25 September, 2018

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Response To The NGO ‘Civil Society’ Petition Submitted To The High Posts Committee

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

This rebuttal is dated July 5th 2018. The responses are to individual points made in the ‘civil society’ petition. The points made in the petition are in inverted commas, while my responses are in bold type. 

I have taken what I feel to be the general misconceptions held by the signatories about the workings of the United Nations, and especially the task of an Ambassador to carry out the mandate given to him by his appointing authority, and answered them briefly. I have also attached as annexures some of the global and local views expressed world-wide at the time in the media and in academia on the central issue of the petition’s critical comments– the 2009 Special Session of the UNHRC and congratulatory notes sent to me in its aftermath by prominent individuals including Cabinet ministers. These supportive annexures have been omitted from this version, retaining only the main body of the rebuttal.

“Dr. Jayatilleka who served as Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva at the time, took an aggressive and triumphalist line on the violence unfolding back home. For example, in 2009 a Special Session was called to discuss Sri Lanka and it was under his leadership we witnessed a hostile position taken and the deliberate targeting of those who held a different view to his own.”

  • The violence unfolding at the time was due to the ending of a 30 year “war” with a terrorist army. It was not a state unleashing violence on a peaceful population.  Most of the country celebrated the end of that war, except for many of the signatories to this petition.
  • However, as my speeches which can be accessed on-line show, I did not take a “triumphalist” line, in fact cautioning repeatedly in my concluding speech at the UNHRC after the victory of our resolution that this “was not a blank cheque”, and that Sri Lanka had responsibilities that it needed to fulfill in order to retain the peace it had won with such difficulty.

“Such a stance created divisions within the UNHRC and undermined Sri Lanka’s reputation of being able to diplomatically engage with the international community. The divisive line has had a lasting impression among missions and other entities in Geneva who remain dismayed by the negative impact the session had on the unity of the UNHRC and its impact on human rights globally.”

  • The unity of UN bodies don’t depend on the votes that are cast on various issues. 
  • The UN mechanism of a vote exists because consensus while desirable, cannot be reached on all issues. The way the Council divided at the special session clearly showed that the majority voted with Sri Lanka, with only the 12 countries of the EU opposed. 
  • This ridiculous assumption has also been dealt with in public by others: 

“They talk of ‘divisive lines’. Surely they know that it is rarely that any UN agency comes up with a unanimous position on anything? They are upset about the ‘unity’ of the UNHRC. Do they expect the UNHRC to always come up with 100% agreement on all matters?” (Malinda Seneviratne in the Colombo Telegraph, 1.7.2018)

  • Far from the alleged inability to diplomatically engage, it is only through intensive and extensive diplomatic engagement that Sri Lanka managed to get such a vast number of votes, with Western states and INGOs actively lobbying against us and the mainstream Western media highly critical of our military.
  • All regions of the world were united in Sri Lanka’s favor at the 2009 session– except for the EU.
  • This claim that I cause disunity at the UN has been dismissed by others in the public media.

“They conclude that the 2009 session ‘had a negative impact on the unity of the UNHRC and its impact on human rights globally.’ Wow! Dayan must have been quite a character if he could single-handedly divide the UNHRC and thereby negatively impact human rights the world over. Don’t these people have a sense of proportion, one has to wonder!” (Malinda Seneviratne in the Colombo Telegraph, 1.7.2018)

“We also note that the line taken at the Special Session ultimately ran counter to Sri Lanka’s national interests.

Professional diplomats have argued convincingly that the line espoused by Dr. Jayatilleka at the 2009 session, and triumphalism about his ability to ‘win’ a resolution congratulatory of Sri Lanka’s execution of the war, galvanized Geneva actors whose concerns had been cast aside by the Sri Lankan delegation.”

  • What constitutes Sri Lanka’s national interest is decided on by the leadership of the Government of the day and communicated to its representatives. President Rajapaksa’s views on what I was to achieve in Geneva were clearly communicated to me. 
  • The point that it was my line that ‘galvanized’ the hostile resolutions was dealt with earlier.
  • This point has also been countered in the media by others as follows:

Malinda Seneviratne in the Colombo Telegraph, 1.7.2018

 “Then they say that the line Sri Lanka took at the session, ‘ultimately ran counter to Sri Lanka’s national interests.’ What these ‘national interests’ are they have not said.  They say professional diplomats have ‘argued convincingly that the line espoused by Dayan and triumphalism about his ability to “win” a resolution congratulatory of Sri Lanka’s execution of the war galvanized Geneva actors whose concerns had been cast aside by the Sri Lankan delegation.’  

Interesting. As far as I can remember, Jayantha Dhanapala was the only professional diplomat who took issue with Dayan in public. Dayan responded with cogent objections. There was no outright winner in that debate as far as I can tell. Yes, Dayan was ‘triumphal,’ and that’s not very ‘diplomatic’ one can argue. However, what would these people have preferred him to do? Endorse the position taken by those who voted against Sri Lanka? Power comes, as some of the academics who signed this petition would know, from making others inhabit your version of their reality. So, for example, the USA says ‘This is what Sri Lanka is, and you Sri Lankans better believe it,’ and Dayan, then, had he said ‘Yes, sir/madam’ would be a hero?” 

Editorial, The Island, 4.7.2018

Dr. Jayatilleka role as Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the UN in Geneva from 2007 to 2009 can only be understood in context. He had to fight a diplomatic war of sorts. The western governments took on the Rajapaksa government not because of its alleged war crimes or other forms human rights violations or corruption. They have no qualms about backing far worse regimes in other parts of the world. They targeted the former regime because it did not accede to their demand that the lives of LTTE leaders including Prabhakaran be spared. The Rajapaksas’ strong ties with China also riled them.

“We note that Dr. Jayatilleka’s ideology and the ideology that shaped the January 8 2015 movement for change are poles apart. Dr. Jayatilleka has denounced the very concept of Yahapalanaya and members of this administration. He has stood stoically against democratic reform and reconciliation initiatives…”

  • It is the person who most prominently represents “Yahapalanaya”, with a democratic mandate from a majority of the country, namely President Sirisena, who nominated me for the post. These signatories seem to be questioning the judgment of the candidate that all of these signatories supported in 2015.
  • I disagree with their opinion of him. 
  • In all my writing in the public domain, my urging of democratic reform and support for reconciliation is clear and I have consistently provided a roadmap for feasible, pragmatic reform which does not destabilize the government, the state or society and empower ultranationalist radicals on all sides. 

“On both previous occasions when Dr. Jayatilleka was sent on diplomatic postings, to Geneva and Paris, he furthered a personal agenda which had detrimental consequences to Sri Lanka among its most important allies.”

  • If there was a personal agenda, it was to defeat false allegations being made against Sri Lanka at international forums. That agenda happily coincided with the agenda of the President who appointed me. 
  • If there was any other personal agenda, there should be some evidence of its success, such as a nomination to a UN post, as some in diplomacy have attempted.

“The 2009 Special Session debacle ultimately had a significant impact in convincing the international community including the members of the UNHRC that grave violations took place in Sri Lanka and that an independent international investigation was required.”

  • The 2009 Special Session held because a minority of international community already thought that grave violations had taken place and that an international investigation was necessary, with its findings to be reported back to the Council in six months—as stated in the EU Resolution.
  • Sri Lanka was able to convince a majority of the international community that an international investigation was not warranted. This was the mandate given to me by the President of the day.
  • As a result, at the 2009 special session nearly two thirds of the members of the UNHRC emphatically rejected such an investigation.
  • For 3 years after that, no resolution was brought against Sri Lanka.  A US diplomat, Michael Honigstein, who took the lead in drafting the 2012 US resolution on Sri Lanka was to confirm later at a meeting in Mirissa at which the Chairman of this committee, the Hon. Speaker was present as I was, that they desisted from bringing any resolution against Sri Lanka because they feared the skills of the Sri Lankan diplomatic team in 2009. He congratulated me and invited me for meetings and also to his farewell in 2015 at which mentioned me in his speech, even though I was just a retired ambassador then.
  • If the Special Session of 2009 led to “convincing the international community including the members of the UNHRC that grave violations took place in Sri Lanka”, why did they wait 3 years to bring subsequent resolutions?

“This hostile and triumphalist line was counterproductive as it subsequently led to several resolutions being adopted by the UNHRC in 2012, 2013 and 2014.”

  • According to this petition, 3 years after 2009, the actors directly involved such as
    • the Government of the day and its Presidential advisor on International Relations
    • the Foreign Ministry and its Monitoring MP,
    • the Mission in Geneva 
    • the delegation represented at the Council, which included the International Relations advisor, the Foreign Minister and the Attorney-General,

had less to do with the hostile resolutions being adopted by vote at the Council, than the Ambassador who had 3 years earlier had resoundingly defeated just such efforts, and was no longer there!

“We also note that Dr. Jayatilleke who was subsequently appointed Ambassador to France was unable to prevent the French Government from voting against Sri Lanka in these resolutions, demonstrating his ineffectiveness as a head of mission.”

  • This point has been publicly ridiculed by a well-known columnist in a leading newspaper:

“Now France was not the only country that voted in these resolutions. Sri Lanka has missions in most of the countries that voted. Did these petitioners, as individuals and/or as a collective call for the recall of those in office at that point on grounds of incompetence? Have they checked if some of these diplomats are still in the Foreign Service and if so have they called for their sacking?” (Malinda Seneviratne in the Daily Financial Times)

  • While the delegation failed in Geneva, (partly due to the EU voting as a bloc at the UNHRC), the French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe did not bring up the question of accountability or even mention the word once, during the visit of then Sri Lankan Foreign Minister to France—a  discussion at which I was present. Surely that is a better reflection of my competence than what happened in Geneva. I might add though that I was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry and a complaint was made to me by France’s Ambassador on Human rights, concerning the conduct of the Sri Lankan delegation to Geneva in 2012; behavior which probably contributed to France’s vote there.
  • Petty attempts to clutch at straws such as this goes a long way in convincing most people that the signatories appear to be ‘furthering a personal agenda’, to borrow a phrase from their letter.

“…the potential for damage to this current administration which seemingly does not align with his ethno-nationalist views will be significantly greater.”

  • While I am a patriot, I am also an internationalist, and have never held ethno-nationalist views– which is why I get criticized often in the media by those who do. 
  • Anyone who claims this is engaging in deliberate misrepresentation.

“On both previous occasions when Dr. Jayatilleka was sent on diplomatic postings, to Geneva and Paris, he furthered a personal agenda which had detrimental consequences to Sri Lanka among its most important allies.” 

  • While I refute that my performance has led to detrimental consequences as they claim, the Editorial in The Island refutes it and makes it a moot point:

“With or without Dr. Jayatilleka as Sri Lanka’s permanent rep in Geneva, the West would still have taken hostile action against this country in a bid to tame the Rajapaksa government. If he had been the cause of its resentment, the West would have softened its stand on Sri Lanka after his removal in 2009; nothing of the sort happened…The question of diplomatic rows between him and the Western world, however, will not arise again because he is to be posted to Russia.” (The Island, Editorial, 4.5.2018)

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Latest comments

  • 6
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    Dayan
    Looks like the civil society has got to you this time. But what should really concern you is that now you’re reduced to depending on hack writers like Malinda and the Island guy to boost you up.

  • 0
    2

    Dr Dayan’s Application was rejected. Full Stop..And the Civies ( Civil Society Dudes) are Responsible according to Dr Dayan
    I know it must be difficult, specially when you still feel the taste of matured Tannins and Aromas in French Plonk, which one gets used in Diplomatic Circles in Manhattan.
    An occasional invites to that famous Hotel for a feed ( I can’t remember the name) where even our so called Dalit President stayed.
    There are so many important things happening in the Home Stretch of Dr Ranil’s Yahapalanaya.
    Name a few in Bullet Points.
    *FTA with Singapore is done and dusted, although JO wants go to court to try and save the jobs of Sinhala Buddhists in Colombo, although some SBs among them still sucks Dr Ranil.
    *BBS boss Monk is finally got the mother of all Jail Terms of the Opposition stirrers, although the Monk worked tirelessly, especially in Aluthgama to bring Dr Ranil as the PM..
    * Kabir and Mallika are now working O/T to finish the ETCA before Xmas.
    * Kira is planning an International Airport for Malwatta, while Dr Ranil’s mates Mallika and Kabir again are desperately trying to sell our A Class Airport in Mattala to Hindians. at a bargain basement price.
    * Dhammaloka Thero is not allowed to go to London even to preach Bana, but a SLFP Minister Samarakakodi says Thai Boys and Girls can to Colombo without Visas now.
    * Yahapalanay Police seems to have grown an Extra Leg too., And raiding those Digs even in Kollupitiya arresting 9 women .6 of whom are from Thailand…
    Even in Political Scene there are serious Developments .
    * CPA Boss Paikiosothy is upset because someone has leaked the Zero Draft Report on Dr Ranil’s Constitution. And he wants Dr Ranil to release the Thing in full..
    * One Time Dalit Party Bosses, Mano and Doughie have gone to see Mahinda recently according to the Colombo Media.I don’t know why?.

  • 5
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    There are two know all guys in the government now. RW and DJ !

    These kind of frauds are creations of a particular culture. Living on their wits ! Basing their careers on the dimwits of the public.

    Is DJ who is charging at wind mills for effect a good diplomat ?

    A good diplomat listens , persuades diplomatically, has a dignified way, is a honor for the country.

    This guy is just a man who thrives on controversy. Like a representative of a small trade union arguing hysterically with a nasal voice. Abusing his privilege as a diplomat and the decency shown by the hosts. You get this kind of guy in India often-pundits with no class.

    A bad choice.

  • 0
    2

    An Anti-sinhala buddhist originated in Panadura or Kalutara says, Protestant NGOs are against him. why ?

  • 0
    1

    right now in Sri lanka, everyone has expectations from Sri lanka, except the voters who are always whining and grieving. Sri lankan foreign dwervice has a very goos record with respect to recruiting diplomats competant for something. I heard some female diplomates were appointed because thet slept with the muslim foreign minister at that time. WE know Udayanga was for russia ans Ukraine, Jaliya wickramsooriya was for United States, A TUK – TUK Driver cum colombo mayer was ambassador for soem where else. So, in that context, Dayan Jayathilake was very competant. Only problemis you are socialist because you wrote a PhD thesis about fidel Castro. Otherwise, You love Geneva and PAris and not Havanna. I can agree that DJ is an internationalist, even though Protestant INGOs/NGOs do not like you (or probably Mangala Samraweera asked them), but when you are say are patriot, there is a question. A man who supported division of the country as a VaradaRajapa PErumal’s Tamil eelam govt in the east, Aman who suporttted India and probably RAW too on full implementation of 13th Amednment , that I can not believe. Anyway, only question is DJ is very good good Thoppi pirati.

  • 0
    2

    Some one converted DJ’s Panadura buddhist mother to Catholicism when she was young, so both the farther and Son became anti-Sinhala buddhists. that is the only fault of Sinhala buddhists to be hated by DJ.

  • 4
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    oh boy
    he wrote and wrote and wrote till he finally got a job not from mr who sacked him but from ms .
    he was critical of ranil but was careful not to attack ms and it has finally paid dividends
    the russian winter undid napoleon and hitler but dayan i am sure will weather the storm congratulations dear boy and i hope you will be able to get more russian ships to counter the us one

  • 3
    5

    I am truly saddened to read this, rather schocked. These NGOs and Civil Society ******** are so brazenly anti Sri Lankan beyond belief. These sons of bithches who are on the pay out of terrorist promoters and sympathaizers are all out to avenge anyone who rendered any service to defend our country. These stinking pigs must definitely be answerable to their treacherous anti Sri Lankan scheming one day. Beginning from the political leadership and those sacrificed their life and limb they are not going to spare anyone.
    Hope DJ will not be cowed down to submission and keep his head held high in speaking his mind at whatever cost.
    DJ you are a patriot and we shall remember.
    Soma

    • 0
      0

      Oh Soma! “Sons of bitches”, and “stinking pigs” are the best insults you can devise to describe those with whom you disagree with?

      You need to check in with a decent Shrink and get your head out of DJ’s arse and then maybe, just maybe, you will see things in a more realistic perspective.

      Also get yourself a Thesaurus while you’re at it – it may help with your limited vocabulary..

  • 6
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    Yes, Sirisena knows only back lickers and third rate scoundrels to appoint to these kinds of posts. That’s what the country and people are in these sorry plights. He doesn’t know how to headhunt – among the over 21 million country men and women- for good caliber persons who can contribute immensely for the good of all instead of these pathetic parasites who feast and fun on the poor people’s taxes.

    • 0
      0

      Siri What should be the next uprising. Che guvera and LTTE are gone. IS it by educated living overseas. Sri lanka is very corrupt. there is no system and the system is over ridden by politicians. People whine and mourn and can not understand what is happening to them. There are political analysts who write for them they themselves. Only problem is it becoming an Arab spring.

  • 0
    4

    “While I am a patriot, I am also an internationalist, and have never held ethno-nationalist views– which is why I get criticized often in the media by those who do”. We all have ethno-nationalist views, and it is ethno-nationalst bias that we should strive to avoid. The ‘war’ was waged against terrorism. What have we done to the misguided West to simply accept that it was not an ethno-nationalist conflict? The concepts such as ‘reconcilliation’ and ‘truth commission’ applied to avoid a bloodbath at the end of Apartheid system in S.Africa, are not relevant to the situation in Sri Lanka.

  • 2
    1

    Thero is still on triumphalist view. He says Tamils imposed war on him for 30 years. He had no other way to destroy them with Chemical, Thermobaric and cluster bombs. (But, then, why he joined Varathar and declared separate state for North East?). This attitude alone, but never apologizing for creating war for 70 years, is an arrogant triumphalist advocacy. When UN officials suggested Resolution 30/1 is the peace accord, Thero went on rampage on them. Then Thero used cover up sentences as “responsibility on Lankawe” (highlighting the need to camouflage otherwise IC will identify the real intention – His entire talk was how to deceive UNHRC to keep them cool instead of reconciling with Tamils, realizing they conducted Genocide for 70 years. He basically established in UNHRC that by killing 150,000 in five months and declaring it Zero he had achieved peace in Lankawe. So he told Lankawe has responsibility of protecting that peace. But in the whole speech he had not regretted with one sentence that he and his rulers from 1956 killed another 150,000 on Pogroms and wiping Tamils in their villages) Now, UNHRC as well as the NGOs have got how Thero played his double jeopardy game by killing and camouflaging and then pretending with “responsibility talk” while denying for Transitional Justice.
    “ UN mechanism of a vote exists because consensus “ That is only theory, under un-manipulated circumstances. Lankawe was virtually unknown country, that time, for the world. Britain, America, Germany, Canada, France who had established connection with Tamil did know the truth. China, India, Cuba, Israel, Iran, Saudi had selfish motive to support Thero in UNHRC. Many African and South American countries were fooled by enormous amount of money spent on that game. Consensus failed as Thero and Aanduwa planned this way operated so they can explain the other way. As NGOs say, they know Triumphalist Thero cheated the innocent nations and claims same will happen in Russia too. That is a perfect logic.

  • 0
    0

    “ They talk of ‘divisive lines’. Surely they know that it is rarely that any UN agency comes up with a unanimous position on anything
    …………………..
    They conclude that the 2009 session ‘had a negative impact on the unity of the UNHRC and its impact on human rights globally.’ Wow! Dayan must have been quite a character if he could single-handedly divide the UNHRC and thereby negatively impact human rights the world over. “
    That is not what NGOs meant; UNHRC a peace promoting good office, had many members against Bush as he continued war for seven Years. Until that time (May 11th, 2009) America stayed outside of UNHRC, but Lankan issue was the first issue taken to UNHRC by America. Thero used prevailed anti- American feeling, uniting the dying communist countries & anti-American Muslim countries against Obama, who liked peace, had shown interest in Tamils issue (May 23rd, 2009). What NGOs implying is Thero’s games has sent America out and in future “Israel” like issues, America will handle in Bush manner, not Obama’s manner. Apparently that divide and win game had brought concern for all.

    “What constitutes Sri Lanka’s national interest is decided on by the leadership of the Government of the day and communicated to its representatives.” Exactly! That was the government and that was the rep It had appointed in 2009. Yahapalanaya, which was selected for cure that government’s atrocities, cannot go on that same path. NGOs claims Thero has no business in this government as he still an employee of the Old Brother Prince and unreliable but camouflage with the words “Responsibility”. Here, Thero is radiating NGOs point.
    NGOs stand out as correct because, after 2009 war that the UNHRC & UN confessed in their internal inquiry that they were it wrong in Lankawe issues. It is a proof that Lankawe Appa Diplomacy had successfully misguided UN and forced it to err.

  • 0
    0

    They targeted the former regime because it did not accede to their demand that the lives of LTTE leaders including Prabhakaran be spared. The Rajapaksas’ strong ties with China also riled them.
    What is the real point here? Instead of acceding to the call to spare the Tamils’ life, conducting war crime was right? Does Thero want a free pass from the international good agencies help him commit Genocide? Could Thero Explain, if Tamils were wrong, why the Sinhala Party did go to Oslo to negotiate? They paid money to Pirapaharan to win election, did every trick to buy time at UN and UNHRC, conducted a war in a way blinding the whole world. They threatened & forcefully got rid of the international observers from Ceylon to conduct a war without witness. Now he is asking “concede to LTTE?” Is that means he is conceding on war crime accusations?
    ”In all my writing in the public domain, my urging of democratic reform and support for reconciliation is clear and I have consistently provided a roadmap for feasible, pragmatic reform which does not destabilize the government,”
    1. Is resisting and lying for international investigation is reform? Is reseating the internationally accused is the practical reform?
    2. Is introducing 18A and making a family as the dictators are the democratic reform?
    3. The man who wrote “if one fears it doesn’t mean they cannot be get by Old Royals” is talking of reconciliation with the killers? Is that what called reconciliation?
    The opportunistic writer trying to define, what he ways is the democracy, Reconciliation, Practical….. Why should not in a reform of government “does not destabilize the Chitanta government”. Isn’t getting rid of the old rotten government and starting a new is the purpose of reform?
    By pushing the envelope beyond the limit, Thero exposed the real nature of Lankawe’s Aappa Diplomacy. World is starting to neutralize the Lankawe lying advantage.

  • 4
    0

    So Dayan you sold your soul for a Cabbage Roll, you can stop writing garbage now saying this that and the other singing for your Russian supper.

    • 1
      0

      wannihami – Dayan will get his Russian supper and also “belles” patronized by TrumPutin!

  • 2
    0

    Dayan
    You cannot change facts by shouting in block letters.
    Both the home vs home sides want Sri Lanka’s former ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga back. They looked hard inside the stenchy bottom of the barrel and reached a compromise.

  • 1
    0

    Back on the public dime again. What ever said, this guy is born lucky in a cursed country to live in luxury. I hope he has already started on his next article praising My3 the village I–OT.

  • 0
    0

    Dayan
    The High Commissioner job in the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights is gone gone gone.

    On 10 August 2018, the General Assembly approved that former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet replace the current High Commissioner Zeid Raad Al Hussein of Jordan.

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