16 April, 2021

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Allow, Assist & Cooperate With Developing Countries To Resolve Problems

By Laksiri Fernando –

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Developing countries, including Sri Lanka, should be practical, pragmatic and openminded to listen to the views, nationally and internationally, in resolving their ethnic, human rights and other problems, but obviously not to the dictates, undue pressures or bullying. 

At this stage what is important is to resist the undue interferences, dictates and bullying coming from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, her Office, and the so-called Core Group. It is hilarious that the Geneva Office that drafts reports, recommendations, and run all sorts of activities is not the office of the Human Rights Council, but the Office of the High Commissioner! 

High Commissioner is like a President of a dictatorial country. That is the democracy you have there now who preaches democracy to the developing nations. Developing and poor countries cannot get proper access to this Office, and only the rich countries and their supported NGOs can do so. This is democracy to them, not to us. 

From Centre to Office 

There has been a dramatic change in the way that human rights have been handled by the UN and its agencies, primarily by the UNHRC since 2006. This was not the case during the UN Commission on Human Rights. The office of the Commission on Human Rights or more correctly the Centre for Human Rights in Geneva was not only an office for the Commission, but also for all countries, rich or poor. This change must have happened as a late response to the neo-liberal economic and political order to control the world and particularly the poor countries. Even the influential international NOGs have come under this hegemony, although even before they had some of these hegemonic attitudes. 

I make my criticisms through experience in Geneva (1984-1991) and thereafter through research including a PhD on human rights at the University of Sydney (1992-1995). Since then, I have been teaching, researching, and writing on human rights. Let me first relate what I was doing in Geneva. “Laksiri Fernando has been in the employment of World University Service (WUS) since September 1984 based in the organizations International Secretariat in Geneva. Since that date he has held the post of Associate Secretary for Asia/Pacific, an executive post.” This was written by the WUS’s General Secretary. He further said, “Mr. Fernando was responsible for the development of WUS’s new program of Human Rights from its inception” (1985). 

“His work in respect of human rights has involved contributing to the conceptualization of the work of WUS in the field of human rights; developing cooperation with a range of UN and non-governmental organizations working on human rights issues; producing and editing written materials in regard to the program…” More importantly, the following was what the Chief of the Centre for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva stated in 1991. 

“Laksiri Fernando is known to us for several years. We have had occasion to work together in his capacity as representative for World University Service (WUS), and its efforts in the field of human rights. This experience extended to the United Nations human rights bodies, and in particular the Commission on Human Rights, as well as the Centre for Human Rights.”

“In the context of the Commission, the contribution of Laksiri Fernando in the field of human rights education was fundamental. In particular, since 1988, with the launching of the World Human Rights Information Campaign by the General Assembly of the United Nations, the emphasis on human rights education made it possible to work closely with Mr. Fernando. Other scholars in the field have also benefitted from WUS and the contribution of Mr. Fernando’s experience. Thanks to his effective planning and knowledge of the subject, it was possible to see progress in the field of human rights education already in the early stages of the Campaign.”  

During the period of 1980s and 1990s the approaches of the UN Commission on Human Rights were constructive, painstaking, dialogical, and understanding of the intrinsic socio-economic problems of the developing and poor countries. Instead, now the approaches have become superficially legalistic, arrogant, partial, and dictatorial. One example is the long list of authoritarian recommendations in the Report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. 

Continuous Bullying 

How many Reports and Resolutions that the so-called High Commissioners have persuaded the Human Rights Council to approve, with the help of the British led Core Group, against Sri Lanka? Over 1 ½-dozen during the last 12 years. They now hardly mention the resolution S-11/1 adopted in May 2009 with an overwhelming majority. It was against that resolution they appointed their own Panel of Experts without even requesting the GoSL to nominate any member. 

It was after that Sri Lanka appointed the LLRC commission. The report was comprehensive, and still is a good building block for accountability and reconciliation. But the then High Commissioner was not satisfied and then passed the 19/2 resolution in 2012. Even the present Report says the recommendations of the LLRC were dissatisfactory. The government also appointed the Paranagama Commission on the question of missing persons and that was also rejected by the High Commissioner. During this period there were much progress in the resettlement of displaced persons, rehabilitation of former LTTE cadres and child soldiers, and reconstruction and development of infrastructure and livelihoods of the people.  

It may be true that the accountability matters did not make much progress to the satisfaction of the aggrieved parties or the High Commissioners/Office. One reason among others were that the accusers/victims were asking for arbitrary justice. Weaknesses in the legal/judicial system and political hesitations also could have been factors. When there is so much of arbitrary international pressure, it is obvious that political hesitations also could occur. 

Of course, the Geneva Office managed to get the co-sponsorship for the resolutions 30/1, 34/1 and 40/1 from the last government. Perhaps the government or the Minister was so desperate and succumbed. But has there been a satisfactory progress during that five years (2015-2020) to the satisfaction of the so-called international community? The greed for controlling culturally different poor countries is quite insatiable, it appears, particularly under the neo-liberal system. There are of course accomplices from some poor countries themselves and, also from Sri Lanka. The hypocrisy is not with the Western people, but primarily with the Western politicians. 

Moral Imperative 

Jehan Perera’s last article (23 February) titled ‘An Adequate Response Needs to be Given to the Case for International Justice’ clearly admits that international bullying comes because of the strategic importance of Sri Lanka. “In itself Sri Lanka is an interesting and important country for world politics at present” he says. 

However, his conclusion is quite submissive further saying “This resolution will be presented by a core group of countries led by the United Kingdom and will be supported by the United States which, though not a current member of the UNHRC, has opted to return to it under the presidency of Joe Biden. This will be a powerful combination for a small country like Sri Lanka to challenge.” 

My opinion is different. If the motives behind are immoral and dubious, it should be opposed very strongly of course rallying the ‘third world’ support as much as possible. The big powers do not have any moral right to bring any resolution against any country under the conditions of worldwide coronavirus pandemic at present. 

Even in the approved procedures on ‘how to bring a resolution, discuss/negotiate, and voted on,’ there are no provisions of doing so in a virtual meeting of the Human Rights Council. If there are no possibilities to an accused or a victim country to properly discuss and negotiate a resolution in Geneva, that is completely undemocratic.      

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Latest comments

  • 18
    2

    God another article. The Rajapakses must be really rewarding you very well, for you to post all this rubbish and flood Colombo Telegraph with eight articles, within a few days

    • 2
      11

      Siva Sankaran Sharma,
      .
      Are you counting the bulling rubbish posts flooding Colombo Telegraph against a democratically elected government…….
      .
      Who is rewarding them…..?

      • 12
        0

        Prof. Laksiri,
        “I make my criticisms through experience in Geneva (1984-1991) and thereafter through research including a PhD”
        Dear professor, does your PhD prevent you from mentioning that one Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the UNHRC in the same period on behalf of Sinhala victims of state terrorism. Can you seriously accuse Ms. Bachelet of bias when you yourself ignore terror victims because they are of different ethnicity? Is the UNHRC only good when it heard Sinhala victims?Shame on you!

        • 9
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          Laksiri, your credentials are useless, when your mind is clouded by bias against Tamils. Tamil problem has been there since independence with passage of bill to disenfranchise section of them to reduce their numbers. Does deportation of one million of them in 1961, and forced exodus of Tamils for safety due to war, not constitute ethnic cleansing. Problem became worse after 1956 with discrimination against Tamils in education, employment and economic development and repeated state sponsored violence for which no Sinhalese had been charged. Tamils attempted to get justice by negotiations and peaceful agitation and failed due to intransigence of successive governments. Failure to resolve Tamil issue in just and equitable manner for over 60 years resulted in international intervention to bring Sri Lanka to book. Without finding fault with them allow, assist and cooperate with them like how they did in Bosnia, East Timor, South Sudan and Kosovo. By the way your anti-Tamil rhetoric is not going to make you High Commissioner in Australia.

          • 4
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            Laksiri,
            “He did not make any claim about state terrorism as you say.”
            Are you seriously suggesting that MR was complaining about JVP crimes? In your opinion, who organised all those “tyre pyres” by the roadside? Who was Chandraprema working for?
            Be honest, dear professor.

  • 11
    2

    very impressive CV Dr. Laksiri Fernando. now we know why Rajapaksas hired you. There are other Phd’s in Rajapaksa cabinet. I am sure you them.

    Karuna also boasted about his CV recently

    all these people with impressive CVs working for the Sri Lankan govt.

    Still they don’t know whether to buru ot cremate or bury where?

    • 15
      2

      Still they don’t know whether to bury or cremate or bury where?
      bury in an island miles away off the coast of Mannar to teach a lesson to the Tamils..who claimed their land back in that island.

      Dr. Laksiri Fernando..what the hell are you intellectuals doing advising the govt?

      bloody fuxxxxg shame that you come pen for this disgraced govt

  • 8
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    After this article you should be called LUCK-SRI-FERNANDO.LUCK IS ON YOUR WAY VERY SOON THEY WILL APPOINT A NEW COMMISSION AND MAKE YOU THE HEAD OF IT WITH LOT OF PERKS OR CALL BACK MOHAN PEIRIS AND SEND YOU TO NEW YORK-GOOD LUCK

  • 12
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    It is pathetic that Laksiri Fernando has to blow his own trumpet because his arguments lack substance.

    Remember Mahintha Rajapakse was champion of human rights who went to Geneva for the rights violations in the late 1980-ies of suspected JVP cadres. He then changed color and committed grave international war crimes and genocide of Tamils during his rule. He still is.

    Sri Lanka is a country sans rule of law since independence as far as the Tamil community is concerned. Sinhalese criminals of several pogroms against Tamils went unpunished. Is this the third world democracy you are talking about?

    Buddha Bhikkus wanted a Hitler ( and surely Nazi style rule) and got Gota elected: He is a dictator with the passing of amendment 20. He and his government is all out to deny the basic rights of Tamils, Christians and Muslims. Is this democracy Laksiri Fernando?

    What democracy are you crazy Laksiri Fernando taking about?

    Don’t think the world is full of fools to believe your sugar-coated lies?

    May be Mahavamsa full of lies has brainwashed you all.

    Right now structural genocide of Tamils is in full swing in the North and East, just like what was happening in East Timor during the last stages of Indonesian rule there.

  • 13
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    Authors last essay was rejected by every commentator other than Eagle and Somu. So the guy changed the technique. Remember Lankawe always call it with many names like Miracle of Asia, Asian Singapore, Asian Lion……..Asian rat, Asian dog……So bragged about him a lot. Inst the guys like him made the UN to accept it made mistake in 2009, in the Internal Investigation? Then why do we want to hear his humiliating Report? That is only another Zero Casualty, Humanitarian Rescue Mission Operation.
    Just Rubbish not worth to throw even in the garbage dump. The guy is begging for recognition. Ask him for a million dollar if he wants his essay praised of worth of anything, guys.

    Its all funny silly dumb. I don’t know who are people giving all these guys PhDs

  • 13
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    Laksiri is this an opinion or your glowing Resume/CV. I am told MR too was one time human right activist in Geneva (were you accompanying him ??). You got enough assistance and help since independence . Tsunami fund, fighting the war , now free vaccines all of which helped in filling your master,s pockets. You may fool all the Lankans all the time, but not the world.

  • 10
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    Laksiri, what happened to “Vistas of Prosperity” ??

  • 12
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    Laksiri!
    You speak about the bullying of Srilanka by the UNO but you don’t speak about the Sinhala governments bullying the Srilankan Tamils at every turn and destroying Hindu Temples under the guise of looking for archeological finds.. You can go on adding but what is the use? It is like poring water on ducks back.

    • 5
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      “Sinhala governments bullying the Sri Lankan Tamils at every turn and destroying Hindu Temples under the guise of looking for archaeological finds..”

      Sinhalese except a tiny percentage are at the stage of Siva Sothu Kula Naasam.

      There is one more divine message that those Sinhalese will never find start or end of it and the whole thing will consume them.

      That is what I read from Kurunthoor, which by the way British categorised as Buddhist site.

      This article itself is a self evident of that.

        • 3
          0

          Dear LF:
          First we need to agree on what are those problems that need resolving.

          As far as I can gather, many are not in agreement with you on that. In which case, it’s premature to suggest solutions to you.

          Also, isn’t it hypocritical (1) for one to sit in Australia and state here “Just because you have problems in your home one should not unnecessarily go for outside assistance.”, and (2) having been employed within the UN organisation, which is a multilateral organization, to state here “Without becoming tools of outside forces we should try to resolve our problems internally…”?

          Seems to me you’re all over the map without unequivocal conviction.

          Certainly you refuse to explain why you give no weight to persecution by the state and state run terror on top of the underlying policies of the state as impetuses to a civil war!

        • 7
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          You should be addressing Rajapaksas and those politicians who continue to create hatred and division. To be honest we are tired of listening to empty pleas and promises. Get a life.

          • 3
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            Dear Laksiri,
            “However, there are problems to be resolved through dialogue, democratically and constructively.”
            How do you engage with a government that openly discriminates against its own citizens? I am referring here to the ransom racket that the govt. uses to rip off returnees.
            About the Muslim burial issue, do you think the regime would have modified its policy without international pressure? Even that has been reduced to a mockery. Why do you ignore the real issues in the resolution, such as the arrest and persecution of police officers for doing their job, and the release of convicted murderers? Do you think that is support for “terrorism”?

        • 2
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          I first saw this plea by Laksiri to stop criticizing and to resolve differences yesterday. At that time I took it to be a total change of heart by him, and I gave him the first response here by giving the comment a “green thumbs-up” like. Let me hope that the position has not changed. The time now is 6.00 am.
          .
          For years now, I’ve been polite in my comments to Laksiri, and he has, likewise, reciprocated. However, let me make it clear that I find myself disagreeing with him most of the time.
          .
          As far as I’m concerned, like “Sugandh”, “chiv”, and “old codger” below, I too feel that the SLPP regime being run by the Rajapaksas is racist, and its actions must be stopped now. I have no objection to the past being investigated, but it is the present that I’m much more concerned about. Punishment being meted out is unlikely, and I will not concern myself much with that.
          .
          So, Laksiri, I wish you well, and I hope that there will be no more talk about opposing the ongoing efforts to investigate.

        • 2
          0

          Laksiri,
          It you you who criticised UNHRC and Tamils? Don’t you think LTTE youths are indigenous Sri lankans? Is it wrong to criticise those who mislead and misuse the power and religion? Can you explain what sort of dialogue happened by ruling governments since 2009? Why you are afraid to write an article about the militarisation and unlawful killings and corruptions and dictatorship of Rajapaksa regime.

      • 2
        0

        Laksiri Fernando:
        Hasn’t UNHRC been trying for over a decade as of now for accountability and justice for the crimes of the state here in SL and even trusting SL with implementation of a legitimate internal mechanism for accountability and reparations?

        Was UNHRC bullying all along or did it just this year start its bullying?

        How many more decades would you like UNHRC to coddle and nudge SL for accountability?

        How many more decades should be given to SriLanka to actually implement genuine internal mechanisms?

        Is Gotabaya’s regime even remotely suited to implementing genuine internal mechanisms and resolutions?

        When the current HR situation in the country is alarming and is moving fast towards imminent danger to many lives, you think it’d be a smart thing for UNHRC to continue coddling and nudging for another year or two or a decade?

  • 8
    0

    LF
    It’s good to know your background. You have to understand that all what you accuse of the HC to UNHCR correctly applies to the President of SL.
    —> Dictates/undue Pressures/ bullying/Arrogant/undemocratic.
    Why don’t YOU talk to saner, wiser, peace loving, non-Violent & tolerant Citizens of Sri Lanka to bring about solutions to the Ethnic and Religious issues which have brought about death and destruction of our country.
    GoSL has the habit of having Commissions on all sorts of Topics, JUST to buy time in order to bury the issues without SOLVING them. It’s similar to the Trials that NGR was talking about to Mr Rapp. If there had been trials of the ‘ white Flag surrendered, REAL TRUTHS about Rajapaksas illegal actions would have come out—> handing over huge sums from the misappropriated Tsunami Fund to LTTE to stop the Tamil voters in 2005 Presidential Election.
    So Dr LF have a chat with the saner citizens of Sri Lanka & become wiser.

  • 11
    0

    Laksiri: Developing countries, including Sri Lanka, should be practical, pragmatic and openminded to listen to the views, nationally and internationally, in resolving their ethnic, human rights and other problems, but obviously not to the dictates, undue pressures or bullying.

    TFN: this Laksiri fellow is a real joker. Sri Lanka has had 70 years to resolve their problems, but the criminals who have ruled this nation has mistreated the minorities quite poorly maybe with the exception of CBK. Premadasa was ok to the Tamils but he killed a lot of Sinhala youths. A killer is a killer, doesn’t matter who he killed.

    Now this Laksiri fellow is talking about others should not dictate SL what to do. Yes, then stop sending these Buddhist fundamental nutbags in white wrap around skirts all over the world pan handling for aid money. Laksiri bugger, you and your cohorts have failed misserably in governing this nation. Either give it back to the natives or elect some educated young people to the top posts. We are sick and tired of seeing killers, rapists, grade 2 educated underworld gang memebers and ex-LTTE paramilitary buggers in the parliament.

  • 13
    0

    “Developing countries, including Sri Lanka, should be practical, pragmatic and openminded to listen to the views, nationally and internationally, in resolving their ethnic, human rights and other problems, but obviously not to the dictates, undue pressures or bullying.”

    Laksiri,
    I know you Buddhist Sinhala blood is boiling when the UNHRC Commissioner report blame the murderers and dictators who are honoured by you for massacring Tamil Civilians. How long you have to listen until you completely wipe out Tamil speaking communities? Have you forgotten that UNHRC gave 12 years to resolve their ethnic problem? When it was almost close to find a solution during the last government you racist Buddhists opposed it lead to separation and to bring LTTE and changed the minds of people and arranged Easter Bombing to create another massacre. Did UNHRC asked you to leave from cosponsoring? Why can’t you tell the truth that we have killed those youths who have surrendered and apologise for that. Why can’t you fight your government to find a solution within six months if you can make a new constitution within a year?

  • 3
    0

    The following is something I posted somewhere else, as discussion on a fellow commentator’s comment. I re post it here because of its nature to the relevance here too.

    • 2
      0

      “There will only be closure when justice is done and the greater Tamil nation “ We are on the same road. Yes, we are with you, neither you- me nor Jehan PhD can predict “The year of the lord” on which the Perahera comes to an end. But certainly, The Geneva Perahera’s final parade is not in this year. Sinhala Buddhist Appe Aanduwa fooling Sinhala Modayas. UNHRC is not a kids’ “Chocolate Factory“ where you go to watch Disney’s fairy tale stories or ride water slides. It is about Human Right and that is something about Governments’ violation.
      We don’t have to keep repeating that the UN organizations wants people’s government is all countries no dictator governments. In addition they want these people’s governments to follow their guide lines, but rather not to form Escobar Cartels with the name of magic shows called “elections”. Regarding the supports to UN conventions, like our Diyawanna Lake Palace 8th graders, there are many willing to accept the 19As and that same many ready to vote for the 20As, too. But it is unlikely UN downgrading itself for 20A. If everything keeps moving in positive side, UNHRC getting again upgraded as UNHRC+ is the possibility (At least that is what President Biden wants). If the Royals are not willing to deal with the current UNHRC they would be reserving their to deal with the UNHRC+.

    • 5
      0

      So what is my point is, instead of learned Sinhala Gentlemen sitting and watching country’s Escobars and Bald Head Ayatollahs forming bestiality “SingaLE” movement, they have to guide the Buddhist Sinhalese to form “Justice for Sinhalese From UNHRC”. Nimalka like brave women and men can lead these movements. Sinhalese desperately needs a new Just Government not a regime change.

  • 9
    0

    Dr. Laksiri: Very impressive “CV” (someone said earlier) With all that you are “Blessed” with, have you been able to make an “Independent” and an “Unbiased” assessment of the progress that Sri Lanka has made for the last seven decades? Are you “Happy” and “Contented” with where we are today and where we are heading? Are you aware of how others (outside S/L) see and look at us? These are few “Questions” that arose in my mind reading your article. The facts stated in your presentation indicate that a “Self Investigation” has not been made. It could be either you know the “TRUTH” but “Chose” to “Hide” it OR you “Chose” to be “Blind” by the “Slavish” mentality to a “Ruling Elite” for personal reasons. In my opinion, you “CHOSE” both the above. I request you to once again give “Honest” and “Unbiased” consideration to the above “Three” (03) questions I raised and present your “Findings” on “What”, “Where” and “Why” Sri Lanka as at date. Thank you.

  • 6
    0

    Hi Prof Laksiri Fernando,
    Are you for real? Bullied for last 12 years of which you had 7 years in govt and 5 in opposition and bullied by whom. Who bullied whom give a sincere answer please. Else your Thesis for PHD is not worth. There should be a limit to story telling and excuses. Come on Prof., face up and confirm who bullied whom.

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