‘War crimes’, duplicity and rhetoric
Posted on July 11th, 2016

The Editorial Courtesy The Island

British Minister of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Hugo Swire, in his address to Parliament on Sri Lanka’s Human Rights situation on Thursday, reiterated there had to be an international element in the domestic mechanism for accountability. That was necessary, he said, to reassure the communities in Sri Lanka and to show the international community that it was a credible process. Doesn’t Swire think there should be an international probe into the atrocities against civilians during the Iraq war which was illegal according to the recently released Chilcot Report?

Anything done during an illegal war is illegal. So, the killing and maiming of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians including children amount to heinous war crimes and Tony Blair as well as George Bush must be made to pay for them. The illegal invasion of Iraq was carried out years before the Vanni war here. Therefore, it is alleged accountability issues in Iraq that should be probed first of all; the chronological orders has to be followed.

No sooner had Swire called for international participation in the hybrid mechanism to be set up here than President Maithripala Sirisena stressed, at a public function, that he would never allow foreign judges. One is intrigued.

The UNHRC resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka in 2015 calls upon Colombo to establish a credible judicial process, ‘with the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorised prosecutors and investigators’, to go into the alleged rights abuses. In other words, the government, together with others, has called upon itself to facilitate the participation of foreign judges et al in the proposed war crimes probe. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera has recently gone on record as saying that both the President and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had gone through the UNHRC resolution with a fine-tooth comb before it was adopted by the UNHRC.

So, how can the government say it won’t allow foreign judges here? Has an amended resolution been passed in Geneva, unbeknownst to other stakeholders, so that Colombo can prevent the participation of foreign judges in the proposed war crimes probe? Or, have the architects of the resolution, such as the US, given a cast-iron guarantee that the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government can act in contravention of the aforesaid resolution with impunity? But, that cannot be the case, we reckon. For, UN human rights chief Zeid Hussein, in his address to the recent UNHRC session said, making specific reference to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s statement at a meeting with the military top brass last May that there wouldn’t be international participation in a domestic Sri Lankan justice mechanism: “… international participation in the accountability mechanisms would be a necessary guarantee for the independence and impartiality of the process in the eyes of victims, as Sri Lanka’s judicial institutions currently lack the credibility needed to gain their trust. It is also important to keep in mind the magnitude and complexity of the international crimes alleged, which the OHCHR investigation found could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

Swire, too, has also said, reiterating his government’s commitment to the full implementation of UN resolution on Sri Lanka, the UK called for ‘international involvement’ in the prosecution of war crimes: “That is what we continue to stress with the government, with Ranil Wickremesinghe, the Prime Minister, with Mangala Samaraweera, the Foreign Minister, and through Prince Zeid.”

There are some questions that the government ought to answer as regards the issue of foreign participation in the proposed war crimes probe. TNA Spokesman M. A. Sumanthiran, MP, revealed at a Congress hearing in Washington last month that there was a tripartite agreement—with Sri Lankan government, the TNA and the US as parties thereto—on the participation of foreign judges. If his statement or what was reported thereof had been inaccurate then the TNA and/or the US should have denied it. They haven’t done so.

Will the government reveal to the public how it proposes to circumvent its own commitment, in the much-vaunted UNHRC resolution, to establishing ‘a credible judicial process, with the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorised prosecutors and investigators’? Mere rhetoric won’t do!

5 Responses to “‘War crimes’, duplicity and rhetoric”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    These TRAITORS are Judas’s collaborating with enemies of Sri Lanka to crucify our War Heroes in the Armed Forces and the MR/UPFA GOSL that eradicated terrorism from our country, reunified our Motherland and ushered in an age of unprecented economic and infrastructure development!

    This is an UNPRECEDENTED BETRAYAL of our nation. I have NO DOUBT that everyone of these people will be HELD ACCOJNTABLE by the patriots of Sri Lanka!

    They say that those who the Gods wish to destroy, he first drives mad! And indeed, these TRAITORS have gone mad; they will pay a terrible price in the near future!

  2. 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.

  3. plumblossom Says:

    Sri Lanka needs a strong central government in the form of the executive presidency. It is the executive presidency which is keeping the unitary state together since provincial councils have now been provided powers. Therefore if the executive presidency is abolished, the provincial councils will become more powerful and the separatist terroristic TNA will try to break away using threats the North and the East. the PR system is the fairest system which means each vote counts. It is a very democratic system. We do not need any changes to the constitution. These changes to the constitution are only suggested to bring on stealthily a federal or a separate state by falsely labelling it as ‘unitary’ to hoodwink the idiotic Sinhala Buddhists. We do not need any changes to the constitution which is what the separatist terrorists of the TNA, US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden and Canada wants to dismember this country. Also it is the executive presidential system which can easily carry out programmes to develop the country since otherwise there will be endless wranglings within the cabinet and in parliament about what path to follow for development to happen. A well meaning executive president can easily implement a reasonable and suitable programme to take the country forward. Another main reason to keep the executive presidency as it is to counter the separatist threat since a strong executive president can stop any treacherous activities which goes against the independence, freedom, sovereignty, unitary status etc. of the country since the executive president is elected directly by the people’s vote and is answerable to all the people of the country as a result. So for all these reasons, there is no need whatsoever to change the constitution. However the provincial councils should not be given any more powers, there should not be any merger between provinces, ideally the 13th amendment to the constitution should be abolished and there should be a strong central government if Sri Lanka is to move forward as a country and since it is a small country.

  4. plumblossom Says:

    Sri Lanka should tell the US that Sri Lanka cannot abide by the UNHRC resolution. The Sri Lankan Army did not commit any war crimes. It is the LTTE terrorists who committed war crimes throughout 26 years of war. No country with an ounce of self respect will place their army in harms way to be tried by a court domestic or hybrid of war crimes the army did not commit in anyway. If individual soldiers committed any crimes, a complaint can be placed in a court of law in Sri Lanka. Why is there a need for special judicial procedures? This government is a puppet of the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India and is so subservient to US interests that it is ready to try its own armed forces for crimes that the armed forces did not commit. All the while, the LTTE terrorists who committed war crimes are being shown as totally innocent. Using the ploy of wanting a new constitution which almost all Sri Lankans don’t want, this treacherous government is trying to create a separate state in the guise of a federal state as the TNA separatist terrorists and the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India wants. Sri Lanka should tell the US that Sri Lanka cannot abide by the UNHRC resolution. The worst that the US, UK, EU, Sweden, Norway and India can do is impose sanctions on Sri Lanka. So what? Sri Lanka can trade with all the countries of Asia and the rest of the world even if the US, UK, EU, Norway, Sweden and India imposes sanctions. Sri Lanka can grow rice, we have jack fruit, bananas, bread fruit and plenty of water too. So we will not starve just because the US, UK, EU, Sweden, Norway and India imposes sanctions. Also since we can trade with the powerful economies of Asia which includes the Middle East, South East Asia, South Asia, the Far East and Central Asia as well as the rest of the world, actually, we may be OK economically too despite any sanctions imposed by the US, EU, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India. However by avoiding implementing the unjust UNHRC resolution, Sri Lanka will safeguard its independence and freedom which is the most important thing for the next thousands of years as we have safeguarded our independence and freedom for at least the last 2600 years and avoid the creation of a separate state or eelam in the guise of a federal state. So Sri Lanka must very urgently tell the US that we will not abide by the unjust UNHRC resolution but carry out our own domestic process of reconciliation as we see fit. Let the imperialist US impose sanctions. Nothing much will happen to our economy since we can trade with the powerful economies of Asia and the rest of the world instead but Sri Lanka would have preserved its independence and freedom for the next thousands of years and avoid the partition of the country and the creation of a separate state which will be Sri Lanka’s end.

  5. Sooriarachi Says:

    President Sirisena repeats like a parrot that he will only have an investigation with Sri Lankan judges. This is highly commendable, but can we trust him to be honest and brave? His record so far is pathetic and he seems to be more interested in pleasing the West than protecting our own soldiers and leaders, who liberated the nation, which we all enjoy today. Has he really got the back bone to stand up to biased foreign interfering people like Hugo Swire and the UN Secretary General, when Sirisena’s own Prime Minister and Foreign Minister seem to have already caved in, through fear I guess?

    We must remember this is only a very unusual “UNHCR” resolution and not a “UN” resolution. As this is a UNHCR resolution we need not get pushed by them as this is the conclusion we could derive from the reports released by internationally renowned legal luminaries like Prof D.M Crane, Sir Desmond de Silva, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Mr Rodney Dixon and Prof Michael Newton. Unfortunately people like Mangala and Ranil might not use these reports as they seem to be keen to please the TNA and the Tiger diaspora.
    President Sirisena still has the power to overrule Mangala and Ranil. But will he?

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