OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014
Posted on August 18th, 2014

Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Ontario Canada

 August 17, 2014

 Hon. Ban ki-Moon, Secretary General, UNO
Copy to: President, UNHRC, Geneva
Copy to: Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner  for Human Right, Geneva

 Hon. Ban ki-Moon,

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014

I am writing to you as a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin who is at a loss to understand the high handed manner in which senior officials on the United Nations Organization act in violation of their mandates defined by the UN Charter and Specific Resolutions which outlines the limits of authority.

It is regrettable that the UNHRC adopted the above Resolution at its sessions held in March 2014 granting the High Commissioner an investigative mandate in violation of HRC Resolution 60/251 and the IB package, which is in direct conflict with her limits of authority thereby making any findings null and void.

Furthermore, the Operative Paragraph lacks clarity when it refers to the engagement of so called ‘relevant experts’ without proper definition for the purposes of assisting the High Commissioner, leaving room to outsource the investigation to external sources as opposed to an investigation by the OHCHR, leading instead to an international investigation mechanism as a result of interpretation of ambiguous language contained therein. Also, it has to be pointed out that this Operative Paragraph which requests the OHCHR to conduct an independent investigation is clearly inconsistent with Operative Paragraph 2 which requires the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged violations.

Yet another matter is the exact period to be covered by the OHCHR investigation. According to HRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1, the period to be covered by the OHCHR investigation was to be identical to that covered by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), i.e. February 21, 2002 to May 19, 2009. It has now been observed that the High Commissioner has on her own extended the period of the investigation from February 2002 to November 15, 2011. This is highly irregular, and is in direct variance with the enabling Resolution adopted at the March 2014 session of the UNHRC. If at all, the Resolution should have called for the investigation of the entire period of the armed conflict which commenced in 1983 and ended on May 19, 2009, as it now leaves out a major portion of the atrocities committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam prior to February 2002 and IPKF operations without any valid reason. The High Commissioner should be told in no uncertain terms that she has no authority to make material changes to a Resolution already adopted by the member countries, and should immediately take steps to rectify the period of the OHCHR investigation to coincide with the period covered by the LLRC.

If one were to consider the serious violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by major western countries in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Drone attacks in Pakistan and across other international boundaries, which have been clearly established and thus proven, yet where no such international investigations have been launched by the UN or UNHRC. The selective nature of probing events in Sri Lanka based on unproven claims deemed as Credible Allegations” raises many questions about the non-principled and arbitrary conduct of the UN body.

You are no doubt aware of the so called Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka appointed from outside the UN system without the authority of the UNGA, UNSC or the UNHRC, thereby exceeding the authority granted to you per Chapter XV, Articles 97 and 98, to solely advice the UNSG on issues of accountability during the final stages of the armed action taken against the internationally designated terrorist organization known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), aka Tamil Tigers. This report is strangely leaked by your office, which the High Commissioner later attempts to table same at the UNHRC sessions when it had no legal standing. Needless to say, it was a one-sided inquiry conducted by panelists who had previously expressed their clear bias against Sri Lanka, that downplayed the UN Resident Representative’s count of 7721 deaths said to have occurred from August 2008 to May 13, 2009, and instead given credence to exaggerated guesstimates by rights groups located outside Sri Lanka which range from 40,000 upwards during the said period. Whereas the Tamilnet, a propaganda arm of the LTTE reported a total of 7398 deaths during the latter stages from January 1 to May 19, 2009 without distinguishing between Tamil Tiger cadres and non-combatant civilians. The census carried out by Sri Lanka in 2012 using Tamil enumerators reported a total of 7432 deaths of both cadres and civilians. The panel acknowledged that the distinction between cadres and civilians had been blurred as a large segment of the LTTE cadres battled in civilian attire.

According to the Op-Ed column written by B.S. Raghavan appearing in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper of June 25, 2010, he has stated that: Sri Lanka is a sovereign, independent country, having the indisputable right under the UN Charter itself, to act in its best judgment on issues relating to its internal affairs, especially where maintenance of peace and security is concerned.”   The double standards being applied by the UNSG overlooking glaring violations in other theatres involving major powers, and pursuing an interventionist role in Sri Lanka despite the absence of directives from the General Assembly, Security Council, or the UNHRC, will no doubt lead to the waning of confidence in the organization and making it irrelevant.

The UNSG’s Panel took the unusual step of locking up the evidence gathered for 20 years, and further declared that none of the allegations contained in their report had been proven, and that the report fell short of standards required of a UN report. Despite all of its shortcomings, it becomes the basis of Navi Pillay’s ( whose Tamil community of South Africa were active supporters of the LTTE’s separatist goals) plank to try and shame and punish Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka made six separate attempts over two decades to negotiate a peace deal, but finally used her military when a war was thrust on her by the Tamil Tigers in 2006 to eliminate three decades of Tamil Tiger terrorism in the country.

I hope that you would realize the damage done to the United Nations Organization by career oriented officials like yourself who in the pursuit of personal goals of advancement lose sight of the organization’s goals and become tools in the hands of major powers with geo-political agendas. I trust you will see the futility of the combined actions of yourself and the High Commissioner against a sovereign member country even at this stage, and rectify your ways before you do more harm to the world body of which you are entrusted to uphold fairness and evenly serve the member nations.

 Yours sincerely,

 Mahinda Gunasekera

13 Responses to “OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    There was no war from 2009 to 2011 so there is NOTHING to investigate!

    It was damn foolish for the govt. to withdraw MOST of the army from the north. Now govt. has NO leverage against these action.

  2. AnuD Says:

    Sri Lanka has to become the CUBA in the Indian Ocean.

  3. AnuD Says:

    What they are doing do with a specific agenda. Kneeling in front of them, crying out loud to them will not work.

    There should another way to over come this.

    I remember some one suggesting that After the LTTE defeat Sri Lanka should become militarily independent, I mean, we must have our own defence industry.

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    “we must have our own defence industry”

    Not a good plan. For our own defence industry to be COMPETITIVE (otherwise it is useless), we have to invest BILLIONS in it. It is NOT worth it. ALL our defence purchases now are from China. Whatever it is China will sell us weapons.

    What we should do is RESURRECT THE “LTTE” and use it to wipe out separatists, NGO jokers, Jihadists, TNA, etc.

    When the COST of punishing SL EXCEEDS the INTENDED BENEFITS FROM SL, they will stop.

    This way we can remain as we are without becoming a CUBA, avoid HR and war crimes allegations, keep the tourism industry money flowing and punish the enemies.

    We can use the “LTTE THREAT” excuse to militarize the north. “LTTE” can even attack POACHING Endian fishermen!!

    The best weapon today is a NON STATE ACTOR REGIMENT.

  5. SA Kumar Says:

    LTTE” can even attack POACHING Endian fishermen!!The best weapon today is a NON STATE ACTOR REGIMENT.
    You Thamil Sakkiliya you want IPKF to come back , donot you?

  6. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    To AnuD: It was I that repeatedly commented that Sri Lanka should develop her own defense industry. Not only would it make Sri Lanka independent of imported weapons but also make Sri Lanka an arm’s exporter which is one of the most lucrative markets in the world.

    The technology that comes with it also would compliment the nascent Sri Lankan Space industry and have commercial applications. It would give Sri Lanka not only the independence from other arm’s exporting nations but become a regional power along the lines of Israel to France and other Western powers.

    Sri Lanka should develop the entire range of modern weaponry, from small arms, grenades, to tanks and eventually jets. In order to get the technology for this most of it is already available. If not then bring in car and other machine manufacturing from Asian and Western nations to Sri Lanka whose duel technology is also applicable to the military.

    China has already invested in building arms manufacturing centers in Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka needs to generate enough of money to develop her own defense industry. One easy route is the diamond processing that brings India billions of dollars. Sri Lanka already has the talent to cut and polish gems. That massive ancient talent can then be put to use to import rough uncut diamonds and take a slice of this very lucrative market in order to fund the defense industry.

    Sri Lanka has a long tradition of producing state of the art weaponry that has saved her from so many invasions. Her strategic location makes Sri Lanka a natural nation to develop and advanced defense industry that can easily compete in prize and quality with the best of the world.

    I do not agree with Lorenzo that LTTE should be resurrected. Tamil Nadu is already doing that and the UNHRC is working along with the pro LTTE agents to demonize Sri Lanka. When India changed her government to that of the BJP China now is willing to not only include India in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization but will be visiting Narendra Modi’s state of Gujarat. I bring this example that unless Sri Lanka becomes a regional power by her own no nation would take her seriously, not even China.

    One of the biggest impediments for Sri Lanka are those who refuse to believe that Sri Lanka can emerge as anything than a tourist place. This small minded thinking can paralyze a nation as effectively as a war. If Israel which is much smaller than Sri Lanka can be an arms exporter so can Sri Lanka. If Singapore and Switzerland can be world financial centers so can Sri Lanka.

  7. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    To AnuD:

    One more issue. Sri Lanka’s wealth was never based on tourism. Romans, Greeks, to Arabs did not come to Sri Lanka to be tourists. That is a modern phenomenon and has many uses including the necessity to preserve Sri Lanka’s archaeological history and her wild life.

    Traditionally Sri Lanka’s wealth was based on exporting her spices, gems, grain and manufactured items. Her state of the art infrastructure developed by her ancient kings made her independent of food and her tradition of the Sanga made her people educated and civilized. Her strategic location has been noted by luminaries such as Ptolemy whose map of the world drew Sri Lanka disproportionately in size to that of India for being a port of call was also a money maker.

    The development of the US defense industry including her space industry took time. A great deal of that technology was imported. During “operation paperclip” the US imported one thousand Nazi scientists including Werner Von Broun who developed the V2 rocket. He later on became the head of the US NASA program and stayed as its head well into the 1960’s. These Nazi Scientists who committed heinous crimes were given full immunity for the technology they brought with them. That is the nature of modern defense industries.

    Finally India is making billions of dollars by launching satellites of other nations. It was due to the US defense industry that the technology from it created and advanced the US space industry. They are vitally interconnected. Just as Radio Ceylon was a success because of Sri Lanka’ strategic location Sri Lanka is perfectly positioned to develop her space industry, which again requires a good deal of knowledge of the development of a defense industry including Cryogenic engines for missiles and rockets. Sri Lanka stands to profit in the billions of dollars if her space industry is fully developed which would complement her defense industry.

    Sri Lanka has applied to the International Seabed Authority to expand her maritime holdings. If approved it would expand Sri Lanka’s maritime holdings from the current level of being seven times her landmass to 23 times her land mass. The mineral and oil wealth then would be immense. Sri Lanka needs the technology to harvest the rare earth minerals as well as the vast metals deposits, including the oil and gas that then become available to her. The dual use of a defense industry then becomes a necessity in importing available technology for undersea development and to set up an research and development infrastructure of her own.

    The implications of a domestic defense industry have far reaching applications and not limited to just producing weapons.

  8. douglas Says:

    To All Sri Lankan Expatriate Patriots who write articles and comments on this page:

    Please, Please, stop bashing US; UN; UNHRC; Western Nations. We have found a “WAY” of “WINNING” all these Nations and Institutions working against us. Our country has recently found a “GENIUS” in “PUBLIC RELATIONS”; a person of “EXTRA-ORDINARY TALENTS” to settle all our problems with these Nations. He is one of our own MPs elected by the all powerful and very wise electors of the country. He is Hon. Sajin Vas Gunawardane who has been assigned this all important task of “WINNING” the “Agnostic” Nations towards Sri Lanka. It is now a “DONE DEAL”. Here below are some of the “WORK” done by him and we all “indebted” to him. He has signed up with some of the “STRONGEST Public Relations Companies to do the work for us.

    1. Bellway Government Strategies located at 624 Vincent Park, Redondo Beach, Los Angeles. The Directors (at least some of them are very close to Obama) viz. Mark Skaruils, Mohamed Kahan, Deborah Gokberg.

    2. Burson Marsteller LLC.

    3. Madison Group.

    4. R & R Parners Inc. – Hired through Bellwel Government Strategies.

    The fees for the above institutions run into “Millions” per month and supposed to be well spent on “Strategic Development”. More interestingly Hon. Sajin Vas Gunawardane has signed as the “Monitoring MP of External Affairs” and his “Official Address” is given as “No 9/2 Dudley Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 8”. This address belongs to Korean International Co-0peration Agency.

    If any of you want to get details of these PR companies and what their functions are in offering services to foreign establishments; please feel free to go through the details of these “DEALS” filed with the US Department of Justice, mandated to collect documents relating to the clients.

    So please, please, refrain from “BASHING” these foreign nations and other world Agencies. We are on the “CORRECT TRACK” towards “WINNING” them and extending us that “Friendly Hand-Shake” and we waiting to say “AYUBOWAN”.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    Douglas,

    DON’T be so PESSIMISTIC.

    GOSL is TRYING. Some of our diplomats are USELESS. There are not enough USEFUL diplomats in stock to replace them either. Even if we had the BEST of diplomats, which western country would listen to them?

    We need PR agencies not just for to counter war crimes BS but also to promote SL business and tourism in these countries.

    Thank g~d for Sajin Vas Gunawardane. Otherwise that DEVOLUTION LOSER GLP (who worshipped Anton Balla LTTE loser with your excellency) will change SL’s foreign policy. Devolution is the CURSE of this country.

    But I don’t know if THESE PR companies are the BEST for the job.

    FYI NO ONE said not to bash western countries.

  10. Dilrook Says:

    We have many times written about the absurdity of marketing campaigns when dealing with accountability issues. Before the last UNHRC session, a number of well meaning patriots were engaged in various marketing campaigns including meeting foreign diplomats and explaining them the true situation in the country, writing to them and educating them. Some met a very large number of diplomats from many western countries and presented them with documents containing facts. However, this was proved to be a grand waste of time as all their efforts came to nothing. As expected western nations voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC session, again.

    It was a debacle of a defeat. Accepting it was a defeat is the first step in correcting it. I blame the debacle on all these marketing campaigns (known by various fancy terms). They all fail.

    The only way forward is a domestic war crimes investigation based on the assumption that what happened in Sri Lanka from 1983 to 2009 was an armed conflict (war). Thankfully it is now happening.

    It is unthinkable the government is wasting more money on further marketing campaigns; very expensive ones. It failed many times and we must learn from these failures.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    douglas/ Dilrook
    the government is wasting more money on further marketing campaigns !
    Why can not spent is money in war effected area through both CM ( NP & EP) & let our both CMs to stop all outsider (stick & carrat policy).

  12. SA Kumar Says:

    Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha
    If Singapore and Switzerland can be world financial centers so can Sri Lanka.

    Excellent ideas but can you give your owe idea to solve our ethnic problem ,
    please do not tell me we do not have problem as we all know we lost 26,000 soldiers & 7,000 civilians(our Govt figures)

  13. Ben Silva Says:

    I agree with Anud that we should have our own defense industry and top believing in the passive dangerous Indian myths that even Indians do not believe.

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