War Crimes Inquiry for Iraq
Posted on October 29th, 2010

Ira de Silva London,, Canada

Ms. Navi Pillay
High Commissioner for Human Rights

cc: Hon. Ban ki Moon, Secretary General of the U.N., New York

Dear Madam,

I have just read a news report dated October 26,2010 in which it is claimed that after the publication of the documents by Wikileaks and the press reports of thousands of civilians being deliberately targeted and killed by U.S. British and Iraqi forces you have urged the U.S. and Iraq to investigate allegations of torture and unlawful killings in Iraq. It states that you are concerned that serious breaches of international human rights have have occurred in Iraq. I am writing to you to inquire why you have adopted a double standard and taken this timid approach towards the U.S. and Britain in comparison to your aggressive, accusatory, one sided and judgemental attitude towards allegations of civilian deaths in Sri Lanka in the last stages of Sri Lanka’s struggle to eliminate the leadership of the most ruthless, confirmed terrorists, namely the Tamil terrorists called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

It is accepted that as a Tamil from South Africa, a country that was supportive of the LTTE, funded their terrorist activities in Sri Lanka and were part of the organized demonstrations in May 2009 to save the terrorist leadership, that you felt the loss of the leadership of the LTTE as did many thousands of other supporters of the LTTE and expressed your sorrow by immediately bringing a resolution at the UN in Geneva, supported by the western governments, who had a vested interest in the continuation of Tamil terrorism to destabilise Sri Lanka. With the publication of documents from the U.S. government files, they are no longer “allegations” but confirmation of torture and unlawful killings of civilians in Iraq. If you are not biased and partial, why have you not immediately called for a war crimes inquiry in Iraq instead of merely asking the culprits to investigate themselves? Is the UN not expected to be impartial and treat all member states in the same manner?

One other point of difference in your attitude towards the U.S. and Britain is that you are urging the U.S. to investigate these allegations while in the case of Sri Lanka you, at the behest of the western powers, brought a resolution against Sri Lanka in Geneva. When that failed you refused to accept the verdict and wanted to bring in another resolution – such was your vindictiveness towards Sri Lanka. It was followed by the insistence of a U.N. panel being set up to investigate alleged violations of human rights and humanitarian law in Sri Lanka even though in doing so the Secretary General was clearly exceeding his powers as prescribed per Chapter XV of the UN Charter where the limits of his authority are specifically defined in Articles 97 and 98. The Charter clearly provides that the Secretary General shall perform such functions as are entrusted to him by the General Assembly, the Security Council and other subsidiary bodies such as the Human Rights Council but does not have the authority to act on his own. He nevertherless appointed a three member panel. As you are the Commissioner for Human Rights, it could be argued that you should immediately set up an inquiry to support the Secretary General and carry out the job that you are supposed to do instead of asking the US to investigate itself. The U.S. had all this information compiled for years, denied having it, rejected reports from other groups and claimed that they were acting within the framework of international law yet you are still expecting them to investigate themselves! It exhibits a subservience to the west and a colonial, biased, racist mentality which has no place at the UN. You are urging the U.S. to investigate itself but both you and the Secretary General scoffed at the notion that the panel set up by the Sri Lankan government would be of any use. It was claimed that it had to be from outside the country to be “independent” – well the same rules apply in this case too. Once more this exposes the double standards being followed by the U.N. and articulated by you.

The question that Sri Lankans have for you and also for the Secretary General, is when are you going to set up an investigation into the human rights violations and war crimes in Iraq which even the British now state was an illegal war? In the case of Sri Lanka it was a legitimate war on terrorists within the country, not an illegitimate invasion by foreign forces. If you do not do so immediately it could be inferred that in the case of Sri Lanka you were prejudiced and vindictive based on your personal agenda and that you yourself should be called to account for not performing your dutires in accordance with the mandate you have been given as the Commissioner for Human Rights – which means the rights of all humans and not a select few which included those of Tamil terrorists.

Looking forward to your statement of the establishment of a commission of inquiry by you into the allegations of the deliberate killing of civilians, rape, torture and other atrocities in Iraq.

Yours truly,

Ira de Silva

London,, Canada

One Response to “War Crimes Inquiry for Iraq”

  1. AsokaK Says:

    Well said Ira.

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