Posted on July 13th, 2010

Malin Abeyatunge

Hunger strike by a patriotic political front NFF lead by a Minister of the cabinet Wimal Weerawansa (he had since given resignation to save face of the Government and now it is reported that Wimal and his party colleagues have given up the hunger strike after President RajapaksaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s intervention) against United Nation Secretary General (UNSG) Ban-Ki–MoonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s interference in Sri Lankan domestic affairs had hit the head lines in the world print media. UN as well as its UNSG are perturbed over the peaceful demonstrations opposite the UN Office-Colombo (UNOC)ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  by NFF. ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sacrosanct of the UN Charter to protect the Right for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Freedom of ExpressionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚. ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s what the protestors were doing against UNSG Ban-Ki-Moon. So, why should either UN or Ban-ki-Moon or its officials makeƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  such a hallabaloo when UN is there to ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ protect ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Human RightsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ one of which is freedom of expression. Surly, LTTE supportive Tamil Diaspora had demonstrations and protest umpteen number of times opposite the UN Office in Geneva over the years inconveniencing public but ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ did UNO ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ record any objections during these protests? ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ How come they didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t utter a word against those demos and protests?

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  I doubt that UN is free from immunity that no one or country should protest against UN wrong doings if any. Already Nepal has found fault with the UN that UN is trying to interfere with the negotiations thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s taking place with Maoists outfit. UN should practice what it preaches and allow the protesters to manifest their anger against Ban-k-MoonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s unilateral decision on Sri Lanka, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ in a peaceful manner. The protesters were not after any personal vendetta against Bank-Moon. It is a protest of his arrogance to appoint a three member panel without the approval/consent of the UN Security Council or UN Human Rights Council ignoring all that protocol. He has no doubt ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ become a puppet of ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ some western countries, Human Rights Organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, ICG and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ the Tamil Diaspora who had infiltrated into UNOƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s inner circles who are heads of many UN Agencies..


However, the UN Office in Colombo (UNOC) and itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Agencies have not acted with impartiality and integrity in the past. It came to a point that UNOC has been branded as a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Den of Tamil TigersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. There have been many instances where some employees have been suspected of having leaked certain secret ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ intelligence information to LTTE.


In the Past, UN has blundered when Ex UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, conveyed condolences to the family of a LTTE terrorist leader Kaushalyan who was killed by the armed forces. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (Former SG Koffi Annan was taken for a ride by the staff in UNOC).

Then Alan Rock in a subtle attempt to appease LTTE terrorists blamed the GoSL for liaising with para military group without being able to substantiate his allegations. He was never heard after that. Then the Human Rights Commissioner for Children Radhika Coomarswamy did not take any concrete action against LTTE for kidnapping children for their child brigade other than making naƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚¯ve requests. Newly appointed Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai played the same game by blaming the armed forces but kept mum on LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s atrocities.


When Sencholai training camp was bombed, UNICEF ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”Colombo and UNICEF head in New York Joanna Van Germen immediately issued aƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  media release blaming that the Sri Lankan Air Force has bombed a orphanage/ two day First Aid Training Camp (all these were as interpreted by LTTE and Tamil Net) without any proper investigations. Unfortunately, UNCEF had to eat its own words as subsequently LTTE indirectly acknowledged that it was a training camp for women cadres and not a girls school.



UN officials had a taste of curry from LTTE artillery along with the Ambassadors of US, Canada, Italy, Germany and Japan on their visit to evaluate the resettlement situation in the East. This was a ploy to get UN to send a peace keeping mission (This was in the air at this time). Hence, no explanation was ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ called by these visiting distinguished visitors including some UN officials from LTTE ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ but accepted a fake apology from LTTE. ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 


These were few local instances where the UNOC and itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Agencies have at various times acted partial towards LTTE and against the Sri Lakan Government and its armed forces. Let me remind some incidents that happened in the international scene against Sri Lanka.


Firstly as I mentioned above, former UNSG Koffi Annan sent his condolences to the family on the death of a Tamil Tiger leader Kaushalyan killed by Government armed forces. Then comes another drama of UN. Sir John Holmes ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”former UN undersecretary for Humanitarian Affairs was having a phone conversation with once Interpol fugitive Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP of LTTE discussing ways to call for aƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ceasefire by the Government to give oxygen to LTTE. This was arranged by LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s God Father Eric Solheim thro UNSGƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s chief of Staff Vijay Nambiar from a toilet in the BI Airport (BIA). One writer called it ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Toilet DiplomacyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ by Vijay Nambiar. So the UN ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”s international affairs have gone down to the level of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Toilet DiplomacyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚.

Then there was ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Human Rights Chief Naveen Pillai ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ who was parroting Tamil Net website blaming the Sri Lankan Government the appalling conditions in the IDP camps. FollowingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  suite of the western block to keep her top job, she too started parroting theirƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  view demanding an international probe into the war crimes against Sri Lanka. As usual she was loosely parroting the Tamil websites blaming the GoSL that rapes, abductions and disappearances are daily happening in the welfare camps without any substantial evidence. When all these human rights violations and atrocities were happening under the jackboot of now dead Prabhakaran she was deaf, blind and mute.

I have reiterated the above facts just to mention that UN Officials are not that clean, impartial and always had double standard. Similarly this action by UNSG is also an application of double standard as he is deaf, dumb and blind for whatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s happening in Iraq and Afghanistan.. On his own without the consent or approval by the Security Council or UN Human Rights CouncilƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  abusing the protocol and appointing three member panel should be condemned and hence the Sri Lankans launching protests one after the other against Ban-Ki-MoonƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  is justifiable and ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ nothing butƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  excising one of the human rights which isƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- freedom of ExpressionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”š‚ which should not be a matter for the UN to get perturbed or annoyed as it is ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ an organization to reinforce Human Rights when and where itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s violated.

These events and incidents show the dishonesty and double standard of UN operations in Sri Lanka. At the same time, ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lankans appreciate very much the good work done by them but those good work is nullified with some of the bad eggs of the UNOC in Colombo and some of its agencies.

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