War Crimes investigations and Sri Lanka
Posted on June 1st, 2009

Ira de Silva London, Ontario, Canada

Ms. Navanetham Pillay
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland

CC: UN Secretary General
Dear Madam:

I read a news report which states that even though the vote at the meeting in Geneva on May 27,2009 was in favour of no war crimes investigation against Sri Lanka as wanted by you, to the surprise of many you state that you will continue in your efforts to institute such an investigation even though your “home country” South Africa voted in favour of Sri Lanka. The report states that you “took the extraordinary step seeking to override the decision taken by the world body”.

This move on your part is indeed “extraordinary”. It exposes a vindictive mentality which is unbecoming of the post you now hold at the UN. The UN is supposed to act fairly, without prejudice and treat all member states the same whether large or small, rich or poor. It appears that you do not have that capacity when it comes to Sri Lanka and the question is why? Only you know why you have taken this decision but to the observer there are many possible reasons some of which are –

1. You are arrogant and believe that what you want you must get no matter the rules or the cost. You seek to dismiss the opinion of four billion people represented by the countries that voted in favour of Sri Lanka as opposed to the .5 billion who voted against Sri Lanka. Possibly you are also vindictive and want to punish Sri Lanka because you did not get your investigation.

2. You have a “colonial mindset” as do most of the countries who were supportive of the resolution which clearly manifested the east-west divide and the western countries trying to browbeat the rest of the world. You also probably feel that you have to do what the colonial masters want. You did not find it ironic that some of these same countries have committed war crimes of immense proportion and that they lied and deceived the UN to invade another sovereign country which was against international law. As stated by the Sri Lankan representative to the UN in Geneva – “these are the same countries that told the world that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. I would not buy a used car from these people let alone allegations of war crimes”. These same crimes are also taking place in Afghanistan. Why have you not used the same “authority” you are using against Sri Lanka to bring war crimes against these countries? If you had done so you would not only have the template for an investigation but also the penalties would have been established. As stated by the representative from Algeria at the meeting of the council it was regrettable that the work of the council was still distorted by double standards.

3. The South African Tamil community has continually supported the LTTE even providing the LTTE with planes to bomb the rest of Sri Lanka. Pictures of the South African Tamils demonstrating on the streets calling for a ceasefire so that the LTTE leadership could evacuate to a foreign country may have been what you supported but could not do much about. You did not really care for the thousands of Tamils that had been driven from their homes for the past eighteen months ending up on a narrow strip of land being used by the LTTE as a human shield. If you did you should have called on the LTTE to let these people go but you did not. Their “human rights” were not uppermost in your mind.

4. You issued reports of the number of deaths and injured using information that the UN officials in Sri Lanka and John Holmes of New York said were not accurate and verifiable. You preferred to believe what was reported by the propaganda arm of the LTTE on their website to condemn Sri Lanka. That you and other members of the UN who seem to feel that they should help a terrorist organization continue to use inflated numbers exposes your collective bias and reflects on the integrity of the UN. By copy of this letter to the Secretary General of the UN I ask why the UN is openly showing bias and discrimination.

5. Prior to May 18th other members of the UN such as Mr. John Holmes and Mr. Vijay Nambiar were making frantic phone calls to help Prabhakaran so you felt that you had to do your part particularly as South African Tamils were supportive of the LTTE.

6. When you heard that the LTTE had been defeated militarily you were greatly disappointed and saddened. The only way you could now show your support of the LTTE was to attempt to take revenge on Sri Lanka to avenge his death.

There are other possible reasons that I could set out but I believe that what I have stated already should give you an indication of how your call for an international investigation outside the Human Rights Council may be interpreted. Please note that imperialism/colonial mind set as practiced by those who brought this resolution against Sri Lanka is a concept that is outdated.

I will conclude with a comment from an international relations analyst on the outcome of the councils meeting on Sri Lanka – “to some, Sri Lanka’s victory at the United Nations Human Rights Council is an example of how, under a new world order, countries sick to death of the West’s double standards made a point. This was a rejection of humanitarian imperialism”. I trust you will take heed and not continue with your imperialism to please your imperial masters.

Yours truly,

Ira de Silva
London, Ontario, Canada


One Response to “War Crimes investigations and Sri Lanka”

  1. Raj Says:

    Well said Ira.

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