, on which there was little debate as far as the member countries were concerned. Even the US accepted the usefulness of the LLRC’s recommendations until later when John Mariz claimed that the recommendations had no time frame for implementation and did not adequately address issues of accountability. Otherwise, only the Panelists and the High Commissioner found fault with them.

The issue to be tackled went beyond the confines of the Sri Lankan case. It was an issue which would not be confined to Sri Lanka alone but would apply to all member countries in future, namely, that of empowering the office of the UNHRC [and other ‘relevant special procedures’] with powers which only the Security Council was vested with so far.

 Sierra Leone Situation

What is the Sierra Leone like situation?  [That will be discussed in detail later.] To mention briefly, UN and Sierra Leone signed an agreement to appoint an independent court following a request to UN to help end the long civil war conflict in the country …. as a strategy for reconciliation. Sierra Leone government’s appeal to UN was like Sri Lanka requesting the Norwegians to facilitate/mediate in a settlement of the conflict with the LTTE. The difference in the two situations was that the government of Sierra Leone straight away requested the United Nations whose response came in the form of establishing an international court “to prosecute those responsible for atrocities during the civil war”. That is how things turned out whether the West African country liked it or not. Sri Lanka avoided such a situation of UN action by opting for Norwegian facilitation which turned out to be mediation.

On August 14, 2000, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1315, which requested “the Secretary-General to negotiate an agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone to create an independent special court. Its jurisdiction was to include “……. notably crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law,” and whose personal jurisdiction would be “over persons who bear the greatest responsibility” for these crimes “including those leaders who, in committing such crimes, have threatened the establishment of and implementation of the peace process in Sierra Leone.” The Security Council asked the Secretary-General to produce a detailed blueprint for the special court. The blue print subjected to the Special Court, the primacy over domestic prosecutions in Sierra Leone and to issue binding orders to the government of Sierra Leone, though unlike the International Court on Yugoslavia (ICTY) and International Court on Rwanda (ICTR) it had no primacy over national courts of third States or to order the surrender of an accused located in any third State. It did not hinder the Court’s operation since most of the suspected perpetrators were in custody in Sierra Leone.   

 Darussman Panel

 Now in the case of Sri Lanka, the Darussman Panel appointed by UN Secretary General, Ban-ki- Moon with the ostensible purpose of advising him personally on accountability in Sri

Lanka, recommended to him the establishment of an independent authority (nature not specified) to go into the account of accountability. Despite the Panel report being considered a document containing personal advice to the SG ” and not a public document of the UN which claims were at times very confusing – the report was surreptitiously placed before the UNHRC session in Geneva by the HR High Commissioner Navi Pillay. Mr.Moon only claimed his ignorance of what happened in the inimitable style of a Chinese porker player!

 Gains in status

 The Panel Report has since gained status advancing from an ‘unofficial document’ at the UN in New York to an ‘official’ document at the UNHRC sessions in Geneva. As the High Commissioner Navi Pillay told the current session, the UNHRC has two documents now before it, one the Panel report and the other, Sri Lanka’s LLRC [Report] recommendations. However, in her statements she has given precedence to the Panel Report as a ‘standard setting’ document. The Sri Lankan Report falls short of that criteria according to both the Panelists and the High Commissioner, the shortcomings in it being the absence of a time ”frame for implementation of its recommendations and lack of accountability.

 The Panelists enter the UNHRC debate

 The article published in the New York Times (NYT)  on 2nd March 2012 under the name of the three Darussmn Panelists establishes beyond any doubt, not only the prejudiced nature of the Panel’s findings but the personal agenda these the panelists had harboured when they wrote their report. The present manifestation by them in their letter to NYT first calling for support for the US sponsored resolution and at the same time calling for the UNHRC “to create an independent investigative body to determine the facts and identify those responsible, as ….recommended in … the [panel] report”, demonstrates that their objective had not been to report to the Secretary General  as an independent un-involved party but as a committed party with partisan interest.

There is no reason otherwise, for the Trio to write to the New York newspaper at this stage. The article alleges President Rajapaksa promising Secretary General Moon that “he would address the question of accountability for violations against civilians” [but]…….[w]hen, a year later, the govt. had done nothing to carry out Rajapaksa’s commitment, it says the Secretary ” General asked the “three of us” to study the allegations of atrocities during the last stages of the war and Sri Lanka’s response.”

Moon’s credibility in question

This public statement by the Panelists now brings Secretary General Moon’s credibility into question. The three Panelists seem to have taken over Moon’s burden to explain what motivated him to appoint without the approval of the UN, a Panel to offer him personal advise  when there was a competent highly paid Secretariat consisting of an international civil service. Mr. Moon never went on record claiming publicly any prevarication on the part of the Sri Lankan President. He repeatedly claimed that he was appointing the Panel to advice himself in his personal capacity and nothing more. He did not even say that the Report would be placed in the public domain; or he would be submitting it to the UNHRC in Geneva but the Report was surreptitiously placed there by Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.

Even if Mr.Moon tried to make a pretense that he did not know about its appearance in Geneva, it could not have happened without his personal knowledge. He was obviously playing, as I said earlier, a bit of Chinese Poker there. Human Rights High Commissioner, Navi Pillay made full use of the Report at UNHRC session at which it was placed and even at the current session she is drawing attention to it and even contrasting the LLRC recommendations have not come up to the standards mentioned in the Panel’s report.

 All this sounds curious now. Don’t these strange developments give credence to the conspiracy theory in which the Secretary General himself cannot absolve himself of being an accomplice?

  Panelists’ continued opposition to LLRC      

What makes the so called independent Panelists to take this unusual step of posting a public article in NYT at this stage? The acceptance of the LLRC recommendations as a positive contribution all round by member countries including the US, until the US Delegate John C Mariz speaking later stated in his address that the LLRC report did not include “any plan to implement its recommendations, nor did  it adequately address the crucial issue of accountability”. Despite this fine tuning of the US’s position, – it seems to come in doses, not at once ” the general opinion expressed by the Panelists about the LLRC is a serious affront to them. They accused the Sri Lankan Government earlier that  “…[r]ather than tackling these allegations head-on through a truth commission or criminal investigations , Sri Lanka created a “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” whose mandate , composition and methods all cast serious doubts on its willingness to uncover what really happened in those fateful months.”  (Now repeated in NYT article).

Furthermore, they are disturbed that the LLRC, as they say, ignored or played down “our report’s conclusion and characterized civilian deaths as stemming from the army’s responses to Tamil Tiger shelling or cross-fire ” as sporadic, exceptional and mostly inevitable in the heat of battle.”

That should surely be disturbing to the Panelists because their lack of objectivity in deciding the cause of the civilian deaths has been exposed. The Panelists have now shed all pretentions and brazenly claim that “the bulk of that total [deaths] was attributable to deliberate, indiscriminate, or disproportionate governmental attacks on civilians, through massive shellings and aerial bombardment, including on clearly marked hospitals.”

Now the Trio tries create further sensation by claiming they found credible evidence that both sides had symmetrically flouted the laws of war, leading to as many as 40,000 deaths, – many multiples more than caused by the strife in Libya and Syria. Besides the serious doubt about the basis on which these figures were arrived at, the Panelists are guilty of presenting an unverifiable state of affairs.

This comparison is completely uncalled for considering that the situations were totally different. In Sri Lanka, the government forces were meeting a ruthless terrorist force which was highly trained in both conventional and guerilla warfare fighting to destabilize a democratically elected government and holding civilians as a protective shield.

If the Panelists wanted a statistical comparison to enhance the dimensions of the Sri Lankan situation, in fairness, the comparison could have been made with the numbers killed in North Vietnam of US bombing sprees “Rolling Thunder” which has been put at 182,000, not counting others burned and maimed including the destruction of vegetation as a result of the use of Napalam bombs, and the several millions of women and children who died in Iraq through starvation and malnutrition alone during the two wars there (I watched it from neighbourhood), the second war looking for non-existing WMDs. This is not to plead that civilian deaths in Sri Lanka should be ignored because worst crimes were committed by the US and her allies elsewhere but there has to be a justification for the numbers quoted and in the comparisons made.

In a critique of the internal mechanism process that the government has set up, the Panelists say “When it came to proposing next steps for the government, it called for investigations by the same entities ” the army and the attorney general ” who have a track record of ignoring government abuses for decades.”

 Good word marginal

The only good thing the Panelists now say about the LLRC is really marginal, i.e. that the “report had some welcome elements, too… [in that]….it recognized some of the root causes of the war, as well as the responsibility of both the government and Tigers for civilian casualties…… And it endorsed  our view that Sri Lanka had to provide truth, justice and reparations to victims; release detainees, and protect the state’s besieged journalists.”

The reference to the government’s record of “numerous recommendations of prior commissions of inquiry ….not [having] been implemented by the government” has no relevance. That is not a remark for even  a so called independent group to recommend to the UNSG. It only further strengthens the view that the Panelists were biased from the start.

 Correcting the defeat of 2009

The Panelists are harping back to the Resolution of 2009 and calling for correcting “that embarrassing defeat”. They are not satisfied with that alone. They see Sri Lanka’s “unwillingness” to take concrete steps, and argue that the best way to get to the truth is for the Council to “create an independent investigative body to determine the facts and identify those responsible, as we recommended in our report.” This is the crux of the matter. This long term plan of the Panelists to rope in Sri Lanka as a country which committed serious war crimes and place her in the same category as other countries like former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Sierra Leone commenced even before the end of the war.

It is now clear that Mr.Moon selected the members of the Panel not for their record of integrity and independence but because he was advised that with their committed bias towards the LTTE or against Sri Lankan government’s institutions as Darusman displayed, it would be the best team to make a report emphasizing Sri Lankan government’ accountability for civilian deaths and suffering and alleged infringement of human rights and International humanitarian laws. What Secretary General Moon was looking for was a document which would highlight the Sri Lankan Government’s responsibility while making a pretention of the crimes and atrocities committed by the opposing party, which would help him find an alternative way to pressurize Sri Lanka over accountability.

 Unhappy over 2009 Resolution

The Panelists are unhappy that the UNHRC adopted the Resolution in 2009 which was advantageous to Sri Lanka. They want to see it undone. So they are now supporting the US and others to pass a new Resolution tying down Sri Lanka to a definitive time frame to implement the LLRC recommendations which the Panelists once declared, could not be expected from the

LLRC but which “calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and additionally to take immediate steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and stated commitment to address serious allegations of violations of international law by initiating credible and independent investigations and prosecutions of those responsible for such violations, as well as seeks to strengthen the hand of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special mandate holders to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps.

 Vague terminology

The statements by the Panelists contain rather vague terminology such as the institution of “credible and independent investigations and prosecution of those responsible for such violations” . It is not clear whether the investigations are to be carried out by Sri Lankan authorities or not. The three Panelists complain that “when it came to proposing next steps for the government, it [LLRC] called for investigations by the same entities ” the army and the attorney general ” who have a track record of ignoring government abuses for decades.”

That shows a point of view submitted to UNSG and now repeated publicly by the Panelists that the investigations by the Sri Lankan Armed Services (Court Martial proceedings) and by the Attorney General through the Law Courts are not acceptable to the Panelists. The High Commissioner’s statements show agreement with that position though not so explicitly. For all intents and purposes, the Panelists are demanding an investigative process by an independent authority outside these, i.e., an external mechanism.

They are asking the international community must now assume its duty to ensure that Sri Lanka fulfills its responsibilities to all its people and to the rest of the world. What this responsibility is clearly not stated. Ostensibly, it stands for a request to support the US Draft Resolution. That is as a first step. But they go beyond that in requesting an independent mechanism of investigation.

 Multi-Steps Strategy of the US Draft Resolution

The idea behind the Draft Resolution may outwardly be seen as an attempt to pressurize Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of the LLRC but it is not intended as ordinary pressure. It contains several steps . The first is to commit Sri Lanka to a time-frame for implementation. The next and more significant and insidious step is to empower the office of the High Commissioner (Navi Pillay) and “relevant special mandate holders “to provide advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and the GOSL to, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept”.

 Removing the Initiative from Sri Lankan Government

Tying down Sri Lanka to a time frame will not leave her with time and space to examine the involvements in a judicious manner taking into consideration, overall interests of the country including security dimensions. This can have dangerous consequences especially for the security of the country with the LTTE rump very active overseas under the benign countenance of host governments.

The next step of “encouraging” the Human Rights Commissioner and other unspecified “relevant special procedures” with initiatives to provide advice and technical assistance on implementing “those” steps (that means drawing up the time frame and the implementation process of LLRC recommendations) and making it mandatory for GOSL to accept that “advice and technical assistance” removes the initiative from the GOSL and places it in the hands of the office of the High Commissioner and other “relevant mandate holders.” The terminology “encouraging” used here might look harmless at a glance but when read with the next provision which makes it obligatory for Sri Lanka to “accept” the advice, the terminology “encouraging” does not appear to so harmless.

It could even amount to ‘empowering” the High Commissioner and other special procedures to provide a blueprint such as the appointment of a Special Court for investigation into the situation in Sri Lanka, It would seem to me that Darussalam Recommendations are brought into the context here with the use of the modified terminology of ” relevant special procedures.”  It could be argued that the appointment of a Panel by UNSG to advice him is a special procedure and that way the Panel’s report could be brought into context as High Commissioner Navi Pillay has tried to all along. The Draft Resolution now strengthens the hands of both the Panel and the High Commissioner.

As a result of bequeathing its sovereign rights to an official and other unspecified bodies, which will result if the draft resolution is adopted as it is, will place Sri Lanka in an unenviable situation of cutting the ground under its own feet.

If adopted the Draft Resolution will also become a precedent which will apply to other country situations.

Reminder

It is just as well to remember that Sierra Leone was persuaded by special agreement with UN to agree to render to the Court to be established, primacy over domestic prosecutions in Sierra Leone and to issue binding orders to the government of Sierra Leone.

It should also be noted that the US sponsored Draft Resolution incorporates a binding order on Sri Lanka to accept the advice and technical assistance on the implementation of LLRC recommendations including the time frame. Though not as explicit as the Agreement between UN and the Sierra Leone government, such a Resolution could finally lead Sri Lanka to a ‘no return’ situation. With the first objective achieved at the level of the UN High Commissioner, the theatre could move to the Security Council itself, with Russia and China unable to assist Sri Lanka in a situation where it has been persuaded /compelled to surrender. The Resolution could be manipulated by the High Commissioner to achieve a similar objective as in Sierra Leone through this short ”cut procedure, reference to Security Council already being mandated under the “unspecified” relevant special procedure” provision.

Security Council Impotent

Presently, there is no possibility in respect of Sri Lanka to invoke a consensus at the Security Council as the US and her allies did in the case of former Yugoslavia despite Russian protest, or the way, they roped in Russia and China to support the liquidation of Libya more recently on the grounds of providing ‘protective’ air cover but in reality supporting the rebels and even conducting air attacks as the French Air Force did on government installations; or the way consensus was achieved in dealing with atrocities committed in Rwanda. In the circumstances, an alternative possible for action in respect of Sri Lanka was to go along with the Government of Sri Lanka on the appointment of an internal mechanism and supporting its recommendations.

The ground was prepared by commissioning a panel report in the guise of advising the UNSG which was followed by other inputs as Channel 4 Video. (Even an untrained mind can see that the so called naked victims of execution are light complexioned in contrast to dark complexioned and sun-baked LTTE carders. This is not the first time. In 1984, the French state television showed dead bodies of Moro insurgents as Tamil Tiger victims and on my protest admitted their error and provided half an hour interview for me at the next news reading of the day).

 US support for Moon Panelists

The US supported such an approach though Ban-ki Moon’s private Panelists had different views on the LLRC. Even at the current sessions of UNHRC, the US Under Secretary Maria Otero spoke in favour of the  LLRC’s findings but the US’s true position was revealed in the statement of John Mariz later on when he stated that the LLRC report did not include any plan to implement its recommendations, nor did  it adequately address the crucial issue of accountability. So it is clear that despite Mariz’s reservations, all round pressures are on Sri Lanka to agree to a tight implementation schedule of the LRRC recommendations.

 Strengthening of HR High Commissioner

The objective is also intended, in the circumstances of having no  prospects for a role for the Security Council, to strengthen the hand of the Office of the Human Rights High Commissioner ‘as the originating body’ which could take action to ‘advice’ the Government of Sri Lanka on the conduct an [independent] investigation on Sri Lanka, and binding Sri Lanka to such action. It is just not the UNHRC which is the elected body which is in focus but the High Commissioner’s Office which could spring into action. It is clear from the pronouncements of the High Commissioner that she is just seeking that role where the UNSG is unable to initiate any action.

The reference to empowering [other] unspecified “relevant mandate holders’ in an ENABLING Resolution is never heard of. Who are these ‘relevant mandate holders’? Why cannot they be named specifically? In my view, it has a purpose. It is, perhaps, to enable reference to the Security Council once the Resolution is passed and the High Commissioner takes the steps provided in the Resolution and Sri Lanka is made to comply with the procedure laid down in the Resolution in its present form. In that event, there is nothing much that Russia and China which have been supporting Sri Lanka by preventing a discussion in the Security Council could do except to go along as they did in other cases.

 Dangerous Precedent

It is then a very dangerous precedent creating procedure to allow the office of an official like the High Commissioner to initiate action untrammelled by the elected members of the UNHRC. The present incumbent’s actions have amply demonstrated the course of action she has planned out. It is no different from what the Darussman Panelists Trio have proposed, i.e., passing on investigations to an independent body. It is now seen that the High Commissioner is the one who is making effective use of the Darussman report and not UNSG who seems to have abdicated the responsibility to her.

There is no possibility of appointing a special court for Sri Lanka under the present circumstances [for example, as in the case of former Yugoslavia (ITCY) and Rwanda (ITCR) ].as the ‘…. independent authority’ which both the Panelists and High Commissioner seeks to establish. This is why both parties are supporting the US sponsored resolution which empowers the High Commissioner in the first instance.

 Sierra Leone Model for Sri Lanka

But the way the situation is developing, there is prospect of trapping the govt. of Sri Lanka to agree to an arrangement like adopted in the case of Sierra Leone. In the latter case, the Special Court which was finally appointed was “a hybrid consisting of both international and Sierra Leonean staff members and differed to some extent from the two ad hoc tribunals”, the ICTY and ICT R. The Sierra Leonean Court, as outlined at the beginning, is based on a treaty agreement between the U.N. and the Sierra Leonean government. Following that agreement, on August 14, 2000, the U.N. Security Council adopted Resolution 1315, which requested “the Secretary-General to negotiate an agreement with the Government of Sierra Leone to create an independent special court,” whose jurisdiction “should include notably crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law,” and whose personal jurisdiction would be “over persons who bear the greatest responsibility” for these crimes “including those leaders who, in committing such crimes, have threatened the establishment of and implementation of the peace process in Sierra Leone.” The Security Council asked the Secretary-General to produce a detailed blueprint for the special court.

Unlike the ad hoc tribunals, the Special Court in respect of Sierra Leone cannot assert primacy over national courts of other states nor can it mandate the handover of accused individuals located in another state but there was no obstruction to proceedings as all suspects were under the custody of the Sierra Leone authorities. But this was no impediment to the proceedings as most of the suspects were in custody in Sierra Leone.

The Sierra Leone situation then offers some parallels to Sri Lanka’s situation in that like Sri Lanka requesting the Norwegians to facilitate/mediate in a settlement of the conflict, the Sierra Leone government was looking for an effort to break the cycle of violence and begin the process of reconciliation. In the case of Sri Lanka, there was no request for the UN to intervene in ending the conflict ” that was a wise move ” and the opening for the UN did not present itself. It was done through the Norwegian facilitator who turned mediator. However, soon after the end of the war, UNSG after a visit to the island and an aerial inspection of war ravaged areas, began to speak of ‘accountability’. He appointed a panel to advice him personally on the course of direction he should take.

Attempts by the US to discuss Sri Lanka at the Security Council was thwarted by Russian and Chinese intervention. The Panelists through their present intervention are trying to bring it (their report)  to the arena of public domain and create new space for its discussion in the background of the US sponsored Draft Resolution.

Mr.Moon’s initiative, which is rather unusual, appeared to be an attempt to find an alternative way to surface the Sri Lankan issue. The venue has been shifted to UNHRC in Geneva with the High Commissioner Navi Pillay playing the lead role. Her stance of calling for the appointment of an independent investigating authority and Mr. Moon’s private Panel’s findings coincide.

 Conclusion

As I see the scenario discussed above sets out what might emerge if the Draft Resolution goes through as it is. The initial acceptance of the findings of the LLRC recommendations by the US before delegate John Martiz dissected it and found there was no accountability and a time frame, seemed to have been intended to prod the Sri Lankan delegation to a path of complacency and concentrate on the LLRC recommendations and their implementation.

Minister Samarasinghe’s statement only tried to downgrade the growing opposition calling it the result of misinformation by the Diaspora and other interested parties. Some have seen this as diplomacy. I would not. The Minister missed, if not ignored, the far more insidious underlying plan behind the movers of the Draft Resolution. That is the one that the Sri Lankan delegation should have comprehended and understood with its damaging implications for Sri Lanka as well as on other countries which provided grounds for building up a broad consensus against the Draft Resolution.

The main thrust of our strategy then should have been to tackle the issue of this danger emanating from empowering the office of the UNHRC High Commissioner and unspecified “relevant mandated bodies” with authority to act where the Security Council has become impotent. It can be seen that even India despite her prevarications/vacillations seems to be concerned over Clause 3 of the Draft Resolution. That provision can boomerang on India herself as much as many other countries which have skeletons in their own cupboards.

I doubt if that opportunity was used by the Sri Lanka delegation except in statements made later by Ambassador Kunanayakam after Minister Samarasighe left Geneva.

Dr. G. L.Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, as a rare legal brain could not have missed to see these implications and I am sure he would have emphasized it during his meetings with African leaders. I say African leaders because he was seen visiting these countries leaving the affairs in Geneva to Minister Samarasinghe. Looking at the list of geographical groups, it seems to me the large African group vote is vital. Building up contacts with African countries should have been a continuing process and not one to be put off for the last minute. So are the links with the Arab group. This was what I was doing in Paris for ten years as Minister of the Embassy and later as Ambassador. I was the governmentt’s link with the Arab League visiting the head quarter in Tunis and also Algiers as special envoy several times, including the 25th anniversary  celebration of the Algerian Revolution though I was not the accredited Ambassador to these places. This does not mean we should overlook Asia. One sees how Philippines seems to be defying us. This is understandable. So is the Latin American/Caribbean group. One should not underestimate US’s coercive influence in all these areas. The task appears formidable with all the forces converging on Geneva against Sri Lanka.

In the final analysis, for the US and the West, the moves at foot appear to be aimed at a regime change they are looking for their own reasons. Regime changes have taken place in countries of Sri Lanka’s intimate circle. Others are being threatened. The enthroning of the US led Draft Resolution in support of which all forces have been mustered, not excluding the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, Rev. Rayappu, Rev.Desmond Tutu, the Panelists, Channel Four Video, the Diaspora, the NGOS, may point to a determined effort put several leading personalities in the country behind bars. That is how it is sought to effect the regime change.

The success of the Resolution at the UNHRC itself could also see the country being led to chaos, divided again and even with the prospects of a permanent division looming in the distance rather than leading to a real reconciliation process. The government has to take strong security precautions like strengthening of naval surveillance and military readiness to meet an eventuality.

Sri Lanka’s Initial Response 

In the beginning itself, confusion was created by spreading news that Sri Lanka was ready to “discuss” the draft Resolution with its movers. The Sri Lankan Ministerial delegation led by Mahinda Samarasinghe swallowed the bait and started with a denial of such discussions but the ploy had its result. Samarasinghe took up a less adversarial outlook in his statement than what the Sri Lankan Foreign Office was thinking of. The latter was for “no negotiations’ or ‘no surrender of principles’ approach. That was perhaps demonstrated by External Affairs Minister, Dr.G.L.Peiris considering the invitation of State Secretary Hillary Clinton as a lesser priority. Critics who are not familiar with diplomatic nuances have criticized Dr Peiris for not taking the opportunity but perhaps, he saw it as a trap and avoided it. Such a visit would not have stopped America going ahead with its plan of submitting a Draft Resolution. On the contrary, the pre Council sessions scenario in Geneva trapped Minister Samarasinghe to a conciliatory and defensive position.

[The writer was a senior Sri Lankan diplomat in Europe for over ten years and was Ambassador to France, Switzerland, Spain and the Vatican. He was honoured by Pope John Paul II with the Vatican’s highest honour and was the first Sri Lankan Ambassador to receive that honour).

10 Responses to “Will Sri Lanka end up in a Sierra Leone type Situation? Darussaman Panelists Feed the Conspiracy Theory”

  1. stanley perera Says:

    American, British and Canadian warships will occupy Trinco, Colombo, and Hambantota harbours. Sri Lankan air space is declared a no fly zone. MR will be removed from power and Fonseka will be appointed a caretaker government. North and East will be seperated and given over to TNA. MR will be charged in Sri Lanka for war crimes. This scenario will be the reality. Russia and China will do nothing. Tamil Nadoo will support North and East government and be a subsidiary of India or North and East will become part of India.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    SP,

    NO WAY! Don’t speculate on dooms day events of break up. Will NOT happen.

    That cannot happen as long as SL holds on to its MBRLs and a large number of small arms and use them wisely.

    MBRLs have a range of 27.5 km and one volley destroys completely an area of 10 Ha in certain areas.

    (S)Hitler tried to invade SMALL Switzerland. But Switzerland diplomatically indicated what “MAY” happen if the Germans invaded them.

    Hon Gamini Dissanayake outlined a similar strategy on 5 September 1983. It SAVED SL from a PLANNED Endian invasion and protected peace and people.

    Please google “on 5 September 1983, Gamini Dissanayake” and you will find the statement.

    When it comes to national security and protection of the sacred nation of SL, anything is OK. The end justifies the means.

    The point is NOT that it will happen. It will NEVER happen. The point is defence by potential offence (NOT actual) is the best defence. No bloodshed only showing off the teeth will DETER the invader until such time the world community will DEFUSE tensions.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Russia, China, etc. should finance Mexicans to push for SELF DETERMINATION in southern US states.

    They should also help African Americans gain their self respect and HOMELAND within USA.

    Mexicans in USA doubled from 1990 to 2010 and redouble by 2024 and will be the largest ancestral group by 2026.

    Mexican language should be made the official language in Mexican majority states.

    MANY Americans have guns so it will be fun. I love to see how they will struggle to cope up with it. The world should rally around human rights violated Mexicans and African Americans.

    Islamic people will be 35% of UK in another 2 decades. Russia, China and Saudi should help them achieve their legal status, Sharia, etc. in the UK. That will be TOTAL FUN.

    UK and USA the biggest anti-democracy countries are undermined from WITHIN!! Give them 25 years and they will look totally different. We MUST maintain our Sinhala Buddhist UNITARY identity at ANY COST. Let the secular countries SINK into violence and break-up.

    It’s a matter of time! It’s a matter of time!

  4. stanley perera Says:

    My dear Lorenso, I love my country Sri Lanka that gave me free education. I studied with help of the bottle lamp. I am indebted to my motherLlanka. If not for the free education to-day I would be just nobody. It hurts me so much when those racist separatists are attacking Sri Lanka. I love to see all Sri Lankans living as one united nation. What I said is the strategy racist Tamils are working for. I wish and pray it will not happen.

  5. Lorenzo Says:

    With you Stanley. I know you are one TRUE patriot who calls a spade a damn spade unlike some cardboards.

    It indeed is their strategy but we will summon even the devil himself to bust it. Our MBRLs cover ALL TERMITE GHETTOES.

    Trying to split SL comes at a HUGE COST to Termites. A LOT of collateral damage. So much they will not produce another SEPARATIST for 100 years.

  6. SA Kumar Says:

    stanley perera
    the strategy racist Tamils are working for.- Not agreed but strategy Indian are working & work all the time in Mother Lanka.
    We Tamil has been trained & wiped out by Indian with out blood in (Indian)their hand( blood in We Tamils & Sinhalese hand).

    Have We learned any think ?? No

  7. mjaya Says:

    Patriots! Have some good news….From LankaCNews lankacnews[dot]com/sinhala/news/111585/

    Apparently the NIC office has become a mess due to the new Tamil contaminated ID cards!!!!!!!!!!!

    ..and guess what… Sinhalese people are complaining that their names written in Tamil are wrong!!!!!!!!!

    The message has got through….way to go ……. way to go!!!!!!!

    We should keep up the fight!!! IDs for SINHALESE should be in SINHALESE ONLY!!!!

  8. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    I find the comparison of the Sri Lanka war against Tamil Terrorism to that of the civil war in Sierra Leone not compatible in any way. As stated the war in Sri Lanka was never a civil war. During the 28 year long war Colombo had a population whose ethnic makeup was 30% Sinhalese, 30% Tamil and 30% Muslim with the remainder being of Christian and other faiths such as the Parsees. In addition across Sri Lanka Sinhalese and Tamils coexisted peacefully except for the Northern and Eastern provinces where the Tamil Tigers had control.

    Unlike Sierra Leone the people of Sri Lanka did not want to overthrow any government, but the terrorist outfit the Tamil Tigers did. A more applicable similarity would be India’s war against the Khalistan movement for independence of the Punjab. Like Sri Lanka it was led by a terrorist outfit against New Delhi and led by a man named Brindanwale, and like Sri Lanka the movement was crushed through operation blue star where the Indian military encroached into the sacred grounds of the Golden Temple thereby violating the Sikh belief of the promised safety of anyone who takes refuge in the Golden Temple or the Sikh faith’s Vatican. In the process many innocent lives were killed.

    Even here there is a difference. The innocent lives killed in Operation Blue star were “collateral damage” while those killed in the end of the Sri Lankan war against Tamil terrorism was a military decision to break through the “human shield” created by LITE. India’s act should not have taken place as it is estimated around five thousand innocent lives were killed by the Indian air force. In the case of Sri Lanka the innocent people were part of the war as they were used to fend off the military.

    Unlike Sierra Leone Sri Lanka has the full support of two members of the Security Council (Russia and China) and even though the article states the UNHRC is assuming powers normally reserved for the Security Council they have not had the same clout as the SC. To date the UNHRC has failed twice in the human rights resolutions against Sri Lanka and the recent news is that the third human rights resolution is watered down to the dissatisfaction of the Tamil Diaspora, Tamil Nadu and the Tamil National Alliance.

    In summation there is more differences between what happened in Sri Lanka than any commonalities with the civil war in Sierra Leone.

  9. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    If Sri Lanka ever achieves the goal of hosting military bases for both China and Russia, Colombo will be in the negotiating position to request to become a formal member of Russia’s CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) and China’s SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) in exchange. If that were to ever happen Sri Lanka would emerge as one of the most important and strategic members of either organization since she would be the only member nation who gives Russia and China full access to the Indian ocean.

    By a single stroke Sri Lanka will emerge as a power center that would rival even India since being a member nation of the CSTO and/or the SCO will also mean sharing the power with two Security Council members and transferring the weapons technology to Sri Lanka. I would go as far to state that of all the member nations of either the CSTO and the SCO Sri Lanka would be the most relevant nation to Russia and China. This will also shield Sri Lanka from the NATO power, the US and the UK.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    I warned this could come.

    Crimea = Tamil speaking areas of SL (according to the INVADER)

    “Describing the first draft of the resolution tabled by the US, UK and other countries on Sri Lanka as sweet-coated poison, MDMK leader Vaiko has appealed to the Indian government to introduce a separate resolution calling for international, independent enquiry into the allegations of war crimes during the military offensive in 2009.

    Releasing three books authoried by MDMK functionaries in Chennai on Friday, Vaiko said the resolution also contain a call for referendum on separate Tamil Eelam among Tamils living the island and abroad, ENS reported.

    Vaiko also praised the Russian president Vladimir Putin for his stand on the Crimean issue and said “Russia is intervening on the sole reason that Crimea is a Russian language speaking part of Ukraine and India should follow suit”.

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