23 September, 2020

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Lord Naseby & The President’s Letter

By Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka

The Island has to be congratulated on its ‘scoop’ of a statement by Lord Naseby in response to the summary dismissal by the British High Commission in Colombo of his views on the infamous UNHRC Resolution 30/1 of 2015 and the increasingly untenable figure of 40,000 civilian casualties.

According to the statement “Lord Naseby makes it quite clear that he shall pursue every organisation and the persons involved to ensure that the Darusman Report figure on civilian casualties is publicly amended to reflect that the truth about an estimated 6,500 Tamil civilians who died at the end of the Sri Lanka conflict. Truth must and will win out however inconvenient that may be to the authorities.”

Bravo! We should be sincerely grateful to Lord Naseby for taking such a principled position on behalf of Sri Lanka. And sincerely grateful is exactly what President Sririsena was, when he wrote a letter to thank Lord Naseby for his efforts.

The President’s letter was dated 2nd November 2017. It was addressed to Lord Naseby. Four working days later, on the 8th of November, the Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote a letter to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London, H.E. Mrs. Amari Wijewardene, requesting her to personally hand over the letter to Lord Naseby.

A photograph of this letter was reproduced in LankaCnews, revealing a curious instruction from the Secretary/Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that the contents of the President’s letter “are not shared with the media either in the UK or in Sri Lanka”. Why? It was a decent gesture on the part of the President to thank someone who had done Sri Lanka an enormous favour at considerable effort and continued to engage in clarifying matters to do with the serious allegation of war crimes against this country, its armed forces and the entire system. Wouldn’t it have been to the President’s benefit if the contents had been released to the media, both in the UK and Sri Lanka, and indeed worldwide?

There is another curious fact that is revealed by the photographic image of the letter written by Foreign Secretary Kariyawasam. When communications are received by an overseas mission, they are date-stamped by an official indicating the date of receipt. The date-stamp on that letter shows the 17th of November. That is 9 full days or 7 working days after it was written by the Head of State! It isn’t exactly illegal to use a carrier pigeon, but the diplomatic bag is usually sent by airplane.

By then, the State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Vasantha Senanayake had already tabled the President’s letter dated 2nd November in Parliament, as well as his own letter to Lord Naseby, thanking him for his efforts.  He did this on the 14th of November, 4 days before the President’s letter reached our High Commission in London. Minister Vasantha Senanayake also indicated that Lord Naseby was aware of the President’s letter but hadn’t yet received it. Of course he hadn’t. It seems to have been somehow stuck in the Foreign Ministry, together with the Foreign Secretary’s covering note dated 8th November!

By the time the President’s letter reached London on the 17th of November, the Foreign Secretary’s curious instructions as to its confidentiality had become superfluous. Once tabled in Parliament on the 14th of November, the contents were effectively in the public domain.

It is not clear when exactly Lord Naseby received the President’s letter, but it would seem that he is in possession of it now. It is just as well that Lord Naseby is determined to do the work that is needed to defend Sri Lanka, since the performance by Sri Lanka’s officials in getting a letter by the Head of State delivered to a member of the House of Lords in the UK on such a serious a matter as massive war crimes allegations, hardly inspires confidence in their capacity to do the work themselves.

Lord Naseby says in his statement to The Island that he has sent the relevant documents to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Al Hussein, and all nine Special Procedure Mandate Holders who have visited Sri Lanka. This is in the context in which none of Sri Lanka’s own reports, such as the LLRC report and the Paranagama Commission Report which challenge the allegations of war crimes, has been presented to the UN Human Rights Council by the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Island has been relentless in its pursuit of this story. Due to its efforts we now know that we are not the only ones bemused at the stand taken by Britain on this matter. Lord Naseby says “It is therefore disappointing that the British High Commission fails to acknowledge the importance of the despatches of its own former defence attaché and the insight that is provided by his communications with the British Government.”

More importantly, Lord Naseby confirms the most significant attribute of UNHRC Resolution 30/1 which Sri Lanka co-sponsored: that it was based on allegations of war crimes which relied upon the unsubstantiated and ‘genocidal’ figure of 40,000:

“While not expressly stated so in the resolution, those who have closely followed events in Sri Lanka after the end of the conflict would agree that the basis for the successive resolutions on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council stemmed from the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity (and in some quarters ‘genocide’) said to have been committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and the LTTE. Especially, the Report of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, commonly known as the ‘Darusman Report’, alleged that ‘a number of credible sources have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths’ ”.

Lord Naseby argues that Britain’s motives in encouraging UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka seeking to establish the truth, “whilst at the same time effectively prohibiting its own relevant information from being considered by the Human Rights Commission, may need to be called into question.”

It seems only fair that Sri Lanka’s own government’s motivations are questioned, in co-sponsoring the resolutions alleging war crimes, the reluctance to submit or the suppression of evidence which challenge those allegations, and tardiness in conveying messages of gratitude to those others who do that work for us.

Lord Naseby took “issue with those in authority be they the UK government or any other Government” for ignoring the “context behind the resolution”.  He says Col. Anton Gash’s evidence  corroborates “a large number of other sources that confirm a casualty figure of around 7,000-8,000 (of which about 20% were LTTE cadres who are said to have thrown away their uniforms resulting in Tamil civilian casualties of about 6,500).”

“Any other Government” obviously includes Sri Lanka’s, and we should take issue with it too. Our government had access to the “large number of other sources” even if they didn’t include Col. Anton Gash’s, when it co-signed the 2015 Resolution.

The Sri Lankan government has a duty of care towards its armed forces. This demands that the government defends them to the best of their ability from false allegations. It requires that they undertake line by line examination of any UN resolution alleging war crimes.

When a UNHRC resolution is proposed, the usual practice is to engage in negotiations. These negotiations take weeks, before the final draft is presented to the Council. The drafts go back and forth many times, where a single word or phrase can make a significant difference. Even when it is formally presented, further amendments can be proposed. Since the current government assumed office in 2015, it has not bothered with this most normal of procedures. Instead, its representatives co-signed a resolution which it is increasingly becoming obvious, was based on utterly dubious testimony.

Lord Naseby is not advocating that human rights violations are ignored. He advises the conducting of “credible investigations” and that “appropriate due processes of justice should follow”. This is also what the LLRC recommends. The emerging evidence from the British Foreign Office, and the studies already undertaken by the Legal Advisory Council to the Paranagama Commission leave little doubt that “credible” has to be negotiated back in to the UN resolutions on Sri Lanka. With Lord Naseby valiantly supportive of that cause, it would be in Sri Lanka’s interest to do so without further delay at the upcoming March 2018 session of the Human Rights Council.

In Parliament, Hon. Dinesh Gunawardene was in the process of canvassing multi-party support from those willing to sign a motion calling for the renegotiation of UNHRC resolution 30/1. It seems that the delay is due to the preoccupation with elections. The President should step in to support this effort, as he did Lord Naseby’s.

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Latest comments

  • 10
    6

    And now this woman, yet again, to excite CT readers! Incessant campaign?

    • 5
      2

      This Nosey Boy after a belly full of Kola Kenda, Kavung, Aasmi, and Ambul Thiyal got constipated and has let out a big flatus. He poked his finger into retrograde channels and is crowing about the flavour of what he took out. All his pandang karyas have gone to town as if that will bring the roof down with its foul smell. Like all fairy tale endings, UNHCR will live happily ever after, as he will be caught with his pants down with only Bo leaves to cover his privates.

  • 4
    5

    This UNHCR drama is important, because, I think, played a game in order to get money from foreign donors. Now, that has become a mess. They want even Gays and lesbians at street corners. On the other hand, UN asked Myanmar to access So called Rohingyas. they said no. That was it and no more talk.

    • 4
      2

      Bad! Bad! UNHRC. They wan “little boy” Jim to stand on the street corner all by himself.

  • 17
    6

    The Ultra-racist SJ,
    please try to get it into your system that the so called “Lord Naseby” is neither lord nor god. Instead, try to find out what the victimized Tamils want and not the cheap Naseby who is trying to please some for his perks.

  • 8
    4

    Sanja
    What is the point in speculating as to whether a letter was delivered by carrier pigeon or by some other means?
    Lord Naseby’s principled effort?
    He must prove himself credible to his peers. Has he tried? If not why not?

    • 4
      2

      Do not worry about this Naseby fellow as he is as dead as a dodo. It is a joke when he says that he will pursue every organisation and persons to get at the truth. If he is honest and principled he must expose Srilanka government and the security forces for committing war crimes on non-combatant Tamils. If he thinks that the war crimes allegation depends on the number of people killed and not on the methods used, then I pity him as he is a non-starter. I will take a bet that if UN or UK government insist that an independent international panel to be appointed to inquire into this allegation against their officials, all these Sinhala card board veerayas will go under the bed.

      • 3
        1

        Sankara
        You have been sounding these rhetoric from day one. Why do you think nothing has happened so far?

  • 3
    3

    Rajash – the only Tamil living in the UK, please read the full story which is on BBC web

    Will you please read the following news coverage by BBC in the light of a letter in a cover mentioned in the above directive from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    Excerpt from
    History of political lobbying scandals
    3 June 2013

    Three peers and an MP have been accused of agreeing to do parliamentary work for payment after undercover reporters for the Sunday Times, BBC Panorama and the Daily Telegraph posed as lobbyists.
    But the allegations levelled at Lord Laird, Lord Cunningham, Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate and Patrick Mercer, all of whom deny wrongdoing, are just the latest flashpoint to bring the issue to the fore.
    Here’s a look back at some of the most high-profile lobbying scandals of the past.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22754297

    • 4
      2

      The Tamil diaspora are the experts at lobbying western politicians, are they not?

      • 2
        3

        Where’s Professor Boyle nowadays? LOL!

        • 4
          3

          Retarded. ……………. women sniffing shameless Perera

          “Where’s Professor Boyle nowadays?”

          Oh do you need legal advice from Boyle to assist Sanja De Silva Jayatilleka’s deranged racist partner
          to charge Israel at ICC for war crimes being committed since its establishment on people of Palestine?

          “LOL”- Lots Of Love – No thanks. I am alright. Ask sach she too wants to express her love in this forum.

          When and why did you abscond from army? Did you desert the army just before the LTTE attack on Mullaitive in July 1996 or during the attack? It was like tsunami almost 8 years early. It was really unceasing tsunami no.

      • 3
        3

        Taraki

        The cause pleaded is understandable except for thick skins like Lord Naseby and those who think that Naseby is a knight in shining armour.

        • 3
          2

          Pillai, to summarise then, any calculations by westerners who support the Tamil position are correct. Any calculations by westerners who oppose the Tamil position are wrong. That’s the Tamil position.

          • 1
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            Taraki

            “Pillai, to summarise then, any calculations by westerners who support the Tamil position are correct. Any calculations by westerners who oppose the Tamil position are wrong. That’s the Tamil position.”

            Any westerner who is critical of Sri Lanka for the right reason is a western colonialist, working on a neo liberal agenda to harm this island, ………………………………………….. On the other hand if an isolated old humbug supported this island for wrong reason he is celebrated being a hero and completely forgotton about his fathers sins.

            Could we have an impartial, independent, ………………. foreign panel to solve your dilemma.

            Don’t you have a home grown honest, lady/gentleman ….. to articulate your case whatever that maybe in the international arena? After nearly 70 years of independence you seem to rely on your colonial master to seek truth and justice.

            I thought anyone who had their rice and curry with their Sri Lankan homemade salt ought to ashamed of hiring this man the Time Lord.
            You can’t live with them you can’t live without them.

      • 2
        3

        Taraki

        “The Tamil diaspora are the experts at lobbying western politicians, are they not?”

        Are they?
        If they were experts at lobbying the not only would have stopped the war but completely reversed LTTE’s fortune.
        See VP the psychopath is still annoying you from his grave. That must be something isn’t it?

        • 4
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          Native, on the contrary they had no intention of stopping the war or reversing the LTTE’s fortune. Their purpose was to stop the Government from winning the war and to do their bit to help the LTTE.

          • 1
            2

            Taraki

            “Their purpose was to stop the Government from winning the war and to do their bit to help the LTTE.”

            Is that why Hindia USA provided ships, funds, training, Intelligence, destroying LTTE floating warehouses, blockading gun running & other supplies, managing the the umbilical Tamils of Tamil Nadu, banning LTTE in Europe, USA and India, ………………….. for and on behalf of this island so that the little islanders could claim victory over a baby brigade.

            What were the Hindian uniformed officers doing in Omanthai and other areas during the war? Did the Sri Lankan armed forces invite the Hindians to provide them with on the job training in jungle and guerrilla warfare?

            I know as a little islander you need some stupid things to celebrate and claim as yours. I have no objection to that as long as you know your reach and limitation.

            • 1
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              Donkey, we are discussing the lobbying of politicians not Indian Officers. Typical sleight of hand. Nevertheless the ‘stupid thing we celebrate’ is a victory by the Government over the terrorists.

              You have said in the past that MR did not defeat the LTTE. In that case Churchill did not win the war for Britain either. Both MR and Churchill had foreign allies helping them but that does not detract from their success. In Churchill’s case he had millions of Americans, Indians, Africans, Australians and Canadians fighting his battles, MR did not.

        • 3
          1

          Stupid vedda
          There are some posters here that you should not respond to!

  • 10
    4

    All this is just laying the foundation to take the Rajapaksas to the International Criminal Court in the Hage for trial.

    • 3
      1

      Stupid vedda
      There are some posters here that you should not respond to!

    • 3
      4

      Anonymous,
      You have been saying this since 2009!
      When do you think your prediction will come true? When MR is dead and gone?

      • 0
        1

        Bloody Nuisance

        There have been numerous Anonymouses write/type in this website from all over the world. How sure are you it is the same old 2009 Anonymous you are typing to?

        PS
        At this age you find it difficult to find your Padikkama leave alone Anonymouses.

  • 3
    1

    The wording of the letter from the Secretary would surely have at least amused those veterans like Jayantha Dhanapala .Nihal Rodrigo , Bandu Silva , John Gunaratna and other Foreign Service people .The other thing in the letter requesting for utmost confidentiality is laughable as the letter had been tabled in Parliament a number of days before.So much for alertness of a key ministry.Why is the Ministry headed by a retired officer when there a number of serving officers?Having a maths background and being last in the batch is showing negative results.Being ” guided”by a mediocre Indian degree holder femme fatale makes things even worse.

    • 2
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      Veteran

      “The other thing in the letter requesting for utmost confidentiality is laughable as the letter had been tabled in Parliament a number of days before.So much for alertness of a key ministry”

      Do you smell rat in the envelope?

  • 3
    3

    Readers always claimed that Caterpillar Faced Thero De Silva writes essays and post it on the name of Butterfly faced Thero de Silva. If one Lankaweyans work in an Appe Aanduwa office, which becomes the family’s dinner room in Lankaweyans’s entire household, includes- man, domestic animals and the locker rooms or closets. But still here the mailing procedure explanation in not really learned or 2nd hand one, but it is portraying the direct experienced knowledge. Now the caterpillar faced Thero de Silva will find it is difficult to deny the truth.

    We have explained Lord Naseby quoting was that of 2009’s British intelligence info. Britain had investigated of that period and had found substantial problems with Tony Blair’s administration, including war crimes. Blair’s & Bush’s WMD stories were questioned by Colin Powell who presented it in UN. UN had found Nambiar purposefully suppressed true figures on those days that were coming out of Colombo. It is had to be noticed neither Lankawe nor Lord Naseby is going back to the Nambiar’ s numbers. Still Thero de Silva says Lord Naseby he is favoring an Investigation. We welcome that too. If so, Lord Naseby! Please send Five British (Commonwealth) Judges who have international experience on that matter and Five Lawyers to represent the Civilians on that matter. Lord Naseby please doesn’t try to become the next Liam Fox.
    Beyond that lets look at what Thero trying to tell. He is throwing two stones at the poor bird to doubly confirm this time it is falling down. The Bird is the New King. Thero has to have achieved something before the election flood pulls the Old to the sea water and wipe all the hopes.
    For those two simultaneous stones, the bird may fall down or may the Old King would be fall down to beg New King to get in SLFP.

  • 3
    3

    The stones are:
    • First thinks is, he is a suspecting if the letter was ever delivered to Lord Naseby. We are sure, that Thero does not believe that was ever delivered. But for the question “what is the truth?”(irrelevant of our believe) – just to save the back of his friend New King, Lord Naseby has to come out and show the letter to media. Then the question “why” would Thero do this will be gone. That is the right hand stone he was throwing simultaneously on the bird. The letter says it was drafted to say keep out of media. But that was released to Media, not leaked- no one blamed on that. The Original letter too was released to media. Further the Original letter was tabled at parliaments even before the letter was put on the post to UK. Thero suspects the dates on the latter and the rubber stamps all were adjusted. He knows better than us. He did better job of that kind, of cause. The letter was written not to deliver to Lord Naseby and sheepishly provoke Lankawe’s enemies (, in this case the “West”). It was only to fool the 8th graders, who demanded why the Aanduwa was not seeking help from Lard Naseby. So Lankawe has to send the instructions first and confirm British high Commission understands what to do, and then they safely sent letter UK, rubber stamped and delivered to media, but not to Lord Naseby. Thero is not creating here a conspiracy theory, but he doesn’t believe sincerely. Something making him to feel the letter never left the High Commission in London. Now only person who can put Thero in comfort is Lord himself. Will he come out to Media with the letter? Thero is tearing the mask of New King that how insincere he to Sinhala Mahajan is.

  • 3
    3

    • Next is his usual Lego game, which he build to up lift the Old’s sagging reputation. Piece after piece he always connects all the mismatching and crate an A-40 and let it to fly in the sky. It is worthless to get into that deeply. But let us have only quick glimpse. After seeing the Bulldozed out Mullaithivu from the helicopter, Old King Friend UNSG said he never had seen destruction like that. Old King quickly realized that the Modaya Rapist Army had perfectly bulldozed out the land, beyond the bodies and it had gone wrong on the other side. He needed time to concoct the Plan B. So he agreed with UNSG for Accountability and Responsibly. Thero agreed on everything on May 2009, only to wade off Canadian resolution. Unless Old King gets back to SLFP, this is a swinging sword over his head under the name of “Resolution 30/1”. Thero has to have ball delivered in New Kings court as he the one agreed to Resolution 30/1 and kept the “Lies Agreed Upon” not sending to UNHRC as the defense against UNSG’s expert Panel’s report, which in Thero’s terminology The Darusman Report, hoping a downplaying like that may cause it to evaporate in UN office. Fortunately or unfortunately, UNHRC had forced the Paranagama Commission closed. If they send LLRC’s National Action Plan to UNHRC, the date on that was 5 to 10 years to complete the implementation, which Yahapalanaya cannot agree, because the time limit is over. Yahapalanaya is not going to go back 9 years in time to negotiate to LLRC’s National Action Plan to Resolution 30/1, instead of that, it will water out Resolution 30/1 with Secret Solution using the Hangbangtota sales proceeds money. That is why Thero is working on LLRC and Paranagama’s to make it as the stone on the left hand.

  • 0
    2

    Sanja De Silva Jayatillake
    Please do us a favour before you write your future adverts. Find out about Rohingyas and then tell your Knight Lord Naseby about Rohingyas. Then read today’s BBC article http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-42348214 Under caption ~ ” MSF estimates more than 6,700 Rohingya killed in Myanmar” and this includes more than 700 children. A chart attributes 69.4% shot, 8.8 % burned in homes, 5% chopped, 2.6% RAPE,
    By the way MSF is ‘Medecins Sans Frontieres’.
    The Burmese Junta says none and that there is no religious discrimination. Lord Naseby may believe the Junta figures.

  • 1
    2

    UNHRC had been a pawn of the LTTE and was determined to castigate the SL Government for annihilating the LTTE and winning an unwinnable war. Most of the Western leaders who needed the support of the tamil diaspora were behind the UNHRC. Sadly some of the present leaders going behind the western world do not have the will to go against them and we know whose side the appointees in the Foreign Ministry. Hon President’s letter to Lord Naseby would never have reached his destination if the State Minister of Foreign Affairs did not table it at the parliament. The employees of the Foreign Ministry should not be traitors and put the country first before their spineless guardians. It is not surprising to see that the LTTE supporters are shaken and would blabber insults when their lies are exposed. SL Government should act like Myanmaar and ask the UNHRC to go to hell. Thank you Lord Naseby for standing up for Sri Lanka when the people elected to protect Sri Lanka are bending backwards to appease the unworthy foreign powers.

    • 0
      0

      Hi Suzy did Lord Nasby visit your home in Sri Lanka and partake in some form of Kandyan hospitality? Is that why you are so gushing and full of praises for him. During the colonial era Kandyan hospitality was generously given to all the high ranking British officials and they dispensed all sorts of favours to the Sinhalese elite and to the Sinhalese in general. You can see the result of this hospitality in the light complexion and eyes of many Kandyan and low country Sinhalese upper classes. The British were very eager to dispense these favours, as they knew who the ultimate beneficiaries will be. All those little children with light skin and eyes.

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