15 October, 2019

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C M Wiggie, UN & The International Community, Give Sirisena A Chance

By Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

Hilmy Ahamed

The election of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) renegade Maithripala Sirisena as the 6th Executive President of the Sri Lanka and the formation of a government under the moderate Political leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP) as the 17th Prime Minister augers well for the country. The unexpected coalition and the marriage of convenience offers the best prospects for Sri Lanka to bring forth good governance, rule of law, minimize corruption and speed track reconciliation amongst its people after a decade of misrule.

Sri Lanka, under the Rajapaksa Presidency slid down to its worst levels in history, in maintaining Law and Order, Independence of the Judiciary and Police, Violation of Human Rights, Corruption, Nepotism and Militarization of civilian activity could be listed as the main reasons for the administrations defeat. The voting patterns of the minority communities indicate the fear and contempt in which they held the Rajapaksa regime for not taking the opportunity for true reconciliation after the war victory in the North and East, and the hate campaign undertaken with impunity by Buddhist extremists on the Muslim and Christian population in the country. The majority of Sri Lankans voted for a change, and the change now needs to be given a chance.

Maithri WigneswarsnThe demand by the local Tamil population and their diaspora for a commission of inquiry in to the excesses of the war, especially the final stages in 2009 is justifiable if true reconciliation is to be cemented. The demand by the International Community through the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions and other fora for an international inquiry could be justified during the Rajapaksa administration because of their indifference to global opinion, yet, it is important that the newfound peace and prospects for reconciliation in Sri Lanka under the new administration is given a chance by all stakeholders.

The current administration, during their election campaign promised to conduct a credible domestic inquiry that would address the concerns of the Tamil population of the North and East. The Sirisena government needs to honour this pledge now, irrespective of the domestic political pressure brought about by extremist Buddhist forces of the Rajapaksa era.

The real need is for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission as successfully undertaken by the South African Government under the Nelson Mandela administration. If there was forgiveness in Mandela’s South Africa for the blatant apartheid rule that started during the time of the Dutch East India rule with racial segregation in the 17th century, there should be hope for our people to reconcile.

The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe nexus probably is Sri Lanka’s last chance to cement our road to recovery through reconciliation, good governance and prosperity that the ideals of our independence struggle envisioned. We are a nation that should have been one of the lead economies in the South and Southeast Asian region, yet our internal conflicts and the absolute corruption due to the war economy brought us down to be at the bottom. During independence, we were looked upon with envy by the countries in the region for the high level of literacy and development we had achieved. We probably squandered on our pre-development syndrome and continued to live in denial, as we still do about our ancient history and kings. We, as a nation messed up due to racial, political and language differences that were all preventable.

We, as a nation should join hands to rebuild this country, together and move forward for our children to be proud Sri Lankans. To achieve this, we should shed our differences, begin to trust each other, look at our recent history and find solutions to our conflicts. We cannot forget, yet we should resolve ourselves to forgive and move on as all our great religions preach.

Continued pressure from external elements, especially from the UN and the International Community would be manna for the racist elements that would continue to divide us. Let us try to resolve our issues amongst ourselves by giving a chance for a credible domestic inquiry as promised by the current administration prior to their election.

Failure of such a domestic inquiry should be the only reason to demand for intervention from outside. Media reports that Sri Lanka’s plea to postpone publication of an OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) report into alleged war crimes has been considered favourably by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein. This indeed is welcome, and the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe administration should capitalize on this opportunity to immediately start the process of a credible domestic inquiry in to the alleged excesses committed by the armed forces and the Liberation Tamils of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the 30-year conflict. This may be our last chance for true reconciliation. The process of the domestic inquiry and reconciliation should be fast-tracked as the marathon of the 100-day government.

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Latest comments

  • 8
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    Hilmy,
    Thanks. I do not share your optimism.

    • 4
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      ”This sense of frustration is compounded by the actions of the ruling party, the UNP, in favouring its own representatives in the North over the TNA when it comes to providing government patronage to the people” – Jehan Perera, 16 February 2015

    • 4
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      Don’t try Tamils’ patience too much – they’ll cooperate with the new President if he quickly starts asap with a few easy things that can be changed.

    • 1
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      Hilmy Ahamed

      RE: C M Wiggie, UN & The International Community, Give Sirisena A Chance

      “The election of Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) renegade Maithripala Sirisena as the 6th Executive President of the Sri Lanka and the formation of a government under the moderate Political leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe of the United National Party (UNP) as the 17th Prime Minister augers well for the country.”

      This happened because the people with Common Sense outnumbered the Fools , Mootals முட்டல்ல்ஸ் and modayas.

      “This indeed is welcome, and the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe administration should capitalize on this opportunity to immediately start the process of a credible domestic inquiry in to the alleged excesses committed by the armed forces and the Liberation Tamils of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) during the 30-year conflict. This may be our last chance for true reconciliation. The process of the domestic inquiry and reconciliation should be fast-tracked as the marathon of the 100-day government.”

      I see too many Mootals, Fools and Modayas, who do not undertand the real situation. LTTE and The Global Tamil Mootal Forum has no sense of reality, and lives in the Glory of the LLTTE criminal past of the Madu Veeran.

      Mr. Matripala Sirisena should give C M Wiggie, UN & The International Community, A Chance, to show to Maithripala sirisena that they are not Mootals முட்டல்ல்ஸ்and Madus and Modayas and know how to resolve and solve problems.

      Thre have been a lot of Mootals முட்டல்ல்ஸ் Madus and Modayas before that.

  • 5
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    Srisena is continuing with militarisation of North. The Sri Lankan military continues to involve itself in activities involving school children and their education, across the Tamil regions in the North-East of the island. http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=13815

    • 4
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      Children in schools in the North receive school uniform from SLA while Education Dept issues free uniform to all school students – classroom teachers are enough to issue this. SLA is there in schools in the North to show who the boss is?

  • 6
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    Wigneswaran calls for action against Sinhala political chauvinism Tamil Guardian 17 February 2015 http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=13810

    The Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister, C V Wigneswaran, in a speech made shortly after tabling the NPC resolution on Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils, warning of “Sinhala political chauvinism,” stressed the “importance of the younger generation’s participation and courage to see the resolution implemented,” and stop the government from “betraying” the Tamil people.

    Highlighting Tamils had been, over decades of subjugation and brutality, been forced to supress their demands, Mr Wigneswaran said,

    “I look at our resolution as a tool to express the truth. This resolution has been formed to express that the activities that have happened against Tamils until present, without a doubt, amount to genocide under several articles in international law.”

    Drawing upon his engagement with official in the new Sri Lankan government, including Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe and the resettlement minister D Swaminathan, Mr Wigneswaran highlighted that recent government plans to resettle Tamils and reduce militarisation were disingenuous, stating,

    “I’ve realised the plot is to betray us.”

    Mr Wigneswaran added that the resolution challenged the morality of the Sinhalese people, and hilighted to th einternational community “the grievences of the Tamil people due to Sinhala political chauvinism.”

    The resolution which was passed last week by the Council, calling for an immediate release of the UN report into Sri Lankan atrocities and further investigation into genocide, was widely endorsed by the Tamil diaspora and political party representatives in Tamil Nadu.

  • 2
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    Hilmy, grateful thanks. Beautiful analasys of the present government and all details put in a nutshell. It is us, who live in the country who know what the real situation. By that, I do not mean to insult any person or people at all. But by all means, yes, please give a chance for all, this is the first time in history where the two major parties along with a multitude of minor parties have got together for the sake of the country. We have to let them get used to working with each other. Please give time, let them iron out their differences, we have to very level headed and experienced leaders who will I’m sure guide the young ministers.. Our children must have a country that they can live and believe in.

  • 8
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    Hilmy,

    This is what AI wrote in 2009. Hope they would produce a report with different conclusion.

    “Commissions of Inquiry are meant to play an investigative role and thus help in the search for truth and justice in cases of human rights violations. They should supplement a functioning justice system. In Sri Lanka, Commissions of Inquiry have not performed successfully, and the formal justice system is in tatters. Serious human rights violations (including torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, and violations of the right to life) continue to be committed, and perpetrators continue to be protected from prosecution by a government that is more concerned with pleasing its narrow political constituency than in protecting the citizens’ human rights and ensuring equal access to justice. There is less and less space for independent monitoring: the National Human Rights Commission is degraded; UN agencies have been obstructed; Sri Lankan human rights defenders have been threatened and killed; and the press has been stifled.

    It is time for the international community to stop believing the charade that has been played for nearly 20 years. Sri Lanka is neither willing nor able to address impunity on its own. The international community should use its significant influence to encourage the Sri
    Lankan authorities to investigate past violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, prosecute suspected perpetrators in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness, ensure reparations for victims and prevent future
    violations. The international community is in a strong position to push for specific reforms that could change Sri Lanka’s violent trajectory, and should consider establishing benchmarks based on the recommendations below to monitor Sri Lanka’s progress in combating impunity.

    This report focuses on impunity in Sri Lanka and the role of Commissions of Inquiry (see Appendix), set up to investigate violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, in the absence of effective criminal investigations and prosecutions. Amnesty International emphasizes the importance of a functioning criminal justice system as essential to combating impunity, and stresses that Commissions of Inquiry are not replacements for good policing or respect for the rule of law. Bringing perpetrators to account, including high officials in positions of command responsibility, is the only way to break the cycle of impunity.”

    http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA37/005/2009/en/c41db308-7612-4ca7-946d-03ad209aa900/asa370052009eng.pdf

    • 5
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      Amnesty is correct.
      An “internal probe” will be a sham.
      Already the army has investigated itself, and found that no civilians were killed by army action – as reported some time ago.

      Will the UNHRC report be ‘diluted’ when released after six months?
      Will any local probe go the way of the IIGEP inquiry – with the army and attorney general prosecuting themselves?

  • 4
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    Any investigation without finding the govt of Sri Lanka guilty, and the Terrorists totally innocent will not be acceptable to the vociferous Tamils in Lanka and the diaspora. So, get the ball rolling!

    • 2
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      Say the State is 70% Guilty and LTTE 30% guilty, or let it be vice-versa,
      will not bring any chnages, unless the powers-that-be do something
      practical to solve this 67 yr. old out-standing matter for once, so that
      the Sinhala Kingdom benefits in the long-run. Sheer blindness and no
      forsight to prevailing democratic principles are eating away this short
      life on earth.

  • 3
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    Hilmy, I am happy to see how you as a member from the minority community feel that there is hope for all in Sri Lanka. If more people including my Buddhist compatriots will take this attitude, we can certainly bring prosperity to this country as you suggest. It is a pity that the people are allowing racist rhetoric to prevail, not just from the Buddhists but also from the Tamil and Muslim community. Religious leadership from all communities must get together and control their followers. Otherwise we will have continuous problems amongst SRI LANKANS

  • 1
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    The best way to treat wigneswaran and the international community is to fry them like ulundu wadai and prick them in the middle

    • 3
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      as long as inferiority complex ed racists like you live ,we will never come together as a nation

    • 2
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      Violence has become the way of life among the majority of the Sinhalese. They have no shame in openly expressing it.

  • 4
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    Any ‘domestic inquiry’ cannot and will not, be credible.

    Perpetraters of, and their successors, who committed periodic massacres of tamil civilians from soon after independence, cannot truthfully inquire into their own actions.

    Any such inquiry will be a total farce.

    The postponement of release of the UNHRC report is tragic & unacceptable to the kith and kin of those who perished.

  • 5
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    A comprehensive International investigation was necessary as to what happened before the war, during the war and after the war. The investigation should carry about both parties of the conflict or any other parties involved. It is about what happened to the people and properties of that country. Most of the Tamils do not know what the LTTE did all those years. Why the Sri Lankan Government refutes any allegations of genocide or Human rights violations and did not want to allow the investigators into the country was due to the fact that Sri Lankan government officials was aware of the true nature as to what happened and they happened to be the culprits. I would like to ask Mr.Ahamed when the Army declared a safety zone and when the innocent civilians were using the safety zone, they were shelled and bombarded with heavy weapons and murdered them in thousands. How do you call this action. Is it not genocide? Isaipiriya the LTTE journalist was caught in the swamp by the Sri Lankan Military. Later she was found murdered probably being raped. How do you call this act? Is it Bravery?? Now that the UN has postponed the submission of the report till September, the UNHRC could gather further evidence by going into the country. Sri Lankan Government is going to investigate. Who would be in the panel. It would be the same men who committed the crimes. It seems to me that we are dealing with criminals in the guise of politicians. It would be a difficult task when America who brought in the resolution has not raised its hand to carry forward the resolution.
    Human Rights violations are taking place right at this moment in the North of Sri Lanka by deploying the mighty army 3:1 (three army personnel to one Tamil citizen) and grabbing their lands where they lived for centuries. Reconciliation will never happen until the Tamil demands are met in the first place. Sinhalese speak of Reconciliation but they too are not interested in such reconciliation with the Tamils except to subjugate them.

    • 1
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      Sellam, the attitude that you are talking about is what is continuing to destroy all our lives. This government is beginning to look at militarization of the north and has already started divesting land. You cannot do this with the stroke of a pen. Don’t forget, YOUR LTTE caused so much death and dismay not just among the Sinhalese but Tamils and Muslims as well. They ethnically cleansed the Muslims from the north with just 3 hours notice. What have you got to say to this crime.

      Mr Ahamed is clearly saying that there has to be a process of healing. People have died from all communities and those lives would not be brought back. Yes, perpetrators of crime will have to be brought to justice, but that is just one part of it. When do we say, enough is enough and try to pick up the few lives left and move forward. If you keep insisting on all forms of international inquiry, and a government allows it, the 74% sinhalese and probably the 10% Muslims will not allow any government to survive. So, do you want you people to be continuously held captive. Do not forget, the international community is guilty of worse crimes than the Sri Lankan government. The war on terror, and all the crimes committed in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Chechniya, afghanistan, sudan, Cuba, palestine, Lebanon, falklands etc. are just a few. Any international inquiry will have to hang half of the population of those nations in Europe and America.

      So, life has to continue, and the Children in Sri Lanka as Mr Ahamed says will have to start living as Sri Lankans. We have cerated this conflict and we need to solve this. We cannot leave it to our children to continue killing each other.

      • 3
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        Hi Upul,

        At the outset I would like to mention that I do not belong to any party, any group nor any party or group belongs to me. I did not like the LTTE nor the Sri Lankan governments that were in power. No one was patriotic but acted with racial hatred. All politicians once elected behaved like kings and never worried about the ordinary people who voted for them. There were several civilians who were not involved in the war were murdered and still the whereabouts of many men and women are not accounted for. Many atrocities took place during the war. The people would want to know about them.

        After the war the government could have done many things to improve the livelihood of the Tamil people who suffered more during the war. Instead the government grabbed lands in 10 villages in Vali-North and chased away the owners of those lands. Those people are still suffering in camps and in relatives’ homes. How could they survive. There are priorities for the government to consider but ignores them. Six years is a long time for the process.

        • 0
          1

          Sellma, So you could be a good candidate to take the middle path. Yes, there is a need to look at all the grievances of all the people – Tamil, Muslim and Sinhala during the war. You say, only the Tamils suffered. Just imagine the bombs in COlombo. Were they targeted at the forces, no, they took away the lives of innocent civilians. So the healing is no easy task. There has to be give and take from all sides, so I support Mr Ahamed’s call to give this government a chance to begin the process of reconciliation.

  • 0
    4

    The biggest slap to Unjust(ice) Wigneswaran was delivered by UN by postponing the delivery of the Sri Lankan report.

  • 3
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    Hilmy, you have asked for a domestic inquiry or truth and recon. commission for the Tamils, but how about the Muslims were were massacred in aluthgama and beruwala. They didn’t ask for eelma nor did they oppose the government or buddhist in anyway. Unless gnanasara is hung, no Muslim from that area will sleep. The massacre of the innocent and the destruction of their homes were also part of Gota’s plans to make this country a sinhala only nation. So, he did exactly the same thing he did to the Muslims and they used this bloody thug in saffron garb to destroy these villages. The inquiry you demand for the tamils will have to include the Muslims also in mananr, aluthgama, beruwela, Baddula, mawanella etc.

  • 3
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    The new government also is as bad as Gotas government as far as the tamils are conceded. They have appointed another racist from the wijwardene family to be in charge of the forces that would continue to appropriate tamil lands and plunder their wealth. Unless and until the Sinhalese chauvinists change their mind and think that the Tamils have a problem, nothing will change.

  • 1
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    Wigneswarana will end up as a bigger terrorist than Praba. He already has LTTE commandos guarding him. His entire security staff comprise of LTTE cadres. He is slowly building up armed groups once again with the support of India and Tamil nadu. It is time that the provincial council system is abolished and the central government takes control of the whole country and reappoint senior army commanders to take care of the remaining trouble makers in Jaffna. Otehrwise, there would never be peace for our country. Once you are a terrorist, you will always be a terrorists and everyone in the north was either a terrorist or one who supported them. It means the same

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