25 November, 2020

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Post- Geneva, Post -PC Elections

By Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

Dr.Saravanamuttu

Dr.Saravanamuttu

Post- Geneva and post- PC elections, some clarifications are in order because the resolution, locally, came to be obscured by the fog of elections and the scare stories that were put out about sanctions and the electric chair, not to mention the absurdity of the arithmetic of the Geneva vote propounded by no less a personage than the Minister of External Affairs.

The regime clearly intended to scare the electorate into voting for them.  First came the ridiculous rhetoric about the electric chair which resulted in a queue to qualify for it from the President to Sarath Fonseka, with the Leader of the Opposition assuring all who cared to listen, that since he did not, when Prime Minister, sign the Rome Treaty setting up the International Criminal Court, all can sleep safely at night.  He is correct in that we are not signatories to the Rome Treaty. Consequently, it is only the UN Security Council that can refer the issue of Sri Lanka to Rome via a resolution and in any event there is no capital punishment at this level.

It is only the UN Security Council too, that can impose sanctions against a country.  All members of the UN have to comply with a resolution to such an effect. To cut a long and misleading story short, the UN Human Rights Council cannot impose mandatory sanctions on Sri Lanka or any other member state -the sponsors of the current resolution on Sri Lanka made very clear at the outset that sanctions were not being contemplated.  Of course individual countries could decide to impose sanctions- however, there seems to be no likelihood of this happening in the near future.  And as far as the Security Council is concerned, the regime is insured against any punitive action by the Chinese and Russian vetoes.

The issue now remains that of the High Commissioner identifying the precise modalities for such an investigation and setting it up.  It is clear that the regime will not allow any international commission to visit Sri Lanka. The commission will have to work with information already available outside of Sri Lanka and with any evidence supplied by anyone in Sri Lanka who dare communicate with the commission.

On further clarification on the resolution -regime propaganda, the contortions and distortions of the Minister and various other acolytes aside, the point that needs to be borne in mind and the lesson that needs to be learned in respect of foreign policy is that, notwithstanding their dislike of single-country resolutions and whatever other misgivings they might have had with regard to the resolution on Sri Lanka, 12 countries from the global South abstained – yes, they did not vote with the US; more importantly they did not vote with the Rajapaksa regime.  All these countries surely know that a resolution in the UNHRC is passed with a simple majority. Therefore, abstention facilitates rather than impedes the passage of a resolution.  Regime foreign policy makers should take serious note of this instead of indulging in such ridiculous casuistry.  It is an insult to the polity.

The prospect of policy revision by the regime is dim and distant.  We were treated to a foretaste of the regime’s response even before the vote was taken in Geneva.  Human rights defenders Jeyakumari and her daughter, Father Praveen and Ruki were detained – the latter two subsequently released.  We are told that the LTTE is re-grouping even within Sri Lanka and that an individual named Gobi has been tasked with the responsibility for this. Jeyakumari and her daughter are supposed to have given sanctuary to this individual; yet in the highly militarized Vanni, Gobi is yet to be found. These incidents have been followed by further detentions and search operations in the north – according to some accounts between 30-40 have been taken in.  Finally, there is the ban on 15 diaspora Tamil organisations, pursuant to the UN anti-terrorism resolution and under our PTA, on the grounds that they have LTTE links.  Any contact here or abroad with these organisations is prohibited and carries severe penalties.

The priority of the regime appears to be to stop the flow of information from the ground, nationally and internationally, so that the civil society counter-narrative to its propaganda can be challenged on the grounds of being woefully deficient in terms of hard facts and dismissed, therefore, as largely accusatory and fabricated.  The banning of the diaspora organizations also serves the purpose of restricting the flow of funds to the north and east and to the TNA for developmental work and social welfare, in addition to attempting to de-legitimise the international investigation on the grounds of the engagement of these organisations with it.  The regime will argue that the investigation is based on information provided by pro-LTTE sources.

Then lumping together of a number of diverse organisations and tarnishing them with the same secessionist brush is probably no accident. Anyone with a smattering of information and knowledge of Tamil diaspora politics would not lump all these organisations together unless the objective is to paint them all as extremists and thereby marginalize them.  Are there not moderates amongst them?  Is the TNA to be banned next?  What of reconciliation?  Is it to be achieved only through engagement with KP and Karuna and no one else?  Who in the diaspora can participate in the South African initiative for truth and reconciliation?  Wasn’t the diaspora supposed to be a key stakeholder in this and one the regime was especially interested in engaging?

The question then arises as to why such action is being taken. Is it necessary? Is it disproportionate?  What signals does it send, nationally and internationally? As for the former, available evidence suggests that the detentions, searches and the ban are having a chilling effect on life in the north – again, probably as intended.  Internationally, the message conveyed could well be of a country not quite as yet at peace as trumpeted, but rather of one in danger of reverting back to the future?  Is this intended, as well?

The answer probably lies in the investigation and the sustenance of a rationale for maintaining the high level of militarization and draconian anti-terror legislation. Furthermore, there are the political benefits to the regime from its self-portrayal as the defenders of the nation against a resurgent LTTE.

Given the sound and fury unleashed by the regime at the recent provincial elections over the Geneva resolution and its threat to sovereignty, a much higher turn out in its favour could have been expected at the polls.  That this did not materialise clearly indicates that it is a card of diminishing returns.  Two caveats are in order though, a presidential election may be a different story and their best efforts to put the best face on the elections results notwithstanding, it is clear that the main opposition party is yet to convince that it is a convincing alternative to the current disposition.

Politically, the country is in a sense, in limbo.  The regime’s popularity is decreasing; that of the opposition is not increasing anywhere near what is required to win elections.

Changes are in the making though in terms of truth and accountability.   Gradually, may not be to the satisfaction of most, but it may be the only way for change at present.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    wait for the haters, will paint P Sara as a traitor too !

    • 4
      10

      No one has to wait. Paikiasothy is a traitor, proven oer many years of carpet bagging. How did he become a multi millionire over the war years when the rest of the country were struggling de to terrorism?

      He says, “12 countries from the global South abstained – yes, they did not vote with the US; more importantly they did not vote with the Rajapaksa regime. All these countries surely know that a resolution in the UNHRC is passed with a simple majority. Therefore, abstention facilitates rather than impedes the passage of a resolution.”

      This is more absurd than Prof peiris’ theiry about the number of abstentoins he is trying to run dowm.

      The man is a fraud making a nice living out of “human rights” protection mafia business.

      • 0
        0

        “It is only the UN Security Council too, that can impose sanctions against a country.”

        Ha ha when the EU sanctions the world takes note because it really bites even the Chinese and Russians.

        When the EU proscribed fatty got done.

        Boom boom don’t fall off the broom await to cannibalise yourself.
        “female spiders cannibalize courting males”- femme fatale so far so good.

        Un gran salud

        Javi

        • 0
          0

          By 2020 Chinese economy will be the largest in the world. Even right now China is the largest manufacturer in the world. Except Germany, EU in general is in bad shape. Even Germany cannot do without Russian gas. So US and EU sanctions on China and Russia is just talk not work.

          • 0
            0

            Like Goota’s mechanics grow leeks
            China makes sh*t for slaves using prisoners.

  • 11
    1

    Truth and accountability are going to be extremely hard to come about, with so many clamps and restrictions being enforced on the civil society by the government. In fact it will be a real wonder if that could happen!

    Sengodan. M

    • 3
      1

      Sengodan,

      Not really, the big powers have satellite evidence in great detail:
      But it will only be used in the last resort.

      With hundreds of thousands of witnesses (soldiers included) it is hard to put a lid on the truth. Truth has its price too! Anyway, let’s wait and see.

  • 0
    8

    These are LTTE era theories.

    Don’t work POST-LTTE.

    • 4
      1

      There is no POST_LTTE era. LTTE is still the driving force. Your Sinhala state cannot run your matters without LTTE not even for a second.

    • 1
      0

      So the Jewish/Islamic axis of evil F_Imam is suggesting sabotage unless there is Sharia Law.- Al Shababa in the making of Al Lanka.

  • 8
    1

    All these drastic and panicky actions by the Rajapaksa regime is to silence the witnesses to the UNHRC inquiry. The regime is fully aware that there is a vast amount of evidence from eyewitnesses to the mass murder in the last stages of the war and the continuing human rights violations in the North and East of the country.

    The evidence already in the public domain indicate high level government complicity in the massacre of thousands of civilians and surrendered LTTE fighters but such evidence presented in a public inquiry will formally put the ‘war criminal’ tag on Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabhaya and many military commanders. That is what the regime is trying to prevent. The world is watching and Rajapaksa may not be able to fool the world this time.

    • 3
      1

      Piranha,

      You are absolutely correct: These Rajapakses are believing their own propaganda as truth. They keep on going with the same modus operandi. Their actions are suicidal – on the verge of madness.

      They seem to unable to see the truth or they don’t want to see it: It’s a psychological state that humans sometimes go through.

      Finally Rajapakses have no choice but to keep riding till they are thrown off the saddle.

  • 5
    1

    In the 21st century, a butcher can slaughter over 40,000 lives of women, infirm, elderly and children and so far has successfully evaded the long arm of justice! I can’t believe this!!

  • 2
    1

    Govt non cooperation with OHRC will probably result in an ex-parte international inquiry which will be once again rejected by the govt. So the international battle will go on and could lead to individual countries adopting limited sanctions after 2-3 years.

    Meantime the local political and economic scene will remain in a state of limbo. The corrupt family and politicians will make hay while the masses will engage in protests and demonstrations tempered occasionally with doses of water cannon and tear gas.

    Conditions in the North will remain under the stranglehold of the military. The other factor which is India will start weighing in after the April election of the new govt. Whatever dynamics will be provided by the TN, Indian pressures supported by the US and EU. This may force the Govt to rethink its policies.

    • 0
      3

      The same UNHRC passed 6 other resolutions, 5 against Israel, and one against the mighty hegemon. They have already been ignored by both parties. I expect Navi Pillay will be flying kites.

      Poor MIA, the rapper, has been sued for $16 million for displaying her ‘culture’ to the US public.

      • 4
        1

        So Sri Lanka is on par with Israel and the US. Hardly good company according to your books.

        We too have lots of rappers here like Sampath the Tangalle PS Chairmen. However they dont get fined for displaying their culture?

  • 0
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    0

    Quote; Post- Geneva, Post -PC Elections
    Nedivayan’s No.2… NATHAGOPAN @ KAPILAN IN GOSL INTEL CUSTODY. NOW WAIT FOR YOUR TURNS TO POLISH THE BARS SANS THE COMFORT OF $$$$
    Where is your chum the Harvard Jehan wasting his time with educational credentials???? Come on engage in something worthwhile you both.

    Post T/20 World Cup has made you LOOK & sound as an absolute HYPOCRITE and the resolution IRRELAVENT……..

    Your focus is obscured by events and you act like a blinkered horse with a hidden agenda of your paymasters and nothing else.

    Celebrations took and are taking place jointly by all communities who basking in glory of the cricketers brought to the country and those celebrations did not elude in Jaffna either………

    FOOD FOR THOUGHT FOR YOU RACIST RANTERS….. Ah… ha… sour grapes.

    • 1
      1

      Nediyavan, Kattyan, Thockayan, motayan, Gobi….Teharsn, Malaysia, interpol…..rendition….DBSJeyaraj obliging with the fictional writting ….making Gota in to a James Bond to fool the Sinhala South

      Keep the LTTE alive ….that is the vote bank for the regime

  • 2
    1

    without trying to bring down gov using West, why don’t u try to educate our poor voters with ur NGO $$s. isn’t that the democratic way that u r so fond of?

    • 1
      0

      “without trying to bring down gov using West, why don’t u try to educate our poor voters with ur NGO $$s. isn’t that the democratic way that u r so fond of? “

      ———–
      (A) any one trying to educate the poor voters will be branded a traitor…dont you know that.
      (B)The only medium to eductate the poor voters is through the Sinhala Media. All these Sinhala media is in the hands of the government
      so no chance of doing that.
      (c)after 5 years of war and 30 years after 1983 what do we get….from the government ; dumping down the poor Sinhala voters throat
      that they caught LTTE…Nediyavans some side kick in an international style espionage
      there are elements stiring up riots that will be worse than 19883
      that Muslims are breeding
      that Christians are converting
      etc etc

  • 2
    2

    The naming of the 15 or so Tamil non violent orgainsation and naming of 400 odd individuals is a gimmick.

    (1)Tamils for Obama is not on the list. They have been more influential that GTF ot BTF etc. If Tamils for Obama is listed then GOLS also have to list President Obama in the wanted individual list.

    (2)KP, Karuna, Dougla all wanted for crimes in India and war crimes in Sri Lanka are not listed. Apparently they have been rehabilitated.So diaspora get your self rehabiliated,go to the nearest Sri Lankna consulate and get a dose of rehabilitation and you are done.

    (3)Why publish the name and addresses of 400 odd wanted individuals.Is it not more prudent to keep the list a secret and arrest them as and when they come to Sri Lanka or thru interpol. Why publish the list …so these so called wanted terrorist can go hide?

    Is this all another eyewash to fool the Sinhla South voters?

    • 0
      1

      The Sinhala South voters have been eye washed so many time over from the time of SWRD by every majority based administrations including the current one, so much so that they are now completely blinded and rendered helpless without sight,but mow they are also being slowly deafened too by control of the media.

  • 0
    1

    Are ‘Secessionists’ Terrorists?

    “Then lumping together of a number of diverse organisations and tarnishing them with the same secessionist brush is probably no accident. Anyone with a smattering of information and knowledge of Tamil diaspora politics would not lump all these organisations together unless the objective is to paint them all as extremists and thereby marginalize them.” – says Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu

    Is no one interested in demanding an explanation from Paikiasothy Saravanmuttu for singling out “secessionists” as though that was a justification for them to be proscribed.So then by that definition does it mean Parti Quebecois and the Scottish National Party qualify to be proscribed by their respective countries Canada and the UK, I ask him with all due respect?

    It isn’t fair Mr. Saravanamuttu for you to draw that inference. An explanation would be helpful.

    • 1
      0

      Usha
      It is the sessionists who need to be open with their agendas.The sessionists have to explain to the Tamils who live outside of Jaffna but in other parts of Sri Lanka, that in the (unlikely) event of secession who will compensate for their property, livelyhoods and relocation. I cannot see a situation where the majority community accepting another community amongst them who have shown antipathy towards them. Have you conducted a survey amongst those Tamils to determine if they will abandon the aforesaid and leave in exchange for a “promised land” mapped out by sessionists and defeated bunch of diaspora no hopers?
      All the signs are, Tamils living in Sri Lanka want to get on with their lives. Please allow them to live happily wherever they may be, and diaspora please stay out!

      • 0
        0

        All sihala speaking demala buddhist arnt sinhala terrorist.
        Similarily all tamil speaking tamils arn’t jaffna tamils.

        As much as all germans arnt Nazi and Xi is not Mao.

        you are still from slave stock balu sena lal it takes a bit of time to send you 1000 years no return.

    • 1
      0

      Usha the self-declared secessionist:

      Even a traitor like Paakiya suffers from occasional Freudian slips and blurts out the truth. What it reveals is 4% Tamils demanding 1/3 of the country with 4/5 of the coastline is in itself terrorism – psychological terrorism intended to cause fear and hostility among the communities in Sri Lanka and spark ethnic violence. Hence “Anyone with a smattering of information and knowledge of Tamil diaspora politics would … lump all these organisations together … the objective is to paint them all as extremists and thereby marginalize them.”

      TGTE has earned the rare distinction of being the only government to get itself banned even before setting up shop. Don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

  • 1
    1

    It is pity that that on a micro scale, in the process of searching for an imaginary Gopi, who is said to have been hiding under the bed of jayakumari and in the investigation of the killing of the fictitious policeman, Jeyakumari who was frantically looking for her son has now virtually “lost” her daughter at her crucial age. This is an example of the plight of the thousands of Tamil children who suffer such calamity under the Rajapaksa regime. Bensen

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