Ending Kafka’s trial: Can “Good Governance”  name the  unnamed accusers  used by the Darusman report ?
Posted on September 15th, 2015

By Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

Let us recall that the United Nations secretary general appointed a committee of four individuals to ADVISE HIM about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. This report, known as the Darusman report has since then assumed a role that the secretary general never intended it to have.  It has become one of the  key weapons used against  Sri Lanka by the UN human rights commission. This September we see the return of the gladiators where the trial” was delayed because of the change of government in Sri Lanka.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR),  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, making his opening address at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,  claimed that there had been serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s battle against LTTE. He did not even bother to say that there is credible allegations”, as stated in the Darusman report.

Al Hussein said,  “Six years ago, we were confronted with serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. This Council has been deeply engaged with the need for accountability, as a necessary step towards reconciliation in that country. On Wednesday I will release the report of the comprehensive investigation that OHCHR was mandated to conduct in March 2014, including my recommendations”.

Critics of the UNHCHR’s office claim that the  UNSG’s Panel of Experts” on Accountability in Sri Lanka  arrived at conclusions deemed credible allegations”, using one-sided information coming from pro-LTTE sources which they recommended should be locked away from scrutiny for 20 years.  Critics of the report point out that this was an unofficial report which was surreptitiously leaked by the UNSG’s office and used by Ms. Navi Pillay (former UNHCHR), who attempted to table it but failed to do so.  However, it became the basis the  Geneva sessions aimed at bringing to trial the leaders of Sri Lanka . They stand accused of  alleged war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law which  have not been proven according to the Drausman report).

However, the language used by Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has even dropped the nuance of credible evidence”, and asserts that there had been serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s battle against LTTE”.  The mounting crescendo of accusations orchestrated by the successive  channel-4 movies, the transformation of an advisory report to an official document which would have normally required a higher level of scrutiny, and now the shift from credible allegations” to  assertions of certain guilt surely reveal a high degree of unfairness. The principle that the accused also should be given a chance to answer the allegations at every level where the allegations are made has been suppressed.

In fact, the UNHCHR is seen to be orchestrating a process which should appear to many as a version of Kafka’s trial. Who are the accusers? What are these credible allegations” that have now become credible evidence”? Is this credible evidence” based on  just what is contained in the Channel-4 movies?

Interestingly enough, both sides in the debate have brought our scholarly as well as technical evidence to support, or question, the allegations of the Darusman report and the channel-4 movies. The pro-Darusman-Channel-4 community has had the upper-hand in the propaganda war, even getting the movies shown in parliamentary assemblies. The critics of the Darusman report and the channel-4 moves have had less success in capturing the attention of the West, even though some excellent, scholarly analysis have been carried out. Here we mention the work of the UK-based  Engaged Sri Lanka” group has published a comprehensive analysis in book form entitled Corrupted Journalism: Channel 4 and Sri Lanka” (www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0992684544?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0), and this may be considered a convenient single source for the claims of the critics of the Darusman report.

Further more the Report of the International Jurists, Paranagama commission,   should be tabled at the Geneva sessions as an independent view of the legal position in regard to the conduct of the war. However, the critics of  the UNHCHR  have had  no  success with Western governments  precisely because the Western governments have been spear-heading the accusations against Sri Lanka as a part of the American and NATO  foreign policy initiatives in South-Asia.

The coming in to power of the Sirisena-Ranil government fits into the agenda of the  NATO powers.
However, the Srisena government claims to stand for the  millions of  Sri Lankans who voted for the new president last January.  Good governance, justice to all, and in  particular, freedom from fear of state reprisals against critics of the government were emphasized. Mr. Sirisena himself came forward as a critic of the previous regime.  He wanted to breakaway from a tradition that may well have  been a continuation of the methods of the war years.,  when fighting a foe that always brutally assassinated its critics, and shut the Sampanthans into a state  of total obedience to the Tiger Talaivar.

Even the US secretary of state has expressed satisfaction at the new government’s restoration of confidence” and the removal of fear of reprisals” of opponents. Thus, there is no longer any reason what so ever for continuing the 20 year moratorium on revealing the sources of the credible allegations” that are mentioned in the Darusman report, especially as these allegations have now been morphed into accepted war crimes” in the loose language of Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Hence this nightmare of a Kafka’s trial faced by Sri Lanka can be made into a more transparent process if the UNHCHR’s office puts into place the due process of justice. This involves  (a) the release of the sources of the war crimes allegations (b) making a thorough international investigation to establish  the veracity of these allegations. (c) Once that is done, a suitable investigation of the alleged crimes should be put in place.

It is the duty of the Good Governance movement to ensure that justice is done in Geneva.

By

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

2 Responses to “Ending Kafka’s trial: Can “Good Governance”  name the  unnamed accusers  used by the Darusman report ?”

  1. Ratanapala Says:

    Who is responsible for all the unspeakable atrocities carried out by the Tamil Racists for over 30 years? Why investigate only the last few weeks of the Tamil Terrorist War? This UNHCR investigation is highly biased towards the terrorists? Ordinary Sri Lankans find it difficult to understand this obvious partiality and double standards.

    The silence on these issues from the Bar Association of Sri Lanka is most deplorable, leaving the grave accusations only in the hands of the politicians.

    It is even more deplorable on the part of Russia and China being silent while a small island nation is being bullied ad-nauseam at the behest of the terrorists, India and Western Christian powers! There doesn’t seem to be any redress for smaller nations. The so called Non Aligned Nations Organisation seems to be toothless and useless in the face of utter adversity faced by Sri Lanka for ending a 30 year terrorist war. Smaller nations will be devoured piecemeal by larger nations and neo-colonial interests if this type of situation is allowed to go unquestioned and challenged.

  2. nilwala Says:

    The OHCHR Report in attempting to launch its investigation on Sri Lanka, has taken the island’s governments through years of harassment, and now describes Sri Lanka’s war as “unique”. Its new report once again accuses a country that has adhered to tenets of Democratic Governance even while plagued with Terrorism for over 3 decades, based on allegations made by a defeated group that is pursuing a separatist agenda. Where else on Planet Earth have they harassed a country for having defeated Terrorism? Nowhere else….hence the unique status.

    If indeed it is recognized that the situation in Sri Lanka is “unique”, why this persistence to have an International Inquiry? A ‘unique’ situation cannot be considered a suitable “model” for other countries in the UN system. So what is the purpose in the UN spending so much of its budget over these many years on this “unique” and local Sri Lanka project? There must be a reason for many basic principles in the UN Charter to be abandoned in the process of the UNHRC hounding Sri Lanka. The LTTE are still on the Lists of Foreign Terrorist organizations in many countries, including India, the US and UK. Yet, it is Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces that are coming under scrutiny and the hammer of the UN. WHY? Why not scrutinize all the Tamil Diaspora organizations that had connections with the LTTE and financed its military operations? There is a remarkable injustice that is the elephant in the room, but the UN’s lips seem sealed about it.
    The global public surely has the right to know WHY this focus on more investigations when other wars with many more people being killed from aerial shellings continue unhampered by the UN to this day.
    Answers to this fundamental question are needed at a time when yet another Commission of INQUIRY is being planned for a country with a history of democracy that was challenged with suicide bombers and terrorism for 3 decades finally brought the war to an end in 2009. Will a 2015 investigation yield whatever they hope to find?

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