Geneva report as acid test
Posted on February 15th, 2015

Island Editorial  Courtesy Island

A government effort to secure UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s assistance to have the March 25 release of UNHRC war crimes report on Sri Lanka delayed has come a cropper. The UNSG reportedly told Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at a recent meeting in New York that it was an issue for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Minister Samaraweera has said in Washington that the situation at home is fragile and, therefore, the government is seeking a postponement of the release of the report at issue till September. We thought the situation was quite stable here. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is backed by all parties represented in Parliament. Its budget has been passed with a huge majority. There is no way the SLFP can unsettle the government with President Maithripala Sirisena at its helm.

When the two main parties cooperate in this manner how can the situation be described as fragile?

Why is the government so desperate to have the release of the Geneva report postponed? If the document is released as scheduled it will have to make a stand on the recommendations therein. If it rejects the report out of hand it will antagonise not only the western countries behind the UNHRC action against Sri Lanka but also the TNA which has welcomed an international war crimes probe. It will be politically suicidal for the government to accept the UNHRC report with only four months to go for a general election. Such action will cost the UNP dear in terms of votes in the so-called southern electorates, especially the ones former President Mahinda Rajapaksa won comfortably in last month’s presidential race.

President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe during the presidential election campaign vowed to defend those responsible for the country’s successful war on terror. Interestingly, Sirisena claimed he had functioned as Acting Defence Minister during some crucial stages of the conflagration. Several prominent members of the then Opposition such as Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, Rajiva Wijesinha and M. M. Zuhair warned that the country would have to face economic sanctions if Rajapaksa was re-elected; the only way to avoid disaster, they said, was to effect a regime change before the UNHRC summit in March. Many people who had earlier voted for the UPFA to protect political and military leaders who won the war took the then Opposition’s assurances and warnings seriously and voted against Rajapaksa last month to usher in good governance.

It is only after the release of the UNHRC report that people will really know whether the country has benefited from last month’s regime change as regards the UNHRC action and how the new government will handle the Geneva issue.

The government obviously wants to avoid making a stand on the UNHRC report before the next general election expected in June. If the UNHRC agrees to postpone the release of the report, it will be accused of politicising and compromising its human rights agenda which it is expected to pursue regardless of political situations in member states.

The UN continues to draw heavy flak from internationally reputed personalities. Former UNSG Kofi Annan and ex-Norwegian PM Gro Harlem Brundtland have, in a recent opinion piece in The New York Times, accused the UN of having failed to serve its primary purpose—saving the world from wars—and called for making the organisation stronger and effective.

UN human rights chief, Al Hussein, has earned a reputation as a tough, fiercely independent, no-nonsense international civil servant. But, if the UNHRC, on his watch, gives in to western pressure and delays the release of its Sri Lanka report he will be seen to be as malleable as his immediate predecessor.

There is absolutely no reason why the release of the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka should be delayed. This country has to face it. The sooner the better! Whether it is issued in March or August does not make much of a difference for the ordinary Sri Lankans.

Let the report be released in March as scheduled so that Sri Lankans will be able to see, before the next parliamentary election, what is in it and how the government will respond to the Geneva challenge/threat. That will be the real acid test for the new dispensation.

8 Responses to “Geneva report as acid test”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Geeth,

    OK. I will work DOUBLE HARD to bring back MR or GR and get rid of this govt. IF MR promises on JAYA SRI MAHA BODHIYA or SHRI DALADA MALIGAWA to SCRAP 13 amendment. A FIRM commitment is needed BEFORE the election.

    I will put all the resources at my disposal, all regime change skills to DEFEAT the UNITED NINCOMPOOP PARTY and bring back GR or MR IF MR promises to SCRAP 13 amendment. NOT otherwise.

    We have no time to lose. As a first step we MUST STOP the UNP govt. from fooling the voters.

    All patriots,

    1. Create email (preferably gmail) accounts under Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim names.

    2. Also create an account with a psuedo HUMAN RIGHTS group name.

    e.g. SL human rights protection group, Thamil Makkal human rights group, etc., United Lanka Madrasas for human rights

    3. WRITE to UNHRC and US, UK, Endia, etc. embassies PLEADING to release the report on SL in MARCH. NOT later. Give some reasons you can think that is APPEALING to the READER (not to you).

    e.g. “We are waiting for justice.” “Justice delayed is justice denied”. “We waited for 6 years and nothing.” Some BS that is appealing to UNHRC clowns.

    IF we can get this report out BEFORE the election, UNP is DEAD meat. IT has to take a stand. PRO-REPORT, lose Sinhala votes. ANTI-REPORT lose Tamil and Muslim votes. UNP will CRACK right from the middle.

    There are 260,000 army, navy, etc. forces personnel. NO ONE KNOWS who will end up in jail or hung for war crimes. So ALL of them will panic. They have 260,000 WIVES and (260,000 + 260,000) X 4 = 2,080,000 parents and/or siblings. We are talking about 2.6 MILLION votes here.

    IF we can get many to write to them, they will be influenced to DO THE RIGHT THING – release the report in MARCH within the 100 day program.

    Don’t forget USA and Endia will be OUT of UNHRC SOON. They too are under pressure!! They cannot delay. BTW the report is READY.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Ado Yakko “Facebook” Lorenzo!

    You have DONE your very best to CAUSE ENOUGH DAMAGE as it is! You WILL NOT BE GIVEN ANOTHER CHANCE to REPEAT the PERFORMANCE in the Upcoming General Election!

    PATRIOTS … DO NOT TRUST this DROHIYA and become HIS TOOL! REJECT all of his LAMENTATIONS & his OFFERS of HELP … He PURPOSE is TO DECEIVE and DRIVE the PATRIOTS off the CLIFF into the Ocean below in the UPCOMING ELECTION!

    He DESPERATELY SEEKS TO PRESERVE the DISASTER he HELPED to ENGINEER in the Presidential Election!

    NEVER TRUST A MAN who has BETRAYED you; ONCE is ENOUGH!

    HE DISPLAYS & PROVES his DEVIOUS & MACHIAVELLIAN NATURE in EVERY WORD he SPOUTS and EVERY PROPOSAL he MAKES! WOULD YOU TRUST SUCH A MAN even as FAR AS YOU CAN THROW A GRAND PIANO??

    ONCE a Drohiya; ALWAYS a Drohiya!

    Ado Yakko “Facebook” Lorenzo …. BEGONE … BUGGER OFF …. DEVIOUS EELAMIST SNAKE!

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Yamapalana Sudiya!

    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Biwwa Neda Yahapalanaya?
    Aney Magey Sirisena Paney,
    Kiyannako Attha Aney,
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanaya?
    Apita Pewwa Neda Yamapalanayaaa ….?

  4. SA Kumar Says:

    DROHIYA ( Thurohi) – Sinhala & Tamils have so many similar words .
    We both kallathonisa are fighting for some land .

  5. Indrajith Says:

    This is exactly what I said a few days ago. Please see my comment below in response to another article.

    ——————————————————————————————————————————

    Sri Lanka seeking a delay in releasing the report of UN investigation – report
    Thu, Feb 12, 2015, 09:18 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 12, Washington, DC: “Sri Lanka was seeking a delay of several months in the release of a United Nations report on the investigation of alleged war crimes committed during the country’s three-decade long war, a Reuters report said.

    Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his visit to Washington on Wednesday has told the reporters that the new government is seeking a delay in releasing the report of the UN Human rights Council mandated investigation by several months until the government had time to establish a mechanism to deal with the issue.

    “Once the report is finalized, we are hoping they can refer it to our domestic mechanism for action,” Samaraweera told reporters.

    “We are hoping they could hold on to it until our mechanism is in place – maybe August, you know, or so,” Reuters quoted Samaraweera as saying.

    The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein is scheduled to present the investigative report on the investigation mandated by the UNHRC at its 28th session in Geneva on March 25.

    It has been reported that the United States and its allies want to postpone the presentation to September, to give the new democratic and pro-Western government of Sri Lanka sufficient time to put in place a credible domestic mechanism to investigate the alleged war crime charges.

    However, when contacted by Reuters, UNHRC spokesman Rupert Colville has said that the report is still scheduled for release on March 25.”

    Our Mangala is asking to delay the release of UN report on war crimes against SL. Why? If it is released before the election, the new govt has to to reject it but if it is delayed until after the next general election, then they can officially accept it and take action against all those names metioned in the report. Kohomadha Tikiri Mole?

  6. Lorenzo Says:

    Indrajith,

    UNHRC must be pressurized to release the report within the 100 DAY PROGRAM. WRITE to them. Write under your group.

    BUST Our-Mangala’s plan using his OWN medicine!!

  7. Indrajith Says:

    No way! They’ve already agreed to delay the release of the report!

    ————————————————————————–

    UN Rights Chief agrees to delay presentation of UNHRC report on Sri Lanka
    Mon, Feb 16, 2015, 09:07 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Feb 16, Colombo: The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein has agreed to postpone the presentation of the report of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) mandated on the probe on alleged war crimes at the 28th session of the council next month.

    In a letter to the president of the UNHRC, which set up the investigation in March last year, Zeid has recommended delaying publication of the report from next month until the council’s 30th session in September, Reuters reported.

    Sri Lanka sought a delay of several months in the release of the UNHRC report on the investigation of alleged war crimes committed during the country’s three-decade long war.

    The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Prince was scheduled to present the investigative report on the investigation mandated by the UNHRC at its 28th session in Geneva on March 25.

    “My request is based on the changing context in Sri Lanka, and the signals of broad cooperation I have received from the Government, as well as the possibility that new information will become available for the report,” Zaid wrote in the letter seen by Reuters on Monday.

    The council will determine the report’s final publication date, although Zeid’s opinion will be influential in its decision.

    In his request to the Human Rights Council, Zeid appended a letter from Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, which set out reforms that the new government planned to implement within 100 days, including ensuring justice for war crimes.

    Minister Mangala Samaraweera during his visit to Washington last week said the new government is seeking a delay in releasing the report of the investigation by several months until the government had time to establish a mechanism to deal with the issue.

    Minister Samaraweera in his letter to the High Commissioner said the new government has “already taken a series of steps to ensure freedom of expression, assembly and movement, and protect and safeguard the human rights of all citizens as already manifested and widely acknowledged by the international community.”

  8. Indrajith Says:

    එළැඹෙන මැතිවරණයෙන් මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා අගමැති කරවීම සඳහා අනිද්දා නුගේගොඩදී පැවැත්වෙන රැළියට සහභාගී වීම සඳහා තමන් කැමති නමුත් ශ‍්‍රීලනිප මධ්‍යම කාරක සභාවෙන් එය වලකා ඇතැයි පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත‍්‍රී බන්දුල ගුණවර්ධන මහතා කියයි.

    කොළඹදී මාධ්‍ය අමතමින් ඔහු කියා සිටියේ එම රැළියට 5000ක් ගෙනාවොත් ඉල්ලා අස්වන බවට ප‍්‍රකාශ කර ඇති අසාද් සාලි තම සමුගැනීම එදිනට තහවුරු කරන ලෙසයි.

    එළැමෙණ මැතිවරණයෙන් එජාපයට ජය ගැනීමට ඉඩ නොදෙන බවද කී ඔහු ඉතිහාසයේ ජාතික වීරයෙක් වන මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට එරෙහිව දේශීය හා ජාත්‍යන්තරව විවිධ බලවේග විසින් විශාල ප්‍රහාරයක් එල්ල කරන බවත්, ඔහු යළි බලයට ගෙන ඒම සඳහා කැපවන බවද කීය.

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