18 September, 2018

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Poisoned Chalice: US Draft Resolution Wants Demilitarization Of The North & East

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

By the draft resolutions ye shall know them. While there are sentences introduced into draft resolutions as bargaining chips, a draft resolution is as clear an indication as possible of the real thinking of those who author and sponsor it. This makes it very easy to distinguish between a real friend, ally and partner, an occasional friend and a “frenemy” (friendly foe).

The US draft resolution, or should I say the US-UK draft resolution, attempts to get Sri Lanka to agree to something that the world’s deadliest terrorist militia failed to do in thirty years of war, studded with suicide bombing. It tries to get us to agree to what a 70,000 strong contingent of the world’s fourth largest army did not try to or tried only partially to do. The US resolution, in its Operative Paragraph 15, “Urges the Government of Sri Lanka to…demilitarize the north and east of Sri Lanka…

In the very first place it is not the business of the UN Human Rights Council to urge the demilitarization of any part of any country, and certainly not a country at peace. Troop deployment is a sovereign decision based on the perception of security threats and needs of an independent state.

In the second place, what does “demilitarize” mean? Certainly it does not mean a mere re-profiling of the armed forces presence in the North and East, because if that were the case, there are other terms which could express that idea, such as “drawdown”, “reduction”, “reconfiguration” etc. No, demilitarization means just that—and let’s not forget that English is the language of the drafters of the resolution.

Can one imagine an area which saw a thirty year war until a mere six years ago, being demilitarized in any country? The USA took twelve years for the Union (Northern) armies to withdraw from the ex-Confederate South after the Civil War.

Can one imagine the demilitarization of the sensitive border areas of any country? Can one imagine the demilitarization of any border area which is separated by a mere 23 kilometers from a landmass inhabited by 70 million ethnics of the populace of that border area?

Can one imagine any country which demilitarizes a border province across which there is a landmass whose political leadership i.e. the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, has in a formal letter to the Indian PM called in just so many words, for a “Tamil Eelam”?

This is what the US resolution wants us to do—which means this is what the US-UK and the West want us to do. This is what they would like to see as the future of Sri Lanka: an unguarded, insecure, wide-open North and East, devoid of a military presence which deters separatist terrorism or cross border incursion.

This call for demilitarization has to be seen in tandem with Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s recent official visit to India, during which a call was paid on him by Indian Union Minister for roadways, Nitin Gadari who briefed him on the US $ 5.19 billion ADB funded project to link Sri Lanka and India. You don’t need 5.19 billion US dollars to build a bridge or a road; you do need it to build a massive underwater tunnel, which has already been announced. Top Indian strategic analyst C Raja Mohan writing in the Indian express says that the Indian media already calls it the “Hanuman Bridge”.

Thus the big plan is to make Sri Lanka physically part of the Indian subcontinent. It must also be noted that the project will link, not just any part of Sri Lanka with just any part of India but precisely Northern Sri Lankan – which the USA draft resolution wants us to demilitarize—with Tamil Nadu—which wants to see a Tamil Eelam in the North and East of Sri Lanka.

The US resolution also calls for the repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act as promised by the Sri Lankan Government, which will be substituted by a more suitable piece of legislation.

“13. Affirms the Government of Sri Lanka’s commitment to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in line with contemporary international best practices…”

Now if the wording merely called for review and reform it would be unexceptionable, but when it calls for repeal, what it means is that no one currently in jail under the PTA can remain in jail when the Act is repealed. No one can be jailed under a new Act which was not on the books when they were sentenced!

Thus over two hundred hardcore terrorists including Black Tigers will be released. Meanwhile the Sri Lankan Government promised in Geneva to repeal the Public Security Ordnance, under which the State declares Emergency and Martial Law. It was not introduced by the Rajapaksa regime but by a liberal-left post WW II colonial administration in 1947. Imagine the situation in which the North and East have been demilitarized as per the US resolution, ex-Black Tigers are back in those provinces, and the Sri Lankan state has neither the military presence nor the laws as deterrents?

The US draft resolution also calls for the removal from the military and security establishments of anyone who can be ‘credibly implicated’ of having violated human rights. This means those who have not had a fair trial but are “credibly implicated” of having deprived Tiger suicide bombers who might have blown up a bus or train fill of civilians, of their human rights.

“8. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to introduce effective security sector reforms as part of its transitional justice process that include ensuring that no scope exists for retention in or recruitment into the security forces of anyone credibly implicated in serious crimes involving human rights violations or abuses or violations of international humanitarian law including members of the security and intelligence units…”

The US Draft resolution tells the Sri Lankan public what our Government has actually promised, namely a special court with a special prosecutor, and goes on to propose that we not only internationalize that mechanism but revise our laws to prosecute those whose only excesses were committed in their zeal to defeat the deadly LTTE and save us, our children and our country from that enemy. The resolution tells us how to punish such people who saved us.

“4. … and calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka, to involve international investigators, prosecutors and judges in Sri Lanka’s justice processes;

5. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to review and, where required, reform domestic law to ensure that it allows for prosecution of the full range of crimes under domestic and international law involving violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.”

16. … calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to review and, as appropriate, repeal or reform legislation and other measures enacted and implemented during the armed conflict and its aftermath so as to reflect the transition to peace and stability on the island and to ensure compliance with Sri Lanka’s international obligations,

17. Calls upon the new Government of Sri Lanka to reform its domestic law to ensure that it can effectively implement its own commitments, the recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, as well as the recommendations of the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights requested in resolution 25/1, including the investigation and prosecution of those most responsible for the full range of relevant crimes involving violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”.

The famous line about “international judges, prosecutors and investigators” which the US endorses and has incorporated into the draft resolution could well be a dummy pass, because the well-known journalist Amanda Hodge writing in the leading newspaper The Australian, reported in its September 18th issue, what the game plan really is: “local judges and international investigators”! So they are planning to do a WMD on us, with Western forensic experts crawling all over, digging up doggie bones and alleging mass graves and war crimes.

Meanwhile Foreign Minister Samaraweera and his Prime Minister must stop telling untruths on the public record. Their claim is that President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to an accountability mechanism—they sometimes say an international investigation, sometimes a domestic mechanism – in his May 23, 2009 Joint Statement with Ban Ki Moon and later in the May 2009 Resolution in favor of Sri Lanka which obtained a near-two thirds majority in the UN Human Rights Council, on my watch. This is given the lie by the simple fact that the US Draft Resolution refers to and stands upon the Resolutions of 2012, 2013 and 2014, and makes no reference whatsoever to the resolution of 2009 which Sri Lanka won. This is because there was no commitment that the US can refer to which derives from 2009.

The relevant portion of the May 23, 2009 Joint Statement read as follows: “The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address those grievances.”

As for the Resolution of May 27th 2009, it simply stated in paragraph 10 that the Council “Further welcomes the visit to Sri Lanka of the Secretary-General at the invitation of the President of Sri Lanka, and endorses the joint communiqué issued at the conclusion of the visit and the understandings contained therein”.

The “understandings contained therein” were that the Government would take unspecified measures to address grievances regarding an accountability process with regard to human rights and humanitarian law violations. The “Government will take measures to address those grievances” is hardly a smoking gun; no evidence of any commitment to an accountability mechanism, domestic, international or hybrid. Indeed it is a model of diplomatic ambiguity. The LLRC and the Disappearances Commission, are the measures that the previous Government took, as promised, to address those grievances. That Government’s lapse was in failing to fully implement the LLRC report within a compressed time frame.

The hybrid Sri Lankan Government wants us to believe that we shall be bailed out by our friend the USA and that we must at all times cooperate and collude with it, even when that goes against our core national, strategic and security interests, which as history and geography teach us, are centered on our geo-strategically and demographically vulnerable North-Eastern periphery.

The US expects Sri Lanka to agree in the main, to their Geneva draft. If it does so, Sri Lanka is drinking from a poisoned chalice and none of our friends in and outside the Council will be able to save us.

The US Draft resolution circulating in Geneva and the Sri Lankan Government’s complicit posture remind me that Che Guevara used to approvingly quote Frederick Wilhelm of Prussia who said “God save me from my friends; I can take care of my enemies myself”.

*Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was a Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council, elected to represent the Asian Region in 2007-2008.

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Latest comments

  • 4
    12

    All the serpents are out and coming to bite, This is the reason we needed Mahinda governement for another decade. We have no friends in West. I have no faith in idiotic Sisrisena, Hopefully This is Ranil’s moment to rise against the tide and show what he is built ug against the intrutionsts.

    Do not let awamangala to carry on this path.

    • 10
      3

      srinath gunaratne

      “We have no friends in West.”

      Sorry MR lost all his friends in the west (who helped VP to win the war for MR) and turned them into sort of enemies the next day after the war had come to an end.

      “This is the reason we needed Mahinda governement for another decade.”

      Had he stayed in office and continued his bravado it would have cost the country more than what the country is facing now.

      The only way out is (the west and Hindia has already given a way out) to set up a credible Truth and Reconciliation Commission, invite all those perpetrator to confess, own up, say sorry, beg for amnesty, move on. Only the smart asses should be prosecuted. As far as the credibility of local Investigators are concerned why don’t you just forget it.

      There is no tide, its only gentle breeze. Enjoy until it turns into tornado.

      It would be useful if you kept your fingers off the keyboard, get over it, let the government deal with it and get it over with.

      If the armed are innocent there is nothing to fear.

      • 2
        1

        NV,

        this man Srinath would never change his attitude, he has all difficulties in realizing as to why people chased away Rajano.
        He the like would do any ill job for Mahinda to stay in power. Shortly before the election, this and other men only described how powerful Rajpaakshes have bene… they felt, that Rajapakshes really concerned external affairs – but truth as i tis.. Rjaapkashes just let it go… not even discussed what UNO and UNHRC wants the island nation to do in terms of war crime investigations.
        Today much more are becoming clear that they hired menabusing millions just to get done normal work in the embassies… that says everything about Rajapakshe wisdom. Please read what that former Pres secretary revealed day before yesterday.

    • 2
      1

      Srinath says “We have no friends in West.”…
      Do you know close to 2 million Lankans refuge in the West..That is close to 10% of total population.. All children of rich and upper middle class people send their children to the West and they already started breeding there… lost of parents put one foot their too, lot of old parents already live in the West get pension benefits as well….
      You say West is not a friend of Lankans..

      • 0
        1

        Instead of attacking the west,these idiots should be grateful to them for only one reason… tamil srilankens were given refuge on those countries at the time war was at its height. Had those countries given the hand, would those sriankens stay alive to this date ? Besides are not a developed nation – with average earn not even few dollars a day. But Rajaapkshe men painted a superior stigma that we the nation are powerful… and we are highly literate though not using our Uni franchise properly… we have per capita over few thousanda of dolllars.. all are blatant lies.
        a) Guys, can you imagine if people in general are knowledgeble would they ever vote for Buruwanse et al.. and all the bunch that proved to have all frauds done.

        b) Single question – how a parliamentarian earned that much during the days of Rajapakshe – can simply be investigated by a special investigation committee… western politicians would do the job within few weeks, why cant any lanken govt to do that easily ? it is just because, .. even the current rulers are not capable enough..
        may be foreign professionals could clear the issues within weeks.

        Is that a big thing to trace how they have abused those funds ? Not at all… today, we have all kind of IT techniques to prove issues so efficently

        Only what we need is – the power similar to that of a western nation….
        rigorous law enforcement like the way Germans do it.. the English do it… the Dutch do it…

    • 2
      1

      You were shut up by at least 50% of the nation that rejected your god father – the most abusive presidents of the entire developing countries. Today, you need to raise the question – why people rejected the bugger even if you and the ilk went on supporting him only for the wrong perception sowed in the nation that he was the only nation who liberated the nation from LTTERs. Actually those who know are well aware of the facts – that it was a collective work – that eleminated ltter brutal activities in the country – but as it is the case of them, they always painted it as they were the men, their magical powers.. having returned from the US – for example NOT A number one high man of lanken Army should be given all powers by gods at once to go for that and round up the ltters….. fairy tales broad and telecasted by local channels outreached the masses, as it is the case with other isssues, somtimes crying ones, in the country.. these folks are emotional – they would see it only for the moment and thought Rajapakshe were the real men to thave done that.
      But uni dons and others that have brains are well aware of the facts, the war that was left to that time, were the last part of the relay race which started 30 years ago. Each and every govt made their way of efforts going thorugh all the channels to save their folks.. but it was all through human ways, but as it is the case in every folks there are also fractions that would react like babarians regardless of even their own communities. Was that NOT the case with Rajapakshes as we saw it by eyes during the last 5 years.. they treated even sinhala people with no human manner… no proper investigators or anything were held, people had fears as no others.. even in parliaments, they the Rajanos had the words, while grass eating memeber of parliamentarians stayed as if their are compelled to do so. Most of all those former powerful .. dried pumpins – spent sources but made every efforts to enjoy the perks… i mean the fraction of Wasidewa – were very selfish for their own survivials. … but in the end – what was not expected became the reality within few months of revoluationary struggle led by almost the majority people … not only UNP JVP or other parties, but several other non political organisations went on saying that NO MORE with Rajapakshes.. all these have been forgotten to lanken folks today.. they are memory losers of high grade – proved not once several dozens of times.

    • 2
      2

      Mahinda is not worth even to given a lead to Hambantota.. how can he govern the nation ? It was you who made him a leader… I really dont think a man who only relied on MOST FOOLISH astro men when taking decisions fo rthe country – has any right to get relected. Rajapakshe is smeared with all extrements to this day, and that is the reason why he does not like to agree with any kind of confrontations in terms of holding war crime investigations. He can give you tofees but not to international communities and the people that rejected him across the nation.

      Please try to live up your deam being cornered to UK,you guys are just a group of people that sought their asyslum on the west – abusing those rights offered in such countries. U have no right to talk about lanken issues actually. If you have a heart, come back to the country and help the reconcilaiton process by being a part of them.

      I dont mean any higher professional stay further on the west, since developing countriessuch as ours have no funds to help them with their research as being done in developed world. They can contribute a lot to the world folks if they can join the research being on the west. But all others – including tamil migrants should return to the country today- is what i feel.. then only europe has a place for the those real refugees that are indeeed in need today.

      • 0
        1

        I read somewhere, one commmentator raised the question, why the journalists have not questioned Mahinda Rajapakshe yet ?There are myriard of questions as to why he as the former president failed to manage. All these the Journalists can make it clear if they would interview the accused. Yet to come why TOY pistol mayor reacted that way ? Why they did not allow any fact finding missions doing their job where they suspected then rulers to have gone wrong… Why MR did not allow courts to function independently ?

    • 2
      2

      There used to be a rumour earlier that Dayan was working for RAW (secret agent). Mahinda should be very careful in employing this fellow for all his propaganda and other odd jobs. Do not give him access to detailed information. These untrustworthy people (will do anything for a posting) should always be kept at a distance. Take the maximum out of him but keep him where he deserves to be kept.

    • 0
      0

      I say Srinath Guneratne, are you out of your mind? Seriously, are you?

      Better consult a shrink, fast. Either it is that, or you been asleep for a very long time and only just woke up.

      Stunning, there are still people like you around.

  • 4
    6

    The biggest problems is America’s wording. It is extremely soft. I hear even China is ready to vote for that type of resolution. The NGO and Tamil organizations have to approach to western democracies to get some amendments imbedded. Minimum they should ask for UN peacekeepers to move North-East. Everybody knows what will Lankawe do if America asks for troop removal. Like in the elections times, when there are foreign observers, Lankawe stop the uniformed troops in the camp and send out Non-Uniformed troops. Without UN peacekeepers witness protection is only a joke. UN Peacekeepers only can stop campaigners like Dayan.

    Somebody has to come forward to carry some weight on their shoulders. America is bringing resolution. EU can ask for amendments. That will be well balanced.

  • 4
    3

    Those who have created chaos and suffering in many other parts of the World have their sights on Sri Lanka. There is no doubt about it. Is there someone to mobilize the people of this country against these threats? The elections results show that the former President still retains the confidence of a sizeable proportion of the people. He can lead the campaign to prevent the country from being left open for another terrorist uprising and protect the soldiers who defeated terrorism from persecution. Whatever action is taken’ it must be ensured that there is no violence(especially against minorities) lest it gives the wolves of the west who would howl for ‘r2p’the excuse they are looking for.

    It is vital that Dayan and other writers continue to expose the threats to the country despite the well orchestrated abuse against them.

  • 1
    2

    Suppose this author is a European, or Singaporean, or Malaysian, will he be thinking like a frog in the well? If he is the Prime Minister of a European Country he sure will amass his Country’s military at the borders and threaten neighboring Countries! If he is the Prime Minister of Singapore, he will amass Singapore’s military and threaten Malaysians entering Singapore! and if he is the Prime Minister of Malaysia, he will amass Malaysia’s military and threaten Singaporeans entering Malaysia! I can’t imagine such a fool got educated and got a chance in representing Sri Lanka because of an extremist President!

  • 5
    1

    If Lanka refuses to comply, absolutely nothing happens. The matter will be escalated to the UN Security Council where it can be vetoed by China and/or Russia. That would be a massive loss of face for the West and India.

    The West and India may impose own trade restrictions or even sanctions on Sri Lanka which is self-defeating. Rescinding trade with India immensely benefits Sri Lanka. All imports from India can be imported from China and Pakistan so there is no impact. Exports to the US and the EU can hurt Sri Lanka unless they can be channelled to the growing Chinese, Latin American and other markets. Sanctions will only push Lanka into the waiting arms of China. In fact, Sri Lanka is one of only a handful of Asian nations where China is not its main trading partner at the moment. USA and India would not want it changed. The net gain on garment and other exports to the US and the EU are minuscule and nothing much will be lost anyway. Knowing these economics, they will not impose sanctions if Lanka failed to comply.

    • 0
      0

      Bumsofty, no worries, they will master it accordingly. Gone are the days – only Madamulanas had to say even if their brains are not good enough to lead a donkey in thick jungle.

  • 1
    0

    withering heights of a former revolutionary. Quoting American satan to defend militarism. Dayan himself was at the butt of PTA. Luckily JR pardoned him.

  • 1
    0

    the cattle herder (hard-core black tiger) from Batticaloa is still in jail.

  • 2
    0

    What is most interesting about this Dayan fellow’s writing is, to read the reader’s comments, each time he writes.

    We don’t read this fellow’s writing. Instead we read only what the readers say. Must say he gets a sound hammering every time.

    Must have been a croc in his last birth!!

    • 3
      0

      DJ can see the bigger picture. The buffaloes cannot.

      • 0
        2

        taraki

        “DJ can see the bigger picture.”

        Even the buffaloes can see the bigger picture, not this war monger.

  • 0
    1

    CT why dont you post the OCHR report. It is only available in tamilnet.

  • 2
    2

    Dayan

    Do you remember the much esteemed journalist Mervyn De Silva? He was one of the icons of journalists in Sri Lanka. If you have forgotten, it is time to go to the Kanatte cemetery and lay a wreath and cry for him for few minutes. This will open your mind to be honest and stop your scatterbrain approach to writing.

    You took holiday from writing to campaign for the criminal Mahinda and now trying to invigorate from the lost grounds with your barrage of writings.

    I am writing this comment without reading your article. Because, I am disgusted. I detest to read your writings anymore.

    By the way, can you tell the saucy story of why you changed your surname from Silva to Jayatilleke? This what plagued you to berserk.

    How is your paternal uncle Neville who was yawns of thunderous metal rubbing noise when he was the Deputy High Commissioner in the Sri Lanka High Commission in London. You are another yawner like him in your writings.

    • 2
      2

      Manike,

      we are all disgusted by DJ (twin brother of thunmulle wimale – their genetics go so close eath others) I really dont know why these creatures make every effort to block any good move –
      Can you tell us one single good thing that this DJ the paranoid mouth has done to the nation since 2009. His boastings are only about defending the country in 2009. This man is not worth even to keep in a lanken prison acutally. I wonder why some senders keep asking the bugger to add his thoughts repeatedly. Going back to his articles – says published within last 8 months – there are no consistencies at all. He can write and write until ink is no more there. But there is no value in this contents.. no substance at all. If he is a good analyset, like Ravaya man could make good predictions about the MR s nemesis. DJ is a similar to that of that Galle – Astrolger who twisted the stupid mind set of Mr Mademulana.

      • 2
        0

        Sama

        I fully agree with you.[Edited out]

  • 1
    2

    DJ, once again you give us the well-rehearsed set piece about the wily ways of the rapacious west. So, after 58 years and 30 plus countries you have now come home to defend your mother land. The things you have done for mother Lanka; even lost your trousers!

    But I wonder if you have ever reflected at any time in the last six long years on the words of Carl Jung:

    “Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves. But deep down below the surface of the average conscience a still, small voice says to us, something is out of tune. ”

    Let us all stand tall, let us hear the truth (and nothing but the truth).

    (And let us pray that we have someone like a Radhabinod Pal – He of the Tokyo Internationa Tribunal – on our own hybrid tribunal to give us some consolation.)

  • 1
    2

    on what moral ground, basis and qualification, you were elected as Vice President of the UN Human Rights Council.

  • 0
    0

    We all know that Dayan [Edited out]

  • 0
    3

    Why this man shouting hoarse at the hanuman bridge. I heard the story he was picked up from an indian chopper somewhere in the eighties. i dont know whether it is true. If the bridge was there that time he could have done a marathon race.

  • 1
    0

    Government must not agree to demilitarize North and East.
    Terrorist will always want to fight and the west want to sell alms
    to Sri-Lanka government and the terrorist all politics .MS and RW must not agree to demilitarize. This is not a Sinhala/Tamil problem Some Idiots want to split Sri-Lanka and have fun on top of Illam.

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