UNHRC proceedings are a sham
Posted on July 27th, 2015

by Senaka Weeraratna

The inquisitorial type proceedings we are witnessing today at the UNHRC in Geneva in the name of Human Rights are nothing but a sham. In a nutshell  the UNHRC sessions are full of hypocrisy and humbug.

An abuse of process in the most shameful manner.  It reminds us of the crazy times of the Christian Inquisition in Europe which lasted for over 600 years where people who simply questioned religious dogma or did not agree with the prevailing orthodoxy were dragged to a fake trial where the accused were presumed guilty until proven innocent which was almost impossible. A mere accusation was sufficient to establish guilt.

The accused was neither given a list of the charges nor allowed to defend themselves nor allowed to retain a lawyer. The process of natural justice was honoured in the breach. There were both procedural flaws as well as substantive law bias against the accused. Punishment was unduly harsh usually a sentence of death in an abominable cruel way i.e. being thrown to the fire or burnt at the stake.

No civilization is lily white in terms of inhumanity towards others. But in the race to find the dubious winner of planned inhumanity or deliberate destruction of other civilizations spread around the world or holocausts or mass murder of entire races the western civilization takes the cake. It has been brutal towards both man and animal because its fundamental orientation is based on the totally wrong notion ‘the world exists to serve us’. Therefore everyone else that stands in the way whether he be the black man, brown man or yellow man or nature ( including all other living creatures) must yield to the superimposing will and ‘justice’ of the white man.

Gandhi’s views on Western Civilization

When Mahatma Gandhi was asked by a reporter, what he thought of western civilization? Gandhi gave an acerbic answer. He said that ‘ it would be a good idea’.

This is one of Gandhi’s most famous, and perhaps most clichéd, quotations. There is a lot of sarcasm in Gandhi’s retort. The reporter aims to get a good quote. Gandhi basically dupes him with a tongue in cheek answer.

Gandhi makes his opinion of Western Civilization perfectly clear by implying that it doesn’t exist—the current model of Western Civilization cannot, in Gandhi’s opinion, be viewed as civilized at all.

Gandhi often referred to Western Civilization in his writings and speeches. He was reluctant to hold it in high regard and was never restrained in holding industrialized civilization to be a curse, a disease because of its materialistic, consumer-oriented goals.

Gandhi given his sustained legal training in South Africa as a Barrister in his younger days was never at a loss for words. In another one of his speeches, he made critical remarks of Western materialism, saying, I wholeheartedly detest this mad desire to destroy distance and time, to increase animal appetites, and go to the ends of the earth in search of their satisfaction. If modern civilization stands for all this, and I have understood it to do so, I call it satanic.”

Gandhi went further and we find quotations of his comparing Europe to the spirit of Satan.  Gandhi had an innate love for his beloved India and he had a lingering fear that India might one day become a ‘westernized’ nation. In another one of his speeches, Gandhi expounds on this theme:

India’s destiny lies not along the bloody way of the West, of which she shows signs of tiredness, but along the bloodless way of peace that comes from a simple and godly life. India is in danger of losing her soul. She cannot lose it and live. She must not therefore lazily and helplessly say, ‘I cannot escape the onrush from the West.’ She must be strong enough to resist it for her own sake and that of the world. European civilization is no doubt suited for the Europeans, but it will mean ruin for India, if we endeavor to copy it.”

The likes of Gandhi or the type of moral leadership that Gandhi gave not only to India but the whole of Asia is no more.  Instead of the independence of spirit and defiance that Indian leaders of the type of Gandhi, Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose or even Sardar Vallabhai Patel (man of steel) showed in their heyday we see in today’s leadership of India a poor substitute in crass crawling and servility to imperial western powers unbefitting a great Asian nation.

Re-kindle the Spirit of Asia

We must re- kindle the spirit of Asia. Sri Lanka belongs to Asia. We are part of the great civilizations of Asia. An insult to one is an insult to all – all of Asia who are united by a shared past and still retain pride in our beautiful and elegant cultures and common destiny. The Human Rights discourse of the West is nothing but a farce: a shallow game of the white man for the entertainment of the white race to mock at other races black, brown and yellow on a moral premise where the biggest violators in history have been the very white race now pointing the finger at others.

The challenge before the non – European races is to break away from this trap. Not to put or allow someone else to put a noose around our neck. UNHRC represents that trap. There is no justice there. It has been converted into pure theatre to make fun of the weak, meek and the defiant small nations. The same old colonial game of White Man’s Burden but in a new manifestation of protecting human rights.

In a sense the charade at UNHRC is a blessing in disguise. It has awoken us all – Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim and all others who call Sri Lanka their home.

We must remain bold and defiant. Even if we get one vote in Geneva let us accept defeat with our heads high. The world applauds the defiant – those who stand their ground against overwhelming and superior forces. Moral cowardice is a trait of the failure. It is clear to anyone except the sinister who visits the North of Sri Lanka today and witness the great efforts being made to develop, resettle and spread economic benefits without discrimination. The people in Sri Lanka wish to leave in peace. Let outsiders not interfere or disturb the prevailing peace in the country.

Much of the conflict in the world comes from the colonial mindset of those who want to re-colonise this world. These are the real war mongers. It is time that the rest of the world stand up, join hands and call spade a spade.

European Union – Double Standards

It is unfortunate but it must be asserted that the European Union (EU) is part of the witch hunt directed against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.  EU never fails to engage in moralising or preach on human rights and the like to poor third world countries whose continuing deprivation is largely due to the long years of colonial rule under members of the EU.

A number of EU members are former Colonial countries e.g. Spain, Portugal, Belgium, France, Britain and Netherlands among others, that had vast empires and built their prosperity on the backs of resource rich third world countries, but which have never been brought to justice or called to account for crimes against humanity during the period of colonial rule.

EU which is quick to finger point at other nations e.g. Sri Lanka, about human rights abuses has never properly examined or debated the unpleasant history of its EU member experience in the colonial wars all around the world. These European countries suffer from collective amnesia when it comes to the self – examination of the criminal behaviour of their own citizens in other countries both past and present.

Experiment with ideas from the East as basis of conflict resolution

It is time that the civilized world begin to experiment with ideas emanating from the three main Eastern Civilizations namely Japanese, Chinese and Indian as the basis of conflict resolution.

We have friends in Asia that we can tap into through historical bonds in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Malaysia, China, Laos, Japan, Korea, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Philippines etc. This is quite formidable.

We must never forget that the founding charter of UNESCO lays down a cherished goal influenced heavily by the spirit of Buddhism Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.”

The persecution mania of the UNHRC stands in total contradiction to the peace ideals that UNESCO is trying to promote.

As the centre of gravity of global power shifts to the East, the leaders of Asia must not shirk their most important challenge and responsibility  – to give moral leadership to the world at a time when the West is struggling to maintain even a pretense of morality  in their interaction with other countries as we see in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, and now Ukraine.

An International Conference on the theme of Global Moral Leadership on the initiative of Asian nations would be most opportune at this time.     

Senaka Weeraratna

One Response to “UNHRC proceedings are a sham”

  1. NAK Says:

    It is a sham alright but what is the purpose?
    As I understand UNHRC can not directly refer Sri alnka to ICC as we are not a signatory. If UNHRC can only refer us to the UN security council in which Sri Lanka has the protection of China and Russia on this particular charge,why worry about the outcome from geneva which we know was a foregone conclusion.
    The US will not risk demean its mighty weapon “US sanctions” on a small poor country and that too on flimsy,manufactured allegations.
    Even at present we suffer from indirect effects of US sanctions where we are restricted free trade with Iran from whom we buy our crude oil and export a substantial quantity of Tea and Russia another large scale buyer of our Tea.
    In fact we should demand reperation from the US for the loss of revenue as we had nothing to do with disputes of US with Iran or Russia.

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