UN, Radhika Coomaraswamy and the abuse of children
Posted on January 22nd, 2014

H. L. D. Mahindapala

The failure of UN to be the broad, universal umbrella for all 192 member states, protecting the big and the small evenly and fairly, without being a tool of this or that big power, without  fear or  favour, is seen once again in the manner in  which it turned a blind eye to the abuse of children by the “state” of Vatican. The Vatican City is the smallest “state” in the world. Its claim to “statehood” is based essentially on the ownership of a tiny block of land, (.2 sq miles), in Rome. Nevertheless, it has a special relationship with the UN and the Big Powers of  the West. It is the only religious organization in the world which is recognized as a “state”, though it is classified as  a “non-member state” without, of  course, the right to vote. But its power and influence is quite  disproportionate to its size and non-member status at the UN. Pope is recognized as the head of a state and an army of Papal Nuncios are posted to most countries including Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s ambassador to Italy is also accredited as the ambassador to the Vatican “state”.

It is the power and influence of this tiny “state”, slightly larger than a serviette, which has enabled it to escape any internal investigations by international or local authorities of its abuse of under-aged children. Everyone, including the Church mice, knew what was going on inside the Church and yet no one ” not even Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the Mother of all Children appointed by the UN — was willing  to take up the cause of the abused children. This  long silence was broken last week. For the first  time this issue was taken up last week in the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and the Holy See fronted up to face the hidden issue.  

The Christian Science Monitor reported: “The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child in Geneva posed charges, blunt questions to senior Vatican officials today, the first time that they had been called to defend their record on the rape of thousands of children by clergy in front of an international body. The Catholic Church ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990 but failed to provide the required progress reports for more than a decade, with victims’ groups accusing the church hierarchy of fostering a culture of secrecy to hide abuse of children by priests, monks, and nuns in countries around the world, from Italy and Ireland to the US and Australia.”

The date is critical to assess the role of the UN which is assigned to deal with child abuse globally. If the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was signed in 1990 what was Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy doing during her tenure as Under Secretary General, Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict when the Catholic children were dancing in the pews for the carnal pleasures of priests? She held this high-flying post from 2006 ” 2012. And during this time the Church failed to provide the required progress reports. Nor  is there evidence available of the UN asking for such reports from  the Church. More than being  the leading protector of children appointed by the UN she was also a feminists who crowed from roof tops of the world that women can run the world better than men. Accordingly, she should have been in the forefront to protect the innocent children abused in the Holy Church, of all places. But she did sweet nothing to protect the children from the predators dressed in Christian garb and posing as angels of mercy under her very nose (without a moo-kuth-thi, of course).

Though it came to light in the 20th century it was the biggest hidden scandal ” if  not the crime ” of centuries. When it hit the headlines in the late 20th century it was the duty of Ms. Coomaraswamy to take decisive action to focus on it as she had the power to deal with the issue at her level. She was appointed in 2006 to “serve as a moral voice and independent advocate to build awareness and give prominence to the rights and protection of boys and girls.” This is not to argue  that she  had the power to eradicate the menace of Catholic children being victims of predatory priests. She should be judged by the proportion of time she allotted to deal with, for instance, children in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. She had all the time in  the world to front  up in Afghanistan wearing a token  hijab to peep into the bacha bazi (a boy for pleasure), all of whom were handsome young boys dancing in feminine clothes for leering old men who take them out for the night. Though nothing  changed for bach bazis in the post-Taliban period she at least made an attempt to find out what was happening. So why didn’t she take time out to drop in, on the way out or way in her junkets paid by UN, to knock on the doors of the Holy See in Rome just to ask what was happening to boys dancing in the pews of the Church?

Oh, no! That was unthinkable. That was taboo. That goes into the risky terrain of Big Power politics and she dare not  disturb that holy universe. This do-not-touch-Vatican  policy sums up the meretricious morality of Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy who brashly talked of “fornication” (quote / unquote) in one of her public lectures in Melbourne just to prove that she  came from liberal Ladies College in Colombo and not from behind the cadjan curtain in conservative Jaffna. 

Last week, however, things changed at the UNHRC. Ms. Hiranthi Wijemanne, a member of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, asked the question which Ms. Coomaraswamy should have asked when she was the Under-Secretary General at the UN. Ms. Wijemanne asked the Holy See that was facing the charges in Geneva for the first time: “Why is there no mandatory reporting to a country’s judicial authorities when crimes occur? Taking actions against perpetrators is a part of justice?”

Exploiting underaged boys as sexual partners in the precincts of God’s domain is unpardonable by any standards. The Church resorted to the ruse of forgiving the sins at the confessional instead of reporting sexual criminals even to the local judicial authorities.  The Church was hiding behind God’s mercy and transferring the sexual perverts to other diocese to cover-up its own sins. Confessions and forgiveness was a convenient cover-up for the Church to please God, man and, of course, the complicit hierarchy running the Church. Abused  children had to carry the burden of their mental scars for the rest of  their lives while the cassocked perpetrators were protected by the power of Popes.

Geoffrey Robertson, a leading human rights activist and a judge, who dealt with this issue comprehensively in his book The Case of the Pope wrote: “The priesthood offer incomparable opportunity and spiritual power for  paedophiles, and some have deviously infiltrated it, but most offenders appear to be psycho-sexually immature, often in denial about their condition and  hoping  that the rigours of the priesthood will protect them from  themselves.  Instead, they find a brotherhood, a sodality that closes ranks  to protect them not from themselves but  from the  consequences of their actions., because the overriding philosophy of their superiors has been to avoid scandal to the church. This translates into a culture of ready forgiveness for sexual sins”. (p. 5 The Case of the Pope, Penguin 2010).

Ms. Coomaraswamy was no better than the Churchmen who had ganged up to prevent the ecclesiastical muck from hitting  the fan. She was covering up for the Church. There  is no other explanation for the conduct considering the fact that she, without hesitation and instantly, packed off her crony Alan Rock, linked to the LTTE in Canada, to investigate under-aged children recruited in Sri Lanka not by the LTTE but presumably by the Sri Lankan state. It was the time when Vingayanamoorthy Muralitharan, better known as Karuna Amman, left the LTTE and joined the government with his cadres. By the time she sent her crony the UN agreement with the LTTE, signed by Olaru Ottunnu, was in tatters. That didn’t matter to Ms. Coomaraswamy. She was more  worried about Karuna recruiting some youth from the East. There was nothing wrong with that except that Ms. Coomaraswamy, like the other panjandrums at the UN, were more bent on pursuing their personal political agendas than the principles laid down in the UN charter. She was more concerned with painting the Sri Lankan government being complicit with Karuna than the bigger issues of LTTE and the Church in the North jointly collaborating to forcibly recruit children to boost the depleted cadres in Velupillai Prabhakaran’s self-serving and futile war.

She was thrown off balance when Karuna Amman split with Prabhakaran which virtually sealed his master’s fate. Her counter move was to tie the hands of Karuna who had no option but to join the Sri Lankan state. Weakening Karuna by demonizing  him would  have strengthened the hands of the Tamil Pol Pot. So she sent Alan Rock to demonize the Sri Lankan state for associating with Karuna. She was also dreaming  of pinning Sri Lanka under a UNHRC resolution. But when that failed she flew into a rage and damned Dayan Jayatilleka’s victory speech as “obnoxious.” Her intemperate reaction to Dayan’s speech at the UNHRC when the Western resolution went over the top. It exposed her political sympathies. Knowing that she was living in the world best-known Glass House in New York she should  never have lifted her saree so high.

Ms. Coomaraswamy has a lot to answer for the failure of the UN to raise the issue of child abuse in the Church publicly. She would rush to behold the mote in her brother’s eye but not  the beam in her own eye. Of course, this has been the consistent policy of the international community preaching morality to others without observing any of it themselves. They demonize those who do not join their bandwagon to increase international pressure until they surrender. David Cameron displayed it with all his lung power when he came to Colombo. He used CHOGM as a platform to demonize Sri Lanka to increase international pressure. This tactic of naming and shaming is to prepare the ground for punitive actions against states that seek alternative domestic routes not endorsed by the West.

The bach bazis in the local NGOs, who are the willing partners of the West, are ever ready to dance to the tunes of their  paymasters for a fistful of  dollars. In fact, Jehan (Pacha) Perera has come out openly insisting that the international community should increase its  pressure on Sri Lanka. His side-kick, “Paki” Saravana-MUTT-u, has spent the better part of his career demonizing Sri Lanka abroad to increase international pressure for “regime change”, mark you. Ms. Coomaraswamy pioneered this when she was heading the ICES ” her political base. Using her remote  control strings from New York she even went as far as promoting  the ICES as a center for  R2P ” the latest instrument of the neo-colonialists to intervene in countries that fail to conform to Western agendas. At the ripe old age of 61 she has joined her old anti-Sri Lankan pack again and using her new platform as Global Professor of Law at New York University School of Law she has gone back to play her old game of demonizing Sri Lanka.

After spending her professional life in giving a nudge and a wink to Tamil extremism that exploded into brutal violence in 1976 at Vadukoddai she is now posing as the latest oracle in the lecture circuit. She has even delivered a lecture of Gandhism. In between these lectures she has also taken time off to praise drama queens like Sunila Abeysekera as if the entire edifice of the UN would collapse without her. No doubt, she has built an  excellent network in the Western world by being their willing handmaiden. She  has done well for herself. But she should stop gas-bagging at this age as she has nothing to offer other than to regurgitate her old theories.  To use a phrase from  the title of one her latest lectures, she  should stop “bellowing like a cow.”

2 Responses to “UN, Radhika Coomaraswamy and the abuse of children”

  1. R.M.W Says:

    Well said Mahindapala! I am pleased that you have found out what’s happening behind the holy Virginity. Definitely Judeo Christians should be told off in the language they understand. Now I wonder what’s ugly Betty is doing1 I suppose she is also a Catholic in disguise.

    I am glad see you up and kicking Don, May good health be your side kick for many a long year.

    Best regards Mahinda W!

  2. Fran Diaz Says:

    Ms RC is a Colombian, same as Mr Wigneswaran. Caste divide gives lonely feelings, so go with the affluent from anywhere (it’s called ‘Affluenza’ in the west).

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