18 September, 2021

Blog

‘Come September’- Revisiting Geneva

By Austin Fernando

Austin Fernando

I faintly remember seeing the film ‘Come September’ somewhere, cast by Rock Hudson, then a heartthrob of Hollywood and Gina Lollobrigida, then a sex symbol in the film industry. Instantly we enjoyed ‘Come September’ then. Now being a Senior and more responsible, when I think ahead by a month I wonder whether we as a country could so happily look forward to coming September with ears, and eyes open to United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) Resolutions in Geneva, or GSP+ in Brussels. This exercise is to open eyes and ears to the issues with the UNHRC. Let GSP+ be the kettle of fish of another.

     ““The European Union’s (EU) statement announcing its decision to consider withdrawing the GSP+ concession for Sri Lanka reiterates the crucial contents, e.g., alleged human rights violations, the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), etc. in the UNHRC Resolution of October 2015, and the follow-up. All our governments have denied violations, but some lobbies vehemently disagree. They have to. However, the ‘Yahapalana’ government has been criticized for co-sponsoring the 2015 resolution, but its critics seem to think that Sri Lanka had been free from UNHRC pressures before 2015. They do not look at the issues logically and chronologically.

Much water has run under the bridge since 2009, with the UNHRC, and the EU, stressing the need for bringing about reconciliation in Sri Lanka. Concurrently, there have been interventions from other nations, too, e. g., the USA, Canada. This article attempts to explain why the 2015 UNHRC Resolution should be put in evolved perspective so that we could address the consequential challenges and threats.

Even some intellectuals argue that UNHRC resolutions are baseless. Another school of thought maintains that we should get over the criticisms against Sri Lanka by adhering to acceptable standards/norms and reap the socio-economic benefits. Even if the resolutions are baseless, as claimed, we cannot afford to ignore the fact that they have been taken very seriously by the international community, whose opinion and decisions affect us politically, diplomatically, and economically.

Let’s revisit the pre-2015 Geneva situation.

Joint Statement by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and UNSG Ban-Ki-Moon

In the aftermath of the victory against LTTE in May 2009, UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Ban-Ki-Moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa issued a Joint Statement on 23 May 2009, which was the initial step toward post-war reconciliation. The content of this statement is worth revisiting:

1. The visit reflected the close cooperation between Sri Lanka and the UN, and its commitment to work with the UN in the future.

2. The conflict over, Sri Lanka has entered a new post-conflict beginning and the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) faces many immediate and long-term challenges. The critical status offers opportunities for the long-term development of the north and for re-establishing democratic institutions and electoral politics after decades. The GOSL expressed its commitment to ensuring the economic and political empowerment of the northern people.

3. President and the SG agreed that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities and working towards a lasting political solution was fundamental to ensuring long-term socio-economic development.

4. The SG welcomed the assurance of President Rajapaksa stated in his statement in Parliament on 19 May 2009 that a national solution acceptable to all sections of people will be evolved. President Rajapaksa expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment, and to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties.

5. President and SG discussed a series of areas in which the UN will assist the ongoing efforts of the GOSL in addressing future challenges and opportunities.

6. Concerning IDPs, the UN will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to IDPs in Vavuniya and Jaffna. The Government will continue to provide access to humanitarian agencies. The Government will expedite the necessary basic and civil infrastructure, means of livelihood necessary for the IDPs for the earliest resumption of their normal lives. The SG welcomed the announcement by the Government expressing its intention to the planned dismantling of welfare villages.

7. The GOSL seeks the cooperation of the international community for mine-clearing.

8. The SG called for donor assistance towards the Common Humanitarian Action Plan jointly launched by the GOSL and the UN.

9. President Rajapaksa and the SG recognized many former child soldiers as an important issue. President Rajapaksa reiterated his firm policy of zero tolerance about child recruitment. In cooperation with the UNICEF, child-friendly procedures have been established for their “release and surrender”, and rehabilitation to reintegrate former child soldiers into society as productive citizens. The SG while appreciating the progress encouraged GOSL to adopt similar policies and procedures relating to former child soldiers in the north.

10. President Rajapaksa informed the SG regarding ongoing initiatives for rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants, in addition to the ongoing work by the Office of the Commissioner-General for Rehabilitation, and the National Framework for the Integration of Ex-combatants into Civilian Life under preparation, with the assistance of the UN and other international organizations.

11. Sri Lanka reiterated its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in keeping with international human rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations. The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws. The Government will take measures to address those grievances.

The final consensual understanding (No; 11) was a carte blanche for the UN. Sections 1 to 10 are on the need to satisfy the needs of the affected with the help of the international community. Perhaps, in response to the alleged atrocities during the final phase of the conflict and/or out of its humanitarian concerns, the GOSL unilaterally made its proposals to the UNHCR on 27th May 2009.

11/1 Resolution 27 May 2009

This proposal, titled “Assistance to Sri Lanka in the promotion and protection of human rights” contained the following:

1 Welcomed the GOSL’s commitment to promote and protect human rights and encourage upholding human rights legal obligations.

2 Encouraged the GOSL to continue pursuing existing cooperation with UN agencies to provide basic humanitarian assistance

3 Encouraged the GOSL to continuously pursue cooperation with relevant UN organizations, to provide, to the best capabilities, with GOSL cooperation, basic humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs).

4 Welcomed the announcement of the proposal to safely resettle the bulk of IDPs within six months and encouraged the GOSL to proceed with due respect for persons belonging to differing minorities.

5 Acknowledged the GOSL’s commitment to providing access, as appropriate, to international humanitarian agencies to ensure humanitarian assistance to the IDPs to meet their urgent needs and encouraged the Sri Lankan authorities to further facilitate appropriate work.

6 Encouraged the GOSL to its efforts towards the disarmament, demobilization, and rehabilitation of former child soldiers, their physical and psychological recovery, and reintegration into society, through educational measures, considering the rights and specific needs and capacities of girls, in cooperation with relevant UN agencies.

7 Urged the GOSL to strengthen activities to ensure that there is no discrimination against ethnic minorities in the enjoyment of all human rights.

8 Welcomed the continued cooperation between the GOSL, relevant UN agencies, and other humanitarian organizations to provide humanitarian assistance to the affected people and encouraged continued cooperation with the GOSL.

9 Welcomed the recent visits of the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of IDPs and encouraged continuous cooperation in the mobilization and provision of humanitarian assistance.

10 Welcomed the visit of the SG and endorsed the joint communiqué issued after the visit and the understandings contained therein.

11 Welcomed the resolve of the Sri Lankan authorities to begin a broader dialogue with all parties to enhance the process of political settlement and to bring about lasting peace and development based on consensus among and respect for the rights of all stakeholders and invited them to actively participate in it.

12 Urged the international community to cooperate with the GOSL in the reconstruction efforts, by increasing the provision of financial and development assistance, for poverty alleviation and underdevelopment and promotion and protection of all human rights.

The 11/1 Resolution contained constructive proposals originating from the quoted joint statement. Its contents concerning the aspirations of the Tamils and the position of the international community were ratified. The GOSL, which co-sponsored the proposals had to implement them. But it did not make good on its commitments, and even tried to justify its failure to do so.

Later, since some of the pledges were politically disadvantageous, some conveniently claimed that the joint statement was non-binding as regards the international human rights and humanitarian laws. They chose to ignore the internationally binding commitments stated as ‘understandings’ in the joint statement and the endorsement of it by Section 10 in the 11/1 Resolution.

Darusman Committee

The UNSG witnessing the delays in the implementation of the proposals appointed the Darusman Committee on Accountability in Sri Lanka, in June 2010. The Darusman Report was unfavorable for Sri Lanka. At the very outset, the purpose of the committee and the appointment of the members thereof were questioned by the GOSL. The inclusion of Yasmin Sooka as a member was questioned because she was considered sympathetic to the LTTE. GOSL resisted the Darusman Committee investigating Sri Lanka. Further, UNHCR High Commissioner Navaneethan Pillai was also ridiculed.

19/2 Proposal (2012-3-22)

However, the Darusman Committee gathered information from diplomatic and other sources. When the proposals were not implemented, the matter was brought to the attention of the UNHCR through Resolution 19/2 on 22nd March 2012, which was ratified on 3rd April 2012.

By this time the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) had been released. It had many constructive recommendations. Therefore, the new UNHRC resolution made three recommendations, of which two specifically referred to the LLRC recommendations:

1. Called upon the GOSL to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC Report and to take steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitments to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability, and reconciliation to all Sri Lankans.

2. Requested GOSL to expeditiously present a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps government has taken and will take to implement LLRC recommendations and to address alleged violations of international laws.

3 Encouraged the UNHRC and special procedure mandate holders to provide in consultation and concurrence with the GOSL, advice, and technical assistance and requested the High Commissioner to present a report on such assistance at the 22nd Session.

The GOSL considered the LLRC Report a success, “Yes,” it was a grand success,  but did not implement its recommendations fully. This above-mentioned Resolution reminded GOSL of the need to carry out the LLRC recommendations and pointed out the Rajapaksa government’s lack of commitment to doing so.

I recall a personal experience concerning the LLRC Report to show how Commission recommendations are treated by governments. It is about the Aranthhalawa Bhikku massacre. In an article I wrote in 2012 in the Colombo Telegraph, I said:

“The Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) in its report at Section 8.72 said “Representations were also made before the Commission that the Government should order a full-scale probe into the Arantalawa massacre of 33 Buddhist monks, most of whom were Samaneras, on 2nd June 1987….” It appears that along with the other investigations recommended in the LLRC Report, this is also forgotten. As recommended in Section 5.107 of the LLRC Report for other affected, as “a matter of justice,” the plight of these priests “needs to be recognized by the State…” I pray it to be fulfilled after 25 years.”

My prayer was answered nine years later under another Rajapaksa government. The incumbent administration is to probe into the Aranthalawa Bhikku massacre. The Yahapalana also did not pay attention to it. The present response is surely not due to UNHRC pressure; it may be to remind the public of the LTTE atrocities against Buddhists in time for the next Provincial Council elections so that the government could gain some political mileage therefrom. Curiously, no such interest has been envied in other human rights issues raised in the LLRC Report.

22/1 Proposal (2013-3-21)

A great responsibility was placed on the State officers to implement the proposals in the Resolutions. Unfortunately, the international community did not see this happen. Hence, it decided to submit the 22/1 Resolution on 21 March 2013 by way of registering its protest with Sri Lanka. What it, however, did not understand was that the government was planning to advance a presidential election, and, therefore, committing to implementing the UNHRC Resolutions would be politically disastrous.

The 22/1 proposal acknowledged the constructive efforts such as the decision to hold the Provincial Council election in the North, infrastructural development, demining and facilitating resettlement of IDPs. However, the National Plan of Action proposed by the LLRC was considered inadequate to address all the findings and constructive recommendations of the Commission. It was also noted that States facing post-conflict situations should abide by international human rights and humanitarian laws. Nationalists did not oppose the earlier actions but resisted the latter which had to do with the military.

The 22/1 Resolution focused on the following salient points:

1 Encouraged the GOSL to implement the recommendations made in the UNHRC Report and to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable.

2 Called upon the GOSL to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC Report and to take all additional steps to fulfill relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability, and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.

3 Encouraged the GOSL to cooperate with special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to all outstanding requests.

4 Encouraged the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the GOSL, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps.

5 Requested the Office of the High Commissioner, with input from relevant special procedure mandate holders, as appropriate, to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-fourth session, and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at its twenty-fifth session.

The implementation of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws is the responsibility of any government. But those who duped themselves into believing that ‘internationals can be fooled’ did not want to protect Human Rights or uphold Humanitarian Laws. Although some IDPs were resettled, new military bases sprang up. From the perspective of the Tamils, their legal rights to private lands were denied.

The international community collected data from diplomatic and external sources. It was no secret that they were biased towards the needs and demands of the Tamil community. However, it had a clear understanding of the implementation of the proposals and was concerned about the tardy pace at which it was executed. They understood that the implementation of the proposals could not be expedited. Hence, they went before the UNHRC again.

25/1 Proposal (27.03.2014)

By 2014, the international community sadly believed Sri Lanka was an irresponsible, inert state. Hence the UNHCR, on 27 March 2014, passed the 25/1 Resolution titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’. The main points therein are as follows:

1.   Welcomed the oral update by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the UNHRC 24th Session and the subsequent report by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCR) on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka and the recommendations and conclusions, including on the establishment of a truth-seeking mechanism and national reparations policy as an integral part of a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to transitional justice.

2.  Called upon the GOSL to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights and humanitarian laws, as applicable; to hold accountable those responsible for such violations; to end continuing incidents of human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka, and to implement the recommendations made in the reports of the OHCR.

3.  Reiterated the earlier call upon the GOSL to implement effectively the constructive recommendations made in the LLRC Report, and to take all additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitments to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability, and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans.

4.  Urged the GOSL to investigate all alleged attacks by individuals and groups on journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups and other members of civil society, and all places of worship and urged the GOSL to hold perpetrators of such attacks to account and to take steps to prevent such attacks in the future.

5.  Called upon the GOSL to release publicly the results of its investigations into alleged violations by security forces, including the Weliweriya attack, and the report of the Army Court of Inquiry.

6.  Encouraged the GOSL to ensure that all Provincial Councils can operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

7.  Welcomed the visit by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs in December 2013 and called upon the GOSL to facilitate the effective implementation of durable solutions for all IDPs.

8.  Welcomed the invitation to the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education.

9.  Encouraged the GOSL to cooperate with other special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to all their outstanding requests.

10. Noted the recommendations and conclusions of the High Commissioner regarding ongoing human rights violations and the need for an international inquiry mechanism in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results, and requested the UNHRC:

(a) To monitor the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and to continue to assess progress on relevant national processes.

(b) To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the LLRC, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated to avoid impunity and ensure accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders.

(c) To present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its 27th session, and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at its 28th Session.

11. Encouraged the UNHRC and relevant special procedure mandate holders to provide, in consultation and the concurrence of the GOSL, to provide advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps.

12. Called upon the GOSL to cooperate with the Office of the High Commissioner in the implementation of the present resolution.

The government did not proceed to implement these recommendations. It chose to ignore Section 10 in particular. The international community, therefore, opted for a strong response at the March 2015 UNHCR meeting. Moves were even afoot to impose economic sanctions.

‘Yahapalana ‘Government and the UNHRC

On 9 January 2018, the ‘Yahapalana’ President was sworn in and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera asked for more time to implement the UNHRC recommendations. Most of us avoid discussing this background of the UNHCR proposals of 01 October 2015. Even today they discuss, misinterpret, and misrepresent facts.

These proposals did not fall from the sky. They were the result of the unilateral proposals first made on 27 May 2009 by the Rajapaksa government, its failure to implement them, and its lethargic, cavalier attitude and negligence. This led to the ratification of a new set of proposals recommended jointly by a core group of members of the UNHCR and the ‘Yahapalana government, to address the failures of the Rajapaksa government (2009), which was responsible for the 2009 UNHRC resolution.

The international community complied with the Yahapalana government’s request for more time. Had the Rajapaksa government responsible for Resolution 11/1 implemented the recommendations therein in an acceptable manner and responded to the feedback proposals, the country would not have faced the prospect of economic sanctions.

International pressure mounted from 2011-2014 as regards the 11/1 Resolution, and the Yahapalana government had to cooperate as regards the new proposals with the countries that supported Sri Lanka at the UNHCR. It should also be mentioned that such give-and-take policies don’t come without some disadvantages, the accountability mechanism in the 30/1 Resolution being a case in point.

The conceptual basis of the 2015 UNHCR Proposal

The 2015 proposals were based on the internationally accepted principles of reconciliation. As a first step towards initiating the truth and reconciliation process, it was proposed to establish a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ and an “Office on Missing Persons.” Secondly, the importance of demonstrating accountability towards the crimes endured by the affected communities was highlighted. Thirdly, it was required to establish a mechanism for reparation for the victims. Fourthly, it was proposed that constitutional guarantees by Parliament would ensure that such cruelty would not be repeated. Those were the ‘four pillars of reconciliation’.

These proposals were handed over to Prince Al Hussein, UNHCR High Commissioner by GOSL before Resolution 30/1 was tabled.

Withdrawal from UNHRC Resolution 30/1

In a way, it is unfair to blame the Yahapalana government for co-sponsoring Resolution 30/1 at the UNHCR in October 2015 although some people have taken exception to that course of action.

The current SLPP government has withdrawn from the 30/1 proposal and UNHRC’s 34/1 and 40/1 Resolutions—both more of technical nature and adopted without voting. We cannot withdraw from the resolutions or decisions taken between 2011-2014 because they are derived from the 11/1 Resolution. I believe (subject to correction since I am not a lawyer) that GOSL may argue the legality of other proposals if it wishes to withdraw from 11/1. It is the prerogative of the UNHRC to accept such a withdrawal. Even if we presume that such action is possible, the understandings reached in 2009 are still valid. It is unerasable history.

The question is whether the incumbent GOSL is still committed to implementing the 11/1 and the 27 May 2009 understandings. Since the 11/1 Resolution was unilaterally placed before the UNHRC by the GOSL after the war victory, it cannot argue that it was done under LTTE’s duress. If GOSL feels that 11/1 is now irrelevant, why doesn’t it say so? Did GOSL make the 11/1 proposal to hoodwink the UN Secretary-General? Or, was it another Medamulana ruse?

Irritation of ‘Come September’

The irritation of ‘Come September’ is a consequence of the March 2021 outcomes in Geneva. Following the March 2021 Resolution in Geneva, the UNHRC has been empowered to “consolidate, analyze and preserve information and evidence” for “future accountability processes for gross violations of human rights or serious violations of international humanitarian law, to advocate for victims and survivors, and to support relevant judicial proceedings in the Member States with competent jurisdiction.” Accountability processes will matter personally and officially to those who are at the receiving end of allegations on human rights or humanitarian violations. Relevant judicial proceedings in the Member States will cease mobility, and cause other sanctions, effects on assets as preferred by them, which is disturbing, to say the least. 

However, some commentators opine that the Secretariat thus established will not be permitted to visit Sri Lanka like the Darusman Committee and that could hamper reporting. As stated earlier, information is freely available internationally. As a political columnist has said recently, “it should not be forgotten that the Human Rights Commissioner’s office claims it already has trophy evidence which would be utilized.” The government and suspects or even perpetrators may say that the photographic and digital evidence so available are doctored, but it should be proved by a Court of Law. Ad hoc statements are inadmissible. These are complex issues. 

In the final count, everything matters to the country, and its image. Therefore, consultation, negotiation, flexibility, bi-partisanship with the Opposition, victims, and internationals of the divide may be extremely important and valid. If I am to go by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa telling the Sri Lankan Collective for Consensus “We are committed to work with the UN to ensure accountability & human development to achieve lasting peace & reconciliation,” (The Island- August 9th, 2021), and, if he is also genuine, which I believe is so, I see a light at the end of the tunnel.

The real need is more action than words. I have earlier dealt with one issue where the words have been seen without question as patently and blatantly hollow. See “Crisscrossing 13A Abolition- Austin Fernando” in The Island newspaper of November 13th, 2020. Hence, the most important is to consistently keep to one’s word, honor, though it is not easy for politicians!

There are so many unanswered questions. But the demands made on behalf of the victims are still alive. Just a few days ago, didn’t MA Sumanthiran, MP, state so albeit in different words? It is these demands that drive the UNHCR and the European Union and even others to push GOSL against the wall. Positive handling of issues may pave the way to enjoy “Come September” as we did. The ball is in the court of the Pohottuwa Government. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 16
    5

    Inter alia Austin is spot on about the Arantalawa massacre of 33 Buddhist monks.. and the sudden decision taken this month to open investigations:

    “The present response is surely not due to UNHRC pressure; it may be to remind the public of the LTTE atrocities against Buddhists in time for the next Provincial Council elections so that the government could gain some political mileage therefrom. Curiously, no such interest has been envied in other human rights issues raised in the LLRC Report”.

    • 18
      0

      Instead of him weeping and gnashing teeth in the wilderness of the Toronto sewers ……. send Eagle Eye to Geneva.

      He’ll make or break UNHRC.

      It’s high time Gota started using the best talent at his disposal.

      • 15
        0

        Brilliant suggestion, nimal.
        .
        The villains at the top are not idiots; they know what they’re doing. They also know that guys stuck on this island are doomed.
        .
        Every day they secure their places in the USA. They will never want to live in China, Russia or an African country.
        .
        Fortunately Michelle Bachelet is on our side – the side of the people of Lanka.
        .
        The irony is that the majority of Lankans are uneducated (they have certificates suggesting the contrary) and imagine that the Double-Paksas are gods.
        .
        Panini Edirisinhe

      • 9
        2

        NF
        .
        EE has not come back to us each with constructive reponses. Let alone, I dont think EE has balls to face GENEVA interogations. He would fall dead not being able to face the music.
        :
        EE and many seniors of his nature, just bark only. They dont care about fact checks.

        :

      • 13
        3

        nimal fernando

        “It’s high time Gota started using the best talent at his disposal.”

        I think Gota has been:
        C.A. Chandraprema,
        Mohan Peiris,
        Udhaya Ganapathipilla,
        Wimal Sangili Karuppan Weerawansa,
        Manori Unambuwe,
        Saroja Sirisena (refused to accept 2000 years of history),
        Single Handed Kamala Gunaratne,
        Christopher Columbus Shavendra Silva,
        Channa Jeyasumana,
        The Prince of Darkness Sarath Weerasekera,

        ….
        ….
        ….
        You seem not with the state, are you opposed to the people (I mean the clan)?

        • 8
          0

          Native,

          I listen to 2 interviews ……… this one and another with Harsha De Silva – which I can’t find, where he say’s the parts for a phone is made in 43 countries. I’m doubtful of their political skills in the SL context/”environment” where the majority has EE’s mentality and believe Rajapakes’ looting of the nation’s wealth is the panacea for all ills. But at least Ranil and Harsha knows how to add simple sums and realize the danger the country is in.

          I don’t expect great things from Lankans ……. only simple things like adding basic numbers …….. I’m a realist …… I know the Lankans only too well: I know them like my own people …… I feel, I’ve lived with people like EE all my life!

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdAffT8twDY

          • 6
            0

            nimal fernando

            We should not despair.
            When the going get tough, tough get going.
            There is no hope of a revolution taking place in this island in the near future, not because Gota is holding the fort but because of external forces primarily Hindians think they could rearrange social forces through their ability(?) to construct a better democratic country. However other players (USA, China, Pakistan,…) think they ought to be actively involved in Sri Lanka which they consider THEIR BACKYARD, for China Sri Lankat is another of its Municipality ( Autonomous region, Special administrative region, …. for example Port City, Hambantota, soon Veyangoda, …. and SJ has no qualm about Chinese controlling the entire universe, black hole, milky way, ….).

            The new problem will be Taliban Taking over Afghanistan, having reached an agreement with China (which does not interfere in internal matters), the next causalities will be parts of Pakistan, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, Western Hindia, Sri Lanka, ……… and Southern India, … It could destabilise entire South Asia with its battle hardened redundant ISLAMIC WARRIORS, from Middle East and rejuvenated Asian Jihadists.

            • 3
              0

              I think best would be to hand over the country back to colonial maters. But the problem if any colonial masters would be ready to go for it since it is now filled with debt mountain not as it was left by them in 1948.
              .
              And Today the country is also filled with EEs and it ll be much easier to become a Somalia than a Singapore 🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃🐃

            • 5
              0

              “SJ has no qualm about Chinese controlling the entire universe, black hole, milky way, ….).”

              SJ is a funny guy ……… the slipperiest eel I’ve ever encountered. :))

              He’s great comedy ……… I love him like a brother!

              • 2
                1

                Nimal,
                “SJ has no qualm about Chinese controlling the entire universe”
                Have you heard the proposition that if Adam and Eve were Chinese, they would have eaten the serpent, and we would be still in Paradise?
                You figure SJ knows something we don’t?

                • 4
                  0

                  old codger

                  SJ must be an embittered, nihilistic teenager.

                • 2
                  1

                  OC,

                  “Adam and Eve were Chinese”

                  Chinese didn’t become the largest race by waiting around twiddling their thumbs ……. their ladies are the best at something

                  But don’t think ol’ SJ is interested in that ……… he’s more the intellectual type; does all the lovemaking in the mind! :))

                • 0
                  0

                  OC
                  The eating the serpent comment was first made by Mark Twain. (I quoted him elsewhere here.)
                  “Adam was but human—this explains it all. He did not want the apple for the apple’s sake, he wanted it only because it was forbidden. The mistake was in not forbidding the serpent; then he would have eaten the serpent.”
                  *
                  Recently I read this from Dennis the Menace:
                  “Dad, if God made everything he must live in China”
                  *
                  Possible conclusion:
                  God settled in China after he realized his folly of advising Adam wrongly.
                  (Would he have tasted snake meat by now?)

              • 4
                0

                nimal fernando

                “I love him like a brother!”

                Yeah, he has not grown out of his teenage fantasies, he still loves Siri Mao.
                I am told he is a poet, author, writer, grammarian, a pioneering reformer of Tamil alphabets, anti capitalist, a lover of Mao and his Red Book, he does not see, hear or speak anything bad about Mao, China, …. including Chinese greed for land, resources, market, …………….. He just dismisses as being mere Western Propaganda, ant Indian, ………….. Can you fix him as Pavithra’s speech writer?

              • 0
                3

                Thank you for your love brother eel.

        • 3
          0

          nimal fernando

          Please watch the following discussion:
          How China Became Capitalist: A talk + Q&A with Dr. Ning Wang
          ONLINE DISCUSSION featuring Dr. Ning Wang, moderated by Aneetha Warusavitarana

          https://www.facebook.com/WatchmanLK/videos/1244201456018786/

          • 5
            0

            Native,

            I saw this coming …….. in the mid 80’s their professors were sitting in our freshman engineering and computer science lectures. They were smart but held behind by SJ’s Mao’s Cultural Revolution and the rest of the antics ……..

            Deng Xping was very popular with them ……. and to a man they all hated Mao.

            Dont expect SJ to tell you that! ……. Mao is more popular among the SL-Peking-wing than in China. :))

            • 1
              1

              Brother eel,
              what are you wriggling about?

      • 13
        2

        nimal fernando

        Take care yourself from the pandemic, clan and their white vans, and Chinese. Above all go easy on dumb asses. The reason being according to Mark Twain ” Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” –

      • 1
        0

        Nimal great idea, get this Eagle ‘mutt’ Eye something to do. All the circuses have closed down and no job for him as a clown, so he comes here to waste his time.

    • 21
      3

      Easiest way out of pressure from UNHCR is to hand over the named war criminals to stand trial at the ICC, and start process of reconciliation with Tamils on the basis of justice.

      • 5
        26

        Dr. Gnana Sankaralingam
        “…hand over the named war criminals to stand trial at the ICC,…”
        —–
        Tamils decaled war against Native Sinhalayo and committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by massacring Sinhalayo for three decades. Most of the hardcore LTTE cadres who committed war crimes are hiding in foreign countries under new identities. Unless these countries cooperate with the Government of Sri Lanka it is not possible to hand over those war criminals to ICC.
        *****
        “…start process of reconciliation with Tamils….”
        —-
        Have you ever heard victims of war starting reconciliation process?
        There will be no reconciliation unless Tamils who declared war against Native Sinhalayo apologize for the crimes they committed against Sinhalayo.

        • 19
          2

          Dear EE,
          .
          See above. You’ve won yourself an articulate supporter in nimal fernando who wants you to wing your way to Geneva.
          .
          Please ensure that all your papers are in order and pack your bags.

          • 7
            0

            Sm,
            I ll bet u EE would nt respond to you as usual. Bastard is being paid by Pakse clan for such a long time☹☹☹☹☹☹
            .
            The EE or the like traitors are plentily available in our hell yet today despite the fact they now proved Gota s capabilities are not it’s all cracked up to be.
            .
            Pinguththarayas that wanted a Hitler be elected are speechless today while innocent people fall dead due to lack of govt ‘ s ill management 😉😉😉😉😉

        • 1
          0

          Eagle ‘blind as a bat’Eye, then why haven’t you charged Karuna amman and Pillayan who massacred 600 surrendered cops? Aiyo what a dumb ass!!!!

  • 6
    36

    The colonists are gone but the West still thinks it knows what is best for the Third World. Human Rights agreements are signed under subtle duress by Third World governments who are then held to account for not keeping them.

    • 31
      3

      It is not a question of the West and the Third World. Under our law, all deaths of human beings have to be accounted through inquiries. We have had several rounds of killings, mostly by the state of both Sinhalese and Tamils. The simple proposition is that these have to be accounted for. If the UN bodies are requiring it, they simply assert what should have been done under our law and our religions.

      • 6
        8

        C
        The case for accountability is strong. But it is not accountability to a group of oppressors.
        Why do not we talk about accountability in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and many more all the way back to Vietnam and Korea?
        *
        The UN is a disgrace when it comes to dealing with Western (especially US) aggression.
        The General Assembly is a talk shop. The SC either does the bidding of the US or is bypassed.

        • 8
          0

          SJ,
          “Why do not we talk about accountability in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and many more all the way back to Vietnam and Korea?” This is Colombo Telegraph.

          • 4
            5

            A
            I know that CT has its bias, but has it forbidden mention of any specific country?
            I doubt since, if that was the case, the CT’s policy statement would have been plastered over my comment.
            *
            PS.
            Have I said something to hurt your feelings? If so, I express my deep regrets.

        • 5
          0

          Austin Fernando
          and, if he (nandasena) is also genuine, which I believe is so, I see a light at the end of the tunnel.
          ————
          Genuine? Haha

        • 8
          1

          Anpu

          SJ types:

          “Why do not we talk about accountability in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Libya and many more all the way back to Vietnam and Korea?”

          You know SJ can see, hear and speak only the evil of the west.
          Why does not he see, speak, and hear evils in Tibet, Hong Kong, Mainland China, … and its arms sales to all those countries where China considers perpetrating human rights violation is internal matter, supported Pol Pot, now canoodling with new and improved Taliban while subjugating Uyghurs Muslims in internment, supported Sri Lanka with its arms sales and loans, …………………… China helped itself with interest from loan, employment for more than 30,000 at a given time, …………….. now has caught Gota (earlier, Ranil) by his b***s , …..

          As far as SJ is concerned China could do no wrong, and believes the present form of socialist capitalism will eventually cause the state to wither away (Marx), a path to eventual Socialism.

          • 9
            0

            NV
            “As far as SJ is concerned China could do no wrong, and believes the present form of socialist capitalism will eventually cause the state to wither away (Marx), a path to eventual Socialism.”
            .
            This is what my friends and colleagues from Africa ( Nigeria, Uganda, Ethiopia and several other states in that continent) keep questioning today.
            And the Chinese are clever at hiring their agents across the globe today 😉😉😉😉😉.
            .
            The harm the Chinese are making is not yet palpable to the world. They suck the last blood drop of the developing nations by fooling stupid leaders like Rajapakshes…
            GOOD BLESS SRILANKA 🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨🤨

            • 8
              0

              leelagemalli

              Will Taliban educate China and SJ, let us wait and see.
              Will SJ learn from the changes taking place through out rest of the world? Once a Mao’s b***s carrier always a Mao’s b***s carrier.

              Hope you enjoy the following clip on China:
              https://www.facebook.com/WatchmanLK/videos/1244201456018786/

    • 3
      2

      The West want to pluck out liars and destabilisers.

      The Hindians, Chinese too are included in these liars and destabilisers, it seems.

      So no cover for you and no hard feelings.

      By the way, how is your 3 billion Trinco deal going on with the US?

      • 4
        6

        KA
        “The West want to pluck out liars and destabilisers.”
        That is interesting.
        Are they short of hands?
        Or is it because their teams under-performing?
        They will urgently need a few in Peru and perhaps Chile.
        Brazil can wait for some time.

        • 2
          0

          Austin F is discussing about this part of the world.

          Anyway, since you expanded it to scope of global scale, this is snapshot what I have come across.

          I think the US do not need any formalities to do anything in its backyard.

          How the West can pluck all over the world at the same time (LSE) is being shown to every one as we discuss.

          Russia and China are also supposedly putting up some shows too.

          By the way, do you know that China’s win-win is actually China-win-you-loose at your own costs. So, every body now closed for China’s win-win.

          You can come to your own conclusions about whom are short, long or plenty of hands, performance etc.

          • 0
            5

            KA, you made this interesting observation:
            “The West want to pluck out liars and destabilisers.”
            I did no more no less than to seek clarification.
            If you do not want to talk about it, I will not embarrass you further.

            • 1
              0

              What Chili , Peru or Brazil have to do with Sori Sinhala Lanka? As the Tamil saying goes, trying to bring goats herd into cows herd or vice versa.

              However, you need clarification as to whom are destabilisers in those part of the word you are interested in.

              So, in your view Brazil do not need it because it is politically pro US. Even if so, then that is Brazil’s choice. Yet, China is one of biggest trading partner of Brazil.

              The others (Chili and Peru) you mention with Columbia and Ecuador are now collectively opposing Chinese fishing fleet illegally fishing, trawling and destroying their marine environment. They are trying to resolve it in civilised ways, and the ball is in China’s court.

              Taking clue from what China does in SCS, they are scared that China will make marine territorial claim in their own exclusive economic zones.

              In thin information age, you think others do not even brush across what’s going in other parts of world.

              How ignorant can you get?

              • 1
                1

                You said “The West want to pluck out liars and destabilisers.”
                *
                I was only wondering why they want to pluck out such experts.
                *
                If you do not know, I will not further torment you with questions.

                • 0
                  0

                  You and I have different perceptions of destabilisers. That is fine.

                  Even if I do not know, why any one want to discuss destabilisers in South America in relation to Sori Sinhala Lanka, to which Austin F’s analysis connected to. They are not even qualitatively same issues in South America.

                  “I was only wondering why they want to pluck out such experts.”

                  Why any one want to leave destabilisers to their own?

                  Paksaas (and Sori Sinhala Lanka) are considered to be liars and destabilisers in this region.

                  Without going too much further away like your South American jump, China is considered destabiliser in SCS with China’s artificial Islands and imaginary 9-dash-line in SCS.

                  So, how do you expect the rest of the world react to China with respect to China’s imaginary 9-dash-line SCS. Internally too, China is a liar and destabiliser in Xinxiang Uyghurs. Yes, we know that your piecemeal questions about Xinxiang Uyghurs (like did any other Muslims bothered about Xinxiang Uyghurs, who are too Muslims). It is China that is reporting vast reduction in birth rate and natural population growth of Xinxiang Uyghurs.

                  Since you have brought it up, what about China’s destabilisation in those South American countries? Answer this if you have any honesty before thinking about tormenting me, if you can. You never expected, this would come up as destabilisation in South America.

    • 6
      1

      Svenson,
      Your Reference, “The colonists are gone but the West still thinks it knows what is best for the Third World. Human Rights agreements are signed under subtle duress by Third World governments who are then held to account for not keeping them.”
      Trying to understand, the above, in other words, we Sri Lankans consider or should consider it as not necessary to adhere to Human Rights by inherent conscience, but only because, the former colonists and the Western Imperialists wants or stipulates to follow?
      What happens to the Buddhist precepts Svenson?
      That was long before the west and colonialist, realised and pronounced basic human right, I may say, which came from the East to emancipate their civilisation, and weaned from being hunter gatherers.
      Mohangadharo/Harappa civilisation had better living standards than he west at its peak.
      So we do not need to live according to western civility and culture, because ours is better and human rights is a basic precept of Buddhism, pronounced by Prince Siddhartha, the Gautama, The Buddha.
      Following the HRC code as laid out to all is not following western culture, but following our own Buddhist concept.

    • 6
      4

      Svenson
      True that colonialism has transformed into neocolonialism.
      But what have we done to shake it off?
      *
      If we have our house in order, no outsider can do much harm.
      How did we allow ourselves to come to the situation where others feel free to threaten invade if not invade?
      We know that the pressure has little to do with human rights. But we make ourselves vulnerable by our lapses.
      To shake off UNHRC and others, we need to unite the majority of all nationalities.
      Is there serious intention to do so?

    • 1
      0

      Svenson,
      Your reference, “West still thinks it knows what is best for the Third World. Human Rights agreements are signed under subtle duress by Third World governments”
      On the contrary, they are only prodding, reminding and prompting the respective governments to follow the laws of your own country. Law of accountability to the sovereign people, whose security, is their responsibility. Which it seems one has conveniently or otherwise forgotten to abide by, in time for last 12 years, under one pretext or other!
      Whether the agreements are signed under duress or not is totally irrelevant/immaterial to the issue.
      Fact of the matter is that SL has forgotten or ignored to remedy the situation 12X4 = 48 times!
      Why are we being so lackadaisical in discharging our responsibilities?
      Get it done and finish it off in time, rather than going round in circles, blaming everyone else other that yourself, blundering and faltering like a drunken sailor.
      Millions of blistering barnacles! Why is it so complicated to understand this simple matter? Resorting to blame game or deflecting with Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria et all.
      Sri Lanka is the focus and we need to resolve it, and get over it, forever.

    • 5
      1

      By 2014, the international community sadly believed Sri Lanka was an irresponsible, inert state
      ————
      The island has been ruled by a bunch of criminals who only specialize in racism and stealing.
      So irresponsible defines them perfectly

  • 23
    3

    It is 12 years now since Mahinda agreed to the resolution. People can go through the unending list and see whether Rajapaksas have genuinely committed in solving any one of them, which they agreed.Since giving empty promises two sec generals have come and gone whereas Rajapaksas are now targeting those minorities who are not Tamil. It does not mean RW is any better/sincere/ committed , but has the ability to work with U.N in taking some pressure off temporarily.

    • 9
      4

      Ranil Wickremasinghe as usual played double game. On one hand Sirisena was publicly saying that he will not hand over anyone for trial for war crimes, RW agrees to abide by UNHCR order but not carrying them out. RW knew about Easter bombings and wanted it to take place to ease pressure off from UNHCR. You cannot hoodwink them for ever.

      • 1
        0

        “RW knew about Easter bombings and wanted it to take place to ease pressure off from UNHCR.”
        ha ha ha.

    • 4
      12

      Chiv,
      “Rajapaksas are now targeting those minorities who are not Tamil.”
      —–
      Can you please tell what Rajapakshes do targeting minorities who are not Tamil?

      • 7
        1

        Evil if you really care, you should be going to Geneva and making your case, instead of fooling yourself here in CT. By the way, get a good pair of glasses and hearing aids before going there.

  • 22
    3

    “Pohottuwa” Government as usual start to talk about reconciliation/ removing or reducing the PTA Laws around this time to deceive the International community.Meanwhile colonising the North and East of the country and strengthening the Government forces GRIP of the Tamils. —which can be like kneeling on the neck of TAMILS.

    • 6
      15

      Naman,
      “Meanwhile colonising the North and East of the country…”
      —-
      Sinhale is the Land of Sinhalayo and Vedda Eththo. Saying that Native Sinhalayo are colonizing their own country is absurd. The truth is Tamils who came to Sinhale from Hindusthan are occupying land belong to Sinhalayo in NE where Sinhalayo lived for thousands of years.

  • 32
    1

    ” The ball is in the court of the Pohottuwa Government. “
    I don’t agree with it. The ball is in the court of Buddhist Sinhala. Buddhist Sinhala people should understand that the current state of this island is the mistake of theirs. They were continuously mislead by their political and religious leaders. In a civilised culture understanding of true Buddhism is essential and no one be a threat if Buddhist live honest to Buddha’s teaching. You should love people, not hurt people. This island is now under the threat of internal conflict and external conflict. This is what you wanted?

    • 4
      19

      Ajith,
      “You should love people, not hurt people.”
      —-
      Sinhala Buddhists demonstrated their love for people by accommodating the people brought to their country by colonial rulers and abandoned them in their country and refugees who faced persecution by Portuguese.
      You know very well who hurt Sinhala Buddhists who welcomed those who came to their country.

    • 9
      3

      Well said! Ajith,

      The ball is in the court of Buddhists.

      It is not on any political party whether UNP/SJB or SLFP/SLPP or any future political party likely to be formed to contest elections.
      The country expects a lot from the Maha Sanga and the Sinhala Buddhist intellectuals.
      The time has come for the Buddhists to be on the side of all people irrespective of their race or religion.
      It is not to outmaneuver UNHRC or any human rights activists or any international community, but because it is the correct thing to do.
      Once you do it, then only there will be a just society where law and order prevails and human life is celebrated and the country will be Buddhist not only in name but in reality as well.

      • 3
        15

        srikrish,
        “The ball is in the court of Buddhists.”
        —–
        The ball is hanging in the same place as before.
        LTTE was not only anti-Sinhala but anti-Buddhist. They targeted Buddhist monks e.g. Arantalawa and sacred places of Buddhists e.g. Dalada Maligawa and Sri Maha Bodhiya. They did exactly the same things done by Dravida invaders who invaded Sinhale 53 times.
        How could heinous crimes like this help to create their dreamland ‘Eelam’. Don’t try to clean your hands by passing the ball to Buddhists.

    • 5
      1

      Ajith.
      It is not only by crook politicians /SB FANATISM but also media mafia.
      .
      Gota came in to being as a leader not because he has all the talents but media made him a fake talented personality..
      .
      MAHINDA became a saviour not because he loves the nation but media put him above
      .
      POST TUTLE IS THE DEFINITION.
      .
      NOW GOTA HAS PROVED IT THAT HIS CAPABILITIES ARE FAKE.
      .☹☹☹☹☹☹☹☹

  • 4
    3

    Nothing happens.

    UNHRC had resolution in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2021. Nothing happened.

    Just some hope for the hopeless.

    • 8
      1

      G
      Thank you for not invoking your divide by 3 formula.

  • 1
    6

    All investigation must be done like the MP Rishad Bathiudeen’s domestic helper Nathong matteras but the facts. Without them, the science of criminal investigation is nothing .

  • 7
    2

    The truth of crimes against Tamils is on record:-
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_violence_against_Tamils_in_Sri_Lanka
    The majority regime should accept the crimes committed and seek forgiveness.
    Next, adjust the constitution so that Tamils will have equal representation in the affairs of the nation.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffna_Kingdom

  • 4
    19

    Guys who are suffering from ‘Defeat-Syndrome’ after declaring war against Native Sinhalayo and faced a humiliating defeat have no other choice other than to keep on repeating:
    ‘UNHRC Saranam Gachchami’ (I take refuge in UNHRC).

  • 12
    3

    Ajith
    who said that buddhist live in srilanaka not living honest to buddha’s teaching. Theay follow the teaching of buddha 100%.you can observe the following.

    more than 75% eat beef.
    more than 90%consume arrak or bear and poor drink kassipu.
    from collupitiya to katharagama on galle road you find maasage centers providing sex.
    please check the record at ward no 33 STD ward in colombo you find 90%coming for treatment are so called buddist.
    normally they do not break eggs on poyadays but break the head of others on poyadays.
    THEY BECOME REAL PURE 100% BUDDIST ONLY ON POLITICAL PLATFORMS.

    • 8
      3

      Sunday sill Monday kill

  • 2
    0

    lol

    The sideshow.

  • 5
    17

    Mr.Fernando,
    “There are so many unanswered questions. But the demands made on behalf of the victims are still alive.”
    —–
    In 1976, separatist Tamil politicians adopted Vaddukkodei Resolution to create a separate State and declared war against Sinhalayo. Adhering to the request made by Tamil politicians to take arms and fight until their objective is achieved, Tamils fought against the Sri Lanka Armed Forces and resorted to terrorism to massacre Native Sinhalayo. The Governments made several attempts to arrive at a negotiated settlement but Tamils refused to cooperate with the Government and continued with the war to achieve their objective of creating a separate State within Sri Lanka which is a violation of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. As there was no other choice to prevent breaking the country and ending Tamil terrorism, the Government decided to eliminate Tamil terrorists using Sri Lanka Armed Forces and did that in 2009.
    So, can you please tell us who are the victims of the war initiated by Tamils and what are the demands made on behalf of the victims?

    • 5
      1

      Eagle Eye,
      Only a moron like you would pose a question like the one you just did!
      If you know the credentials, background and the experience of the author, Austin Fernando – he is not going to respond to some low level nippers like you

      After watching you spew out venom on this forum, I am convinced that when Robert Knox said: “the Cingalese are a cunning lot who mistake the low-level cunning they possess to be a high level of Intelligence,”- he came to that conclusion after meeting your ancestors!

      Therefore, keep boxing on, old boy.. make your family name proud!!

      The rest of the intellectual Sinhalese will steer clear of you and your ilk.

      • 1
        5

        The Ugly American,
        May be I am a moron but I posed a valid question. It is up to Mr. Fernando to answer the question or remain silent. Why the hell you want to put your bloody nose in to this?
        —-
        “Only a moron like you would pose a question like the one you just did!”

  • 8
    1

    What a day is to Duminda assumes his duty as chief for housing…..
    I heard in EU if you have criminal record you can’t serve public,not even to drive bus,taxi etc …..
    We always says it’s blessed land…by whom…..looks like we carry big baggage of ….

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.