25 September, 2020

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Human Rights Consciousness Is Gripping The World – And So It Must Be

By Shyamon Jayasinghe –

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

Many amongst us seem to be unable to grasp the true importance of human rights. The notion just surfs over our consciousness as something abstract or out there-perhaps in a Platonic world of Universals. Self-appointed patriots of Lanka- especially the humorless types living overseas- who are burdened with the self-delusion of ownership of the island- simply hate anything associated with the human rights discourse. With the run up to the Geneva meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in March this year government leaders are nervous about the whole idea. Yet, leaving specific sensitive situations apart, the notion of human rights or “HR,” is simply about the basic dignity of you and me as individuals. Let’s ask ourselves the question: ‘shouldn’t we be allowed to live in dignity, in security and without fear?’ At this point an abstract concept becomes a live reality.

We are witnessing today a revolution in global consciousness about human rights.  By that I mean that pursuing the goal of human rights is essentially a modern phenomenon. Human civilization has no doubt erupted in the past with numerous brutalities and unkind treatment to fellow beings. Slavery was regarded as acceptable and even fashionable among the affluent in the West. Persecuting dissent in religion or politics was normal. Remember the Spanish Inquisition? Beating down Aboriginals and hunting them down in the bush was something of a sport in the Australia of the past.  Sri Lankan critics of HR are in the habit of citing such instances to scorch the Western powers over the UN rights issue. What is wrong about such a critique is that all those actions had been part of the spirit of the times or the moral zeitgeist of an era. Such behaviors are now rejected as unacceptable and even abhorrent. The line has been drawn between the old era and the new and we have to honor that. Those in power among the diverse human collectivites called countries or nations cannot be allowed to continue in such abusive behavior. Human civilization must move ahead.

I am not saying that the Western powers are not guilty of HR abuse even today. They certainly are. Particularly after George Bush’s “war on terror,” America and its allies were open to such allegations. The US naval base at Guantanamo Bay was the scene of torture. The invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan raised our eyebrows. Hopefully, all this would soon be forgotten as a reaction to the grave Nine Eleven threat to the survival of the United States of America and to European civilization.

Probably one line of defense for the Sri Lanka government may be to make an equal and convincing claim of the threat by the LTTE to the survival of the population-both Sinhalese and Tamil. This is better than a stupid claim to “zero casualties.” The government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) sorely needs a great advocate; it needs to replace Rottweiler attack with that advocacy. Of course, GOSL would have to investigate the alleged incidents and punish those who resorted to criminal acts out of combat necessity. An essential repertoire of the new global consciousness is the laws pertaining to the conduct of war. Those who deliberately violated such laws and shamefully acted in excess must be brought to book by such a GOSL investigation. For example, whoever butchered Prabhakaran’s son had engaged in an unforgiveable criminal conduct. His son was an innocent youngster who didn’t share the father’s insanity. The sins of parents cannot fall on kids. In the meantime, the government must reestablish the rule of law, prevent new HR abuses and approach genuine reconciliation without believing that the setting up of army camps in the North could solve the problem of the need for Tamil dignity.

Let’s get back from our digression to return to the revolution in global consciousness. Had General Pinochet’s atrocities occurred just fifty years before they did that would have been ignored. Pinochet wrested power from the elected government of Chile in 1973 and thereafter he engaged in a series of tortures, murders and disappearances of thousands of political opponents. In 1923 there was no torture treaty, no Amnesty International, no genocide covenants, no BBC television. Spanish courts in 1923 would not have indicted Pinochet for torturing Chileans in Chile and Britain would not have extradited him back to Chile to face trial.

As way back as the year 1215 the world had the famous British Magna Carta or the Bill of human rights. Even further back in ancient times the major religions embodied the core values that underpin modern human rights consciousness, namely “the dignity of the human being, their equality of fundamental worth, their need to live in the community with respect and empathy from others,” their need for individual liberty, security of life and so on.  Thus the core values have been all along part of humanity’s cultural mores. The sharp difference, however, is that in the past most cultures saw such values typically as duties whereas today we perceive them as rights. These cultures “emphasized the community more than individuals and enforced them more by authoritarian compulsion or by social ethos than by law.”

The revolution in global social consciousness may be said to have originated and evolved during the half century after the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich. Atrocities still take place but the hard fact is that the need for human rights protection has been accepted as top priority by the supreme world body-the United Nations. A whole and huge gamut of laws and conventions at both the international and regional levels have grown and proliferated. The Universal Declaration of Human rights and related covenants are merely the core of a vast corpus of international law. The latter includes, for example, widely ratified treaties on the rights of children, of women, of refugees, racial discrimination, genocide and torture. There are also a whole heap of mechanisms set in motion for implementation of HR. These include reporting mechanisms, monitoring devices, public hearings, special mediation, investigative bodies, complaint procedures, economic sanctions at bilateral and multilateral levels and so on right up to the option of military intervention.

All this is, however, still work-in-progress. Violations continue to erupt as we live in an imperfect world. Yet, the global revolution in human rights consciousness is unstoppable and all humanity must fall within its catch-all scope sooner or later. Technology has endowed man with devices for the rapid spread and dissemination of information and for their education and enrichment. The revolution of consciousness will ride on the growing power of technology. It ought to be so. For you and I deserve to live as free individuals, enjoying this only life of ours in dignity, security and comfort. Sans such basic assurances human life would “nasty, brutish and short.” We cannot allow plastic dictators to govern our lives for their advantage. What right has one man or a coterie to hold a population under their grip with the force of acquired arms? Individuals must decide their fate by being able to freely elect governments and overthrow the latter when they get rotten.

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Latest comments

  • 7
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    Shaymon Jayasinghe,

    Thank you. This, Human Rights and dignity, is something the Religions forgot and the Monks, Priests and Mullahs forgot in order to maintain their hegemony, or to promote their dogma in cohort with the politicians, or those in power.

    “The line has been drawn between the old era and the new and we have to honor that. Those in power among the diverse human collectivites called countries or nations cannot be allowed to continue in such abusive behavior. Human civilization must move ahead.”

    Yes. The UN and the rest of the world drew the line in South Africa and with help of ANC and the late Mr. Mandala, South Africa has better human rights today than it had 50 years ago.

    UNFORTUNATELY, this cannot be said of Sri Lanka, despite the world moving towards better human rights. Sri Lanka is infested with Religious dogma, racism, Imaginations of Sinhala Buddhist Monk Mahanama, who has distorted Buddhism, and the resulting chaos we have been living for the past 100 years. The monks, the politicians and their goons are making hay here, as we have seen since Independence.

    A really sad situation in Sri Lanka. We are far from an Egalitarian society with respect for human rights in this 21st century.

    Should Buddha return today to Lanka, he will be shocked at the bastardization of his teachings by the so-called Sinhala Buddhists, and the other practices, written up by Ms. Shamani Serasinghaa, of Dec 21, 2013.

  • 4
    4

    It is simply astonishing that Mr Jayasinghe, a man presumably in his 70s or 80s now, has totally failed to understand the ‘real’ nature of the human rights fraud imposed by the American British and other European crooks on the world.

    He seems to be proving his credentials as a ‘potheygura’ only, by failing to recognise that the “human rights” are nothing new as he seems to have found out lately, (since the 1215 magna carta!) and it is just another tool in the ‘bag of tricks’ used by the imperialists to undermine the developing world – It adds to gender, ethnicity and poverty based fighting they fuel in order to keep the global poor fighting amongst themseles and remain poor, so that they can rob the poor of their resources and to control them.

    Mr Jayasinghe would do well to ask himself the question as to why the people who are trumpheting these values keep committing the most heinous violations around the world on a daily basis. Think of India, Hroshima, Dresden, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan and other events.

    It may be a good idea to strive for “Samma Ditthi” by all of us in our twilight years. Falling for the flowery corrupt values of imperialists is certainly not the path to correct vision.

    • 5
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      Let Sri Lanka start imroving its behaviour to set example to those who are committing crimes.
      We should stop our indecent behaviour and not keep saying others are behaving indecently.

    • 0
      2

      You got it right.

      shyamon does not know what he is talking.

      simply the age factor.

      • 0
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        No Jim Sooty,

        It is not the age factor. It is simply the race factor. You are a low level Racist Sinhalese and you let your hate cloud your judgement and you cant rise above it. How sad but thank God after March 2014 we would have partered company and I cannot wait.

    • 2
      1

      So long as imperialists help us finance our deficits, import our produce and give weapons and intelligence to crush our rebels we are prepared to lay red carpets to them. They do not need our help to thrive on their own if necessary to use gun boat diplomacy. They preached non violence to the oppressed and after helping us to destroy our dissidents they want the cause of the conflict annulled so that next time around there is no need for them to lecture. The third world leaders want to keep the pot boiled to continue with the familial rule. Otherwise it is not a big deal to let the judiciary function independently and the minorities enjoy their rights without encroaching on the day to day lives of the majority. Let the religious minorities say their prayers and practice their language, that is human rights. We deny them their rights with white van abductions and torture camps and bark on the ‘imperiealists’ when they want something in return for their favours.

    • 5
      1

      I do not think that you read the article in full. What is your idea of human rights? Should Sri Lanka set examples of Human Rights or perpetrate equal or worst crimes in competitions of the other nations? What is your point in jettisoning the authors points when you have nothing whatsoever to offer? Basically, you want the world leave Sri Lanka alone so the Sinhala Buddhist Hegemony project can be completed without any hinderances!

    • 0
      2

      This is a stupid old defence of Asian tyrants that the west uses human rights as a political instrument when in modern times, the fact is that Asian tyrants kill their people in massive numbers in times of peace. Hiroshima, Dresden etc took place in times of war. It is the peace time, internal atrocities of the Asian tyrants that one is concerned with. Asian leaders like Lee Kuan Yew sought to justify their misdeeds by cooking up the Asian values debate. Asian history is full of grim events of Asians being inhuman to their fellow Asians. You have to read the Mahavamsa to find examples but it is not the only source.

      Human rights are universal. Its present manifestation of tyrants killing their own people to stay in power presents a problem for Sri Lanka as well as other states like North Korea and China. Human rights law will increasingly device accountability mechanisms that ensure that such tyrants are tried and punished. It is the only deterrence against tyrants like the Rajapakses.

      • 0
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        No need for big talk.

        Question: Who vapourised 5 million innocent Japanese in 1 second ?
        Answer: The US. Biggest Human Rights violator in human history.
        Comment: They now preach human rights to the whole world.
        To some of our ‘less informed readers’, they are god like.

        • 0
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          Hafeeze,

          “Question: Who vapourised 5 million innocent Japanese in 1 second “
          ?

          Know the facts. It was close to 250,000 people. How many did the Japanese kill in World War 2?

          First, get an education in History. European History, Middle East History, Japanese History, Indian History and Chinese history.

          You will notice that the the world history over the past 500 years was intertwined with Colonialism, Imperialism and other atrocities.

          World Wars 1 and 2 were essentially, Colonial wars between colonial powers, and US joined late, because they were attacked by the Buddhist Japanese. Yes, the Buddhist Japanese did dill over 10 mullion Buddhist Chinese and Koreans. The Christian Nazis, also killed about 50 million people.

          Whatever it is, thank the Nazis, for weakening the Colonial powers ,that helped to gain independence for the former colonies in Africa and Asia.

          • 0
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            Thanka Amarasiri….

            Did well-informed Hafeeze say, “To some of our ‘less informed readers’, they are god like”? Happy 2014!

          • 1
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            Amarasiri

            I learned this method of estimating casualty numbers from the UN !

            (take the real number. Multiply it by any number plucked from thin air)

            So according to your sense of ‘human rights’ it was OK to vapourise 250,000 INNOCENT civilians. The Japanese killed many American and British sodiers and NOT civilians.

            As per your history lesson, re last 500 years:

            Barbaric Spaniards decimated the Inca and Mayan peoples of South America.

            The Portuguese were equally fanatic barbarians. They impaled on their swords the infants of families that refused convert to Catholicism.

            The British ordered the killing of all males over the age of 10 years, at Wellassa. In India the British Murdered hundreds of civilians taking part in a peace march.

            But my dear Amarasiri, The US tops the list in the sheer cruelty and barbarism of the act….When there was NO need …the war was nearly over…Yet the wanted to demonstrate their prowess to the Russians.

            Nepalm bombing in Vietnam – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2153091/Napalm-girl-photo-Vietnam-War-turns-40.html

            Millions of people in Iraq

            Drone attacks in Afganistan

            THE LIST IS ENDLESS… !!!!

            What you don’t get Amarasiri, is that NONE of the other countries go around PREACHING human rights to others !!! But the BLOODY US does….. as if they were ‘whiter than white’

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission says it has received more than 550 complaints of torture during this year, and most of the cases concern the police. (from BBC Sinhala)

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/sri_lanka/2013/12/131230_lanka_human_rights.shtml

  • 6
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    The Concept of Human Rights as understood in the western world is not without its different global interpretations. Hence there is a need for agreemnet on a less detailed summary of the key elements that needs to agreed on by all countries. Basically the right to live equally and freely without harm or threat to life and property needs to be guaranteed for all human beings.

    “The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948 by a vote of 48 in favor, 0 against, with eight abstentions: the Soviet Union, Ukrainian SSR, Byelorussian SSR, People’s Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, People’s Republic of Poland, Union of South Africa, Czechoslovakia and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Honduras and Yemen, both members of UN at the time, failed to appear for vote.

    In the Bangkok Declaration adopted by Ministers of Asian states meeting in 1993 in the lead up to the World Conference on Human Rights held in the same year, Asian governments reaffirmed their commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. They stated their view of the interdependence and indivisibility of human rights and stressed the need for universality, objectivity and non-selectivity of human rights.

    At the same time, however, they emphasized the principles of sovereignty and noninterference, calling for greater emphasis on economic, social, and cultural rights, particularly the right to economic development, over civil and political rights. The Bangkok Declaration is considered to be a landmark expression of the Asian Values perspective, which offers an extended critique of human rights universalism.

    Most Islamic countries have signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other human rights agreements. In 1948, Saudi Arabia abstained from the ratification vote on the declaration, claiming that it violated Islamic Sharia law.However, Pakistan (which had signed the declaration) disagreed with and critiqued the Saudi position.In 1982, the Iranian representative to the United Nations, Said Rajaie-Khorassani, said that the UDHR was “a secular understanding of the Judeo-Christian tradition”, which could not be implemented by Muslims without trespassing the Islamic law.

    On 30 June 2000, Muslim nations that are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (now the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) officially resolved to support the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam,an alternative document that says people have “freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah”, without any discrimination on grounds of “race, colour, language, sex, religious belief, political affiliation, social status or other considerations”. As a secular state, Turkey has signed the declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and other European Human Rights agreements.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

    Since then there have been varied interpretations and changes in countries around the globe. Authoritarian states tend to justify HR violations on the basis of sovereignity.

    Human Rights should not mean the right to create chaos and bloodshed nor to impose the will of a dictator. Even in the default it would be better to adopt peaceful means of restitution rather armed revolt and bloodshed resulting in even more HR violations and an untenable situation.

    This is where the International Community and UN needs to assert a more positive role in applying pressure on delinquent nations and rulers to comply. At present the reaction from the UN and International Community is too slow and too late, resulting in widespread abuses and suffering. The position of th UN needs to be strengthened by removing the right of veto by a select few in the security council. It would be good if an International Court of Justice be established where even an individual could file exparte against a major infringement of human rights.

    • 2
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      Very valid and relevant oints are raised. Thank you, Safa.

    • 0
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      Safa, Thank you for the informative comment. But, the Bankok Declaration is not an Asian declaration. It is a declaration of ASEAN states. Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia (under Suharto at that time) and to a lesser Malaysia and Thailand are virtual dictatorships which justify their dictatorships on the basis of economic development (just like Rajapakses in SL, perhaps). It is not exactly proper to regard the ASEAN Declaration as Asians. Asians have aspirations for political rights. India is that land in which most Asians live. South Asians generally are strong on political rights and do not subscribe to the idea that political rights can be suspended in order to achieve economic progress. Indira Gandhi tried that argument and was rebuffed. MR tried that argument with the people on the North and was soundly defeated.

  • 0
    2

    Does this Mr Jayasinghe spend the same amount of time and effort to highlight and restore the HR of his new relos in his adopted land?.

    Descending from the Balangoda man, Sinhalese are genetically and physically closely related to the Aboriginal people except the few instances when the foreign invaders soiled our Genetics pool or should we say Semen Bank to be politically correct.

    Even old Rama is on record saying that Yakshayas or Yakkos from Lanka came and pinched his princess.

    • 1
      0

      You are in fantasy world now! If you were to strip out all the genetic foreign pool from the Sinhala, you will have nothing mate. Please, you need to get real and try and live in the real world for a change.

      • 0
        0

        No, Burning Issue, These buggers need more and more Ganja. Their semen is already tainted with Pol Arrakku and Kasippu. So, they love to elope themselves in fantasies.

        Like MR is depicted as a king….I mean it should F—King.

    • 1
      0

      Sumanay try and stick within the limits of your intelligence.

    • 1
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Descending from the Balangoda man, Sinhalese are genetically and physically closely related to the Aboriginal people except the few instances when the foreign invaders soiled our Genetics pool or should we say Semen Bank to be politically correct.”

      We know you are mad, what we didn’t know was how badly you were sick.

      You don’t need to contribute to this comment thread if you are not really well. We won’t miss you.

      Have some Vellala Ulunthu Vadei from Saiva Kadei which might or might help you to sleep.

      Happy holidays.

      For you people every day is happy holiday if your wife is working in middle east keep you fed and drunk.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,

        Your lot were happy when the poor Sinhala and non Vellala Estate Mums and their daughters were cleaning dried up skid marks in Colombo Elite, Anglican and Vellala toilets.

        Entertain the the naughty boys and even their frisky dads when the madams were away.

        All these for left over meals, no proper clothing and not even a proper place to sleep.

        Obviously you must be upset about the supply shortage now plus the fact that they they are asking at least LKR 5 to 6 thou per month and proper meals and accommodation as well.

  • 2
    0

    Yes, Safa. Sri Lanka is a delinquent nation that has to forego its sovereignty. People live in fear of the RRRR
    Happy New Year

  • 0
    0

    Pl continue writing. I have read some published only in Ravaya translared by Yahapalanaya Lanka.OTHER SO CALLED N A TIONALNEWS PAPERS REMAIN SILENT

  • 0
    0

    An expert in the law, tested him with this question:

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”

    Jesus replied, ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul,and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment.

    And the second is like it.Love your neighbor as yourself.All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    -Matthew.22.-

  • 1
    0

    Well said Shyamon. The basic is that none could run away from HRs. It is best that any corrective actions are taken– sooner the better. We have enough of guidance in HR literature and UN conventions that could be looked at if pathfinding is required.
    Best wishes for 2014 too!

  • 1
    0

    Human Rights has become the chastising tool of our age and is seen as the great leveller. Most of our politicians, lawyers, writers and commentators get distracted with what others have been or up to instead of concentrating on the HR problems IN Sri Lanka where NOTHING has been done in the last year. Let’s hope that in 2014, WE instead of resorting to second-hand accusations on the affairs of other countries, get down to making some real progress prosecuting the myriad cases at home.

    • 0
      0

      HR problem will not get solved until such time people care about it. Do our people care about HR? If they do, why is it that they keep electing people like Mervin Silva, Susantha Punchinilame, Duminda Silva, and so forth? When people keep electing them, no matter which party comes to power the leaders of the parties will end up over looking their abuses because come next election, they have to rely on these men to win the election. Now why is it people do not care about HR? Because they have bigger issues trying to make ends meet every day. In this country people don’t have money. They don’t have jobs, houses to live, food to eat, education for their children, healthcare for themselves which are all bread and butter issues more important than human rights for the ordinary man. They would most certainly go after anyone who would give them some support to get this needs full filled even if the politician happens to be a drug dealer! Human rights is a major issue for people who have managed to solve these basic needs. That’s why most vociferous advocates of human rights are in the developed world. Sadly, the biggest abusers of human rights are also in the developed world.

      In 1996, Madeleine Albright the US secretary of state was asked about Iraqi sanctions. “We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” and Albright replied “we think the price is worth it.”!!!

      Then again how can people forget UK MP Siobhain McDonagh’s famous words “We cannot constrain our troops by telling them, ‘You fight now—we’ll decide whether you were right to fight later.’ We cannot tie their hands behind their backs.”. Did anyone in the British parliament condemn these remarks?

      Does Obama care about human rights when he fires hellfire missiles using drones into Parkistan? Where are the trials, evidence, against those in the kill list of obama? Who says they are terrorists? Just because Obama administration says so do we accept it as such? Then why do we make such a fuss when Gotabhya does the same thing? Has the UN human rights comissioner done anything about this? Is there anyone including Parkistan who is bold enough to bring a resolution against US in UNHRC against drone strikes? What about Guantanamo Bay detention camp? While US is very vocal that Sri Lanka provides unfettered, unrestricted access to UN Special Rapporteur to all detained persons, does US provide UN access to Guantanamo Bay camp? NO they don’t. Furthermore, Navi Pillay and Ban Ki Moon are quite cool about it. No fuzz nor cries, no growls nothing. Compare this to the noise they make about Sri Lanka?

      Without acknowledging the real issues its just pointless talk about human rights.

  • 0
    1

    Who cares………..
    It just boil down to mere words………….So then, is this Human Rights?

    Human Rights enforced on the developing country are apparently not HUMAN RIGHTS practiced by the Developed Countries.

    How does one explain what Human Rights are to all across the board?

    • 0
      0

      Thondamanaru you idiot:

      Two wrongs dont make a right. So get it into your Racist Sinhalese thick head otherwise we will force it down your nostrils.

      • 0
        0

        What lovely language this writer has.

        “So get it into your Racist Sinhalese thick head otherwise we will force it down your nostrils”

        At least let’s give the buffoon some credit. He has a username that matches well with his temperament – “Kali” – The mother of all killers.

        • 0
          0

          Salgado,

          It looks like the medicine has worked. We have been at the receiving end up to now and we are not prepared to take it lying down any more. By the way my language is simply stating facts and if it has hit the raw nerve so be it and you lot practice and preach hatred and we dont.

  • 3
    0

    Human rights is not a phenomenon owned by West or East. It is about human values and recognition of that values. Why we have a law and a justice system? Breaking a law is considered as a crime. Is torturing your wife is acceptable if some one else tortured his wife? Raping your sister is acceptable if someone else sister was tortured? The law and justice system is to investigate and punish the one who committed crime and give justice to the victim. It is the law and justice system has to decide the truth, not others. The law and justice system should be applied appropriately and transparently.

    We don’t need to investigate because it is forced by West. we need to investigate because it happened in our soil to our citizens. Who will have to investigate the murder of Sunday leader Editor Lasantha? Did we investigate that murder case according to the law? Is it wrong to investigate and find the murderer? Didn’t your court investigate Pirapaharan and sentence to death? Didn’t your courts investigate former military commander Sarath Foneska? Why should not we investigate the murderers of Lasantha?

    Why do we need the government, ministers, constitutions, police and judges if they are not doing their duty. Are we going to get rid of these institutions because they are from West? Are we going to get rid of Bread because it is from West?

    • 1
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      Ajith, You are right. Human rights is about living with the good and the right human values. Because many defy these values, countries adopt laws to curb such abuse. Which is why in Sri Lanka we need the rule of the law. When the government too defy such values, the law is made powerless and the citizen is subjected to human rights abuse. Simple to solve, but it has to start from Mahinda Rajapaksa. Now there lies the problem. Mahinda is not a true believer in human rights, just a pretender.

  • 2
    1

    An excellent piece of writing, Shyamon. Those who are indifferent to HR help foster a cruel society where child slavery and child sexual abuse takes place,where rape is allowed,where kidnapping takes place, where women are harassed, where education is denied, where persons are jailed without proper trial, where workers are sacked without cause shown and proved and so on, where writers are hacked to death for writing against the government. When DR Merv tied a public officer to a tree it was a violation of HR and when MR ignored the incident it was another violation.

    • 1
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      Agree with you Dr.Vidurapola. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is making people more and more cruel resulting in ‘bad’ people fast outpacing the ‘good’ people in the country. He is legitimising corruption and cruelty.

    • 1
      1

      Idiots are a disgrace to PhDs becoming very cheap day by day.

      Human RIGHTS became a issue for the Church and the Western exploitation.

      Donkeys are braying for that.

      • 0
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        Why did Sir Pon Ramanathan travel to UK? What had he done to honoured by the Sinhala people when he returned to Colombo…?

      • 0
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        Jim you half baked English ( Jim ) the above is a self appraisal. You have never been to a School other than a Sinhalse Madrasa run by Monks paid for by BBS.

  • 3
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    Sri Lanka has become a pariah nation because of the RRRR regime that is consistently violating HR. It now faces genocide charges. The restoration of the rule of law is a must if we can even dream of HR implementation. But MR will not do that because then he will be under the law and cannot employ his mafia and thugs.The Marxist parties and the Cheevaradhariyo are liabilities.How can a Tsunami Adhara Hora think of HR. The writer is wasting his time.

    • 1
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      Prem Vydyaratne,
      Yours is the most sensible comment so far,on SJ’s article.
      You state the reality in sri lanka.
      Any rational educated citizen knows what human rights are.
      To enforce human rights,firstly the Rule of Law must prevail.
      Now this has become the “rule of/by the family” protected by the idle expensive army and the brutal police which has the most number of deaths of citizens in custody in the whole world,which the Justice System appears powerless to inquire into.

  • 1
    1

    THE neglected WAR CRIMES ISSUE BY TAMILS LIVING OVERSEAS.

    “On the LTTE, de Maio said that it had tried to keep civilians in the middle of a permanent state of violence. It saw the civilian population as a `protective asset` and kept its fighters embedded amongst them. De Maio said that the LTTE commanders, objective was to keep the distinction between civilian and military assets blurred. They would often respond positively when ICRC complained to the LTTE about stationing weapons at a hospital, for example. The LTTE would move the assets away, but as they were constantly shifting these assets, they might just show up in another unacceptable place shortly thereafter. the US Mission to UN informed Washington.

    The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The Confidential cable discuses what had happened on the ground during and since the conflict. The cable was written by the US Ambassador to Geneva Clint Williamson on July 15, 2009.

    After a meeting with Jacque de Maio, ICRC Head of Operations for South Asia on July 9, 2009, the US ambassador Clint Williamson wrote De Maio said it would be hard to state that there was a systematic order to LTTE fighters to stick with civilians in order to draw fire. Civilians were indeed under `physical coercion not to go here or there,` he said. Thus, the dynamics of the conflict were that civilians were present all the time. This makes it very difficult to determine though at what point such a situation becomes a case of `human shields.` “

    • 0
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      Jim Sooty,

      The War Crimes Tribunal is alive and kicking and dont forget you idiot it took 7 long years to bring Milosevic to Justice. We have three more years to bring MR to Justice and do you know God is begining to turn the Screw and his son was lucky to survive and nexe time he wont be so lucky. Basil is now terminally ill and Sri Lankan Airlines is no longer safe for any one to travel and next Time when MR takes to the skies he will be counting every minute just like those in Nanthikadal when he bombed them out.

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    This is a welcome article. The human rights cascade is unstoppable.So is the enforcement of principles of human rights protection through notions of accountability. We know that European and American leaders who violated human rights seldom travel out of their countries. Thatcher, Bush, Kissinger , Blair are closeted within their countries, travel being possible only to certain states that assure immunity. The world is moving fast, a fact that the Rajapakses, in the arrogance of their power, do not realize. What the LTTE, no longer in existence did, is no reason for the liquidation of civilians by a state. Advocacy will not provide an escape. The getting out of old advocates who bartered away their credentials for career advancement will only sully their names further. The Rajapakses and their military leaders were guilty of genocide and must face trials. They bear command responsibility for what happened after the surrender of the LTTE and the continued use of the army in the suppression of civilian uprisings against their misrule.

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    Jim Softy are you an RRRR supporting racist? Why don’t you read the article properly and respond to its issues?

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    MR and Gota should be taken to Nurembourg. Sarath Fonseka carried out the war according to law until these moronic characters messed it up and dragged the whole country into Geneva. SF is a trained soldier. The brothers wanted to hijack the victory before SF returned from China.
    These two are criminal HR violators. Note how Gota forcefully took over the lands of Slave Island people. This is HR violation. Do you know about MR and Wambotta?
    Criminals have taken over the island and are ruling with other criminals and thugs and liars.

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    Shyamon,
    You mentioned that George Bush’s War on Terror’ as a mere reaction to 9/11. However, when we see differences between year 2000 and 2010..
    *) attacks on foreign lands or air by religious fundamentalists have reduced drastically.
    *) What we see more now are those groups attack each other within their countries, this is not improvement of human beings, but I guess this attributed to US, UK measures taken after 9/11
    *) airport taxes jumped from roughly from $50 to $400 in early years of 2000 and stay constant at that rate…
    Are the above and related changes in the last 10 years are By Products of War on Terror or were they real motive of War On Terror?
    Anura

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    While human rights may be modern in actual life, it has ancient roots in art.
    Sophocles Antigone ( about 450 BC)is an example – The human right of a sister to the body of her brother (declared a traitor by the state and condemned to rot in the open or float down a river similar to the Kelani Ganga). Antigone insists that she has the right to give her brother’s body the funeral rites of family. This play has led to an understanding that each person in a state has been recognized by the evolution of civilized thought to have a unique individual identity as well as individual human rights, some of them believed to be derived from a bestowal prior to and above the state these individuals belong to.
    A more subtle situation is the discourse between Arjuna and Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, about the slaughter of thousands in war, as duty, argued by Krishna and countered by the conscience of Arjuna about the taking of life.
    Amartya Sen argues that one cannot isolate the Gita from the Mahabaratha. That the tragic desolation that the post combat and post carnage land is facing towards the end of the Mahabaratha can even be seen as something of a vindication of Arjuna’s profound doubts. Arjuna’s contrary arguments are not really vanquished.

    Many centuries later Robert Oppenheimer, who led the atomic bomb project , quoted Krishna in the Gita when the terrible explosion happened, but later, on reflection , he acknowledged Arjuna’s concerns.

    So, while pursing the goal of human rights is essentially a large and welcome phenomenon, the concept seems as old as civilized art, and it could not have come into art unless the concept existed in actual ancient life, east and west, and suggested itself at that time only in the elite way Nietzsche saw – ” The truth is ugly: we have art so as not to perish from the truth.”

    Shyamon Jayasinghe’s article should not only be given wide publicity but also translated to Sinhala and Tamil.

    -Azdak

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    You cannot expect HR from MR who has proved to have a hardened heart. Vindictive and ungrateful man who grew up with Wambotta and Chandi malli. He put SF in jail. He illegally removed the CJ. He is like Kim Jon Un of North Korea who recently executed his uncle, “to preserve the revolution.” What revolution? The people are starving. He did nothing when Sunday Leader Editor was cut into pieces on his way to office.

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    “he did nothing when Sunday Leader editor was cut into pieces on his way home”-you say Gajaman. That is because he was behind it. To lay off suspicion he gave a breakfast to the editor a few days ago with his deceitful smile and the kurakkan patiya round him. An underworld rascal-this bloke is. He will be found out before long. That day is coming this year

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    Shyaman Jayasinghe is – I don’t know what kind of [Edited out] he is.

    He is talking about a Human right consciousness.

    This [Edited out] does not want to understand that, at present, HUMAN RIGHTS are a POLITICAL TOOL of the Western GOVTS and the CHURCH.

    So, they give Funds to NGOs to promote HUMAN RIGHTS in western way in the EASTERN BLOC.

    That is Australian aborginies are eating their own S$$$$hit and NORTH AMERICAN NATIVES are dieing on their own $$$$$hit. Westerners talk about human rights in other countries.

    I wrote a comment to this [Edited out] Shayman Jayasinghe. I think, he assumes that I am just biased towards him.

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      Jim Sooty are you competing with ela kolla and Fat ” Mama”

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    If your sister or wife is raped by a UPFA Provincial Councillor and if you are denied access to the law on that because the politico is powerful then this is HR violation. You like it?

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    Don’t mess up “Human Rights” with using Human Rights slogans that use for political reasons to control countries that west cannot control.

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    Hanuman why not answer the question Reerie Yaka has posed Jim Sooty?

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