31 October, 2020

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Human Rights Council Meeting March 2014 – Another Farce

By Brian Senewiratne

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

Here we go again. It is carnival time (or shopping time or sight-seeing time) again in Geneva as the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council kicks off on 3 March 2014.

Two years ago on 15 March 2012 I wrote an article (still on the net[1]), titled “UN Human Rights Council Meting. Another Farce”.

I started with

This is not a document for easy reading, nor is it meant to be. It is a reasonably comprehensive record of the abysmal record of the UN and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in addressing human rights violations.  

I am not going to repeat this comprehensive article.

A few days ago I was completing another article:

“Sri Lanka. Rape of Tamil women, men and children by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces and their collaborators”.

It is for release on International Women’s Day 2014, March 8.

In the opening pages, I dealt with the various legal and human rights bodies. Here is what I wrote about the UN Human Rights Council:

“The UN Human Rights Council (UN HRC) sits in Geneva every three months. It is just a talk-shop, a political one at that (not consisting of experts in human rights), that does nothing, despite its outstanding Head, High Commissioner Navanethem Pillay.

Pillay is only the Head of the HRC[2] – not the HRC. She has asked for an Independent International Investigation into what happened in the closing stages of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka (18 May 2009) for years. Yet nothing has happened.

Soon after the massacre of Tamil civilians in 2009, UN HRC passed an outrageous Resolution actually commending Sri Lanka!  On May 26 and 27, 2009, a week after the end of the massacre of thousands of Tamil civilians, the UN HRC in a ‘Special session’, clearly sponsored by Sri Lanka, passed a Resolution largely commending Sri Lanka[3]. Human Rights Watch slammed the Resolution: “Sri Lanka: UN Rights Council Fails Victims”.[4]

With a return to sanity in 2012 and 2013, UN HRC passed two Resolutions critical of Sri Lanka but still gave time (a year each time) for rape, murder, ‘disappearance’ and other major human rights violations in the Tamil areas to continue. These Resolutions were ‘watered down’ to make them politically more acceptable so that what was finally passed was quite meaningless. Even these ‘watered down’ Resolutions have been ignored by Sri Lanka.

In a few weeks (March 2014), yet another ‘Resolution’ will be passed on Sri Lanka’s human rights record, and possibly on the need for an International Independent Inquiry. Whether that too be ‘watered down’, I do not know but I think it will be. Even if it not, there is nothing to stop Sri Lanka from doing nothing.   Given the past record, I am not optimistic.

The Rajapaksa junta has already said that an international investigation into war crimes is ‘interfering with a sovereign State’ and that this is unacceptable. It has also said that international ‘meddling’ will ‘complicate’ the issue. That, of course, is arrant nonsense. International action to stop abuse will greatly simplify the problem (and even stop it), not ‘complicate’ it.

In the unlikely event of a powerful  Resolution being passed against Sri Lanka, there is nothing to stop the  Sri Lankan regime from telling the UN HRC to get lost.  As far as I am aware, there are no penalties if a Resolution passed against a country is simply ignored. Without penalties, these Resolutions are useless. People like ‘President’ Mahinda Rajapaksa and his all powerful brother, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Defence Secretary (in reality the de facto President – his brother being only the de jure President), will probably ask the UN HRC to get lost (as they have in the past), or say that they need more time – endless years of time – ‘to sort things out’ and that any other alternative is an attempt to ‘bully a small country’ or support Tamil Tiger ‘terrorists (even if they have been crushed by the Governments own admission). Incidentally, with a land area of 25,000 sq miles, Sri Lanka is not a particularly small country and one that is much larger than many UN countries.”

Those who read the draft copy of my article urged me to hold off till the UN HRC meeting was over since there might be a surprise (meaning that for once it would do something of value to address the rapidly deteriorating human rights situation in the Tamil areas in Sri Lanka.

I said that I will be glad to wait but I did not share their optimism. Well, I do not need to wait. It is now out  in the open – another useless Resolution that addresses nothing. In a way it does, since it allows the murderous regime in Colombo to continue with the serious abuse of human rights in the Tamil areas – more of the same.

There was the usual clap-trap (‘Recalling’ this and that) and then it ‘Recalled’ the HRC Resolutions of March 2012 and March 2013) “on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka”,

Then came the expected nonsense – no different from the nonsense “Resolved” in the previous two years.

Here is what it is about to tell the Sri Lankan government:

“.2. Calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka: to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable; to hold accountable those responsible for such violations; to end continuing incidents of human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka; and to implement the recommendations made in the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner;

3. Reiterates its call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement effectively the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

4. Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate all attacks, by individuals and groups, on temples, mosques, and churches and to take steps to prevent future attacks; and calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate and hold accountable perpetrators of attacks on places of worship, journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups, and other members of civil society;

5. Calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to release the results of its investigations into alleged violations by security forces, including the attack on unarmed protesters in Weliweriya on August 1,2013, and the Army Court of Inquiry report of 2013;

6. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to provide the Northern Provincial Council and its Chief Minister with the resources and authority necessary to govern, as required by the 13th Amendment of Sri Lanka’s constitution; 

7. Welcomes the decision of the Government of Sri Lanka to facilitate the visit by the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons and to issue an invitation to the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants; and encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate with special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to their outstanding requests, including by setting dates and providing access;

8. Welcomes the High Commissioner’s recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to assess progress toward accountability and reconciliation, to monitor relevant national processes, and to investigate alleged violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders as appropriate, and to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-seventh fourth session, and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at its twenty-eighth fifth session”

What will President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government do? To say “Thank you so much” to those who put up this Resolution and let this murderous regime off the hook (yet again) so that the Tamil people  in the North and East can continue to be brutalised by the (Sinhalese) Armed Forces and have their life shattered even more so – if that is possible.

The smiling Rajapaksa will smile even more broadly and throw his arms round the USA, UK and India in a gesture of absolute appreciation, whatever the threats were a few months ago.

Is will be ‘business as usual’ for the Sri Lankan government and its murderous Armed Forces. The (massive) Sri Lankan delegation that usually arrives in Geneva, can relax, finish their shopping and sight-seeing, and go home relieved. They will be wildly cheered on arrival in Colombo – and perhaps even garlanded, for a job well done, despite the gloomy prospects just a few weeks ago. All the fear was completely unfounded as previous UN HRC Resolutions have consistently showed.

If people still believe that the UN or the Human Rights Council are going to save the Sri Lankan Tamils, or for that matter, Sri lanka itself, from a Totalitarian murderous, incompetent and corrupt regime, they are not in the real world..

As Professor Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, Illinois, USA has pointed out it is “all the work of the new US Secretary of State John Kerry, who assumed office on 1 Feb 2013, was Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations in 2009 that brought out a report advising the USA to help Sri Lanka’s military without insisting on political solutions. Finding a clear link between the 2009 Kerry Report and Kerry’s State Department”,

The only option is to take those guilty of gross human rights violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity – not just what they have done in the past 5 years, but for what they are doing  today, to an International Court, and that might not be easy.

While these international games are being played, the Tamils in the Sri Lankan North and East will slowly disappear and cease to be a people. That, in my book, is Genocide. 


[2] Appointed for a 4-year term on 1 Sept 2008, and extended for another 2 years in 2012

[3] 20 in favour, 12 against, 6 abstentions

[4] http://www.hrw.org/news/2009/05/27/sri-lanka-un-rights-council-fails-victims

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Latest comments

  • 8
    4

    It is an excruciatingly slow process of justice. Yet the UN cannot take action without establishing the facts and identifying the perpetrators, the reason why an independent commission is required. The process will probably take another year or two. However before that the regime may disintegrate due to various internal problems. There is a time and season for everything. Man proposes God disposes.

  • 3
    2

    Yes quite right gota is de facto prez!

  • 7
    2

    India will invade northeast Lanka soon – just as Russia has invaded Ukraine’s Crimea and set an example and precedent soon..

    and Russia is a Jarapassa regime friend!

    Things are getting interesting..

    • 2
      4

      I hope so. IPKF will wreak revenge. Poor Tamil civilians will suffer again. Diaspora Tigers will be complaining about human rights and sending their children to college in Toronto.

    • 3
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      Not as long as the Congress led govt is in power. After the spat and fallout with India on the charges pressed against an Indian diplomat in the US, US will go out of its way to please the Indian govt. The justice for Tamils is inconsequential, both for the US and India. The resolutions in 2012 and 2013, despite being mild and watered down, was considered practical, giving the SL regime a fair chance to show its commitment and undertaking to fulfill its responsibility but to come up with a resolution in 2014, despite all the indications that the SL regime is simply dragging its feet for everyone to forget everything, is very demeaning and shameful Could it be the underhand work of the Indian govt? MR and Gota will be smiling at each other, at least for “blackmailing” India into submission

  • 6
    4

    Dr. Brian Seniviratna,

    “Human Rights Council Meeting March 2014 – Another Farce”

    Yes, YES, YES.YES. FARCE, FARCE, FARCE, FARCE.

    DeJa Vu, Deja Vu……

    This is about the Para-deshi, Para-Sinhala and para-Tamil, messing up the Egalitarian Vedda Native land. Both the Para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil should get back to South India, where they came from,, and DNA in their genes proves that.

    1. The Sri Lanka state, dominated by Racist Sinhala “Buddhist” Racists who did the killing will be discussed along with their Sinhala Buddhist Excesses.

    2. Also the SL State will discuss the on the excesses of LTTE, The Para-Tamil racists, who evolved due to the Sinhala Buddhist Mahanama Racism.

    This farce has been going on starting from 1948 all the way back to the 5th Century Monk Mahanma.

    Do not expect the Sinhala Buddhist Mahanama Monk following Sinhala “Buddhist” to fess up. They are liars,just like the Para-Tamils.

    At the same time, please do NOT paint all Buddhists and ALL the Tamils with the dame wide brush, because there are a lot of Sinhala Buddhist who follow the Enlightened Buddha’s path and non-Buddhist Tamils who and are not racists.

    Get the facts out. Expose the Delusions.

    Cheers

    • 4
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      Amarasiri the Idiot.

      LTTE propagandist knew only about One book. there are hundreds of sinhala Books all written about the Sinhale history, culture and day to day life.

      • 2
        3

        Jim Softy,

        “LTTE propagandist knew only about One book. there are hundreds of sinhala Books all written about the Sinhale history, culture and day to day life”

        Jim Softy, idiot.

        So, Brian is an LTTE propagandist, but is he telling the truth? A Shill? Good to know. Who are the other besides GTF, and GTTF?

        It is the current SL state that is lying, and practicing racism, aided abetted by Shills like you, the racist Sinhala Mahanama Racists.

        According to the Aettho, Veddah, all these are para-Sinhala and Para-Tamil. They need to get back to South India. Check your DNA

        Is that what the enlightened Buddha taught? Racism?

        Why is that there are hardly any Tamil Buddhist in Sri Lanka, whereas in India every sate has a few percent Buddhist?

        Monk Mahanama “Buddhism” and Racism by the Para-Sinhala?

  • 23
    10

    Dr. Brian Senewiratne

    You’re distorting the truth as usual. You were an out-and-out propagandist for the LTTE fascist murderers in the diaspora because you had an axe to grind. You carried on a hate campaign against Sri Lanka when it was facing its greatest challenge and was most vulnerable. You did your utmost to legitimize the terrorist acts of the Tigers by spouting their racist ideology. There is uncontroverted evidence that you worked to promote the terrorist LTTE. And you are still carrying on your Sri Lanka bashing without any shame even though the LTTE rump has forsaken you because of your damaged credibility and has moved on to newer faces to fool the international community.

    Can you explain why you should not be investigated for aiding and abetting the Tigers to commit war crimes against the innocent civilians of Sri Lanka?

  • 8
    9

    One way for the Rajapakses to spare themselves the gathering and inevitable doom is to seriously enable the NPC to function effectively and show results – a good start of it is being the early appointment of a new Civil Governor who will help in the process. This will not only blunt international criticism so but, more importantly, reduce the space for Tamilnadu politicians to plead on behalf of Lankan Tamils. There is nothing to stop the Rajapakses from doing this unless they continue to entertain mala fide intentions calculated against their own Tamil Nation. When Rajapakse pleaded with Dr. MMS at BIMSTEC in Myanmar on behalf of his Tamil fishermen he did remarkably well to dent his anti-Tamil image.

    R. Varathan

  • 9
    6

    Please please let this old man be in peace. We don’t have time to read his diatribe and he doesn’t have the capacity to write succinctly and coherently

  • 5
    1

    Back again to square one. Never had any hope with this UNHRC or it’s “not solving anything” resolution. All big talk, bigger expectation and Zero results. Let the genocide continue unabated until North and East is gobbled up and completely wiped out of minorities. There will be celebrations, kavun, fire works, dhaana etc.,No one had to do anything, either GL Peiris mahatha or Kerala Namboothiri’s charm trick. Lucky guys and defense Secy recently said this “Think nothing about the heroin racket beyond Anuradhapura, in Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Jaffna. That is a strategy. Raids are not needed in those areas. Let it remain there. Then, there will be less problems,” said Defence secretary Nandasena Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the security council meeting recently. Other members of the council were very much surprised to hear his statement.
    How greatful all should be for having a great de facto President Nandasena Rajapakse and a de jure president Percy Mahendra R. Tamils and even Muslims are doomed.

  • 14
    7

    The LTTE terrorist diaspora was, just a few days ago, celebrating Sri Lanka’s imminent demise at The Hague :D
    Grapes, anyone? Sorry they’re a bit sour :D

    • 5
      2

      grape fruits any one . lol

      • 4
        2

        ROTFLMAO

  • 1
    1

    This is nation building. It’s difficult, it’s messy and there are no guarantees. The key questions for the Tamil people regarding the US/UK, is if their being honest and if they are being genuine. You can’t ask for anything more. Mr.Cameron said that the UK would push for an international investigation and he did exactly that. The draft resolution calls for the UNHRC to conduct the investigation, to monitor any investigation the GOSL does and report back in 2015. The Tamil people want the truth to come out. Well the US/UK are trying to create a path for the truth to be announced to the world by an independent body in 2015.

  • 2
    2

    Unless there is established a good monitoring system by UN, from the past experience, what Dr. Brian says will happen. He is really not jumping the gun.

  • 4
    7

    Western world is hiding terrorists on their soil because those terrorists are not YET a threat to those countries.

    Brian Senevirathne is one such terrorist.

  • 3
    1

    Brian if you listen to the speech delivered by GL Pieris at the UNHRC you will start vomiting. First of all the speech is full of lies and in addition when ever he read a lie his voice was trembling. If Sri Lankan forces and the LTTE forces did not commit anything wrong then both parties should agree for a credible inquiry. By the way LTTE senior members are with the Government now so it will not be difficult to bring the to the table. Shame on you Brian to write such a stupid article.

  • 1
    3

    Brian,

    I share your despondency.

    MR and GR Mafia are sitting pretty. MR and GR are never going to go to any court to answer any charge – period. The UN resolution is nothing but a resolution. No one must take UN resolutions seriously. Ask the Israelis, and they will tell you so.

    At the moment political opposition to the MR/GR clan is nonexistent.

    No choice but the minorities must brace themselves to be oppressed for the foreseeable future.

  • 1
    0

    Exactly this is all a damn joke, played to sell news media and raise the hopes of the desperate.

    The only thing going for the brothers’ seems to be the fact that they have realized this and actually have the bravado to treat it for what it is !

    The consequences or lack of them ….will be another interesting observation.

  • 1
    0

    Of course it will be a farce. There will be lots of huffing and puffing and the US and UK will make a lot of noise but eventually the UN will do absolutely nothing….which, sadly, is what they do best.

  • 1
    0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDFyCJ1MRS8

    shame on you CT for entertaining the hate monger.

    This was a speech made in 2009 who is lying?

  • 0
    1

    Its dream time once again. May be the moon is affecting some of the dreamers – Sumathiran is implying that China and Russia are uncivilised. Good thing he did not include North Korea!
    Kim junior would have blasted the panang-kotte trees and all the vertys off the face of Yalapanam . UN employees have to put food on their tables and (never mind the millions dying in the African continent) so they keep the flame burning until March 2015 when history will repeat itself. Mahinda will add another million miles of highways and add another city to the Capital called “New Colombo”.
    Perhaps we may be able to take a ‘mono rail’from BIA to the Fort passing through new cities on the way. Big time gamblers from Las Vegas to Macau will be seen at the gambling tables of Colombo lighting their Havana cigars with thousand rupee bills if not five……….

  • 2
    2

    Dr.Senewiratne:

    Milošević was indicted in May 1999, during the Kosovo War, by the UN’s International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia for crimes against humanity in Kosovo. Charges of violating the laws or customs of war, grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions in Croatia and Bosnia and genocide in Bosnia were added a year and a half later.

    The charges on which Milošević was indicted were: genocide; complicity in genocide; deportation; murder; persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds; inhumane acts/forcible transfer; extermination; imprisonment; torture; willful killing; unlawful confinement; wilfully causing great suffering; unlawful deportation or transfer; extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly; cruel treatment; plunder of public or private property; attacks on civilians; destruction or wilful damage done to historic monuments and institutions dedicated to education or religion; unlawful attacks on civilian objects.[2][3]

    *** I beg to disagree with you that UN is an impotent body and In the unlikely event of a powerful Resolution being passed against Sri Lanka, there is nothing to stop the Sri Lankan regime from telling the UN HRC to get lost. Just consider the above.

    No he cannot. The only Country which is shielding him from being indicted to the Hague is India and that is all likely to Change.

  • 2
    4

    I am waiting his nutty son romesh’s reaction….

    • 4
      1

      He was last seen hallucinating he was some “Banda.”

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