Foreign Judges and UNHRC Investigation
Posted on February 16th, 2016

Janaki Chandraratna

It appears that the President and the Government have not been very candid with the electorate on UNHRC resolution from day one of their campaign to unseat the previous regime. It is no brainer to understand that to co-sponsor a resolution one needs to agree with its contents. The previous regime also could have adopted the earlier resolution to be popular with the West and perhaps avoided a regime change. But they purposely avoided that path because it was inimical to our sovereignty. Twenty-three out of the forty-seven UNHCR member states also did not support the resolution and backed the then Sri Lankan government, because it was an unwarranted interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign State.

The UN High Commissioner, Al Hussein, at his recent visit to the country, has made some uncharitable assessments that our key institutions are ‘corroded and corrupted’; our judiciary and law enforcement institutions are weak, politicized, unbalanced and virtually incapable of handling the UNHRC investigation without foreign participation. He also claimed that the government has agreed to implement the resolution in full. Despite the above it is amazing how the government is still trying to downplay the predicament to the electorate by asserting that President Sirisena and the government would not accept foreign judges in the UNHRC investigation and would not be pressurized by external agencies. (See Minister Musthapha’s claims in The Island, 11 February 2016).

It should be mentioned that although there is some truth in Al Hussein’s comments of our judiciary judging by the recent contraventions of the constitution, politically targeted investigations and human rights violations/killings due to unprecedented police powers, one could expect some kind of repudiation from self-respecting jurisdictions. The government’s silence only endorses Hussein’s comments and the case for the UNHRC investigation.

In view of the fact that Al Hussein had categorically informed the government of its responsibilities and obligations to the co-sponsored resolution, the government has no other option but to inform the world and the electorate of its true position on the resolution. Interpretations and misinterpretations of terminology and spurious verbiage would not assist the government to overcome the situation. In order to explain the current situation, the government may need to inform categorically, among many other things, that the country is not in favor of the resolution or the participation of foreign judges in the investigation. In addition, the UN stricture on the disclosure of the names of the war crime complainants for 20 years and the non-endorsement of the co-sponsorship of the resolution through domestic parliamentary processes are also matters of concern. It is only after a truthful disclosure of the ground reality that the UNHCR can consider an alternative, such as a Truth and Reconciliation commission instead of a back dated investigation to address the alleged war crime allegations. But whether our political leaders will have the courage and sincerity to rise up to the occasion is however, a big question.

6 Responses to “Foreign Judges and UNHRC Investigation”

  1. dhane Says:

    Janaki its very simple. Sirisena cannot understand UNHRC resolution in English. If there is Sinhala translation still cannot understand as he has no knowledge in Law. Thereby two big Yahapalakayos are talking two versions.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    THE PRESIDENT VERY FIRMLY SAID THAT HE WILL NOT ALLOW FOREIGN JUDGES. HE HAS THE AUTHORITY TO STAND BY HIS WORD. HE IS THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENT. HE RUNS THE COUNTRY. CERTAINLY NOT ZEID AND HIS TAMIL PAYMASTERS. RANIL HAS NO RIGHT TO OVER-RIDE HIM.

    IF HE GOES BACK ON HIS RESOLVE, WELL HE IS NOT PRESIDENTIAL MATERIAL, PERIOD.

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    There is something bizarre and weird going on in Sri Lanka.

    In present times, the saviors of the country, the SL Army & the MR govt. are on the docks for saving the country from 30 yrs of terrorism, on False Charges of War Crimes by the UNHRC (earlier headed by Ms Navi Pillai, a Tamil).

    The Judges, the local ones, headed by a GoSL Yahap govt. with RW as Exec. PM, & MS as Pres, with ‘directress of affairs, CBK, vacilates between Fascist govt and a Sadistic govt which breaks the Law of the Land with impunity.

    The UNHRC Reports do not take into account the 30 yrs of Terrorism by the LTTE (sometimes, a bit of lip service only on that aspect),
    the Vadukoddai Resolution (1976) – Eelam through Violence ;
    the non action on the 6-A,
    that over 300,000 Tamils in the LTTE Human Shield were saved by the SL Army,
    that INDIA trained the LTTE in Tamil Nadu ;
    that INDIA imposed the 13-A with Tamil language (official) a part of that with the PCs now leading to more division,
    and a host of other points just ignored !

    So, just where are we headed with this baggage ?

    Unless Lanka authorities opt for some simple ways to solve the problem, such as a short Oath of Allegiance taken daily by school children, office workers (public & private), carry out the law of the land with fairplay to all, deal with the Ports of Sri Lanka etc., where is this going to end up ?

  4. dhane Says:

    After Hopper dinner night Sirisen said so many things contradicted to each other. During the past many years Twenty-three out of the forty-seven UNHCR member states also did not support the resolution and backed the then Sri Lankan government. But now Yahapalana Government Foreign Minister agreed & had accepted UNHRC resolution with its contains. So now what?? Today Executive President is not running the country. Ranil does what he wants. Did Ranil removed the CB Governor?. Why these two are in different Foreign Judges matter?. Why Ranil keen on Indian trade agreement and under or overhead bridge link with south India?

  5. nilwala Says:

    The recent visit by the UNHRC Chief has been revealing in its moralistic lecturing stance (to an independent DEMOCRATC country that has followed democratic practices since independence, with all its flaws and not any different to the injustices and flaws in the way Democracy is practised in the USA under whose instructions the UNHRC seems to function today), a lack of REAL knowledge regarding Sri Lanka, and a complete lack of diplomatic acumen in the handling of the situation .
    That situation is THIS IN A NUTSHELL:
    1. The government of Sri Lanka was threatened by TAMIL SEPARATIST MOVEMENTs – no different to the US Civil War of over 200years ago – in order to secede and create a state of Eelam.
    2. The government responded over a period of near 30 years with attempts to bring the “Separatists” to the negotiation table with PEACE TALKS.
    3. None of these attempts were successful as each time, the Separatists broke the accords and resumed attacks including many on innocent civilians in the South in order to coerce the Govt. to concede.
    4. The LTTE had eliminated the other Tamil Secessionist groups by killing/assassinating their leaders and taken control as the SOLE REPRESENTATIVE of the Secessionists.
    5. In a clear humanitarian violation of the CFA, the LTTE deprived some 60,000 villsgers of water at Maavilaru.
    6. The Govt. got the clear message of the next LTTE moves regarding annexation of TERRITORY were going to be, and made the decision to move in, PER THE UN CHARTER, to protect the territory of Sri Lanka from the SEPARATISTS.
    7.THE LTTE (in 2008) was CLEARLY DEMONSTRATING THAT THEY WERE ESTABLISHING CONTROL OF TERRITORY, DEVELOPING A UNIFORMED AND HIERARCHICAL ARMY, NAVY AND A AIR FORCE in preparation for FINAL DECLARATION OF A SEPARATE STATE.
    8. The UN CHARTER is clear in that the STATE HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT ITS CITIZENS AND TO PREVENT SEPARATION when so threatened.
    9. The Sri Lankan State recognized EELAM WAR-5 as the final LTTE challenge the the State in readiness for Separation, and took the initiative to forestall it by challenging the LTTE at Kilinochchi.
    10. Thus, from then on it transformed into an “Armed Conflict” that had all the PROTECTIONS of the INTERNATIONAL RULES OF WAR.
    11. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY including the USA, SUPPORTED THE SRI LANKAN MILITARY FORCES, but wanted to save the LTTE LEADERSHIP.
    12. WHY?? IS THE BIG QUESTION, when they knew it would only mean MORE CYCLES of WAR??
    13. The LTTE was finally defeated in May 2009.
    14. However, ONE YEAR AFTER THE WAR, THE UN, led by the US, STARTED USING THE UNHRC TO ATTACK THE SRI LANKAN GOVT ON THE CONDUCT OF THE WAR THAT THEY HAD SUPPORTED UNTIL ITS END. This, despite ALL the factors of Suicide Terror, Child Solder Recruitment and the enormity of torture and cruelties conducted by the LTTE, that were recognized to be VIOLATIONS OF THE RULES OF WAR.

    15. WHAT BROUGHT THE ABOUT-TURN AND THE CONTINUED INTERNATIONAL HARASSMENT LED BY THE UN/US??
    16. Despite many violations of the International Rules laid by the UN Charter, the UNHRC continues to harass Sri Lanka, and does not recognize its OWN RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTABILITY.
    17. In the meantime, the one-time LTTE supporters, both National and International remain IN THE SIDELINES PROVOKING THE ACCOUNTABILITY INVESTIGATION.
    18. The US/UN proceeds bulldozing its way over Sri Lanka.

    IF JUSTICE IS TO BE SERVED in the face of all of the above, and AN ACCOUNTABILITY INVESTIGATION IS NECESSARY: SHOULD NOT ALL THE STAKEHOLDERS BE INVESTIGATED??

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    We agree with what Nilwala says here. He has summoned up the situation well.

    ——–

    The grave problem of Tamil DALITS, numbering over 15 MILLLION in Tamil Nadu, is what keeps Sri Lanka enjoying the fruits of true Indpendence from Colonial rule. As long as the birth certificates issued in Tamil Nadu carry the Caste lines, Lanka will remain vulnerable. That is why the Army is necessary. That is why a trained Army of citizens will be necessary in Lanka, as done in land locked Switzerland.

    Seemingly Buddhist led Lanka next door to Tamil Nadu and INDIA will always be vulnerable in many ways, unless PATRIOTISM is emphasised at every level of society in Lanka.

    INDIAN interests will always be favoring Tamil Nadu mostly, and not Lanka.

    US representative Shannon said that Lanka’s Ports are important for TRADE purposes, and therefore there has to be internal peace. PEACE through PATRIOTISM will have to be the solution, for Peace and the Economy in Lanka.

    Comments welcome.

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