29 September, 2020

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Co-Sponsorship Means Outright Capitulation

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

‘It could have been worse’ is not a victory claim. It is but the whimper of someone who believes he got a consolation prize. President Maithripala Sirisena says ‘it could have been hundreds of thousands of times worse had Mahinda Rajapaksa won on January 8.’ He was referring to the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. This was a week ago.

He is correct. The final draft is not as odious as the one circulated a few days ago and even that one would appear to be less ‘serious’ that what one might have expected following UN Report on rights violations and other matters during the last stages of Sri Lanka’s struggle against terrorism.

The hurrahs, of course, have to wait the measurement of the content against implications for sovereignty. Sure, in the 21st Century we can only speak of ‘degrees of sovereignty’, but then again there is a bottom line to everything. Take the people out of the equation of decision-making and it amounts to capitulation to the country that poses the greatest threat to world peace, the USA. There are no ‘degrees’ there.

The watered down version, so-called, raises several questions. First of all the fact of watering-down implies that these exercises are fraught with integrity deficits. The entire process was flawed and this has been well established. However, if one assumes that politics and outcome-preferences did not color report-writing then watering-down implies ‘deals’. In other words terms such as truth, justice, retribution and such are but sanitizers for what is essentially a game about control. It’s about interest and those who are willing to play along. Ask Noam Chomsky — he will tell you what US foreign policy is all about.

KerrySecondly, in both preamble and operative articles that compromise the whole notion of a ‘domestic inquiry’. Sure, as Ranil Wickremesinghe says, judges have to be appointed by the President or the Constitutional Council, but let us not be fooled into believing that his role would be anything more than rubber-stamping US nominees from the Commonwealth and other countries. The resolution would have Sri Lanka pass retroactive legislation notwithstanding the fact that the US constitution specifically prohibits ex post facto legislation. The point will not be made, we can rest assured. We have, after all, a Foreign Minister who called the UN Report ‘fair and balanced’ and as such can be sure which side he’s batting for!

Thirdly, as Dayan Jayatilleka points out, ‘we are asked to try and punish those who saved us from terror and reunified our country in Special Court with foreign judges; those who gave weapons and equipment to the Tigers will decide the fate of those who fought them and gave political leadership to that fight.’

Fourth, if what Dayan envisages does materialize a dangerous precedence is created that makes human shields a far more potent instrument for terrorist all over the world.

Fifth, it will do nothing to concretize inter-communal harmony and national reconciliation. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) is saluting this resolution. The TNA speaks of victims. The TNA doesn’t seem to understand that every citizen of this country was a victim and even those unborn at that time are victims; terrorists not only engaged in mass murder but also wrecked the country’s economy. The TNA, as mouthpiece and the legal voice of the LTTE, is listed in the perpetrators’ column, as are the 11,000 plus LTTE cadres released without trial in the previous regime’s ‘general amnesty’ in all but name.

Finally, and most worrying, is the decision by the Government (if we go by US State Secretary John Kerry’s assertion) to co-sponsor the resolution. Co-sponsorship in effect amounts to an affirmation of the preamble and an undertaking to operationalize these.

The President is correct in saying that things could have been worse. The previous regime erred and it’s President Sirisena’s unfortunate lot to make the best out of a bad situation. He should learn, then, from the errors. Co-sponsorship would be an error because it promises what is patently impossible to deliver. In the end operationalizing has to happen within the framework that is made of the constitution, the Parliament and the sentiments of the people. The last of course can be ‘obtained’ by presumption, but not the first two.

So let the Resolution come. Let us not panic. Let us engage, by all means. But let us not agree to rule out meaningful engagement by the very fact of co-sponsorship.

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Latest comments

  • 15
    5

    Malinda Seneviratne – Knowing fully well the courts in Sri Lanka is nothing but a ‘kangaroo court’ why are you getting excited about the UN resolution or the appointment of a hybrid court. The judiciary in Sri Lanka comprise of judges who came through the back door thanks to your sponsor MR. No person in the right mind will ever think of assigning any type of investigation under the present setup.

    • 9
      4

      Malinda Seneviratne Mahinda Rajapaksa Shill and white-Washer,

      ” President Maithripala Sirisena says ‘it could have been hundreds of thousands of times worse had Mahinda Rajapaksa won on January 8.’ He was referring to the US-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka. This was a week ago.”

      Yes, because MaRa MaRa chatu MaRa Amana MaRa cared only about himself and his glory.

      The shills like Malinda Seneviratna also cared only about themselves.

      Now, like their sponsor MaRa MaRa Chatu Mara, the all are disoriented.

  • 5
    4

    Mangala does have a victory of sorts to boast about.

    Yesterday RW told that there never was any discussion on the ‘Rama’ bridge project as alleged, and that the HR investigation would be by Sri Lankan personnel exclusively. Today the story is the exact opposite, as he has totally capitulated to the US demands, made through the OHCHR. RW was never leadership material, and his loss of face is complete. However, it is we Sri Lankans who pay the price. We should have known better.

  • 17
    5

    Malinda

    Noam Chomsky will also tell you what Sri Lanka’s civil war was all about.

    Once and for all you should get it into your blockhead that nothing supercedes human rights in today’s world. Concerns about sovereignty, about the nation, about security, about human shields, about terrorism, about western imperialism, about geo-politics – nothing….absolutely nothing can justify the indiscriminate carpet bombing of innocent civilians. Just imagine if your family members were in the ‘no-fire zone’ in Mullivaikkal on 18 May 2009………. Human rights should be the ultimate criterion for judging human actions in any decent society.

  • 6
    5

    ” I find it very difficult to believe that a Resolution to set up a hybrid war crimes tribunal can succeed at Geneva. ”

    Was this not why Samaraweera’s concurrence was essential, and yes, he did he sell us out. US puppetry at it’s best.

  • 11
    3

    So, are you simply saying that there were no war crimes and no crimes against humanity commited at least during the last days of the war? Are you talking of zero civilian casualties?
    Only the likes of Dayan and MR will believe you!
    Sengodan. M

  • 6
    9

    The former President has the faith of 42% of the citizens. It is up to him to provide the leadership to patriotic elements in Parliament to make use of every democratic method that can be used to foil those who would sell-out the country.

  • 11
    3

    It is your master MR who destroyed all credibility Sri Lanka had before the International Community. He destroyed the Judicial System. His brother GR destroyed the image of the Armed forces by using it to carry out abductions and extra judicial killings.

    MR played about with the UN and IC promising home made solutions for many years. Now the UN and IC have placed trust in the new Govt. So it is better if you shut up and repent for your past treachery.

  • 4
    1

    In the end it is we citizens who have to reconcile with one another. Right?
    We the 70% can opt to mind our own business. Right?

    Soma

  • 7
    4

    Thirdly, as Dayan Jayatilleka points out, ‘we are asked to try and punish those who saved us from terror and reunified our country in Special Court with foreign judges; those who gave weapons and equipment to the Tigers will decide the fate of those who fought them and gave political leadership to that fight.’

    The three muts go at it again….. No one is denying that the our War winning Tri Forces along with the Police did yoemen service to to the nation . But as always there were a few rif raf’s in this forces who on the instructions of the hire ups who did some brutal atrocities which have to be punished . These are the guys who have tarnished the images of the forces and Mother Lanka. There is no point denying that the western world is after these murderers . you guys defend this Murderers under the disguise of Patriotism and sovereignty etc. etc

    These three Muts DJ , Tamra , and now Malinda the three stooges are moving heaven and earth to defend this crooks whilst we all Sri Lankans know deep within our hearts who were giving instruction to these few marauding murders to behave like this.

    You three Muts along with this Murders are responsible for the current predicament that Mother lanka is in right now . ” No Law and Order “

    Rathpusselawa is one example where soldiers opened fire on civilians on the instructions of the hire ups .!0 year old child Murdered limbs and head torn off not even 20 kilometres from my home… you all should be held responsible for defending these murders in the international arena.

    • 4
      2

      Mr Jen

      Talk about law and order and impunity? Talk about Rathusellava?

      Will you write a few words on

      -Burning down the Jafna library in 1982 -the greatest, most uncivilized crime that ever took place on this soil.

      -1983 massacre of innocent Tamils which changed the history.

      -1989 terror where more than 50,000 youth killed, some burnt alive

      Was anyone brought to book? Ranil Wickramasinghe was a powerful minister in all these periods.

      Soma

  • 3
    4

    Co-sponsorship? Ranil’s political cowardice and dependable mentality are seriously at play at the expense of our country. US has trapped Sri Lanka very nicely. Now the government has to introduce all the reforms that are necessary to pave the way for international judges to sit alongside with our judges and render a ‘hybrid’ judgement.

    This government’s excitement over the “international component” is entirely based on political reasons. Otherwise when many countries strengthen their laws to face the future threat of terrorism, even a country like Canada which considered as a Vanguard of Human Rights, amidst heated debates, introduced an anti-terrorism legislation Bill C-51, we are the only country which is trying to punish the political leadership and the troops for defeating terrorism.

    Based on the US theory of eliminating terrorists is “targeted killing”, in November 2014, UK’s “Reprieve” Human Rights Group calculated that it takes about 28 civilians to take out one terrorist with multiple Drone strikes carried out by the US in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. According to the Study headed by Jennifer Gibson, it takes dozens, some times hundreds of lives to eliminate a single Al-Qaeda or Taliban warlord. Over the last eight years, the US has attempted many times to eliminate an Al-Qaeda leader called Ayman Zawahiri. “Targeted killing” by Drones have proved ineffective – the man is still ALIVE. In two well known attempts, in 2006, as many as 76 children and 29 adults were killed as ‘reported’ but there are numerous attempts without any information on the death of civilians. What is interesting is US conducting these “targeted killings” without even having declared war in those countries but over a decade their drones have killed thousands of innocent civilians including women and children. Why double standards? Doesn’t US’s theory in targeted killing apply to LTTE terrorists?

    It is pretty obvious that USA, OHCHR and this government are prejudice over former political leadership and our troops.

    President Mahinda Rajapaksa made the invincible, vulnerable. Our armed forces paid a high price to bring in peace to our country, after 30 terror stricken years. Their bravery and sheer determination in eradicating terrorism with limited resources is highly commendable. Sri Lanka doesn’t belong to traitors. Sri Lanka belonging to brave Sinhalese who have backbones to stand against any injustices. We are a sovereign nation. We come forward to protect the political leadership and our brave troops from all international conspirators and local traitors. There is no way we let them undermine the sacrifices made by our troops in bringing the peace.

  • 6
    2

    Soma

    I have been speaking about all this injustices that has happened to Sri Lankans may the victims be Sinhalese Tamils or any other race. We need to Start some where to get the society to react to these injustices and get the peportraitors to face the law no matter how high offices they occupied in our society .

    hope and pray that the UN fiasco will be the start and have every one accountable for their actions.

    • 2
      1

      If you want to start somewhere stop hate mongering towards some and covering up others. There were jumbo cabinets, crossing overs for perks and covering up corruptioon, ethnic hatred, mega corruption only in Rajapaksha time?

      And you know very well that the period covered in the forthcoming UN investigation has skipped the incidences I mentioned.

      What is wrong with some Sinhalese expressing their views? It is your monopoly?

      Soma

  • 3
    2

    The UN itself has to free itself from war crime charges in sri Lanka . And from the crime of employing and hiding the army which has committed and accused of war crimes. employing the army which has committed rampant child rapes. and lying to the world.

  • 1
    1

    My opinion is formed and as usual Malinda helped me to do that. Here it is:

    So (do not) let the Resolution come. Let us panic. Let us (not) engage, by (any) means. And let us agree to rule out meaningful engagement by the very fact of co-sponsorship.

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