Gotabaya rejects Geneva Resolution but offers to work with UN
Posted on October 15th, 2019

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

SLPP presidential candidate Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday assured his commitment to work with the UN while rejecting the Geneva Resolution co-sponsored by the yahapalana government in Oct 2015.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka always worked with the UN.

The wartime Defence Secretary said so in response to a query at his first media briefing since receiving nominations on August 11, at Shangri-la, one of the hotels targeted by two National Thowheed Jamaat (NTJ) suicide bombers on April 21, 2019.

The media queried as to how he would proceed as regards the Geneva commitments, in case he was elected at the Nov 16, 2019 presidential poll.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa was flanked by former President and leader of the SLPP Mahinda Rajapaksa, former External Affairs Minister and SLPP Chairman Prof. G.L. Peiris, CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman, MP, former MP A.L.M. Athaulla, SLFP General Secretary Mahinda Amaraweera, MP, MEP leader Dinesh Gunawardena, MP, NFF leader Wimal Weerawansa, MP and EPDP leader Douglas Devananda MP.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa pointed out that they had rejected the Geneva Resolution publicly.

The 2015 Resolution was based on 2011 Darusman report that blamed the Sri Lankan military for killing 40,000 civilians. The UN also recommended far reaching security sector reforms in accordance with the unsubstantiated allegations. Recently, the UN announced the termination of Sri Lanka peacekeeping mission under UN command in Southern Lebanon as a punishment for appointing celebrated war hero Lt. Gen Shavendra Silva, opposed by the self-styled international community.

Prof. Peiris pointed out that the incumbent government itself declared that the Geneva Resolution was contrary to the Constitution. Prof. Peiris underscored the fact that the government couldn’t implement what was not in line with the Constitution. The former External Affairs Minister was referring to Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC’s statement at the March 2018 sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

Responding to another query, the former frontline combat officer pointed out the recent revelations made by two senior Attorney General’s Department officials pertaining to high profile politically motivated investigations initiated following the last presidential poll. Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained as to how decisions regarding investigations were taken at Temple Trees. According to him, decisions taken at Temple Trees had been harmful to those who risked their lives for the country. Rajapaksa found fault with the procedures adopted by the current dispensation in respect of military personnel now in remand custody on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa reiterated his commitment to release those in remand custody on bogus charges once he was elected.

The famed Gajaba Regiment veteran said that once elected he would resume the procedures/process adopted by the Rajapaksa administration in respect of accountability issues.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa asserted that accountability process could move forward without foreign involvement.

Responding to another query, he emphasized that those living in the Northern and Eastern provinces had far more important issues than what he called unsubstantiated old allegations.

Gotabaya Rajapaksa explained the measures taken by the Rajapaksa administration to rehabilitate 13,000 surrendered LTTE cadres following the successful conclusion of the war in May 2009. Gotabaya Rajapaksa responded to a spate of questions on accountability issues, including disappearances and those missing after surrendering to the Army on the Vanni east front during the final phase of the offensive.

Recollecting his time with the infantry in the Jaffna peninsula two decades ago, Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that there were instances bodies of fallen officers and men couldn’t be recovered.

Asked whether the SLPP had discussed polls arrangement with the four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa said that they were yet to hold talks with that party. Kurunegala District MP Rajapaksa said that they were ready to hold discussions with any party.

Pointing out that explanations were sought in respect of accountability issues pertaining to only the Eelam War IV, The Island asked the coalition backing Gotabaya Rajapaksa as to why origins of terrorism were not properly examined, including the Indian destabilization project and the assassination of Lankan lawmakers at the behest of India.

Thousands perished in Indian Army operations in northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka. The LTTE retaliated in May 1991 by assassinating one-time Indian PM Rajiv Gandhi

Former President Rajapaksa agreed that the conflicts in the North-East and the South should be examined. Lawmaker Rajapaksa also made reference to counter-insurgency operations undertaken by the then UNP government in the 80s.

Asked by The Island whether a situation similar to that of 2015 when the then Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne was replaced in the wake of Maithripala Sirisena winning the presidential poll was likely in the aftermath of Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s victory, former President Rajapaksa said that they would wait for the Nov 16 poll outcome.

3 Responses to “Gotabaya rejects Geneva Resolution but offers to work with UN”

  1. Dilrook Says:

    A contradictory statement.

    UNHRC is a UN agency. Working with the UN is to work within UNHRC resolutions too. Otherwise we have to exit the UN.

    We cannot reject a UN agency’s resolution and still work with the UN!

    Either we work with both or we exit both.

    Since Sri Lanka does not plan to exit the UN, the next government will be working as per the UNHRC resolution.
    (My preference is Sri Lanka exiting the useless, toothless and interfering UN.)

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    Dilrook,

    Don’t be so pedantic! It is NOT A CONTRADICTORY statement!

    UN rules are ROUTINELY reinterpreted to fit their own circumstances by UN member nations!

    For example, the US participates in UN peace keeping missions, but unlike other countries will not subject its peacekeeping troops to UN rules or justice!

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Court publishes reasons for dismissal of petition challenging Gotabhaya’s citizenship

    Oct 15, Colombo: The Court of Appeal, Tuesday published the reasons for rejecting the petition challenging the citizenship of former Defense Secretary and presidential candidate of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    The three judge bench of the Appeal Court chaired by Justice Yasantha Kodagoda on 4th October dismissed the petition filed by two civil society activists against Rajapaksa�s Sri Lankan Citizenship.

    Publishing its reasons for the dismissal of the petition today, the court stated that a newly elected President could have exercised powers conferred on a Minister by any written law until the Cabinet of Ministers was appointed.

    Accordingly, the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the repository of the Executive power of the people, had the legal authority in terms of the Constitution to sign the ‘Dual Citizenship Certificate’ of his brother on 21st November 2005.

    Therefore, the court has ruled that the argument of the Petitioners Gamini Viyangoda and Prof. Chandragupta Thenuwara is a “nullity” and has no legal basis.

    The full statement of the court can be accessed here.

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