16 April, 2021

Blog

The United States Paves Way For UNHRC To Enter Sri Lanka To Probe Alleged Human Rights Abuses

By Daya Gamage – 

Biden administration’s decision last Friday – April 2 – to reverse previous Trump administration decision last year to prevent officials of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arriving in Washington to investigate U.S. alleged atrocities in Afghanistan could be signal to Sri Lanka that it could not prevent UNHRC team from arriving in Colombo to get a firsthand knowledge of rights abuses.

President Biden revoked President Donald J. Trump’s executive order authorizing sanctions on top officials at the ICC, reversing the decision.

The move comes after the Trump administration decided last year to sanction the court’s chief prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, and a senior official, Phakiso Mochochoko, after the court opened an investigation into potential war crimes committed by American troops in Afghanistan.

The ICC officials were expected to be in Washington last year to investigate alleged war crimes of US military and intelligence officials in the US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

President Barack Obama in his second month in office in 2009 refused to succumb to domestic and international pressure to investigate alleged violation of international humanitarian law (IHL) and war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq which included torture of prisoners, summary executions and the use of ‘water boarding’ as a interrogation technique by his predecessor Bush administration declaring “his administration does not want to look back but forward”.

However, there were instances that the Bush and Obama administrations cooperated quietly in several cases with the ICC, and with those efforts facilitated the arrest of at least two fugitives.

The Biden administrations’ decision last Friday was in contrast to Obama’s in which Biden was the vice president.

A clear indication that Washington may not object to UNHRC officials arriving in Colombo came from the statement made by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken:

(Quote) Today, President Biden revoked Executive Order 13928 on “Blocking Property of Certain Persons Associated with the International Criminal Court (ICC),” ending the threat and imposition of economic sanctions and visa restrictions in connection with the Court. As a result, the sanctions imposed by the previous administration against ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda and Phakiso Mochochoko, the Head of the Jurisdiction, Complementarity and Cooperation Division of the Office of the Prosecutor, have been lifted.

Our support for the rule of law, access to justice, and accountability for mass atrocities are important U.S. national security interests that are protected and advanced by engaging with the rest of the world to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. Since the Nuremberg and Tokyo Tribunals after World War II, U.S. leadership meant that history permanently recorded fair judgments issued by international tribunals against justly convicted defendants from the Balkans to Cambodia, to Rwanda and elsewhere. We have carried on that legacy by supporting a range of international, regional, and domestic tribunals, and international investigative mechanisms for Iraq, Syria, and Burma, to realize the promise of justice for victims of atrocities. (End Quote)

The reversal of Trump’s executive order means sanctions on Ms. Bensouda and Mr. Mochochoko will be lifted. Secretary Blinken declared that travel restrictions the Trump administration placed on the (ICC) court’s personnel in 2019 will be reversed.

This Washington decision could have direct impact on Sri Lanka in which the Rajapaksa administration could be disabled if it attempts to restrict UNHRC officials arriving in Colombo to probe and investigate alleged human rights abuses. The March 23 adopted resolution singles out abuses of the current Sri Lanka regime but the probe could cover the previous Rajapaksa administration that spearheaded the war against the separatist LTTE.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 21
    21

    Was any one in USA convicted of dropping 2 – atom bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki – Japan.
    both civilian targets?

    Or is it OK in some cases to attack civilian targets? Hope some one with international Law backgrong could enlighten me on this?

    • 10
      15

      WK,

      Killing civilians is not a war crime. What matters is under what conditions they were killed.

      • 7
        1

        Colombo Telegraph Jan 30, 2012

        “WikiLeaks: “STF Murdered Trinco Students” Basil To US”

        • 12
          1

          This is what I said moment the resolution was passed, that if Sri Lanka fails to comply, UN troops will enter Sri Lanka to conduct investigations, arrest war criminals and take them to ICC for trial. Sri Lanka is protesting about voting funds for the fact finding mission, unaware that Australia and Norway have volunteered to meet the cost. Why not Fat-Rhetoric persons like Mahindapala and Laksiri protest to Australia against this gesture. No one can stop this process of divine retribution on murderous gang.

      • 0
        0

        Gatam, absolutely a brilliant comment from an astute man called Gatamboooo. Who and where did you get this definition from? ‘Hambantota Concise Dictionary’? Or is this from your Deepawansa or Mahawamsa fictional comic books?

    • 6
      3

      If SOUTH africa had guts to go for it, why cant SRILANKA to go for investigations ?
      :
      Longer they wait to clear the doubts, even little ones would start thinking that the reports on war crimes are the truths.
      :
      As Dr Jayathilaka once said, we should go for local investigations. Of course after restructuring the JUDICIARY in highly corrupted SRILANKA.
      .
      Today, almost everyone would agree with that current GOVT is closely working with with srilanken judiciary. One law to honoural MP Ranjan Ramanayaka and another law to Rajapakshes and all other high criminals proved to have committed high crimes.
      :
      International community, over to you, you guys should put more pressure on SRILANKEN GO and get them agreed for CRIME investigations.

      In todays context, incumbent SLGO is treating own public not thinking twice. President Gotabaya behaves like a deaf elephant. He has already proved not once many atimes that he has not the sure instict. His prevarications being added to the villagers are enough as of now.
      We wish at least any kind of natural punishment to these guys, ,that live up their hidden propensities by fooling the majority gullible in this country.

  • 29
    5

    It’s time up for the rulers in SL to stop human rights violations from now on.
    Time to stop
    arresting/harassing those who voice opposition to the Government.
    Controlling the Judges
    Controlling the media
    Ruling by FEAR
    The SCAMS
    Ecocide
    Appointing unqualified people as Ambassadors or as heads of government agencies
    Delaying the Northern and Eastern Provincial Councils
    The biased armed forces

    • 5
      13

      All those can be done through non-state actors without HR violations. In fact this is the future of warfare. Use non-state actors more.

      Only state actors are responsible for HR violations.

      Elections are an internal matter. And the president has the right to appoint any Governor he likes.

      • 9
        2

        State is responsible for the actions of non state actors if the state sanctioned it or if it had knowledge of the violation and did nothing to prevent it or if it did happen and the state did nothing to hold those responsible, accountable.

    • 3
      0

      Naman: Your suggestion could only be operational if and when the “20th Amendment” is “Abolished”. There is a reference to this draconian “Amendment” in the UNHRC Resolution. Will UNHRC, “Mechanism” now established (after passing the resolution) take steps to demand to abandon that “20A”?

  • 26
    5

    Two wrongs do not make a right. The US has an ugly record of wars based on lies, attacking sovereign nations, torture, and toppling leaders who do not want to work with them.

    We cannot base our actions on what others do. We cannot keep pointing at others to justify our human rights abuses, war crimes, and not giving answers to the families of those missing and killed.
    If we are a Buddhist nation, and are supposed to be tolerant, peaceful, and compassionate, we should show the world we are doing exactly that. Not lying, stalling, being defensive, and attacking others, for wanting answers.

    • 12
      31

      Ashan,
      Sinhala Buddhists did that by following ‘Forgive and Forget’ attitude towards Tamils who slaughtered Sinhalayo using suicide bombers, claymore bombs, AK47s and chemical weapons for three decades. They sent hundreds of lorry loads of food, clothing and other essential items to Tamils in the North after the military operation was over. Sinhala Buddhists did not run after foreign countries or International Organizations asking them to punish Tamils who committed heinous crimes against Sinhalayo while committing war crimes, and crimes against humanity.
      Sinhalayo are the real victims of Tamil terrorism but after LTTE was defeated Tamils went all over the world screaming that they were the victims of war and Sinhalayo committed war crimes and crimes against humanity and asked the International Community to punish Sinhalayo. When the Government released about 12,000 LTTE terrorists after rehabilitating them Sinhalayo did not shout against the decision taken by the Government.


      “If we are a Buddhist nation, and are supposed to be tolerant, peaceful, and compassionate, we should show the world we are doing exactly that.”

      • 16
        5

        Eagle,
        How do you come up with these boringly repetitious gems?
        “Sinhala Buddhists did that by following ‘Forgive and Forget’ attitude towards Tamils who slaughtered Sinhalayo using suicide bombers, claymore bombs, AK47s and chemical weapons for three decades. “
        Do you use a software with random words like Sinhalayo

        • 15
          4

          contd.
          Do you use a software with random words like
          ” Sinhala Buddhist”, “claymore bombs”, ” LTTE ” etc, so that you can can reduce thought processes to a minimum? How kind of the other inmates to hold your laptop for you!

    • 5
      11

      The US is the worst violator of human rights in the world – killings in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Vietnam – the list is endless.
      The audacity of the US to preach to the rest of the world is utterly repulsive.
      Had Sri Lanka signed on to the Millennium Compact, it is unlikely that (there can be no certainties) that there would have been any UNHRC resolutions to be adopted.
      Sri Lanka should always do what is right for Sri Lanka.

      • 10
        3

        Sunil Abeyratne, Sri Lanka is doing what LTTE did, arrogance and stupidity, and will meet the same fate. The charge here is against only a few in the armed forces and those with command responsibility, and not against the entire armed forces or the country. Due to the action of these few , and efforts made to protect them has resulted in this disgraceful state. Instead of denying war crimes, what is right for Sri Lanka is to cooperate with UNHRC and hand over these criminals to ICC and save the name of the country. You have to come to terms with reality, however unpalatable it is. Quoting parallels is not going to take you anywhere. Look internally, LTTE is designated terrorist, while SL government which committed worst atrocities in not. Blame the government for reneging on promises.

        • 2
          3

          Gnana, What I have stated is correct and is entirely valid. It has no linkage to the proposition that ‘Human rights were violated in Sri Lanka’. Without a shade of doubt, USA’s record is far worse than that of Sri Lanka.
          Violation of human rights is abhorrent.
          As such, an investigation is warranted where all parties are held accountable.. More so for USA, UK and even Australia whose performance in Afghanistan was investigated y Australia.
          Notwithstanding such a view, there is sufficient circumstantial evidence to support the proposition that the UNHRC resolution is intended to change Sri Lanka’s foreign policy.
          It appears that there is perfect alignment of the objectives of the diaspora and the West. One should not be surprised if this leads to the separation of the country into two de facto countries where China will play an equally robust part as India would.
          This is my dispassionate view.
          Do not forget that the ONLY country that used nuclear bombs is USA.

      • 1
        2

        SA
        I agree with you on the purpose of the US.
        But is not there a responsibility on our part to check if there was wrongdoing and rectify as necessary.
        *
        Had MR taken a more conciliatory attitude after was victory rather than capitalize on the victory to consolidate his voter base, he would have had at least half the Tamils with him.
        A call for a fair inquiry by an ethnically balanced commission was very much due from Tamil leaders and at least the left and liberal Sinhalese personalities.
        Had that came about, the US and its allies would have been fully sidelined.

        • 1
          2

          SJ, I agree.
          This is particularly so in the context of the efforts to settle ex LTTE members.
          MR certainly could have taken a more conciliatory approach after the victory.

        • 0
          2

          SJ,
          I agree.
          This is particularly so in the context of the efforts to settle ex LTTE members.
          MR certainly could have taken a more conciliatory approach after the victory.

  • 16
    30

    When the UNHRC team arrives, the Government should arrange the first meeting for them to meet low caste Tamils (Dalits) in Yapanaya to get a firsthand knowledge how Tamils oppress fellow Tamils and violate human rights.

  • 6
    16

    The US is not a member of the ICC, they would never let others judge Americans. They are utter hypocrites, SL should withdraw from the ICC and all co-operation whatever the economic cost. Colonialism never went away, its still the powerful dominating the weak, dividing and ruling.

    • 30
      3

      America has a credible justice system that is accepted by the civilized world where as Sri Lanka has a Kangaroo legal system that is not even acceptable to many law abiding Sri Lankans.

      • 2
        10

        ‘America has a credible justice system that is accepted by the civilized world ‘

        Yes they execute by lethal injection and electrocution while Sri Lanka hasn’t executed anyone for decades.

        • 13
          3

          Svenson, yes America executes convited murderers (first degree murder charges) in certain states but Sri Lanka executes by way of assissinations and white vans of opponents of the Rajapaksa government. All the assassinations were carried out on main roads in plain sight of the police. The main killer is the current president.

          • 2
            6

            ‘The main killer is the current president.’
            .

            And your proof? Evidence? Nothing. Merely gossip.

            • 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

              • 1
                0

                Reginald Shameless Pererass

                Brilliant.

            • 1
              0

              Svenson, similarly what is your proof that VP killed people? Don’t talk like a jackass. Are you going to prove there is oxygen in the air for the 15th time?

        • 3
          2

          “Yes they execute by lethal injection and electrocution while Sri Lanka hasn’t executed anyone for decades.”

          What does this prove?
          How stupid can you be?
          Lethal injection/Electric chair or Hanging is not an issue when it is within the law.
          Here your speaking about criminal persecutions where the defendant could not prove his innocence showing a reasonable doubt.

          • 1
            1

            It proves American hypocrisy. Didn’t you understand?

            • 4
              1

              Svenson,
              “It proves American hypocrisy. Didn’t you understand”
              Yes, the Americans are hypocrites. But they aren’t accused of bombing their own people. Just because the US kills Afghans, does it give us a licence to kill Tamils?

              • 2
                1

                OC
                A minor correction: the indigenous people were subject to mass killing by the USA.
                No bombs are used against Blacks and Latinos, but aspects of state policy are genocidal.
                I fully agree with you on “Just because the US kills Afghans, does it give us a license to kill Tamils?”

            • 1
              0

              Svenson

              “It proves American hypocrisy.”

              Alright, are you going to punish the Americans for being hypocrites?
              If you are, I am right behind you.
              We can count on people like old codger, nimal fernando, Burt, .Tamil from the north ………………….

      • 0
        2

        Do we call a judicial system where judges are political appointees credible?
        Many criminal offenders have been left off the hook in by the so-called credible justice systems because they had wealth and influence.
        *
        We are hooked to the notion that the colonial master was always fair.
        *
        Let us put our house in order, but the role model for us is not in the West.

        • 1
          0

          SJ

          “Let us put our house in order, but the role model for us is not in the West.”

          Brilliant, let us bring judges primarily from neo-colonial master China, …………….

  • 17
    3

    Why did the Tamils in SL take up arms to get their basic human rights in the parts of SL where they were the MAJORITY? Isn’t it because of the Sinhala Buddhists , minorities bashing behaviour since Independence?
    Sinhala ONLY ACT; Tamils in the upcountry being made stateless; Covert actions to colonise the North and East to change the DEMOGRAPHICS; Dividing the Nation by the use of mother tongue as medium of Education; Introduced STANDARDISATION to end university Entrance by merit; Having organised Racial Riots time to time since Independence to kill maim and destroy
    Tamils houses and businesses ; Having uneducated, undisciplined & unruly people in the Armed Security Forces /Buddhists Monks/Politicians ;
    Civil war erupts wherever STATE SUPPRESSION is occurring;
    It’s time for the Sinhala Buddhists to stop ruling the country uncaringly, unfairly and unjustly. Time for them to Start to care for all its citizens and the ENVIRONMENT

    • 9
      1

      Naman – adding to the problems the Yellow Robes want the new Constitution with only
      Sinhala as the official language and the Country renamed Sinhale. The direction to go….

    • 5
      12

      Naman,
      During British rule Vellala Tamils became the most privileged community in the country by scratching the back of British and oppressed Native Sinhalayo. Same situation continued after Sinhalayo gained Independence. They dominated the Government service and occupied more than 60% of places in the Medical College, Engineering and Science Faculties. Vellala Tamils systematically discriminated against Native Sinhalayo. When filling vacancies in the Government, Vellala Tamils were given preference.
      Although Vellala Tamils enjoyed this luxurious life, the situation of low caste Tamils in Yapanaya and in tea plantations was really miserable but Vellala Tamils did not care two hoots for them or their rights.
      Native Sinhalayo who were oppressed by colonial rulers for about 450 years had to take certain measures to regain their lost rights after they became an Independent Nation, e.g. declaring Sinhala language which is spoken by Native Sinhalayo as the official language. When English was the official language, Vellala Tamils had no problem but when Sinhala was made the official language they went mad and went on killing Sinhalayo. When car number plates had English letters, Vellala Tamils had no problem but when English letters were replaced by a Sinhala letter Vellala Tamils started killing Sinhalayo.

      • 2
        0

        Eagle Blind Eye

        Could we have references/evidence to support your various bulls**t allegations.

      • 1
        0

        EE,

        Is there evidence to show that unqualified Tamils were favoured over qualified or unqualified Sinhalese?

        I believe the evidence shows that the Tamils who held those positions were well qualified to hold those positions. ……….. Unlike now and most of post-independent SL ………… from the president down are unqualified to hold the respective positions.

        Can we search for the real truth …………. beyond the Mahawansa gospel or whatever ………..

  • 12
    7

    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder causes one to repeat and repeat. Such people are unable to help themselves. They can even tend to stick a finger in their nether end time after time.

    • 7
      2

      Sarath,
      That means they have smelly laptops too?

  • 8
    2

    “Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder”
    Considering the actions of the Sinhala Buddhists they could use the above as a defense for everything under the sun including electing their leaders.

  • 4
    3

    GATM,
    Were the right conditions fulfilled when USA dropped the bombs?

  • 12
    2

    Moda Blind eagle alias HLD,

    You guy really has the stamina to repeat the same shit again and again like a parrot. How do you do that baang? Why are you so blind? Cant you read some history, your polics and your atrocities. Moda eagle, all LTTE did you goons was after repeated killing of tamil civilians by Sinhala goons led by politicians and Bikkus and armed forces. What worse? Is this what Buddha did or you morons understood. You did all the evils from 1956 and when LTTE gave you good bashing then like a stray dog lifting its leg and howling, you fools howling koty…kotty. All your leading thugs were dug up deep in pits and bunkers while you cowards bombed, shelled and droped toxic bombs, incendiary bombs at civilian targets from air with the help of Jews and Hindians. Now ungrateful morons have even forgotten how Hindians salvaged them from the Tigers. Otherwise Blind Eagle would have been working in tobacco cultivation in Jaffna along with Mahaacchariya Jaya Sumane, Weeramonkey, Comeonpulle and even Unadmirable Weere. Ungrateful fellow. We allowed Buddhism into Illankai, allow kallathoni Vijayan into illankai and and civilsation into Illankai. Otherwise this moron will be still in his stinking amude and a long kondey drinking kassippu and lying in the bush.

    • 5
      13

      Black Lankan,
      Hindians did not salvage Sinhalayo from Tigers. Hindians salvaged your boss from Sri Lanka Army at Vadamarachchi in 1987 and whisked him to New Delhi where Rajiv Gandhi even gave his bullet proof vest to him. But ungrateful Tamils blew him into pieces.
      As a result of what Hindians did LTTE Tamil terrorism dragged on till 2009 bringing enormous misery to Sinhalayo, Veddas, Tamils, Muslims, Malays and others.
      In 2009, Sri Lanka Armed Forces saved Hindians from Tigers.
      —-
      “Now ungrateful morons have even forgotten how Hindians salvaged them from the Tigers.”

  • 4
    3

    The leagl system in Sri Lanka is quite good.
    The problem is the level of commitment to the system by the Government is poor.

    Now what has happened to the Easter Sunday Commission?

    It is politically motivated.

    Mithreepala Sirisena, Bathurdeen, Hakeem are off the hook because of political reasons.

    • 8
      1

      Legal system in Sri Lanka consisting of police, bar and the bench is institutionally racist, where Tamils can never get justice. I experienced this as medico-legal officer in the war zone. Cases of atrocities committed by security forces were transferred to Colombo citing security reason to be heard before Sinhala judges, where despite incriminating evidence of first degree murder, judges without batting an eye lid gave verdict of justifiable homicide or collateral damage exonerating perpetrators of those crimes. Even soldiers who committed murder and rape in Haiti, were let off by SL military. If anyone believes in justice, they must agree for international panel.

  • 5
    3

    Evil, I believe Sarath’s comment is about you. It is his reply to OC’s question addressed to you. Naive Evil may believe the comment is in agreement with his stupidy.

  • 6
    3

    SARATH,
    We do have to repeat the same things over and over again because of the “THICK” skull headed Buddhist Fundamentalists who can not see the suffering of the minorities.
    AND also how it has impacted the entire country’s progress. It is time for all to act as SRI LANKAN.

  • 11
    0

    According to my opinion the Sinhala Buddhist , sole owners of Sri lanka mentality was the main stumbling block for Sri Lanka.

    The state should not allow the Buddhist monks to get involved in state matters.

    The success of Singapore was mainly due to it’s rejection of religious interference when it comes to government policy and decision making.

    And also Lee Kwon Yu was a highly educated (London School of Economics) , wise and pragmatic leader who had the charisma, oratory skills and resolve to steer Singapore to it’s current developed status.

    Now we see more and more uneducated politicians having a go at politics in Sri Lanka.

    Is it because they love the nation and community so much?

    Do they really care about the Buddha sasana?

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.