5 August, 2020

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The Need To Implement UNHRC Resolution Remains

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

The departure of the United States from the UN Human Rights Council will weaken a global institution which has been mandated to protect and uphold human rights throughout the world including Sri Lanka. The UN body was established in 2006 with the aim of promoting and protecting human rights around the globe, as well as investigating alleged human rights violations and is made up of 47 member states, which are selected by the UN General Assembly on a staggered basis each year for three-year-long terms. Members meet around three times a year to debate human rights issues and pass non-binding resolutions and recommendations by majority vote.

The US government has justified its decision to leave the UNHRC on the basis of the hypocrisy and double standards within the institution in which countries that violated human rights are also present and pass strictures on others. In the case of the United States this is focused on the repeated criticisms of Israel, which is a close US ally. Sri Lankans are also familiar with this type of justification for being unwilling to follow the recommendations and criticisms of the UNHRC. The previous government in particular took a strong and defiant stand against UNHRC resolutions.

In both 2012 and 2014, the UNHRC passed increasingly strict resolutions that were opposed by the then Sri Lankan government. These called for the government to implement the recommendations of its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) and for the Office of the High Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission.

The present government’s decision to co-sponsor rather than to oppose the UNHRC resolution of 2015 helped it to become a drafting partner to that particular resolution. The resolution called for promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights. As this resolution was drafted in partnership with the Sri Lankan government it cannot be simply dismissed or critiqued as something that the international community alone wished to thrust on Sri Lanka, but as something that Sri Lankan authorities too thought was necessary to implement to enable national reconciliation to become a reality. This was evident at the session of the UNHRC in March 2017 when the Sri Lankan government asked for two more years to implement the resolution, which was granted without difficulty.

The sudden withdrawal of the United States from the UNHRC has generated an expectation that is being promoted by the nationalist opposition and some members of the government that Sri Lanka will no longer have to comply with the requirements of the UNHRC resolution of October 2015. At that time the government promised to implement the resolution within a two year time frame. An assessment of developments over the past three years will reveal that the countries that spearheaded the resolution on Sri Lanka, including the United States, have been giving Sri Lanka the time and space it requires, and asks for, to implement its commitments without forcing it to keep to the original time frame.

Supportive Role 

In March 2017, the UNHRC without dissent agreed to give Sri Lanka the two extra years that the government asked for to implement the October 2015 resolution. The international community represented on the UNHRC recognized that it is only the Sri Lankan government that can deliver on all of these, and not the international community which can at best play a supportive role. The United States in particular said it was pleased that Sri Lanka had agreed once again to co-sponsor the resolution, and invited like-minded UN members to demonstrate support for reconciliation and peace in Sri Lanka by adding their names to the list of cosponsors. In a statement, the US applauded the government for its continuing efforts to promote reconciliation.

Therefore it is clear that the United States had ceased being a source of hostile or coercive pressure on Sri Lanka as long as two years ago. This also accompanied the foreign policy shift of the Sri Lankan government away from overdependence on China. The March 2017 session made it clear that the countries that are active on the UNHRC, including the United States, were looking for signs of progress even though they would have preferred the pace of change to be swifter. One of the positive features of the present government is that it is constantly making incremental changes in advancing the frameworks for good governance and reconciliation.

Attention, rather than pressure, is what the UNHRC has been giving to Sri Lanka for the past three years. The departure of the US from the UNHRC is unlikely to reduce the attention that this international institution gives to the country. As for pressure, there was very little coercive or hostile pressure even when the United States was an active member in the post-2015 period. The US embassy in Sri Lanka has assured that it will continue to assist Sri Lanka to fulfil its international commitments to advance the cause of reconciliation and lasting peace for all Sri Lankans. It is more likely that the European countries, particularly the EU, may be more strict in terms of asking for the fulfilment of commitment than the United States, which has a more political approach to international issues, including human rights.

Keep Commitments 

It is necessary that the government should fulfill the commitments it made in that resolution. These commitments are ones that need to be kept whether or not the government has international commitments because these should be national commitments. These are for the release of civilian land held by the military, release of prisoners held without charge for years, demilitarization, removal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and establishing a truth seeking and accountability mechanism to investigate and prosecute violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law.

The release of yet another hundred acres of land by the military in the North to the civilian population is a message that the process of land returns is continuing. This is complemented by the government decision to build a further 50,000 houses in the North for those who were affected by the war. In addition, the government has been providing livelihood assistance to war victims, rehabilitating ex-LTTE cadres, and has recently passed a law that criminalises enforced disappearances, set up an Office of Missing Persons, and is in the process of establishing an Office of Reparations.

It is necessary for the government to seek to implement the remaining commitments made in the UNHRC resolution, which include reducing the military presence in the former war zones of the north and east, and engaging in constitutional reform that would devolve more power to those areas. These are necessary to bring about a lasting solution to the ethnic conflict that has plagued the country since its independence and prevented it from developing as a united and strong nation. The government also needs to be more focused, and of one mind, in communicating the truths about the need for reform and for change to the larger population so that they understand them to be part of the process of national integration and unification of hearts and minds in the aftermath of decades of war and conflict.

The US departure from the UNHRC may weaken that global institution, but it must not weaken Sri Lanka’s commitment to ensure the protection of human rights and achieve reconciliation within our own country. This is for the good of all Sri Lankan people and not simply giving in to the international community. The US action should not be seen as leading to a lessening of international attention on Sri Lanka. Nor should it be seen as an opportunity for either this government or future governments to evade engaging in the reforms that would bring a political solution to the ethnic conflict and make national reconciliation a reality.

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Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    According to US, UNHCR is cesspool. Sri Lanka experienced the subversive activity of the powers within that cesspool. Just because the defeatist sections of the majarapalanaya coopted a piece of crap, it doesn’t mean SL need to continue to sell it’s sovereignty to this cesspool.

    • 2
      2

      Helass

      It is not about what US, UNHRC, the West, China, Hindia, ………………………. its about how the state and successive government treat their people.

      Look if the state, government and you don’t treat your people well foreigners and strangers are ever ready to grope your women and men folks.

      Please explain to me what is sovereignty?
      What is Sri Lankan Sovereignty?
      Where did you get it from?
      I am told there are various types of sovereignty as follows:

      (1) Nominal arid Real Sovereignty:
      (2) Legal Sovereignty:
      (3) Political Sovereignty:
      (4) Popular Sovereignty:
      (5) Deo Facto and De Jure Sovereignty:
      (6) Consumer Sovereignty.
      (7) Imagined Sovereignties
      (8) Plastic Sovereignties
      (9) Individual Sovereignty
      (10) Children Sovereignty
      (11) Food Sovereignty
      (12) Energy Sovereignty
      (13) Economic Sovereignty
      (14) Tribal sovereignty
      (15) Cultural Sovereignty
      ………………
      ……………….
      ………………
      If you know what you are talking about please define and explain all those different sovereignties mentioned above.
      If you haven’t got a clue as you normally don’t please ignore my comment.

      • 3
        3

        Dear Native,
        How did you miss Pathlaya Sovereignty under Yahapalana?…

        • 5
          1

          KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

          “How did you miss Pathlaya Sovereignty under Yahapalana?…”

          You haven’t seen the fill in the blank dots.
          By the way the entire Pathlaya had pledged allegiance to Dr Gota and his goons as did many members of the Pottu Amman’s department. If and when clan wins the next elections all those pathalaya will be issued with service revolvers, ………………. and their own white vans, shared torture chambers, burial ground, ……

          • 1
            1

            Dear Native,
            Hope your boys in Jaffna don”t join Kosgoda Sujiya,Angoda Lokka and Madushka.
            Imagine all those Jewellry Shops in Jaffna..
            Kosgoda Sujiya must be salivating..
            BTW, Looks like things aren’t that good over there .
            Your mate, Vellala Kid had thanked the Ex President for letting the Kid know about the latest Cache of Johnny Mines in Jaffana.
            Wonder what Vellala Wiggs is doing nowadays ?..
            And the Kid even has asked the Ex Prez to help him get the things under control before more Johnny Mines are discovered…
            But no mention of a separate Homeland.
            Where is Pottu ?….

            • 1
              0

              KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

              “Your mate, Vellala Kid had thanked the Ex President for letting the Kid know about the latest Cache of Johnny Mines in Jaffana.”

              Come on KASmaa
              Was it a veiled threat to Sumanthiran by your Ex con president?
              Don’t forget former members of Pottu Amman department are still loyal to the National Hangman. Whatever the National Hangman and his crooked brothers want to stage will be done in no time as some of the members of the armed forces are still loyal to the clan hoping to benefit from them in the next round.

              Have you heard of spin?
              If you haven’t ask Bandula.

              The last time I heard about Pottu was when he was sharing a bed with the National Hangman. The wives used to sleep in separate rooms.

              • 0
                0

                NV,

                It seems you have got your nuts in a tangle.

                If you want to find wives sleeping in different rooms, you need to visit yahapalana hierarchy. The others have more productive relationship with their wives………

      • 1
        3

        NV,

        Sri Lanka is capable of looking after it’s citizens. It faced it’s greatest existential threat for over two decades and succeeded in neutralizing it to a greater extent through massive sacrifices by it’s own citizens. In a globally comparative scale, this feat was achieved with minimal collateral damage on ground zero. 300,000 citizens were rescued from a human shield of a vicious terrorist group. 12,000 surrendered terrorists were rehabilitated and 99% of them were released back to the society. Again in a globally comparative scale, one of the most effective de-mining programmes was implemented to speedily clear the land for civilian return and so far the casualty rate due to mine accidents has been negligible. The speed in which basic infrastructure has been restored was truly remarkable. Until the current junta came to power no disturbances were reported in the former conflict area. Security of citizenry is paramount in such a context. Therefore no repeat of subversion could be allowed to avoid a repetition of such a threat re-emerging. Normalisation of the security environment in such scenarios take quite a long time. Healing wounds take even longer. Sometimes a whole generation. These are known aspects to anyone with general knowledge let alone so called ‘experts’ of the UN, the so called IC etc. But what did the UNHRC cesspool opted to do? We all know what they did. Of course they were aided and abetted by local co-conspirators whom I don’t need to repeat here. Just ask Jehan Perera…………Should SL continue to be allowed to be weakened and subverted by UNHRC cesspool in the wake of the sole super power making the same complaint and withdrawing…….??

        • 1
          1

          Helass

          “Sri Lanka is capable of looking after it’s citizens.”

          Are you being serious?
          I have said enough about the past 70 years of begging bowl diplomacy of this island and Hindian support to sustain the brutal state as it has been in the past.

          You haven’t explained to me about 15 or so types of sovereignty yet you cherish something you do not know about which you never really had . As like others you pick certain words and phrases from barely informed media and from equally stupid circle of acquaintances and then drop them here not knowing that you are misleading yourself.

          Now define and tell us what you know about:

          Sinhala/Buddhism and Sinhala/Buddhists
          Sovereignty
          Federalism
          Democracy
          Begging Bowl Diplomacy
          Globalisation
          Neo Liberalism
          Pol Potism
          Fascism

          The country is weakened not by foreigners but from within.
          A cohesive and caring state run by honest, compassionate ………….cannot be defeated by foreigners. It is the greedy, murderous, racists (like you) ………………………… who not only subvert the country but also destroy harmony among the people, Buddhism as we knew it and eventually the island.

          You are one of the leading racist in this forum who thinks the only way forward is to bring back a tried and failed racist/corrupt/murderous/dictator (the former national hangman) to the throne and sit back and watch how the country is being destroyed in no time believing in non-existential threat.

          If you are paranoid, indeed you are you need to find proper treatment. However I am told there is no treatment available for the paranoid especially for the Sinhala/Buddhist variety.

          Remember your zero Dr Mahinda too went all the way to Geneva.

          • 0
            0

            NV,

            Foreigners can certainly weaken and even defeat the country with aiding & abetting of internal treachery. This country has experienced it from the times of Ravana………..

            You talk about Hindian support in sustaining brutality……..Please ask your buddy Sambandan who will be able to better enlighten you than any of us.

            PS- Pasting labels on us won’t deter us. If it is a hobby, please do keep it up. Otherwise it is a waste………

            • 1
              0

              Helass

              “PS- Pasting labels on us won’t deter us.”

              We know it won’t deter you from hitting the bottom faster than an Inter Continental Ballistic missile.

              “Foreigners can certainly weaken and even defeat the country with aiding & abetting of internal treachery.”

              Isn’t it why the state and the rulers should treat all the people well. None should enjoy impunity from criminal prosecution.

  • 2
    3

    Helass

    Look at the funny and desperate side of Sinhala/Buddhism and yellow robed thugs in the following clip:
    Ven Ven Ampitiye Sumanarathana Thero Sri Mangalarama Viharaya Batticaloa Thero Sri Mangalarama Viharaya Batticaloa at a Hindu Kovil cursing all the functionaries of state by breaking coconut.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=36&v=aPjvxAQpleI
    http://www.tamilwin.com/statements/01/186374?ref=home-top-trending

    Heroes/vanguards of Sinhala/Buddhism. Ampitiye Sumanarathana is Gnanasara’s side kick.

  • 4
    1

    Of course, Otherwise how will the NGOs finance themselves? NGOs will always need all foreign intervention we can muster.

    They will be supported in the bid by LGBT community and Mangala Samaraweera. What more do we need?

    • 2
      4

      Rationale

      “NGOs will always need all foreign intervention we can muster.”

      If you don’t treat your folks well strangers and foreigners will grope your women folks, your wife, daughter, mother, grandmas, aunts, grand daughters, in laws, ……………….. and you too.

      “What more do we need?”

      I do not know about others, definitely you need some humanity.

      • 3
        2

        NV, they might grope Arlene. But if they try that any of my relatives, they will be running away with bayonets up their asses.

        We have seen the ‘humanity’ of your Jew friends in places like Iraq, Libya and Palestine and we dont need a bar of that shit. And as to your comemnt on sovereignty, we had been sovereign for 3000 years before Europen Jews came and stole our properties and raped our Menikas, leaving us mulattos like you.

        Woe unto you, scum.

        • 1
          2

          Rationale

          “NV, they might grope Arlene. But if they try that any of my relatives, they will be running away with bayonets up their asses.”

          We saw how they ran away when Hindians invaded this island. They came they groped, they raped they killed, they were chased out by the baby brigade of the LTTE while your relatives were hiding behind VP’s bum.

          Please explain to us what sovereignty is and whence did you get it?
          If you haven’t got any idea please ignore my comment. Read up on the subject of sovereignty and come back when you have leaned enough explain it.

      • 3
        1

        NAtive Vedda: Earlier you both amarasiri and you were filling the lack of COmments in CT. Now, you have multiple roles.

        • 1
          0

          Jim softy the dimwit

          What is your point if there is one?

  • 2
    0

    this govt has to solve its economic problems before political problems so lets leave it to the next govt to deal with it

    • 0
      1

      nalmen,

      It will take another 25 or 30 years to solve our economic problems. Are we supposed to put our political problems in the back burner until then?

  • 1
    1

    We have got used to leading a day-to-day life. We have this mindset that commitments need not be kept and that these will go away. Unfortunately they do not. They come back to haunt us.

  • 2
    0

    The US has left UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) calling the UNHRC ‘a cesspool of political bias.’ I am wondering why it took so long for this lady to realize this. Sri Lankans knew this long time ago. Americans jumped into this cesspool and threw shit on Sri Lanka. US left but they will use those who continue to stay in the cesspool e.g. UK, Canada, France to throw shit on Sri Lanka. UK will be happy to do such donkey work for US.

    • 0
      0

      Eagle Eye,

      The populist like you hate any form of human rights because the concept itself challenges your superiority complex! You feeling of being superior is the intoxication that opaques your senses. You with such a level of intoxication will be deemed incorrigible until you yourself are under attack! You remember when MR went to Geneva on the strength of UN Human Rights Council!

      You see Trump is unscrupulous and a narcissist who does not see beyond himself! His actions such as withdrawing from UN Human Rights Council will cost the US. The future US administrations will repair the damage he is causing.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    0

    Politiczal problems never go away, particularly to solve the grievences of western countries in the Indian OCean. the best solution is HITLER take over the govt.

    • 0
      1

      Hitler succeeded in dividing Germany. Gota will too.

  • 2
    0

    The best solution is Sri lanka should quit UNHRA. The only benefit is some politicians and their henchmen can have a foreign trip at the expense of the poor peoples money or it is PART paid by UN ? So, it is mostly US money again, these BOZZOs spending.

  • 0
    0

    This time Jehan PhD appears to be not have inserted any double meaning sentences. Further he has said not just he, even Appe Aanduwa should stop it. “The government also needs to be more focused, and of one mind, in communicating the truths about the need for reform…”
    Biggest game Lankawe played in UNHRC is, rewriting the English Dictionary. When it got out of UN Building in Geneva in September 2015, The world’s greatest liar Mangala’s team twisted its tongue saying “Foreign and Commonwealth Judges means Lankans’ Sinhala National living in foreign Countries” In other words Lankawe was stealthily planning, while it was singing, to defrauds a legal document at International level. Its trick was to bring a Sinhala Jury out of the hat of International Community.
    Jehan PhD’s fraud in this essay is interpreting the incidents as Lankawe asked for two additional years. In February, 2017 New King was waiting to meet President Trump to ask him to repeal the resolution 30/1, before the UNHRC sitting. This is what he told in Galle meeting, right after when Trump won the presidential election in November, 2016. Further, New Kings 2015 election moto is “No Leader, No Commander, No Solider will be prosecuted”. EU wanted to allow one year at the start, in March 2017. But, when America got back to UNHRC after the election changes, it decided to put down Lankawe’s issue to further two more years, so they will get time to think on the most pressing issue for them at that time. There was talk about Lankawe pulling out of UNHRC to invalidate the resolution 30/1, started from Tilak took over the UNHRC affairs. But those consulted Appe Aanduwa has expressed opinion that Lankawe quitting UNHRC would not affect the document already signed. So Lankawe is designing some other tricks. Colombo Media had hurriedly opined that USA’s withdrawal has invalidated the UNHRC’s resolution.

  • 0
    0

    US came into UNHRC only after Sonia & Shiv Shankar Menon had defeated (withdrawn) the Canadian & British 2009 resolution in favor of Lankawe. But when US got in, it was able to put through undefeated resolutions from 2012. In 2015, Ex Sec John Kerry had chased out Old King from Temple Tree house. This made Ranil to act Mangala to give fake consent to the resolution. Ranil’s unexpected, continuous victories in China and India deals in 2017 made him to kick the back of the American Ambassador on Jerusalem Embassy exchanges. Countries like Lankawe, which is hoping to appoint a neo-Hitler to power, were in the UNHRC, opposing America on Israeli Issue based on Human rights. (UNHRC and General assembly where Israel was condemned last time were not same.)

    America is quitting UNHRC because there the thief and police each get same kind of guns and the one win the dual gets the justice. Ambassador Nikki Haley called this a cesspool environment. And further these “Hitler-Top Executive” countries’ leaders were doing their UNHRC wave surfing vacations on the American tax payers’ money. From last December, Lankawe and Ranil are well noted cases on what Ambassador Nikki Haley refereed. Further, before he leaves his job, American Ambassador explained that America’s commitment to Resolution 30/1 is not affected by it quitting UNHRC.

  • 0
    0

    What will happen is Lankawe will watch for few months to assess how the US departure weakens the resolution 30/1. Latter, based on that, it will play its next trump card. Ranil was planning and building a big firewall trough out entire 2016 & 2017. In 2017 Ranil was reaping most of the fruit of his effort. This rattled New King. So he quickly reacted and made all go crumpled by bringing a NCM against Ranil in 2018. China is not within the hand of New King. So he is building his fire with the help of Russia. He is planning to send there Thero to create the settings. . He is buying the Junk Yard. They did a trial landing of Mriya in Mahindabachan International naked airport. It went very well. Russia may want to open an Airbase there while China is holding Hangbangtota. India may not protest that much if Russia set up its Air Base in Mahindabachan International naked airport. That will be ailing only to America. This might be a new technique Lankawe experimenting. It might be wondering if it have had sold the Hangbangtota to Russia, half of its opposition could have been defused.

    So Jehan PhD doesn’t want to misguide all Modayas this time. He has turned to be little bit serious. He gave up on his double meaning sentences. He reinterpreted all Lankawe hostile throat cutting sign Languages as friendlier gestures.

  • 0
    1

    The Need To Implement UNHRC Resolution Remains in the cesspit for ever!!!!!! Haven’t heard what Nicky said??
    /
    Even Eelamists have realized that their wild goose chase is over. Soon some TNA parliamentarians will become ministers. Dust has settled, don’t kick it up again, no matter how much you’ve been paid for.

  • 0
    0

    The Need To Implement UNHRC Resolution Remains.. To be implemented by the bias officials according to Nikki Haley and the withdrawing USA from the UNHRC.
    A joke or an ammusement.

    shut down the UNHRC and table the Resolution in the Northern provincial council.

  • 0
    0

    Dear Jehan Perera, and all participants,
    Are you serious Sri Lanka is moving towards becoming dignified again? It will never happen unless the whole world is assured with a dignified passage of jurisdiction towards its victims of war and the disappeared. What Sri Lanka is doing is a game of acting and kids play by the present set of top Administrators. All the Administrators, all the educated Journalists, all the Academicians, have let Sri Lanka beyond the control of any Sri Lankan party or Administration. If at all Sri Lanka gets any more help it will be from an opportunist waiting to trap it wholesale. Thais is the true Sri Lanka no Journalist can bring to the notice of innocent victimized Sri Lankans.

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