An Open Letter to Al Hussein on UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and Ground Reality
Posted on September 25th, 2016

Janaki Chandraratna A concerned Human Rights Activist.

Mr. Zeid Al Hussein
United Nations High Commissioner
For Human Rights
UNHCHR
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva,
Switzerland.

Re:       UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and Ground Reality

Dear Sir

I am aware that at your last visit to Sri Lanka in February 2016 you did praise the current Sri Lankan government on the progress made after the 8 January 2015 regime change. It may be that you based your comments on government propaganda not knowing the ground realities. The truth is that the country’s economy has slumped to unprecedented debt levels with a gagged media, intensified ethnic rivalry, degradation of law order, increased human rights allegations and increased arrests of the opponents through the govt. politburo, the FCID. In short people are living in fear lamenting helplessly being misled to vote for the new regime on unsubstantiated fraud allegations.

Please see below a copy of the editorial of ‘The Island’ Newspaper, the most reputed daily in Sri Lanka, published on 18 September 2016 for an independent assessment of the country’s current circumstances.

This letter is to draw your attention to the fact that the majority Sinhalese community of Sri Lanka, which forms over 70% of the population, is not in favor of dividing the small Island on ethnic lines, as purported by the Tamil Diaspora and the Geneva resolution. The forced creation of a separate state for Tamils is akin to the destabilization of the Middle East on the pretext of Weapons of Mass Destruction. It should be noted that the UN would be creating another Palestine in Sri Lanka if the country is divided on ethnic lines without adequate controls in the center to ensure the security of the country as a sovereign state. It is ironical that when there is so much attention in the current 71st session of the UN General Assembly in New York on national security, terrorism and border protection, the activity of the UNHRC is involved in carving up the sovereign state of Sri Lanka into realms on ethnic lines.

People in Sri Lanka, except the corrupt politicians who stand to gain by a division of the State, are very happy to live as an one nation with the freedom to travel and settle wherever they wish, practice their own religion and cultural activities as they currently do in Colombo. I hope UNHCR, which is closely involved in the devolution of power to the periphery take full responsibility to ensure that appropriate central controls are in place in Sri Lanka to avoid another potential war and a refugee crisis that had occurred in some other countries under their care.

Thank you

Janaki Chandraratna

A concerned Human Rights Activist.

20 Sept. 2016

 

 

The Island Newspaper (Editorial)

Sri Lanka September 18, 2016, 7:37 pm

 Picking a good president

Sri Lanka and Singapore are as different as chalk and cheese, and what is good and feasible anent the latter may not be so in respect of the former in many respects. But, there are certain areas where the former can emulate the latter. Much has been said about the need for Sri Lanka to adopt the Singaporean economic model, and the purpose of this comment is not to try to add to the ever burgeoning corpus of the how-to-be-another-Singapore treatises or disquisitions. Instead, we venture to argue that Sri Lanka has a lot to learn from the city state as regards how to cleanse politics.

We reproduce today an article from our Asia News Network (ANN) partner, The Straits Times, on a report issued by Singapore’s Constitutional Commission (CC), proposing how to tighten the eligibility criteria, ensure minority candidates are elected from time to time, and refine the role of the Council of Presidential Advisers.

The aforesaid article reveals an interesting observation the CC has made: “… Candidates for presidential elections have no policy agenda to advance. There is little, if any, need for the vigorous contest of ideas that takes place during a parliamentary election. The CC is reported to have proposed rules to “restrict or exclude acts that might inflame emotions, cause divisiveness or encourage invective” so that campaigning is conducted “with rectitude and dignity as befits the office and comports with the unifying role and purpose of the presidency”.

The very opposite of this is true of Sri Lanka’s presidential elections which reek of unspeakable acts that inflame emotions, cause divisiveness or encourage invective and are never conducted with rectitude and dignity. The last two presidential election campaigns were characterised by hate speech with the main candidates vowing to incarcerate each other as first thing upon being elected. Following the 2010 presidential polls, the winner had his contender who threatened to jail him, thrown behind bars, sacked the then Chief Justice, did his damnedest to neutralise the democratic opposition, abused his parliamentary majority to make bad laws and launched a political witch hunt against his opponents.

The winner of the last presidential race, unceremoniously sacked the then UPFA government with a two-thirds majority in Parliament and appointed the UNP leader who had only 46 seats Prime Minister! He claimed he had asked for a popular mandate for that. If the president can act in such a manner upon being elected, there is no need for parliamentary polls, as we have argued in this space previously. He went on to ‘vapourise’ the Chief Justice and, after the last general election, manipulated Parliament to enable his allies to secure the key posts in the Opposition as well. His raison d’etre seems to be having all his bêtes noires jailed.

All elected Sri Lankan presidents have resorted to what may be described as ‘executive terrorism’ to keep the other branches of government under his or her thumb and frighten his or her political opponents into submission. Power hungry and consumed with hatred, all of them missed the opportunity to rise above petty partisan politics and become statespersons.

It is hoped that the politicians who often rush to Singapore for medical care, sharing spoils on the sly, holidaying, shopping and, most of all, hatching plots to effect regime changes will care to learn from that country how to serve the people.

A fish is said to rot from the head down. The same is true of governments. Hence, the pressing need for any nation desirous of arresting the deterioration of national politics to find ways and means of ensuring that its people make a wise choice in choosing the right person to helm the ship of state! The Singaporean example is worthy of emulation.

4 Responses to “An Open Letter to Al Hussein on UNHRC Resolution on Sri Lanka and Ground Reality”

  1. Cerberus Says:

    Wow! Ms. Chandraratna, I lift my hat to you for this brilliant letter to Zeid.

    It is high time that more Sinhalese spoke up to the UN and other world leaders on what we have undergone as a group for over 500 years Colonization and destruction under, the Portuguese, the Dutch and the worst under the British. The Sinhalese have to be protected under R2P of the UN Charter from the 20 million Tamil Dalits who are eyeing Sri Lanka as their Separate homeland since India does not allow separatism. Many groups from India, the Catholic Church, the Muslim community are trying hard to wipe out a 2600-year-old Sinhala Buddhist culture and replace it with their own culture.

    Just as the Tamils have their Global Tamil movement we Sinhalese too must get off our backs and form a Global Sinhala front to fight the lies and deceit that is being perpetrated on them by other minorities. As you say we cannot depend on the corrupt politicians who are only interested in remaining in power even if it means selling the country to foreigners who will keep them in their positions.

    One thing that has always puzzled me is why all the foreign delegates, UN officials always go to Jaffna and never to the South to talk to the Sinhala majority representatives. It has become really bad under the current Govt. The Tamils are asking for reparations, how about reparations for all the damage done to the country for 30 years by the LTTE and the thousands of innocents who were killed and maimed by LTTE attacks. Is no one going to investigate all that?

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Experts say that Sri Lanka has ALREADY FULFILLED the UN Rules & Requirements for Minorities in Lanka.

    Only Reasonable Requests from any group of citizens in Sri Lanka should be considered at Parliament level and acted on or put away, with reasons given.

    * What has to be REMOVED is the ILLEGAL 13-A.

    * What has to be REVOKED is the vicious Vadukoddai Resolution of 1976.

    * What has to be ENACTED is the 6-A.

    Time for the government to ACT !

  3. plumblossom Says:

    This UNP is trying to privatise state enterprises suggesting that they are loss making. I would like to point out to this treacherous UNP Government that they have no right to privatise any state enterprises since they belong to the people of Sri Lanka in general and is not their private property to privatise as they wish. If state enterprises are loss making, appoint a good management team to manage the state enterprise properly. This treacherous UNP Government is privatising state enterprises citing loss making as an excuse since they are also privatising even profit making state enterprises. Actually this UNP Government is selling all state enterprises to their friends in high places and to companies of those foreign powers who helped them come to power monetarily and via totally false propaganda during their election campaign and this is their pay back.

    We would warn any buyer of any state enterprises being privatised by this treacherous UNP Government that as soon as a a new Government comes to power, all these selling of state enterprises will be considered null and void and anyone who buys up any of these state enterprises will have to bear the loss of buying any state enterprise. Therefore we urge all potential buyers not to buy any state enterprise since as soon as a new Government comes to power, all such selling of state enterprises will be considered null and void and they will only end up making a loss.

  4. Fran Diaz Says:

    Agree with Plumblossom.

    This Yahap govt ILLEGAL as such a so called “National Govt” is NOT allowed per the Constitution ! It appears they have done many illegal actions against the Constitution of Sri Lanka. Appointing the Exec PM was also an illegal action as there already was a PM for Lanka.

    Therefore, all transactions by Yahap are also ILLEGAL, isn’t it ?

    Make the Yahap govt actions such as sale of public enterprises null & void, better sooner than later.

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