Zeid chants separatist mantra
Posted on July 5th, 2016

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy  CeylonToday

Brexit had consumed local media, especially after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. In Sri Lanka too, politicians, professionals and other pundits are as intensively divided into ‘doom’ and ‘boom’ camps as the British.

Five days later, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein renewed its call for a war crime probe in Sri Lanka with international participation. Yet, this did not excite the Sri Lankans as Brexit did.

Interestingly, just days before Zeid’s special report, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, M. A. Sumanthiran disclosed that the government, the United States and TNA had come to a tripartite agreement, allowing foreign judges. According to Sumanthiran, it was a huge concession on TNA’s part to agree to a hybrid court, for they originally sought an international court. He also insisted that the Sri Lankan Constitution would not get in the way of foreign judges participating.

Sumanthiran’s statements
Federation of National Organizations (FNO) was one of the very few to visibly react to Sumanthiran’s and Zeid’s statements. Compared to Sri Lankans’ reaction over Brexit, this was a mere hiccup. It is almost as if to Sri Lankans, Sri Lanka is some far off island half across the world, whereas what happens in Britain is personal.

It was FNO which immediately sought an explanation from the government on Sumanthiran’s statement. The government, however, appears divided over the issue. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had earlier ruled that it would be foreign expertise, and not foreign judges, that would participate. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, however, appears to be more in line with TNA.

The government is yet to accept, reject or clarify Sumanthiran’s claim. Assurance that the Constitution will bar foreign judges came instead from the civil rights activist Attorney-at-Law Chrishmal Warnasuriya.

He made the observations at the inauguration of the People’s Intellectual Assembly. Civil rights activists who were involved in forming the present government gathered to pressurize it to get on track the derailed promises of good governance. While each highlighted different issues, Warnasuriya addressed this particular point that threatens the integrity of the country’s sovereignty.

Reconciliation

Zeid’s special report, titled “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”, shockingly lacked a comprehensive understanding of the subject and was shabby in detail. Despite many experts and special rapporteurs in recent times visiting Sri Lanka to make their observations, the quality expected from an esteemed institution as the UN was markedly absent in the report.

As FNO observes, Zeid appears to be influenced by the separatists and not by Sri Lankans. He had not only failed to accurately address the challenges faced by the minorities, he had also completely ignored the majority. At the very least, he had not even questioned why the people in the North continue to be led by politicians from Colombo and not from their own province.

A glaring hypocrisy is his promise of a visit from the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression in early 2017. Yet, “he is concerned by continued aggressive campaigns in social media and other forms (such as the ‘Sinhale’ bumper sticker campaign) that stoke nationalism against ethnic, religious and other minorities”. When Charles Hebdo was murdered for his insulting caricatures, his freedom of expression was defended by all civilized societies, despite the hurt he caused to millions of people.

Stoking racialism
Whether ‘Sinhale’, stokes any racialism is much debated. What is quite disturbing is when so-called experts on Sri Lankan matters do not take all sides into consideration. His partiality is highlighted when ‘Sinhale’ catches his attention fully, the increased unfurling of the proscribed LTTE’s flag completely misses his eye.

He notes the formation of the National Unity Government, where even the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) “has consolidated its position, creating a political environment conducive to reforms,” ignoring completely those who cast their vote for the alliance in which SLFP is a partner categorically voted against the formation of a unity government. Thus, those voters’ fundamental rights are being blatantly violated has escaped Zeid.

He points out, “The fate of remaining security detainees held under the PTA remains a major concern for the Tamil community”. He however fails to note the concern of those, who did not vote for the incumbent government, over the arrests of the government’s political opponents. The opponents are detained without proof, to aid investigations; whereas government allies, who are also supposedly under investigations with proof stacked against them, moves unhindered.

Military presence
The presence of military in the North and East, he claims in his report, is heavy. He recommends the “Government in asserting full civilian control over the military and intelligence establishment and dismantling the units and structures allegedly responsible for violations”.

“Heavy military presence” is a mantra drummed by separatists. When Zeid also picks up the chant without substantiating, he stands exposed as a sympathizer of separatists. He must explain the assessment criteria that led him to conclude that the military presence is indeed high.

The Sri Lankan military played a significant role to bring normalcy to the North and the East. No longer are eight –year-olds forced to become cannon fodder. Teen girls are allowed to blossom without being turned into potential bombs. Children enjoy uninterrupted schooling and adults no longer pay exorbitant taxes for their daily survival. The Sri Lankan military, comprised entirely of Sri Lankan citizens, has the right to be present in concentrations deemed necessary in any part of Sri Lanka, because they are the national security force and not an occupying army.

Indian Peace Keeping Force
This was not the case with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) that occupied the North and East in the late ’80s. Interestingly, the very forces that object to Sri Lankan military in these areas, welcomed the IPKF occupation, even when they were severely harassing the civilians and violating all norms of human rights.

However, the role of the IPKF is not the only annals to be obscured from world history. Dr. Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, co-author of the bestselling book and HBO series, ‘The Untold History of the United States’ in an interview with Abby Martin, explains the real reasons for the use of atomic bombs, the Japan’s role in World War II, Japan’s relationship with US in present day and the danger of that relationship leading to a new war. (The full documentary,https://youtu.be/dUPkeQbKCVU and https://youtu.be/ZhL5Xlef4yE)
After 72 years of dropping the atomic bombs in Japan, Obama was the first US President to visit the memorial site in Hiroshima. Throughout his visit, the one message as reiterated by US Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, “it was tragic in some ways, but at least it ended the war,” and therefore saved lives – half a million American lives to be exact. What happened to all the Japanese lives, points Kuznick, was conveniently ignored.

Thousands perished

In the immediate aftermath, 80,000 civilians were incinerated in each of the two cities. In the weeks and months after, thousands more perished due to radioactive silt. In the years to come, tens of thousands were to die because of radioactive poisoning.
Obscured from history, says Kuznick, is that “The US has been fire bombing the Japanese cities for months already…we were wiping out entire cities. The Japanese were desperate to surrender.
The question was not whether or not Japanese leaders would surrender, but who they would surrender to – Americans or Soviets.
“We dropped the bomb anyway. Why? To send a message to the Soviet leaders that if they don’t go along with US plans for Europe and the Pacific, this is the fate that awaits them. The Soviet leaders interpreted the message just as intended and it led to this uncontrolled arms race – a race for mutual annihilation. To kill hundreds of thousands of lives is a war crime by every definition, but to threaten the entire mankind and also life on planet to extinction goes far beyond that!
Cold War
“This notion of American goodness during the entire cold war is a myth. The entire Soviet role in winning the war in Europe and their contributions to victory in the Pacific has been wiped out. For most of the war, the US and the British faced 10 German divisions, whereas Soviets faced 200 German divisions. When US lost about 300,000-400,000 in combat, Soviets lost 27 million [civilians and military according to Wikipedia].

“Imagine, if Nazi Germany had developed the bomb first and used it. The world would look upon the atomic bomb, nuclear weapons with appropriate horror. We’d say that this is the kind of weapon that a fascist country would use.
“But US is the only country to have used one and every president since Truman to have repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. Obama in his famous speech in Prague where he calls for nuclear abolition effectively says US won’t be the first country to get rid of nuclear weapons – US would be the last.”

No innocent ducklings
Japanese by no means were innocent ducklings sitting in a row. Their role in WWII is as horrifying as the Nazi’s. From 1800s, as the Japanese feudal order transformed into industrialism, they needed to expand and conquer. By the 1930s the Japanese Empire had conquered large parts of China and most of East Asia.

“Rule under the Emperor,” notes the documentary, “was a horror of historic proportions. A policy of so-called comfort women bound over 200,000 sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. Torture, human experiments, mass rape and executions cast a shadow on its present nation.”

“The war crimes should have been more severe,” says Kuznick. “We never raised the charge against Japan for their bombing of Chinese cities, because we were afraid that they’d raise the charge against the US for our own bombing of Japanese cities as well as the atomic bombings.
“The bedrock of the Japanese Peace Constitution from 1946 was Article 9, where they renounce the right of war as a sovereign nation and to have offensive military forces. The Japanese loved it. During the Korean War, the US tried to get Japan to revoke Article 9, so that they can help US in the Korean War. They refused.

Pressurizing Japan
“US had been since pressurizing Japan to do away with Article 9, so they can form the backbone of what the US is doing in Asia. The Japanese have been resisting until now.

“The island of Okinawa was entry point to the US invasion in 1945. After decimating 90 per cent of the island, the US took it over and had been occupying it ever since, setting up bases wherever they want. Okinawa houses 74 per cent of US military bases in Japan. Approximately half of the 50,000 troops over in Japan are stationed in Okinawa. It has since served as the launch point for US invasions of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The documentary highlights, “the armed presence of 32 military bases had violated Okinawan culture and environment from spilling 13,000 tones of poisoned gas to the legacy of sexual abuse, corruption and impunity. Between 1972 and 2015 police states, say US Forces committed 26 murders and 129 rapes.
Accountability is virtually non-existent with US immunity. In over 100 cases, rapists were fined, demoted or confined to barracks and letters of reprimand was the only punishment for the balance perpetrators.

Raping and killing
“In 2010, 100,000 people fought against the construction of a new base. Tensions reached a boiling point earlier this year when a marine admitted to raping and killing a 20-year old. In response, over 65,000 Japanese rallied with signboards, ‘Our fury has gone over the limit!’

The current Japanese leaders, argues Kuznick, are becoming increasingly amendable to American pressure to scrapping Article 9 and becoming an ally in American’s expansionist plans for the Pacific. It is this new war path that the Japanese are opposing concludes the documentary.
The question for the UN is what are their special rappoteurs recommending to addressthissituation.

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4 Responses to “Zeid chants separatist mantra”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    GL alleges Geneva intervention aims to promote separatism

    Island.lk
    July 5, 2016, 7:12 am

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    Former External Affairs Minister Prof. G. L. Peiris on Sunday alleged that the ongoing high profile Geneva exercise spearheaded by Western powers was clearly meant to divide the country on ethnic lines.

    Their real objective was to bring in constitutional changes to achieve what Prof. Peiris called despicable objective.

    The former Law Professor was addressing a group of professionals at Nugegoda on Sunday evening. Former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa was also present. Arranged by Viyathmaga, an organisation seeking to educate the public regarding contentious issues, the forum discussed ways and means countering the Geneva challenge.

    Prof. Peiris said a statement made by Jaffna District MP M.A. Sumanthiran on behalf of the four party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at a Congressional hearing in Washington on June 14 and United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Prince Al-Hussein’s 38-point report on Sri Lanka had exposed their strategy.

    The top Joint Opposition spokesperson read the relevant section from MP Sumanthiran’s statement released by the TNA to justify accusations directed at the Geneva process. Prof. Peiris quoted Sumanthiran as having said: If you ask me about international involvement in the accountability process, as far as I know the Government has not said ‘no’ to international involvement. All the multiple voices that you talk about say ‘international involvement – yes, but not judges’. Now I take great exception to that, because as I said at the beginning, the text of the 2015 Resolution is a negotiated text. We asked for (an) international inquiry, and we settled for a hybrid model. So that was negotiated with the Government of Sri Lanka. And having compromised and settled to a model which in the Resolution doesn’t merely say hybrid but explains in detail judges, prosecutors, defence attorneys and investigators, it obviously means judge qua judges, prosecutors qua prosecutors, so on and so forth. So it does not mean (for) judges to be advisors or judges to be involved in some other capacity. And that was well understood. I was personally involved in the negotiations, with the United States of America also participating in that particular process. There were some doubts created, as to whether the Constitution of Sri Lanka would allow for foreign nationals to function as judges and we went into that question, clarified it, and said yes they can and that is how that phraseology was agreed upon. And so, to us having negotiated and compromised and agreed that there would be a hybrid tribunal to try these mass atrocities, it is not open for the Government now to shift its stance and say ‘well, international involvement yes, but it’s in a different form, now…’. That is not acceptable to us at all.”

    Comparing the ongoing process of constitutional reforms and previous constitutional making efforts, The Rhodes Scholar pointed out that the primary differernce was nothing but an extremely high level foreign intervention.

    Prof. Peiris said that statements issued by Sumanthiran and Al-Hussein should be compared carefully. According to the former External Affairs Minister who had been involved in Geneva deliberations during the previous administration, Prince Al-Hussein’s statement dealt with three major issues, namely transitional justice, accountability and post-war national reconciliation here.

    The Geneva process targeted the war winning military, sought to weaken their morale, promoted new opinion on devolution and agressively pushed for new cultural values.

    The former Visiting Fellow of both Cambridge and London universities alleged that the entire Geneva process had been directed at the previous political leadership and the military. The Geneva project wanted Sri Lanka to introduce new laws to try those who had been accused of atrocities, special courts with foreign judges and administrative measures meant to sideline or remove officers and men who couldn’t be dealt through controversial legal process, Prof. Peiris pointed out.

    Emphasizing that foreign judges couldn’t participate in the proposed judicial process under any circumstances, Prof. Peiris said that special process always undermined genuine justice system. Prof. Peiris recollected the way the then JRJ government had deprived Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike of her civic rights.

    Having accepted foreign judges and other international experts, on the basis of that there was reasonable grounds to believe the Sri Lankan military committed mass scale atrocities during eelam war IV, both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe however in Colombo rejected foreign judges, Prof. Peiris said. Now, MP Sumanthiran had very clearly condradicted them, the former Colombo Ditrict MP said.

    Referring to recent media reports pertaining to a dozen countries demanding that Sri Lanka fully implemented the Geneva resolution, Prof. Peiris said that there was no requirement as the Yahapalana government not only endorsed the resolution, it co-sponsored it.

    Recollecting Sri Lanka’s stand in Geneva during the Rajapaksa administration, Prof. Peiris said that the government strongly resisted Western interventions through the Geneva-based body. Prof. Peiris stressed that the Rajapaksa government courageoulsy stood for Sri Lanka’s rights, though the Yahapalana rulers seemed to be hell-bent on appeasing those wanting to undermine post-war stability here.

    The internationally recognised law academic said that it wasn’t fair only to blame Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera. President Maithripala Sirisena couldn’t absolve himself of the responsibility of causing unprecedented crisis by inviting foreign intervention.

    Prof. Peiris expressed shock and dismay over some of the recommendations made by Prince Al-Hussein in the guise of implementing his human rights mandate. The section 9 of 38-point propoposal called for the strengthening of civilian oversight over the military in the form of multiple oversight and accountability mechanisms over defence policy, discipline and promotion, budgeting and procurement, Prof. Peiris pointed out. The Geneva resolution had even intervened in the duties and responibilities of parliament, the former law professor said. Prof. Peiris expressed serious concern over the Geneva push for the establishment of transitional justice mechanisms, including the criminalisation of international crimes in national law or allowing for the involvement of international judicial personnel in the proposed new Constitution.

    Prof. Peiris said that Al-Hussein had unfairingly accused the military of holding onto land belonging to northern civilians. The section 13 dealt with the issue of the role of the military in the Northern and Eastern Provinces without taking into consideration the overall picture, Prof. Peiris said.

    The former External Affairs Minister pointed out the absurdity in Al-Hussein’s objections explained in section 15 in respect of the arrest of former members of the LTTE under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) from 2015 till so far this year. The Geneva concerns should be examined against the backdrop of recent bombings in France and hostage crisis in Dhaka, the former minister said. The Western powers obviously didn’t care to appreciate the efforts made by security authorities to avert possible fresh attacks, Prof. Peiris said.

    Prof Peiris asserted that the following sections directly interfered with domestic affairs, namely (section 16) called for further sharp decrease of northern military presence (section 18) rapid prosecution of selected cases (section 19) swift legal action against those in the military allegedly responsible for sexual violence (section 22) speed up judicial reforms with the focus on comprehensive transitional justice agenda, incorporating the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures (section 28) establishment of Office of Missing Persons with wide powers (section 32) inclusion of foreign judges (section 33) fresh probe on alleged use of cluster ammunition and (section 34) denial of opportunity to serve under UN command unless officers and men passed stringent vetting process.

  2. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Catholic west has seen a vulnerable country in Sri Lanka with the hateful, racist minority vultures trying
    to destroy Sinhalese, Buddhism and Sri lanka. They are trying every trick in the book to achieve their
    goal. They tried with the catholic tigers of tamil drealam to break up the country. Thanks to MR, the plan
    was scuppered.

    Now catholic run UNPatriotic party at the driving seat and they know, they have to get the job done. Die hard
    catholic token Buddhist pol pot ponil wickramaSinhalakiller running Sri Lanka with rubber stamp vairapala sorry
    sena, they know anything is possible. Some traitor Sinhala modayas can’t understand the simple truth,
    when Sri Lanka stays with the mighty Chinese none of these vultures hovering over Sri Lanka will come to dismember
    our country. The brain dead, deaf and blind traitor Sinhalese still support this Sinhalese-murdering, Buddhism-
    destroying, Sri Lanka-destroying catholic-run UNPatriotic party. Even a lot of traitor bikkus support this
    Buddhism destroying party. That’s how brain dead they are, while getting free dinners thanks to Buddhism.
    How can anybody believe these traitor Sinhalese’ treachery?

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Earlier nearly 500 yrs of Colonisation, Two World Wars, Cold Wars, Tamil Caste Wars & Tamil Separatism, INDIAN interference, UNP led Yahap, Globalised Economy, Cental Bank scams by Arjuna Mahendran, bought Parliament, Ranil’s appointment to the Exec PM’s post, and now BREXIT, etc., when all connected, adds up to loss of Sovereignty for Sri Lanka, isn’t it ?

    See the present Yahap Agenda :

    – ETCA (likely highly damaging to Lanka’s local Economy, professionals, etc.)

    – Sea tunnel to Tamil Nadu INDIA). (Britain built a Sea Tunnel – called the Chunnel – to France. Now Britain’s exit out of the EU proves that the Sea Tunnel was pointless and damaging to Britain, according to the vote cast there)

    – 5,000 acre lots to be given on 99 yr leases to foreigners. This does not need rocket scientists to figure out the what the ownership of large chunks of land by foreigners for nearly 100 yrs (5 Generations !), will do to a small island of 25,000 sq miles in size. Lanka will go backwards into Neo-Colonisation.

    – The New Constitution :
    The hullaballoo with the UNHRC is probably leading up to some kind of Separatism via the Constitution ?
    Actually, the UNHRC has no laws in the UN Charter to pass verdicts on TERRORISM. The UNHRC has left out the nearly 30 yrs of LTTE Terrorism in Lanka, and is therefore highly flawed.

    The UN has only Treaties between various countries on the subject of Terrorism. Experts should address this point.

    It is the LTTE TERRORISM factor that has to be addressed, and the Root Causes which begin in Tamil Nadu, not Sri Lanka. This, the UNHRC has left out ! Therefore, their verdict is flawed, isn’t it ?

  4. plumblossom Says:

    Not only this, the treacherous Ranil, Sirisena, CBK, Mangala, idiotic UNPers, those INGOs working for thousands of dollars and even the JVP are trying to dismember the country via constitutional changes. We patriotic Sri Lankans should demand a strong central government, no more powers to provincial councils, no merger between provinces, ideally abolition of the 13th amendment to the constitution and absolute safeguarding of the sovereignty of the country.

    The army did not commit any war crimes. it is the LTTE who committed war crimes. However, it is high time that Sri Lanka rejected the US imperialists UNHRC resolution and state at the UNHRC to leave Sri Lanka alone to get on with reconciliation as Sri Lanka sees fit.

    Actually Sri Lanka today being accused of committing war crimes by the US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden, Canada, India etc. is very similar to the way Saddam Hussein and Iraq was accused of possessing non existent WMDs. Although Iraq did everything possible to show the US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden, Canada etc. that it did not possess WMD it was bombed anyway, regime change brought about since Iraq has massive amounts of oil which the US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden, Canada companies wanted to extract at cheap rates by bringing on a puppet regime. A similar scenario is unfolding in Sri Lanka since Sri Lanka is located at a strategic location, the US wanting to establish a naval/air base at Trincomalee, the US wanting to establish further US army, navy, air force bases in the island, mineral resources, marine resources, control of the Indian ocean sea routes etc. For this, the separatist, terroristic Tamils who are subservient to the US are who the US is favouring to help them with this task. This is why the US favours eelam. All patriotic Sri Lankans should therefore tell the government to withdraw from carrying out the US resolution and to tell the US to leave Sri Lanka alone.

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