4 April, 2020

Blog

My Comments On The UN Resolution On Sri Lanka

By MangalaSamaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Today we have achieved a path-breaking success in the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva at the current 30th Session.

For the last several years, Sri Lanka was repeatedly humiliated by the international community with Resolutions that censured the conduct of our country. Successive resolutions since 2012, adopted by divisive and acrimonious voting, resulted in repeated defeats and isolation for Sri Lanka.

Although the Government at the time claimed victory through a Resolution in the Human Rights Council in May 2009, that was hardly a victory for the people of Sri Lanka, as that effort failed to achieve consensus in the Council. The Resolution, which was adopted by a vote, antagonised a large number of members of the Council, paving the way for the series of Resolutions that followed in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that was an affront to the people of my country and brought disrepute to Sri Lanka.

It was undoubtedly a period of embarrassmentand dishonour for the peace-loving, democratically oriented people of Sri Lanka who, for decades, had received acclaim among the United Nations community, as consensus builders, moderates and friends with all.

After almost three decades of conflict ended in 2009, the peace dividend that the people so richly deserved became illusive with each passing day, as impunity reigned, freedom was suppressed and democratic governance was curtailed. The desire of the people of our country to live in peace and harmony was denied to them. The opportunity to unite communities through reconciliation and build a nation that celebrates the rich diversity of our country was squandered away through action that sought to polarise communities even further and isolate the country internationally.

Allegations of violations of human rights remained unaddressed and kept on mounting in the years following 2009. The nation was faced with international strictures and an investigation. The people of our country were deprived of the opportunity to gain the best knowledge and expertise from the international community, obtain access to markets, attract investment and benefit from economic advancement.

Today, as a result of the determined efforts of the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe since January 2015, Sri Lanka has once again succeeded in joining the international community as a responsible, confident and peaceful nation that respects the universal values of freedom, equality and justice.

We have succeeded in winning over the once divided Human Rights Council to work with the Government of Sri Lanka in its efforts to achieve meaningful reconciliation through truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence to ensure peace and prosperity for all our people.

The victory that we have achieved today for the people of our nation, in line with the 100 Day Work Programme and Manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena, reflects the desire of the people of Sri Lanka expressed twice at elections this year, for justice, rule of law, good governance and accountability in all aspects of life. This includes credible investigations into alleged violations of human rights so that non-recurrence is guaranteed and the people of Sri Lanka can steadfastly progress towards reconciliation, peace and stability with the support and assistance of the international community and all stakeholders living in Sri Lanka and overseas.

As I have stressed previously as well, defeating terrorism was a necessity. Today, as a result, Sri Lanka has far greater freedom to deal with the causes of terrorism and engage in nation building and peacebuilding. The armed forces of Sri Lanka were once recognised internationally for their professionalism and discipline. The international community recognises this fact and the unfortunate reality that the reputation of the vast majority of the armed forces was tainted in the recent past because of the system and culture created by a few in positions of responsibility.

The Resolution is in fact an endorsement by the international community of this view and that a credible accountability process will safeguard the reputation and honour ofthose who conducted themselves in an appropriate manner with professionalism. The invitation extended to the Sri Lanka security forces by the UN Peacekeeping Department to increase participation in global UN peacekeeping and the invitation extended to President Sirisena to participate in the Summit on Peace Operations co-chaired by the US President in New York on 28 September are clear examples of this fact.

We are confident that Sri Lanka has the capacity, expertise and the commitment to implement the provisions of the resolution over a period of time, step by step, taking appropriate action that will ultimately vindicate that ournation and her people are at peace,assuming its rightful place among the community of nations. In tandem, we hope to march towards economic prosperity and social development,with benefits trickling down to all.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      Indigestible?

  • 11
    2

    “Although the Government at the time claimed victory through a Resolution in the Human Rights Council in May 2009, that was hardly a victory for the people of Sri Lanka, as that effort failed to achieve consensus in the Council.”

    Dayan’s victory claim in May 2009 and his bragging rights have been dealt a hammer blow! Mangala has beautifully outlined the present conducive conditions. Each passing day from hereon will bring further misery to Dayan et al! Bring it on!

    • 1
      2

      A super explanation by our articulate Foreign Minister. of Sri Lanka’s postion in contrast to Dayan’ s much touted but actually phyrric victory of 2009.

  • 11
    2

    Yo Dayan,

    Here is the verdict on your “single handed victory” coming not from the Diaspora, not from Navi Pillai, not from other Western interests, but from an elected official of the highest standing in Sri Lanka.

    “Although the Government at the time claimed victory through a Resolution in the Human Rights Council in May 2009, that was hardly a victory for the people of Sri Lanka, as that effort failed to achieve consensus in the Council. The Resolution, which was adopted by a vote, antagonised a large number of members of the Council, paving the way for the series of Resolutions that followed in 2012, 2013 and 2014 that was an affront to the people of my country and brought disrepute to Sri Lanka.

    It was undoubtedly a period of embarrassmentand dishonour for the peace-loving, democratically oriented people of Sri Lanka who, for decades, had received acclaim among the United Nations community, as consensus builders, moderates and friends with all.”

    It was you who set in motion a “period of embarrassment and dishonour” for Sri Lanka!

    Read and weep!!

    • 2
      0

      Kumar R

      Well said.

      Keep it up.

  • 4
    0

    Mangala is putting a brave face on this but in reality they fought tooth and nail to permit impunity to continue.

    Must read:
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/09/23/dispatches-awaiting-sri-lankas-courage-and-leadership
    “The delegation even suggested deleting proposals to ensure victim and witness protection, investigate attacks on human rights defenders and journalists, and to address sexual violence and torture.”

    Beneath the nice words, this government is not particularly different – still promoting and protecting a chauvinist state, but much smoother on the diplomatic speak. Bad news is the world will only believe action now.

    Good for all Sri Lankans bad for the extremist racist, ‘Sri Lanka is Sinhala country’ faction.

  • 3
    1

    Well said Mangala, the country needs to deal honestly with the issue without all the mummery and flummery and poppycock ego trips that were inherent in the so called political scientists( now incapacitated) who still try to act like they have the solutions. DJ and team screwed it up completely when they had a chance of redeeming the situation and are still writing to CT about the wonderful results they achieved. Mangala has achieved in two months what these cronies and sycophants of the deposed king could not achieve in ten years and are seen by the nation as a set of clowns still trying to sell their circus. Thank god these nitwits are no longer able to write foreign policy.

  • 1
    1

    It is a victory to accept an accused to sit as the judge for the case against him. It is vital because the sovereignty of his family should not be harmed at any cost! His young children can’t be made to suffer as nobody speaks of the fate of his children.

    This system of legal practice will appear in all the law books.

  • 5
    6

    Shameful case of pandering to the West over country honor, to secure power.

  • 9
    1

    Mr.Mangala Samaraaweera.

    Could you please tell me one plausible reason why the Sri Lankan Government is against International probe? I could think of one reason. If it is an International probe, the whole truth will come out and because you do not want your people to be exposed and punished for the crimes committed by them during last stages of the war, you press on a Domestic probe. If it is a domestic Inquiry, you could hush up things very conveniently as all evidence of crimes have been already obliterated by the armed forces. Your domestic team will obviously put the blame on the LTTE. You are talking of “People” in general. Talk about the Tamil people who had been destroyed at the hands of the Sri Lankan government supported by the International community.

    If you are truly sincere in your words put in deeds and prove it.

    • 0
      1

      Mr Sellam,

      If you are solely interested in punishment you are right. If you are really concerned with knowing the real truth you are totally out of touch with the reality. Domestic or international when you attach the word accountability you will never be able to uncover the whole truth. And reconciliation? Forget about that if you want to punish one side of the 30 year war.

      Tamil political schemers fear true reconciliation between Tamils and Sinhalese like hell. For their efforts for the last 60 years would all be simply down the drain.

      Soma

  • 0
    0

    To illustrate what is being said and what is being done at home to remedy the long sustained humility, Is there anyway for the International Community to confirm the depth of truth in what is said and what is done? Why is it not done and the same song is heard every time without halting the suppression and seeing any remedial actions.

  • 1
    1

    Mr. Mangala Samaraweera: The “Diagnosis” is good, but the “Cure”is not explicitly and categorically stated.What we do need is the “Cure”. What is not important to us is not your “opinion” but the consensus of the Legislature. Have you used that process of placing the UNHRC report and the US amended proposal before the Parliament and obtain the views of the main Law making body? Not to my knowledge so far. I believe that is what a “Responsible Government” would do before expressing your opinion and abide by the decision making body on a collective basis. This is the type of blunders we have been doing and regret to say still being done.

    When I say the above, my attention is drawn to one paragraph in which you say: “Today as a result of the determined efforts of the Government led by President Mirttipala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe since January 2015, Sri Lanka has once again succeeded in joining the international community as a responsible and peaceful nation that respects the universal values of freedom, equality and justice.” Do you absolutely believe in this statement true to your heart? Let me tell you some of the things that you have done so far and that International Community still has strong belief that you are not doing it right. (1) That infamous “Bond Issue” of CB and the “mockery” staged by appointing a committee comprising of UNP affiliated Lawyers. Then it went into a COPE Sub Committee and still the report is not out. Over it again your PM during the election time “Promised” another inquiry and vowed to punish all those found guilty. Just think: What a JOKE this circus was and is. (2) The establishment of the FCID within the Police ambit and appointing a sub Committee of the Cabinet through which all the complains have to be channeled. Is that the Justice System you and your Government want establish and follow? You know very well and also perhaps knowingly your Government allowed some of the alleged people, highly connected and VVIPs to seek redress from the Courts to prevent arrest for such “mega frauds”. (3) It is has been brought to light in Parliament that one of your Ministers in the present cabinet directly influenced the Attorney General in making a decision on a case under investigation. (4) That Avan Guard case. Why the President has to ORDER the continuation of the inquiries when the AG withdrew the case in Courts? (4) The appointment of a MEGA Cabinet that has become a JOKE in the International Community. (5) The MOCKERY of allocating subjects of the Ministries. (6) A Minister – the Cabinet Spokesperson openly says that he was offered a BRIBE of Rs. 200m; but did not want to make a complaint to the Police. If he did not want to proceed with it, he could have well afford to KEEP HIS MOUTH SHUT and if he does it all the time it is good for this Government. These some of the very visible and unacceptable policies still being continued.

    In the light of above, do you think that the International Community who respects Justice, Fair Play, Rule of Law etc. ecc. will welcome you on board. NO. That is why still this USA is bringing in Resolutions to subjugate our FREEDOM to DECIDE for ourselves. From January 2015, still you have not shown the CAPACITY and the STRENGTH to do things RIGHT. So the type of BUTTERING you try to apply will not work and the peoples’ SILENCE must be well understood.

  • 2
    0

    The man who signed to his son’s drug container has been appointed as a government consultant. Murailithran’s bother has been punished for illegal alcohol import. I am not a fan of Murali. I do not watch cricket at all. I remember what he did against Tamils during CHOGM meeting time. But I am a Tamil. Separating Tamils only to Punish and rebuilding the name out from impunity will not work. It is not acceptable. The paramilitary and the police raped and murdered Saraniya and Vidya are saved by UNP government. UNP government is punishing Jeyakumari for that UPFA government even did not mention her in the prison. The Old King is openly claiming he saved Thulanjali when was depositing counterfeit money. He is asking the UNP government that should let his son go for reciprocate it from Thajudeen case. New King is the defense minister who cleaned Mullivaikkal. Old King said he has file on the crimes New King did. New King placed counter claims. These are exchanges between highest positions in Lankawe. Common candidate, during that election, had promised not one single Leader, commander or soldier will be prosecuted. After the election UNP leader visited to Temple Tree House and reaffirmed to Old King that there will be no investigation on him. These are criminals who have bargained with America to do judge their crime themselves.

    If the crimes Fonseka committed only when he was a brigadier attached to north is investigated, he will exceed well above the Genocide crime. But that was the qualification Brother Prince selected him for Alucose Job over Tamils. He has been promoted to Field Marshall by the UNP government after they had come to know the names of the peoples in the list of OISL report. These are hyenas, foxes and lions which have promised to investigate their genocide crime themselves to America. It is the same UNP appointed Jegath as chief of Army. UNP has given minister post for all past criminals back again. Devananda is wanted in Chennai for his murders. UNP is not ready to send him there but wants to investigate KP and Karuna. There is no one in the government to throw the stone first. Who is going to investigate ?

  • 1
    0

    I don’t think he can come-up with a justifiable reason for not having an international investigation, having said that he has come a long way from where the previous govt stood saying there were zero civilian casualties.

    “Allegations of violations of human rights remained unaddressed and kept on mounting in the years following 2009.”

    Above is a serious statement to make on an international forum.

    “The international community recognises this fact and the unfortunate reality that the reputation of the vast majority of the armed forces was tainted in the recent past because of the system and culture created by a few in positions of responsibility.”

    By the above he acknowledges the rot was at the top that created a system and culture for foot solders to behave in a way unbecoming of a soldier. How widely this system and culture was practiced is subjective.

    “We are confident that Sri Lanka has the capacity, expertise and the commitment to implement the provisions of the resolution over a period of time, step by step, taking appropriate action that will ultimately vindicate that ournation and her people are at peace,assuming its rightful place among the community of nations. In tandem, we hope to march towards economic prosperity and social development,with benefits trickling down to all.”
    The above paragraph is troubling as we know how competent Sri Lanka is in enforcing the law and have experience of commissions that wasted time and money with nothing to show for. Will this time around be any different?

  • 1
    1

    The following two paragraphs show the element of denial that persist in the officialdom of Sri Lanka to this day. Open admission of guilt for the misdeeds of the past and bearing responsibility for the shear barbarism employed in the suppression of so called “Terrorism” should be accepted as a means to an end which callously and cowardly ignored and disregarded the norms and the rules of engagement as set out in the Geneva convention.

    As I have stressed previously as well, defeating terrorism was a necessity. Today, as a result, Sri Lanka has far greater freedom to deal with the causes of terrorism and engage in nation building and peacebuilding. The armed forces of Sri Lanka were once recognised internationally for their professionalism and discipline. The international community recognises this fact and the unfortunate reality that the reputation of the vast majority of the armed forces was tainted in the recent past because of the system and culture created by a few in positions of responsibility.

    We are confident that Sri Lanka has the capacity, expertise and the commitment to implement the provisions of the resolution over a period of time, step by step, taking appropriate action that will ultimately vindicate that our nation and her people are at peace,assuming its rightful place among the community of nations. In tandem, we hope to march towards economic prosperity and social development,with benefits trickling down to all.

    I thought we through your words have established that Sri Lanka through years of impunity and lawlessness has lost its ways and is incapable of dealing with charges of this magnitude. Please do not make me puke by mentioning the good name of the armed forces and the integrity of your institutions of law and order mechanism.

    Snap out of your false sense of Sri Lankan decency and honour and years of civilization. Where has all those claims brought the nation. Where it belongs on docks of an international arena being charged of despicable crime of Rape, Murder and any other heinous crimes you can conceivably think under the sun. Just deal with it.

  • 1
    1

    Mr Minister,

    Congratulations for your achievement in the UNHRC. Your commitment and assurances to the international community are welcomed and it is carefully watched how your words will turn into deeds. You have brought the glory of Sri Lanka with your team members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No millions of dollars spent for PR firms or plane load of people to Geneva were taken. It shows that for the last ten years how the previous regime mismanaged and damaged the country. You have done the damage control and brought the country to a neutral status in the international arena. However, coming days and months will tells us the rest and about your further achievements.

  • 1
    0

    Good thoughts indeed. Only in their genuine implementation, the truth of the statement could be realised. Anyway we won’t have to wait too long. Only 18 months!
    Sengodan. M

  • 0
    1

    Just an extremely watered down resolution supported by the USA and India to appease their ally, the presently elected Sinhalese Sri Lankan government, that is only slightly better towards the Tamils than the openly racist Mahinda’s regime but has learnt to hide their true feelings towardes the Tamils with lots of nice talk that will never be implemented. The Tamil people who are the real and main victims of this catastrophe at the hands of everyone( all Sri Lankan governments since independence, the Armed forces the Police the LTTE and the government sponsored para militaries ) have been betrayed by the international community mainly the USA and India, just because they want to propup their present Sri Lankan government who they think is their ally. Nothing much will come out of this. The perpetrators of this heinious war crime will go scot free or just get a slap on the wrist. There will lots of nice talk about reconciliation but very little done, as all Sri Lankan governments, including the present one are racist to the core. Belive the land only belongs to the Sinhalese Buddhists. The foreingn component now is only there on a advisory basis and has no power. The TNA has become a joke

  • 1
    2

    Mangala Samaraweera is proving himself to be a great Foreign Minister. He is an asset in the cabinet and the country is indeed fortunate to have him playing the role he is, at this moment in our history.

    Are mature, wise, sober and diplomatic words. He is portraying Sri Lanka as not anti- or pro- anything, but a pragmatic State seeking solutions to her long neglected and festering problems.

    The right approach.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 0
    0

    Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe & President Mathripala Sirisena are jointly responsible for realigning the foreign policy.

    Congratulations of the Nation are in order for their achievement!!Their actions have been consistent with the permanent interests of Sri Lanka.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.