18 April, 2024


The Geneva Epidemic And Sri Lanka

 By S. V. Kirubaharan 

S. V. Kirubaharan

The Geneva epidemic is nothing new to Sri Lanka. It has been suffering from it since 1983, during the time of the UN Human Rights Commission and the Sub-commission on Human Rights. But since the file was transferred to the UN Human Rights Council in 2006, the epidemic has been spreading rapidly.

Spin doctors of Sri Lanka are finding it very difficult to deal with. According to the diagnosis the patient may be put in quarantine and eventuality may require an organ transplant.

Geneva is the headquarters for Human Rights. The current President of the UN Human Rights Council – HRC is Mr. Remigiusz Achilles Henczel, the Permanent Representative of Poland. Presently the HRC is in the hands of the USA which is in a position to achieve whatever it wants, without a second thought.

Last March, when the resolution was tabled by the US against Sri Lanka, those who didn’t understand the system had serious doubts whether the resolution would be passed. Exactly six days before the voting, I predicted that it would go through without any problem. My article, What will happen to the draft resolution on Sri Lanka?” was published in various electronic media on 16 March 2012. The resolution was passed on 22 March 2012.

Now let us analyse the reality of the situation today.

Apart from the reasons for the last resolution, there are additional issues motivating member states to introduce another strong resolution. One of the reasons of course, is that even though Sri Lanka will say it has done something in response to the resolution, in the eyes of the world, absolutely nothing has been done in practical terms. Secondly, the matter regarding the Chief Justice has added fuel to the fire. When the international community protested against the impeachment of the Chief Justice, Rajapaksa managed by hook or by crook to remove her.  At the same time a Chief Justice was appointed who was well known internationally as a government lobbyist. The international community’s serious doubts about the independence of the judiciary in Sri Lanka were proved beyond doubt.

The statement on Sri Lanka given by the spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Rights on 18 January 2013, contains the DNA of the Chief Justice affair. It indicates what will happen in the forthcoming 22nd session of the HRC.

Thirdly, the UN Secretary-General’s Internal Review Panel on UN action in Sri Lanka released last November is adding a welcome liveliness for those who want to see action on Sri Lanka. This report contains very serious allegations that Sri Lanka was lying during the war to the international community and the United Nations.

Fourthly, the last Universal Periodic Review – UPR session on Sri Lanka which took place on 1st and 5th November 2012 was a really bad show for Sri Lanka. A record number of 99 States participated in the dialogue – 37 Members of HRC and 61 observer states. Out of the 61 observer states, Sri Lanka motivated some of them who are supportive to Sri Lanka, to register for participation. So time allocation for the speeches of states critical of Sri Lanka would effectively be reduced. (Read here)

Most of the states who participated in the dialogue made recommendations. There were 204 recommendations, out of which 110 were accepted and the other 94 were rejected by Sri Lanka.

Some of the rejected recommendations are:

(1) Ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. (2) Seriously consider the possibility of abolishing the death penalty. (3)  Adopt the draft bill on witness and victim protection. (4) Fully implement the recommendations of the LLRC – in particular steps to ensure independent and effective investigations into all allegations of serious human rights violations in the context of the civil war and its aftermath. (5) Iinitiate an inclusive dialogue which would guarantee minority representatives a fair joint-decision power on the basis of the four previous proposals (APRC Expert Majority Report, All Party Representative Committee Report, Proposals for Constitutional Reforms, and Mangala Report). (6) Intensify its cooperation with the Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to establish the fate of those who may have not been accounted for at the end of the armed conflict. (7) Guarantee access to the North and the East of the country to international and local humanitarian organizations specialized on family tracing and reunification programs. (8)  Reduce the intrusiveness of military presence on civilian life in the North and set a specific date for free and fair Northern Provincial Council elections. (9) Strengthen cooperation with the UN human rights mechanisms, particularly Special Procedures and respond in a timely manner to the questionnaires sent by the Special Procedures and request for visits of Special rapporteurs. (10) Create a reliable investigation commission consisting of professional and independent investigators to identify, arrest and prosecute the perpetrators of the Moothur murders. (11)  Publish the names and places of detention of all imprisoned persons. (12) Adopt further measures to prevent torture and ill-treatment in particular in prison and detention centres. (13) Take all necessary steps to fully commit to end impunity for international crimes by acceding to the Rome Statute of the ICC. (14) Implement the recommendations of the UN Panel of Experts on accountability. (15) Bring all those allegedly responsible for violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law to justice in compliance with international standards. (16) Safeguard the independence of the judiciary. (17) Take immediate steps to prevent attacks on human rights defenders and media and take action to investigate such acts and many others.

Sri Lanka’s rejection of the above recommendations speaks volumes.

On the other hand, consider the 110 recommendations accepted by Sri Lanka. The question arises whether it was necessary for any state to make these recommendations under the UPR process. Out of the 110 recommendations, many were circulated beforehand, by Sri Lanka, to states supportive of them.

Some of the accepted recommendations are:

(1) Accelerate capacity building in order to effectively implement the NHRAP. (2) Ensure adequate resources to the Human Rights National Commission to further improve its capacity, geographical scope and its mandate. (3) Enable additional resources to strengthen the Human Rights Commission. (4) Share with the international community its experiences in rehabilitating and reintegrating former LTTE child soldiers. (5) Continue to carry out the policy aimed at improving the judicial system, reforming law enforcement bodies and decreasing the level of crime and corruption. (6) Continue action towards the alleviation of poverty. (7) Continue with its plans to enhance economic development in all regions of Sri Lanka. (8) Continue working to achieve all the Millennium Development Goals. (9) Achieve stability and development in the country. (10) Take steps to protect people from acts of terrorism, through domestic legislation.

This is where Sri Lankan diplomacy has failed. They rejected 94 recommendations on the basis of sovereignty. If they had accepted many of those rejected recommendations, even if with reservations, Sri Lanka would have survived for another four years until the 3rd cycle of the UPR.

Now, as Sri Lanka’s spin doctors have rejected those recommendations on the grounds that they interfere with sovereignty, the states who put forward those rejected recommendations may work persuasively to get them included in the forthcoming resolution. That will have a time limit stipulated. Further, a Resolution carries much more weight than a UPR recommendation.

It is obvious that whatever resolution is proposed against Sri Lanka in the 22nd session, it will go through without any hurdles. The 47 member HRC consists of 13 countries from Africa, 13 from Asia, 8 from Latin American and Carribbean States, 7 from Western European and 6 from Eastern Europe.

When we look at the present membership of the HRC, it is clear that the US is going to be in a strong position until 2015. Not because China, Cuba and Russia are no longer in the HRC, but because of the members newly elected to the HRC on 12 November 2012. Also, when we look at the countries whose membership terminates by the end of 2013; the US will be in a stronger position than at present. Therefore any resolution tabled by the US or supported by US will enjoy huge support among the 47 HRC members.

Considering all these factors, President Rajapaksa has enough time to decide whether he is going to send another Jumbo team to Geneva for the next HRC session, providing them with five star food and lodging, or to save this taxpayers’ money and use it locally for some other useful purpose.

In fact, last time one or two states changed their position at the last minute, due to the arrogant attitude of some of the members in the Jumbo team. Of course, those notorious members in the Jumbo team  received their material benefits and regained their position which they lost in the past. But Sri Lanka lost its reputation internationally.

Anyway the present statements by officials of the External ministry of Sri Lanka, Ministers like Mahinda Samarasinghe and Keheliya Rambukkala are misinforming the local population. To talk frankly, these individuals already know the outcome of the 22nd session on Sri Lanka, but they are politically bound to hide the truth from their innocent citizens. These are the usual political gimmicks. Given the disease, its symptoms are not going to disappear, it needs addressing at the level of root causes.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Sri Lanka will lose the vote this time, as it lost the vote in March 2012. And it doesn’t require the foresight of a human rights genius like Mr Kirubaharan to predict that. Hell, even I (without any human rights training or expertise) predicted the result accurately. http://tinyurl.com/7u68vq6

    GoSL will continue to lose votes in Geneva as long as their promises are not backed up deeds. To coin a phrase, “you can’t polish a turd”, the “turd” in question being GoSL’s post-war position on human rights and related matters.

    It’s nice to read that GoSL agreed to “(4) Share with the international community its experiences in rehabilitating and reintegrating former LTTE child soldiers.”

    Would Mr Kirubaharan like to share with us, his expertise on the recruitment of LTTE child soldiers?

    I’m assuming that a self-proclaimed human rights activist and living saint like Mr S. V. Kirubaharan was at the forefront of writing reports and attending international conferences to protest against the LTTE’s use of children in their combat formations?

    If not, why not?

    • 0

      I know Kiruba’s prediction on the outcome at UNHRC is not to your liking but the fact is that Rajapaksa is the cause of it. He is well and truly buggered because of his arrogant attitude towards world opinion.

      Don’t vent your spleen at Kiruba. If you have any sense direct it at the saviour of your beloved Sinhala motherland Rajapaksa who is now busy persecuting his own Sinhala people who he saved from the tamil LTTE.

      • 0

        If you’d bothered to read my comment, that’s exactly what I’m also saying and I also predicted exactly what Kirubaharan predicted. GoSL will continue to lose in the international arena (to the country’s detriment) because the Royal Family don’t care for anything other than embedding themselves in power. That seems to the driving force behind all their actions.

    • 0

      For the past little while, Kiruba has gone into great detail to expose that what which we already know and have known for the longest time. The GOSL’s duplicitous nature when faced with post war human rights position. This way he gets to scratch the itch.

    • 0

      Mango Man

      Have you had access to the recent report cooked by General Jagath and the conclusion presented by Col Gota to the media on the disappearance of members of LTTE and civilians who surrendered to the armed forces during and after the war?

      Could you pass me the link.

  • 0

    Actually the politicians are the least bit bothered as they do not face any of the consequences. It is the public and future generations who have to pay for the sins of the present government.

  • 0

    The war was ended using chemical weapons, phosphorus/cluster bombs, and other banned weapons of war.
    Out of the LTTE workers/members/fighters over 13,000 were captured/surrendered, which included the so called “Child Soldiers” who were even a day younger than 18. That number was around 547 according to the army led by the 5 star General and permanent resident of the USA Fonseka. (Now Sinhala politician). The real age for the description of child soldiers are 15 and a half as per Geneva Conventions 77 (article). That is the International LAW fully ratified.

    US and UK also recruits children under 18 under their ROTC programs in the middle school and high schools from age 13-18. Israeli Pilots are from the age of 17. So there is plenty of hypocrisy about child soldiers to go about locally and internationally. Sinhalese and Sri Lanka should be more concerned about Child Labor (Including export to the Middle East) Child trafficking, Child Prostitution, Child Sex Tourism etc. (All under 18 girls and beach boys). lol.

    As for the USA’s UNHRC resolution of 2012, which was watered down at India’s request since they are and were playing their usual double game, is just a time wasting exercise. The Silva report is more of a SHAM than a truthful, genuine, sincere, honest report. My direct response to the authors of the US resolution in writing was “Is this a cruel Joke on the Tamils”. This was 1 year ago in writing.

    Now there is a new resolution which might result in stronger condemnation on Sri Lanka, or even possible sanctions. But UNHRC has no powers in implementing the resolutions and the Rajapakses will “carry on regardless” robbing the country by Billions of Dollars.

    Getting a majority of the 47 members to vote in the UNHRC is NOT a big achievement for the USA and it’s allies. Instead, USA should commence investigations of it’s own citizens for war crimes and crimes against humanity (Not Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing) where there is a preponderance of evidence in the hands of the UN, UNHRC, DOJ, State Dept., DHS. There is no need for “pussy footing” and dragging their feet.

    Tamils laugh and joke about the huge delegation the GOSL sends to Geneva, together with the Sinhala Press paid by their owners and ministry of Information etc. Some of the racist-chauvinist editors and senior journalist wait for this annual FREE TRIP. But the Tamils also seem to be copying the RAJAPKSE style where hundreds of officials from various Tamil associations around the world seem to be descending on Geneva, including MP’s, Senators and members of the eighty club. There are also plenty of “Immigration Attorneys” in this large group as well. All claim that they are lobbying the 47 members of the voting UNHRC members.

    Realistically, only a few Tamils like Kiruba who have been going to Geneva for decades and a few others from UK and Europe would be more than sufficient. Not the “double dipping” foreign attorneys who have several other clients as well as Tamil associations and political groups. TNA also should be represented, but that might be a matter of life and death, since the Rajapakses have the dubious distinction of murdering 5 Tamil MP’s and harassing dozens of others in Sri Lanka. Tamils going to Geneva should coordinate without competing for “sound bites” and news flashes.

    Tamils need to take legal action against US citizens in the USA where the courts have full jurisdiction without wasting time in other frivolous litigation s, and other gimmicks. They cannot wait for the State Dept, UNHRC and the UN to pass meaningless resolutions.

    Donald Gnanakone
    Tamils For Justice

    • 0

      Dear Donald,
      The LTTE was so short of combat manpower that they had to kidnap Tamil children into their combat formations because you and your fellow travellers in the pro-LTTE diaspora wouldn’t allow your children to go to Sri Lanka to fight and die. The poorer Tamils left behind in the Vanni paid a blood sacrifice of their children’s lives and limbs.

      I’ve not read of battalions of US, EU or Canadian domiciled Sri Lankan Tamil teenagers making the trek to Sri Lanka to fight. Their parents valued their own children’s lives too highly to die in the Vanni, no?
      At least acknowledge the LTTE child soldiers’ bravery in battle instead of trying to pretend that these kids didn’t die (in vain) for you.

      “Twenty plus Sangeetha, on the other hand, is a victim of LTTE’s forced conscription. She was dragged into a van when she was returning from school one day. Her parents were helpless to protect her from the abductors.”

      • 0

        Mango, if you are an educated person, why you always comment only on Kirubaharan’s article?

        Are you jealous of Kirubaharan?

        Like you said to Piranha,”If you’d bothered to read Kiruba’s article”, mind your business.

        Kirubahran writes article on many subjects and you always there to condemn him, why?

        Is it a task of a cultured and educated person?

        Can you explain the reader.

        • 0

          Don’t worry about me. It’s always a pleasure critiquing Mr Kirubaharan’s wooly thinking. I note that Mr Kirubaharan(unlike people like Dr Dayan Jayatilleke or Donald Gnanakone who engage with their critics) never replies to reasonable criticisms of his articles. Surely an intellectual like him must be capable of defending his theses, no?

      • 0

        Mango Man

        How long do you intent to waste time on Mahawamsa (Sinhala/Buddhists) and LTTE (Tamil) mindsets?

  • 0








  • 0

    Mr.Gnanakone, Let me fold back to the year 2011 (Septmber) and take the readers of this forum to a side event organised by the GOSL in room No 22 of the UNHRC. Chaired by Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe flanked by the then Attorney General Mohan Pieris, Minister Nimal Sripala de Silva and some others.
    When the panelists concluded with their presentations, as Usual (Mr.Gnanakone) Your hero Mr.Kirubakaran gets up to execute one of his two biggest tasks in the UNHRC. First one is , asking a question in a side event ( I will elaborate about the 2nd task at the end), and the question would be nothing but a usual self praising introduction for two minutes and then an inquiry about the neutrality of a member of the LLRC.
    The well versed maestro Mr.Pieris – better known for his lies and deception in the UNHRC, in his reply didn’t answer his question instead established a new theory about neutrality -relating it to state of mind. Human rights hero kirubakaran would not dispute with reply. For, he shall always worry to make sure about standing up for a question alone.
    The moment kirubakaran started to introduce him, the reaction of the panel (of the GOSL) would always be a burst of laugh (mind it happens only with Kirubakaran), it happened this time too. Minister Samarasinghe (in his usual sarcastic style) further claimed that ‘Kiru is our long time friend ,we can even have a cup of tea after this side event’.( mind you, Mr.Kirubakaran lost a golden opportunity of writing a historically important article about a traitor who works with Rajapakse Government. For. Minister Samarasinghe didn’t claim any other Tamil in the UNHRC as his long time friend.)

    Ok let’s go back to the matter. Does any reader in this forum experience any astonishing or thundering issue in the above event !!?
    Indeed we have had a thundering issue the next day. All the trumpets of the Tiger bands carried a thundering article (of course written by the self praising joker himself)in their front page, claiming ”Minister Samarasinghe was stunned by the question of Kirubakaran – not knowing what to do, Minister Samarasinghe invited Kirubakaran for a cup of tea” !! Hahahahahahaahhahaa…………patrons please bear with me, even after almost a year and half have passed but I couldn’t help myself from bursting into laugh over his comedies and jokes.

    I have hundreds of references from UNHRC to prove that this man is nothing but a piece of joke.

    His second and important task in the UNHRC is assassinating the characters of any potential and productive activist of Sri Lanka – working in the UNHRC. Showing them as anti ”Tamil Nationalist / Anti Tiger / working closely with Rajapakse regime etc., etc. ( fearing that they would become popular).

    He would openly and shamelessly declare with other Tamil activist in the council that he fights for his portion of publicity and would not stop there. Next day another two page article would claim ”Conspiracy to outs Kirubakaran -the sole voice of the Tamils in the UNHRC”. Endless are his jokes and comedies but he would spent most of his time in the Serpantine bar with time passers as his stamp in the UNHRC is ”Representative of a terror outfit”. No diplomat would entertain him. A side event would be the only place for him to see a diplomat in public.
    Mr.Gnanakone you seem still living in an abstract world of Tamil Ealam. Your ideas in this page clearly represent the behaviour of a typical Sri Lankan middle school Monitor . You seem arranging an Elle team under a skipper-ship of a comedian for the 22nd session. Mr.Kone UNHRC is not Vanni, for you to order who to come in and who not to ! In fact hundreds and thousands of other sensitive and dedicated Activist did and been doing wonderful human rights work for the grief stricken Sri Lankan Tamils ( of course you are free to organize your terror team). Jokers like your hero and the wastes of Tiger war monger who display their arrogant and indecent culture of terror on journalists under the broken chair during demonstrations are the curse for the Tamils.

    Readers in this forum claims that your hero didn’t even undergo a basic training on Human Rights (read the first comment).Why don’t you sponsor him a basic HR Course or ask your hero to claim that he learned everything from Mr.Anton Ponrajah !? (Then,beware that your hero might loose the title ”Sole voice of the Tamils in the UNHRC”?

    Mr.Gnanakone, you claim that ”Tamils going to Geneva should coordinate without competing for “sound bites” and news flashes”.

    Now do you understand that your hat fits perfectly on your hero’s head ?

    • 0

      If you are honest and civilised, if you can come out with your reall name, Kiruba can deal with you with your profile as well.

      Your annonimous comments are annonimous have no values.

      Kiruba has seen enough worse than these in the past.

      Hope you had a long breath after writing this comment for your self happines.

      We can consider you as Mr COWARD.

    • 0

      Maamanithar, say hello to Douglas!!

    • 0

      This is out of pure jealousy.

      Sorry Kiruba doesnt deal with Paraiah’s and D’s people.

  • 0

    This so called “Maamanithar” is well known for his dirty job.

    We will deal with it at the appropriate time.

    Good Luck Maha Maamanithar.

  • 0

    Maamanithar, sad story is waiting for you.

    now it is well established about your identity.

    To see more fun, do continue to write in this forum.

  • 0

    Mango man, why are you bothering with LTTE child recruitment, which is yesterdays problem. If you are really worried about young people in Sri Lanka, why not concentrate on todays problem with child prostitution in Sri Lanka?

    Paedophiles’ Paradise: Child Abuse and Child Prostitution in Sri Lanka

    Is Sri Lanka A Destination For Pedophiles? Will The Govt Care If It Brings Foreign Exchange?

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