24 September, 2020

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The Stand Sri Lanka Should Take In Geneva

By Mahinda Rajapaksa

Mahinda Rajapaksa

The government has announced that they will co-sponsor yet another resolution against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council. Resolution 30/1, the first such co-sponsored resolution in October 2015 committed the government to among other things, setting up a hybrid war crimes court with the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators and to removing by administrative means, individuals in the armed forces suspected of human rights violations even if there is insufficient evidence to charge them in courts. By co-sponsoring Resolution 30/1, the Sri Lankan government officially accepted Report No: 30/61 dated 28 September 2015 prepared by the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR), which directly accused the Sri Lankan armed forces of many crimes including torture, enforced disappearances, deliberate targeting of civilians and the denial of humanitarian assistance to civilians. 

In partial fulfillment of the numerous pledges given in Resolution 30/1, the government forced through Parliament the Office of Missing Persons Act after a farcical debate of less than 40 minutes in August 2016. The Office of Missing Persons can issue summons, examine witnesses, and hold hearings and is actually a tribunal in all but name. Its officers can search any police station, prison or military installation at any time without a warrant and seize any document or object they require. Government bodies at all levels including the armed forces and intelligence services are mandatorily required to render fullest assistance to the OMP even in contravention of the Official Secrets Act. 

In March 2018, acting against the repeated requests of the Maha Sangha, the government passed the Prevention of Enforced Disappearances Act No: 5 of 2018 to incorporate into local law, the provisions of the International Convention against Enforced Disappearances. This enables an alleged enforced disappearance in Sri Lanka to be investigated and prosecuted in a foreign country as if it was an offence committed in that country. The country that arrests a Sri Lankan citizen on such grounds, has the option of handing that individual over to the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, foreign governments can request the extradition of persons suspected of having committed enforced disappearances in Sri Lanka to stand trial in their countries. 

In August 2018, the government passed amendments to the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act No: 25 of 2002 to widen its applicability to a larger number of countries and also to international organisations such as the International Criminal Court. This law relates to facilitating cooperation between Sri Lanka and foreign countries and organisations in locating witnesses or suspects, issuing summons and other documents on such persons, the obtaining of evidence, the execution of search and seizure requests etcetera. The UN Human Rights Commissioner in her report on Sri Lanka to the current session of the UNHRC, has called on member states of the UNHRC to investigate and prosecute those suspected of war crimes in Sri Lanka under the principle of universal jurisdiction. The direct connection between this request and the new laws passed by Sri Lanka, is self-evident.

The contents of the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s latest report in addition to similar reports in previous years, gives rise to the question whether Sri Lanka is any longer a sovereign nation. From Geneva, she has stressed the need for the Sri Lankan government to devolve of political authority. She has expressed her displeasure at the appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Army. She has stated that the panel of experts report tabled in the Constitutional Assembly by the Prime Minister could be the basis for a new constitution for Sri Lanka. With such supervision of our affairs from Geneva, why do we need an elected government? 

Resolution 30/1 which sought to betray our armed forces and wartime leaders to interested foreign parties was co-sponsored by the yahapalana government at a time when they were expecting large inflows of foreign aid. Quisling regimes established through foreign intervention in certain other countries were in fact rewarded with increased aid in exchange for handing over the deposed political and military leaders to interested foreign powers in order to ensure that the nationalist forces in those countries never rise up again. I am quite convinced that the open and unashamed treachery in co-sponsoring Resolution 30/1 was due to such expectations on the part of this government.   

This year, the British government is driving the process against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC because the USA has left the UNHRC calling that body ‘a cesspool of political bias’. Governments change in all countries and with it attitudes and policies also change. The international order that saw the passage of Resolution 30/1 is changing, but because we still have a government that identifies with the old world order, Sri Lanka has not been able to reap the benefits of the changes that have taken place in the world since 2016. 

In Britain Lord Naseby has been trying to persuade the British government to drop the campaign against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC. He has in his speeches in the House of Lords explained how the 2011 Darusman report compiled by an unofficial committee appointed by the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had arbitrarily plucked the figure of 40,000 civilian deaths out of thin air. He has recounted how the then British Defence Attaché in Sri Lanka Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash, had told him in January 2009 that he was surprised at the ‘controlled discipline’ of the Sri Lankan army and the solicitous manner in which they looked after the civilians who escaped from LTTE captivity. Lord Naseby has obtained from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office copies of the dispatches filed by Lt Colonel Anton Gash which despite being heavily redacted, prove that it was never a policy of the Sri Lankan Government to kill civilians. 

Furthermore, five renowned international experts in the law of armed conflict namely, Sir Desmond de Silva QC, Professor David Crane, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Rodney Dixon QC, and Professor Michael Newton have examined the allegations against Sri Lanka and provided written opinions to the effect that no violation of the law of armed conflict had taken place during the final stages of the war. Major General John Holmes, a highly decorated British Special Forces Commander has done a technical evaluation mainly of the allegations of the indiscriminate use of artillery during the final stages of the war and stated in writing his conclusion that there is no indication that the Sri Lanka Army deliberately or disproportionally targeted the civilian population. He has criticized the interpretation of satellite imagery in the Darusman report of 2011 on which these allegations are largely founded. 

Most of these experts who have expressed views in favour of Sri Lanka are British citizens, yet the Sri Lankan government has not engaged with the British government to have the passage of these resolutions stopped. There is now a government delegation in Geneva with representatives of both the President and the UNP government attending the 40th Session of the UNHRC. Speaking of the new draft resolution that is now on the table, Minister Lashman Kiriella said in Parliament that Sri Lanka has been praised for the progress made and that there was nothing wrong in co-sponsoring that resolution. Indeed, there are some words of praise in the draft resolution, but that is for things like the treachery committed by this government in readily cooperating with their foreign overlords and passing the new laws that we mentioned earlier. What is seen in a positive light by the foreign masters of this government translates directly into a betrayal of Sri Lanka. 

In reply to a question that I posed in Parliament, the minister of foreign affairs said that the government does not agree to everything in the UN Human Rights Commissioner’s latest report on Sri Lanka to the UNHRC and as an example of something that the government does not agree to, he mentioned an error in that report relating to the amount of land in the North released for civilian use. Disagreement on such trivialities means nothing. What the people of this country would like to see is a public announcement by the government which is also officially communicated to the UN Human Rights Commissioner and members of the UNHCR stating:

1. That Sri Lanka will no longer co-sponsor resolutions against itself in the UNHRC.

2. That Sri Lanka does not accept the allegations made in OHCHR Report No: 30/61 of 28 September 2015.

3. That hybrid war crimes courts with foreign judges and prosecutors will never be set up in Sri Lanka.

4. That Acts No: 14 of 2016, No: 5 of 2018 and No: 24 of 2018 which are highly detrimental to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and the fundamental rights of its citizens, will be repealed and replaced with legislation more in keeping with our national interest.

All members of the delegation representing the government in Geneva should clearly understand that anything short of the above will effectively, be a betrayal of the people of Sri Lanka.

*Mahinda Rajapaksa – Leader of the Opposition

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Latest comments

  • 15
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    [edited out] Percy Mahendra Rajafucksha, you can’t call yourself the author of this article. In the first place can you converse yourself fluently in English?

    • 10
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      How come this man has the audacity and sandfroid to come with an article thinking that world would respect the bugger the way they displayed their naked politics by the 26-OCT-2018-saga.
      :
      Entire world condemned the constiutional coup, which Rajakashe and Sirisena architected by unconstitutionally removing legally elected PM of the country. Not a single leader of the world, greeted the fake premierministership offered to Rajapakshe on the very day, even China never issued a state level communique to have welcomed that fake govt.
      :
      With all these being the ground reality to RAJAPAPKSHE politics, jay bird to come this way to talk about GENEVA politics regarding our lanken stands ? By the time, current leaders took the office, it was 08th Jan 2015, srilanka was hit by western world, america and several other rich nations calling that the dimension of lanken politics under Rajapakshe Dynasty – verymuch like a dictatorship. Not a single country in EU commended authoritarian regime of Rajapakshe brothers. Canada was one of the made enemies and stood vehemently against Rajapkashes. Except few far poor countries in Africa, only CHINA was close to Rajapakshe. Chinese abused the stupidit of Rajapashe politics for their own tricks being played today with developing countries. Where there are stupid leaders , met with CHINESE criteria to the best but it was sung as ” a step taken by those leaders on behalf of the development of each countries”. By today, most of the countries caught by Chinese Devp projects are more or less likes ones caught by devils. Not being able to pay their loans back, these countries face untold stories today in their economies. Please get your facts from the links attacked below.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh9lA733uxM
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uh9xSA2gOZQ&t=423s

    • 9
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      Penisless GLP should be the writer of the article.
      :
      But Rajapakshe is proved to be tackling with almost everything today, also not forgetting to send his greetings to the b day of UNP state minister Ranjan Ramananaya.. This man is planning round the clock the next assasinations. There are provable evidences, murdered Lasantha Wikcramatunga, Bharatha lakshman and the like people had been very close to this man shortly before their assasinations.
      :

    • 9
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      These are set of stupid suggestion which will bring disaster to the country.
      1. Sri Lanka will no longer co-sponsor resolutions against itself in the UNHRC – What is tabled is a mild form to help Sri Lanka to delay the issue. Refusal to co-sponsor it, will only result in a tougher form which Sri Lanka will be forced to comply.with.
      2. That Sri Lanka does not accept the allegations made in OHCHR report 30/61 of 28th September 2015 – These allegations were made with proof, and denial will result in facing an international inquiry where evidence for them will be placed.
      3 That hybrid war crimes courts with foreign judges and prosecutors will never be set up in Sri Lanka – This concession is to help Sri lanka which was not given to any other country, and refusal to set up a hybrid mechanism will result in war criminals being produced before a fully international panel of judges and prosecutors.
      4. That Acts which are highly detrimental to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and and the fundamental rights of its citizens, will be repealed and replaced with legislation more in keeping with our national interest – These legislation were made in keeping with international guidelines on human rights enshrined in UN charter, and if you repeal them and replace with laws against these principles, you have to face trade embargo from countries which value human rights, bringing economic ruin.
      What you say is for the Sinhala gallery and not for the sake of the country.

    • 5
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      @mike, bloody good comment about this vile Rajapaksa bas%ard. This scoundrel must rot in hell.

    • 7
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      mike

      Could you ask this one time human rights activist what was he doing in Geneva with Tamara Kunanayagam in the late 1980s?

    • 0
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      Mode Mike, did it occur to you, this could be an English translation of a document originally written in Sinhalese?

      • 5
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        Eagle B L I N D Eye – Did it occur to you that this is NOT an English translation of a document originally written in Sinhalese. Keep sniffing the so-called author’s loincloth until you start sneezing!

  • 11
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    Dear Rajapakse,
    It is you and your family and those other Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalists responsible for all the crimes against humanity including war crimes, human rights violations. We Srilankans are the victims and we know the truth. We don’t need UNHCR or Lord Naseby to tell the truth. That is why people evicted you in 2015 from power. UNHCR resolutions were not brought by individuals. They are brought by democratic governments, not from political coup. You have no guts to challenge those allegations in a court of justice that can only possible with the help international participation. Are you prepared to face that? You are trying to cover under the mask of fake Buddhism & fake patriotism.

  • 12
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    Honourable Racist,

    If you are not interested in foreign judges and hybrid courts, then for what the f*** are you waiting for? At least show enthusiasm to bring those war criminals to local courts. Without either of these, the same cycle goes on and on.

  • 9
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    The OMP merely provides a mechanism to find missing persons – not to convict anyone.

    Similarly the Enforced disappearances act criminalises disappearing people. Simple as that.

    By objecting to these we can gather that you don’t want “white vanning” of people to be criminalised.

    You want the ability to disappear people? Why?

    As for the Geneva resolution… the Govt must co sponsor it. Why?
    Because the resolution recognises that we can handle matters internally.

    You MR agreed with Bankimoon that you will investigate allegations within Sri Lanka. But you didn’t. As a result, by 2014, there was a move to have an international inquiry. That move was stopped by resolution 30/01 when the new govt with support of Sirisena said that we will handle things internally – and international community agreed.

    So what are you upto MR?
    You want the resolution to end… then what will happen? The end of the resolution means that UN recognition that we can handle matters internally also ends. Then what? The UN will be moved to have sanctions against us AND to have an international inquiry.

    Why does MR want this to happen? So he can rake up nationalism in our country again.

    You are a FakePatriot! You always were!

  • 7
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    Old man Parajafucksa has lost his bearings.

    How long do you plan to fool the locals and the international community? Shame on you!

    If any one of your clan members comes to power again (god forbid) we will have an international court because you change Supreme Court judges when they do the right thing.

  • 5
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    We have been on the radar of UNHRC for about a decade. This article by former Executive President Mahinda Rajapaksa closely resembles Rajeewa Jayaweera article in CT and one by a Chandre Dharmawardena.
    Coincidence? Maybe, if one is over-generous.
    .
    The ever so sagacious Mahinda Rajapaksa divulges ‘The Stand Sri Lanka Should Take In Geneva’
    MR mentions the unsuccessful effort by Lord Naseby to persuade the British government to drop the campaign against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC. He has in his speeches in the House of Lords explained how the 2011 Darusman report compiled by an unofficial committee appointed by the then UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon had arbitrarily plucked the figure of 40,000 civilian deaths out of thin air.
    The part which takes the extreme cake is “He has recounted how the then British Defence Attaché in Sri Lanka Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash, had told him in January 2009 that he was surprised at the ‘controlled discipline’ of the Sri Lankan army and the solicitous manner in which they looked after the civilians who escaped from LTTE captivity”.
    Ask the inmates of the Vanni internment camps. They will recount as to how solicitous, the camps were.
    .
    MR has latched on to the description, by a moron, of UNHCR as a cess-pit.
    We all agree that UNHCR has faults.
    What will MR call our ‘Culture’ of corruption/nepotism/impunity? A perfumed garden?
    .
    To MR, ‘reconciliation’ is anathema. He has made it unpatriotic. He will drive SLPP with this.
    Will he succeed? If he does, then what?

    • 1
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      K.Pillai,
      Neserby is known in my country (UK) as a PIMP. That means that there are peers of the regime who practise one the oldest …….. Was he prosecuted for sodomy about a decade ago.

  • 7
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    No criminal ever wants his crimes to be investigated. And no one is more emphatic on this point than a war criminal.

  • 3
    1

    Louise Arbour, Navi Pillai, Jordan Prince Zeid, Michelle Bachelet …….. I know guys what you are thinking… But that is not what I came to tell. These are not people Felix Dias put in Law College and passed the test with without sitting. These people are honored by university after university, with international reputation. These all people have unanimously agreed Old King is a war criminal. As you guys think, they all are HC of UNHRC, so from 2004, consecutively, only one opinion prevails in UNHRC: “Lankawe is Genocide Country. “
    In March 2015, there was report of OISL has to be presented in UNHRC. According to the Lemon Puff Weeraya, it had 42 Leaders and Commanders listed as war criminals. It included at least two members of Old King family, New King and current and past military Chiefs. Colombo Media reported, as per Yahapalanaya’s election promise in Jan, 2015 was to bail out Old King from Electric Chair, Ranil begged and had the report abolished. So far, though a lot have appeared in Colombo Media, Lord Naseby has not said anything on that.
    According to Lankawe Rapist Army and its Defense secretary, the casualty on the war was zero. There are many recorded interviews from him saying that there was Zero Casualty . Now, Lord Naseby has increased it to 7,000. (Expert Panel put it as above 40,000 UN Internal Investigation 70,000 . OISL Above 1,000,000. Number given to LLRC 1,500,000. ). This is a war without witness. All IC workers were put out by Rapist Aanduwa. “The Cage” came out of it. BBC reporter who was in the scene, earlier, wrote “Lankawe Still Counting the Dead”. Then Lord Naseby is hanging on a military attaché. GLP comedian, a partner who conducted the Humanitarian Rescue Mission Operation, is hanging on Lord Naseby. What a joke!
    Interestingly High Commissioner has said that Ranil’s cheating on implementing the

  • 3
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    Interestingly High Commissioner has said that Ranil’s cheating on implementing the investigation only costed him his job in October, 26. What she meant is the defect Old King still out only increased greed to stage the coup. She is probably not aware that it was Ranil who wanted to hand over the PM position. But Colombo media reported, when the SLFPyers met him to tell that he holding to the legal job is affecting the New King Job, he answered that they have to think about his family too. Media’s interpretation was the family member depressed enough by local cases wanted to commit suicide. But we feel, as New King too shares 50% on Coup, it was about the March 2019 war crime. That time they feared too much about March; but Britain hoodwinks everybody and presenting extremely soft resolution. So they recovered lot and now, GLP writing this bravely.
    Ranil won the election in August 2015 for promising to retake the Colombo Pong Cing from China. GLP is blaming Ranil for selling Hangbangtota harbor to China. Well, Ranil said he sold Hangbangtota for the settlement for the Old King’s swindled up loans. Then why did the Old King donated the Colombo Pong Cing? Little earlier Lankawe computers fell down. Obama’s intelligence service reported excessing Chinese military hacking activities were sensed in that time. That is why Old King surrendered to China and donated Colombo Pong Cing to China?
    New York Times printed the documents of local CID’s investigation of China funding the election. What a clean Sinhala Buddhism are these gimmicks.
    Other case is there are media gossips that New King is upset about Brother Prince being selected to Election. He is demanding to convey that to him, officially. Then he would probably stop negotiating with Slap Party and recalling Tamil Buddhist to come back from Geneva, allowing Old King put on the UN Electric Chair.

  • 6
    0

    MR, are you the wolf in sheep clothing? Are you not instigator of the whole saga? Are you not at the helm when war crime was committed by the both parties in the civil war? You may pull the sheep clothes over the saga, but too late to hide. Putrid to the core.

  • 3
    0

    Why does this senior high profile politician MR insist “…acting against the repeated requests of the Maha Sangha” ???? The discussion here is a ethical-legal issue and Mr. Rajapakse, we are asked to believe, is a Lawyer. Real or synthetic – I do not wish to speculate. Why bring the religious hierarchy into this? Does believe the UNHRC will soften its stand because of their fearsome involvement? Is it also because Rajapakse wishes to use this for political propaganda in the future – playing to the gallery as a pious and obedient Sinhala Buddhist bowing to the command of the Mahanayakas.
    If “the Maha Sangha” is the beginning and end of all matters here, why have Courts and the judicial system here at all? Much money and time can be saved if all legal pronouncements are made by the Clergy – in former royal fashion. It is common knowledge Lord Naseby of Sandy has willingly succumbed as the hand maiden of Rajapakse politics in contemporary Sri Lanka. Is he the UK version of that paid devalued Indian mouthpiece Subramaniam Swamy. The good Lord has all the time in the world in his hands now. He was ousted from his Parliamentary seat in the General Elections in the UK in 1997 in his former avatar as Michael Morris MP. Or is the more compelling reason a fully paid super luxury vacation or two in sunny Sri Lanka when the UK shivers deep winter.
    As to this “controlled discipline of the Sri Lanka Army and the solicitous manner in which they looked after civilians who fled from LTTE captivity” how does this compare to the fate of 12-year old Balachandran – young son of the much feared Prabakaran. How is that this “solicitous” courtesy did not also fail to save the life of the Sinhalese wife of LTTE’s Policeman Nadesan.

  • 4
    0

    Both Mahinda and Namal never can write this article.
    Somebody has done it for this man.
    Mahinda is the man who taught others how to steal public money for their own sake.
    Mahinda, Basil, Gotabaya, Chamal and Mahinda’ s three sons have stolen peoples money.
    Again they try to come to power to do the same.
    Sirisena is in desperate situation now.

  • 1
    0

    Mahinda old pal.

    I read your publications in CT purely for amusement but I do admire your audacity to portray yourself as a concerned true son of the soil despite overwhelming evidence that you screwed this country royally in every way & the main reason why we are in this sorry situation. Still, I suppose there are ‘patriots’ who believe in the rubbish you preach & the need to refresh their minds of your brilliant leadership.

    However, a statement that puzzled me was ‘..Sri Lankan government has not engaged with the British government to have the passage of these resolutions stopped…’ but I am just wondering if you ever did have any good relations with the British Govt, in fact, even being the leader of the Commonwealth during your time & why you didn’t do anything to convince the world with the findings of these eminent British experts at that time? Anyway, I am sure your recommendations are fully supported by Sirisena & don’t worry about war heroes being dragged to human rights courts to face justice. You lot are safe as long as we have yobs like Sirisena running the country.

  • 1
    0

    Wait until our REAL experts DJ and Rajeewa come out and explain the nuances to us. MR fought the war with the help of other countries, and it was conducted without evidence. When ever the countries raised concerns MR lied, deceived, distorted and continued with his personal/family mission. When the suspicions grew stronger, the request for UN aide organizations to enter was denied . Same with ban ki moon, other leaders and diplomats who requested access to war torn area were outright denied ( same time Lanka in Geneva was pretending innocence by requesting the media and leaders to visit Lanka to wine and dine , but not the war areas to witness first hand). Then Cameron did his number and eventually Navi Pillai was allowed due to intense pressure. Even then Lankan govt send thugs and intelligence to follow her and threaten people who talked to her (some shit heads tried threatening her in parliament). From then on wards Lanka has been staging annual “NADAGAM” in Geneva sessions, Continuing with threats, gestures of throat slits, taking pictures, verbally threatening participants in public —-etc. Now comes the statement from the architect of “war without casualty” and “mother of all humanitarian mission”. WHAT IS NEW ?????????

  • 1
    0

    Sorry forgot to add MR was expecting nomination for Nobel Peace Prize (could have settled for Oscars, but too greedy)

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