UN General Assembly & UN Security Council Members – UNHRC head is violating the UN Charter and abusing his office against Sri Lanka
Posted on March 23rd, 2017

Shenali D Waduge

A grave miscarriage of justice is taking place in front of the UN General Assembly members and UN Security Council. The UNHRC and the OHCHR head is violating the UN Charter and abusing the office in an unsubstantiated and malicious witch hunt against Sri Lanka. We give below examples of these violations and injustices. The UNHRC head is in violation Article 2.7 of the UN Charter demanding Sri Lanka to change its constitution and denigrating our judges and judicial system.

Article 2(7): Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter;  http://www.un.org/en/sections/un-charter/chapter-i/

A/HRC/32/CRP.4 – 28 June 2016

Annual report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and reports of the Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary-General

“The Government has also continued to take some important symbolic steps towards promoting reconciliation and changing the majoritarian political culture”

So the UNHRC head is working to remove the power of the majority and hand it to the hands of a minority and that for him is problem solved! Has he removed the power of the majority in other countries as well!

“From a human rights perspective, the constitutional reform process presents an important opportunity to rectify structural deficiencies that contributed to human rights violations and abuses in the past and reinforce guarantees of non-recurrence.”….

“The new Constitution will also be important in facilitating the establishment of the transitional justice mechanisms envisaged by the Government, for instance the criminalisation of international crimes in national law or allowing for the involvement of international judicial personnel.  At the same time, the High Commissioner hopes that the political process of adopting constitutional changes will not involve trade-offs and compromises on core issues of accountability, transitional justice and human rights.”

“An early gain from the Government’s first tranche of constitutional reform, the 19th amendment adopted in April 2015, has been the restoration of the Constitutional Council to recommend appointments to the senior judiciary and key independent institutions.”

Why should the UNHRC head be commenting on a country’s constitution and encouraging change of the constitution? In which country is there a constitution guaranteeing zero human rights abuses? Which countries have non-recurrence of human rights abuses? Is the UNHRC mandated to be making such comments to a sovereign nation? Yes the 19th amendment was passed and a controversial constitutional council appointed but with supposed ‘independent commissions’ now in place Sri Lanka has not had an election in 2 years and no one is making a hum even in protest.

“The Government has also continued to take some important symbolic steps towards promoting reconciliation and changing the majoritarian political culture. In November 2015, the Government de-listed a number of Tamil diaspora organisations and individuals who had been proscribed under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).”

Why is the UNHRC head so concerned about delisting LTTE fronts. Shouldn’t he be wondering why none of these LTTE fronts had not been investigating for providing material support to the LTTE from overseas or is it because the heads of these fronts are regular visitors to Geneva and his office?

“On 19 May 2016, the previously hubristic military celebrations of the 2009 victory were replaced by a more understated Remembrance Day.”

Has the UNHRC head asked the Allied Forces to cease celebrating Victory Day? Why should UNHRC be so concerned about Sri Lanka not celebrating the victory over terrorism? Sri Lanka is afterall the only country to have militarily defeated a terrorist outfit that remains internationally banned.

“The fate of remaining security detainees held under the PTA remains a major concern for the Tamil community.” …. “Government’s continued reliance on the PTA to make new arrests, despite its commitment to repeal the law.”

Why does the UNHRC head wish to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act? Exactly who are concerned about detaining LTTE cadres – is it on behalf of LTTE families that the UNHRC head is speaking. Does he want these LTTE cadres to be released? Hope he has watched the terror attack in Westminister UK where 5 lives have been lost. Would the British Government repeal all its terror laws just to make terrorists happy?

“The manner in which some of these arrests reportedly took place, in an arbitrary manner and without following proper legal procedure, have led some to compare them to the infamous “white van” abductions/disappearances of the past.”

You really have to wonder who is writing these scripts in the UNHRC. Can we have evidence of these ‘white vans’ because even we would like to know who has been abducted and how many to have the story reach upto the UNHRC!!!

“Some groups have also reported cases of torture and sexual abuse of Tamils returning to Sri Lanka from abroad who are suspected of LTTE involvement.”

UNHRC please name these ‘some groups’ then we can take it from there.

“Despite welcomed steps towards demilitarization, such as the removal of checkpoints, the military presence in the north and east remains heavy and a culture of surveillance and, in certain instances, intimidation and harassment persists.”

Are all these in the mandate of the UNHRC to comment on? Britain has a CCTV camera for every 11 people, doesn’t this constitute a culture of surveillance!

“the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda”

UNHRC head please prove that this Prageth was firstly a journalist. Then prove that he was made to ‘disappear’ because there is no dead body and without a dead body no one can be accused of murder and no one can be put into prison for murder until those making the allegations turn the moon upside down searching for the body!

 “The National Unity Government formed in September 2015 among a broad spectrum of political parties, including the Sri Lankan Freedom Party (SLFP) and the United People’s Party (UNP), has consolidated its position, creating a political environment conducive to reforms” ….” the Government seeks to build and retain the two-thirds majority in parliament necessary to reform the Constitution. This is manifest in an extensive Cabinet with overlapping ministerial mandates” …. “Significant momentum has been achieved in the process of constitutional reform.”

Is the UNHRC a member of the National Unity Government of Sri Lanka? The UNHRC head seems to be knowing more about the new constitution  than the public of Sri Lanka!

“At the end of his visit in February 2016, the High Commissioner urged the Government to quickly find a formula to charge or release the remaining security-related detainees”

What kind of ‘formula’ is he referring to?

“A key question remains the participation of international judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in a judicial mechanism”

Does the UNHRC head have any mandate to be demanding international judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers? Does he demand these same from the powerful countries who are also members of the UN or it just small fries like Sri Lanka that he picks on because the country has spineless leaders who are scared to question UNHRC heads interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country?

“The High Commissioner remains convinced that 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”

How dare the UNHRC head make such a comment degrading our judiciary and judges who are all qualified. What have the tribunals held under the auspices of the UN by international judges exactly delivered? ICTY had spent $14m per individual trial! ICTY is accused of selective bias in choice of indictments and attempts to re-write history of Yugoslavia conflict. ICTY had to announce in 2000 that the ‘mass graves’ was only 2788 victims! Rwanda Tribunal – The cost per person for the court’s 95 indictees is higher than £11 million each. Cambodia Trial – after 8 years and spending $200million only 5 indictments were served and only 1 convicted. So much for justice! Special Court for Sierra Leone – The Court spent up to $23 million on every defendant. Only 22 have so far been indicted! Special court for Lebanon – 4 years of international investigation has already cost $325 million. Over 75 per cent of the people indicted remain at large and only one person is in prison in East Timor for crimes committed in 1999.

Here is a list of what the LTTE fronts/TNA aspired for and what the UNHRC office has got implemented via the new government

  • Ratification of the International Convention for the Protection of All persons from enforced disappearances (25 May 2016)
  • Resolution passed by Parliament establishing a constitutional assembly to draft and approve a new constitution or amendments by end of 2016 and put to a referendum in 2017 (10 March 2016)
  • De-listing a number of Tamil diaspora organizations and individuals proscribed under PTA (Nov 2015)
  • Replacing Victory Day celebrations with Remembrance Day (since it upset the LTTE terrorists)
  • Pardoning a convicted LTTE prisoner who attempted to assassinate the present President (brings tears to our eyes at the heartfelt symbolic gesture and in the meanwhile without evidence state intelligence officers are put to prison!)
  • Legislation to regulate hate speech
  • Release of ‘civilian land’ in North & East (2015)
  • Government committing to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and drafting new security laws for which the OHCHR are offering their services (WHY??? And for whose benefit???)
  • Promise to demilitarize (does the UNHRC head demand US, UK, NATO reduce their militaries in all of the countries they are illegally stationed in?
  • Appointing Victim and Witness Protection Authority (Jan 2016) and the UNHRC head is ‘strongly’ urging the Govt to amend the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Act of 2015 (in the meanwhile the UNHRC investigation report comprises anonymous witnesses, whose identities are sealed for 20 years and records of their allegations are kept secret so too are the identities of those who interviewed them). These must be the ‘international standards’ the UNHRC is referring to.
  • GOSL commits to implementing a comprehensive transitional justice agenda, incorporating a full range of judicial and non-judicial measures, which includes prosecution initiatives, truth-seeking, reparation programmes, institutional reforms.
  • Establishment of a Prime Ministers Action Group (Nov 2015) to provide overall political coordination among different ministries supported by a dedicated Secretariat for the Coordination of the Reconciliation Mechanism (very confused about this one)
  • Appointment of a 11-member Task Force (Jan 2016) of ‘prominent’ members of civil society (says who???) to conduct national consultation process
  • Preparing legislation to create an Office of the Missing Persons (May 2016) drafted by Government advisors who had not shared the draft with the public.
  • GOSL signs Disappearances Convention (Dec 2015) and ratified it in May 2016 to include criminalizing enforced disappearances in the Penal Code
  • Sri Lanka Cabinet approves draft legislation enabling issuance of Certificates of Absence.
  • Truth & Reconciliation Commission and a Special Court
  • Security sector reforms including a comprehensive vetting process that would ensure that “no scope exists for retention in or recruitment into the security forces of anyone credibly implicated through a fair administrative process in serious crimes involving human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law” (this is very funny the ex-UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim turned out to be former Nazi and the UN didn’t have a mechanism to vet that!)

Yes, the country does have a weak government. Yes, that government comprised of a cocktail of parties with conflicting agendas and demands is grappling to stay in power and will do whatever is asked of it in order to remain in power. However, that does not mean that the UN system should manipulate this weakness to completely drain the sovereignty out of Sri Lanka and have every inch of its sovereign status diminished and diluted and under the spell of international forces that wish to use Sri Lanka’s geopolitical positioning for their own political and economic advantage. That the leaders in power are more concerned about their own status in power and are blind to these mechanizations does not mean that the rest of the citizens in Sri Lanka are ignorant of the rape that is taking place as can be seen by the statements issued by the UNHRC and the rapid changes taking place at whirlwind pace.

We implore the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council Members to look at the grave injustice being done to a country that suffered 30 years of terrorism and militarily ended the terrorists but not the terrorist supporters who are now using the power of the kitty they hold to buy what they could not purchase with the gun. Appeasing terrorists is not the answer as UK is now finding out and EU knows too well about and before geopolitics manufactures more terrorists it is time that these injustices and malpractices taking place inside the corridors of the UN system stop.

What is baffling is why the UN system did nothing when LTTE prevailed, why they did not bring the Bible of recommendations and accountability when LTTE were on a killing mission and why they had no solutions to end terror when terror existed but when the terrorist leader and gang have been eliminated the entire UN is coming out with a Bible on accountability and that too only applicable to the soldiers who ended terror and to the leaders whom they want out of the way so that all the constitutional changes can be made to turn Sri Lanka into a vassal state!!!

Shenali D Waduge

Prince Zeid calls for ‘foreign judges’ in war crimes cases, but Sri Lanka opts for ‘foreign expertise’ http://bdnews24.com/neighbours/2017/03/23/prince-zeid-calls-for-foreign-judges-in-war-crimes-cases-but-sri-lanka-opts-for-foreign-expertise

http://www.ceylonews.com/2017/01/un-rejects-sri-lankas-claim-on-foreign-judges-video/ UNHRC in its twitter page has rejected Sri Lanka’s claim and said “Zeid has always urged the creation of a hybrid court in Sri Lanka” and has not changed his position in this regard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41JZdt1qsH4  (UNHRC head in Sri Lanka 2016)

One Response to “UN General Assembly & UN Security Council Members – UNHRC head is violating the UN Charter and abusing his office against Sri Lanka”

  1. charithsls Says:

    I did say this sometime ago & could not stop laugh myself when saw the news ” (UNHRC) Thursday without a vote adopted the consensus resolution on Sri Lanka to which proposes to give two more years beyond 2017 to Sri Lanka to fulfil its commitments for reconciliation and transnational justice.” My foot. They are just playing the game, the moment the opposition comes to power it will be just strangling with sanctions. The West & the US are just doing this gimmick to keep this puppet government in power. The government knows it well & hope the opposition plan how to wriggle out these impending sanctions when they come to power from now itself rather than waiting like fools as it won’t happen.

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