UNHRC 2014 was the worst ever for Sri Lanka. However, it was the best in Lanka’s media response.
UNHRC 2014 was the worst ever for Sri Lanka. However, it was the best in Lanka’s media response.
The US, UK and Canada, with all their power and might could muster only 23 votes at the UNHRC session – one less than 2012 and two less than 2013. Twelve voted against the Resolution while 12 others abstained. Therefore, as a whole there are 24 against the Resolution. As such, the sponsors and the co-sponsors of the Resolution cannot be that happy. With the massive campaign conducted by the US, UK, Canada and the LTTE rump, their expectation was 35 votes. The biggest shock and disbelief to the Resolution sponsors was the abstention of India. Political scientists consider this as a setback for the US. And then, with all the pressure brought by Navi Pillai, who is well known for her bias attitude, South Africa had abstained. Many had claimed that they voted for the Resolution because of the funding they get from the west.
So the last minute surprise and good news for Sri Lanka was the stand taken by India. The Indian delegate had said, ‘…An external investigation mechanism would hinder the efforts of Sri Lanka to promote reconciliation…This imposes an intrusive approach and is counter productive…’ However, the whole episode in Sri Lanka about terrorism and war is due to the role played by India. At the beginning, India nurtured, funded and trained the terrorists.
With all the drumming done by the US and sponsor countries, the results of the voting had not improved by leaps and bounds. Therefore, the sponsors of the Resolution have taken it lying low. So far the voting pattern in the past had been, 24 votes for the US Resolution in 2012 with 15 against and 8 abstaining. In 2013, there were 25 votes for the US with 13 against and 8 abstaining. In 2014, those in favour of the Resolution had dropped to 23 while there had been 12 against with 12 abstentions. So minnow Sri Lanka had performed well against Goliath US. For the LTTE rump, Tamil diaspora, NGO’s and people like Navi Pillai, Rayappah Joseph etc the results are more a disappointment.
However, for Sri Lanka, except the last minute shocking development from India, this is not much of a surprise. Sri Lanka from the beginning had stood against the heavy weights and categorically rejected the Resolution as it challenges the Sovereignty and Independence of the country. President Mahinda Rajapakse had said that the US sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka and the vote on it will be of no significance. He had added that the govt was not concerned about the resolution as it was nothing new from the UN Human Rights Council. The President did not heed the requests of the west during the height of the war. Their main grudge is for this!
Sri Lanka can claim a moral victory on the basis that 2014 UNHRC Resolution was adopted against Sri Lanka with 23 votes while a majority comprising 24 nations did not support the Resolution by either voting against or abstaining with India joining the list of abstentions. This is a striking difference from the pattern of voting shown on the last two occasions at UNHRC in 2012 and 2013 when Sri Lanka’s Human Rights record was reviewed. India’s decision not to support the Resolution despite a raucous Tamilnadu threatening to break away from India is a clear indication of a significant turnaround in foreign policy making in India with the Centre asserting dominance over Regional priorities. India’s withdrawal of support reduces the Resolution adopted at Geneva to nothing more than a Pyrrhic or hollow victory. The pattern of voting also revealed another significant development ” the emerging cleavage in the community of nations with the Western Christian countries (with a few exceptions) being placed on one side and driven to isolation while the populous Third World nations drawn from Asia, Africa and Latin America closing ranks. This is a foretaste of the new world order that is dawning with the Asian giants at the helm.
The 2014 UNHRC voting nations & the results:
Those who voted for the resolution:
Argentina, Austria, Benin, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote D’Ivoire, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Montenegro, Peru, Rep. of Korea, Romania, Sierra Leon, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UK, USA.
Those who voted against:
Algeria, China, Congo, Cuba, Kenya, Maldives, Pakistan, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Venezuela, Vietnam
Those who abstained:
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Morocco, Namibia, Philippines, South Africa.
The people of Sri Lankan bow their heads to the nations that bravely voted against the Resolution and backed their decision with very powerful speeches that revealed that they had a sound understanding of the ground situation including the under currents. In taking the populations of the nations voting in favor of the Resolution vis a vis the nations that voted against and abstained reveal that the total population of the 23 nations can hardly match the combined populations of the 24 nations. In other words, Sri Lanka has the support of the majority of the people of the world.
Special mention must be made of China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Maldives, Vietnam, Kenya, Congo, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and in particular the magnanimous gesture of Pakistan whose chief delegate virtually stole the show with an eloquent presentation and analysis of the diabolical motives of the sponsors of the Resolution under the cover of protecting Human Rights in Sri Lanka. He said that the whole exercise was nothing but political. He argued that there was no available funding within the UNHRC Annual Budget for this proposed investigation and added that if the lack of funds were to be overcome with funds granted by the sponsors of the Resolution then the whole process will get tainted. In the light of lack of funds the Pakistan delegate proposed a No Action motion to defer the discussion of the Resolution to a later date when the availability of funds is certain.
He also proposed an amendment to the Resolution with the removal of the clause calling for a separate investigation on alleged HR violations in Sri Lanka to be conducted by the Office of the High Commissioner of UNHRC. Though both his proposals were defeated by a carefully cultivated block of nations that has virtually hijacked the UNHRC and converted it into an Inquisition, the gutsy performance of Pakistan’s chief delegate did not fail to win the admiration of an international audience that watched the proceedings on TV. He also provided a valuable lesson to several other delegations from various countries including Sri Lanka grappling with the task of choosing the right candidates to represent their nations in international fora and bring credit to their nations through brilliant individual performances at international conferences and sessions.
Sri Lankans are also grateful to the nations that abstained from voting for it symbolized their inclination not to vote with the US and the lies that had been built up against the country. In what was obviously a huge surprise to the entire UNHRC was India’s decision to abstain from voting. It was clearly a slap in the face to the eelam lobbyists, the LTTE diaspora and Tamilnadu while also showing that the care-taker Government of India though still nominally under the control of the Congress Party was no longer in control of India’s decision making on Foreign policy and with the likely Modi victory the South-bloc had ensured that India’s self-interest was re- established overriding parochial agendas promoted by regional entities.
Depart from ‘bayagulla’ Diplomacy
Unbeknown to the decision makers the patriotic forces both in Sri Lanka and overseas took it upon themselves to lobby support for Sri Lanka and counter the lies and false propaganda that was being built up against Sri Lanka whilst officials in charge of countering foreign diplomatic onslaughts preferred to adopt the age-old policy that has been a proven failure. That, gutless (bayagulla) diplomacy championed by Oxbridge speakers functioning as brown sahibs has not worked underlies the key message that being the nice-guy in today’s international scene was unlikely to reap dividends in the face of diabolical conduct by nations forging their geopolitical agenda. Timidity, moral cowardice, lack of spine and vision which has been the hall mark of Sri Lanka’s foreign policy and diplomacy in the last few years and particularly after the departure of Mr. Lakshman Kadrigamar from the foreign affairs scene needs to be radically overhauled.
What Sri Lanka’s delegations should have included were the real victims to counter the lies
What was clearly lacking in the country’s strategy was a plan to win the votes in Sri Lanka’s favor using arguments that would tap into the self-interests of these nations which is what forced India’s decision. That the UNHRC head was biased with an irrefutable conflict of interest was projected half-heartedly, that the discrepancies in the UNHRC’s treatment of Sri Lanka was not highlighted internationally, that Sri Lanka did not align with topics that would have inspired the nationalist and patriotic groups in nations of Africa, Latin America and Asia to bond with Sri Lanka was also sidelined ” colonial crimes would have been an easy topic to have silenced nations of Europe and UK and place them on the back foot. That is how the Jews and Israel do by drawing international attention to the horrors of the Holocaust. We have suffered enough and more during the colonial era of the Portuguese, Dutch and British and much of our ethnic and religious conflicts stem from the seeds of conflict planted on Sri Lanka’s soil by European colonial Governments. This is a common story all over the Third World and a viable basis to bond with others on a shared past of colonial oppression, plunder of resources and suppression of indigenous religions.
With Britain all out to destroy the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka under the cloak of Human Rights, we find that the Ministry of External Affairs unashamedly has commended Britain for its colonial legacy in Sri Lanka on its website stating that merits of British imperial rule outweighed the demerits. It is this type of servility and subservience on the part of the decision makers in this Ministry that prevents Sri Lanka from bonding with Afro ” Asian nations and even the Buddhist nations of Asia and giving leadership and moral direction as in the days of S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and Sirima Bandaranaike.
People who take no pride in the country’s literary and cultural heritage, and have nothing but contempt for the country’s national heroes particularly those who defended Sri Lanka from foreign conquests should have no place in the Ministry of External Affairs. By placing an excessive emphasis on English language skills to the exclusion of all other relevant factors we find a Foreign Ministry lacking an Architecture in foreign policy making, vision and floating rudderless in the international arena. There has to be a constant engagement with the patriotic segments of this country and their input must be taken into account in shaping foreign policy. The last thing that the country needs is a Ministry converted into a one man show for self serving purposes nor policies that change just because a nation abstained from voting.
Sri Lanka needs to align with true friends and strategic stakes should not be given to nations that votes according to self-interest only therefore areas like Sampoor, Trincomalee, national assets need to be leased to countries that have solidly stood by Sri Lanka and detrimental agreements that the public continues to request to be repealed should now be taken up for review. This is not a time to be playing politics with these areas in the best interest of the leaders themselves for it is they who end up being taken to international courts and not the public – let the politicians remember that.
Establish Commission of inquiry to cover period 1972 – 2009
Even at this late stage the Government of Sri Lanka can exercise its sovereign rights and parallel to the intrusive inquiry that the UNHRC High Commissioner plans to undertake covering the period 2002 ” 2009, the Government can establish a Commission of Inquiry to cover the period from 1972 ” 2009. No one can challenge the rationale of such a move.
The Government must take on the LTTE Diaspora and have a strategized plan to counter the lies, ban LTTE fronts and properly market the post-conflict developments while setting the story straight. Ethno-political parties must not be allowed to dictate the decisions the Government takes on behalf of the entire country as such we will not tolerate the Government’s silence when TNA or others claim the North as Tamil Homeland. Sinhalese and Muslims have every right to live in the North and the Government must categorically place this fact before the TNA and international community without playing politics with the issue.
Instead of waiting for things to happen let us make things happen. That should be the motto of both the Government and in particular the Ministry of External Affairs. We must stop cringing before nations or foreign leaders.
In addition the Government of Sri Lanka must challenge the suitability of Ms. Navi Pillay to conduct this inquiry given her blatant bias and conflict of interest which are in gross violation of well known equitable principles and natural justice.
We must bring a motion against her at the UNHRC even if it means that Sri Lanka has to walk away from the UNHRC in protest at the biased and vindictive stand taken by her. We must be prepared to canvass the points regarding her unsuitability that are now in the public domain. They are well argued and well researched and legally sound and tenable. The failure to raise these points is tantamount to a gross dereliction of duty and an inexcusable default.
The fatal attractions of brown sahibs and unwinnable war proponents must not be allowed to marginalize alternate points of view generated by patriots in the best interests of Sri Lanka.
At the time of writing, word was not out on the vote on the US sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka, at the UN Human Rights Council. Sri Lanka does not expect to win that contest, but the moral victory has long been assured.
There is a virtual avalanche of support for the war winning President on the Geneva issue that makes clear that moral victory comes from doing the right thing.
There was no capitulation, period, in the face of damnable lies.
The practice of diplomacy requires politeness to the point of unctuousness. It is why the Sri Lankan position was articulated with finesse, but also with careful choice of words at the UN HRC by our Permanent Representative in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha. Sri Lanka emphatically rejected the Resolution and the reasons given were clear, cogent and compelling.
The bona fides of the movers were suspect from the outset. They worked to a political agenda.
The base documents that were relied on were riddled with inaccuracies. The Council’s and the OHCHR’s mandates were dismissively exceeded.
We in these pages do not have to be as polite as the diplomats are and indeed we should not be, as it is incumbent on us in the Fourth Estate to inform the public about the unalloyed truth regarding efforts against this country at the UN HRC.
The bottom line is that the US initiated the current moves against this country based on a pack of lies.
There is no other way of putting it.
Despite the categorical and detailed rebuttals, the hatchet wielder for the US and the other prime movers responsible for this so called human rights oversight process, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has been relying almost entirely on falsehoods for her campaign of aggression against Sri Lanka at the HRC floor.
A case in point is the assertion that there are ongoing attacks on places of religious worship, a canard that has been rebutted by Sri Lanka, but maintained by her detractors despite the fact that there is nothing whatsoever to indicate that there is such a campaign either with or without the knowledge of the government.
The glowing testimonies of some of the nations that spoke up for Sri Lanka is perhaps the best indicator that the charges compiled by the persecutor-in-chief, Navi Pillai, are all trumped up.
From Pakistan to Venezuela to Russia, delegation after delegation spoke about the need to leave Sri Lanka alone, and about unwarranted interference in this country’s internal affairs. But when the worst violators of human rights in the world get together to pounce on a nation that is conveniently placed as a distraction to their own egregious conduct, the delegates that represent them in international forums cannot leave room for niceties.
The truth is of no concern to these people. There isn’t the remotest of appearance of justice being done even symbolically, leave alone justice being done in fact.
There is no respect whatsoever for process, and as one of the writers to our pages Mr. Senaka Weeraratne recently observed, in this day and age it is shocking that the UN process has been hijacked to carry out an Inquisition!
There used to be a time when elaborate stratagems were deployed by the nations that pursued the goals of Empire.
Not any more. Now, it seems that we are back to the days of colonial steamroller policy of scorched earth plunder, and nothing less.
If there was any finesse, would there be a narrative on the persecution of religious minorities without so much as a shred of evidence to that effect? From people who said nothing when the Temple of the Tooth was attacked by Tamil Tiger terrorists, or the Katthankudy mosque was machine gunned, this concern about a totally non existent terror campaign against Muslims and Christians is touching.
And where are the civil society campaigners and journalists on this? Can Paikiasothy or Jehan Perera give us the list of ongoing attacks on places of religious worship? This cannot be made up of one incident or two – it has to be a comprehensive, exhaustive list of ONGOING attacks. If civil society cannot provide that list, can the breast beating and perpetually bleating journalists do the honours? Can the New York Times or its local correspondent provide us that list? Can any bleeding heart in any local newspaper provide that list — anyone in the Sunday Times, or its sister paper perhaps?
Enough said, as there is no such list, unless one is invented. But that does not mean there is a lack of rhetoric and apportioning of blame in the most shameful, peremptory and obnoxious manner on such matters by some of the same civil society actors and ‘professionals’? Whoever said Inquisition said a mouthful then, but the victims of modern Inquisitions wouldn’t bite the bullet; they know only too well how to fight back.
Courtesy: Daily News
Anyone unaware of the ground situation in Sri Lanka walking into the Human Rights Council today could not be blamed for thinking that Sri Lanka is the most troubled place on this planet. However, as you are aware, Sri Lanka is clearly not an urgent situation that warrants the Council’s continued attention.
Draft resolution HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 is the third consecutive resolution presented by the US against Sri Lanka in this Council in the past three years. It is presented without the consent of Sri Lanka as the country concerned. It is presented in spite of Sri Lanka’s continuous engagement with the UN and the Council as acknowledged by countries across regions. It is presented in spite of continued and tangible progress demonstrated by Sri Lanka on the ground in addressing issues related to the reconciliation process including accountability, within the framework of Sri Lanka’s domestic reconciliation process.
Five years since the end of terrorism and the conclusion of the conflict however, unprecedented attention is being paid to Sri Lanka within this Council and on its sidelines. Many countries have questioned and continue to question the real motives and imperatives behind what is clearly politicised action against Sri Lanka in the Council.
It is an established principle of International Law that parties seeking remedy for a perceived grievance must exhaust all possible avenues within the domestic jurisdiction, prior to seeking redress in the international arena. Therefore, the State where the alleged violation occurred should have an opportunity to redress it by its own means, and exhaust the framework of its domestic system, before recourse to an international mechanism. It is ironic that with extensive domestic mechanisms in place, a resolution has been brought before the Council. This amounts to an infringement of state sovereignty and pre-judgment of the outcome of domestic processes.
Thus, the draft resolution before this Council, if adopted will not only constitute a serious breach of International Law, but create a dangerous precedent in the conduct of international relations within the established global order of sovereign States and could pose a grave threat to the sovereignty and independence of Member States of the United Nations, which is enshrined in the UN Charter.
The determination and compulsion of the proponents of the draft resolution to consistently act against the interests of the Sri Lankan people despite the Government’s demonstration of continued progress in the reconciliation process, as well as its commitment to cooperation with the UN is a matter of serious concern for my Government. Singling out Sri Lanka for disproportionate and undue attention in this Council, where such action is unwarranted, is a violation of the basic principles which guide engagement among states.
The draft resolution has also shifted the parametres of the current draft from previous resolutions 19/2 and 22/1, to incorporate new issues which essentially remain at the level of general allegations, both unsubstantiated and uncorroborated. This is evident in the change in title itself, which now has the addition of ‘human rights’, presumably with a view to expanding the scope of the resolution from the past to the present and the future, with no rationale to do so and in order to the serve the vested interests of a few. Such arbitrary shifting of parametres is unacceptable.
In terms of content, the draft resolution is highly intrusive and politicised, and does not give due regard or recognition to significant progress made by Sri Lanka in different aspects of the reconciliation process, or to the domestic mechanisms underway. There is even distortion of specific events, such as the incident in Weliweriya which is projected as an attack against unarmed protestors when the High Commissioner’s Report itself projects it differently, and has acknowledged that the protest ‘had turned violent’. There is also no basis for the erroneous reference to election-related violence and intimidation in relation to the Northern Provincial Council, given the positive reports on the conduct of the election filed by international election observers. The outcome of the election itself which resulted in the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) party garnering 80% of the vote is testimony to its democratic conduct.
There are also allegations in the draft to ‘sexual and gender based violence’, reports of intimidation and retaliation of civil society, violence against religious minorities, which are not substantiated by available facts or statistics. Specific factual information refuting such allegations was provided by the Government in its “Comments” to the High Commissioner’s Report, where it was also pointed out that there is no specific information provided in her Report to substantiate such allegations. Sri Lanka has zero tolerance for sexual and gender based violence, and has taken and will continue to take concrete action when complaints are made to law enforcement authorities. Similarly, Sri Lanka has a vibrant civil society as is illustrated by their participation in successive Council sessions in Geneva including the current session. The Council also witnessed their active participation in informal negotiations on the draft resolution. Similarly, in all reported incidents on places of worship of all four religions, the Government has taken prompt action to investigate such incidents and take judicial action. The Government has not condoned any of these incidents or attacks at any point as is demonstrated through evidence.
The proponents of the resolution have chosen not to recognise that the National Plan of Action (NPoA) for the implementation of the recommendations of the LLRC has been formulated to address comprehensively the recommendations contained in the LLRC Report. The NPoA is sufficiently broad in scope, and also flexible in addressing issues as deemed necessary and relevant. The request to further broaden the scope of the LLRC NPoA to adequately address all elements of the LLRC Report is therefore being made without adequate analysis of the contours of the NPoA.
The Draft resolution is also partisan in making a
special reference to the Northern Provincial Council when in effect the
13th Amendment accords a constitutionally enjoined parity of status
to all provincial councils. This Operative Paragraph is also inconsistent with the Preambular Paragraph which reaffirms that all Sri Lankans are entitled to the full enjoyment of their rights regardless of religion, belief or ethnicity, thus highlighting the contradictions inherent to the draft.
Today in Sri Lanka, the elected representatives of the Tamil people have a voice not only at the Centre but also at the provincial level, the TNA being the governing party in the Northern Provincial Council. The very fact that elections have been held in the North and the TNA has gained power demonstrates that Sri Lanka is very much a vibrant, functioning democracy. Just as the TNA, other sections of the Sri Lankan polity, be it Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or from other communities, also have a voice, although it may be a voice which is not heard in this Council. Such a multiplicity of views is the nature of a truly pluralistic society and a functioning democracy.
The attempt in the draft resolution to coercively introduce alternative parallel processes and mechanisms of truth seeking which remain unclarified and ill defined, will be counter-productive. Most importantly, the allegation of the absence of a credible domestic process to address issues of accountability is not borne out by evidence, given the range of processes under implementation within the framework of the reconciliation process, including the LLRC, of which this Council has been briefed in detail by my delegation. My Minister of External Affairs in his statement to the High Level Segment of the current session elaborated in detail on the reconciliation process with specific reference to processes and mechanisms underway.
We are also surprised by the procedural anomalies and irregularities committed through this draft resolution, as voiced by many countries cross regionally during informal negotiations on the text, as well as the factual inaccuracies contained therein. The draft if adopted will set a dangerous precedent allowing some states to bypass the established method of work and engagement of the Council, thus bringing the credentials and legitimacy of the Council into question.
The draft resolution in its key Operative Paragraph vests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with an investigative mandate in violation of the HRC resolution 60/251 and the IB package. In addition to not having the mandate to conduct an investigation, the OHCHR also does not have the capacity or the resources to do so. This Operative Paragraph also contains lack of clarity in reference to ‘relevant experts’, thus deceptively opening the door to third party elements in the guise of an investigation by the OHCHR. The reference to an international investigation mechanism is clear though crafted in ambiguous language which could be open to interpretation. The budgetary implications in the implementation of the mechanism envisaged in the draft resolution are also of interest, considering that mandated activities need to be carried out through the regular budget. Specificity of mandated activity is therefore a prerequisite with regard to the budget. Additionally, this Operative Paragraph which requests the OHCHR to conduct an independent investigation is mutually inconsistent with Operative Paragraph 2 which calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into alleged violations. This again shows up the inherent contradictions contained in this draft.
By a deliberate failure to specify a time period in Operative Paragraph 10 (b), the draft resolution may confine its ambit between 2002 and 2009, by adopting a narrower interpretation of the period covered by the LLRC, thus completely excluding the atrocities and violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law committed by the LTTE prior to 2002. Though the mandate of the LLRC refers to a period between 21 February 2002 and 19 May 2009, it may be noted that the Commission in its Report states, that the facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the Cease Fire Agreement operationalized in February 2002, have also been considered in the preparation of the Report. The Commission recognized in paragraph 1.22 of Chapter 1 of the LLRC Report that the causes underlying the grievances of different communities had its genesis in the period prior to the timeframe referred to in the warrant. The Commission accordingly provided a degree of flexibility to the representers in this regard. In the circumstances, it is contended that Operative Paragraph 10 (b) of the draft resolution as it is presently constituted is structured in such a partisan manner as to exclude the alleged atrocities committed over the entire duration of the conflict.
This violation of established methods of work of the Council, as well as the deliberate lack of clarity of language in key Operative Paragraphs set a dangerous precedent with wider relevance to all member and observer states of this Council. If the Council is to maintain its credibility, it is incumbent upon all members to take note of such procedural irregularities and halt their continuation through the clear rejection of resolutions such as this.
The trajectory that has emerged with regard to action on Sri Lanka in the Council reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which has been relentlessly pursued with regard to the country. It may be recalled that just a week following the defeat of terrorism in Sri Lanka, on 26th May 2009, at the 11th Special Session on Sri Lanka, the High Commissioner in the first instance, called for “an independent and credible international investigation”, which was subsequently reiterated at regular intervals.
The irony is that measures such as this coercive and non-consensual resolution, wholly ignores the sentiments of those other sections of the Sri Lankan people, and their legitimate aspirations with regard to peace and reconciliation. It is precisely for this reason Mr. President, that the prescriptive solutions advocated in this draft resolution, would be unsustainable and politically untenable.
It is in this context that we are disappointed to observe that a key imperative driving this resolution is not genuine concern for the welfare of the Sri Lankan people but electoral compulsions of some States at the behest of certain extreme elements with links to the LTTE. Such biases and extreme ideologies ignore the ground realities, the legitimate aspirations of the Sri Lankan people, and trivialize the price paid by all Sri Lankans to defeat a 30-year brutal terrorist conflict and consolidate peace.
Before this Council takes a decision on the draft resolution, I wish to appeal to the conscience of the member States. Sri Lanka has embarked upon a painstaking process of reconciliation and nation building, 5 years since the end of the brutal conflict lasting almost 3 decades, waged by the LTTE.
Irrespective of the outcome of today’s decision , I wish to categorically state that the democratically elected Government of Sri Lanka, and indeed all peace loving people in my country will never countenance any return of armed conflict or terrorism.
Therefore, Sri Lanka categorically and unreservedly rejects this draft resolution, as it challenges the sovereignty and independence of a Member State of the UN, violates the principles of international law, based on profoundly flawed premises, and is inimical to the interests of the people of Sri Lanka.
I wish to reiterate the Government’s firm resolve and commitment to continue its ongoing process of reconciliation and nation building, which is solely based on the best interests of the people of Sri Lanka, and is a home grown process. Let me assure the Council that Sri Lanka will remain steadfast in its consistent position of cooperation with the international community and the United Nations.
The Government of Sri Lanka therefore wishes to submit that the draft resolution before this Council today erodes the sovereignty of the people of Sri Lanka and the core values of the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the basic principles of law that postulate equality among all people. I therefore request members of the Council to reject this resolution by a vote.
Exercising the right to reply on statements made regarding the arrest and detention of Ms. Balendran Jeyakumari, and the incidents in Killinochchi last week, Sri Lanka asked the member states at the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on 26 March 2014 how their respective countries would react if there was a credible threat of re-grouping terror networks and if they would remain passive bystanders or take proactive action to ensure terror networks were kept at bay.
Detailing the circumstances which led to the arrest of Ms. Jeyakumari, Sri Lanka, said the performance of this investigative action “should not be portrayed as selective, singling out of these individuals” and deplored attempts on the part of “interested parties to stigmatise the action of law enforcement authorities as an infringement when they were merely carrying out duties for purposes of national security”.
Sri Lanka also stated that as there was “credible evidence of resurgence and revival of LTTE activity in Sri Lanka, masquerading these activities in the garb of human rights, impeded the legitimate exercise of protecting the citizens of the country from terrorism and protecting their right to life”.
Elaborating on the arrest, Sri Lanka pointed out that the recovery of an arms cache, evidence on attempts to reorganise and rearm the terrorist outfit, LTTE, and a shooting incident involving a LTTE terrorist named K. P. Selvanayagam a.k.a Gobi who was found in the residence of Ms. Jeyakumari and who had shot at Police officials and escaped, still remains at large. It was also noted that Ms. Jeyakumari’s daughter who was also at the scene, had been handed over to Probation and Childcare Services following magisterial orders.
Referring to the detention of Mr. Ruki Fernando and Father Praveen, after they were found to be visiting the scene of the crime and the residence of Gobi, the fleeing suspect, Sri Lanka observed that it provided sufficient need for an investigation to be launched into the nature of their involvement of these individuals with the main suspect. They were both released after due judicial process.
While appealing to the member states not to impede Sri Lanka’s quest to ensure that no resurgence of terrorism takes place in the country by misinformation and the wrongful portrayal and misrepresentation of facts, Sri Lanka reiterated that it would continue to maintain vigilance in the face of credible evidence on the resurgence of terrorist activities by the LTTE and would not be deterred in its bid to safeguard its citizens from the scourge of terrorism.
Following a successful side event at the Palais des Nations, where “The Last Phase”, a documentary based on the lives of two former LTTE combatants and told from the point of view of Jeyawadani, a former female combatant, who grew up with the doctrine of the said terrorists group in ‘Sencholai’ and spent her youth in the medical wing of the same group, participating in many of battles launched by this group. Married to a former Sea combatant, they both take turns sharing the story of their childhood, youth, their marriage, the birth of their three children and the years leading to the final phase of the conflict and its aftermath. The film very succinctly conveys the tale of the couple, who having spent a majority of their lives with this group gradually become disillusioned and finally renounced violence to lead a quiet, civilian life, was screened by International Buddhist Foundation (IBF) together with the Committee for a United Sri Lanka (CUSL), the members of the Committee met Mr. Callum Macrae.
The CUSL members had formally introduced themselves and had asked Mr. Macrae about the “selective journalism”, which consequently lead to a constructive discussion between these two groups. The representatives were then asked by Mr. Johnathan Millar to give and interview to express their opinion on the proposed resolution against Sri Lanka.
During this interview the CUSL members expressed that Sri Lankans expatriates strongly believe that it is time to stop pointing fingers at each other but rather for the Sri Lankans and international community to work together and support Sri Lankans. They explained that there is a need to find a home grown solution to the problems, one that would ensure that all Sri Lankans irrespective of their ethnic and religious backgrounds will find a way to reconcile and live together.
They had added that a HRC resolution against Sri Lanka would have a negative impact on the reconciliation efforts, as it would result in further divisions between the two communities. They had also pointed out that the resolution if adopted would send a wrong message to individuals and groups that expect a divided country and that they would be encouraged to start devising mechanisms that would lead to hatred between the two communities. This would then be beyond repair.
The CUSL members had also pointed out that, although the conflict in Sri Lanka has been a multidimensional one, the international community has only seen the two sides of it. This is simply due to refusal of Pro LTTE individuals and groups to recognise the very existence or right to exist of the other dimensions or individuals and groups representing a moderate opinion. They have been implementing many approaches to supress the moderate view in order to mislead the international community over the years, since such recognition of existence of another side of the story would have changed the whole picture and if that had happened, these cunning ones would have lost the momentum as their true identity would have been revealed. They had further pointed out that the following facts have to be studied with regards to the 30 year armed conflict that was ended in 2009, to see the true picture that the international community has not seen fully.
- What the people of the North and East had experienced for almost 30 years, regardless of the fact whether they had been pro “armed struggle” neutral or against it.
- How the rest of the country had to suffer and experience the conflict, especially the men and women who were in the field, protecting the civilians and making sure that the rest of the country did not have to have sleepless nights.
- How the by-standers experienced it, including those who have been searching for the ultimate truth about situations when the two sides were in conflict.
They had also made a point that the international community failed to see the true picture of the conflict in Sri Lanka for over a period of 26 years and that the proposed solutions may worsen the damage. The team pointed out that the end of the war provided a golden opportunity for all Sri Lankans to work as a united nation to find home grown solutions to iron out the differences and problems.
They posed the question of where international journalists, such as the Channel 4 reporters were, when countless inhuman acts occurred as a result of the actions of the LTTE. These events which if exposed could have bought about intervention and assistance that would have prevented the destructions the Sri Lankans have witnessed all those years.
One member further mentioned that on seeing the “Killing Fields”, created by Mr. Callum Macrae, at an international film festival held in Zurich was saddened that it depicted, on the whole, a one sided story. They had further added that they were very upset to witness the extent of dramatization in the documentary which later lead to support for the proposed Resolution.
The CUSL representatives commented that if the time spent on this resolution had been spent to encourage Sri Lankans to find a home grown solution, the Sri Lankans could have gained greater momentum to start their reconciliation process on a positive note.
The members of CUSL had ended on a note that represented the view of the majority of Sri Lankans. They had said that they believe that their small Island have the courage and ability to rise as one of the best examples in Asia, where all Sri Lankans would live in peace and harmony in a multicultural society.
Dear Diplomats, Lawmakers and Distinguished Leaders of World’s Nations,
May I draw your attention to the above YOUTUBE link of a CBS 60-Minutes report by Christiana Amanpour depicting how the US and Britain
secretly planned inhuman relocation of Diego Garcia atoll’s natives and inhabitants through deportation to Mauritius and Fiji Islands to facilitate establishing
a US airbase for B52 bombers and for Britain to benefit from missile deal.
In an era of Human Rights preached by American, British, Canadian, Mauritian, UN lawmakers, how did you miss this?
Can you stand up to be representatives of your respective countries’ citizens and peoples of all walks of life, and let criminals like this be scot free, while preaching
breach of HR in other countries?
Are US and British citizens the only PRIVILEGED peoples far more superior to your own peoples from your countries?
How is that only safety of American and British citizens are important?
Is this Human Rights? OR, Human Wrongs?
And you are threatened to ignore this?
Ask yourself the question.. When you are back at home with your families, can you teach your children to be honest and righteous about standing up to what is right and proper,
if you keep quiet?
This explains why the US, the UK and Mauritius are co-sponsoring a resolution against Sri Lanka using Tamil Tiger Terror supporters as Guinea-pigs to gain access to Sri Lanka
and overthrow a democratically-elected government and install US-friendly puppet to revive Tamil tiger terrorism in Sri Lanka to secede and break the country in half, then use tactics
the Western allies used in Egypt, Syria, Yemen, South America, Diego Garcia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Afghanistan and Ukraine to kill the peace of Sri Lanka through rebel terrorist funding and fortifying them with weapons to kill. The Western Allies will then use Sri Lanka to establish stronghold US Naval command to monitor maritime activities of China in the vicinity and region.
Tamil Tiger propagandists have been fooled by the same tactics used in other countries by putting carrot before horse, showing lucrative deals and powerful positions in a new government through regime change that goes against all definitions of democracy they are preaching. They will abet, arm, fortify and train revolutionists, rebels and terrorists to kill and cause mayhem.
My intention is not to talk about Sri Lanka or its human rights issues, but to point out the credibility of handcrafted and fabricated evidence of killing 40,000 Tamils by Sri Lankan security forces and other
fanciful fairy tales, all supported in tandem of coherent, well-orchestrated, guided global mass-media and mainstream media campaign, where HR organizations like Amnesty International and HRW have been funded by the Tamil Tiger front organizations. You are seeing the vote for an international investigation in Sri Lanka for 40,000 Tamils ALLEGED to have been killed, without an iota of evidence other than hear say stories of folks holding photos talking in a western funded media clip.
Just like elsewhere, western mainstream media controls what you and I see and they controls what they want you and I to see and believe. We never see ground reality as is in REAL reality.
They are using HR and mainstream media (including social media) as the greatest weapons in history to create grounds conducive for invasions and militarizing. You remember how media, Tony Blair and George W. Bush showed CREDIBLE EVIDENCE of Weapons of Mass destruction. I am sure they are still looking for that in Iraq, after inhumanely using depleted Uranium Shells to radiate Iraqi’s with ionizing radiation for generations.
If you cast your vote against Sri Lanka, it will cause a major storm in that country, just recovering and trying to inhale a breath of fresh air after 3-decade old war against the most ruthless terror organization the world has ever seen., called Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. They did not spare even a child or pregnant mother in their killing sprees to drive fear psychosis in Sri Lankans.
If you cast your fote in support of the US, UK, Mauritius and Montenegro funded resolution against Sri Lanka, you will support to bring mayhem and disharmony among the peace loving Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and Malay people that live in a culturally diverse, unified resplendent beautiful island once known to Arab world as Serandib, to Greeks as Taprobana, to Europeans as Ceylon and now to all of you as Sri Lanka.
Please use your conscience and honest feelings within your heart. Ask United States of America, the UK and Mauritius what RIGHT they had to forcefully remove Diego Garcia’s own inhabitants to desolate shanty areas of Mauritius and Fiji Islands? What are you going to tell your children?
May Real PEACE and Happiness be upon your hearts and your peoples!! Your vote decides the PEACE for Sri Lanka. Please do not let the Wester Allies destroy hard fought, hard won peace of Sri Lanka and the rest of the world. Your country may be the next target of the West.
As mentioned in my ‘Life Abroad Part 71′, another Sri Lankan from down under, Nicky Karunarathna from Australia, has come out forcefully with his personal experiences against the LSSP activities of the by- gone years, having read episode 70 under the caption ‘Vivian gave beans’.
It is not my wish to get too involved in politics or religion, as no one can win at the end of the day except those getting implicated get their adrenalin levels up due to individual beliefs and egos! However, in a democratic framework of mind, impartiality and objectivity should be entertained from all sides (in this particular case from a former LSSP member who wishes to vent out his own personal experiences)! I am only able to bring such experiences and narratives out to the open as and when those reach me!
Nicky Karunarathna, who lives and writes from Australia, had been a staunch LSSP member from the ‘word go’ in the bygone years. In fact, after Dr. N.M Perera’s demise, NM’s house at Borella was handed over to Nicky by NM’s nephew N.A.C Perera (Senior Executive, the Inland revenue at the time) to indulge in electoral activities. This goes to show to what extent Nicky Karunarathna’s allegiance had been to the LSSP (Lanka Sama Samaja Party).
Nicky says he was “the person who stacked the place with sugar, tea, and refreshments and served comrades a decent cup of tea when they attended meetings which was never a practice when NM was living“! He also has arranged chairs for the members to sit during meetings with the help of a friend who was a principal of a Colombo school; got all the broken chairs, which were stacked in a store room, repaired by a carpenter to help comrades sit. He bluntly puts it thus: “This was the house comrades did not have any chance of sitting during meetings until I provided seats.”
Anemic to Sinhala Buddhists
“The irony of the LSSP was that anything coming as Sinhala/Buddhist made the LSSP stalwarts hot and bothered and to become absolutely irritated. V. Karalasingham was the theoretician of the party and he carried out this strategy with their main policy line. When NM became leader of the opposition in the Parliament after the UNP was reduced to eight parliamentary seats, the LSSP hierarchy thought they were very close to capturing power in Sri Lanka! They foresaw the rural masses, which consisted of the Sinhala/Buddhist majority, as a major obstacle which made them employ mostly Tamil Catholics and Sinhala Catholics as soon as the LSSP got three key ministries“.
|Colvin R. de Silva|
Australia’s one time PM
“The LSSP also used the up- country Indian Tamil issue as a political tool with the firm belief that one day they (LSSP) would benefit out of those seats in Tamil dominated areas. With that in mind they objected and disrupted the repatriation of Indian Tamils – not for the love of Tamils, but their forte was to work against the Sinhala/Buddhists“. Nicky continues.
Nicky Karunarathna visited the LSSP Headquarters once, when Colvin R. de Silva was delivering a speech in his inimical style attempting to convince all the top brass of the party including LSSP MPs and electoral organisers to support J.R. Jayewardene on the Provincial Council Bill to strengthen JRJ’s hand. In his lengthy political discourse, he was referring to the Sinhala Buddhist majority as ‘Mahajathiya’ (big headed) and the most powerful, whereas the rest as ‘Sulu Jathiya’ an unimportant minority, while harping on the pros and cons of the two measures of free rice given to people at the time.
“After Colvin’s brouhaha speech, which took more than two hours, the LSSP’s main idea was to somehow give a separate state for Tamils and making North and East for Tamils with Provincial Councils, with the idea of capturing power in that part of the country with Tamil votes“!
The party comrades appeared to have treated the stalwarts as brave, strong, well read and educated, but Nicky says, “the LSSP hierarchy was a senseless set of fools who with all their intellectual capacity and education did not realise that Tamils had other ideas”. The result was that, after all his humbug and gobbledygook of more than two hours, question and answer session that followed his speech was dominated by an absolute silence!
At this stage Nicky had the courage to stand up and question (in ‘simple English’), whether there was any other term than Mahajatiya to call the 74 per cent of the Sinhala Buddhist community in the country. He says it was down to simple arithmetic that when two measures of rice were distributed among the people, naturally the majority received two rations each, which Colvin attempted to make a big issue out of it!
When Nicky Karunarathna vehemently opposed to the party’s attempt to support the Provincial Council issue, Colvin R De Silva had gone berserk with anger. He had taken Nick’s question personally and thought it was very disrespectful and it undermined his intellectual capacity! Colvin had never answered Nicky’s question as a result. Nicky says, “that had always been the case….. and it was how the party ran with a superiority complex all the time … thinking that no one was above them“.
“If anyone were to question Colvin, his style was to ridicule the person who questioned him”. Following Nicky’s question, Colin R de Silva had turned to Nicky and blasted him in his penetrating tone and inimitable style thus:
“We have given you Borella electorate, you don’t do any work, and now coming here and parking your Mercedes Benz in front of the Party office, after eating from five star hotels, and try to show your strength here (apita puppana enawa)! You do not have any knowledge of the Party policies”.
With such unfriendly remarks Colvin had ordered him to ‘get out from the party office“. It was the last time Nicky Karunarathna visited the party headquarters of the LSSP! Nicky admits that he always parked on the payment, in front of the entrance of the party office as it was impossible to find a parking spot in the evening at Union Place with heavy traffic conditions. It was also true that he had been patronising five star hotels and bars, yet he was surprised as to ‘how Colvin got such information’ about his whereabouts’!
Nicky Karunarathna says the main problem with the LSSP hierarchy was that they thought they were demi-gods. “One section of the bourgeois of the party kicked Marx, Das Capital and started following Sai Baba at one of the social middle class member’s house and were signing Bajans(Hindu Prayers) to Sai Baba; the party member’s wife who was a teacher at Ananda College at the time organised those Bajan sessions for comrades“!
In a somewhat sarcastic but an uproarious line of attack Nicky poses the question as to whether anyone could believe this LSSP lot kicking out the Fourth International, founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky, and the Works of Carl Marx, Engels, and Lenin and singing Bajans to Sai Baba in the evening…..? “They probably had gone bonkers,” he exclaims!
“One section of the party, according to their own agenda, went on their Christian beliefs worshiping Jesus with their target to make Sri Lanka similar to Philippines or South Korea (both totally Buddhist countries before)! Marx taught them religion as opium of masses…… But this lot…..? I really do not know”! Exclaims Nick Karunarathna.
NB: Hidden Past of LSSP bourgeois side – next episode
The Vellahla political class/caste that dominated Jaffna politics in the feudal and colonial times as sub-rulers under the colonial masters was hoisted by their own petard when they passed the Vadukoddai Resolution on May 14, 1976. It was an official declaration of war by the ruling Vellahla elite against the democratically elected state of Sri Lanka. In it the Vellahlas handed over power to the militant youth to take up arms against the state until they achieve the separate state of Eelam. The Tamil militants took the guns and first turned it on the ruling Vellahlas before they targeted the Muslim and Sinhala communities.
In short, the children of the Vadukoddai Resolution devoured their political fathers. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the first born child of the Vadukoddai Resolution, calculated in his ruthless fashion, that the fathers of Vadukoddai Resolution must be liquidated first for him to be “the sole representative of the Tamils” — the main objective of all Tamil parties. Prabhakaran eliminated, one by one, his political fathers — from Appapillai Amirthalingam, the successor to S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, to potential rivals like Neelan Tiruchelvam — to consolidate his position. Following the Chinese saying, he insisted that there cannot be two tigers hunting in the same mountain.
Judging by his cold-blooded strategy which spared no Tamil rival, it can be concluded that Chelvanayakam escaped death at his hands only because he died of natural causes before Prabhakaran could get him. This then is grim story of Tamil politics. When the children of the Vadukoddai Resolution inherited the violent militarism legitimized in it they ran amok respecting no moral principle nor their own political fathers.
Drunk with the power that came out of the barrels of the Vadukoddai guns the politically immature amateurs turned into terrorists disguised as “liberators”. In handing over the guns to the Tamil youth the Vellahlas also handed over their power which they had retained and exercised in the feudal and colonial times. The Vellahlas hoped that the Vadukoddai Resolution would be the birth of a new era for them to capture power from “the Sinhala governments”. But in the end it proved to be their death warrant. The Resolution they conceived gave birth to their grave diggers. It also exposed their bogus brand of Gandhian politics.
May 14, 1976 was a decisive moment in Northern political history. In Vadukoddai the Tamil leadership took the decision to leave the democratic mainstream and resort to violence as a means of achieving their political goal of Eelam. By 1976 they had stretched Tamil ethnic extremism to the farthest point in the political spectrum. They had raised the expectations of the Jaffna Tamils to a point of no return. There was no higher point than the ultimate goal of a separate state. By the late 1970s it was either Eelam or nothing. And propelled by the internal forces of mono-ethnic extremism, which was honed by them in the preceding years into an indispensable dogma of separatism, the Tamil leadership that congregated in Vadukoddai opted for the military solution: the only logical move available at the time as there was no other place to go in the politics of mono-ethnic extremism. Separatism and violence were inseparable.
Looking back in the post-Nandikadal Vadukoddai era it is obvious that it was the wrong turn. But they had no option at the time. They had created the necessary conditions through mono-ethnic extremism to paint themselves into the corner of unattainable Eelam. They didn’t want to admit it at the time but they had to accept willy-nilly that events had overtaken them and pushed them into the inescapable corner of their own creation. They couldn’t control the forces they released by escalating ethnic demands from one extra seat in the south in the 20s, to fifty-fifty in the 30 and federalism in the forties and finally a separate state with the establishment of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachch (ITAK ” Tamil State Party) in 1949. Within a matter of decades in the post-independence era, they had moved from the original “grievances” to “power sharing” to a “separate state”. The escalation from “grievances” to “aspirations” (meaning separate state) was a gigantic leap which was eventually embedded in the Vadukoddai Resolution. At this point they were trapped in their concocted history and fictitious geography. They were also trapped in between their unattainable promises and hard realities of living in democratic mainstream which does not move as speedily as they would like to achieve their elusive land.
Besides, the Tamil political parties embroiled in electoral politics of the North were competing fiendishly with each other to be the “sole representative of the Tamils”. These rival parties, whether it was G. G. Ponnambalam’s Ceylon Tamil Congress or S. J. V. Chelvanayakam’s ITAK , had no constructive, creative or progressive political program to offer the Tamil electorate other than to claim that each would get more from “the Sinhala governments”. Their mono-ethnic extremism was based intrinsically in the politics of Oliver Twist. The Marxist parties, both Trotskyites and Stalinists, tried in vain to break into the Northern electorate, advancing from the non-ethnic, pro-Tamil perspective. But ingrained casteism and communalism were overwhelming forces which they could not overcome. While the Marxist gained considerable ground in the open society of the South they could not breakthrough the conservative and closed society of the North. The impenetrable cadjan curtain of Jaffna kept all potential invaders that would threaten their entrenched position at bay.
The entire Tamil political class in the North survived on a perennial diet of dogmatic Sinhala-Buddhist anathema. Their political rhetoric was aimed solely at demonizing the Sinhala South as the evil force that obstructed their path to political progress. Their tried and tested political strategy was to accuse any rival party of “collaborating” or “surrendering” to “the Sinhala governments” each time the other Tamil party decided to cooperate with “the Sinhala governments”.
ITAK was, of course, riding two horses simultaneously by time they reached Vadukoddai. One leg was on their parliamentary seats and the other leg was placed strategically on the back of militant youth. Their argument was that since the parliamentary route had not taken them anywhere near their goal of a separate state they have opted to ride on the backs of the Tamil youth to grab power from the “Sinhala governments” and run it as an ethnic enclave exclusively for the Tamils with Tamil as the official language. They never dreamt that the forces they were unleashing would, sooner or later, turn against them. The so-called “moderate faction” was blindly opening the gates of violence which would eventually displace them as the chosen vehicle of Tamil politics. They did not have the foresight to calculate that they were taking a huge gamble.in deciding to go down the path of violence.
They never anticipated that power would ever shift from the Vellahlas who were the traditional and anointed guardians and holders of power. Nor did they realize that once they legitimized the arming of militant youth that power would automatically slip from their hands and empower the Tamil militants as their successors. The Vellahla leadership failed to grasp that they were virtually abdicating power to an unknown, untried militants who would decimate them methodically and ruthlessly. The casteist Tamil leadership became their own hangmen in Vadukoddai.
The Vellahlas were the last of the feudal remnants in Sri Lankan society. They were entrenched in Jaffna like the ancien regime. Attempts made by the colonial and post-colonial states to change the decadent, casteist ancient regime failed. The intransigent resistance of the Vellahla caste to let the low-castes enter the Hindu kovils even as late as the sixties and seventies confirms the power of the Vellahlas to retain their feudal, casteist grip on Jaffna against the rising tide of modernity. It was obvious that Vellahla feudalism could be forced to give way to modernity only through violence. All internal and external forces to pressure the Vellahlas to restore justice to their own people by dismantling the rigid caste system and liberating them from centuries of slavery met with defeat.
On the eve of independence in 1948 Sri Lanka was balancing on three major pillars : 1. dying feudalism; 2. rising capitalism and 3. the structural legacies of departing colonialism. In short, it was a semi-feudal, semi-capitalist and semi-colonial state with two divergent brands of politics competing for supremacy. In the South politics was mobilized around class ideology propagated by the Marxists. In the North politics was mobilized under a communalistic ideology propagated by Saiva-Jaffna-Vellahla high caste armed with an English education. The South interpreted politics in class terms and the North interpreted politics in ethnic terms. But the reality was that both were trapped in a stagnant economy where the biggest growth industry was in the public service. To be permanent and pensionable with free railway warrants was considered to be in the highest bracket of social security. Public service proved to be the primary source of income that guaranteed a secure future and social status. Since the biggest growth industry was in the public service the competition to get into the public service created rivalry between the North and the South with those competent in English having an unfair advantage over the non-English speaking majority.
The English-educated Tamil Vellahlas had got into the public service first under colonial patronage and had grabbed the lion share in proportion to their population. A minority of 12% had grabbed a disproportionate 33% jobs in the public service. A popular saying which summarized the social aspirations of the Jaffnaites went like this: the son shone in Colombo while the father collected the harvest in Jaffna. The Jaffnaites argued that they cultivated their brains because they had no land to cultivate. The Jaffnaite, however, lived a double life: one in Colombo wearing trousers and, changing into customary verti the moment the morning train carrying them back reached Vavuniya,. This Janus-faced attitude was described best in the politics of Chelvanayakam who was labeled as a “trousered Gandhi” (A. J. Wilson in his biography of his father-in-law). Chelvanayakam was having the best of both worlds though he wanted the Jaffnaites to retain their feudal modes in every respect.
Of course, the cultures of the North and the South differed in many respects. This difference needs to be delineated in clear terms. Jaffna was introverted. The South was extroverted. Jaffna was a closed society. The South was an open society. Jaffna was mono-cultural. The South was multicultural and cosmopolitan. Under colonialism the power of feudal casteism was attenuated in the South. In the North it remained as the dominant political forces ruling every aspect of religio-political life. With the impact of Buddhism the South was humanized, tolerant and inclusive. Under the grip of the Hindu casteist ideology the North was rigid, intolerant and exclusive. There was ample space in the south to breathe the air freely. The North was a narrow peninsular enclave that held the individual in the unrelenting grip of vicious socio-religious rigidities and even in shackles of slavery. The North put up defences against advancing modernity. The South took to modernity like duck to water.
When the Jaffna man comes down south he lets his hair down and opens up like a bud. But he withdraws instantly like a snail into his peninsular shell when he returns to his home in the North. Consequently, Jaffna politics was shaped essentially by the narrow peninsularity of the Northern mind. In fact, it is recorded that Chelvanayakam never bought a house in the south fearing that his children will be polluted by the cosmopolitan culture of the liberal south. Like the Vellahlas who were bent on preserving their caste purity Chelvanayakam represented the typical Jaffna mentality that was committed to retain the peninsular insularity in all matters ” from religion to the politics to caste, to food, clothing, you name it. It was by retaining peninsular feudalism that the Vellahlas could retain their casteist power anointed by Hindu religion.
Jaffna truly was the heartland of the Vellahlas not the Tamils as such. The Vellahlas found in Jaffna a haven for their feudal and colonial privileges, perks, powers and status. The Vellahlas could not find this privileged status outside the boundaries of the peninsula. This was inevitable because the Vellahla customs, traditions, laws that preserved the Vellahla supremacy did not exist outside Jaffna. The enshrined Tesawalamai law which legitimized and enthroned the Vellahlas as the supreme masters were valid only within the boundaries of the peninsula. Hence their emotional attachment of Jaffna.
To perpetuate their elevated status on an outdated feudal ideology the Vellahlas had to preserve the peninsula and its environs intact as an exclusive domain that would guarantee their casteist power and privileges. But by the 30s the casteist ideology that legitimized their supremacy during feudal and colonial times had lost it validity. It was the fear of losing everything they had that turned them into communalists as the last resort. The only alternative was to flog communalism as a unifying force that could hold Jaffna together under the grip of the Vellahla supremacists. The rise of communalism in the thirties was symbolized by the virulent anti-Sinhala-Buddhist campaigns of G. G. Ponnambalam ” the fanatical founder of Tamil communalism who claimed 50% for 12% Tamils, also twisted as 50% for 23% minorities..
After him came the deluge. All events since then led to historical and geographical fabrications in Vadukoddai, illusions of Eelam, fantasies of Prabhakaran and finally the reality of Nandikadal.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha responding to the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, informed the UN Human Rights Council on March 26, 2014 that rather than encourage and support the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka continues to maintain with the Council, it was ironic that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka being mooted by some members of this Council, is reflective of the same partisan politicized agenda through its request to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake “a comprehensive independent investigation.” Assistance to this process by third party experts whose mandate and credentials are far from clear and its deliberate exclusion of a significant part of the duration of the terrorist conflict from the period under investigation via the introduction of a particular time frame, would be both precedent setting and prejudicial to the interests of all member and observer states of this Council in the future.
Responding on behalf of Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on the High Commissioner’s Report, Ambassador Aryasinha said, the Government of Sri Lanka has consistently and with good reason rejected previous resolutions on Sri Lanka proposed by the US, which have emanated from a politicized process and mandate and without the consent of the country concerned and would do so again. He said, Sri Lanka reiterates that any action taken in the promotion and protection of human rights of a country, must have the consent of that country.
Ambassador Aryasinha said to the trajectory that had emerged with regard to the recommendation contained in the Report of the UN High Commissioner, reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which has been relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka.
He said politicized processes will only impede the delicate balance of the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka had continued to maintain with the Council.
While pointing out to a clear lack of mandate and per-conceived nature of its recommendations, he said his delegation was surprised by the numerous errors and interceptions contained in the draft report on Sri Lanka which was despite the High Commissioner and her team having undertaken a comprehensive, week-long visit to Sri Lanka during which time they were provided with unfettered access to study first hand the situation on the ground. Expressing deep concern at such glaringly erroneous information in a Report of this nature, he said, one would have expected that the OHCHR to have undertaken a more stringent scrutiny of facts.
Pointing out to a deviation from last year on the OHCHR refusing to accede to Sri Lanka’s request to publish as an “Addendum” to the Report, the “Comments” of Sri Lanka on the High Commissioners Draft Report as done in 2013, he said it demonstrated the disregard of an established precedent which seriously impeded the visibility and integrity of subject between the two documents.
– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/sri-lanka-pointedly-rejects-us-sponsored-resolution#sthash.0ZTpyJqh.dpuf
26 March 2014
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha responding to the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, informed the UN Human Rights Council on 26th March 2014 that rather than encourage and support the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka continues to maintain with the Council, it was ironic that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka being mooted by some members of this Council, is reflective of the same partisan politicised agenda through its request to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake “a comprehensive independent investigation”. Assistance to this process by third party ‘experts’ whose mandate and credentials are far from clear; and its deliberate exclusion of a significant part of the duration of the terrorist conflict from the period under investigation via the introduction of a particular time frame, would be both precedent setting and prejudicial to the interests of all member and observer states of this Council in the future.
Responding on behalf of the Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on the High Commissioner’s Report, Ambassador Aryasinha said, the Government of Sri Lanka has consistently and with good reason rejected previous resolutions on Sri Lanka proposed by the US, which have emanated from a politicized process and mandate, and without the consent of the country concerned, and would do so again. He said, Sri Lanka reiterates that any action taken in the promotion and protection of human rights of a country must have the consent of that country.
Ambassador Aryasinha drew attention to the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation contained in Report of the UN High Commissioner reflects “the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which has been relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka”. He said politicized processes will only impede the delicate balance of the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka has continued to maintain with the Council.
While pointing out to a clear lack of mandate and pre-conceived nature of its recommendations, he said his delegation was “surprised by the numerous errors and misperceptions contained in the draft report on Sri Lanka” which was despite the High Commissioner and her team having undertaken a comprehensive, week-long visit to Sri Lanka during which time they were provided with unfettered access to study first hand the situation on the ground. Expressing “deeply concern” at such glaringly erroneous information in a Report of this nature, he said, “one would have expected that the OHCHR to have undertaken a more stringent scrutiny of facts”. Pointing out to a deviation from last year on the OHCHR refusing to accede to Sri Lanka’s request to publish as an “Addendum” to the Report, the “Comments” of Sri Lanka on the High Commissioner’s Draft Report as done in 2013, he said it demonstrated the disregard to established precedent which seriously impeded the visibility and integrity of subject between the two documents.
Sri Lanka Mission
26 March 2014
It will be the burial of reconciliation if the UNHRC resolution goes ahead. The best chance for reconciliation was immediately following May 2009 when the war ended. However, the Tamil community driven by vengeance, defeatism and false beliefs of Tamil homelands, and due to the absence of a Tamil leader with foresight, reconciliation was replaced by vengeful UNHRC and other foreign action against Sri Lanka. The sum product of all these was the murder of reconciliation in cold blood. Now the most decent thing they can do is to give reconciliation a decent burial. It borders total absurdity to call the anti-Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution a step closer to reconciliation. On the contrary, it is the demise of reconciliation.
Reconciliation for Tamils is Antagonism for Others
Tamils are only 15% of the Sri Lankan population roughly the same percentage as African Americans in USA. What about the other 85%? What Tamils call reconciliation is not reconciliation for the others. For them it is antagonism. In other words, what Tamils consider to be reconciliation is antagonism for 85% of Sri Lankans. UNHRC resolutions have driven a wedge of suspicion, mistrust and hatred between Tamils and non-Tamils in Sri Lanka. Almost all non-Tamil Sri Lankans are highly appreciative of the 2009 war victory. That is 85% of the population. They are extremely grateful for security forces personnel for winning peace which has given every Sri Lankan a far safer life and new avenues of economic prosperity. Alleging war crimes on them arouses disgust and hatred among most Sri Lankans. What if Allied action in Germany and Japan during World War 2 was depicted as war crimes? That would have resulted in disgust and hatred among the populations in Allied nations.
Tamils must redefine what they call reconciliation. Division of Sri Lanka, investigating heroics of Sri Lankan security forces and passing UNHRC resolutions against Sri Lanka are the opposite of reconciliation. They are modes of antagonism. Tamils must overcome their defeatist mentality because they are not treated as the defeated by other Sri Lankans. Unless this paradigm shift in their thinking takes place, Tamils are doomed to fail, yet again.
UNHRC Cannot Create Tamil Elam
Apart from vengeance, the other driving force of Tamils is Tamil Elam. Leading up to UNHRC sessions of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Tamils around the world petitioned the Council to take steps to create Tamil Elam ” an ethnically exclusive nation for Tamils in Sri Lankan territory. However, UNHRC has no mandate to do so. In fact any such attempt violates the United Nations Charter. Just because the UNHRC High Commissioner is a Tamil from South Africa, Tamils should not expect she can bring them any closer to Tamil Elam than the LTTE could.
Retaining Apartheid residuals like the Tamil Thesawalamai Law (enacted by colonial rulers for the benefit of Malabar migrants), protesting against Sinhala settlements in the north and demanding demilitarisation in the north are other highly vengeful acts of Tamils. For true reconciliation, these demands must be shed.
Any attempt to create a separate state, federal unit or independent nation within Sri Lanka will certainly lead to full-scale war. Partitioning of Sri Lanka will be no sweeter than the bloody partitioning of India-Pakistan and Pakistan-Bangladesh. If partitioning were to take place in the island, resultant violence will erase the Tamil community. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had massive populations that could withstand the violence but the same cannot be said about the Tamil community in the north and the east.
Therefore it is in the best interests of the Tamil community to build their desired homeland in South India leaving Sri Lanka aside.
Gobi Only the Tip of New Tamil Terrorist Iceberg
Tamil terrorists were annihilated in Sri Lanka in 2009. However, Tamil terrorists remained active in other countries; they still are. This is why 33 countries maintained the ban on LTTE and other Tamil front organisations. USA, India and EU have very well developed counter terrorism and intelligence gathering units constantly following up on Tamil terrorists active in their territories. Consequently they all decided against lifting the LTTE ban. Moreover, Tamil terrorist businesses including credit card fraud, gold smuggling, human trafficking and TGTE terror activities are in full gear as before. No further proof is needed to convince anyone Tamil terrorists are still alive outside Sri Lanka. It was this network that reached to Sri Lanka in the recent terror plot.
The timing of the terror attempt by the LTTE Rump could not have come at a more appropriate time. They planned it very well to coincide with the UNHRC session. However, the government acted with resolve to nip the terrorist attempt in the bud. Mother of three terrorists who rented out part of her house to Gobi was rightfully separated from her daughter. Otherwise she would take pride in ‘sacrificing’ her fourth child too for the ‘Tamil Elam cause’.
Attempting to use terror to extort a separate state will fail with drastic consequences on the Tamil community. UNHRC provided tacit and covert support for the resurgence of Tamil terrorism but failed to cow down the government.
Bury Reconciliation, Welcome Ethnic Integration
Reconciliation will be unceremoniously buried on the 28 March, 2014 with the passage of the anti-Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution. In its place ethnic integration should be placed. What Sri Lanka needs is ethnic integration, not reconciliation. Tamil exclusive territories should be turned into harmonious communities where people of all ethnicities coexist. Imaginary ethnic boundaries must be dismantled. Thesawalamei law which is a residue of Apartheid must be repealed.
Sri Lanka must present to the 2015 UNHRC session a bold National Integration Plan by own initiative and canvass for support among its membership. That should relieve the UNHRC to concentrate on more burning issues like Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chagos Islands, Falklands, Iraq and Syria.
He said though they talk of human rights violations today, the Colonial rulers violated those rights and imprisoned heroes and deprived them of their civic rights and seats in the Senate, sometimes even without a court trial or using henchman of the imperialists to achieve their ends.
He said the country needs heroes like Philip Gunawardena to face the pressure of the imperialist foreign pressure against Sri Lanka, supported by their henchmen. Silva made these observations delivering the keynote address at the 42nd Commemoration Ceremony of Philip Gunawardena at the BMICH on Tuesday.
It was organised by the Philip Gunawardena Memorial Foundation. Ven. Dr. Ittepane Dammalankara Thera presided.
Silva said Philip Gunawardena who was well known as Boralugoda Sinhaya (the lion of Boralugoda) was banned by the British rulers while he was in Britain from coming to Sri Lanka in the early 1930s as he engaged in politics against colonialism.
“He who was a founding member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party engaged in rebellious politics not only in Sri Lanka but in the USA, South America, England, European countries, India etc before he came to Sri Lanka after higher studies,” the former Chief Justice said.
He added that in 1936, Philip Gunawardena received a massive victory from Avissawella at the election contesting from the Lanka Sama Samaja Party but the imperialists introduced emergency regulations and arrested him and N. M. Perera immediately after an incident following a trade union action. “They were imprisoned even without a court trial. They were deprived of their civic rights.” He added that the rulers also removed them from their seats as they failed to attend the Senate due to their arrest by the same rulers.
Former Chief Justice Silva said Philip Gunawardena won the election in 1947 from Avissawella again but British rulers managed to imprison him soon after he won the election.
He was imprisoned based on a few words he allegedly told a conductor during a trade union action. His civic rights were deprived for seven years again. However he was appointed the Agriculture Minister in the 1956 government and worked hard to guarantee the rights of the farmers in the country, Silva added. Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Ambassadors of Cuba, Pakistan, India and Deputy Ambassadors of China and Brazil also participated in the ceremony.
– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/colonial-rulers-violated-human-rights-former-cj#sthash.No7v5RrX.dpuf
Pillay has last month released a report calling for an international investigation into alleged war crimes when the Sri Lankan armed forces crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a final battle in May 2009.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Envoy in Geneva conveying the Sri Lankan Government’s response to Pillay’s report stated that the UN High Commissioner’s recommendations, “reflect the preconceived, politicised and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka,” and in a 18-page document pinpointed her double standards accusing her of giving “scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka”. The government has also criticized the report for arriving at conclusions in a “selective and arbitrary manner” and ignoring requests from the Sri Lankan government to provide factual evidence to substantiate allegations and to refrain from making general comments.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) head Navi Pillay
Sri Lanka’s criticism of Pillay is not new. But, commentaries in both mainstream and online media in Sri Lanka indicate a hardening of attitudes in Sri Lanka against her perceived bias and abuse of her power as head of UNHRC. She has perhaps got away with it in the international media because of a complaint western media that had believed most of the propaganda put out by the LTTE supporters in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora over the past 30 years and still continuing.
At the 25th sessions of the UNHRC beginning in Geneva this week, Pillay’s report is due to be officially tabled, and she has refused to entertain a request from the Sri Lankan government that its response to the report be attached as an appendix. The United States has indicated ” supported by EU and India ” that they may table a resolution at the meeting to establish an independent international investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka, which the government is sure to reject.
“How many of the bullying countries accusing Sri Lanka of crimes against humanity and war crimes have clean hands or a flawless record?” asks Senaka Weeraratna, a Sri Lankan lawyer and international affairs analyst.
“What we see today in western dominated international organisations such as the United Nations, and related bodies such as the UNHRC, ICC and the like are proceedings conducted on an Inquisitorial footing i.e. witch hunts aimed at devastating the target country or individual usually of non”European descent thereby perverting the course of justice. No quarter is given to the other party until it submits to the political will of the bullying nations” argues Weeraratna. “It is a shameless display of brute power making a mockery of institutional rules and procedure. The targeted country is assumed to be guilty right from the start ruling out any mitigating circumstances. It is virtually a re-enactment of the Inquisition under the auspices of the United Nations rather than the Catholic Church as in the days gone by”.
It is not only Sri Lankans that are complaining about the UNHRC and Pillay’s tactics. Anti-war activists in the West and supporters of the former Libyan regime and that of Syria have also pointed out how these UN agencies, and particularly UNHRC under Pillay, are practicing double standards to promote Western imperial designs.
Veteran Canadian antiwar activist Ken Stone writing in the website ‘Syria 360′ argued in an article written last year that Pillay has abused her power to facilitate western military interference in Libya and Syria to change regimes. He argues that the western media, and CNN in particular, has used interviews with Pillay to promote military intervention in Libya and Syria, where she relates the actions of these regimes to defend their country from rebel forces, to human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
“Two very useful precedents for illegal, but so-called ‘humanitarian’, intervention by NATO were set by the United Nations in regards to Libya” argues Stone. “The first was that the doctrine of the responsibility to protect (R2P) was successfully invoked, for the very first time, as a legal grounds for over-riding the fundamental principle of national sovereignty as the basis of international law”.
R2P holds that, if a government cannot protect the human rights of its own citizens, the international community may step in to do so. In the case of Libya, R2P was used to justify United Nations Resolution 1973, the motion that authorized NATO to create a no-fly zone over Libya.
“Resolution 1973 was perverted by NATO within hours into a full-blown military intervention for regime change in Libya that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Libyans, pogrom against black persons resident in Libya, the assassinations of Muammar Gaddafi and members of his family, massive infrastructure damage, the de facto partitioning of the country, and a failed state machine” notes Stone, who argues that the first precedent (above) could not have been realized without the fancy legal footwork executed in advance by the nimble Pillay in demonising Mouammar Gaddafi and his son, Saif, at the UN. “The second precedent, then, was the initiative taken by the UN Human Rights Council, chaired by Pillay, in calling for an international inquiry into violence against civilians in Libya” he added.
Stone goes on to detail how Pillay has been playing a similar role in appearing in the international media accusing the Syrian government of crimes against humanity and calling upon the ICC to mount a war crimes investigation against President Assad, while ignoring the role played by foreign-funded mercenaries in the civil war. “Humanitarian intervention is a powerful tool in the West, where even people on the ‘left’, who should know better, fall for it” notes Stone.
Libya is the real tragedy of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ that has turned into an ‘Arab Winter’. This brings into question the real motives of those International NGOs who promote human rights with an evangelical zeal.
Libya under Mohammar Gaddafi may have been an authoritarian state in terms of freedom of speech (not any worse than US allies in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and UAE), but, was a success story in human development. In Gaddafi’s Libya, the right to free education for everyone from elementary school right up to university and post-graduate studies at home or abroad were implemented with government subsidies; there was free health care with 1:673 doctor-patient ratio; free electricity for all citizen; interest-free housing loans; and free land for farmers. Libya had no external debts and its reserves amounted to $150 billion. Today we have a Libya that is ruled by warlords and terrorists and human rights campaigners are silent about the human rights abuses taking place today in Libya and no one is asking the question what is happening to Libya’s huge financial reserves and its oil? Who is benefiting from it?
What happened in Libya amounts to a war crime for which both NATO and International Crisis Group (ICG) that came up with the R2P formula, should be held accountable. But, UNHRC is muted about it. Instead, a report will be tabled at the current session titled “Technical assistance for Libya in the field of human rights”. The report does not discuss accountability issues with regards to human rights in the implementation of the R2P formula nor does it address in any serious manner the problem of the anarchy created as a result of regime change. It assumes that there is a regime in charge, when there is not.
A question often asked by Sri Lankans is why Pillay is not calling upon President George W Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameroon and ICG to account for the war crimes US, UK and NATO forces have indulged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya? During her visit to Sri Lanka last year, at a press conference, she said that UNHRC has indeed questioned these countries on certain human rights issues and they have responded. But, what the Sri Lankan journalist didn’t press her on is why she cannot do the same with Sri Lanka, rather than indulge in a public spat and witch hunt?
Most people in Sri Lanka believe that what she is trying to do is to open up old wounds and it is completely counter productive to promoting reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Nor is it helping to improve human rights in Sri Lanka, where a government that is threatened by what they see as an international conspiracy to change regime, has cracked down heavily on internal dissent and freedom of expression.
Weeraratna argues that Pillay’s methods are harming human rights and increasing the credibility gap of UN agencies in the eyes of the international community (which is not just the US, EU and its allies). Instead he argues that UNHRC should adopt the Japanese model of solving a post-war crisis.
“The Japanese approach advocated by the Buddhist Prince Shotuku to use the method of consensus and dialogue, and not allow the accused party to lose face is a far more enlightened approach to resolution of complex human rights issues than the ‘ burning at the stake’ inquisitorial approach of the West” notes Weeraratna. “It is the employment of double standards and devious methods to achieve ulterior political ends of powerful Western actors that have resulted in the moral collapse of the UN and related agencies”.
Kalinga Seneviratne is a Journalist, Media Analyst and Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
March 27th 2014
At the UNHCR Summit it appears almost in desperation that The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in a statement after presenting her report on Sri Lanka today at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has said that an international investigation is a must in Sri Lanka.
Pillay has said that new evidence has surfaced over the war in Sri Lanka and witnesses are willing to come forward and give evidence before an international commission. “Sure Sure Navi Pillai!” are these coerced witnesses loaded with false evidence? one might ask as she continues to flog a dead horse of wrongful accusations against Sri Lanka laced in her own bias of conflicts of interest where she must be made to realise that she is putting her own credibility at risk where alongside her motley crew of Sri lanka’s tormentors seems to be using what appears to be an abuse of her authority, mandate and overstepping her metes and bounds consistently without an iota of tangible proof beyond speculation, innuendo and the crocodile tears of the so called affected where no tears are shed for the vast majority of Sinhala and other ethnicities that suffered greatly at the hands of what now appears to be her champions also, the Tamil Tigers as she has indicated through her actions, words and body language.
That she should not only be confronted to provide the evidence necessary to prove beyond reasonable doubt her acccusations and recommendations but should also hang her head in shame as in Sri lanka today there is contentment, progress and absolute recourse to all displaced persons on the singlemost effort of the President recognized by many despite the blinkered vision of Pillai et al that is, is putting it mildly!
What Sri Lanka has accomplished and continues to build on is no mean task albeit the hampering of the likes of Pillai who should in all probabilities be booted from her UN high horse alongside her namby pamy boss Ban Ki Moon. Quite astoundingly they turns a blind eye on a daily basis on the horrors of real human rights violations around the globe with living first hand proof to moot where in the case of Sri Lanka they have no real claim to their persistent demands and a consternation to the smooth functioning and well being of Sri Lanka!
There are many who wonder if she is now on the payroll of the Global Tamil Diaspora all dressed up with the codswallp of falsified evidence which she calls” new evidence” with nowhere to go as it appears.
When she dares to say say that “so far there has not been a credible and independent domestic investigation into alleged human rights abuses during the war.” she seems to be deluded and oblivious towards what Sri Lanka is today and what has brought about the remarkable changes there for all her citizens despite her gung ho attitude towards dragging down Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world to what many believe is an end to justify the means.
Sri Lanka would never have launched a push towards posperity and posterity had it not been for the unprecedented thrust by the Armed Forces led by their CEO to eliminate the scourge of terrorism that lasted almost three decades where she seems to have failed to get an honest opinion from the Tamils who praise the Government today for liberating them from the villainous Prabhakaran and how they were protected by then Armed Forces ~ evidence of which remain as writing on a wall to those who are unafraid to attest to,
While she continues her tirade against the Government solely to appease her consorts who have been humiliated by the very legitimate actions of a Sovereign Democratic Nation towards preserving all the tenets that constitute the freedoms of all Sri Lankans and not bowing to terrorists who almost destroyed the Nation, the marvel of it all is how she continues to be tolerated mostly by equally blinkered powerful Western sources who attempt to make an issue of her calls to censure Sri Lanka this despite her track record of failed ventures of similar premise which ultimately turned sour on her exposing her trasparencies and affinity for bias, which she does not seem to bat an eyelid about.
When Pillay raised concerns over “the harassment of human rights defenders in Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest and subsequent release of two human rights activists, even as the UN Human Rights Council was meeting in Geneva” once again she has no real evidence to carry the burden of proof towards her accusations as some of the refered to indicted as opposed to harassment were indulging in actions against the State while dabbling with matters related to the internal affairs of Sri Lanka with no mandate whatsoever and probably deserved to be brought to task and held accountable in keeping with the laws of the land which were quite blatantly disrespected and violated in some cases.
Words it is said can be cheap and meaningless, tantamount to mere rhetoric of self opinionated jargon as illustrated by her words”We regret to report that there has been little progress in other critical areas identified by the Council in resolution 22/1 and by the LLRC, notably the need to ensure independent and credible investigations into past violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” in her bold utterance sans first hand evidence that is! which shows no cognizance on her part towards what Sri Lanka is today, what transpired during the internal armed insurgency of the Tamil Tigers and merely natters on in gay abandon in a clarion call which truly sounds like a response to the laments of her disillussioned and disgruntled Diaspora accomplices which the world is now becoming quite familiar with and sheds veritability towards the adage of a canine barking at the moon which is unlikely to fall!
It seems fair to conclude therefore thatThe Persistence Of A Deluded UN Rep Laced Visibly In Her Conflict Of Interests Hell Bent On Pursuing Sri Lanka Impedes the Progress vitally needed by Sri Lanka!
In 1818 to quell the rebellion against colonial British, Indian sepoys were ordered from India. They arrived in Sri Lanka to serve their white masters.
We can but feel pity for India.
The Members of the UNHRC – 2014
Dear Heads of Missions to the UNHRC,
Re: US/UK sponsored resolution HRC#25 of March 24, 2014 relating to Sri Lanka
It is indeed regrettable that the USA and UK thought it fit to bring up a resolution for the third successive year relating to Sri Lanka’s ongoing healing and reconciliation following a three decade long conflict with the internationally designated terrorist movement called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), aka Tamil Tigers, which was decisively ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, especially when much has been achieved in the vital areas of resettlement of displaced civilians, rehabilitation of former Tamil Tiger combatants and wide ranging improvements to infrastructure has been carried out in the conflict affected areas. The resolution acknowledges Sri Lanka’s achievements in many areas which by far exceeds the attainments of other countries in similar post-conflict situations. Most of the clauses of the resolution are redundant because Sri Lanka is already taking steps in accordance with a domestic process following the extensive hearings conducted by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and publication of its report in July 2012, to fully implement the Commission’s recommendations numbering 285 through a National Plan of Action with timelines and named agencies entrusted with the process of accomplishing the set goals. Instead of an externally imposed process, Sri Lanka has adopted her own home grown system based on restorative justice as opposed to retributive justice to achieve healing, national reconciliation, ensure accountability and justice in accordance with the laws of the land which recognizes international human rights laws to which Sri Lanka is a signatory.
With regard to matters covered by clause 22, Sri Lanka is currently in consultation with the South African authorities to study their Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other such judicial processes to determine their applicability to the Sri Lankan situation and adopt what may be suitable for Sri Lanka. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) held public sessions from 1996 to 1998, and concluded its work in 2004 taking a total of 8 years. According to Alex Boraine, South Africa’s TRC was designed to be independent””from the presidency, the government and the African National Congress, which had become the ruling party. It was an investigative body, with powers of search and seizure, but it did not conduct trials and it did not supplant the criminal justice process. The work of the Commission was subject to judicial review and many of its actions and decisions were challenged in the courts. The Commission failed to achieve much in the area of reparations for victims, but its final report articulated the responsibility of both the state and the private sector to work toward economic justice. As Machel notes, “South African society is violent, intolerant, accusatory and angry because it has failed to address the emotional mutilation wrought by apartheid.” Gracha Machel pointed out that South Africa had still not healed after the end of aparthied and participation in the TRC. Today, whites control 4/5ths of the farms and 95 % of industry. A defacto segregation lingers as most of the poor blacks find themselves confined to slums.
Clause 23- the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to prosecute those responsible for gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law constituting crimes under international law, with a view to end impunity. This is nothing new, and all states subscribe to these principles, and Sri Lanka is no exception.
Clause 25 deals with a special role for the High Commissioner based on her oral and written reports on Sri Lanka’s progress, including her undertaking a comprehensive independent investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, The High Commissioner who was invited to visit Sri Lanka delayed to come by nearly two years and after a brief stay reaches various arbitrary conclusions based on her casual meetings with a few agitators and partisan groups that were supportive of the separatist movement spearheaded by the Tamil Tigers who engaged in all forms of violence including suicide terrorism without conclusive proof, citing a few incidents of intolerant behaviour that was being duly dealt with by the authorities, which she blows completely out of proportion painting a picture of widespread dissension, repression, and division within the society. She being a member of the Indian Tamil community having linguistic, cultural and emotional links to one party of the conflict, i.e. the Tamil Tiger separatist terrorists who were supported by members of her own Tamil community in South Africa with funds and even volunteers undergoing military camps which were dismantled by President Nelson Mandela at the request of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar. The High Commissioner found fault with Sri Lanka even one week after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers on May 26, 2009, without any evidence based on propaganda carried out by the defeated LTTE terrorists which she apparently accepted without proper scrutiny. Considering her links to one of the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka, it was incumbent on her to recuse herself from conducting investigations and making scathing reports against Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankans do not have confidence in the High Commissioner as she has demonstrated that she is not able to make inquiries and reach impartial decisions, and her continued role in dealing with Sri Lanka would even affect the credibility of her office and the Human Rights Council.
Sri Lanka is an independent sovereign country which has been a member of the united nations since 1955 where she has made valuable contributions in the areas covering disarmament, law of the sea, international terrorism, peacekeeping, sustainable development through UNCTAD , and much more. She has at all times briefed the UNHRC members of the issues affecting human rights and international humanitarian laws and corrective steps undertaken by her in terms of the established mechanism referred to as the Universal Periodic Mechanism, ruling out any justification for a country specific resolution. Sri Lanka has the capacity to look into her internal matters in keeping with a domestic process designed by independent local experts drawn from all of her constituent communities. Any externally imposed inquiry will only hinder the ongoing healing and reconciliation taking place within the country. Such an inquiry would only give an impetus to members of the Tamil diaspora mainly domiciled in western countries that funded terrorism in Sri Lanka, who are still engaged in distorting the ground situation with the aim of demonizing Sri Lanka to use their enormous funds accumulated through extortion, drug running, human smuggling, credit card fraud, etc. to stir up hostilities leading to communal violence in pursuit of their goal of a separate mono-ethnic Tamil state in Sri Lanka.
The US delegation left the UNHRC chamber when a motion was tabled by a member relating to the USA’s use of unmanned armed drones which enter the sovereign air space of other nations to attack and kill those deemed terrorists hostile to the USA, which has resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians numbering thousands who are dismissed as collateral damage. Illegal invasion of Iraq by the USA, UK and other allies resulting in the deaths of over a million persons and the displacement of millions of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure of an inestimable amount which resulted in fractious violence within the country has not been taken up by the High Commissioner up to now. A documentary produced by Maggie O’Kane of the Guardian newspaper claimed that the US authorities had established a death squad of Shia militias numbering 10,000 to attack Sunnis who were retaliating against American aggression, but no questions have been raised by the UN or UNHRC about these war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian laws. The UK which is a co-sponsor of the resolution on Sri Lanka which pretends to be a champion of human rights has a terrible track record as a colonial power in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, and the recent ouster of the Chaggosians from their native islands in order to establish a military base in Diego Garcia along with the USA.
If the UNHRC is to be relevant and respected by the global community it should not be selective in dealing with violations, and should ensure that all member countries are treated uniformly. The members of the UNHRC assembled in Geneva should act in keeping with established procedures and reject draft resolution HRC#25 which is intrusive, country specific against Sri Lanka which creates a bad precedent of empowering the High Commissioner to carry out independent investigations of a member country thereby contravening UNGA resolution 60/251 which established the Human Rights Council.
Dated: March 25, 2014
The Minnesota Buddhist Vihara (MNBV) will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday (March 30, 2014).
A guest monk, the Venerable Pallebage Chandrasiri Nayaka Thera, chief monk of Oregon Buddhist Vihara, will conduct the Atawisi Buddha Puja and anusasana.
The Venerable Witiyala Seewalie Nayaka Thera, the founder-president of the vihara, said that he came to the United States in 2003 and founded the MNBV the very next year with the assistance of the Vietnamese temple in Blaine, a suburb of the Twin Cities.
Currently, the vihara is located in North Minneapolis.
The Malwatte Chapter of the Siam Sect appointed Venerable Seewalie as the deputy Sangha Nayaka for North America in June 2011.
Bhikku Bisho Kirthi Maharjan, a monk of Nepali origin, serves as the assistant abbot of MNBV. He is also the principal of the vihara’s Dhamma School.
Bhikkuni Satima, a former Montessori teacher from Sri Lanka, serves the vihara’s Children’s Dhamma Program, Buddhist & Pali College of USA and the Meditation Program.
Venerable Seewalie said a two-hour ceremony (from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central time) has been organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary at the temple premises. It begins with Atawisi Buddha Puja followed by pirith chanting and meditation practice. The program includes the expression of appreciations and will end with refreshments.
The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Administrative Standing Instructions of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran.
The names of the 205 Catholic priests listed in the anti-Sri Lankan letter sent to UNHRC reveals the low depths to which the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has fallen. It reveals that the Catholic Church is divided on ethnic lines into two irreconcilable camps. It confirms that the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church does not sing from the same page of the Bible as the Catholics in the rest of the nation. Like Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel they say alleluia to Tamil racist politics than to the universal brotherhood of non-Tamil Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. This is not unusual in Tamil Catholicism. It is in keeping with the racist politics of Fr. Emmanuel who once declared: “I am a Tamil first and a Christian second.” It is even reported that he compared Prabhakaran to Jesus.
Not surprisingly the list of 205 names attested to the anti-Sri Lankan letter sent to UNHRC starts with Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Catholic Bishop of Mannar, No.1 in the list, and runs down to Rev. Fr. S. Philip Ranjanakumar, OMI, Vavuniya No.205. The manipulative hand of Bishop Rayappu, perhaps with some nudging from Fr. Emmanuel from abroad, is quite evident in this political move. The deliberate attempt to enlist only the names of the Tamil priests in the North and the East, leaving the Sinhala Catholic priests out, seems to be a direct challenge by the racist Tamil-wing of the Church to the spiritual and temporal power of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the highest authority in the Catholic hierarchy in Sri Lanka.
But Bishop Rayappu is out to impress that the Tamil priests are behind him and not under the Cardinal appointed by the Pope. In other words, he is brazenly playing the same political role of Prabhakaran who claimed to be “the sole representative of the Tamils”. Bishop Rayappu is also proclaiming that the Catholic Church is now divided into two separate dioceses, one under his command with the Cardinal Ranjith having whatever is left in the south.
True, Bishop Rayappu has managed to get a couple of Silvas and Fernandos into his list. Other than that the rest in the list are all “Suntharams” and “Sundaris”. This un-Christian division of the universal Catholic Church into ethnic camps questions whether Rome has any prospect of reconciling the divided Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. Rome is aware of this cleavage but has been turning a blind eye for a longtime. It pretends that it does not exist because it fears that any open attempt to bring both parties together would open the festering wounds in the Church. But the problem cannot be wished away. It is the racist undercurrents of the Tamil-wing that is threatening the unitary state of the Church in Sri Lanka. If the Tamil-wing of the Church is bent on dragging the Tamil priests into the anti-Sinhala camp headed by Bishop Rayappu,, as seen in the recent attempt to enlist Tamil priests for Tamil extremism, what is the future of Catholic Church in Sri Lanka? Isn’t the Church putting up a show of sham unity when the Church is split right down the middle: one played with impunity by Bishop Rayappu and the other more benignly by Cardinal Ranjith.
Ethnic division in the Churches has been a perennial malaise in the post-Chelvanayakam era. Ever since the separatist movement was launched by S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, a member of the Anglican Church in Colombo who switched over to the South Indian Church following his racist politics, the Catholic Church has been fighting a covert battle to maintain the unity of the Church threatened by divisive ethnic politics. The overt acts of Bishop Rayappu reveal that the Church is merely putting up a show of unity to the congregation and the world at large. However, behind closed doors the Church acts very much like the houses of Montagues and Capulets (Romeo and Juliet) than a shared and sacred refuge for all Catholics. The Church seems to have fallen from the high wall like Humpty Dumpty and it is clear that not all the Pope’s men will be able to put it together again as long as racism rules the Tamil-wing of the Church.
The execrable ethnic extremism of Bishop Rayappu belongs to the Tamil Tigers and TNA and not to the Catholic Church. Some Catholics are quite certain that the day he goes knocking on the Pearly Gate St. Peter will send him directly to the nether world where Prabhakaran and Bishop Rayappu will be comfortable in each other’s racist company. He certainly has no place among the saintly angels in heavens above who accept humanity, without distinctions, as the children of God.
Of course, this means that Rome can never promote him to be the leader of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka because he is totally incapable of bringing the divided Church together. He has done enough damage to the Church as it is. The Church needs a healer and not a separatist. His putative campaign asking for justice for the Tamils (why only the Tamils when all other communities too suffered?) is a mere cloak to hide his political objective of seeking revenge. His ceaseless campaigns to vilify Sri Lanka indicate that he has gone berserk with his vindictive Tamil politics. His idea of reconciliation is retaliation. This is also the cancer eating into all Tamil separatists in the diaspora who are dreaming of the day when Prabhakaran would do a Lazarus and return to lead the Tamils once again into suicidal Nandikadal.
Judging by the quantum of his anti-Sri Lankan activities he can’t be having much time for either man or God. In contrast the Cardinal and his Bishop in Jaffna, Bishop Savundranayagam, has taken a more responsible attitude towards reconciliation. It is significant that Bishop Savundranayagam’s signature is not in Bishop Rayappu’s list. That seems to be the only silver lining in the racist clouds darkening the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church.
This racist role of the Catholic Church has been underplayed and under-reported by the political analysts some of whom are committed Catholics. Earlier, when the English-educated Vellahlas were ruling the roost in the North the Catholic Church went along with the casteist elite. To accommodate the Vellahla patrons of the Church the hierarchy even established separate pews for the higher caste. The Vellahlas always were allotted the front pews and the low-castes were thrown into the obscure rear.
In other words, the Catholic church was casteist before it became racist. They sided with the ruling Vellahla elite and legitimized their casteist hierarchy that oppressed and suppressed the fundamental rights of the helpless low-castes, some of whom were not allowed to walk in daylight in case they polluted the sight of Vellahlas. The casteist culture introduced by Arumuka Navalar reigned supreme in the North. Unlike the Anglican Church which did put up some resistance against the caste-ridden Vellahlas the Catholic Church, by and large, compromised with the fascist political culture of Vellahlas.
Though casteism was an integral part of Hinduism the Catholic Church took over casteism as a part of their Christian culture. One of the most outstanding features of the northern political culture has been the role played by the English-educated, Vellahla Catholics with the official blessings of the Church leaders. The Church had no hesitation is going along with the ruling elite of the day. In the days when the Vellahlas ruled Jaffna with an iron-fist the Catholic collaborated with the Vellahlas elite. When Velupillai Prabhakaran took command of Jaffna and the North the Church readily collaborated with Tamil Tiger fascism. Bishop Rayappu is an unrepentant remnant of the fascist regime of Prabhakaran.
Another feature of the northern political culture is the pre-eminent role played by the Church in driving Jaffna towards racism. Though Jaffna is predominantly Hindu it is the Catholic Church that had taken the lead in Tamil politics. In the south the Buddhist monks play a lead role in shaping its political culture. In the north the Hindu priests are missing outside their temple premises. Their role has been primarily to service the Hindu community with their socio-religious needs. They confine themselves to performing the rituals which brings them an income. They do not come out to give any political leadership. Not since Arumuka Navalar (1822 ” 1879) led the revolt against Christianity and its intrusive social activities to infiltrate Jaffna culture, including education, has Jaffna produced a single eminent Hindu priest to lead Tamil politics. Swami Vipulananda too played the role of a reformist but his role was more in the sphere of culture.
It is the Catholic priests who filled the gap. The Catholic Church was successful in penetrating Jaffna society to a larger extent than in the south. They achieved this success by aligning themselves with the Tamil language and mono ethnic Tamil extremism. First they were led by Tamil scholars like Fr. Xavier Thaninayagam who was also linked to the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) through the language issue. I remember seeing him at Galle Face Green, lending his support with his presence, when the ITAK staged their first anti-Sinhala Only Bill demonstration in 1956. As a reputed Tamil scholar he must have been moved by the perceived threat to the Tamil language arising from the introduction of the Sinhala Only Bill. But later, in the post-Vadukoddai period (starting from May 14, 1976) when Tamil politics was militarized and when Chelvanayakam’s forehead was marked with a red pottu drawn from the blood of a Tamil militant, the Church as a whole aligned itself with Prabhakaran and his brutal politics.
The Church should take its share of responsibility for prolonging the 33-year-old north-south conflict by aiding and abetting Prabhakaranist violence. They were not helpless bystanders. They were active participants who wielded considerable influence over the LTTE. In the main the Church was the conduit thorough which the Tamil Tiger excesses were either white-washed or justified internationally by the Church. They had no qualms of being a part of the movement, either covertly or overtly. Bishop Rayappu continues to this day the work left undone by Prabhakaran. At the height of the conflict he ran away with the statue of Holy Mary. Now he drafts anti-Sri Lankan resolutions to help the American Ambassadress to pursue her anti-Sri Lankan politics. But the reality is that neither of these acts has produced any beneficial results to him, to his political cause or to his God.
So how does Bishop Rayappu justify his Tamil racist extremism to his God? Isn’t he a pathetic symbol of Tamil politics in the post-independent era: a monument of labour that produced in the end a mouse like Prabhakaran? Is he now trying to step into the shoes of Prabhakaran to carry on the futile war through other means? Where is that going to take him? Where will it take the Church? Will it not take the Tamil people once again to Nandikadal through rivers of blood?
And with priests like him does the Church need another Satan to undo the monumental foundations laid by Jesus Christ for peace and reconciliation between man and man and man and God?
USA has great scientists and technicians who have develop technology to reach into the outer space.They sent men to the moon. But the minds of the American Presidents, even Senators and those of the US State Department have not seen a parallel development, remaining at a primitive level following the rule of the jungle – the survival of the fittest.
It has not changed, it is what America is even today. It pounces on the developing nations, like the animals in the jungle hunting the weak and feeble animals of prey, not allowing them to rise above their under development, holding them tied to America’s own set of jungle rules obey us lest we change regimes, or impose sanctions.
In this lawless state USA is the deciding force for those who have not developed proportionately to challenge its might power. How else can one see this Honourable Delegates, the sadistic delirium in seeking satisfaction in claiming others are wrong without looking over its shoulders to see the sufferings it has left behind ?
The ruling class of USA which accepts no challenge, nor reasons has gathered around it a coterie of supporters from the European Union with UK, Canada, France, Germany etc. the “Yes Men”. They have all their skeletons in their cupboards, but pretends to the world they are shining knights of honour.
They are all present in the UNHR Council in Geneva, with a resolution against a small country Sri Lanka- which suffered for thirty years under terrorism, and with a great effort and at a great cost of lives, eliminated terrorism hoping to bring peace, prosperity and happiness to its people after those long years of suffering.
But since that historic elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka, USA with its coteries have gathered like vultures around a carcass, demanding accountability for violation of human rights and war crimes.
The Prime Minister of UK David Cameron had said speaking in support of the US Resolution against Sri Lanka, that, “…. without a credible investigation in to very serious allegations of the past, it will be very difficult for the Sri Lankan people to move forward in the true spirit of lasting peace, reconciliation and unity and for Sri Lanka to reach its true potential”. It was repeated by Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
British Foreign Minister William Hague has in the meantime said , that a Special Court for Sri Lanka on the lines of UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone should be set up to investigate into atrocities allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military.
Honourable Delegate, please ask yourself why UK is so keen about an investigation into Sri Lanka’s just war against terrorism, when UK has still not published the Report of the Chilcot Inquiry -the British Public Inquiry into the Nation’s role in the Iraqi war.
In the accusation of Sri Lanka and presenting a resolution against Sri Lanka for its just war to end the thirty year old terrorism, David Cameron, William Hague and Hugo Swire have conveniently ignored their own violation of human rights and war crimes during the Iraqi war.
The war crimes and violation of human rights by the UK armed forces in Iraq have been well documented. Some of these items of violation of human rights are reported as follows:
On Januray ist, 2004 Ghanem Kadhem Kati, an unarmed young man, was shot twice on the back by a British Soldier at the door to his home. Troops had arrived at the scene after hearing shooting, which neighbours said came from a wedding party. Investigators from the Royal Military Police exhumed the teenager’s body six weeks later but have yet to offer compensation or announce any conclusion to the inquiry…………..
Details of beating, electrocution, mock executions, and sexual assault by British troops during the Iraqi war were alleged in a 250 page dossier on January,2014. These alleged abuses could result in some Britain’s leading defence figures facing prosecution for “systematic” war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in which Britain is the state party. The allegations included range from “hooding” prisoners, to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and “cultural and religious humiliations”. Other forms of alleged abuses include sexual assault, mock executions, threats of rape, death and torture.
These are real allegations unlike those of doctored videos and faked films of the UK Channel 4 which the UN Commissioner for HR Navi Pillai has taken as evidence to demand an International Independent Investigation into Sri Lanka’s military operations against the terrorists. The UK Channel 4 is heavily paid to make this horror films by the anti Sri Lanka Tamil Diaspora, some now manifesting with their red flags of terrorism in the UNHRCouncil premises in Geneva.
They are false and without substantial evidence of any sort. The selection of the UK Channel 4 films as evidence on which UNCHR propose an International Independent Investigation in Sri Lanka shows the partiality of the UNCHR Navi Pillai of Tamil origin, and her determination to punish Sri Lanka for the elimination of her distant cousins the Tamil Terrorists.
In the meantime the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper demands Sri Lanka to respect human rights and rule of law and supports the US resolution against Sri Lanka demanding an International Independent Investigation in to Sri Lanka’s violation of human rights. But Honourable Delegate the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in doing that he is throwing stones sitting inside a glass house.
Utter discrimination of indigenous Indian/First Nation minority population is taking place under his Conservative regime. His Conservative Party-dominated parliamentary committee has rejected the establishment of a national commission to investigate the blatant discrimination, murders , disappearances and rape of women and young girls who belong to indigenous minority ethnic communities, saying it has no use. Is it no hypocrisy to be more concerned with the Tamils of Sri Lanka to the exclusion of the aborigine Canadian Indians ?
Now with regard to USA the Prime Mover of the Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Geneva, the Honourbale Delegate knows very well the record of USA with regard to violation of Human rights and war crimes. It is not necessary to give in detail the torture camps of Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Guantanamo Camps in Guantanamo Bay, My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Hadith Massacre in Iraq, where there are crying evidence of American violation of human rights and war crimes.
There is the recent case of which the Honourable Delegates may have taken note. It is the draft of Pakistan Resolution which proposes that nations “ensure transparency” when discussing drone strikes, and conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.”
“But the Obama administration has largely refused to supply UN experts with details about the classified US drone program, which has killed hundreds of suspected militants in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries over the past decade. Independent investigators say the strikes have also killed thousands of civilians, including large numbers of women and children, a charge the White House denies without providing evidence to the contrary.
Andrea Prasow, an American lawyer who tracks national security issues for Human Rights Watch, said the United States was passing up a golden opportunity to influence the UN debate on drones.
“This resolution would be the first time the council is going to do anything about drones and the US is not participating in any of the informal discussions about language”, she said. “They are telling us they are reserving judgment on the resolution, which means they won’t be happy with it. They are concerned that the council doesn’t have jurisdiction over this issue. I think it’s ludicrous to say the Human Rights Council doesn’t have anything to say about drone strikes.”
The declassified papers on Vietnam war US Atrocities went far beyond My Lai : Nick Turse and Deborrah Nelson reported to the Times on August,2006. The men of the 8 Company were in a dangerous state of mind having lost five of their men in a fire fight the previous day. The following day there were orders to resume their sweep of the country side, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam’s central coast. They met no resistance as they entered a nondescript settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry, a 20 year old medic, set his rifle down in a hut, unfastened his bandoliers and lighted a cigarette. Just then, the voice of a lieutenant crackled across the radio. He reported that he had rounded up 19 civilians, and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry later recalled the company commander’s response: Kill any thing that moves. Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began. Moments later , the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.
These are some of the atrocities the prime movers of the resolution against Sri Lanka is trying to hide calling for an International Independent Investigation into the violation of human rights and war crimes committed by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in the course of the elimination of the terrorists. But no one challenges them because the future of the Sovereignty of small independent nations depend on being on their side, without pointing fingers at them.
The President and the government of Sri Lanka have after the elimination of terrorism developed the country to a great extent. There are no poor people in rags living in shanties and dilapidated houses. The communities in Sri Lanka are living in harmony. Sri Lanka has risen from its development stage to become a middle income country.
But these are the Tamil sympathisers of the former terrorists living in USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Australia etc. and Tamil Politicians the former supporters of the terrorists who have come to UNHRC premises in Geneva, to manifest against Sri Lanka trying to hide the real ground situation in Sri Lanka, supporting the USA resolution to pressure the Honourable Delegates to vote for the US resolution hoping thereby to force the International Community to change the regime in Sri Lanka, and divide the country to set up a Tamil State.
Honourable Delegate Sri Lanka really needs no such resolution, and there is no need for an International Investigation.
UNHRC is really wasting its time passing resolutions against Sri Lanka, which needs no immediate change as the country is in peace and fast development, and the Communities are living in harmony.
While UNHRC is passing resolutions against Sri Lanka, in Nigeria, Somalia, Central Africa, Syria, and in Lebanon, men, and women are being killed or massacred, young women and children kidnapped raped and killed, others live in utter poverty in shanties, or in refugee camps, without , food, water, proper sanitary conditions, or schooling for children.
Those are the places that need the presence of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, where USA and its allies should rally round not to wage wars but to bring the people together and settle political issues in peaceful dialogue.
In Sri Lanka they are raking the past where Sri Lanka was engaged in a just war to eliminate terrorism to bring peace to the people who for thirty years lived uncertain lives, waiting for their children to return home safely , or worry until husbands return home, living in panic on hearing news of a bomb that exploded, when the husbands and wives avoided travelling together lest that one would live if the other were to die in a bomb explosion.
If they want to rake the past they should go to Agentina where the people are still looking for lost persons.
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces did not fight against the Tamil people but against the ruthless terrorists. USA and its allies want to know how many civilians had been killed by the armed forces at the last phase of the military operations against terrorists, some say there were 40,000 deaths others say, 100,000, yet others say 7000. How can one really say what exactly happened at the end of a war, and how many people were killed ?
Does numbers count? If there had been any deaths at all, at least they had given their lives to allow millions to live in peace.
Seven years after USA imposed sanctions on Iraq 1.5 million people had died. Of them half a million were children, that is more children than in Hiroshima after the Atomic bomb. When Leslie Stahl ( CBC -11 May,1996) asked Madeleine Albright (USSecretary of State) Is the price worth it ? She replied ” I think this is a very hard choice. But the price, we think the price is worth it.” Leslie Stahl says, ” Worth it, because she (Ms.Albright) believes the sanctions are working.” ((http://www.addictedtowar.com/docs/sanctions.htm)
Honourable Delegate, please see the hypocrisy of the US Resolution against Sri Lanka. It is a cover up for its own violation of human rights, and war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Libya etc.
Therefore, if you hesitate because your country needs USA and its allies for political and economic advantages, or because of bilateral agreements, you have still the independence and freedom to act in defence of your principles and convictions. Today USA and the West are not the only Nations the developing countries could turn to for their needs , but there are others such as China, and Russia.
Honourable Delegate, it is fair and just that you reject the US Resolution against Sri Lanka and allow this country to look forward to a peaceful future during which it could develop the country and build a Nation of united Communities.
Please say no to the US Resolution against Sri Lanka
The term ‘Bias’ is defined as an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective and a refusal to even consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. An individual may be biased towards or against another individual, a race, a religion, a social class, or a political party. Being Biased connotes being one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, and not having an open mind. Bias arises in many forms and shapes and is generally treated as synonymous with prejudice or bigotry.
Bias and Conflict of Interest
The current High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) Ms. Navi Pillai has been accused of racial bias and conflict of interest in respect to her handling of the allegations on human rights violations relating to Sri Lanka.
Ms Navi Pillay is a South African of Indian Tamil origin. Race is a critical issue in this conflict which has been painted as an ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils. An UNHRC sponsored investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka would require such an investigation, in the interest of fair play and justice, to be conducted by a third party unrelated to either of the two parties in conflict. The neutrality of the party conducting the investigation is sine quo non (an indispensable or essential condition) in such a process.
The question has been raised whether Ms. Navi Pillai having emotional, genetic and ethnic ties being an ethnic Tamil with roots in Tamil Nadu, India (her Tamil grandparents had migrated as part of indentured labour from Tamilnadu to South Africa sponsored by the then British colonial Government in the early part of the 20th century) can function evenhandedly, and in an unprejudiced and unbiased manner and be emotionally detached and act impartially in an investigation where her race and the manner in which the Human Rights of members of her race are alleged to have been violated are the primary issues in the probe.
Ms. Navi Pillai’s recent pronouncements and her own conduct vis a vis Sri Lanka while being at UNHRC and on her visit to Sri Lanka in 2013 provide much cause for worry not only to people of Sri Lanka but to all right thinking people in any part of the globe who have an interest in the moral credibility of the UNHRC and the integrity and uprightness of its High Commissioner.
The Influence of the Inquisition on the UNHRC
“Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”. is no doubt a hackneyed phrase but it is still relevant particularly in the context of an investigation on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. If it is going to be conducted on the lines of an Inquisition as has happened in Europe over a period of 600 years where a mere accusation was sufficient to establish guilt with the High Commissioner playing the role of a Grand Inquisitor, it will certainly revive memories of some of the most evil people in history such as Tom¡s de Torquemada, a 15th-century Spanish Dominican friar and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain’s campaign to achieve religious orthodoxy and rid the country of heresy. Torquemada sent thousands of innocent people to their deaths by conducting fake trials. He died in 1498.
His tomb was ransacked in 1832””two years before the Spanish Inquisition was disbanded. His bones were stolen and ritually incinerated as though an auto ” da ” fe (an execution by burning at the stake) took place. Such was the revulsion of the people of Spain towards the Inquisition which was a huge crime against humanity committed by both the Church and State acting together.
The Inquisition spread Terror throughout Christian Europe. Its victims were mostly Jews, Muslims and those who had the moral courage to challenge the dogma or religious orthodoxy of the Church. They included prominent philosophers and scientists e.g. Giordano Bruno (a martyr of science burnt at the stake) and Galileo Galilei who played a major role in the scientific revolution but was punished nevertheless by the Church for holding the scientific view that earth revolved around the sun rather than vice ” versa. The Inquisition also led to a serious questioning of the role of the Church and State in society. In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ (1879”1880), the ‘The Grand Inquisitor’ is used as a parable. It is a significant part of the novel and one of the most cherished passages in Western classical literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and its fundamental ambiguity.
Judicial disqualification, also referred to as recusal, refers to the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding or an investigation due to a conflict of interest of the Judge or investigating officer. The underlying rationale of recusal is that the judge or investigating officer must be free from disabling conflicts of interest as it makes the fairness of the proceedings or investigation less likely to be questioned.
Even a first year law student knows that if a Judge or Commissioner realizes that he or she cannot look at a case or matter at hand dispassionately the correct thing to do in such an event is to withdraw and arrange for a totally neutral person to take over. Judges, investigators or anyone else acting in a quasi ” judicial capacity are expected to recuse themselves from cases where bias or personal conflict of interest may arise.
Using the analogy in International cricket we know that a Test cricket match between two countries is always refereed by Umpires selected from a Third country. This is not to say that well trained International umpires are not neutral. All umpires are expected to be neutral. But the appearance of ‘ free of bias’ is as important as being free of bias.
High Commissioner Navi Pillai fails this very important test of natural justice in her role as an UNHRC Official investigating Human Rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
Moral Obligation of the High Commissioner
Ms. Navi Pillai is morally obliged to withdraw from any dealings with and in relation to Sri Lanka. Her failure to perform this ethical and professional obligation as a legally trained person who has once acted as a Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is tantamount to serious misconduct or impropriety and contempt for justice. A conflict of interest exists even if no unethical improper act results. A conflict of interest in the person handling an inquiry (a quasi- judicial role) can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine public confidence in the objectivity or neutrality of the investigation or inquiry.
It appears that Ms. Pillai is unsuited to function in any role where Sri Lanka is concerned or for that matter any issue relating to India given the strident nature of Tamil Nadu calls for separatism and establishment of a greater sovereign Tamil nation through a balkanization of India with support from Western countries and with major parts of Sri Lanka annexed to it.
23 March 2014, marks the 125th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community ” a global Muslim community that has evolved from very humble beginnings into one of the most dynamic social, humanitarian and spiritual movements in the world today.
The community was established in 1889 in Qadian, a modest Indian village, by the prophet Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the awaited Messiah whose advent was foretold in the Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. He set out to revive the central Islamic message of peace and tolerance in order to address the root causes behind war, oppression and inequality.
Commenting upon the purpose of his advent, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said:
”My desire, my wish and my objective is serving humanity. It is my job, my faith, my inspiration and my way.”
Today the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community remains united under the leadership of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Successor (Khalifa or Caliph) to the Founder of the Community, who resides in south-west London. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Muslim sect today operating under the Islamic system of Khilafat, which has been in establishment since 1908.
From its humble beginnings, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has grown into the largest organised Muslim community in the world with tens of millions of followers spread across 204 countries.
Under the leadership of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Community has established itself as one of today’s leading social and humanitarian movements having established hundreds of schools, hospitals and charitable projects in under-developed parts of the world.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a peace-loving community that acts entirely in accordance with the true teachings of Islam. It is a community that not only promotes peace but whose every act and activity is conducted in an entirely peaceful manner.”
To mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, its World Head, the Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has delivered an historic address to members of the community. This was broadcast on MTA International later 23 March 2014..
For the very first time, His Holiness delivered an entire address in the Arabic language – the language in which the Holy Quran was revealed.
Speaking from his office in London, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the truth of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of his devoted servant, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi.
Speaking about the blessed status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Surely, we bear witness that our Master and Guide, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets and we proclaim to the world the perfection of his excellences.”
Commenting upon the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“After the era of decline and darkness, we witnessed the revival of Islam, with all the major signs of the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) having being fulfilled, on the 23rd of March 1889. It testified to the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the Seal of the Prophets.”
The Khalifa spoke of how the truth of the Promised Messiah’s claim had been supported by countless signs. He gave the example of the lunar and solar eclipses that occurred during the months of Ramadan on certain prescribed dates as prophesied by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“This phenomena [of the lunar and solar eclipse] never occurred as a sign for any other claimant. And so this prophecy testified to the truth of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the truth of the One who had been sent as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi.”
Speaking about significance of the date, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“On this day Allah the Almighty honoured Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Aá¸¥mad of Qadian to be the Promised Messiah and the long awaited Mahdi because of the loyalty and love he showed for his Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”
During his message, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also quoted extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah in which he expressed his absolute love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his great respect for the Arab people.
Addressing the Arab people, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi said:
‘No nation would be able to obtain your glory and status. Most sufficient is the honour that Allah bestowed on you by commencing His revelation with Adam and completing it with that Prophet, who is from amongst you and from your land, which was his abode, his shelter and his place of birth… It is Muhammad (peace be upon him) the Elected One, the Pride of the Prophets, the Seal of the Messengers and Imam of all Mankind.”
The Promised Messiah further said:
“O, dear Arabs! Allah has favoured you with His extraordinary blessings and special qualities and with His great Mercy. Amongst you is the House of Allah, which has endowed the mother of towns with blessings and amongst you is the tomb of the Blessed Prophet, who spread the unity of Allah to all corners of the world and clearly manifested the Glory of Allah. From amongst you there were people who supported Allah and His Messenger with all of their hearts, all of their souls and all of their minds. They sacrificed their wealth and their lives to propagate the religion of Allah and His most pure Book. You are the ones who have been bestowed these special blessings and certainly one who does not honour you is committing injustice.”
At a time when parts of the Arab world have been torn apart through internal conflicts and warfare, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad asked the Arab members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to convey to the Arab World the need to stay united and to accept the Promised Messiah.
Addressing the Arab Ahmadi Muslims, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Go out and preach with full of wisdom to all Muslims, especially those who speak the language of the final [law-bearing] Prophet, who was the dearest to Allah Almighty… Inform them that their safety and prosperity is determined in their being united and all joined at the hands of the Promised Messiah and by becoming one Community. Be Helpers of the Promised Messiah by conveying his anguish and sorrow for your people by telling them to raise aloft the peaceful and loving banner of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) across the entire world.”
The English Translation of the Arabic address ” the video link of which is:-
For the second time in succession, India has voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC for the resolution brought by USA and its allies against Sri Lanka. Let our President at least now realize that India is not a friend and for that matter Pakistan is a sincere friend. Of course, she has never been a friend who trained LTTE, the most notorious and brutal terrorists outfit in the world LTTE to set against Sri Lanka. We reminisce the true courage President Mahinda Rajapaksa had at the last stages of the war against LTTE terrorist without bowing down America, UK, France and other western allies to stop the war but continued until LTTE was completely annihilated. Of course, our Defence Secretary Gotabaya ‘s unstinted and unvarying support facilitated Presidents task to go ahead with the war. But unfortunately, since of late we see the gigantic courage President had gradually diminishing over the years specially in relation with India. Too much of appeasement on India is very visible. President Rajapaksa has become na¯ve (though still locally popular) and unable to stop Indianising Sri Lanka. Over the years, the GoSL has been tying diplomatically to be a friend but Indian Government has prostituted our friendliness into timidity and acting as an arch enemy and playing a double game. It’s high time Sri Lanka understood that India is not a friend and took constructive steps to show our strength. For the second time, India showed that they have no faith the way Sri Lanka is heading. If so then why the hell are they trying to bring more and more investments to Sri Lanka if the condition is not conducive to good governance. Sri Lanka is already Indianised.
What moral right that India has to blame Sri Lanka for human rights violation when half a billion Indians are deprived of basic human needs like shelter, water and sanitation. It was reported that half a billion people don’t have toilet facilities. (reminds me of the reality film “Slum Dog Millionaire). When few of the richest in India live in luxury, the poorest of the poor live together with cows, water buffaloes, goats pigs and dogs in way side shanties. This is common scene in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state. I suppose other states are no different other than Haryana State. Should we remind India of the human rights violations in Jammu-Kashmir borders?
It’s time we treated India as a foe and not a friend. We need to take some bold decisions mentioned herein to make India realize that we are no more a scapegoat for their internal Tamil Nadu politics.
The above letter which was published in Lankaweb on 23 March 2013 stands currency even today. For the third time, India has proved to us that she is not a friend of Sri Lanka as we think but a born enemy by agreeing to support the US sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming UNHRC Sessions. It’s high time the present Government treated her as our number one enemy in the neighbourhood.
Canadian Sri Lankans in Toronto held a large Hands Off Sri Lanka protest rally in front of the USA Consulate on Monday March 24 2014 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The rally was organized with the leadership of Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada [SLUNA – Est. 1983]
The rally organizers called on USA and the co-sponsor UK to withdraw the country specific resolution against Sri Lanka, and to refrain from bringing similar unfair resolutions to harass Sri Lanka which is an independent sovereign member country of the UN and UNHRC. Various Sri Lankan Canadian community organizations, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate Dewitt Lee and Canadian Sri Lankans of all ethnic origins braved the cold temperature in unity to make a stand for Sri Lanka during the rush hour in Toronto.
Separately, a petition was signed by a large number of Canadian Sri Lankans which will be forwarded to the USA Consulate this week. Canadian Sri Lankans in Ottawa will also be holding a similar rally outside the USA Embassy on Tuesday March 25 2014 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
To:Hon Julie Bishop MP
Foreign Minister of Australia
Australian Parliament ,
Re ; Australian Response To Pressure On International Inquiry On Sri Lanka
Dear Ms. Bishop,
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
United Sri Lanka Association,
I have submitted the following to The Sydney Morning Herald in response to their editorial today.
To The Editor
The Sydney Morning Herald
It is distressing that the Herald, too, has succumbed to the widespread propaganda of the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorists to draw a smokescreen over the decades-long conflict in Sri Lanka and concentrate on unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes in the closing stages of the war and on-going issues on human rights (Australia abetting Sri Lanka’s stand on human rights inquiry, 25 March).
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