7 July, 2020

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Convicted Criminal’s Pardon Highlights Sri Lanka’s Lack Of Rule Of Law & Reinforces Need To Review Its UN Membership

By C.V. Wigneswaran

Justice C.V. Wigneswaran

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s pardon and release of convicted criminal Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake has very little to do with the COVID-19 epidemic. Rather, it is a political act —showing that Sri Lanka refuses to uphold the obligations it has entered into with the international community and is bent on politicising all aspects of life paying scant respect even to the Judiciary. 

Amnesty International has pointed out that during the Presidential race, Gotabaya campaigned on a promise to ‘acquit and release’ soldiers who had been jailed during the armed conflict. Using whatever pretext it may find, this government is protecting its own and ensuring votes from among the majority ccmmunity at the Parliamentary Election soon to take place. 

At a time when Sri Lanka continues to hold prisoners without charge under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, violating broadly accepted treaties such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Ratnayake’s release is particularly cynical and misanthropic 

The Rajapaksa government’s priorities do not align with its international obligations, nor does it wish for “reconciliation” or an easing of tensions between communities. Sri Lanka has demonstrated the low respect or indeed the contempt  with which it regards both its international obligations and the UN’s recommendations. 

This most recent incident together with Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from co-sponsorship of UN Human Rights Council resolutions show that United Nations member states should now review Sri Lanka’s membership in the UN. 

Ratnayake’s pardon and release clearly expose to the international community the calibre of our powers that be. Even where a Sri Lankan war criminal has been duly tried and convicted of crimes against Tamils, this government has no intention of upholding the integrity of its own judicial decisions. The international community has taken note and will no doubt act accordingly in its relations with the Rajapaksa government. Of course this deliberate act by the President follows the pattern the Tamils in Sri Lanka had been used to since the 1956  incidents on the Galle Face green followed by 1958 pogroms and subsequent pogroms  including 1983, where culprits who committed horrendous crimes have been either not brought before courts or if convicted their punishments not carried out.

The Tamil people have endured much and even their small victories are now being reversed. It is time that the perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide against Tamils be brought to justice at the ICC or at a Special Tribunal designed for Sri Lanka by the U.N.

*Justice C.V Wigneswaran, Ex Chief Minister, Northern Province 

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    UNO human right council should warn srilanka – by imposing new UN resolutions. Instead of taking every possible steps in order to speed up the reconciliation process between tamils and sinalese, president himself to ignore it and do what he and his goons thinks is right is calculated provocation against minority tamily and muslim communities.
    We thought, this guy who has lived in the USA as an asylum seeker for over 15 years or so, going through all the hurdles, but having got the chance to see and experience better systems that developed and civilized world is accessed to – but his reactions even far worst than that of his barbaric brother, current prime minister of srilanka.
    :
    This is beyond all ethics and morals… if I would have been a tamil, I would really feel bad.. the manner this prisoner’s release… has escalated the divisions, to the manner, healing wounds would never find its way better, in the years to come.

    We should punish all those masses making up 69 lacks of people to have voted these bastards and let them come back and ruin this NAIVE people dominated island nation.

    • 1
      20

      Hatharabirikatharina,
      “We should punish all those masses making up 69 lacks of people to have voted these bastards”

      Who the hell are you to punish the people who voted for President Gotabhaya Rajapakse?
      Gotabhaya is not a bastard but a true son of Sinhale from Ruhuna from where King Gamini Abhaya (aka Dutu Gemunu) who defeated Dravida war monger Elara hailed.

      • 14
        2

        Gotabhaya is not a bastard but a true son of Sinhale from Ruhuna from where King Gamini Abhaya (aka Dutu Gemunu) who defeated Dravida war monger Elara hailed.

        What an idiot you should be, not to have grasped it yet. Gotabaya was alleged tobe a high criminal in and out of country. Please read and get your facts.

        • 0
          0

          hatharabiri

          You can say it to Vadmir Putin, Donald Trump, David Cameron, Xi Jin Ping, Narendra Modi & to most leaders of world.

          • 3
            0

            lathass

            What has convicted criminal Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake got to do with “Vadmir Putin, Donald Trump, David Cameron, Xi Jin Ping, Narendra Modi”?

            Did “Vadmir Putin, Donald Trump, David Cameron, Xi Jin Ping, Narendra Modi” murder anyone in this island?

            If you have any problem with ” Vadmir Putin, Donald Trump, David Cameron, Xi Jin Ping, Narendra Modi” deal with them separately. This is about convicted mass murderer Sunil Ratnayake and the victims. In this case they are happened to be Tamil speaking innocent civilians.

            Alright you are well within your right to question another foreigner the American Gota who seems to enjoy US blessing.

          • 0
            0

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        • 0
          0

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      • 0
        1

        Why are spending time spreading fakes history. So Dutu Gamunu came with Portuguese from China to Malasia and from Malesia to Sri lanka? I have no intelegance agency to find out you background and who are bribing you.

    • 8
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      In Sri Lanka there is impunity for killing Tamils, because it has been sanctioned in Mahawamsa which says Tamils are animals who should be killed. There had been several crimes committed against Tamils since 1956, but none of the perpetrators were brought to justice. I had been a medical witness in several cases where members of security forces committed atrocities on innocent Tamil civilians, but Sinhala judges ignored incriminating evidence and took the side of the police and discharged them saying that they were either justifiable homicide or collateral damage. This pardon of a criminal convicted after a lengthy trial makes it clear that no panel consisting of Sri Lanka judges will ever address accountability of war crimes.

      • 4
        0

        Dr Ghana,
        earlier I was reluctant to accept it. Now I do.
        I truly agree with you above.
        Their total indifference and the extremist nature should be the real cause for lanken problems. Today, the nation struggles by having elected abusive men as the leaders.
        I think not just because of loans and corona, but until mentality would turn to somewhat clean, we the srilankens would never achieve anything even if we dream of them.

  • 3
    18

    This is one of the most ridiculous propositions ever, put forward by a supposed lawyer, albeit declining. Can you imagine the degree of ignorance of international law in the proposition put forward by aman who was supposed to be a judge of the supreme court of the country?
    /
    He writes, “This most recent incident together with Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from co-sponsorship of UN Human Rights Council resolutions show that United Nations member states should now review Sri Lanka’s membership in the UN.”
    /
    Firstly, where the fruck did he get the idea that UN membership of countries can be ‘reviewed’?
    /
    Secondly, is his old brain so demented that he can’t see his ‘friend’ and benefactor the Yankee states went to the extent of totally withdrawing its membership of the UNHRC without any consequences?
    /
    This country that allowed a man like him to become a judge of the supreme court should be ashamed of itself!

    • 2
      0

      Machado ? This means you are a low caste Tamil Paravan ( Baratha) from Thothukoodi in Southern Tamil Nadu . Now calling your self as some sort of Sinhalese and beating the anti Tamil Drum against the native indigenous Eelam Tamils from NE Sri Lanka. Most probably you will be still having very close relatives still living in Tamil Nadu. Please Pis- off.

    • 1
      1

      Are you for real? There is no limit to the stupidity and shamelessness of some folk who so effortlessly make up facts to support their agenda.
      Here’s what the UN office at Vienna has published;
      “ Can a Member State be expelled from the United Nations?
      Article 6 of the Charter reads as follows:
      “A Member of the United Nations which has persistently violated the Principles contained in the present Charter may be expelled from the Organization by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”

      Article 5 provides for the suspension of a Member State:
      “A Member of the United Nations against which preventive or enforcement action has been taken by the Security Council may be suspended from the exercise of the rights and privileges of membership by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. The exercise of these rights and privileges may be restored by the Security Council.”“
      Check out unov.org FAQ.

    • 1
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      All members of the UN need not be members of UNHRC, which is an arm of the UN.

  • 2
    13

    Wigneswaran who is today complaining re: Gota releasing a death row inmate is the Tamil who paved the path for Gota to be elected as President. Wigneswaran for his own personal reasons and as a slave of remnant overseas LTTE always attacked the Yahapalana Govt when they were in power. Even when the Yahapalana Govt was releasing lands occupied in the North by the armed forces he continued to attack the Govt and also pass a damning “genocide resolution”. Such for a person to complain today, although Gota is wrong, is hypocrisy.

    Wigneswaran may be well educated and an Ex-Judge, but his common and political sense is below zero. In a democracy the majority rule. This does not mean the majority can shit on the minority, but at the same time minority should know not to provoke the majority in order to get what they want. Wigna on the other hand, to become popular and for cheap publicity started attacking Yahapalana Govt which paved way for the Rajapakes to show the masses in the south that Tamils are LTTE and the security of the nation is in danger. This fueled “Sinhala Nationalism”.

    Wigneswaran’s actions during Yahapalana Govt was also to boost up the relationship between Vasudeva and Rajapakses as Vasudeva and Wigna are closely related through the marriage of their children. As we all know Vasudeva has no voter base like Gammanpilla so they have to hang on to Mahinda’s “sathaka pote”.

    Overall the complaining Wigneswaran was the one who indirectly elected Gotabaya as President by inflaming “Sinhala Nationalism” in the south.

    • 2
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      Bullshit

    • 0
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      Buddhist
      “In a democracy the majority rule but majority cannot shit on the minority, but at the same time minority should know not to provoke the majority.”
      When, how did the minorities provoke the majority?
      Why find fault with the minorities when they have always being subjected to persecution by the majority from the date of Independence in 1947 ever since the day British colonisers left the Island? Is objecting to suppression and persecution provocation?
      What SB democracy are you feigning about here?

  • 14
    1

    Why oh why did Gota do it? Was it simply an election gundu? Will the Sinhala-Buddhist majority buy it or will there be a backlash that this is simply going too far? Do Sajith, Ranil and the JVP have the guts to condemn it, assuming that a backlash is possible? I doubt that but we have to wait and see.

  • 14
    1

    Dear Justice Wigneswaran,
    I agree with you for the most part and I wish I could agree with you fully. Anyone who slits the throats of innocent individuals, tortures or causes them grievous harm must be held to account before the law for the mental and physical well-being of the larger society. That is why Lanka is a sick society with peace and contentment a long way off. Where I disagree with you is that the politics, yours as well as that of the Tamil nationalists at large, has left the Tamils in a weak position to appeal to the world community for justice; justice for the horrendous crimes committed against the community by the State and its armed forces. By glorifying Prabhakaran and the LTTE, you, the TNA and much of the local and overseas Tamil intelligentsia, have deprived the community of the moral right to plead for justice.
    The crimes of the man released from jail, and the institution he represents, have been replicated on a comparable scale by the LTTE, including in pitiless cruelty against the Tamil people themselves. When your political bete noire Sumanthiran tries to open up a discussion on crimes by our sole representatives (as widely heard from political platforms), he is immediately subject to abuse as though by a pack of wolves eager to tear his limbs apart.
    Calls for justice would continue loud and clear from around the world, not just from the AI and HRW. Unfortunately few would give us Tamils ear as long as our voice is suffused with hypocrisy.

    • 1
      1

      ” By glorifying Prabhakaran and the LTTE, you, the TNA and much of the local and overseas Tamil intelligentsia, have deprived the community of the moral right to plead for justice. ”
      This guy supported SLFP & Old Royal government all the time, even before the freedom fight started. He argued here that it is irrelevant whatever the fraud the government is concocting in the “lies Agreed upon” but Tamils should be forced to watch and then only Tamils can be made to feel what freedom of speech is. Now he is arguing that somebody supported Tamils’ freedom war so the entire Tamil community has lost the morality to ask for justice. Is that Nariya politics is what the Christianity preaching? Is that what Jesus’s moral story is telling, where that whoever was thinking they didn’t commit any sin could start to throw the first stone to murder the woman, who was accused of prostitution? Jesus said the sins of woman, who sought justice is irrelevant, but those who come forward to deliver the justice should check them what their sins are.
      For name sake Sumanthiran is running TNA, though he is an UNPyer. This guy is a SLFPyer, lost all ropes to cling there after Slap Party family venture appeared. Father Emanuel is just another opportunist Diaspora, service Aanduwa’s feet for personal benefit goodies. They are forming a team to split Tamils into Christians and Hindus. Here this guy is condemning CV and TNA, but praising Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran went to America with Father Emmanuel to stop America taking any action on Aanduwa. Thus they obtained another two years for Aanduwa to spend on safety wall building against UNHRC. Tamils are politically mature and Tamil Media has broken all these secrets then and there. Two ago Sumanthiran said that if he did not get the Secret Solution, he would resign. Latter, he bent that statement in so many directions to hang around in front of Tamils. Anyway, coming election is the end of Sumanthiran’s political life.

    • 1
      1

      So these boot lickers of the racial government’s guys are creating internal split, just as per the advice of the Aanduwa, to gain a seat for Sumanthiran. Sumanthiran argued that Tamils’ cannot ask justice for Aanduwa’s war crimes because they did ethnic cleansing of Muslims. Here this guy is arguing that the Tamils have lost their moral right to seek justice because they praised Leader Pirapaharan and condemned Sumanthiran. This is the kind of the logic Rajan Hoole, Sumanthiran & Sinhala Buddhist Intellectuals argue. Their one another point is because America did war crime in Muslims countries, the Sinhala Buddhist government gained right to genocide of Tamils. When these all guys repeatedly put this logic in UN related offices, they have been getting replies that if LTTE had done murders it does not justify the government too to do murders; so government must investigate all crimes equally. Sumanthiran who argues that Tamils should give up their Genocide claim because they did ethnic cleansing has never filed a case in any court to get Muslims get justice. The reality is these guys are just the government’s agents, but they are against not just Tamils and Muslims, but not even Sinhalese getting justice from Aanduwa.
      “Calls for justice would continue loud and clear from around the world, not just from the AI and HRW. Unfortunately few would give us Tamils ear as long as our voice is suffused with hypocrisy. “ This guy is writing this comment as a reply for UNHRC HC, talking for justice for Tamils. When Aanduwa withdrew from the Resolution, it bragged in South it as a victory for them. Now, after High Commissioner commented on the Rapist Army murderer’s release, Aanduwa is worried. So it has sent this guy to blunt her speech with his evil logic of that nobody in the world would lent their ears to Tamils because CV didn’t let Sumanthiran to dominate with his games.
      These guys teaching venomous logic forces UOJ youngsters to specialize in telephone raping.

      • 0
        0

        Sumanthiran is a stupid fellow. LTTE chased Muslims out, but those who committed it have been punished by either getting killed in combat or killed after surrendering. Also those Muslims who were displaced and willing to return have been resettled. In law once some one dies. the case against him is closed. In contrast Sri Lanka security personnel who committed crime against Tamils are walking free. Muslims are also guilty of murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils in the east. Unlike Muslims in the north, none of the Tamils have been resettled in their original lands which have been appropriated by Muslims. Therefore to bring LTTE in to say that Tamils have no moral right shows Sumanthiran’s immaturity. This pardon of a convicted murderer is a good point to convince UNHCR that Tamils will never get justice.

    • 1
      1

      Call our country ‘Sri’ Lanka for a change.
      /
      You hold important job at the Election Commission. If you cant refer to the country by its correct name, you should resign pronto.
      /
      Probably perks such as luxury cars and accommodation in posh Colombo suburbs make it not possible?
      /
      Shameless, selfish hypocrit.

    • 2
      0

      Rajan Hoole
      What you have said about Justice Wigneswaran’s and other Tamil nationalists at large is entirely true.
      The shrill chorus of certain blinkered Tamil print and electronic media that yet highlights and support of the LTTE’s cowardly bankrupt bravado that has unfortunately driven the majority community to unite under the two old political regimes of the UNP and the SLFP. The latter was spawned by the former. What is of sadness is some of them are in the pockets of the regime in power and have been given every form of facility.
      It is the desperate leap in the dark politics in the form of a self destructive Vaddu Resolution 1976 and the opportunistic collaboration with the JRJ regime in 1977 that saw the raise of the LTTE.
      Now after the flow of much water under the Kelani bridge, a regime aided by businesses owned and run by rogues and racketeers with loans from banks and the LTTE’s immense stolen boodle from the Tamils a military regime under the SLPP headed by President Gota and his siblings and their roguish henchmen in the Buddhist clergy is in power.
      But the minorities unfortunately are yet splintered and disunited politically and not learnt the lessons of the failed armed liberationists.

      Justice Wigneswaran and his group are not the only group, there are many versions proliferating the N&E of the Tamil homelands.
      The LTTE’s defeat in May 2009 has proved immensely advantageous to President Gota and his sibling’s SB military regime.

      At this moment of time what is of major danger is the corona virus that is rampaging the globe.
      Curfews and lockdowns are affecting all of us humans irrespective of race, religion or class and that at the moment should be our prime concern for survival now. That should be our first priority now. Only if we can live can we survive to fight against discrimination and oppression.

  • 5
    0

    I wonder who will be next.Duminda Silva? Don’t ! I say, because we put your leaders into power, now you seem to ignore us because they have acquired enough resources to do without us.See what happened to leaders in Sudan and Egypt ? There will be a day of reckoning for wrong doers.
    Run the country in a honest and just manner as there are honestly rich people in the world who will spend their money bypassing the so called elected governments and find ways to punish the wrong doers in all nations.They will influence the enforcement and judiciary and make sure we have just society in every nation in this planet. There may be even some scrutiny in the highest echelons in the Western governments. I had sniff of it my self and I was honest about it and was let off.So be warned, unless one get extradited and spend decades behind bars.Ultimately greed with destroy people and even nations.One of the out come of this virus is that it exposed top congress people and senate people who have been noted for buying and selling shares going back a year,perhaps expecting this sad situation to arise,see US $ is strong even with the petro droller is down with the lowest oil price on the market. Honest entrepreneurs are very angry about this situation and so are the people. Hope they find the culprits who invented this deadly strain.I truly feel sad for suffering people and even for animals and nature.
    So run the country honestly and be truthful…

    • 0
      4

      Nimal,
      “Honest entrepreneurs are very angry about this situation and so are the people.”

      Honest or dishonest entrepreneurs do no care whether there is democracy or not, whether there are human rights violations or not. What they want is a stable Government so that they can get maximum profits for their investment. They will not care too hoots for the release of Sunil Ratnayake.

  • 7
    0

    I will be very surprised if Justice C.V.W. Wigneswaran is not hanged for his provocative article by Gota on a recommendation by Sergeant Sunil Ratnayake, Eagle Eye Mahindapala, Wimalweerawansa,Udaya Gamanpilla, Ratna Thero,Gnana Sara Thero and others. A response from Vasi Vasu would be of interest with a follow up from Prof. G.L.P. N

  • 2
    6

    My dear Wiggi, The release of this convict is questionable. But your choice of words indicates fuelling communal animosity thus obscuring many an issue that has arisen out of this. Had you analysed the case as a legal luminary, which in fact you are, then it would have some value. Unfortunately the politicization of this issue highlighting ethnicity by the likes of you only justifies the others to claim that the conviction was political stunt performed by the then “Yahapalana” government to satisfy people like you. Opinion expressed in CT is in one form but there are many a fora that wanted the release of this convict similar to the My Lai massacre convict William Calley.

  • 3
    1

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    • 3
      0

      Thank EE for making it shorter….
      ..
      , give us a break please. You are a pain specially at this critical turning point of lanka and other countries.

  • 1
    1

    According to Wiggy,
    “This most recent incident together with Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from co-sponsorship of UN Human Rights Council resolutions show that United Nations member states should now review Sri Lanka’s membership in the UN”

    This is ridicules!

    And provide an escape route to Gota!

    Sri Lanka will then be outside UN jurisdiction

    Sri Lanka should be within UN, then, only then, Sri Lanka could be made answerable and accountable, and then also the victims could expect justice

    • 2
      0

      The UN’s mandate extends beyond its member states. UN can and does impose sanctions through its member states on non-member states. UN member states can align with a UN resolution and pass laws in their countries to impose sanctions on any state.
      So Wigneswaran is not being ridiculous.

  • 3
    0

    UN membership to Silly Lanka is as good as calling our self Democratic Socialist Republic of SL. What we had upto now is democrazy nationalist SB Silly Lanka. By this the message to the UN 1) go screw your self @) minority lives do not count 3) this is what we call as Silly Lankas Loo and Odor 4) how do you thinh all those people disappeared 4) we pulled out from all those written promises we gave to you, but dont worry next time we will give few more 5) we will appoit a inquiry commission and who knows may even ask CVW as one of the members

  • 6
    0

    …….Srilanka has demonstrated the low respect or indeed the contempt with which it regards both its international obligations and the UNs recommendations….
    says Ex.Judge of the Supreme Court C.V.Wigneswaran.

    Would not this alone constitute the main ingredient to declare Srilanka as a FAILED STATE?!
    Besides it is crystal clear that President Gota has contempt for our own Judiciary!

  • 3
    2

    Sir, the thing is, the international community is unable to determine what exactly you’re trying to say. The red smudge/smear/stain seems to be jarring your human rights shoptalk. Their “Liberal” sensibilities are rather ruffled. They smell/see blood thirsty fascism akin to the BJP, IS, KKK, BBS and most definitely the wound-licking TIGER.

    • 3
      1

      Ajay, your view seems to be the one that is very much jarred. It seems that it is because you are wholly ignorant of the plight of the SriLankan Tamils through the decades predating birth of separatist organizations turned terrorist like LTTE.
      The likes of Sunil Ratnayake in every echelon of this country have facilitated and directly or indirectly committed unspeakable brutality that you have not come near in any way shape or form. If you think suicide attacks of LTTE terrorism was evil, either you have not seen the worst of evil or you think that the Tamils were deserving of the likes of Sunil Ratnayake. No one deserved the brutality of any party.
      The world over, we must treat state run terrorism as the utmost of evil as was in SriLanka and rearing its ugly head again in other ways. When state run terrorism gives rise to armed rebellion, the world is not blind to it and recognizes the root of it.
      I can comprehend Wigneswaran’s stance because of my own real experiences as a Tamil and as a witness to the sheer evil unleashed on the Tamils of this country. Wigneswaran is not playing politics but rather steadfast and staunch every step of the way whether it was during Yahapalanaya or is now during Rajapaksa family rule. Just as well, I am certain that Wigneswaran stands for justice to all SriLankans not just the Tamils.

  • 3
    0

    These Rajapaksa lowlifes have overseen and ensured the tarnishing of the Buddhist clergy and the Sri Lankan military, by protecting bad eggs and criminals within the ranks of the above mentioned, and also directly through their use of these elements to carry out their crimes

    The Rajapakse clan is an utterly disgusting mafia family that has singlehandedly corrputed the psyche of Sri Lanka.

    Ugly racist Rajapakse apologists on this forum like Eagle Eye and S.C. Pasqual, take note…

  • 3
    0

    “Wonder of Asia” no more existed. This Island must be isolateted without delay from civilized world untill Rajapakse & Co. Demolishing.

  • 0
    0

    written by the crazy mayor of crazy town ….

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