25 January, 2021

Blog

The Truth About The Geneva Human Rights Council Resolution

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera

During the past few weeks, I have been watching the many headlines, debates, misinformation, misrepresentation of facts as well as self-congratulatory statements by some members of the delegation that went to Geneva to participate in the 40th session of the Human Rights Council where the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet presented the Report on Sri Lanka as requested by the Human Rights Council.

As the person who held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs when resolution 30/1 of 01 October 2015 was adopted, I feel that it is my duty to respond to some of the malicious arguments being made and misrepresentation of facts.

I saw some statements claim that the initial delegation to the Human Rights Council’s 40th session in March 2019 was changed. This, like most reports attempting to mislead the public, is false. There is also an abundance of gossip about the delegation and undignified attacks against devoted public servants. Contrary to what is being said, there were no plans to send anyone to Geneva originally for the 40th session as we  have a competent, experienced, respected diplomat as our Ambassador to the UN in Geneva who is well-versed in procedure and substance and who has always managed things in a professional and dignified manner, based on instructions, with no attempts to blow his own trumpet like some do. And unlike some others who held this post earlier, the present Ambassador is completely apolitical with no hidden agenda to embarrass the Government of the day or our country.

Initially I thought that the diplomatic event at the 40th session of the Human Rights Council would be a show of Sri Lanka’s diplomatic maturity, skill, finesse and grace in handling matters rationally on the international stage. After all, Sri Lanka’s position in the world, its global recognition as a trusted partner and sovereign nation is an issue of critical importance to us all. And what could be more important today, ten years after the end of a brutal fratricidal conflict? What could be a better opportunity to showcase our democracy especially after a tilt towards autocracy was defeated by the people, by Parliament and by the Judiciary? Indeed, the 40th session was an opportunity to tell the world of our difficult yet committed journey towards strengthening democracy, reconciliation, sustainable peace and achieving equitable economic development and prosperity for all. What I had hoped to see therefore was a serious, compassionate, and well-informed discussion on true reconciliation.

However, I note with deep concern that such an enlightened and rational approach is confined to our hopes and wishes and not what we have in reality. In Geneva, rather than demonstrating diplomatic skill, finesse, grace and maturity, we made a spectacle of ourselves.

Let’s call a spade a spade: much of what is presented today as debate on the recent Human Rights Council session amounts to little more than a display of egocentric one-upmanship, emotional manipulation and nationalistic propaganda calculated to stir frenzy, deceive the public and create fear to gather possible votes in the emerging electoral scenario.

What we see from many in our political spectrum – from those holding the highest positions to those in obscure positions – is a plethora of contradictory, improvised and exaggerated accounts. So much so that it is difficult to discern which is the most notorious of these utterances, or the most embarrassing, as each appears to want to outdo the other. Some managed to reduce their participation in the most important human rights forum in the world to self-important, gossipy, exaggerated tales about their supposed heroic roles in correcting the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the former President of Chile Michelle Bachelet who has been a Minister of Defence in her country, and the chief of UN Women, the foremost global institution on women’s rights.

On behalf of all sane, rational, decent, sincere, compassionate, serious-minded and honest Sri Lankans who fervently wish to consolidate peace and reconciliation in our country, heal the wounds of our fellow citizens, and ensure non-recurrence of conflict, to lead us towards economic prosperity, I offer an apology to High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, a true friend of Sri Lanka’s people, a champion of the Global South, and herself a survivor of the horrors of torture. High Commissioner Bachelet, you did not deserve the misrepresentation of your statements.

But let’s focus on the biggest misrepresentation of them all: the version that Sri Lanka has somehow managed to produce an accusation against itself. A tale disseminated by members of the delegation that went to Geneva to participate in the Human Rights Council session. This is a tale of self-incrimination or incompetence because if these gentlemen talk today of their heroic exploits stopping the impetus of the world, how did they manage then to ensure that the resolution passed without a vote, by consensus, and with our co-sponsorship? And why did they, at substantial cost to our coffers, celebrate by hosting a reception after the adoption of the resolution?

But enough with the fake news. What exactly and truly transpired in the 40th Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva? What is resolution 40/1 “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”?

Quite simply, it is a resolution passed unanimously by the 47 members in the Council with co-sponsorship of 46 countries including Sri Lanka and our neighbour Maldives, ensuring the roll over or extension of two previous resolutions: resolution 30/1 of 2015 and resolution 34/1 of 2017 (itself a rollover/extension of resolution 30/1).

A similar rollover was co-sponsored in 2017 and signed by the then Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva, the present Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who was himself a member of the delegation this time. When he signed to co-sponsor resolutions in 2015 and in 2017, he was not made to bear the indignity of accusations being levelled at the present Ambassador of betraying our nation and its defence forces.

The decision to request for a technical/procedural rollover this year was taken after consulting both H.E. the President and the Hon. Prime Minister in February 2019 ahead of the organisational meeting of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council on 16 February 2019. Instructions pertaining to co-sponsorship were merely conveyed to Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez by Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) which comes under the Prime Minister’s Office. The SCRM was formed by the Cabinet of Ministers in 2016 for the overall coordination of reconciliation activities including implementation of resolution 30/1. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Tilak Marapana was also fully aware of these instructions which were conveyed by him to Ambassador Azeez as well. Minister Marapana had also asked Ambassador Azeez to coordinate matters with respect to the resolution with Mr. Tittawella, and had kept the Secretary to his Ministry Ravinatha Aryasinha informed.

So, what does a rollover/procedural extension mean exactly? It means that instead of the world castigating Sri Lanka, as so often happened before January 2015, for human rights violations and impunity, the world reiterated its confidence that Sri Lanka is a nation which is firmly on the road towards reconciliation. The world reaffirmed that Sri Lankans are a responsible, mature, dignified people determined to work on tackling difficult issues to provide truth, justice, and reparation to the nation aimed at healing, upholding the rights of all and establishing the rule of law to ensure the non-recurrence of conflict, ushering in stability required for economic growth, development and prosperity for all in the long-term.

In the words contained in resolution 40/1,

“…it is the responsibility of each State to ensure the full enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms of its entire population”. Yes! This is our responsibility and no one else in the world has appropriated that responsibility, as certain people have said recently!

A rollover of a resolution is not a sanction in any way. I challenge any member of the delegation that went to Geneva and participated in the rollover of the resolution without a vote, to show what sanction is contained in resolution 40/1, or in resolution 30/1 which is the original one adopted on 01 October 2015.

Resolution 30/1 which Sri Lanka co-sponsored in 2015, in pursuance of the mandate that President Sirisena received from the voters to implement the 100 Day Programme and take charge of Sri Lanka’s sovereign right to solve its own problems locally, is no more and no less than a historic agenda to ensure durable peace and reconciliation in our country.

Contrary to what is often being said, the content of resolution 30/1 was based on Sri Lanka’s own proposals for truth-seeking, justice, reparation, and guarantees of non-recurrence presented to the Human Rights Council by me on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka on 14 September 2015. The content of this Statement was both discussed and approved by His Excellency the President as well as the Hon. Prime Minister at meetings that were held following the swearing-in of several ministers including me by the President after the Parliamentary Election held on 17 August 2015. It is as a result of this resolution (30/1) that prospects for international action initiated through resolution 25/1 of March 2014 and the OISL (OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka) that was adopted during President Rajapaksa’s regime was effectively halted. It is important to remind everyone that it is if we as a responsible and sovereign nation fails to act that we place our citizens in grave peril because the message we then send out to the world is that we are unable or unwilling to do our job. If we fail to deal with our issues ourselves, then others will step in, and international action as well as universal jurisdiction will apply.

I must recall here that following the adoption of resolution 30/1, the President convened at least two rounds of an All-Party Conference regarding implementation of the resolution for reconciliation while even at that time, expressing reservations regarding the involvement of foreign judges. In order to broaden the scope of implementation of the resolution, the President sought the views of all political parties that participated in the All-Party Conference. However, some of the political parties including the members of the so-called Joint Opposition that go around the country making unfounded accusations didn’t even bother to give written observations or suggestions at the time.

If you look at the content of Resolution 30/1 carefully, you will understand the objective of the reconciliation agenda which contains a series of measures covering reconciliation, rule of law, security and confidence-building. All these are measures that were derived directly from our promises to the Sri Lankan people at the election of January 2015: that we would overcome hate, that we would overcome arbitrariness, that we would overcome fear – all conditions that are necessary for long-term development of our nation. Nothing more and nothing less.

Many of these measures have been implemented, and in some others the progress has been partial but is ongoing. Every citizen that has not been living under a rock, or under the rock of prejudice, will recognize those measures that include: creating institutions to ensure the rights of victims as well as the future safety, security and wellbeing of all citizens; constitutional reform, so that we can all live, work, and prosper together in dignity; addressing shortcomings so that everyone can enjoy peace in their own lands and houses.

The measures of resolution 30/1, that was rolled over without the need of a vote, recently, include:

* The establishment of an Office on Missing Persons, to undertake the humanitarian and compassionate task of determining the fate and whereabouts of the missing along the history of all our past conflicts and crises. The OMP, quite simply, restores the right of every Sri Lankan family, of any background, language or religion, to know what happened to their missing loved ones and to take measures to impress upon our nation’s soul, the non-recurrence of disappearances in future. As it has been noted, the missing in our country includes hundreds if not thousands of families of our soldiers as well as police personnel, missing in action. Who in their right mind with a beating heart could deny such a basic right to their grieving fellow citizens – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and children? Isn’t this the compassion that Gautama Buddha has spoken of?

* The creation of an Office for Reparations, which has been approved in Parliament and which has passed constitutional muster, to ensure that all the persons affected by conflict have a fair opportunity to rebuild their lives, to receive adequate reparation, to be recognized in their dignity as human beings and citizens to receive appropriate satisfaction. The Office will be a permanent mechanism that will formulate policy which can help all citizens even in unfortunate events in future. What is threatening about helping those who suffer to rebuild their lives? Is it not a state’s sovereign responsibility to help all citizens in need rebuild and restore their lives and livelihoods?

* The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (for which a Concept Paper is before the Cabinet of Ministers) that will clarify the events of the conflict, including those most disputed and controversial, in order to lift the veil of secrecy and speculation, and to listen to all the victims and survivors, in a compassionate and dignified way. Everyone can tell their story. This includes the military. Who is afraid of letting our brothers and sisters from all walks of life, from all parts of our nation, speak, to enable truth-seeking, and thus facilitate measures for healing and non-recurrence of such grievous hurt in our land? Who is afraid of truth-seeking to such an extent as to oppose such a local exercise by calling it some conspiracy or international intervention? Is truth a foreign concept for Sri Lankans who are blessed by the teachings of Gautama Buddha, the Vedas, Prophet Mohammed and Jesus Christ?

* The establishment, within our national legal system, of “a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law”, a mechanism that the Resolution explicitly calls a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism not an international one, in which there would be the participation of foreign jurists.

* This, of course, is the measure that has motivated the most terror and indignation among the spoilers of reconciliation and healing. Therefore, let me review it carefully for the benefit of all those with a sincere desire and willingness to try to understand it.

– This proposal is not to establish a foreign mechanism in some foreign land outside Sri Lanka. Literally, it is a proposal to establish a Sri Lankan local mechanism. And the participation of foreign jurists is in no way a strange or unheard-of practice in Sri Lanka. After all, it was the government led by former President Mahinda Rajapaksa which established the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) in 2005, led by no less than the 17th Chief Justice of India, the illustrious justice Bhagwati. This is not the only instance either. Moreover, several Sri Lankan jurists have participated as judges and investigators in international courts. Some of our former judges and officials of the Attorney General’s Department have been appointed to judicial bodies in Fiji as well.

– No provision in our Constitution requires judges serving in our system to have Sri Lankan nationality. Of course, some could argue that the Constitution should clarify that point explicitly, but is this something we should get caught up arguing about and toss reconciliation out of the window just out of a newly discovered antipathy for the word “foreign”?

– The resolution says that the Sri Lankan justice system must investigate and adjudicate on allegations of the most serious human rights violations. Now who could oppose that? Even the gentlemen who went to Geneva this time in March 2019 say precisely that. Let’s assume that it is because of this fundamental agreement that they did nothing to prevent the adoption by consensus of the resolution! Should we not acknowledge the need to investigate allegations? Are we not bound by our own Constitution to provide for the equal protection of the law?  Shouldn’t we do justice to all our citizens including our security forces personnel by investigating allegations so that those who may not be guilty of a crime do not have to carry the weight of an allegation with them to the grave? Should we let allegations remain without investigations and make our security forces personnel vulnerable to be subjected to universal jurisdiction? Do we not owe our institutions of the army, the navy, the air-force and the police the right to justice just as much as we owe all our citizens who have been wronged? This is called abiding by our own Constitution. Nothing more, nothing less.

The Human Rights Council is not a court of law. That is not the place to argue and debate over the number of dead or missing. All these including the information obtained by Lord Naseby are matters for Sri Lankan processes including the Sri Lankan justice system.

– The participation of foreign experts, in the capacity that we decide, within our national system is nothing new or controversial. We have already done it in the past. Instead of making this a Manichean discussion of “yes” and “no”, let’s have a practical discussion of how, and in what way do we ensure that justice tackles the most serious allegations, in an independent manner, and with the support of the best jurists of the world. As I have asked recently in my response to the Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa, why would we, a country of the Global South deprive ourselves of the expertise of our brothers and sisters in other countries of the Global South? Why not reach out to the Argentine experts who have identified the fate of the missing in their native country and around the world? Why ignore the contribution of our Tunisian friends who have examined the corruption and human rights violations of their past dictatorship? Why slam the door on South African lawyers who are even now uncovering the horrors of Apartheid and contributing to the construction of a diverse, proud Rainbow Nation, as they call their beautiful country? Why ignore the know-how of Colombian experts striking the delicate balance between peace and justice after a long conflict? Why shy away from even asking the High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet who has been a torture victim and later a Minister of Defence and President of her country to share her own experience in these matters with us?

– We have the expertise of numerous Sri Lankan experts who have participated in courts around the world. We have the recommendations of thousands of Sri Lankan citizens who appeared before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission as well as the Consultation Task Force to give recommendations about justice. We have the willingness of the best legal minds around the world to share their opinion and expertise.

* What else is in the resolution? Our commitment to pass new, modern laws to prevent the repetition of the past; a better legal framework to fight terrorism; legislation to prevent forced disappearances. This, as any legislation is not retroactive. Who could be against preventing future crime? Who could be against preventing disappearances in the future? Only those who may want a free hand to commit crime! Only those who would not hesitate in unleashing again the horror of the White Van phenomenon!

* The resolution also encourages the return of land to its rightful civilian owners. This is quite a self-evident task: once the defence imperatives are addressed there is no necessity to use the land of civilian owners. We are a nation of laws, and every Sri Lankan, no matter their background and state in life has the right to own property and make a living, however modest. And, as the High Commissioner has noted, we are making significant progress in this regard. Who could be against ensuring that someone recovers a house, a plot of land, a fishing ground, so that everyone can enjoy the simple happiness of building a family, working hard, dreaming of a better future?

* The resolution also encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to introduce effective security sector reforms as part of its transitional justice process, which will help to enhance the reputation and professionalism of the military. Who in his or her right mind would want to deny the military of the opportunity to enhance its reputation and professionalism? Can those who call themselves patriotic really deny the military the opportunity to serve the noble cause of Peacekeeping around the world?

When I read the resolution to try to explain what every task in the resolution is, I cannot help but wonder, who in their right mind could oppose such a common sense, compassionate, and reasonable measure? It should be a rhetorical question. It should be evident that rational persons couldn’t oppose any of these measures.

Regrettably, it is not self-evident.

Ten years after the end of the conflict in the North and the East, thirty years after the end of the second insurrection in the South, we seem to continue those fratricidal conflicts in our hearts, with the anger of the fighter, instead of the compassion of the peacemaker and peacebuilder. Instead of using the capacities of the state to rebuild, reform and reconcile, we try to stop rebuilding, reform, reconciliation and healing. Instead of recognizing the inherent human dignity of all persons, we ask first for their language, their religion, their identity!

And it is sad to note that those who do so, proclaim themselves good Buddhists. No philosophical system and no religious revelation, in particular the sublime teachings of Gautama Buddha, should be used to justify heartlessness and lies.

The sad reality is, then, that there are those who oppose any measure to achieve accountability and reconciliation, because they don’t want justice. They want victor’s justice. They don’t want the peace of the living, they want the peace of the cemeteries. They calculate that by appealing to our worst instincts: by mobilizing the base emotions of fear and hate, they will grasp power.

I trust that they are wrong. I trust that, at the end of the day, every Sri Lankan of goodwill is capable to feel in their heart the suffering of any living being and any other Sri Lankan. I am convinced that, even if we humans are imperfect and are capable of great evil, we are also capable of magnanimity, of goodness, of beauty, kindness, compassion, justice and dignity.

I trust that our citizens are capable to see beyond the lies, and I invite all professors in our universities, all community leaders, all leaders of our security forces, all religious leaders to discuss, to inquire, to inform themselves better than we politicians have informed them or the media has informed them through sound bites and news clips. I invite every responsible citizen to read the resolution that I have plainly explained here, and whose validity we have extended. Also read and observe and understand how actual UN and Human Rights Council processes work instead of being misled by fear mongers and liars.

In 2015, we ceased to be the pariah nation we were in the period immediately before that where we were fighting everyone and cornering ourselves. We took control of the accountability and reconciliation agenda, and we put the world as our witness. Nothing less, as I have said, and nothing more. We regained our place as a responsible sovereign nation alongside the rest of the world, because we had regained our heart, and our identity as a compassionate, proud, diverse nation, full of hope and inspiration to march forward, holding our heads up high, to be the best that we could be.

That, and not the lies and exaggerations, is what will win in the end: our love for our Mother Lanka, our freedom, our wonderful diversity, our faith, our capacity to reconcile, and our capacity to live and work together with unity of purpose – to make our country the developed country it deserves to be with no space for recurrence of conflict.

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Latest comments

  • 17
    0

    Mangala,

    /*
    I am convinced that, even if we humans are imperfect and are capable of great evil, we are also capable of magnanimity, of goodness, of beauty, kindness, compassion, justice and dignity.
    */

    That is good to hear.

  • 19
    2

    Mangala why can’t you simply impeach your president? He increased the debt of this country by rs 1.4 trillion after Oct 26. Those are grounds for impeachment. It will put an end to all these misbegotten falsehoods you refer to. If ranil can’t do it you must do it for the countrys sake.

  • 23
    5

    Mangala.

    You are a straight forward guy i like your style.
    Why not contest at 2020 Presidential elections and teach sillysena the language of diplomacy.

    • 0
      1

      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

      • 3
        5

        I did didn’t read Mangala’s statement. It is not that I am swore not to read, but would only when I feel to do so only. But I know what will be there. Before 2017 election, Mangala did couple of speeches in English in Parliament. You know to whom they were directed. We all all know why Mervin Silva asked Navi Pillay to marry him. Because Old King cannot ask to marry a common women like M/s Pillay which will make the highness of Old King go down. So Myvyn asked it for Old King. Ranil giving up to Colonialist will reduce the meaning of Ranil’s speech in Oxford. So Mangala doing this Mervyn Silva job to protect Ranil’s highness not to be lost. Tamils will not believe Mangala. Mangala is known as the World’s greatest liar. But one must remember, Mangala is not known as racist, so far. Further Mangala is not a Tamil like Dr. Seevaratnam. Nor Mangala is a Singalese like Dr. Brian. Mangala doesn’t not work for Tamils under any term. So Managala’s speech is unimportant for Sinhalese, Tamils and even to Muslims. So nobody need to be excited seeming Mangala’s speech, irrelevant what is said in that(-at least I don’t what is there).

        • 4
          3

          “Managala’s speech is unimportant for Sinhalese, Tamils and even to Muslims.”– Mallung
          Is it even less important than any of your GFN comments?

          • 0
            0

            Bored?

            I thought it was me, who keep you entertained and that is why you keep coming to CT. ….????? or but sounds like bothered.

            How busy are you, SJ?

            I know I take too much of your time and keeping you occupied. I can cut it down. But this is how UOJ professors and undergrad would get a bit of air to breath from annoying quips. Stick with us!

          • 0
            0

            SJ, it is not me, CT did it.
            Hey Dhuronochariya Keep your disciple in prime; don’t let the Ekalaivan shoot down the Arjuna like that anymore.

            Put a condition to CT that they cannot write comments beyond 20 words and cannot use hyperlinks in their comments. They need 22 words to put that comment and a hyperlink to redirect to CT comment policy. Get their both thumbs. Then they can’t do this again to Arjuna.

            • 0
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              Mallung
              Thanks for the entertainment.
              But not enough to keep me occupied. I read pretty fast you know.
              *
              Why are you so agitated? What did CT dot to get your k******s in a twist?
              *
              BTW, Can you please translate “get a bit of air to breath”.

              • 0
                0

                ” BTW, Can you please translate “get a bit of air to breath”
                Need not to be translated. For your level of understanding, some interpretation: “Because the turn of those who have to close their nose is changed to CT, people at UOJ can open their nose and breath freely.”

      • 3
        0

        ?
        This I thought would not work for Sinahla Man or the like true commenters ?
        .
        What happened ?

        • 5
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          I think what is most important is that I get some sleep!
          .
          I tried to indicate how I would mark my ballot paper at the next Presidential Election, given each of a number of scenarios. I’m sure that the result looked curious, and so was ruled out.
          .
          Now that, I must accept gracefully!
          .
          Mangala is one of the few Sri Lankan politicians whom I approve of.
          .
          I was wondering whether to attempt an article on the Maldivian Parliamentary Elections next Saturday, the 6th April 2019. It promises to be very orderly.
          .
          If that is the case, it’ll be so because of the wonderful work done by our own Sri Lankan Election Monitors at the crucial Presidential Elections in September 2018.
          .
          The article may not be possible, but look out for those election results.
          .
          Best wishes.

          • 0
            0

            Sinhala_Man,

            It is not elephant also slip on steps.

            But the wrestler, who falls down says always that there is no dirt on his mustache.

            They say if you holding on for an emergency, hold on the Tamarind tree branch. (reliable one). Duryodhana, took all the army of Krishna with him to the war. But smart Utishra asked just Krinina to go with in the war! You did excellent decision of taking SJ on your side. SJ, the ultimate guru is there now to give hand.

          • 3
            0

            Dear Sinhala_Man
            “Mangala is one of the few Sri Lankan politicians whom I approve of.”
            I clearly remember how articulate he was describing Batalanda torture camps and Ranil W. while he was in the opposite camp.
            He has availed himself 4 duty free car permits so far in his political career and made close to 300 million (his own admission at a TV talk show).
            He never revealed his source of information over USD 18 ( not 17 or 19, mind you)
            billion stolen by Rajapaksa. Pressed on , again at a TV talk show, he said judging by the amounts stolen by the likes of Marcos he made an estimate!

            He has landed Sri Lanka in an inescapable trap by ‘co-sponsoring’ – recent Sumathithran’s threat is more than enough proof. We can still implement all the noble imperatives he has described in this article without co-sponsoring. He is totally unconcious of the fact that there were two sides in the war while the ideology of the other is live and kicking. If matters can be sorted out in love and compassion Christian world would not be stockpiling nuclear warheads while beggingly apologizing for Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

            Soma

    • 1
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      Now turn face down Herbert Thambiyah.

  • 12
    1

    Minister Mangala Samaraweera,

    “ In 2015, we ceased to be pariah nation”

    Thanks for your article and clarifying issues.

    Yes, with the replacement of the the then Para-Mahinda Rajapaksa administration, we got out of being a Pariah nation, with the populace electing Sirisena, with great hope.

    Unfortunately, “ H.E.President Sirisena” shattered the hopes of millions who elected him, on Oct 26th, by illegally and unconstitutionally appointing the former Para-Pariah Mahinda Rajapaksa, as the Para-Pariah Fake Prime Minister, that was overturned by the Supreme Court.

    Unfortunately, despite the Para-ParIah actions of the Pariah-President, fortunately the UN Ambassodor Azeez and his team of professionals, were able to rescue the day, and buy two more years .

    Currently, the Land like no other, has two curses: Para-Pariah Sirisena and Para-Pariah Mahinda.

    Shouldn’t the masses be making offerings at the Sri Maha Bodhi, to remove these two curses and other curses, now in the parliament, just like Minister Ravi asking for rain?

  • 9
    2

    Mr Samaraweera,
    You say, “The decision to request for a technical/procedural rollover this year was taken after consulting both H.E. the President and the Hon. Prime Minister in February 2019 ahead of the organisational meeting of the 40th session of the Human Rights Council on 16 February 2019.”
    Then you say, “Instructions pertaining to co-sponsorship were merely conveyed to Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez by Mr. Mano Tittawella, Secretary-General of the Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms (SCRM) which comes under the Prime Minister’s Office.”
    These are two things. First is about ‘rollover’ and the second is about ‘co-sponsorship.’ I don’t see much wrong with the first, as Sri Lanka is already trapped, thanks to you. But I see much wrong with the second, because Sri Lanka could have avoided sponsoring it at least this time. As a citizen, though dual, I like to know whether a decision to ‘co-sponsorship’ was taken at the same consultation or not? You skip the matter and don’t say it. More importantly, who initiated these consultations? You or the Minister of Foreign Affairs? Even if there was a decision for ‘co-sponsorship,’ why it was conveyed by Mr Mano Tittawella, the SC of SCRM, when it was a matter for the Ministry of External Affairs? You of course note that the SCRM is responsible for the implementation of resolution 30/1, that you initiated c0-sponsoring. However, implementation of a resolution fully or in part is different to sponsoring a resolution. Isn’t it?
    I hope you give a clear answer to my question/s.

    • 0
      0

      What if the implementation of a resolution can encompass the co-sponsoring/sponsoring of it?

  • 9
    0

    The man who worked behind the scene to make all these diplomatic appointments possible during the 52 day Constitutional Coup was the current Foreign Secretary Ariyasinghe, a Gota and MR acolyte is not mentioned in the article.He paid many visits to MR before the list was prepared,probably unknown to Sirisena with Ranil sleeping.Sirisena refused to attend dinner in Bangkok by Kshenuka and he hated her but Ariyasinghe slipped her name through for the president to sign.With Sajin baggage kolla Majintha Jayasinghe’s appointment to Abu Dhabi,government can say goodbye to all the investigations into the inquiries on the hauls of cash stashed away there by the MR gang, and high profile drug trafficking cases in that country.It is well known that Sajin Vass Gunawardena is now doing underhand Buissness in Dubai.Majintha and Sajin will now together With Kshenuka ruin Sri Lanka.Ariyasinhe has got his cronies in to previously Ranil held places in Austria and Singapore.Aiyo Foreign Ministry

  • 16
    3

    Dear Minister Samaraweera,

    Thank you. We all needed to hear that and I am most grateful for the risk you have taken in writing this.

    It is clear from your article that there is no impediment to charging our war criminals as agreed to in 2015.

    Why then have we sat on this for ,4 years?

    Many of us wonder which is better — a government by those who promise justice and do nothing, or one by those preaching hatred.

    Please ensure that your government keeps the promises it made when it was elected.

    Sincerely,

    Jeevan Hoole

    • 1
      1

      S R H Hoole,

      “Promises “?

      Is it in the Yahapalanaya lexicon?

      Did Sirisena promise Mahinda that he will be made (Fake) Prime Mimister?

    • 2
      3

      Prof. Hoole.
      We hate terrorists and their supporters (TNA, Diaspora and the likes of you) while you hate government armed forces and the Rajapaksas.
      Reconciliation is a two way street.

      Soma

    • 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
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        Just as much as I “graciously accepted” that my response to the comment by Herbert Thambiyah was a bit unusual, I don’t feel that this comment was of such a nature as to warrant its removal.
        .
        This comment was merely an attempt to explain the rationale for Preferential voting.
        .

  • 16
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    Whom do you trust President Sirisena or Mangala. I would trust Mangala. President Sirisena, may have had his Appa again and lied to us that he did not know about the resolution. Is he so dumb as not to even learn about this resolution long before it was presented/signed, as it was published in every media? Does the President think that we are all fools like him.

  • 7
    2

    IIGEP resigned their positions and went home saying justice was not served by the state prosecutors being unwilling to lead vital evidence.
    This is why foreign judges are necessary.
    Mangala’s ‘beating around the bush’ convinces no one.
    He is blind to the military regime and what is happening in the north and east, and pretending that the UN does not know.
    This is the only country which evicts citizens from their own lands, homes and livelihoods and after a civil war, and then returns the land in pieces over many years saying this is magnanimity on the part of the military !
    What did the Tamil Buddhist Governor whose heart is bleeding for the refugees in India, say at the UN?
    Did he mention the forced Buddhicisation of land with statues and new pansalas, and Sinhalisation of place names?

  • 4
    5

    I will agree with all what he says if those who backed the LTTE during the war too are considered as responsible for the crimes of the LTTE. Just because Prabhakaran is not there the so called international community should not allow his backers to get off scot-free. They want to take revenge on the forces who saved the masses of this country from the world’s most deadly terrorist group by eliminating it.

  • 7
    1

    mangala is addressing the educated middle class
    can the average voter understand this
    certainly not a three wheel driver or a rural peasant

  • 12
    1

    Did you say in the Council in Geneva that 60 years of experiment in nation building has failed the nation. No reconciliation and peace without justice and accountability.
    First admit and apologise for the Mullivaikkal Genocide, and remove the military and from civilian administration.
    Can you explain why you were removed as Foreign Minister?
    What is your time line for L40/1 resolution. What is your advice to Tamil victims if your government fails to implement L30/1 in full by March 2021?
    Come clean and be honest, separation to develop prosper as two nations.

    • 5
      1

      It is worth for Mangala to read this article regarding rights of minorities and their right to self-determination. He is trying to show that he is smart, but never speak about the endless sufferings of the Tamils. As far as Tamils are concerned both major parties are devils. [it is a matter of who is the worst devil. A third political party will intellectuals consisting of all communities can only save the country.
      Sri Lanka: Justifying the Right of Tamils’ Self-Rule

      • 1
        2

        Mr. Kumaradasan
        I beg of you to give us your definition of “Tamil Nation” you wish to present to the International Community in respect of a ‘political solution’ for the Tamil ethnic problem in Sri Lanka. You may acknowledge that it is of prime importance.
        My definition is:
        “all Tamil speaking people irrespective of their religion, caste or the date of arrival scattered across the island of Sri Lanka”
        What is the percentage of “Tamil Nation” out of the total population of Sri Lanka?

        Soma

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    When Mangala Samaraweera was the Foreign minister he was silent about the Geneva resolution. Now, he can not talk about the Finance ministry so he talks about the Geneva Resolution. Profits from some one else’s work. Michelle Bachellt is USA educated. You say she is friendly to Sri Lanka. In comparison to Mangala, She was honest. That is she acknowledged that the report prepares had screwed it up by including some good lies. Some times they includes what is cut and pasted in CT but came from Tamilnet.

  • 3
    6

    s.l.an Tamils do not want reconciliation.they want 100 p.c. of the cake in the n.p. only for them,75 p.c. of the cake in the e.p. and 50 p.c. of the cake in the other provinces.sinhale buddhists are idiots and with the help of mangalas and the corrupt politicians and specielly the unp under ranil and the mahanayakas,will probably achieve what they want.sooner than later the sinhale idiotic buddhists will be a majority with allmost no rights.

  • 5
    9

    UN is a failed organization that provides opportunities for mostly white mediocre guys who pretend that they are experts of this and that to make money. The guys working in UN have to be hypocrites like the white people who support that organization to fulfill their agenda. Otherwise they cannot survive. Although Western countries brag about saviors and promoters of democracy, in reality they run the world following ‘Law of the Jungle’. Those with muscle power rule.

    • 3
      2

      There is a common saying among the sinhalayas – natanna baha polowa aedhayi… once you fail to deliver, then you criticise the floor is being not flat enough.
      :
      As we all know B***Ptha Eagle Eye, we need to go for invesitgation within the country and show them, that we have done it. Not focusing on that, but to repeat, that UNO is estranged twoards us or a failed organisation bla bla would not bring anyone forward. We just stay stagnated… and IC woudl not even clear their thoughts about us either.
      I think as general fonseka reiterates, we need to investigate the few that allegedto have commited heinous crimes in the name of war, or war heroes, and clear the issues earlier than later. Then only we can close these accusations.

      • 3
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        SURANBATTA,
        USA, the main sponsor of the Resolution left UNHRC saying that it is a cesspool. Is it because ‘natanna beri minihata polowa eda hindada’?

        • 2
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          USA is a the police for the world, we are just and another hungry nation.
          :
          Dont overstate srilankens – we should be ashamed not being able to produce a leader of Mahathir Mohammed let alone to be able to implement law and order. Latter is the fundemental prerequisite.
          :
          We the folks make more sounds not knowing who we really are. Europeans (as i know well having lived in here for decades) would no teven know the name and location of SRILANKA.
          :
          But some low lives such as BURUWANSA- GONTHADIPILA or the like… feel and mislead that eurpeans are after us. What do we have them to come and invade us again ? The kind of false rhetorics have fooled the nation as no times int he past. The reasoning has been, lanken media men are run by Rajaakshe men. Like frogs in a well woul dnot know beyond their bounderies, many coming from rural backgrouns cant know the ground realities about the country and its future.
          :
          If VIETNAM or th elikeminded countries are ready to sign TAs and open to the world for building bilateral and multi lateral agreements, why not us SL whose LITERACY rate is over 93% by today ?
          .
          You should be an another idiot to have not gotten the least about the BASICs of this life, that may be the reason you as a senior man keep adding HATE WORDING against srilanken minorities. I would not do so, nor would I allow my family circles go for it. We are all srilankens, that should be treated with the same SPOON.
          BPs of your nature, would never be able to see it right.even if your times before you is limited.
          Please try to read your mind… and be mindful about the GROUND relities of the country and nation. Never give it a try – HATE will never bring you anywhere. BUT TO THE HELL for sure.

          • 3
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            „Hate will never bring you anywhere“ – well said!

            If Sri Lanka will not overcome the hatred and preoccupation within their own demographic groups, it will never develop. Mistakes and crimes on all sides must be identified and charged, as a guideline for future cooperation. The past you cannot change but you can learn from it for future coexistence. Look into the future instead of remaining in the past! Multicultural societies are the future world wide.

      • 1
        1

        SURANBATTA,
        Let me remind you ‘para BP’ that from the day one to the end Demala terrorists committed war crimes. Killing thousands of unarmed civilians, killing people who were praying, raping and killing Sinhala women, blowing up trains and buses etc. etc. The role of Sri Lankan Armed Forces was to stop that. Compared to war crimes committed by Demala terrorists the isolated incidences of Armed Forces, if there are any, is nothing. If the Government of Sri Lanka insist that the war crimes committed by Demala terrorists should be investigated first and if international judges accept that, I am sure you para BPs will start shouting that the international judges are biased and we do not want any investigation. In such an investigation, lot of Wellala politicians and some Christiyan and Hintu clergy also will be implicated for openly supporting terrorism. How about that?

        • 2
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          Egle Eye, you are disgusting as no word would fit your description.
          .
          just focus only on post war crimes man ! There you will get lot more about the LEVEL of high crimes Rajaakshes committed. . There, Rajapakshes have committed varied of high crimes. I dont think Prabakarana et al or late Rohana Wijeweera committed that much.
          .
          Btw, Just becasue I call you BP, i must not be a tamil You as an octagenrian with few more months to go to walakajja gahanna…. you sound to be that obsessed why ? Were you repeatedly raped by tamils you got to know during your refuge ? or why you guys harbour that much of hatred on and on.. I dont know any SINHALAYA … of your nature. Not even my grannies had been as hatred as you are.
          Wairayen wairaya nosansinedhe… can give you a life for sure.
          BPs of your nature will never fit to SRILANKA and for its future.
          I am so happy, I dont know any one of your nature EVEN if I travel a lot across the world.
          Mahinda pala for the sake of your HEALTH, get a life man. You will never succeed it. It was not tamils but some of them only were terrorists… Likewise, even if RAJAPAKSHES are racists, we the sinhalayas (majority of us ) would not respect his racism.
          Just because a dried pumpkin of your nature, is entwined with hatreds, we would not react like that.. please WAKE Up::: GET WELL soon!

  • 4
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    1) Why would it take the country more than 4 yrs to set up a Sri Lankan mechanism with foreign jurists.
    2) Why would it take the country more than 4 yrs to fully implement the 13th Amendment.
    3) Why does it take the country more than 4 years to get the military confined to the barracks.
    4) Why, 5) Why, 6) Why, 7) …. ?
    .
    Only talking; no walking.
    .
    Can Mangala get The President – At least, PM – to endorse his stand.

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    This man should be tried for treason. The UN report can be very easily challenged. It is full of inaccuracies and heresay. Even the recent UN report which talked about Mannar mass graves is full of errors. Instead of defending the country against fabricated and false allegations made with a sinister plan, this man went into co sponsoring a resolution…………

  • 1
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    Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his long article has made valiant efforts to defend the Sri Lankan Government’s co-sponsorship of UNHRC Resolution 30/1 on ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka” and adopted on October 01, 2015.
    The October 2015 resolution (30/1), among other matters declared that it “Welcomes the recognition by the Government of Sri Lanka that accountability is essential to uphold the rule of law and to build confidence in the people of all communities of Sri Lanka in the justice system, notes with appreciation the proposal of the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a judicial mechanism with a special counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as applicable; affirms that a credible judicial process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for their integrity and impartiality; and also affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including special counsel’s office, of Commonwealth and other foreign judges, defence lawyers and authorised prosecutors and investigators.”
    However, Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana in his statement delivered at the 40th Sessions of UNHRC this year has categorically asserted as follows:

    ‘I wish to make it clear that the Government of Sri Lanka at the highest political levels, has both publicly and in discussions with the present and former High Commissioners for Human Rights and other interlocutors, explained the constitutional and legal challenges that preclude it from including non-citizens in its judicial processes. ‘It has been explained that if non-citizen judges are to be appointed in such a process, it will not be possible without an amendment to the Constitution by 2/3 of members of the Parliament voting in favour and also the approval of the people at a Referendum.’ 1/3

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    Obviously, Foreign Minister Marapana’s statement contradicts the pledge given in Resolution 30/1 and reiterated in Resolution 34/1 and now 40/1.
    Not only Foreign Minister Marapana, President Sirisena has also repeatedly asserted that he will not allow foreign judges to probe alleged war crimes by troops. He went even further just two weeks ago. Addressing a meeting of security forces personnel and the police from the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) hangar on March 4 in Palaly, Jaffna, he declared, “As the President and the head of the armed forces I wish to say that I will protect all members of the armed forces and police with great responsibility.” An English translation from his speech posted on the President’s website said; “Whatever allegations are made, we will reject them. There was a proposal made demanding that Sri Lanka must have foreign judges to investigate allegations against the war heroes. I clearly said that I am not ready to accept that. There are some Sri Lankans who work through NGOs and reach wrong conclusions for the sake of money. They carry out wrong campaigns against the armed forces. I am not ready to govern the country in accordance with their wishes. I am not prepared to bring allegations against the armed forces in accordance with their wishes. I am not willing to hear cases according to their wishes.”
    By any standards, this is an insulting statement coming from the Head of State. As usual, he is living in a world of his own, albeit, in fool’s paradise!
    Not to be left out Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has also ruled out that there will be no investigation about war by a hybrid court but only. 2/3

  • 3
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    The question is whether the Sri Lankan government is running with the hare and hunting with the hounds? Why you cosponsor the Resolutions but declare on the floor itself that you have no intention of implementing vitals aspects with the Resolutions sponsored by Sri Lanka. Who is fooling whom? Mangala Samaraweera may be concerned about promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights, but what about the rest of the Government that includes president Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe? Sri Lankan government at the highest levels playing hide and seek with UNHRC member countries? The Government can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but it cannot fool all the people all the time.3/3

    • 3
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      Hello Hello Thanga,
      Who is fooling who?
      Is it not you and TNA supported and welcomed the two year extension in March 2019, knowing very well the new good governance regime will never ever fulfill its promises?
      Were you and TNA naive then, calling to support a regime change in January 2015, even when told before the elections, there would be no international independent investigation, no prosecution for war heroes for war crimes.
      Why are you barking now? What are you and TNA going to do now, dance in the rain and call for referral to the ICC for the coming provincial elections?
      Don’t fool us.

  • 1
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    For a long time in the Sri Lankan history the officials have no choice but to carry out the political will as spelt out by the politician in power, legal or extra-legal Although there are many aspects of this statement of explanation to respond, I would rise only towards safeguarding the interests of the hapless officials, so long as they are not part of the loot resulting in personal gain. Mangala Pinsiri, we all know, has graduated from a cloth cutter cum fashion designer to a seasoned politician, so much so to be a Deputy Leader of a political party, which is commendable. As such, in trying to explain himself he should be mature enough not say anything which would be detrimental to the interests of Mr. Azeez, our ambassador. Long years ago, in the offing of Telecom liberalization Mangala went on a tour to South America along with a group. The secretary of the ministry at that time commented jokingly “Ah! Siri-Tours”. Why? The intended participants were Pinsiri, Hemasiri, Jayasiri, Dharmasiri and Somasiri. (All the names ending with siri). My Dear Mangala, the matter at hand is serious and is not as simple as a siri-tour . You quote the manifesto and the hundred day program as the source of your authority for the action taken by Sri Lanka. You fellows even to sneeze take a Cabinet Decision. WAS THAT DONE TO CO-SPONSOR the resolution whether the previous one or the present one? NO! The purported approval of the President and the PM, the Minister in charge and the Secretary of the Ministry being kept informed is neither here nor there. Just as much as the former regime put Messers Weeratunge and Pelpita into trouble, through this statement poor Messers Ariyasinghe and Azeez are put into deeper trouble.

  • 6
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    Sri Lanka is a “sovereign” nation? What BS!!!

    You and your cohorts in all political parties in SL, have held the nation down, while it is being raped by the rich and influential countries in the world, to better their economy and security, at the expense of Sri Lankans. The endless power-cuts and debt dramas exemplify the outcome of your collaboration with these international rapists to destroy the natural resources of our country. Prior to the 21st century they did so by looting the flora/fauna and taking over of our sea ports, not they have extended it to our highways/air ports and even real estate and media.

    “Sovereign” nation my foot!

    • 1
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      Srilanka would keep the whole world on their side and give half of it to them as long as they can keep the Tamils quite.

    • 3
      0

      India is modernising the railway with Japan and we are buying old compartments from India.
      Most of the countries moving away from coal plants to nuclear but we are keen to get power from coal
      Our prez mourn about cashew nut in our flag carrier,we produce cashew nuts but for our flag ship we find a seller in Abu Dhabi and it’s comes from India.
      Chinese building the ports and roads but they bring the workforce from China no jobs for 2500 yrs saviors.they gives scicors to cut the ribbons.
      Blamed the LTTE almost 10 yrs now where is SL now
      Built an air port no planes

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    • 2
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      KASmaalam K A Sumanasekera

      The Malawattu has conferred the honorary title
      Sasana Deepana Abhimani Sri Lanka Jana Ranjana
      on the Kesselwatte Kid Sajith Premadasa.
      What exactly does this honour mean?

      Why is he entitled or qualified to such honours and you are not?
      The Malawattu seems to be cleverly placing its bets Each Way.

      • 0
        0

        Dear Native,
        Sorry didn’t notice your comment as I didn’t bother after CT black banned my Bit..

        You have raised a good point, mate.
        Keselwatta Kid surely deserves a Guernsey from Malwatta & Asgiriya for sure.
        Do you know why Native?,

        It is purely for the Kid’s untiring efforts to look after needs and serve the wishes of the Colombo Elite , Anglicans , Vellalas and the Wahabis who are the back bone of Dr Ranil’s UNP Faction.

        If not for this devoted service after the dear Daddy passed on, just imagine the number of Atapirikara which Malwatta and Asgiriya would have missed out.

        But another interesting thing which this Two Nikayas of the Radala Clan have done is giving stools for the other Two Nikaya Chiefs ,while the Malwatta and Asgiriya bosses were sitting on Edwardian Chairs at the last all Island Mahasanga Talk Fest .

        My Elders tell me the other Two Nikayas, namely Ramanya and Amarapura have the largest number of followers btiween them among our 70 % inhabitant population.

        The reason is, those two Nikayas are open to all and sundry to get ordained as monks while the other two want Birth Certificates to prove their breeding.

        Can you imagine that Native?…
        I always barracked for eliminating Caste and Creed differences from our Society.
        And I used to boast that we lay bodies have now mostly overcome those breeding issues thanks to Swabasha Free Education.
        But I am wrong . Aren’t I , my Dear Native?.

        BTW Is that the highest Title which I even find hard to pronounce , the Biggest in Malwatta & Asgiriya?.
        If it is ,Keselwttata Kid may relax a bit of his Devotion to Malwatta and Asgiriya as well as Dr Ranil’s Faction..

        I have seen Mr Hakeem holding Atapirikara in Malwatta
        But I am yet to see your mates Sampathar and Abraham doing the same…
        Is that correct Native?…

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    I believe intended audience of this article is policy makers in west, not general public in Sri-Lanka. Anyway it is a nice article to read. One may learn a lot about how to present one self to west the way they expect. Most probably some trips to overseas centres to study something like Diplomacy, foreign policy etc.

  • 0
    0

    when Mangala Samaraweera says this Unknown foreigners Love Sri lanka and Srilankan politicians screwed up Sri lanka since 1948, that says a lot. foreigners’ ambitions are . what specific aspect of the country.

  • 2
    0

    I read it.

    What is the meaning of this statement? What purpose Mangala trying to achieve? Is he suggesting, leaving the Trio aside, that he is going to implement the resolution 30/1?

    This is the gimmick of the century it seems. The Trio is saying ” No Leader, No Commander, No Soldier will be prosecuted”. But Mangala, an ordinary minister, says that he is correct but others are wrong!

    If there is any substance in this statement, while Ranil, New King, Old King are denying of there is any Resolution exist or either have agreed to sign it, then this is the comedy of the century.

    They are fooling the Tamil leaders (Not Tamils, because Tamils no longer have any faith on their leaders). They fooling the Sinhala Buddhist Modaya. They are fooling the Colombo Diplomats and IC.

    Mangala is trying to confuse everybody and delaying IC action on his goverment. IC has to ignore this propaganda and should take Lanakwe to ICC.

  • 0
    1

    Only on thing in Mangala’s statements makes sense. He said the Northern Comedian the Tamil Buddhist made a farcical joke by saying that he found errors on HC Bachelet’s statement and made to correct. The HC apologise to him for the errors. Whoever did it, but that comedian also from Yahapalanaya, so Magala said his apology to HC Bachelet. Mangala’s that action is praiseworthy. But that comedian so far did not say his apology.

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