BAN KI MOON VISITS SRI LANKA:  O JOY!
Posted on August 30th, 2016

DHARSHAN WEERASEKERA

According to the newspapers, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon is scheduled to arrive in Sri Lanka on the 31st August 2016.  It is important for the citizens of this country to take a moment and reflect on the type of man that is about to visit the country.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on Mr. Moon’s conduct towards other countries, but I have made a bit of a study of his conduct towards Sri Lanka over the past five years, and I can say with some confidence that in that time he has consistently helped certain interested parties in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) to violate international law in relation to this country.

I have discussed the above ideas in some detail in three articles published in Foreign Policy Journal and available online,[1] and refer the reader to those articles for more details. But here, for convenience, I shall highlight just two occasions where, over the past five years, Mr. Moon through acts of commission or omission has helped breach international law as aforesaid.

1)      COMMISSIONING OF THE PANEL OF EXPERTS REPORT

On 23rd May 2009, less than a week after the end of the war, Mr. Moon visited Sri Lanka, and at the end of that visit issued a Joint Statement with then President Mahinda Rajapaksa.  The last sentence of that Joint Statement said:

‘The Secretary-General underlines the importance of an accountability process to address violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law.  The Government will take measures to address those grievances.’[2]

A reasonable interpretation of those two sentences, whether literally or in relation to the other passages in the Statement, must be that the Government has agreed to address grievances (i.e. purported violations) if such violations in fact occurred, which is to say, whoever alleges that violations occurred must first establish a prima facie case with regard to such allegations (i.e. the allegations must be prima facie credible).

However, in late-2010, Mr. Moon commissioned a Panel of Experts to produce a report on violations of humanitarian law and human rights committed by the GOSL.  The terms of reference of the POE states:

‘In a Joint Statement of the Secretary-General and the President of Sri Lanka issued at the conclusion of the Secretary-General’s visit to the country on 23rd May 2009, the Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process to address violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed during military operations between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.  The President of Sri Lanka undertook to take measures to address those grievances.’[3]

Clearly, Mr. Moon has interpreted the President’s statement to mean that the GOSL has admitted that violations were in fact committed.  Then, taking that as a basis, ostensibly to inform himself as to whether the GOSL has complied with its undertaking to address the violations, he commissioned the POE.

The POE, to repeat, was commissioned for the SG’s personal use:  it was not a document that was ever requested officially by either the UN General Assembly or the UNHRC.  It was, however, subsequently submitted indirectly to the UNHRC and went on to be the basis for three resolutions against Sri Lanka, calling for an international investigation to pursue violations of humanitarian law and human rights law allegedly committed during the last phase of the war.

Since the POE report was not an official document of the UNGA or the UNHRC, it was not filed of record at either of those venues.  Therefore, Sri Lanka did not have an opportunity to respond officially to the POE either at the UNGA or the UNHRC, or for that matter at any UN organ.  Under the circumstances, using such a document as a basis for taking action against a country is ex facie illegal.

In my view, Mr. Moon as head of the UN had ample means to stop the above process, either by informing the UNHRC of the impropriety that was being carried on, or taking steps to place the POE on the official record at the UNGA or the UNHRC and inviting the GOSL to officially respond to it.  He did not do so.  Therefore, in my view, he is party to the ‘crime.’

2)      OISL REPORT

The culmination of the series of resolutions against Sri Lanka that the US tabled at the UNHRC starting in 2012 was the March-2014 resolution, A/HRC/25/L.1, which authorized an international investigation into violations of humanitarian law and human rights law allegedly committed during the war and its immediate aftermath.  The task was entrusted to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The final report of that investigation, the OISL report (also called the OHCHR report) was released to the public on 16th September 2015, one week before the US tabled yet another resolution, this one co-sponsored by Sri Lanka, at the UNHRC.

The said resolution accepted without qualification the conclusions and recommendations of the OISL report, and was subsequently adopted, without discussion and debate by the rest of the Council (primarily because Sri Lanka, the party most affected by the resolution had co-sponsored it) on 29th September 2016.

The OISL report is a 260-page document, and at the time it was released to the public to the best of my knowledge a Sinhala translation of it was not provided.[4]  It is unreasonable to suppose that one week is sufficient for the vast majority of people in Sri Lanka, whose native tongue is Sinhala, to read and understand a document of that length, discuss among themselves its conclusions and recommendations, and decide whether the allegations made in the report are prima facie credible.

Therefore, as a general matter, the vast majority of people in Sri Lanka did not have an opportunity to challenge the GOSL’s co-sponsorship of the resolution, by recourse to available law, including Writs.

In my view, Mr. Moon is indirectly responsible for the above injustice because, as a person who since 2009 had taken a personal interest in the goings-on in Sri Lanka with respect to accountability, he should have taken measures to ensure that a Sinhala translation of the OISL report was provided, along with sufficient time for the people to peruse the document, before it was brought up before the UNHRC.

But that is not the main problem as far as Mr. Moon and the OISL report are concerned.  The problem is this:  even a cursory perusal of the OISL report reveals that it is full of defects, i.e. lies, obfuscations, failures to consider exculpatory evidence, and so on, which make it very difficult for a reasonable person to conclude that the reports central allegation, namely, that the State—as opposed to individual soldiers—committed war crimes (i.e. that a case for ‘command responsibility’ can be made) is credible.

I have discussed the above matter in two articles—‘The OCHRC investigation on Sri Lanka:  A Brief Analysis,’[5] and ‘A Rebuttal to the OHCHR Report, 1,’[6] both published in Lankaweb.com, and refer the reader to those articles for more details, but I’ll just cite one example of a blatant lie that can be found in the report.

One of the OISL’s claims is that the LTTE never used hospitals for military purposes, i.e. as places from which to launch attacks, or to store weapons.  For instance, on page 152 of the report, it says:

‘OISL received no information to indicate that Government run or other hospitals and ambulances were used by the LTTE for military purposes.’[7]

The above statement is contradicted by admissions made just two paragraphs later, as follows:

‘However, the information gathered by OISL indicates that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the LTTE launched attacks from close proximity of hospitals.’[8]

Clearly, the OISL has defined ‘military purposes’ to mean firing from inside hospitals or other civilian installations, and not in proximity to such locations also, a distinction that no reasonable person will accept, in the context of a battle.

But even if we leave that issue aside, note that, the OISL says it received ‘no information to indicate’ that the LTTE fired from inside hospitals.  On page 171 of the report, however, there is a footnote which references the POE.  (If the authors of the OISL refer to the POE in a footnote, it means they had the document, and whatever information was contained in that document, at hand when the OISL was being written).

In the POE, meanwhile, one finds this:

‘From February 2009 onwards, the LTTE started point-blank shooting of civilians who attempted to escape the conflict-zone…. It also fired artillery in proximity to large groups of internally displaced persons (IDP’s) and fired from, or stored military equipment near, IDP’s or civilian installations such as hospitals.’[9]

So, one, the OISL has defined ‘military purposes’ to mean firing from inside hospitals or other civilian installations and excluded firing from the proximity of such installations, a distinction that is difficult to accept; and two, has conveniently forgotten the clear evidence in the POE (evidence that OISL staff clearly had in their possession at the time the OISL was being written) that, even in the above case, the LTTE did in fact fire from inside hospitals:  either way, its mendacity of a very high order.

Mr. Moon has been advocating accountability in Sri Lanka since 2009, and it is unreasonable to suppose that he has not perused the OISL report, the only official UN report to suggest that the State may have committed war crimes, i.e. that a case for ‘command responsibility’ can be made with respect to such crimes.

If he perused the OISL report, it is impossible to suppose that he failed to detect blatant lies such as the one pointed out above, along with other serious violations of the most rudimentary rules of evidence, which any fifteen-year-old can be expected to detect, with a little attention.  The fact that Mr. Moon has been silent, and certainly not taken any steps to assign a Special Rappateur to investigate the report, means again, in my view, he is complicit in the ‘crime.’

I can go on, but will stop here due to the constraints of time.  The point is this.  Over the past five years, Mr. Moon has demonstrated repeatedly that he is on the side of the enemies of Sri Lanka, and, to the extent those enemies have been represented in the UNHRC, has helped them violate international law with respect to Sri Lanka in order to further their interests.

I shall close by quoting from a very interesting assessment of Mr. Moon, and the UN Secretariat under his command, by Inga-Brit Ahlenius, the highly-respected former head of the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services.  In July 2010, just prior to resigning from her post, she submitted an official End of Assignment Report to the Secretary-General, where she said, inter alia:

‘However, my conclusion is rather that you have in fact abdicated from the core role—or rather never assumed it—as conferred upon the Secretary-General in the United Nations Charter; to be the CAO, to assume the responsibility to manage and lead the Secretariat.  It is obvious to me that you see your role as distinct from the Secretariat and above the Secretariat, some sort of President.  You have instead assumed a role representing the organization in a ceremonial sense, stepping on red carpets and reading out loud what others around you wrote, but not embodying the organization in virtue of enlightened and experienced leadership, perceived and felt as strong, conveying a message integrated in and created in your own mind….’

‘I regret to say that the Secretariat now is in a process of decay.  It is not only falling apart into silos—the Secretariat is drifting, to use the words of one of my senior colleagues.  It is drifting into irrelevance.  The absence of strategic guidance and leadership manifests itself not only through failure to bring about change and reform of the Organization; it also manifests itself as a sort of an ‘adhocracy’; disintegrated and ill thought through ‘reforms’ are launched without adequate analysis and lack of understanding and a holistic view.’[10]

The above remarks are highly pertinent to Sri Lanka, because, at least from what I’ve been able to observe of Mr. Moon’s conduct towards this country over the past five years, such conduct proves Ms. Ahlenius’ assessment—particularly the charge that Mr. Moon has turned the UN Secretariat into an ‘Adhocracy’—to the letter.

Such then is the man who will land on our shores on August 31st.  The politicians and assorted hoi polloi will no doubt fete him like a conquering hero.  The vast majority of the citizens of this country, however, especially the Sinhala-Buddhists, will have to stomach the entire unbearable farce as it unfolds over the next two or three days, and grin and bear it.  As I said:  O Joy!

Dharshan Weerasekera is an Attorney-at-Law.  He is the author of three books:  The UN’s Relentless Pursuit of Sri Lanka (Stamford Lake 2012), The UN’s Subversion of International Law (Iresma 2015), and the latest, which will be in bookstores shortly, The Relevance of American Constitutional Principles to Solving Problems of Governance in Sri Lanka.

[1] ‘The UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka:  What it really means,’ (www.foreignpolicyjournal.com, 18 April 2012); ‘The Illegality of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon’s Approach to Sri Lanka,’(www.foreignpolicyjournal.com, 19 March 2013);  and ‘The UN’s Sri Lanka Strategy and its Implications for International Law’ (www.foreignpolicyjournal.com, 4 February 2014)

[2] Joint Statement by UN Secretary-General, Government of Sri Lanka, 23 May 2009, www.un.org

[3] Report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts of Accountability in Sri Lanka, March 2011, page 2 www.un.org

[4] A Sinhala translation has now been provided, and posted on an  OHCHR website, but after the initial damage was done.

[5] 29 September 2015

[6] 15 January 2016

[7] A/HRC/30/CRP.2, page 152, paragraph 772

[8] Ibid, page 152, paragraph 774

[9] POE, page iii

[10] Inga-Brit Ahlenius, Under-Secretary General for Oversight Services, End Of Assignment Report, 14 July 2010, pages 48-49, www.humanrightsvoices.org

4 Responses to “BAN KI MOON VISITS SRI LANKA:  O JOY!”

  1. plumblossom Says:

    This Is How The Office Of The Missing Persons (Which Will Become A Bogus ‘Evidence’ Manufacturing Machine) Manufacture Bogus ‘Evidence’ Of 40,000 Missing Persons To Try Our Brave Armed Forces For So Called War Crimes They Never, Ever Committed

    In the Missing Persons Act, a relative or a friend can make an official inquiry (but a totally bogus inquiry) from the Office of the Missing Persons (OMP) by email inquiring as to the whereabouts of their relative or friend.

    There are over 8 lakhs to 10 lakhs Tamil diaspora asylum seekers (actually economic migrants), a vast majority of who support the separatist terrorist LTTE and its aim of a separate state. If even 40,000 of these Tamil diaspora who support the separatist terrorist LTTE write bogus emails to the OMP inquiring the whereabouts of their friend or relative (but this friend or relative is actually living alongside them in these countries i.e. the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) these inquiries will officially be accepted by the OMP as 40,000 missing persons.

    According to the provisions of the OMP Act, even if the OMP inquires after these let us say 40,000 and finds out that these are all bogus inquiries and that all these 40,000 persons are actually living alongside the inquirer i.e. their relative or friend and these complaints about these persons being missing are all bogus, the missing persons, now found by the OMP, can request that their whereabouts not be revealed to their relative or friend or be made public. So officially these 40,000 persons will still be missing!!!

    Then the OMP will use these bogus 40,000 missing persons (who are actually living comfortably in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) as manufactured ‘evidence’ that war crimes happened in Sri Lanka (and all these bogus inquirers will state that these persons went missing during the 2006-2009 period) and our Sri Lankan Armed Forces will be persecuted for committing war crimes that they never, ever committed by a judicial process using these bogus email inquiries.

    The Missing Persons Act states specifically that if the missing person who is now found requests that the fact that they are now found not be revealed to the public that person will remain as missing as far as the OMP is concerned. That is how the OMP will manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ of 40,000 missing persons so that the Sri Lankan Armed Forces can be persecuted for committing bogus war crimes.

    The OMP emails cannot be checked by any outside body as stated in the Act since all evidence (almost all bogus) gathered by the OMP remains confidential. The OMP cannot be taken to the Supreme Court on this issue. However the OMP should absolutely and immediately be taken to the Supreme Court regarding what has been written above which is what would happen when this OMP is set up.

    The OMP will become a bogus ‘evidence’ manufacturing machine which will gather such bogus inquiries via email from those members of the Tamil diaspora who are supportive of the LTTE terrorists and who will send bogus email inquiries by their thousands. All these bogus inquiries (of people who are actually living in the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India etc.) will then be misused as missing person inquiries.

    I did not realize that the Sinhalese were this stupid as to allow such a process within the Missing Persons Act which can be blatantly misused in order to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ like this. The OMP process is not transparent, it will happen in total secrecy, no one in Sri Lanka will be able to question it, not our police, not our courts, not our Sri Lankan citizens, nobody. All the OMP will do is gather bogus email ‘evidence’ such as described above which will then be misused as missing person inquiries to try the Sri Lankan Armed Forces for bogus war crimes that they never, ever committed.

    The OMP process as described above must be stopped immediately. If a relative or a friend really and genuinely wants to find out about their genuinely missing relative or friend (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist), they can make a complaint to the OMP in person in public. This is the only way that Sri Lanka and the world will know that their inquiry is genuine. This was the methodology followed by the earlier Paranagama Commission which then received 23,000 complaints from relatives or friends of the missing person (i.e. perished LTTE terrorist or our perished Sri Lankan Forces soldiers) but they made their complaint in public in person to the commission. This is the only way to ensure authenticity and make the process transparent since this happens in the public arena. However, even with such safeguards, even some of those complaints may have been bogus.

    The OMP should be stopped immediately since it is not a transparent process at all as described above but a totally secretive process where no one and nobody can request to be provided an opportunity to even peruse, investigate or look at the email inquiries received by the OMP. If the UNHRC, the US, UK, EU, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Australia, New Zealand, India, the TNA and the separatist terrorists genuinely want to find out about perished LTTE terrorists, this Yahapalanaya Government could expand and extend the scope of the already set up Paranagama Commission in order to make such inquiries. This process should be totally following Sri Lankan Law, within Sri Lankan jurisdiction, paid for totally by the Sri Lankan Government only and with only Sri Lankan citizens appointed as commission members and investigators. In fact the entire staff should be composed of Sri Lankan citizens only. The process should be a totally domestic process with no interference or input whatsoever from foreign countries. Most importantly, all complaints should be made in person by relatives and friends in public if their complaint is genuine.

    The Missing Persons Act is totally dangerous as pointed out above and should be dismissed totally as it is highly dangerous and a totally secretive process as described above designed and set up to manufacture bogus ‘evidence’ against the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

  2. plumblossom Says:

    Apart from highly commending you for taking legal action against the treacherous CBK (Chaura Rejina) regarding the defamatory and utter lies she keeps repeating to defame her rivals, legal action should be taken against her for stating that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial Councils within the new constitution. Does this evil woman CBK think she owns Sri Lanka and that she is the one who is going to draw up the new constitution of Sri Lanka (according to the wishes of the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists)? The constitution of Sri Lanka should satisfy first and foremost the majority of people of this island i.e. the Sinhala people and the Sinhala people firstly do not want to draw up a new constitution nor do they want any more powers whatsoever be provided to the provincial councils especially land, police and fiscal or to illegally merge the North and the East.

    Someone has to go to the supreme court and take action against treacherous CBK for suggesting that she will definitely devolve more powers to provincial councils within the yet to be drawn up constitution since this means the treacherous Ranil, Sirisena, CBK and Mangala have already drawn up a constitution to satisfy the imperialistic US, UK, EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden, India, the racist TNA and the separatist terrorists which is illegal.

  3. plumblossom Says:

    When looking at Sri Lanka’s history, it is extremely obvious that from 600BC to around 1400AD there were three kingdoms, all Sinhala Buddhist, Ruhuna, Pihiti or Rajarata and Maya or Malayarata. Rajarata encompassed today’s North Central, North Western, Northern and even the Central Province. Ruhunu rata encompassed today’s Uva, Eastern and Southern Provinces. The Kandyan Kingdom from 1400AD encompassed most of the island inclusive of today’s Northern and the Eastern Provinces except for the Jaffna Peninsula. Even the Jaffna Peninsula was invaded and occupied by force by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan) and actually did belong to Rajarata earlier and later the Kandyan Kingdom.

    Today’s provincial boundaries were drawn up by the British colonialists as per their divide and rule policy and the Sinhala people were not consulted when drawing up these provincial boundaries. In the meantime, most Sri Lankan Tamils of today were actually brought over during Dutch and British times to the Jaffna Peninsula and elsewhere to work on tobacco and indigo plantations which were planted extensively in all the colonies since they were much sought after and made a lot of money for the colonialists. Therefore they are recent arrivals and cannot claim homelands or separate states whatsoever.

    The usual practice when a colonial power hands over their former colonies is to hand it over to its original owners. Therefore the British colonialists should hand over the Kandyan Kingdom to the Kandyan Sinhalese from whom they took it by force. Since the Kandyan Kingdom encompassed the North and the East, these provinces too should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese who are its rightful owners. Even the Jaffna Peninsula should be handed over to the Kandyan Sinhalese since it was part of Rajarata and was forcefully occupied by Aryachakravarthi (Pandyan).

    Since this has now been done already, the TNA and other separatist terrorists or the US, UK EU, Canada, Norway, Sweden and India cannot demand that present day Northern or even the Eastern provinces be provided any more powers or be made into federal states since this is totally going against the history and archaeology of the island and totally going against the rights of the Sinhala people who also have fundamental rights to claim the entire island inclusive of the North and the East as their homeland first and foremost. Therefore, the TNA , the separatist terrorists, the US, UK, Norway, Sweden, Canada and India has to respect the history and archaeology of the island and accept that the present day provincial councils are more than sufficient to run the affairs of the provinces. Sri Lanka must be a unitary state and no more powers should be provided to the provincial councils. In fact, when talking about the 13th amendment, the concurrent list subjects must be included in the national list. The provision where two provinces can merge should be deleted. The bogus claim of the North and the East being the homeland of the Tamil speaking people should be deleted. The entire island should be declared the homeland of all its peoples.

    Sinhala people should be resettled in the North in quite a large number if there is to be peace and harmony within the island since Sinhala people have every historical right to live in the North as well as the East. It is only due to ethnic cleansing of the North of Sinhala people by the LTTE and the other separatists that Sinhala people are not at present living in the North. Many thousands of landless elsewhere in the island especially Sinhala people should be provided land in the North since most of the vacant land in the country is in the North and in the East since both these provinces encompass over 28% of the land area of the island. Then only will there be peace since when people mix, there is more harmony. This is the only way towards peace and development in the island.

  4. Ancient Sinhalaya Says:

    Monki boon is the cat’s paw. Catholic tigers of tamil drealam aka ltte tried to create a catholic country
    in Sri Lanka with the help of catholic-run UNPatriotic party, us, uk, france, germany etc. etc. But MR intervened
    and stopped it. How can they not punish him. It is a win win situation for the christian west. They get all the votes
    from the traitor diasporats which means more mps in those countries. Same time they managed to get rid of
    the Chinese who are controlling the indian sea. Now Sri Lanka is getting ‘raped’ by all these rashes india, us, uk,
    france, germany etc. etc. Best antibiotic for the rash was the Chinese who would’ve kept them away. But Sinhala
    modayas don’t understand this simple truth.

    Totally agree with Plumbossom. We have to settle down more and more Sinhalese in the north and the east to stop
    these cancers’ claim those are their motherlands. These foreigner cancers while living amongst the Sinhalese
    eating into other parts of the country trying to create their own tamil nadu and saudi arabia. Stop the cancers
    before Mother Lanka dies! Settle down more and more Sinhalese in the north and east. Traitors maru sira (hora
    sira) or traitor pol pot ponil wickramaSinhalakiller will never do that. It is for a Sinhalese politician to do that
    job. Maru sira or pol pot won’t do that since they aren’t Sinhalese.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

 

 


Copyright © 2018 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress