Lord Naseby Speaks Out In The House Of Lord Providing a Moral Booster For Sri Lanka Over “War Crimes” Issue
Posted on July 17th, 2016
Indisgt By Sunil Kumar
July 17, 2016,
Highly Respected House of Lords Peer Lord Naseby has said it was unfair to demand the Sri Lanka government to have foreign judges to investigate alleged war crimes, while the United Kingdom was using its own judges to inquire into the Iraqi invasion by the British government.
Perhaps in conventional wisdom as well as in hindsight this statement has come at an opportune time for Sri Lanka as the country faces a multi faceted ongoing call for a war crimes probe where the so called war crimes in question are defined by the enemies of the state including supportives of the extinct Tamil Tigers and the global Tamil diaspora or parts thereof continuing to hound the nation over an issue which is a non issue where the main focus should be about a democratic Sovereign Nation defending its sovereignity and territirial integrity from being overrun by indiscriminate and ruthless terrorists and not the pathetic wailing of the diaspora who seem to think that only the Tamils have been incarcerated whereas there have been an equal number or more of the majority Sinhalese who have suffered at the hands of the Tamil Tiger terrorists and their conniving allies and are truly deserving of the title war criminals.
It also confounds British attitudes towards Sri Lanka where in recent times together with certain other world powers in a similar objectives, that of simply denigrating without viable legal justification where none of the accusations will justifiably stand up in a word court scenario and the wisdom of Lord Naseby pierces the transparency of the British and US vision over the matter as one carrying little or no weight towards justification.
Media Quote:-(With all respect and kudos to Lord Naseby for his insight where the official British response as well as those who support it in favour probably belongs in the trash bin! while laying our judiciously as well as fairly the realities related)
” Speaking at the House of Lords on the Chilcot report on the invasion of Iraq by the British government and the then British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, Lord Naseby said that he was surprised to see the UK and US governments endorsing the recommendation of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to include foreign judges in the Sri Lanka war crimes panel, which is against the Geneva Convention.
Continuing, he said: “I supported the action that was taken in going to war against Iraq. I did it because of the environment at the time. We forget too easily what the environment was: 9/11, other atrocities against the United States, considerable evidence of chemical warfare and of provisions for chemical warfare and the evidence that was given to Parliament.
“There is no way that Tony Blair is a war criminal or that he is guilty of war crimes. The action he took as Prime Minister was taken in the interests of our country. ?He was the democratically elected leader of our country, not a dictator. This maxim about democratically elected leaders must apply all over the world as far as leadership is concerned.
“Others have commented on military equipment. Whatever one says, it was an absolute shambles and a total disgrace. Post-war planning was poor. Post-Brexit planning is poor. That lies with the Prime Minister of the day and his Cabinet.
“Have we learned the lessons, or have we had to wait for Chilcot to learn them? As far as I can see, we have not. Why did we go into Libya? It is not at all clear to me. Why did we try to force democracy on Egypt? We must have known that the Muslim Brotherhood had been trying since 1921 to get “democratically elected”. We supported elections there and what happened? It got elected, and then we discovered that it is almost as bad as Daesh, and the army in Egypt moved in again.
“Why did we not think twice about Syria? Why did those of us who know a little about that part of the world not realise that it is the fourth Sunni/Shia war. The only thing that is slightly different is that there are far more western-educated people on one side. That war had no real implications for the West. Why did we not check who the people supporting the new democracy in Syria were? Surely we should have been able to discover that the vast majority of them are jihadists.
“I urge my noble friends on the Front Bench to get a proper communications strategy and action plan geared solely against Daesh and to work with Assad to implement it. If that does not happen, we shall once again be in terrible turmoil.
“Action Aid and Christian Aid are right to raise the problem of the 3 million people—at least 3 million refugees, poor souls—with nowhere to live and no livelihood, wondering day after day what is going to happen to them. Have we in the West really got an action plan to deal with that? If we have, I hope that somebody is going to deploy it so that we can discuss it.
“This may surprise most though not all of your Lordships but I need to relate Chilcot to the situation in Sri Lanka today. A press release on 7 June from our High Commission in Colombo after the visit of no less a person than the head of the British Diplomatic Service, Sir Simon McDonald, concludes:
“The UK will continue its program of support for Sri Lanka to help the government fulfill its goals on reconciliation, human rights and strengthening democracy”.
“That is fine, but there is a parallel with Iraq where the UK was, in effect, tackling terrorism in the form of weapons of mass destruction. A battle is undertaken.?
The Chilcot inquiry’s assessment was undertaken by British judges and members of the Privy Council. No foreign judges were called in to do this assessment. We see how well it has been done. In Sri Lanka, there was a war against the terrorists, the Tamil Tigers. However, instead of its being assessed against the Geneva convention, to which I have just referred, the UK and US Governments have endorsed investigation by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights with the addition of foreign judges.
“This is wrong and misconceived. After all, there is a reasonable number of fair-minded judges across the ethnic groups who could undertake the task of judging what happened against the principles of the Geneva convention.
“If the UK Government really want to help, they should release the full text of the dispatches of our military attaché there during the war, Lieutenant-Colonel Gash, containing his independent observations. The Ministers here will know that for two years I have been trying to obtain these under the Freedom of Information Act. However, so far I have received some 30 pages of those dispatches, provided reluctantly, some very heavily redacted.
“As I go to the next stage of the tribunal, I find the Foreign Office hiding behind policy that releasing these dispatches might undermine relationships with other countries such as Saudi Arabia, which is hardly a democracy. I ask the Foreign Office to reflect carefully on the full implications of Chilcot, namely that we should treat each situation separately and recognise that the truth will get out. It is better to publish evidence that is available than to hide it.
“If in future we, as a country, follow that in any engagements that we may have, we shall be a country that can be proud of what we achieve democratically. Parliament owes a huge debt to Chilcot for what he has done. It must be for Parliament to decide how to take it forward” End Quote.