‘Human Rights’ demeaned When countries with ‘unclean hands’ champion Human Rights at UNHRC
Posted on March 30th, 2014

Senaka Weeraratna

Copy of Cdn-2013-tag-Point-of-View.jpgSri Lanka is being hounded at the UNHRC for Human Rights violations by a group of nations led by USA, Britain and EU countries whose involvement in colonial crimes of the most brutal kind, has never been brought to book.

The crimes against humanity committed in Asia, Africa, Australia, North and South America in the last five hundred years during European Colonial rule represent one of the darkest chapters in human history.

International law and international institutions in charge of ‘enforcement’ of International law have been so structured that crimes committed during the colonial era by European countries escape scrutiny and public investigation.

The textbooks for schoolchildren in the West are totally silent on this subject. If at all they will be slanted in a way to whitewash or cover up.

This morally indefensible stance of appalling silence by the international community on colonial era crimes is compounded by two new Institutions that have come up in the last ten years i.e. the United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) and International Criminal Court (ICC) which continue with the same type of double standards employed during the colonial era, and what former Indian diplomat KM Panikkar in his ground breaking book Asia and Western Domination – A Survey of the Vasco De Gama Epoch of Asian History 1498 – 1945 (published 1953) described as the doctrine of different rights, showing partiality towards Europeans and prejudice and discriminatory attitude towards non-Europeans.

The more or less exclusive hunt of Black African leaders we see today by the ICC is a continuation of the same shameful path that Western imperial countries adopted in the Berlin Conference (1884 – 1885) in their Scramble for Africa through invasion, occupation, colonization, and annexation of African territory by European powers, including brutal assassination of heroic leaders and freedom fighters such as Patrick Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of independent Congo. Three countries USA, Britain and Congo have been implicated in the murder of Patrice Lumumba.

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Doctrine of Clean Hands

The doctrine of clean hands, used in municipal law courts is an equitable defense in which the defendant argues that the plaintiff is not entitled to obtain an equitable remedy because the plaintiff is acting unethically or has acted in bad faith with respect to the subject of the complaint””that is, with “unclean hands”.

In other words it is a procedural rule of law that a person coming to court with a lawsuit or petition for a court order must be free from unfair conduct (have “clean hands” or not have done anything wrong) in regard to the subject matter of his/her claim. This is a concept that has roots in Equity.

Equitable Principles are often mentioned as a subsidiary source of international law since equity and fairness constitute a general principle of law recognized by all civilized legal systems, and therefore morally entitled to be incorporated into international law.

UNHRC must invoke the doctrine of “clean hands” into its set of rules and proceedings. Only countries that are free of a criminal past of violation of Human Rights of people within and outside the member country should be entitled to propose Resolutions accusing other countries of violation of Human Rights.

Neither USA nor Britain nor several European countries are free of allegations of violation of human rights of other people. Simply put using any bench mark they have ‘unclean hands’.

It is laughable and even demeaning to the whole cause of human rights when the champions of Human Rights at UNHRC and now engaged in a crusade against a little nation Sri Lanka, are the very nations that have much blood on their hands and answerable for the deaths of countless millions of innocent people all over the world killed during their colonial adventures or insane world wars instigated by these very nations.

Saner Counsel must prevail at UNHRC.

Countries that have a dark past of human rights violations e.g. USA, Britain, Belgium, France etc. should be black listed and should be debarred from proposing Resolutions accusing other countries of Human Rights violations by invoking the equitable principles of ‘Clean Hands’ into the proceedings of UNHRC.

British/ US hegemony on Diego Garcia

An insightful YouTube program on British Colonialism and US imperialism colluding to destroy the Human Rights of the indigenous people of Diego Garcia. It is a must watch program. Highly recommended to those who value and engage in the genuine protection of Human Rights.


Books by Mark Curtis

Unpeople: Britain’s Secret Human Rights Abuses

Curtis shows that Britain is complicit in the deaths of ten million people since 1945. These are Unpeople – those whose lives are seen as expendable in the pursuit of Britain’s economic and political goals.

The book pieces together the Blair government’s “public deception campaign” on Iraq and reveals government plans to increase “information operations” directed towards the public and to embark on a new phase of global military intervention. He also reveals from the declassified British government documents the hidden history of unethical British policies, including support for the massacres in Iraq in 1963, the backing given to the rise of Uganda dictator Idi Amin and the extraordinary private support of the US in its aggression against Vietnam.

Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World

In this best-selling book, Mark Curtis reveals a new picture of Britain’s role in the world since 1945 and in the “war against terrorism” by offering a comprehensive critique of the Blair government’s foreign policy.

Curtis argues that Britain is an “outlaw state”, often a violator of international law and ally of many repressive regimes. He reasons not only that Britain’s foreign policies are generally unethical but that they are also making the world more dangerous and unequal.

The book also draws on formerly secret government documents showing the British policy of depopulating the Chagos Islands, the brutal wars in Kenya and Malaya and support for the massacres in Indonesia in 1965, among others.

Trade For Life: Making Trade Work for Poor People

Across the world, poor people are suffering as a result of the current global trade system. The trade rules negotiated in the World Trade Organisation (WTO) cover not merely trade issues, but also investment, services, agriculture and intellectual property rights, and have been made primarily in the interests of business corporations in developed countries. This book, written for Christian Aid’s trade campaign, analyses the nature and impact of the global trade agreements and recommends how they need to change.

The Great Deception: Anglo-American power and world order

Debunking some of the myths of post-cold war power, Mark Curtis shows how Britain remains the key supporting player in US hegemony and how far from benign this special relationship is in its impact on the rest of the world. The book analyses the nature of the special relationship in the Middle East and at the UN, the recent phenomenon of so-called “humanitarian intervention” and the reality behind the two states’ “development” agendas.

The Ambiguities of Power: British foreign policy since 1945

Using formerly secret government documents and independent sources, this historical study argues for a radically revised understanding of post-war British foreign policy. Curtis shows that, contrary to the impression usually conveyed by both academic writing and press coverage, British policy, in both intention and effect, had been far removed from the principles it has conventionally been assumed to be based upon: the pursuit of peace, the promotion of democracy and human rights, and the relief of poverty. The book covers the whole of the post-war period. It examines British foreign policy planners’ aims and interventions in a host of developing countries, as well as looking at the special relationship with the United States.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/human-rights-demeaned#sthash.lx92gzrb.dpuf

Courtesy:  Daily News

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