Ban Ki Moon’s Expert Panel & revisiting the real Human Rights culprits
Posted on July 13th, 2010

Shenali Waduge

It is not without reason that Ban Ki Moon is being vilified for degrading his role as the custodian of world peace, not that other UN Secretary General’s have faired any better but it is becoming increasingly clear that the UN & its officials are becoming agents of Western imperialism. Sri Lanka in particular fresh out of a terrorist conflict now finds itself being terrorized by the UN with neo-colonists eyeing to use Sri Lanka’s strategic importance to their benefit in the Asian sub-continent. The predicament Sri Lanka currently faces ironically encompasses the terror reign of the LTTE for a nation whose people are trying to rebuild their lives in peaceful coexistence are being told to go back to the past instead of looking at the future. Does the UN need to be wasting time, resources & money for such useless endeavors?

 UN Secretary General’s Press Release (SG/SM/12967) of 22nd June 2010 issued by the Dept of Public Information-New York states in its headline: “Secretary General names Panel of Experts to advise on accountability for possible rights violations during Sri Lanka conflict”

 A joint statement was issued by the UN Secretary General SG/2151 on 26th May 2009, following his visit to Sri Lanka on 23rd May. From this joint statement the following is apparent :

Ban Ki Moon arrives in Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Rajapakse, Ban Ki Moon has discussions with President, Foreign Minister, senior leaders, members of humanitarian agencies, civil society as well as visiting IDPs in Vavuniya & Mullaitivu. Both agreed that Sri Lanka had entered a “new post-conflict beginning” following end of operations against the LTTE. Challenges for Sri Lanka immediate & long term were issues related to “relief, rehabilitation, resettlement & reconciliation” though it afforded opportunities for long-term development of the North & for re-establishing democratic institutions & electoral politics after 2 ½ decades (this certainly implies that the UN accepts that throughout LTTE terror reign no democratic institutions nor electoral politics existed for 25 years! & questions what the UN did to change the status quo when a large number of their agencies were actually next door to LTTE offices), GOSL commits to ensuring economic & political empowerment, both agreed to addressing aspirations & grievances of all communities & working towards a lasting political solution being fundamental for long-term socio-economic development, UNSG welcomes Presidents assurance made in his speech to Parliament on 19May that a national solution acceptable to all will be evolved, President expresses his resolve to implement 13th Amendment as well as begin a broader dialogue with all parties, both discussed areas in which UN will assist ongoing efforts of the Govt, UN to continue to provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs in Vavuniya & Jaffna & Govt to continue to provide access to humanitarian agencies, Govt to expedite civil infrastructure as well as livelihoods for IDPs & plan to resettle all other IDPs, Govt sought cooperation of international community for mine clearing operations (a pre-requisite for expediting early return of IDPs), UNSG calls for donor assistance towards the Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP) to support relief, shelter & humanitarian needs of IDP sites, both recognized the importance of large numbers of former child soldiers forcibly recruited by LTTE for post-conflict, President reiterated his policy of zero tolerance for child recruitment, rehabilitation is underway with UNICEF, UNSG satisfied on progress made by Govt & UNICEF, President briefs UNSG on rehabilitation & reintegration of ex-combatants, Sri Lanka reiterates commitment to promote & protect human rights in keeping with international standards & obligations, UNSG underlines accountability process to address violations of international humanitarian & human rights law & Govt assures to take measures to address those grievances.

 From this joint statement emerges several questions. How can any Government cater to “aspirations” & “grievances” of all its people “equally”? Why would the UN need to insist commitment from President Rajapakse to implement the 13th Amendment when it is aware that the 13th Amendment was thrust upon Sri Lanka by India through the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord & it does not have the democratic mandate of the People of Sri Lanka? When the UN agencies are involved in the IDP why would it insist on resettling these people when they are well aware of the mine clearance factor, unless they wish to embarrass the Government by allowing these people to enter uncleared areas resulting in their deaths? Though the UNSG has included the need to have an “accountability process to address violations of humanitarian & human rights law” why has the UNSG completely ignored the Government”ƒ”¹…”s assurance when an 8 member panel “Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission” had been appointed on May 17th 2010 to cover the following:

  1. The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement operationalized on 21st February 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19th of May 2009
  2. Whether any person, group, or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard
  3. The lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concerns, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence
  4. The methodology whereby restitution to any person affected by those events or their dependents or to heirs, can be effected
  5. The institutional administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order to prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and reconciliation among all communities, and to make any such other recommendations with reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of this Warrant

  The most important question remains when following the arrival of Ban Ki Moon to Sri Lanka on 23rd May 2009, issuing of joint statement on 26th May 2009, appointment of “Lessons Learnt” commission by Sri Lanka on 17th May 2010 why the UNSG should suddenly decide to appoint a 3 member Panel of Experts to “advise” him on the issue of “accountability” regarding rights violations? More importantly when the Panel of Experts have only 4 months to summarize their findings given that Sri Lanka has refused entry of the 3 Panel members to enter Sri Lanka, we can but wonder whose money is being wasted & what exactly is being contrived by this precedent! Especially when UNSG’s spokesman Martin Nesirky declares that the panel is “not a fact-finding mission”¦not an investigation”¦not an inquiry”¦not a probe”¦.only a panel to advise the UNSG” Are these 3 members such experts on Sri Lanka’s history, culture, demography, ethnic nuances that they do not require to probe or even inquire before coming to conclusion & advising the UNSG so much as to even rule out actually going to Sri Lanka though we raise an eyebrow to wonder what are these “other avenues” they can get information?     June appears to be a month favored for initiating expert panels, for many would not have linked Ban Ki Moons’ proposal for an international investigation into the raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship by Israel on June 6th 2010, wherein Israel rejected Ban Ki Moon’s proposal & declared it would launch its own inquiry. The Israeli Ambassador to Washington going so far as to say “we are rejecting an international commission. We are discussing with the Obama administration a way in which our inquiry will take place” (Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to Washington) It is poignant to ask since when the US became superior to the UN to decide what type of action to be taken for disputes totally unrelated to US “¦?   The UN Secretary General was to appoint a panel headed by former New Zealand PM Geoffrey Palmer & included representatives from Turkey, Israel & the US. But it has been flatly rejected by Israel”¦Ban Ki Moon has not gone ahead & appointed the committee however despite just a single but clear opposition by the Israel Prime Minister”¦& the Israel Ambassador for Washington who goes on to say “Israel is a democratic nation. Israel has the ability and the right to investigate itself, not to be investigated by any international board,” The US does not encourage a panel investigation by the UN but the US “strongly urged” Sri Lanka to make use of the “panel” “¦this is certainly the height of hypocrisy.   So if Israel is a democratic nation”¦is Sri Lanka not?, if a panel is not being appointed for Israel why is it been done for Sri Lanka? If Israels’ internal panel is enough why cant Sri Lanka Lessons Learnt panel not suffice for Ban Ki Moon”¦& if the UN is so concerned about the welfare of the people why has it done minimal to lift the blockade that has caused a humanitarian crisis in the Gaza? Ban Ki Moon & the UN have a lot of explaining to do before they ask nations to be accountable. Nations are sovereign bodies especially those engaged in democratic elections”¦the UN is only a paid entity of officials who are tasked to equally & without bias bring about world peace”¦.it is not paid to carry out agendas on behalf of larger nations nor meant to partner with MNCs & neo-colonists as is presently taking place. More importantly the UN needs to first explain & investigate despite inundated number of UN agencies located in Sri Lanka their own inactions in helping Tamil civilians who were being used by the LTTE over their 25 years of terror. We are talking about deaths of almost 25,000 civilians by the LTTE since early 1980s. Individual deaths, village massacres have always paled into insignificance for the UN officials. Sri Lanka now demands justice for these deaths & explanations from the UN why these humble people are not important for their statistics or action?   The difference between Israel & Sri Lanka  is that Israel soldiers attacking the aid-ship was viewed by all while Sri Lanka’s case is totally different where it appears that mechanizations have throughout been afoot to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka & its military who carried out the best humanitarian rescue while eliminating the LTTE. The absurdity of the “white flag” scenario can be argued by asking why Daya Master & George who surrendered to the military amidst the shelling were not gunned down by the army if orders had been given to kill. No one is willing to explain this scenario but instead a cooked up version of an “unnamed journalist” & his hearsay of orders to kill is being used to tarnish Sri Lanka’s military & the irony is that it was triggered & started by the very army commander who used this line unwisely to start his political campaign. The lesson to be learned is that smear campaigns does not buy votes & that is why the Opposition remains in the Opposition.   The discredit campaign has been led by the Tamil Diaspora most of whom now suffer from a loss of income following the LTTE elimination. Paid campaigns such as those designed by Channel 4 are supposed to provide the “proof” when the channel itself by virtue of its unethical work practices have hardly any ground to be believed which is similar to accepting the BBCs version of things. Making money is one thing but when credibility is lost no money can make up for the loss of face. Most of these media outlets were one time revered for their “unbiased” coverage..today the public have not only lost faith in politicians they have also lost faith in the media. Similar fate prevails for international politicians who enjoy using immigrant votes to build power bases in the electorates of their country”¦.sooner or later the natives will arise against these “leaders” as the similar fate will befall other UN/NGO/INGO officials who have been on terrorist payrolls.  

It is here that we must not forget to mention that the elimination of the LTTE was delayed by days in order for India to conclude elections & enable Tamil Nadu to vote in favor of the Congress lest the victory announcement in Sri Lanka would cause Congress to perform badly. For this magnanimous gesture it was the Sri Lankan soldiers that had to be compromised some having to die needlessly as a result of this delay.  

If countries are being targeted for their geographical importance and the UN is being used to provide “official” seal of approval for these “interferences” we need to explore why & how far these agendas have materialized.   The heart of Europe was penetrated by creating Kosovo independence & soon Europe & UK will find themselves having to face an influx of Muslim militia courtesy Al Qaeda under directive of the US (when they feel it opportune & necessary to destabilize Europe). America has a good foothold on Europe, in Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Albania & now Kosovo”¦it is setting up defense systems targeting Russia. Some friends they say are never to be trusted. Similar situations arose in Rwanda wherein the US & UK found themselves up against France with both sides either supporting the Hutus or the Tutsis! The same dynamics are currently working elsewhere in Asia too. South Asia is undoubtedly of strategic importance to the US, its honeymoon in Afghanistan is unlikely to have any Afghans going gaga over US presence now or in future, but other Asian nations continue the colonial knot & affiliation to the West still, this is where the West will strike to leverage their presence as can be seen from the manner the West has made inroads into India “¦.commercial India is not interested in Indian history today & beckons to wonder if India realizes how this is likely to affect India in time to come.  

The US military actions target Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan & now Iran, other targets may include Taiwan, Tibet, Indonesia & India. It takes no genius to wonder why & the answer lies in the economic power shifting towards Asia which will pose a challenge to traditional economic powerhouses where Indians & Chinese are increasing their presence. Asia is the home to 50% of the world’s population. Western media is all out to use propaganda to win over Asians & using locals to counter internal moves to build anti-Western forces. In countries they cannot establish military bases the next option naturally is to position puppet leaders which is a good enough reason why Sri Lanka’s rural masses distrusts the current Opposition & its key leaders & has little to do with their inability to lead the nation.

 

India may like to feel superior by aligning itself to the West but omit the Sonia link & India may be in for some surprises. What most Indians do not like to forget is that they are predominantly an Asia country & if Asia holds the future to economic surge then India must remain with China & Russia. India’s weak point however remains Sri Lanka”¦it is caught up in a fixation to feel that Sri Lanka remains under its feet & wants Sri Lanka to remain a leper only to be healed by India. Sooner than later, India needs to mature its present thinking & be more pragmatic towards Sri Lanka in both action & deeds.

 Puppet nations are those whose leaders agree to practically handover land & resources of its country to foreign projects which use terms such as “sustainability” “empowerment” “reconciliation” etc & these very leaders are architects of devolving powers in their countries”¦thus the sudden insistence to devolve powers & implement the 13th amendment. These actions are likely to benefit western nations desiring to use these provinces as turf to advance their agendas in the region. If we notice certain clues & pre-workings towards this goal it would be the desire of India to set up centers in the North & Hambantota & the US to request a center in Jaffna. We should next expect these nations to target political leaders, not only those in Opposition but in particular those in Government including key officials. How many of their decisions & actions is actually overseen prior to damage control is what Sri Lanka’s populace should be alert towards. It is in this scenario that we demand explanations by Sri Lanka Foreign Ministry & question why they have done pittance to argue against the joint statement issued by the UN Secretary General following his arrival in Sri Lanka in 2009 which does speak about “accountability” & we also question how far officials of Sri Lanka are patriotically going about their work in ensuring no decision infringes on the territorial integrity of the country, its people or its resources at all times whether they are in service in Sri Lanka or overseas. It is as a result of inefficient officials & heads (not to mention politicians) that the West are able to subjugate them & ensnare them into advancing their designs in the countries they target. All this translates to mean that the project to divide Sri Lanka is not over & should entail that the Government & in particular the military remains alert at all times especially officials in key Governmental institutions & also ensure the naval capacity is enlarged & advanced. Peace activists will naturally desire “war” to prevail so that they can continue their jobs.

 In the context of these covert & over operations taking place how can any organization leave alone UN protect sovereign nations? Additionally, when “rights” issues are used against these sovereign nations completely ignoring the triggering by superpowers & their networks that are manipulating local uprising & tension, how valid are these violations & why does the UN not apply sanctions against the superpowers who are instrumental in these covert operations? Can the UN taken action against India for supporting the LTTE, training the LTTE, protecting the LTTE & leaders on its soil & even allowing Indian leaders to openly align with LTTE atrocities? What good is a Human Rights Council if it only plays lip service & practically does nothing against these powerful nations who are today manipulating people globally?

 The UN is supposed to protect & advance fundamental human rights, dignity & worth of human persons, in the equal rights of men & women. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights passed by the UN General Assembly in 1948 forms the core of international standards. So how does the UN explain its failures & inaction through 6 decades? Well Kofi Annan was magnanimous to accept UN failure “We have reached a point at which the commission’s declining credibility has cast a shadow on the repu­tation of the United Nations system as a whole, and where piecemeal reforms will not be enough.” When the US directly & indirectly creates, manipulates & enforces its will on nations can the UN take action against the US when it is not even a member of the Human Rights Council? 

 There is a report by the UN Group of Experts (2009) that reveals details of militia in Africa receiving weapons from Germany & France, being financed by Spanish charities linked to the Roman Catholic church & accuses the African Governments of Burundi, Uganda, Tanzania & Congo of illegal export of mineral wealth. The essence of this report is the truth that neocolonialism is what camouflages terrorist & internal conflicts in countries rich in natural resources. Nevertheless, the report findings were diluted in particular regarding Congo’s peacekeeping operations (Monuc) costing US$1billion annually under Alan Doss, Ban Ki Moon’s special representative in Congo. There is much hostility in this report & its future largely depends on Ban Ki Moon’s ability to defend the panel which he appointed but given the players involved in the African continent”¦we can assume that no justice will take place & these superpowers will continue to damage nations irrespective of the UN or its Secretary General. In essence, what we can conclude is that despite involvement of super powers, whatever panel is appointed, whatever reports emerge & findings directly point fingers towards these super powers nothing is likely to happen against these nations”¦it will always be only the smaller nations that will be targeted.

The first & most important prerogative of the UN & in particular the righteous Ban Ki Moon & all of his “Expert Panels” is to first re-examine all panel reports that have been handed over by panels appointed by him & other Secretary Generals & ensure actions are taken against violating super powers first. It is these countries that survive on the manufacture & sale of arms & it is these countries that create strife in order to create a demand & supply & ironically it is these countries that are preaching human rights to the very countries it installed conflicts & terror.

 Shenali Waduge

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