28 October, 2020

Blog

A Note On The Leaked-Draft Resolution On Sri Lanka

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

This is not THE resolution.  Let’s keep that in mind.  It is not even a ‘draft’. It is a leaked draft, at best.  But in these days of leaks and gushes when the key political issue that bothers the world is, in a word, Ukraine, but ‘Geneva’ thinks Sri Lanka is bigger than Ukraine, Russia, the USA and the EU put together, there’s no harm in commenting on this piece of paper, one might argue.

Is this resolution on (sic) Sri Lanka (read, ‘against Sri Lanka’) a ‘tightening’ considering the wording in the 2013 document?  If it is indeed a tightening, does it amount to pinch, punch or strangulation?  Well, those who were salivating at a choking-prospect are dismayed.  That should say something.

At best it is a lazy (tired?) upgrading of the 2013 document (upping, if you will) that appears like a copy-paste exercise from some good-governance guidebook.  There are keywords, though.  There’s ‘concern’ and ‘deep concern’.  There is ‘alarm’.  There is ‘taking note’ of this and that.  There is ‘recollection’.  There is ‘reiteration’.  There is ‘affirming’ and reaffirming’. There is ‘report’.  There is ‘allegation’.  There is underlying assumption. No, ‘assumption’ is not a keyword, don’t get us wrong here; it is the thread that loosely ties one paragraph to the next and the next.

Reading through the litany of woes (reports of woes, to be precise) and the usual disclaimer about ‘intimidation and retaliation against civil society members’ (who, by the way, roam around Colombo and party to their hearts’ content), one might think the authors are talking about Albuquerque, New Mexico or Anaheim, California. One could also think of places in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and other places where the Democracy Squads of the USA have opened the doors to ‘sexual and gender-based violence, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, torture, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, intimidation of and reprisals against human rights defenders, members of civil society and journalists, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law’.  The USA has not only ‘opened the doors’ but done the honors too, let us not forget.

There’s mention also of demilitarization.  That’s troop withdrawal, folks.  No, not of US troops in some 150 countries, not of withdrawals from Japan almost 70 years after THAT war ended, but the treatment of the North and East of Sri Lanka as though they are no-go zones for the state.  ‘Funny,’ did someone say?

So we have exaggeration. We have selectivity too. Come on, there’s worse stuff being ‘reported’ in other countries but no finger-wagging ‘no-no’ resolutions being tabled in the UNHRC about them. Really, if this is what the UNHRC is about, and if it is indeed serious about right all (assumed) wrongs, the sessions should be 12 months long, for that’s the time it would take to table, debate, listen to submissions and counter-submissions, prepare texts, pencil in amendments, take votes etc., on all the countries that deserve this kind of ‘censure’.

And yet, this is still a watered-down resolution of the kind that would upset the delicate sensibilities of the likes of Fr (sic) Emmanuel, Navi Pillay, Callum Macrae, Frances Harrison, Louise Arbor, David Cameron and other Sri Lanka haters.  Indeed it is surprising that the USA, such a mover and shaker, such a lover of those who love to hate Sri Lanka, has not upped the ante here.  Makes one wonder.

Is it that the USA fears a harsher document would get shot down because a) it is ridiculous, b) the membership has bigger things to worry about, or c) Sri Lanka might call the US bluff and say ‘ok, let’s investigate all atrocities committed by all parties from 1975 to 2009, India included, and if you want post-war stuff, let’s go with that too; and since we need the world to be lovely let’s extend the logic to include all nations, happy?’

It might be that in the aftermath of Obama’s ‘cost-warning’ to Russia over Ukraine (which didn’t stop Russia) and John Kerry’s ‘you can’t invade a country on a trumped-up pretext in the 21st Century (although we invaded Iraq), the USA is worried that some countries might begin to figure out that Washington was, is and will always be full of sh**.   Some might even think that they would be digging their own graves by saying ‘aye’ to this blatant bullying, meddling, destabilizing and indeed wrecking the chances for peace and reconciliation.  It might even upset India, come to think of it.

Since ‘Ukraine’ remains unresolved and signs are that Obama may have to eat his words, voting representatives at the UNHRC might do a re-think of ‘best do what boss says’.  If someone, anyone, gives the boss the finger then ‘bossness’ is under threat and a threatened boss can’t exactly throw his weight the way he did before.  Is that the problem, one might ask.

With regime-change fanatics betting heavily on a fillip from Geneva, this kind of watering down will be seized by the Government as a victory that’s sweet and, all things considered, adequate.  If this is what all the frenetic lobbying by powerful persons (US and UK envoys in Colombo were canvassing the support of the voting members in blatant violation of protocol; this too is indicative of desperation) yielded, it is a sad indictment on their powers of persuasion. That too will be noted by the Government.

Let Sri Lanka not entertain any illusions. The deck is stacked.  Against Sri Lanka.  Watered down or otherwise.  The watering down, however, constitutes a ‘blinking’ on the part of Uncle Sam.  Let Sri Lankans have no illusions.  A ‘come down’ on the part of the USA would do the country good, but that does not mean Sri Lanka is a perfect nation. Its imperfections are many and quite apart from the fact that many imperfections flow from a flawed constitution, the arrogance of the powerful and a manifest reluctance of fixing the democracy-gap embedded in the constitution is not something to cheer about.

If this is THE draft, it can’t get ‘harsher’.  It can only get further diluted as March 29 approaches.  For now, though, let’s not forget the ‘leaked’ element of the matter.  At the same time, let us not forget that the dynamics alluded to above will not go away in the next few weeks.   Let the circus roll on, either way.  We might as well get entertained if that’s the best we can obtain from all the clowning that has since of late come to be associated with Geneva in the  month of March.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 17
    6

    Rebooting the laptop Mara gave me…

    • 6
      5

      .
      Oh….poor Malinda
      You are going to lose your laptop soon…..
      If Russia has a right to take Crimea back, Think about Katchathivu?

      :-)

    • 3
      5

      Malinda Seneviratne ,

      “This is not THE resolution. Let’s keep that in mind. It is not even a ‘draft’. It is a leaked draft, at best. “

      What a joke.

      A leaked Draft.
      A Changed leaked Draft
      A Final Leaked Draft.
      A final Draft.

      And then nothing happens, after the UN Dog and Pony Show. Do not expect the UN to do anything, unless the US is involved. Sri Lanka has no oil, but has lot of extremists called Sinhalese Buddhist racists are there, ;ole in Afghanistan, Taliban, but no oil.

      Sri Lanka and Tamils are not important. Only Tamil Nadu and India cares because of Tamil Nadu.

      If Tamils want some action, go fur the second Parippu Drop courtesy India.

    • 13
      3

      Malinda

      Yes, it was clear right from the start to anyone with a modicum of knowledge about current international politics that the whole Geneva thing against Sri Lanka was bound to fizzle out. The talk of “war crimes” and “investigation” was totally unwarranted. It was due to some rare circumstances coming together. First, the residual frenzy overtaking the stakeholders hostile to Sri Lanka (that unfortunately included the human rights/NGO/civil society nexus as well) in the wake of a sudden and absolute ending of the long brutal war by a victorious Sri Lanka. Second the hyperactive and influential pro-LTTE diaspora seeking revenge to save face with the help of Tamil Nadu. Third, changes in the geopolitical power balance in the region. Fortunately there are indications political realism is slowly reasserting itself and the players are coming to their senses.

  • 18
    14

    Ane Malinda Malli, why don’t you get the guts and tell your friends in the Government to implement the 13th amendment fully all over Sri Lanka, stop religious violence of Balu Bala Sena and Ravana Balaya (as if they could not find another name they had to find a demons name), stop facilitating “Kudu” business, abducting civilians, abuse of police and army powers. If they do all these then you will not have any issue at UNHRC. Oh ! most importantly since no one in the armed forces was involved in any war time crimes they should not have any issues in conducting a credible independent inquiry as well.

    • 7
      6

      Park,
      The 13A needs to be put in the waste bin asap, and the unitary state be strengthened via a new constituition to bring about equal opportunity to all citizens irrespective of caste, language and creed.
      The 13A has done no good, only harm to Sri Lanka. 13A has introduced another layer of inefficient, corrupt political goons and cronies in addition to the Parlimentary establishment. MR will deliver an effective, fair mechanism to govern the nation soon but without 13A.
      Condemning Sri Lanka as a whole for the actions of extremists be they BBS, LTTE, GTF, Fr. Emmanuel is silly. More attacks on Muslims and Christians take place in India by extremist Hindus. Hundreds of attacks have been directed at Muslims and Jews in France, UK, US recently; Nazi Pullai and diaspora knows but ignore. The objective being to demonize Sri Lanka.
      The resolution in Geneva is watered down, not a cannon ball against Sri Lanka as promised by diaspora’s extremist columnists held with esteem by CT management and its retarted fans.
      Excitement is over! Geneva has come but has nearly passed; unnoticed. Time for you to have a cold shower!

      • 2
        2

        Quite

      • 3
        3

        lalu

        “The 13A needs to be put in the waste bin asap, and the unitary state be strengthened via a new constituition to bring about equal opportunity to all citizens irrespective of caste, language and creed.”

        Thanks for your advice.

        Have you taken the trouble to read and understand the constitution and particularly 13th A?

        Educate us on the virtues of unitary state.

      • 2
        0

        Lal,

        This is from MCM Iqbal.

        “The 13th Amendment was adopted by the Parliament with an overwhelming majority – above the constitutionally mandated majority after debate, and is very much part of our Constitution. The President is obliged under his oath of office to perform his functions in accordance with the Constitution. The defeat of the LTTE has provided President Rajapakse a golden opportunity to settle the problems of the Tamils once and for all. His current popularity among the Sinhalese could make them accept whatever solution he puts forward to the problem saying that it is the need of the hour to bring about lasting peace and prosperity to the country. He could achieve this expectation only by putting forward a solution that would ensure a devolution of powers to the Provinces which would in fact be a true devolution and not a fictitious one. One that leaves no room for any community to feel discriminated or treated as second class citizens. He now has a historic duty to rise to the occasion, act according to the need of the hour and become a statesman. If he misses this opportunity, the problems of the Tamil will remain a festering wound in the body politic of this country and would necessitate the maintenance of an oversized military force which the country can hardly afford, due to fears of the defeated forces rising from their graves, persisting.

        This cost will eventually become unbearable and be a stumbling block to the forward march of the nation, as it had been all these years.”
        http://sangam.org/devolution-powers-13th-amendment-sri-lanka/

        Further reading:
        ◾Police Powers and Land Under 13 A http://sangam.org/police-powers-land-13/
        ◾Shed Obsession with 13th Amendment – http://sangam.org/shed-obsession-13th-amendment/http://sangam.org/gajendrakumar-13th-amendment/
        ◾Gajendrakumar on 13th Amendment

      • 0
        0

        Lal,
        You want another amendment to the constitution? Well we have spent so much of time in amending the constitution with no action. Only amendment that went through very quickly and was implemented in a flash was the 18th amendment. Do not worry if there is another amendment it would clearly make sure that only Rajapakse Family can be the President’s in Sri Lanka for ever and ever.

        The resolution in Geneva is not a watered down resolution. This amendment has given a final chance to Rajapakse regime to show they truly want to change their ways. Especially the section on 13th amendment. If 13th amendment is not fully implemented, not only in the North and East but all over Sri Lanka then it would be the last nail on the coffin.

        Please note since independence there had been so many agreements, arrangements, discussions, constitutional changes etc., but did you ever pause to think where we are today and where we were when we got our independence? We have gone backward and have messed up the entire country and the population. When Lee Kuwan Yu became the first Prime Minister of Singapore when they got their independence in his maiden speech he said “I want Singapore to be like Sri Lanka”. Where are they today and where are we!

        Enough of the silly amendments to the constitution, let us all implement the constitution as it is today and move forward. The first thing the President should do is to dissolve the Parliament and appoint a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT WITH ALL PARTY PARTICIPATION. This is the only way forward not an amendment to the constitution.

  • 4
    6

    good article dude .,

    the poor diaspora ,, spare a thought for those %^& wits ..

    yes CT I did the censorship for you,,

    no need to thank me.

  • 0
    2

    testing

  • 7
    4

    Malinda,

    I agree, the US is not the best placed country to be the worlds policeman.

    However you said, “this blatant bullying, meddling, destabilizing and indeed wrecking the chances for peace and reconciliation.”

    It is five years since the end of the war, and where is the peace and reconciliation that you talk about.

    Howabout some information about the thousands who disappeared. How about the ongoing terror of the saffron robed thugs.(https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/video-buddhist-monk-led-mob-attacked-christian-church/). How about the innumerable attacks on the mosques, hindu temples and churches in your so called peaceful state. Is this the peace that you are trying to defend.

    Get real you shameful man.

  • 6
    4

    Dear Ma Linda…

    Yet again you present the same old argument…
    If my neighbor (USA) can beat his wife… Why can’t I?…….
    This is what you say.. Isn’t it?????????
    This can never justify what has been done to the Minorities..

    It’s pathetic to see an intellectual like you licking the ——-(Please fill in the blank with most appropriate words) of Rajapaksa clan.. and trying to clean them…

    Please write the articles with some rational ideas, which make sense.. For God’s Sake, don’t present the same Sh** again and again.. or please write some erotic fantasies, at least that will be worth reading…

  • 1
    2

    “Let Sri Lanka not entertain any illusions. The deck is stacked. Against Sri Lanka. Watered down or otherwise. The watering down, however, constitutes a ‘blinking’ on the part of Uncle Sam. Let Sri Lankans have no illusions. A ‘come down’ on the part of the USA would do the country good, but that does not mean Sri Lanka is a perfect nation. Its imperfections are many and quite apart from the fact that many imperfections flow from a flawed constitution, the arrogance of the powerful and a manifest reluctance of fixing the democracy-gap embedded in the constitution is not something to cheer about.”

    Malinda,

    Are you saying MaRa was foolish enough not to realize this, each and every year when the UNHRC keep on piling up on these issues?

    Don’t be the rat that jump out of the ship at this stage?

    MaRa should have a grand plan with China to counter US, UN threats.
    He has 40 years of political experience in taking all the people on rides and teaching them bitter lessons.

    Don’t become a traitor now. You just wait and see.

  • 6
    6

    How appropriate that Milinda mentioned Ukraine.

    It could have been Colombo too, if Cameron , Harper, Pillai and the Lady Ambassador could brain wash a few from the proletariat.

    But they couldn’t

    Although there are plenty of the brain washed Bourgeoisie already in the wings waiting , they don’t have the balls to get shot like the Ukranians did to put pro Western pro American elite in to power.

    The great majority of the Lankan population won’t fall into the trap , no matter how many Resolutions Ms Pillai throw at them.

    Because our inhabitants know what they will be in for if Ranil and his Christian Faction is hoisted by Cameron and Harper to rule our inhabitants.

    • 2
      1

      Sumanasekera you fool:

      Just like Russia annexed Crimea India will annex Sri Lanka after the next election because the Chines threat is real and you cant bribe Modi and the Iron Lady. Not even with Chinese Money.

      • 2
        1

        kalistani

        “Just like Russia annexed Crimea India will annex Sri Lanka after the next election because the Chines threat is real and you cant bribe Modi and the Iron Lady.”

        It is like jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire.

        So you want IPKF Mark II to take over the entire island and loot, kill, maim and rape women folks.

        It is a fantastic idea for self destruction.

        • 0
          2

          Foreign:

          Wake up you ignorant. You dont knbow the Iron Lady we do. If in doubt ask Vajpay if you can bring him back from his Grave or Karunanithi. After the Eelctions she will summon MR and his Cronies to Chennai and you can go with them.

  • 6
    4

    Malindaaaaaaaaaaaaaooooooooo;.

    Did any body say FUNNY??????????.

    By the way, Man, I am Serious on this.
    From my Little knowledge to you;

    “Did your Masters Denounce and reject their U S A Citizen ships or Still they holding, hanging, Hooked on to their allegiance to USA given by oaths Serve Nowhere But to USA and taken that honorary Citizen ship to serve USA, with out any Obligations to Any or birth country” ???????????????.

    So you are giving trump cards to them on the sly.
    But remember this an Open game of Russian Roulette.
    Let your Masters to Play Russian Roulette, But Leave us, the Innocent tax paying Sri Lankan Masses.

    It looks like YOUR so called Some Sri Lankan Patriotic Rascals, So called the Saviours, Ushers and Caretakers of Sri lanka and Sri lankans,
    From KUDU Dealers, Sexual and gender-based violences, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, tortures, violations of the rights to freedom of expression, associations and peaceful assemblys, intimidations of and reprisals against human rights defenders innocent civilians, Helpless members of civil society and journalists, threats to judicial independence and the rule of law’. are in your;
    “IN A CAGE”, at a “COFFEE TABLE”.

    To whom you are Boasting and Making This BLAH, BLAH?????/.

    You can Do this Blaring To HAMBAYA THOTA Mongol MONKIES.
    definitely they will believe you.

    Well done Carnival CLOWNS.

  • 3
    1

    What I cannot understand from the stands taken by some intelligentsia and clergy, knowing or at least sensing well that MR has messed up everything, consciously or unconsciously or due to uncaringly and that the result is Sri Lanka is fast going down to an inevitable hell of everything be it the system of governance, social order, culture ,religion ,education, rule of law etc. and for which we in Sri Lanka should make a conscious effort to stop this before everything irremediable.

    Why these unnecessary hairsplitting arguments and saga on the draft resolution and political connotations underlying it etc. We are really getting disgusted of the expectations of the intelligentsia in Sri Lanka at the crucial time. Just imagine what would have been the present position, if the state of affairs in Sri Lanka, existed and existing, had gone unseen or overlooked by “international monitors”. ?

    Not only the aggrieved Tamils during the war but also the innocent hapless Sri Lankan community in general in the post war who are subjected to innumerable atrocities of MR’s despotic rule should be thankful to the international scrutiny for what the Sri Lankan so-called intelligentsia has failed or ignored to do. We in Sri Lanka are messing up the core issues underlying the international scrutiny .They are pondering more on the effects of “interference in the sovereign rights, territorial, integrity” etc. There are people like GL so-called “professor of Law” and the like who are paid and enrich from the regime to do so for their survival but why others? Why do we worry if any one being punished for having committed a war crime? There are no immunities against crimes under international law as the President enjoys under Sri Lankan Constitution. There are no “ranawiruwas” in armed forces that could do war crimes with impunity under the international law. The rulers including their heir -aspirants should know that there are international vigilantes to examine if they violate the laws which are crimes under international humanitarian in ruling the countrymen. If, for some reason or other, such rulers or their henchmen cannot be brought to justice domestically they are answerable under international humanitarian laws. This exactly what is going to happen? Why and who oppose this?

    This international legal regime also provides for circumstances under which such actions could be treated differently. But Sri Lanka deals with it not to the point but indulge heavily on in irrelevancies and canards to mislead the international community thinking they can be fooled like they do to local community and to offer flat denial of “zero casualties “ as culprits do in domestic courts .

    The Sri Lankan community needs the basic and fundamental tenets of dignified right to life, freedom of expression, rule of law, equality before the law , access to information ( Colombo Telegraph is blocked in Sri Lanka) which has been ravished by MR and his family and their goons who control the reigns of authority. The dismal relief we have today was due to this international scrutiny. The Sri Lanka intelligentsia has failed to do their role in this fast deteriorating system may be partly due to fear and curry favors. So let the international community do this for us.

    Is Sri Lanka intelligentsia considering that (a) there was “zero casualties “during last stages of the civil war in 2009? Is there a semblance of sanity in the augment in considering the way armed forces behaved in Weliveriya in the south where predominately Sinhala Buddhists live or reported instances of rape and other misbehavior of so-called best Lanka army personnel who were recruited for UN missions abroad (b) Do they think that a lawful army is allowed engage illegally against the internationally accepted humanitarian laws even in dealing with terrorist organizations (c) why can’t Sri Lanka take up the position that Sri Lanka armed forces have acted within the law and assess the circumstances and justify the acts under the international Law instead of total denial and “zero casualties “ argument ? (e) Do they think that those who have committed war crimes should be freed considering them as “ranaviruwas” (f) Shouldn’t there be equality before the law (g) shouldn’t the presidential pardon be exercised to scot free criminals of MR’s regime (i) can under the judicial interference by MR regime the justice be expected from Sri Lankan Courts.
    Under these circumstances we should all welcome an international scrutiny of our state of affairs and cooperate with these agencies in the capacity building in dealing with the same. To avoid by pondering on what other states have done is mischievous and to encourage corruption, nepotism ,suppression of human rights and dignities, rigging elections in the system governance in Sri Lanka today.

    Chandra Seneviratne.

  • 2
    4

    It’s unfortunate that Tamil Diaspora groups did not read operating paragraph 8 of the resolution carefully and missed the part about the request for the OHCHR to do an investigation. What’s even more unfortunate is that Malinda didn’t even bother to read the resolution himself. Instead, he saw that Tamil people are dismayed with the resolution, and automatically assumed that this meant a favorable development for the Sinhalese. This is exactly how the country has been governed for the last 60 years. Bad news for Tamils is considered good news for the “Majority”.

    • 4
      0

      Mr/Mrs Patriot,

      Tamils are not that stupid not to notice that, what we were appalled with time given to this regime. This resolution itself should have pitched for economic sanctions!And it is not such a good news for Srilanka as many thinks so, only stupids do! Why Russia suddenly stopped its aggression and claimed that it will use military as a last resort? Because of Uncle sam threat. Now Russia started its cold war era again with US via syria,Ukraine. If that is full-fledged in a year or two, naturally anyone sided with Russia will be treated as “anti-west” And Silly lanka will be in that list because MR had to save his back being aligned to their interest. A more complex web will be woven around the neck of M.Linda’s lickers. Their face saviour upto this resolution is the very same India which M Linda is against.

  • 2
    1

    Before laughing gleefully and talking about what is happening in the Ukraine it would be better to observe the similiarities between the North and Crimea. If a similiar situation were to occur author and his patrons will have to laugh from their rear ends.

  • 4
    3

    One laptop one problem two laptops two problems. No laptops no problems.

  • 2
    2

    Is your laptop not leak proof.

  • 1
    0

    Malinda is the [Edited out] Malinda you will have to pay for the laptop as we taxpayers have already and perhaps you will pay for more. Why not get a couple of countries ready to scoot over to when the crap hits the fan!

  • 0
    1

    To all anti regime elements and dooms day prophets. If what you preach, expounds and articulate are in fact true , then how come the majority of Sri Lankans continue to endorse the regime with thumping electoral victories waves after another and is swelling? Surely one can understand the frustrations and agony of a defeatist minds of anti regime proponents. You and your masters chances up west are thinning day by day isn’t it? Yes your frustrations shall persist and rightly so for the near foreseeable future and be prepared for a another electoral bashing in few weeks time and the all important ones around next year. The choice is yours mates, we truly sympathize with you.

  • 3
    1

    Malinda:

    I feel sorry for you mate. MR is LEAKING like a torrent and his heart ( I mean Sinhala Lanka) is going to Collapse

  • 1
    1

    Forget everything as long there are the double standards of the UNHCR.
    Never forget: History is written by the victors, chapter closed.

  • 2
    2

    What a defeat for Tamils in UNHRC!!

    US resolution is like a cricket ball from a match fixing bowler.

    No INTERNATIONAL investigation!!

    No GENOCIDE!!

    No REFERENDUM.

    Damn losers. Now Tamils can get back to howling and weeping.

  • 0
    0

    In the so called watered down resolution of the UN, I see the strong hand of Chief Minister Justice Wigneswaran. To me it appears that he has given input in drafting this resolution. This could have been done directly or indirectly through India. This resolution, especially the section re: 13th Amendment is much stronger than an international inquiry. SL wanted a local solution and the local solution has been provided in this resolution. If this resolution is not taken seriously, next year the same time there will be a ton of bricks coming on top of us.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.