During the last few weeks, much has been talked about the Geneva resolution which was presented on March 23. I felt it as my duty to speak about this as the Minister of Foreign Affairs at that time when Sri Lanka along with the United States, United Kingdom and 40 other countries co-sponsored the 30/1 resolution on Sri Lanka.
If we are to go back to the beginning, it was on May 23, 2009, just a week after the conclusion of the deadly war with the LTTE, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, came to Sri Lanka on the invitation of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
In the joint communique which was issued at the conclusion of this meeting, the two sides agreed to conduct an inquiry into the alleged war crimes and the alleged human rights violations in the country. Within four days of Mr. Ban Ki-moon’s arrival, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva called a special Session on Sri Lanka to discuss the situation here.
For this Session, Sri Lanka very hurriedly presented a resolution to the UNHRC, the 25/1 resolution of March 2014 on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka and to undertake a comprehensive investigation into the alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties.
In fact, this resolution, if it would have been implemented, would have been quite good and that is why the majority of the international community hoped Sri Lanka would be bound by their promises and therefore, 29 countries voted in favour with 12 voting against.
In 2009, 29 countries supported Sri Lanka where they even promised an accountability mechanism to look into human rights violations, talked about improving the human rights situation here and even talked about the 13th Amendment for the first time in an international forum like the UNHRC. They got 29 countries to support them but unfortunately from that point onwards, like all other promises of the Rajapaksa era, they didn’t bother to implement many of them.
And that is why the trust within the international community kept decreasing and in 2012, 29 fell to15 in terms of the countries that supported the Sri Lankan government. In 2013, only 13 countries supported us. In 2014, the UN Human Rights Council passed the Sri Lanka resolution by a vote of 23 to 12, with 12 abstentions.
And this time, we saw again that our support base has fallen to 21 countries and most of them are autocracies who are more interested in hiding or protecting their atrocities than supporting Sri Lanka.
So it is in this context that I went to Geneva as the Minister of Foreign Affairs just a couple of weeks after the election. My first visit was to meet my good friend and who I call my sister minister, Sushma Swaraj Ji. On the very day I was sworn in, I was in India meeting her and then I went to Geneva to meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. I made a very special request from him not to go ahead with the 2014 resolution because according to the resolution as the first report of that resolution was to be tabled in Geneva in March, 2015.
Fortunately for the country, the government changed on January 8. I was there in February I believe and we got them to agree not to table that report in March and instead we requested time till September to submit our own resolution which will cover the question of reconciliation and accountability. In fact, I told Prince Zeid quoting from our manifesto of the presidential election, item 93, “Since Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Statute regarding international jurisdiction with regard to war crimes, ensuring justice with regard to such matters will be the business of a national independent judicial mechanism.”
So we said, give us a little more time until September where we will present our resolution for a national independent judicial mechanism and the Prime Minister along with a group of top level experts drafted this resolution and then we invited the US Ambassador and UK High Commissioner to co-sponsor this resolution.
This whole idea that we sponsored a foreign resolution is an utterly misleading lie. We managed to get the powerful countries to back us and each and every word in that resolution was approved by President Sirisena. For example, President Sirisena’s speech from February 4, 2016 and I quote, “I clearly state that we are facing these resolutions to protect the pride and dignity of our country, our people and our security forces and also to make our tri forces to be internationally renowned armed forces. We should face these resolutions with patience, discipline and decorum so that our country should be respectfully recognised by all international organisations including the UNO and all states in the world.”
These are the very words of our president and as a result, Sri Lanka got the friendship and the support of the whole world. In fact, when our joint resolution was presented in Geneva in September, not one country opposed it. Now this time when an investigation was initiated in Geneva, Pakistan and China got up and opposed that. However, all power blocs supported us in 2015. We had the support of the USA, the European Union, the UK, Japan, India and most of all China and Russia. Forgive me for saying so but I believe this was one of the golden moments in the history of foreign policy in this country. Whatever anyone says, I will challenge them anywhere to argue that this was actually a golden moment where we stuck to our words carrying out a balanced foreign policy which all countries appreciated.
That is why we achieved so many rewards but the three which come to my mind at the moment are that we were able to secure the GSP + concession again for Sri Lanka which we had lost a couple of years before. With the direct intervention of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and myself in Geneva, we managed to get the Green Card for the fishing community of Sri Lanka to sell their tuna fish in the European Union which was banned under the earlier regime. Also, after having discussions with Samantha Power, who was the US Ambassador to the UN, we requested that our Army again be submitted for peacekeeping matters. We were admitted and I believe even today, there are members of the armed forces gaining quite high salaries working in the peacekeeping forces.
Sri Lanka was celebrated by all the countries. I know for a fact that during our time, President Obama used to call Sri Lanka the ‘good news country’. I still remember in 2016 when we attended the G7 summit in Japan. After the main meeting, President Sirisena was invited and we went in and sat down in advance before the other world leaders arrived. I was seated behind President Sirisena and it still brings me tears when I recall how every leader who walked into the room and once they saw President Sirisena, they walked up to him and shook his hands and then went to their seats. Obama, Cameron, Merkel, Trudeau, Abe and all the leaders of the G7 first came right up to the Sri Lankan head of state and shook his hands and then started talking about the issues.
That was the kind of acceptance we managed to build within such a short time but unfortunately, we have lost it and now those who made Sri Lanka feel loved by the world are being called traitors and those who actually did the treacherous work are pretending to be patriots.
So finally, all I have to say is that the people of this country are not to be fooled by grandstanding, not to be fooled by the same old lie being repeated over and over again, to use your intelligence and to please listen to what others are saying and then decide who the real traitors are and who the true patriots are.
Watch the remarks by former Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the Press Conference held at the Solis Hotel on 31.03.2021 – English:
Nathan / March 31, 2021
Respectful Mangala Samaraweera,
People wish to put the blame on politicians; I beg to differ. 70+ years is long enough for our people to own up to their guilt.
CT reaches those with some proficiency in English; most of them hardened racialists. Take it direct to the people.
SJ / April 1, 2021
“CT reaches those with some proficiency in English; most of them hardened racialists.”
Thank you, N.
Nothing can be truer.
Not only that, many are nasty and vicious.
Sinhala_Man / April 1, 2021
I gave “Likes” to the comments of both Nathan and you, because it is true that racists exist now among all groups of people, irrespective of the languages that they speak, and of their apparent sophistication.
However, you generalise too much. I’m not a racist myself, nor do I think of myself as either nasty or vicious. The same is true of many other Sri Lankans.
By generalising as you do, you make it ever more difficult for ordinary village folk like me to support some of the very few decent politicians in our country like Mangala Samaraweera.
Native Vedda / April 2, 2021
“CT reaches those with some proficiency in English; most of them hardened racialists. Take it direct to the people.”
Apart from Ravi Perera, Eagle Eye, N Perera, Siva Sangaran Sarma Menon, Kali and few others, rest of the readers are reasonable, who as usual will not proactively oppose the evils of this island, however heart to heart they are good people, but so lazy all of them have arm chair generals.
The worrying trend is that saffronisation is taking place in the North East too hoping that Hindutva would take care of Southern Saffron thug while Hindutva has other ideas.
Soon to be released Battle of Saffrons.
Soon to be felt, farmers will run out of land to farm, as farming land is being illegally grabbed by the Southern Saffronistas. We will be compelled to import all our essential food from China. SJ will be proud and happy.
Mahila / April 1, 2021
H E Sirisena does not remember anything, including the “Appa” he ate at Temple Trees, thanks to MR and the number of eggs, to boost his move from MR Government to Yahapalanaya. He is the cause. He also claimed in April 2015 or thereabouts that he did not see the resolution 30/1, that was submitted. He then forgot in October 2018, or thereabouts that he was wreathing with fear on the night of 8th January 2015 of being sent 6 ft underground and installed MR as his PM, forgetting he ever experienced mortal fear of the defeated MR Cabal. Therefore, I believe that Sri Lankans forget as someone said in 2 weeks time. What is important though that a person – if to be called that respectfully occupying the Office of the Exalted position of Executive President can have the ability to “forget conveniently” in couple of months, what he agreed to, I do not blame the voters of SL, forgetting the tragic period of post Tiger 2009 to 2014, and voting back the same Cabal after 5 years. The citizens have excelled in that respect. Do not blame them. All in all, the citizens deserve their ‘just’ Leaders and they have it since October 2019 and August 2020, with or without 2/3rd Majority.
Mahila / April 1, 2021
Remember the days of the dare devil “Maru Sira” of yester year, a much feared condemned criminal who escaped repeatedly and forgot how many times and who helped him to escape conveniently. That was entertainment during the teens. we now have more important people to deal with the same trickery.
Post 1978 elections, and on to 1983-1989, SL voters resolved never to give 2/3 majority to ensure consultative parliamentary process and against dictatorial government and the good citizens fell for it. Good/bad memory or “do not care attitude”. you make a choice. They get what they deserve, such is the determination of God almighty and so be it, though I feel for citizens and their sorry state and deteriorating and appalling situation gravitating to Anarchy. What more evidence you need than the US$ down from 185.00 to 202.00 SL Rupees in just about about 14 Months, to the impending adventure. I could hear the New found Proletariat or now named” Patriots” screaming that it is traitorous to talk about impending Anarchy. That’s what happens, Ladies and gentlemen, when people do not have affordable food. I am sure seasoned politicians Including MR, the Humane and seasoned politician understand that, except the tuition teacher turned politician would still advocate 2400 rupees should be sufficient to exist “comfortably”.
KP / April 1, 2021
Indian government made a statement to the March 2021 UNHRC as conveyed by its ambassador Indra Mani Pandey. In describing the position of India, the ambassador said it stands on two pillars: “Support for Sri Lanka’s unity and territorial integrity is CONDITIONED by an abiding commitment to the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity.”
What is noteworthy is India then repeated the same message in a pre-vote statement prior to the vote on the Resolution on Sri Lanka. It said: “India’s approach to the question of human rights in Sri Lanka is guided by two fundamental considerations. One is our support to the Tamils in Sri Lanka for equality, justice, dignity and peace. The other is in ensuring the unity, stability and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. We have always believed that these two goals are MUTUALLY SUPPORTIVE and Sri Lanka’s progress is best assured by simultaneously addressing both objectives.”
I cannot recall India ever linking the two issues before, and then to express its position so explicitly and publicly. That is, if Sri Lanka carried on failing to fulfil the aspirations of the Tamils of Sri Lanka for equality, justice, peace and dignity, India would not be able to guarantee Sri Lanka’s sovereign nation status.
Mallaiyuran / April 1, 2021
You have put the Indian Ambassador’s talk in proper perspective. Its can be said that India no longer want to save Lankawe in UNHRC-UN, or if China or other form of aggressors get involved, India would counter by an military intervention. Then the Tamil’s solution wouldn’t maintain Lankawe sovereignty That was the reason Lankawe arrested 54 TN fishermen and was forced to let them go, latter. That was a real slap on the face of the FAM, Communist Denesh. Another blow for the Rear Admirable was yesterday Chennai police was chasing a Southern smuggling boat. They couldn’t return, so they ran to Kerala to hide. But the Chennai police followed and arrested them all. What is the Lankawe Police doing in Lankawe about narcotics while India had the first hand information and followed the boat in high sea. The question is “if the AK 47 found in the boat was sold by Avant Garde?” Remember the Kanthalai Sugar Factory case? India caught Son-in-law red handed in the hotel, while his agents were taking bribe. Now many cases India had cracked in Lankawe. Biggest 4/21. To revenge back, Lankawe hire dead Pulastini in hand of Rapist Army, or Kerala David, a mental case as the RAW agents for Lankawe court dramas.
KA / April 2, 2021
Why are you falling for empty talk of Hindia?
Hindia in covering up the genocide is not even making pretension.
Even a child know Sovereignty and territorial integrity as Sinhalese and Hindia perceive it is guaranteed for all practical purposes.
On the other hand every thing Tamil is open for Sinhalese and Sinhala State to assault and destruction by any options Sinhalese and Sinhala State wish.
Genocide of every thing remaining Eezham Tamils in not-so-violent form continues with Hinda’s blessing.
There is no violence because one side has no capacity for violence, and not the will.
One thing is Hindia is silent about war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide because it is the primary partner with Sinhala State against Tamils at the least in the ethnic slaughter of Tamils.
Frankenstein monsters and Genocidal Hindia RAW and all who can exercise power or make decisions are actually enjoying the haplessness and helplessness of Tamils in the Island.
Hindia wants complete destruction of anything-remaining Tamil, especially Eezhalam Tamil in non-violent way now because it is the most desirable outcome for geopolitical interests.
M. R. Narayan Swamy, a RAW agent and public face by the role of journalist has been open about that.
What options are left to Tamils?
Either watch and do nothing of their complete destruction.
Or do something. What is it?
Tony / April 1, 2021
First of all, why the hell does Sri Lanka need a resolution??????
Cosponsoring may have been a tactful ploy to get the bloody UNCRC off the back. But it has harmed Sri Lanka’s pride and sovereignty greatly.
The UNHRC resolution is based on lies! The Tamils started illegal, criminal and a barbaric war by killing unarmed soldiers and now they must learn to live with the consequences.
Native Vedda / April 1, 2021
“But it has harmed Sri Lanka’s pride and sovereignty greatly.”
First can you explain where did your pride originate, where it is located? ….
What is sovereignty, how did you get it, where do you keep it, what one can do with it?
Sinhala_Man / April 2, 2021
It is only now that I noticed the link that you had provided for me here:
Yes, enjoyable, and the English subtitles helped. But there’s a far more serious article that has come from the same KDU:
I know that you cannot afford to get stuck there. There are hours and hours of listening. Your value as a guy who flits here, there, and everywhere may not allow you to take more than a cursory view of all that.
Mahila / April 2, 2021
Your comments are the best and well appreciated.
Native Vedda / April 2, 2021
Thanks for disseminating news, views and information.
Mahila / April 2, 2021
Very Good questions indeed.
Q2 The answer is best at being robbed from Kuweni and her followers, with the advent of the Prince from the Bay of Bengal and the coterie of 700.
Mallaiyuran / April 1, 2021
I don’t have time to challenge the World Greatest liar Mangala, line by on his tricks. I put it in one line:
Mangala trying to show that by defeating his government in the 2019,2020 elections and taking over the power by pretending that they are the patriots, the Royals have brought a great disadvantage to Lankawe. He is liar. There is no disadvantageous to Lankawe in this resolution. Many those who understand only contending that Communist Dinesh didn’t make any change by withdrawing from Mangala Period resolution, because this and that are similar, but in this less War Crime focus but more on Royal government atrocities are focused. Liar Mangala is trying to tell Buddhist Sinhalese that his time resolution was better for Lankawe than this. If Mangala had taken to learned Sinhala Buddhist or Tamils, They would have explained what gains are for Buddhist Sinhalese on this. Of cause Sinhala Buddhist Royals who claimed that UNHRC cannot bring any resolution without their co-sponsor, now are seeing their foot in their mouth. Everybody agree Tamils didn’t win either. The only categorical winners are Buddhist Sinhalese, though they minority like Tamils & Muslims. Mangala only pathetic a liar, lied to all Western countries that he and Ranil had fulfilled 80% of Resolution 30/1. Now the whole country is under the hand of South Asian Hitler.
a14455 / April 1, 2021
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Black Lankan / April 1, 2021
If SL is hell bent on committing suicide then no one can stop that. SL is one of the leading countries where the suicde rates to so high. So this political suicide is part of the game. No one can explian why these guys falling more and more intot Cheena Trap?
KA / April 1, 2021
The professional liar is now openly accepting the actual plan that it was to drag and finally bury the justice to Tamils in Islands, including addressing war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
To get the time for planning for wriggling out, Mangala, Harsha and every sori Sinahalam lied through their teeth in all international forums and members.
I think it was in 2015, after UNHRC ritual, Mangala addressed an informal political / social gathering some where in South, where he stated that intention of Sinhala State is same, only the methods are different, and that they (good governance) would continue to do exactly what previous government was doing without much fanfare and lime light. Mangala said that liberal face had to be shown to outside word and nothing would change inside.
Then, Ranil brought in China as a hedge against things horribly going wrong, i.e. the West pressing for the sake of pressing.
Hindia does not care about Tamils, and indeed wan
The whole plan, which US, UK and Hindia knew about, is now coming out in the open
Sugandh / April 2, 2021
That’s quite a damning claim that Mr. Samaraweera has been disingenuous and duplicitous. Where did you read or hear of the alleged speech by Mr. Samaraweera post 2015 UNHRC episode? This is the kind of information that needs to be corroborated.
KA / April 2, 2021
There was a Youtube video that was withdrawn.
It was in Sinhalese, I used voice translation to hear what he was saying.
Even if you assume I am making false claim, what impression does the record of good governance (on whose behalf Mangala signed) give you?
KA / April 2, 2021
At that time, I gave benefit of the doubt to what Mangala said.
I thought Mangala was trying to take Sinhala opinion by the spin with good governance in implementing what they signed for.
However, the past events and record of so called good governance proved otherwise.
Sinhala_Man / April 1, 2021
Dear Mangala Samaraweera,
Since I now have a separate subscription for Youtube programmes, I lay only on my bed and listened to the entirety of your speech in Sinhala. Yes, I agree that these are things that must be told to our people in Sinhala, the language that they understand best.
Before that, I had listened attentively to your shorter address in English. Thank you very much for saying all that.
It was sad to see you pulling out of the Parliamentary Elections, but it was the wise thing to do. The truths you have told here don’t go down well with the majority of our people, but I’d like you to know that I whole-heartedly approve of what you said.
I see it as a tragedy that a man like you has not had the chance to lead our country as its President . We’re all getting on in years, and may soon have to depart, but let us do so happy in the knowledge that we have had the courage to speak the truth.
Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V) aka “Sinhala_Man”
GATAM / April 2, 2021
Mangala ruined the UNP too by supporting the UNHRC resolution and paying compensation to Tamil war widows (89,000 of them). Very unpopular in SL and Mangala and UNP paid the price.
Should never have attempted. Rajapaksas are in power thanks to these blunders.
Thanga / April 4, 2021
Mangala Samaraweera is almost a standalone politician on the ethnic issue. Left to him he is capable of finding a solution to the current conflict between the majority of Sinhalese Buddhists and the majority of Tamil Hindus.
Unfortunately, he is alone and could not muster support from his party or colleagues. This is evident by the fact that President Sirisena says he did not see Resolution 30/1 and did not agree to co-sponsorship. It was news to him he claims.
Between co-sponsoring of Resolution 30/1 and its withdrawal by the current incumbent Dinesh Gunawardena in February 2020, there was hardly any progress in implementing the Resolution. The hybrid court was never set up, the Anti-Terrorism Act was never replaced with a more humane and keeping with international standards. Only a much diluted Office of the Missing persons and Reparation for the victims saw the day.
As for the polemic over sovereignty, the constitution makes it clear that it is vested in the people, which includes the numerically smaller population of Tamils and Muslims. But in practice, sovereignty has been usurped by the majority of Sinhalese since independence.