20 September, 2020

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Pillay And Kshenuka Statements: National And International Interventions

By Rajiva Wijesinha

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha

21– The Empire Strikes Back

Last week the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, issued a critical statement by Sri Lanka. Unusually for the Ministry of External Affairs, there was a forceful rebuttal of this, written by the Acting Secretary, Ms Kshenuka Seneviratne.

I have been a strong proponent of prompt rebuttals of unfair criticism, but the Ministry had seemed to disapprove of this position. Often through former diplomats, as well as journalists connected to Ministry personnel, it claimed that Dayan Jayatilleka and I had engaged in megaphone diplomacy which had ruined Sri Lanka  – even though it was under Dr Jayatilleka’s leadership that Sri Lanka had achieved its most substantial diplomatic victory in years.

That approach was denigrated and, ever since Ms Seneviratne replaced Dr Dayan Jayatilleka as our Representative in Geneva, the impression created was that criticism had to be taken lying down, and obsequiousness would solve all our problems. Though Ms Seneviratne’s successor, Tamara Kunanayakam, tried to defend the country forcefully, this was not to the taste of the Ministry and they came down on her like a ton of bricks.

This cannot have been a pleasant experience when ladies are involved. But seeing the volte face that has now occurred, Tamara and Dayan would doubtless be laughing, were they not deeply patriotic. As it is, they must be wondering what will hit the country next, given that Dayan’s and Tamara’s strategy of building up international support was thrown aside and we put all our eggs in one basket, described by one of the more aggressive of their critics as Sri Lanka’s ‘traditional liberal democratic alliance base’, by which was meant the West.

Ms Pillay’s missile was not an isolated one, and was preceded by criticisms by several Western countries. Unfortunately, those who thought they were satisfying proponents of liberal democracy, such as Ms Pillay doubtless thinks she is, have no understanding of the principles of liberal democracy. Dayan does, which is why he got on so well even with Westerners whose countries were opposed to Sri Lanka. He was able to deploy our strengths in related areas, and engage actively, which is why during his tenure we welcomed several visits by holders of Special Procedures mandates, and took their advice unless it was contrary to our national interest. His view was that anyone who was not against us was for us, and I should note that many European diplomats, though compelled to vote against us at times because of the Three Line Whip exercised by the European Union, appreciated his willingness to take their concerns seriously.

And in any rebuttal of Ms Pillay, he would have concentrated on what she had got wrong, rather than simply indulging in a plethora of adverbs and adjectives, and descriptive phraseology, that may sound good but do not deal with the substance of the charges made by Ms Pillay. In this respect, the letter sent by Ms Kunanayakam when she was given evidence of double dealing in the Office of the High Commissioner, is a model of restraint. In that, she noted that ‘The communication raises serious doubts about the impartiality, objectivity, and non-selectivity of the work conducted by the staff of OHCHR and their respect for the decisions of the Human Rights Council’ and ‘sought clarification on those developments that appear to be contrary to the mandate granted to the High Commissioner and her Office by General Assembly resolution 48/141’.

Unfortunately the Ministry repudiated that letter, and it was deemed contrary to Ministry instructions to ‘refrain from taking up antagonistic and offensive positions against Western governments and the UN and its officials in the run up to the Universal Periodic Review’. Presumably Ms Seneviratne as Acting Foreign Secretary has now decided that, with the UPR being over, a new policy needs to be implemented. I do not think this will succeed, unless we realize that rhetoric alone is not enough, without substance, and commitment to the values we assert.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    One strained effort. Looks like this piece is Rajiwa’s swansong before his final political demise with the present regime. Try harder Putha.

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      The quality of mercy is not strained Rajiva! What values are you talking about, prey tell? Racism against minorities, xenophobia and militarized Sinhala Buddhist nationalism?

      The Rajapakse Brothers and regime do not know the meaning of ETHICS, VALUES or PRINCIPLES – being a bunch of uneducated rent seeking thugs from Mad – mullana!

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      Madam kshenuka is certainly within her rights to reply to Pilay for her interference in a democratic country like ours. Why only Sri Lanka,why dont she make those comments to Barak Obama for the atrocities committed
      in other countries.How about the Tigers who had slaughtered innocent people including Ministers,presidents etc.If not for President Rajapakse,this country would be still struggling in fear.

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    Kshenuka’s response to Ms Pillay was crude and undiplomatic to say the least. This is the kind of language that is symptomatic of the present regime when valid counterargument with facts are lacking. These people seem to think that they can browbeat foreigners in thesame way they do to their domestic critics. It is going to do more harm to the country but the Rajapaksa regime is not interested in protecting the country’s name but it’s own. That is patently clear now. BTW, Prof Wijesingha, isn’t it time you left this dastardly regime of racists, criminals and thieves before you lose whatever dignity you have left within you?

  • 0
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    Do you know the problem with you and Dayan?

    You two always get yourself half baked. Waste of talent, I suppose. Then again, what else can we expect from a dogmatic liberal and a Marxist!

    Good luck anyway.
    Leela

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      Dayan J while at Geneva,proposed a referendum on the British Monarchy,and was laughed at by most delegates.
      He should have proposed a referendum on the Hon.Executive President and his Dharmishta Government,instead,as he was a slave of same.

      • 0
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        trust me, many of these mentioned interllectuals will have to isolate MR regime and take the side of the right thinking – lanken patriots.

        Days are numbered :)

      • 0
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        I haven’t heard that proposition but I am not surprised if he did. But I’ve heard Mick McGahey, Scottish miners’ leader saying in a TV show that the Monarchy should be nationalized like coal mines, a long time back.
        Leela

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      DJ and TK were the best to defend the country – as Dr. Rajiva W has detailed above – these are facts whoever the ones like you would not see it through you glasses.

      Besides, I really dont think you could be good enough to leave a statement about Dr. Rajiva W, being unable to observe matters realistically.

      Leela, you could be the last to leave this kind statements, have to laugh from my back side, when reading your comments :(

    • 0
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      Leela,
      In a round about method, Rajiva is saying its difficult to defend the undependable over time.
      Think we have witnessed it in the past few months

    • 0
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      Brown nosing requires some special talent…..

  • 0
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    Dayan defended Sri Lanka from war crimes accusations in Geneva in 2009. According to UN estimates, 40,000 Tamil civilians perished largely because the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) did not follow established protocals for war. Therefore, the (Marxist) Dayan should not be seen as a purveyor of “liberal democracy.” One can only liken him to Von Ribbentrop, the Nazi foreign minister, also a very capable diplomat. On another note, had Dayan let the UN do its work, Mahinda would have been branded a war criminal by the international community, and, in the ideal scenario, the ensuing diplomatic isolation would have caused Sri Lankans to oust him sooner rather than later. Given all of the above, it is fair to say that Dayan should be held at least partially accountable for the present dismantling of the Sri Lankan democracy, or what is left of it, by his former master.

  • 0
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    rajive you were chit m.p srilankan people never vote you you a ngo henchman we had all the details dayan and youwere puppets

  • 0
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    Well looks like all the megaphone diplomats are now out of jobs. rajiva probably will get the boot soon. if he had the courage to actually vote ‘no’ rather than abstaining and if he had the guts to actually criticize the source of the impeachment rather than trying to gloss over the reasons behind it he may have deserved some sympathy at his current pathetic plight. the sinhala proverb concerning dogs and flees come to mind.

    rajiva can now join dayan and tamara and reminisce the good old days when all them were cleaning dirty linen for a rogue regime. what a sad state (for them). however this is a good lesson for all those intellectuals types as to what would happen when people compromise integrity for profit.

    now the pain is rajiva will just have more time for his long harangues.

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    Rajiva’s days as an apologist for Rajapaksa are numbered. How this man considers himself a liberal democrat is beyond me. With the exit of Dayan Jayatilleke, Rajiva must be feeling a little uncomfortable and lonely. I wonder if he is courting expulsion from the UPFA and parliament and until then show a façade of nonchalance.

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    PROF WIJESINGHA SAYS;
    under Dr Jayatilleka’s leadership that Sri Lanka had achieved its most substantial diplomatic victory in years.
    ???????????????????????

    NO , I BELIEVE, WE GOT MOST DIPLOMATIC VICTORIES WITH THE HON LAKSHMAN KADIRGAMAR’ S LEADERSHIP.

    Professor Rajiva Wijesinha; Non Career Diplomat, Permanent Secretary.BA MA, PHD, oxford university,

    Dayan Jayatilleka ; Non Career Diplomat.

    Ms Navanetham Pillay; Career Diplomat,Former Judge, BA,LLB, LLM from Harvard Law School.

    Ms Kshenuka Seneviratne; Non Career Diplomat,Ministry of External Affairs Acting Secretary
    Sri Lankabhimanya Lakshman Kadirgamar PC, BA, LLB, DL, Honorary Master of the Inner Temple,UK. Honorary Fellow of Balliol College, University of Oxford.[Honorary DLitt at the Sabaragamuwa University of Sri Lanka ,

  • 0
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    I have diploma in masonry

  • 0
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    At least now Rajeewa should stop blaming everyone under the sun and realise who’s actually behind the sacking of Dayan Tamara and very shortly himself. Kshenuka wouldn’t have acted without the consent of higher powers on this instant nor on previous occasions concerning the megaphone diplomats.

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    “Dr Jayatilleka’s leadership that Sri Lanka had achieved its most substantial diplomatic victory in years.”

    Sorry Rajiva, we can’t agree with you.

    It is not the achievement of Dayan Jayatilleka, it was INDIA who took all those initiatives and supported SL.

    Even someone else in place of Dayan, SL would have got the support of India won everything in the UN.

    Can Dayan deny this fact?

    Since long time, this is totaly a false clim by Dayan and his pals.

    • 0
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      So who you think could be the candidates of DJ calibre to replace him ?

      And how many of them have been on the bunch today while the most law qualified GLP (proved to be GURU) has proved him being a ugath modaya.. not once several dozens of time.

      I am not a fan of DJ, but I am wrong if I would say- that DJ failed to argue adequately in any sessions where he was sent to be a representative. I am a neutral person – looking at all these scenes being out of the county – but I believe, there is none to replace Rajiva and Dayan on the bunch. Unfortunately, these most capable personalities are sitting on the wrong side. That is a curse to Island^s folk.

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        It should be – any sessions when it was to represent the country-SRILANKA. I have read his speeches. Most of them are based on the facts. But being on the wrong side, he may be seen as a wrong person. My wish is all these interllectuals to U TURN and save the nation from the DRAGON LIKE merciless leader who has got reelected ( there are more than strong evidences on the table)through all forms of abuses (computer gilmarts to other vote rigging and fradulent activities). No sooner these interllectuals would be able to prove the nation that they did the best they could – people of the lovely island will be on their side. And those personalities can feel that they have done their best to save the nation from the MARA.

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          Siriyawathie

          This is a civilised forum. Dont use rude words like ugath modaya.

          Dayan was just a representative in the UN.

          It was government Sri Lanka and the governmentof India did all the work.I mean Minitry of foreign affairs of both countries.

          During that period, even if we would had a normal Cleark as our rep in Geneva, we would have won everything.

          If what you say is correct, being a patriot Lankan, why Dayan could not work against the American resolution that was passed only in last March?

          He was just few hundred miles away from Geneva.

          During that time his Marxist friend Thamara was the Ambassador in Geneva.

          Therefore Dayan or his pals cannot claim credit for what has happend during his period in Geneva in the name Sri Lanka.

          India was behind all his activities.

          Dayan enjoyed the golden opportunity backed by India.

          This is the fact.

          • 0
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            Not forgeting, what happend to the resolution passed in May 2009?

            In every UN report, this resolution was considered as fake one.

            Nobody talk about it, except Dayan and his pals.

          • 0
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            As I got it, Ugathmodaya was used to name current day GLP. I agreed, and GLP is deserved to be named after.

            Anyway, you yourself have been seeing it today- not having proper person in proper place – what is going on almost every lanken diplomatic missions incl. the one in the US.

            Needless to say all these if you are NOT ready to see the facts as they really are.

            Most of the foreign missions, inClu. lanken ministries dont render their service as due. This has been come to surface recently by the surveys carried out.

            Name me please examples where the GOSL has performed it best:

            a) CJ impeachment process – entire IC inclu lankens who respect laws are against and hold it as anti-constitutional

            b) Rizana Beheading and the grievances of many thousands living in the camps of Middle east – are being totally neglected though funds allocated to the service have been abused – references can be provided

            c)Many of the foreign missions are not doing their job today
            I know this very well from Germany and several other european locations.

    • 0
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      Absolutely correct.

      Dayan shamelessly grabbed the credit for something the Indian bastards orchestrated and accomplished to curry favour with the Rajapaksa regime. For their efforts the Indians got a slap in their face by Rajapaksa by going back on all their promises about resolving the tamil issue.

  • 0
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    Dude how about getting yourself a real job. Might even get some respect!!

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    People in positions of power and influence must have three sterling qualities
    1. Sincerity of purpose
    2. A sparkling intellect
    3. The ability to transform theories that one knows about into action that brings about change.

    95% of Sri lankans do not have all 3. That is why Sri Lanka is suffering. Kshenuka has none. Rajiva has 1 and 2. Dayan has 1 and 2. Lakshman K had all 3 but died in the process.

  • 0
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    In my humble opinion neither RW not DJ have 1 and RW does not have 2 either. What do others think?

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    Who is going to rebuke the US for their atrocities? The Westerners have killed thousands, if not millions in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama’s choice for defence secretary was very good at killing in Vietnam. Chuck Hagel admitted that he killed hundreds of innocent people in Vietnam. He said that “We were amazingly proficient at it all. In firefights we’d shoot hundreds and hundreds of rounds and after we’d walk 100 yards and see hundreds and hundreds of bodies”. Even after he has admitted that he killed hundreds of innocent people, there is no war crime investigation on Chuck Hagel. Shame on you Americans, you have one law for yourselves, and one law for the developing countries.

    Who is going rebuke India for creating the Tamil Armed Groups? Who is going to rebuke the Western Countries for funding the LTTE, indirectly through the diaspora? India is liable for creating the Tamil armed groups, and the Western Countries are liable for making them as the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world. The Western Countries knew how much money have been poured into the LTTE by the Tamil diaspora, but did nothing. Here is an example; Canada banned the LTTE in 2006, but millions of dollars poured into the LTTE in 2007 and 2008. The CSIS knew everything, but did nothing. The Westerners are happy, as long as the rest of the world is divided, kill each other, and the West get to talk about war crimes, democracy and human rights, in order to undermine others. The Westerners are only 8% of the world’s population, therefore they will do everything to divide others, in order to rule the majority.

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