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A Response By Govt: Letter To Navi Pillay

By Kshenuka Senewiratne

 

Kshenuka Senewiratne

21 January 2013

Ms. Navanethem Pillay,

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights,

Geneva.

Dear High Commissioner,

The Government of Sri Lanka notes, with deep regret and concern, your statement delivered at the OHCHR Press Briefing on 18th January 2013 where reference has been made to Sri Lanka. At the outset, I wish to reject categorically the contents of this statement, as it lacks any semblance of objectivity, steeped as it is in bias, marred by erroneous facts and further compounded by the inappropriate tenor of its language, all of which are indicative of unequal and invidious treatment of Sri Lanka.

To me this is reminiscent of the action taken by Mr Hanny Megally following the visit of the OHCHR team to Sri Lanka in September 2012, when he deviated from the accepted practice, by de-briefing third parties, even before briefing you, in your capacity as High Commissioner, or the Permanent Representative of the country concerned.  It may also be recalled that when the latter pointed out the impropriety of this unacceptable conduct of Mr. Megally at that juncture, you accepted our Representative’s submission. However, your action in resorting to unwarranted comments with a series of innuendos on an issue which is entirely a domestic matter for Sri Lanka, and that too without first engaging with our Permanent Representative or the delegation of Sri Lanka in Geneva, demonstrates yet again the deviation from established procedure, amounting to blatant interference in an issue of a sovereign country.

With regard  to the impeachment of the  former Chief  Justice,  the   Government of Sri Lanka as a sovereign country has followed the due procedure that is set out in the Constitution of our country. This procedure is indeed in conformity with principles which govern disciplinary proceedings against judges contained in the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary endorsed by the UNGA in 1985.

I wish to point out that it was following submission of the motion signed by 117 (out of 225) Members of Parliament, that the Speaker constituted a Parliamentary Select Committee to examine the issues involved in the allegations made against the former Chief Justice. Subsequently, the Report of the Select Committee was submitted and the matter was debated for two days in Parliament, with the active engagement of Opposition political parties. Thereafter, once the resolution to impeach the former Chief Justice was passed in Parliament with a majority of 106 votes (155 voting for and 49 against) the required address was made as our law requires to H.E. the President. It was only thereafter that the former Chief Justice was dismissed from office. Following this constitutional act, the former Chief Justice withdrew from her Chambers and official residence on her own accord. Your contention regarding the removal of the former Chief Justice from her Chambers and residence is, therefore, erroneous.  It may also be noted that Sri Lanka prides itself on a Parliamentary democratic tradition and a judiciary of the highest standard. Moreover, the Constitution of the country enshrines adequate safeguards to ensure the independence of these vital arms of a functioning democracy, which are upheld by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The content of your statement sadly demonstrates that neither you nor your office has the understanding of the provisions of Sri Lanka’s Constitution, and the related procedures for the removal of judges of the superior courts. These provisions have been applied on several occasions in the past. For your information I annex a copy of the speech made by the Minister of External Affairs, Professor G.L. Peiris, on 10th January 2013 in the Parliament of Sri Lanka which sets out the legal framework within which the impeachment process was carried out and responds to opposing views on its legality.

Your assertion that “Sri Lanka has a long history of abuse of executive power” is offensive to this nation, and is clearly beyond your mandate. In this regard, you have transgressed the basic norms which should be observed by a discerning international civil servant, by bringing into question the constitutional governance of a sovereign State.

With regard to your reference to the new Chief Justice Hon Mohan Peiris, you are undoubtedly aware that he has been a member of the Sri Lanka delegation to the Human Rights Council sessions, originally in his official capacity as the Attorney General of the country, to handle legal issues required for our engagement in Geneva, which  is  not  an  uncommon  practice amongst States. Subsequent  to Hon Peiris relinquishing the office of Attorney General, based on his experience and expertise in the field, he was appointed Legal Adviser to the Cabinet of Ministers and therefore continued to serve in the Sri Lanka delegations to Geneva. It was by virtue of the offices he held at the time, which has direct relevance to the issues at hand, that Hon. Peiris served on the Sri Lankan delegation to the Human Rights Council Sessions.

It is most unfortunate that you have chosen to raise concerns about the independence and impartiality of the new Chief Justice just as he commences his term in this high office. In my view, this is reflective of the complete bias and negative mindset manifested and nurtured by parties inimical to Sri Lanka and with vested interests. By such an allegation, you have sought inexcusably to undermine the Office of Chief Justice. Further, this position articulated by you is a prejudgement on your part, which  has  been  a sustained  practice adopted by you, in relation to Sri Lanka. Regrettably, this cavalier statement brings into question the standards of impartiality and equality expected of the UN System.

With regard to the allegations of death threats and acts of intimidation against lawyers, you may wish to note that any complaints received in this regard by the law enforcement  authorities  are  being  and  will  be  investigated. The  Government of  Sri Lanka is fully committed to upholding the rule of law and has been continuously taking steps to achieve this objective.

I wish to state that Sri Lanka has engaged with the UN System consistently and transparently, and therefore expects reciprocity from your office. No doubt you would appreciate that it is imperative to base this engagement on the fundamental right of States to be treated equally. A statement of this palpably biased nature could hurt the engagement between Sri Lanka and the UN System.

I look forward to our continued engagement in keeping with the principals I have set out in this letter.

Yours sincerely,

Kshenuka Senewiratne

Acting Secretary

Related posts;

Mohan Peiris Is Biased, Removal Of The CJ Is A Calamitous Setback For The Rule Of Law- High Commissioner UNHRC

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Latest comments

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    With the premature retirement of two from “Save the LTTE Coalition”,the three remaining members are still going full bore to roll Rajapaksa.

    Navai Pillai among the trio seems to have the most free time on hand to study our Lankan Constitution in detail and to even interpret the sacking procedures, like a full time Supreme Court Judge from Hultsdorf.

    Navai Pilaai, whose title is HR Commisioner, is like Seargent Shultz.

    “I see nothing , I hear nothing” when thousands of innocent poor ,rural Malians are bombed by the French Mirage Fighters.

    And the Legionnaires transported by Royal Air Force are hunting them down and killing them with machine guns.

    Not to mention the thousands of Syrian Women, Children and elderly who have been massacred by the mercenaries hired with Western Funds.

    Poor Ms Shiraness’s Human Rights seem more inportant to Navai pillai than thousands of poor, who happened to be mainly Muslims.

    Our Ms Shkenuka has been too nice and too polite.

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      You are a shameless stooge who knows no bounds. How can you dig up every conflict in the world and lay it on the door of the commissioner for human rights. The forces threatening to take over Mali are radical Islamists. The offensive against this force is justified for very important reasons. Maybe these reasons to beyond your comprehension. The Syrian conflict is funded and fueled by other Arab nations and the willing backing of Syrians who have suffered decades of dictatorship and massacre under Assad and his father. So just shut up and stop spinning lies to support another dictator.There is no difference between you and Kshenuka you both serve the same master spinning away lie after lie. I wonder how much you make for your efforts. At least Kshenuka’s perks are known and it is obvious why she would write such a one sided load of rubbish.

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    I think we should blame her ONLY for PLACING HER SIGNATURE on the document sent from the PRESIDENTIAL SECRETARIAT. From all the comments, it is very clear to all of us and those in the International Community that the Impeachment of the legally appointed Chief Justice who had acted as per the Constitution and her conscience and the appointment of the illegal, illegitimate and unethical Chief Justice are both unconsitutional, unethical, illegal, illegitimate and also using thuggery and the power of the hired and bought over MPs of the Parliament. Only a few MPs who are educated and lover the country have gone against the Impeachment and the Appointment of another CJ. Now, it is proved beyond doubt that Sri Lanka has moved very cunningly to the threshold of a DICTATORSHIP. How long this will last is the question. Anyway, all the Dictators of the world were killed by their own people with the support of the international community or died as paupers or dogs. DICTATORSHIP is a SHORT-CUT to DEATH through MASSIVE UNCONSTITUTIONAL POWERS during a SHORT period.

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    This Kshenuka Seneviratne is trying to come to the lime light once again after hibernating in FM without any responsible work and was known as a Person Non Grata for sometime. She has picked this Cheap Justice issue to curry favour from GL who cornered her from doing active work because she was found to be a favorite of the monitoring MP Sajin Vas and became a reporter against GL and Amunugama.

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    The tragedy is that Kshenuka lent her name to this letter. It has forever indelibly marked her character as a neanderthal, not being progressive in the interests of the Nation as a whole, and only of a schizophrenic interpretation of some who dictate terms.

    In short she has been used, all that is left is to be spat out!

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      You would expect the MaRa politicians to toe the line but Civil Servants/Diplomats are expected to take a reasoned view.
      I recall KS having pot shots at Dayan Jayatilleke a few years ago with the help of that scumbag K T Rajasingham.

      ps- PP i enjoy reading your blog- fantastic!

      Chandra M P

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    I think Mrs Pille enjoining herself by hearting to Srilanka.There are countries violating human rights by invading and supporting rebels team etc but she never condemn those.Why she is playing double game.

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    What can this stupid woman do but prattle what she is being dictated to do like those hand raising in unison and ignorant MPs in the parliament who are only concerned about their own survival and their ill-gotten gains as a bonanza for loyalty.

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    Kshenuka Senewiratne

    You were removed from London and Geneva because the government found that you were an outdated and inefficient diplomat.

    There is no doubt that you are good in dancing with Namal Rajapaksa.

    These doesnt save our country from the international scrutitney.

    Let us be frank! Tell us who gave you the designationation as Action Secretary.

    Please let us know, Acting Secretary of what?

    Killing, abducting, raping citizens of Sri Lanka.

    Kshenuka Senewiratne, this is the best time to for you to fly a kite.

    You are a useless ambassador.

  • 0
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    Ms Kshenuka Seneviratne, who has and is holding the highest positions in government obviously does not understand Latimer House rules nor the principles of natural justice, neither does she recognize simple civilised behaviour.

    What a shame and a sham you are and you should be not acting Secretary, you should be acting on stage with puppets for an audience and a cast of fellow clowns from the public service and parliament.

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    Most of the people who have commented above are Sinhala racists from remote villages. Both Kshenuka Senewiratne and Mohan Peiris are well educated people from the leading Colombo schools. They are very decent and highly moderate (not racists). Ms. Navanethem Pillay is wrong in this case and Suminthran MP is mad. Mohan Peiris is much better than all the previous Chief Justices. Kshenuka Senewiratne was one of the best diplomats we had in London.

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      Siva,
      Where did you get the info. as to most of the commentators are villege Baiyas. Go to villege an see how many have Laptops or desktop computers in their homes…..You could see Veddha community like people (Rizana Family) living is villages…..not these writers…..we are Kolamba Kakkos….not Hambantota Hamba Kelaweddas.

      As long as a follower of MARA’s condom theory, one can be the best Diplomat….but the day MARA finished using and if not hold MARA’s Lantern like GLP and others…….the diplomat or anybody becomes a state Terrorist or a crook or a thief or a sinhala kotiya or a regime changer….etc. Look what happened to CJ Madam Shitani Bandaranayake….

      This is MARA’s Condom Theory Governing……[Edited out] Rajano.

  • 0
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    Hail to the New CHEAP JUSTICE1

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    “bla…bla.. bla…. With regard to the impeachment of the former Chief Justice, the Government of Sri Lanka as a sovereign country has followed the due procedure that is set out in the Constitution of our country. This procedure is indeed in conformity with principles which govern disciplinary proceedings against judges contained in the Basic Principles on the Independence of the Judiciary endorsed by the UNGA in 1985…Bla…bla….bla….”

    What a load of bullshit is this woman is uttering? Does the Constitution stipulate to appoint thieves, criminals, murderers and uneducated brats as judges to the PSC, what does say about abusing the accused with filth? Sri Lanka could have found a better secretary to UN from the [Edited out]?

  • 0
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    The State of Sri Lanka is being taken over by thieves, plunderers and whores!

  • 0
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    Elsewhere a media report states Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe dis-associates with this abysmally truculent response – aimed more to massage the ego and please the ruling elite than to produce a worthy sensible document to protest what may be perceived in the writer’s suspect logic as Sri Lanka’s innocence.

    Senguttuvan

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