28 November, 2020

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More Countries Are Now Breathing Down Sri Lanka’s Neck And It Is A Good Sign

By Paul Newman

Dr Paul Newman

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a process in the United Nations Human Rights Council in which member countries need to review their human rights records periodically once in four years. The review would be conducted by a Troika of 3 countries. The first submission of Sri Lanka was made in 2008 subsequently after four years Sri Lanka’s turn came for reviewing its glorious human rights record came this November 2012. India, Benin and Spain reviewed the performance of Sri Lanka over the past four years.

The leakage of the Charles Petrie report commissioned by the UN to review the failure of the UN in protecting the civilians took the centre stage and overshadowed the coverage of the UPR. During its first review in 2008 Sri Lanka in all got 95 recommendations from 39 countries. In all it accepted 52 recommendations to be implemented over a period of 4 years and rejected 25 with no clear position on 8.

The very next year Sri Lanka set out on a path to destroy the Tamils ending its successful campaign ending  with the Mullivaikal carnage of innocent Tamil civilians in May 2009. The then mute International community has woken up to see the cruel treatment of the Tamils in the ‘war without witness’ with a series of expose’ in the International media. It is reflected in the participation of 99 countries in the UPR of Sri Lanka. 29 NGOs and INGOs made their submissions along with 17 joint submissions by individuals.

An overwhelming 210 concrete recommendations were made by these 99 countries. Sri Lanka accepted 110 of those recommendations and rejected an overwhelming 100 recommendations, nearly half the recommendations made. This is the highest rejection by a member state in the history of UPR. In all Sri Lanka rejected the recommendations of 45 countries. Some of the most concrete suggestions which would have gone a long way in Sri Lanka mending fences with the Tamils, Muslims and the International community that were rejected are :

  • Accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and draft a law on cooperation between the State and the Court
  • Accede to the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
  • Sign the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
  • Fully incorporate the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women into its domestic system
  • Abolish definitely death penalty
  • Adopt the draft bill on witness and victim protection
  • Adopt legislation on appointments that would ensure the independence of the Human Rights Commission
  • Fully implement the recommendations of the LLRC, in particular steps to ensure independent and effective investigations  into all allegations of serious human rights violations , in the context of Sri Lanka’s civil war and its aftermath
  • USA sought removal of the military from civilian functions, creation of mechanisms to address cases of the missing and detained, issuance of death certificates, land reform; devolution of power; and disarming paramilitaries
  • Expedite implementation of reconciliation measures in the North. This would include removing oversight of humanitarian and NGO activities from the  purview of Ministry of Defense to a civilian body,  reducing the intrusiveness of military presence on civilian life in the North and setting a specific date for free and fair Northern Provincial Council elections
  • Adopt a national policy to provide human rights defenders with protection and ensure investigation and punishment  of threats or attacks against them
  • Fully cooperate with United Nations Human Rights mechanisms Create a reliable investigation commission consisting of professional  and independent investigators to identify, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the Muttur murders
  • Publish the names and places of detention of all the imprisoned persons
  • Take action to reduce and eliminate all cases of abuse, torture or mistreatment by police and security forces
  • End impunity for human rights violations and fulfill legal obligations regarding accountability
  • Strengthen judicial independence by ending government interference with the judicial process, protecting members of the judiciary from attacks and restoring a fair, independent and transparent mechanism
  • Grant due process rights to all detainees held in both military and police facilities, including those held in administrative  detention; disclose all unofficial detention sites; and facilitate effective and independent monitoring of detainees
  • Allow the International Committee of the Red Cross unrestrictive access to detention centres
  • Undertake measures that would allow citizens to have access to public information, in particular on alleged violations of human rights
  • Ensure that all human rights defenders, including individuals cooperating with UN HR mechanisms, are protected effectively from unjustified criminalization, harassment or intimidation and can perform freely their legitimate duties.

These recommendations if accepted would have helped Sri Lanka in addressing issues of War crimes, Crimes against humanity and Genocide.

Sri Lanka is a tiny island, why should more than half the member nations of the UN make these recommendations? The participation of so many countries clearly shows that Sri Lanka is on the wrong path. Already a resolution against Sri Lanka was passed in March 2012 to mend its ways in treating the Tamils. The UPR process is to help countries to correct their past mistakes and morally accept responsibilities. It is also to usher in a new beginning through democratic processes and plan a better future.

Sri Lanka by rejecting these concrete suggestions has once again proved that it is not ready to listen to the sane advices given by other UN member nations and is walking towards the path of deluge. It is also the beginning of good signs for the Tamils who have suffered a lot which is now seen by the International community hopefully bringing peace and a just solution to their problems.

*The author holds a Doctorate of Philosophy on ‘Internal Displacement and Human Rights situation in Northern Sri Lanka from Bangalore University. He was one of the four public speakers at the Permanent People’s Tribunal on War Crimes against Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

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    Wonder why these countries are breathing down our necks when.

    * No road side or car bombs
    * No assasinations of politicians, Govt Officials,even Judges.
    * No road blocks and body searc

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      Pl know what has been happening to some of the citizens from 1948 till today with no signs of change of fate on the horizon.

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      Would it not be a good thing if all greedy people were assassinated. Plus it is because of people like you ,who can not see right from wrong and wag your tails and like some one said , sings for your supper, while fools talk of zero casualties. And militarising the country is going on. I am sure every one is happy around the world about not having road side bombs but it is the killings disappearances and human rights violations that are going on that makes them think if , the majority is treated like this what would they do to minorities that have no voice.
      While I will never ,want a Prabhakaran and am , grateful to everybody who, finished him off, I would invoke blessings on these people but, not allow them to plunder and disgrace our country in the name of ,patriotism. I do not believe there ever lived more, foolish short sighted unpatriotic ,lot than those in this parliament .GOVERNMENT AND THE OPPOSITION! And the likes of you who will refuse to see wrong. Another cardboard patriot!

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      K.A Sumanasekera,

      Hah..hah..hah!!! Laundryman, Do you know the count of white van slaughters, extrajudicial killings, killings while in police arrest? How many were slughtered in Welikada witness eradication operation against the king? Your stupid arguments are only good for your madamulana gankabaragoi!

  • 0
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    Wonder why these countries are breathing down our necks when

    * No roadside or car bombs
    * No massacres of poor villagers
    * No assasinations of politicians,Govt officials ,even judges
    * No road blocks and body searches
    * No restrictions to visit any part of the Island
    * No special permits from either the Govt or the Insurgents

    Perhaps these countriies may be fishing for some tips to apply in their newly liberated friendly nations which are reeling under the weight of human and other rights,bestowed on them.

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      People from Jaffna had to get permits from the occupation army when A9 was opened in several months after the war was over in May 2009. Journalists were allowed into the North after July 2011. People in the North are still under the boots of the army.
      Are we talking about two different countries in an island?

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      @K.A Sumanasekera
      As long as there are people who think like in you in this country, there is never going to be real peace,development or reconciliation in this country.

      In talking of Sri Lanka, this is what Lee Kuan Yew say:

      The full text of his remarks on Sri Lanka follow:

      “Another example is Sri Lanka. It is not a happy, united country. Yes, they [the majority Sinhalese government] have beaten the Tamil Tigers this time, but the Sinhalese who are less capable are putting down a minority of Jaffna Tamils who are more capable. They were squeezing them out. That’s why the Tamils rebelled. But I do not see them ethnic cleansing all two million-plus Jaffna Tamils. The Jaffna Tamils have been in Sri Lanka as long as the Sinhalese.”

      “So what Asia saw was ethnic cleansing?”

      “That’s right.”

      “They will come back, you think?”

      “I don’t think they are going to be submissive or go away. The present president of Sri Lanka believes he has settled the problem; Tamil Tigers are killed and that is that.”

      I look up from my notes and with a sense that here we might be seeing a side of LKY that is under-reported, I say: “See, that’s really fascinating point, because to the extent that we have any sense of who you are at all, we think of you as this hard-boiled force­ first guy. But in fact your system of government is much softer, consensual and intelligent, whereas what the Sinhalese in Sri Lanka are doing is a caricature of an LKY who never existed.”

      Lee fights a cringe, as if fighting off a bad memory-or my bad analogy. He starts to say something, then stops, then leaves it at referring to Sri Lanka’s president: “I’ve read his speeches and I knew he was a Sinhalese extremist. I cannot change his mind.”

      Undertaking battles that cannot be won is not a particular trademark of LKY’s pragmatic success formula. Neither is a religious obeisance to so-called pure democracy as the form of preferred government. He does not mention that Sri Lanka is a democracy, based on one-citizen, one-vote. He’s not against democracies when they work. He’s against defending them just because they are democracies. This position strikes me as more consistent than the U.S. relationship with other democracies: we support them only when we approve of them, denouncing them (or worse) when we don’t.

      He is also opposed to defending propositions that have little factual foundation simply because they are politically correct. He does think, by and large, Chinese people work harder than many other nationalities or ethnicities (though not, for example, more than the Japanese). In fact, he suspects the 21st century will be a Chinese or Asian one. He thinks the Tamils deserve more respect than the Sinhalese have given them. He doubts the average Malay will ever become a hard-charging workaholic, as are many Chinese … as are (as we will see later) many Israelis … and as are the Japanese. In fact, the Japanese are so driven that they serve to underscore the point that even an inefficient democratic system of government is not necessarily an impediment to economic growth.” (pp. 55-56)

      Excerpts from: “From Third World To First – The Singapore Story:
      1965-2000″
      “It is sad that the country whose ancient name Serendip has given the English language the word “serendipity” is now the epitome of conflict, pain, sorrow and hopelessness.”
      ~Lee Kuan Yew
      http://www.sthomascollege.com/Excerpt.htm

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        lee kuan yu is a racist unlike many in SL he is a smart racist. His remarks are not worthy even to read.

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          TOLERANCE! …….he is a professor of urban planning not xenophobia. A bit of knowledge is no good over here. Nehru Yes.

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        Not a single Sinhala Tamil killing or vice versa since May 2009.
        Jaffna inhabitants are welcoming thousands of Southerners and earning a few quid too.
        Colombo Tamil inhabitants and their Diaspora associates are doing roaring business up in the North opening tourist guest houses and arranging transport.
        Economy is going up nicely with record breaking 22% growth in the North last year.
        Private Bank branches are popping up every where in the Peninsula.

        If you listen to Premachandran Sumanathiran and Sivajilingam .nothing of the above are true.

        And if you are fed on the Overseas based Lankan media run by both Tamils and Sinhalese it is even bader than what the TNA portrays.

    • 0
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      ARE YOU LIVING ON ANOTHER PLANET?

      YOU ARE NAIVE OR STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • 0
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        AYMAN, No use of talking to this fucker KA Sumanasekara becuase he is brain dead!

    • 0
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      If one of your dear ones were among the missing, murdered, or unaccounted for, you would be singing a different tune. No government can murder innocent civilians for their convenience, or disregard lives belonging to a different ethnicity, and not be held accountable. Nations like that are usually considered non democratic and referred to as a rogue nation. You cannot sit back and sing the praises of your government because we are safe on the roads, holding them accountable for the missing/dead Sri Lankans go hand and hand. Your disregard for families who have no answers for their missing family members, stinks.

  • 0
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    They will have to breathe down our necks until what is in the records
    of UN Special Rapportuers, including the Ch. 4 video evidence can be
    legitimately be debunked.

  • 0
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    @Sumanasekera, how can you equate “Road Blocks” and “Body Searches” with basic human rights and independence of the judiciary?

    You must be a lackey of the President.

    The day you are served with that kind of justice, you will realize what we are talking here.

    This is not a case of being against the President of Sri Lanka or Sri Lanka but about governance and disregarding norms of governance merely because the President was able to defeat and vanquish the LTTE. Since then what has the President and the Government done to sole that problem.

    • 0
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      Dabbling in short term money market with Millions of LKR purported to be gifts from overseas , and forking out Millions of EPF Rupees to pay 40% above the market for crappy shares owned by mates surely can’t be in that long list of Human Rights .

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka has a Military Regime which is essential for the ruling junta to survive.
    27% of the budget is for the large armed forces which are esential to counter any popular uprising by citizens even though it is peacetime.
    If all recommendations above are adopted,the ruling junta and its hangers on will not survive the next election,aided by the completely controlled elections department.
    The next step in complete control of all citizens and governance mechanisms are anticipted with the control of the judiciary which is in the making – the dismissal of the Chief Justice who with fellow judges struck down the Divineguma Bill which gave total control to one man of a large chunk of the budget,is in the pipeline.
    Sri Lanka will be another “North Korea” soon, and the ‘paramount eternal ruler’ is emerging.He is so powerful as to offer “another job” to the Chief Justice!
    The military repression & oppression in the northeast is now slowly seeping down south.

  • 0
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    The Rajapakse Family – like Ceausescu in Romania – have grabbed for themselves virtually the entire resources of the country that is the property of 20 million people. The Family is at war on several fronts within and in the global fora – simultaneously. The system of Cabinet Governance is reduced to a joke. While the most controversial crisis of the judicial process in the history of the country has dominated the news for weeks now, the Minister of Justice has gone into hiding – probably resigned to the fate fellow Islamist Salman Rushdie observed “Shame, like everything else; live with it long enough and it becomes part of the furniure” This is clearly applicable to every MP, Monitor, Pandankaraya, Minister, PM and President of this circus that goes as our Govt.

    Senguttuvan

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      After calling Mr Praba and his outfit “Terrorists,” Mr Sambandan is going to meet the Prez, before fronting up to the PSC.

      The opportunistic Opposition lead by Mr Wicks,will be the first cab off the rank to denounce any deal the Prez makes with the TNA and call it a sell off to the Tamils.

      It is the one and only Ace the Opposition has to turn the rural poor against Rajapaksa at the next election.

      Surely any one even without the experience of Sambandans would know that.

      The great majority of peace loving inhabitants are happy to see this positive attitude of Mr Sambandan and would even welcome him as the CM of North after the soon to be held election.

      Wonder whether Mr Sengutuan will call Mr Sambandan “Pandankaraya Chief Minister’.

  • 0
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    The rejection of 100 very constructive and useful reccomendations by many allies of Sri Lanka is an indication of a Govt in denial. A govt which lacks transparency and not interested in the core issues of governance. A govt which shows one face to the international community and another to its own people. The duplicity of the govt is very apparent and no longer will its people or the international community be deceived by its glib talk and broken promises.

  • 0
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    Eureka – Despite what Govt’s sycophants want everyone to believe, the situation in the Jaffna District appears to have become more intolerable – largely due to the army’s excesses. Instead of 2 countries in the Island you wonder, which are two different entities – is the far more preferable option of 2 Nations in 1 undivided Country that some of us propose to overcome the impasse – and moreso, the continuing injustices.

    There certainly must be the presence of an army – but in proportion to the civil needs of the pre-war population there. The lowdown is the sooner the Rajapakses hand over civil-rule to the people of Jaffna, the better for them.

    Senguttuvan

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      Seguttavan it’s mind-boggling isn’t it? What’s the end game with this Regime? I tried to figure it out but can’t. People say establishing a Rajapakse Dynasty. Anyone who picks up a newspaper knows that the days of dynastic politics are over. Sure in south Asia it might go on for another decade or so but even Rahul Ghandi in India knows it ain’t going to last. Xi Jinping is going to speed up the openning up of China. With onset of IT and the internet, media control is only for those who don’t know to use the internet.
      Every parent wants to leave something behind for their children. Assuming that holds true for Mahinda as well, what kind of a legacy is he leaving Namal. Namal will be remembered as the son of a president, under whose watch, the nation sunk to its lowest.
      So, given the political trajectory of the regime, it is heading for disaster, including the Rajapakses themselves.
      Surely they know all of this. What gives?

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka shows signs of Imploding, economically and politically and probability of foreign invasion.

    It’s only a matter of time. The simmering allready begun and nobody in the hireups admit.

    • 0
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      Be sure to change your crusty sheets when you wake up from that wet dream. LOL.

  • 0
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    K.A.SUMANASEKERA SHOULD RETURN TO THE VILLAGE MUD HUT WHERE THEY ALL BELONG, WITH THEIR FAMILIES, AND SING “SONDURU GAMMANE’ME’ THAAMA NATHA RAVUNE”.

  • 0
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    Bedrock Barney,

    Your guess as good as mine. As to parents’ legacy, Sir, this must be
    lawfully earned as our parents did. As to Namal, he has been encouraged to become a Mr…% with a myriad of crooked mega deals – long before he even started his career. Methinks he is getting a wrong lesson in how to go about in life. I fear, in the interest of all our people, the coming months/years.

    My best to Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone.

    Senguttuvan

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