18 October, 2017

UN Human Rights Council, Sri Lanka & The Tamil People

By Brian Senewiratne

Dr. Brian Senewiratne

Sri Lanka recently co-sponsored a resolution at the 34th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), allowing Sri Lanka two more years to implement the recommendations made in Resolution 30/1 of 2015. The outrageous decision is devastating for the survival of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka and also calls into question the credibility of the UNHRC.

On the very day it was passed in Geneva, President Sirisena in Colombo promoted a war criminal to a senior position in the Armed Forces, sending a clear message to the international community in general and the UNHRC in particular that he had not the slightest intention of doing what Sri Lanka undertook to do in Geneva. It was all a joke, not to be taken seriously. It has reduced the Human Rights Council to irrelevance.

There is talk of the “slow progress” made the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL). Where the Tamils North & East are concerned, it is “no progress”. The North – East continues to be under the heel of the brutal Sri Lankan Armed Forces that has committed all these atrocities and continues to do so. So where is the progress – ‘slow’ or otherwise?

The Tamils in the N&E are not concerned with the ‘benefits’ to those in the rest of the country from the change in Government from the dreadful Rajapaksa regime to that of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s friend and former colleague, Maithripala Sirisena. Their problem is an entirely justifiable fear – fear of the Armed Forces that control the area and who treat the area as ‘conquered territory’ and the inhabitants as the ‘spoils of war’. For them the change from Rajapaksa to Sirisena is only a name-change of no consequence.

Of serious concern is the extensive relocation of Sinhalese from the South to the Tamil areas – ‘Sinhalisation’. This is proceeding at such a pace that the Tamils will become a minority in the only area where they are a majority. Sri Lanka will be a Sinhala-Buddhist nation – the Mahavamsa mind-set – that Buddha ‘gave’ Lanka to the Sinhalese to foster his doctrine.

If Sri Lanka is a Sinhala-Buddhist country, what then happens to those who are not Sinhalese and not Buddhists? There are only 4 things that can happen – 1) to leave the country – as a million Tamils already have done, 2) to involuntarily ‘disappear’ 3) to become ‘non-people’ with no land, no occupation, and no rights 4) to die – slowly but surely, which is genocide of the Tamil people.

There are scores of publications on this disastrous situation. Countries in the HRC are fully aware of all this, or should be aware, since it is common knowledge. To claim that they are unaware is nonsense.

The HRC is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of all human rights around the globe.

To claim that ‘promotion and protection’ of human rights of the Tamil people in the N&E has been done by the United Nations (UN) or the UNHRC, is arrant nonsense.

Let us look at the past activities of both the UN and the UNHRC. The current (March 2017) decision of the UNHRC to give another two years for the GoSL (to continue to do what it has done all these years – to make Sri Lanka into a Sinhala-Buddhist nation) is simply a continuation of what has gone on for years. To claim that this is “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights” is not only nonsense but dangerous nonsense. It is a gross irresponsibility by both the UN and the UNHRC.

The only thing that has changed is that Ban Ki-moon, the worst Secretary General the UN has ever had, has been replaced by Antonio Guterres, the former High Commissioner for Refugees (2012-2015) and prior to that the Prime Minister of Portugal (1995-2002). Whether Guterres will be better than Ban Ki-moon, is too early to tell. He certainly cannot be worse.

May 2009 – A UNHRC disaster

On 27 May 2009, just a week after the end of the slaughter of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka’s N&E, the UNHRC passed a deeply flawed resolution at a ‘Special Session’ on Sri Lanka. It praised the GoSL whose Armed Forces were responsible for the repeated indiscriminate shelling of civilians. There was not even an expression of concern for the thousands of Tamil civilians killed and the 350,000 men, women and children locked up in the largest open air detention centre in the world. The gross violation of human rights and humanitarian law committed by the Government Armed Forces was ignored. The crucial message that the GoSL needed to hear – to ensure access to displaced civilians and uphold human rights – was not sent. This undermined the very purpose of the Council.

The majority of Council members, including China, South Africa and Uruguay, ignored a call for accountability and justice for the victims made by the then High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay. She called for an independent international investigation into violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Here is what she said: “The images of terrified and emaciated women, men and children fleeing the battle zone ought to be etched in our collective memory. We must act”.

Instead the resolution reaffirmed the principle of non-interference in the domestic jurisdiction of States, a backward step by the Human Rights Council.

Human Rights Watch in a Report released on the same day (27 May 2009): “Sri Lanka: UN Rights Council Fails Victims. Member States Ignore Need for Inquiry into Wartime Violations” expressed serious concerns.

The Report rightly blamed Ban Ki-moon: “Secretary General Ban Ki-moon regrettably undercut efforts to produce a strong resolution with his recent comments on Sri Lanka. Ban publicly praised the Sri Lankan government for “doing its utmost” and for its “tremendous efforts” while accepting government assurances, repeatedly broken in the past, that it would ensure humanitarian access to civilians in need”.

Ban Ki-moon also distanced himself from the entirely appropriate warnings by the UN Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, April 2009, that the fighting in Sri Lanka could result in a “bloodbath”. Unlike the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, Ban Ki-moon failed to press for an international inquiry.

The Report ended with: “Secretary General Ban shares the blame for the Human Rights Council’s poor showing on Sri Lanka. This adds to a crisis of confidence in UN bodies to speak out clearly on pressing human rights issues”.

As recently as March 29, 2017, Nikki Haley, U.S. Permanent Representative on the U.N. Security Council, dismissed the UNHRC as “so corrupt”. Addressing a meeting on Foreign Relations in New York she said,: “I mean, the Human Rights Council is so corrupt that it includes ‘bad actors’ who use it to protect themselves”.

Geoffrey Robertson

The best description of the UN HRC came for Geoffrey Robertson, a world authority on human rights. Soon after the dreadful resolution was passed, the BBC interviewed him. The full interview is on my dvd, Sri Lanka: Genocide, Violation of Human Rights and International Law. Here is a part of what he said:

“The Human Rights Council is a highly politicised body. It is made up, not of experts on human rights, but of paltering diplomats. Europe is allocated only 7 of the 47 seats and we have countries like Russia and China obviously concerned to keep their own internal problems down and away from international oversight. (‘Paltering’ is not a commonly used word. To ‘palter’ is to talk or act insincerely or deceitfully; to lie or use trickery.)

So the decision (to commend Sri Lanka – which the UNHCR did) is not really surprising. Sri Lanka is a member of this highly politicised Council, despite the efforts of Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter last year to stop them gaining membership and they passed this rather self-congratulatory motion.

Although the Human Rights Council has set up an important investigation into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict over Gaza looking at both sides, they weren’t prepared to look at both sides (in the Sri Lankan conflict).

There are however other possibilities – the Convention on Torture, the Convention on Rights of the Child, even the Genocide Convention, could all be applied in due course, So there are ways and means of finding out – fact-finding in effect – as to whether there have been breaches of the Geneva Convention, the targeting of civilians, the bombing of hospitals, and so forth, as has been alleged.”

International concerns

Several bodies have called for Sri Lanka to include foreign judges in its accountability process. UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein commented on Sri Lanka’s ‘slow progress’ on transitional justice when presenting a report on Sri Lanka and added, “Continuing unwillingness or inability to address impunity reinforced the need for international participation in a judicial mechanism. That mechanism should include a special counsel, foreign judges and defence lawyers, and authorised prosecutors and investigators.”

After Zeid’s report, the United States said: “The Government’s statement against international participation in any future Sri Lankan judicial mechanism raises understandable concerns among victims and families about the integrity of any judicial process.”

Human Rights Watch said: “Sri Lanka’s increased unwillingness to consider international involvement directly contravenes the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for a “hybrid” justice mechanism given the shortcomings of domestic institutions to ensure impartial investigations and witness protection…… It is a core component of the resolution, which the Sri Lankan government embraced through its co-sponsorship of the resolution”.

Amnesty International in a statement to the Human Rights Council said: “Sri Lanka must not back away from the commitment [to include international investigators, prosecutors and judges]. International support will…… encourage trust and a perception of fairness on the part of victims, many of whom express deep disillusionment regarding the implementation of Sri Lanka’s commitments.”

A common thread running through these statements is the need for credibility in any accountability mechanism. The reason that credibility has become such a central issue stems from the Government itself. Over the past two years, the Government has issued many confusing (and often directly contradictory) statements on accountability.

International Criminal Court (ICC)

There is much talk about referring Sri Lanka to the ICC. The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC can only investigate and prosecute countries that have signed the Rome Statute. The only exception is if the UN Security Council authorises the ICC to act.

  1. Sri Lanka has not signed or ratified the Rome Statute and is very unlikely to do so.
  2. To get the UN Security Council to refer Sri Lanka to the ICC is also unlikely because the situation in Sri Lanka must be a global threat to peace and security. Which country is going to back this?None. As such, this option will not apply.

The idea of taking Sri Lanka to the ICC is bizarre. It will not happen.

Human Rights Council (UNHRC)

The UNHRC is a talk shop. Resolutions coming from this talk-shop can be ignored. There is no penalty for non-compliance. If there is no penalty, why comply? It has been claimed that if there is non-compliance, there will be a reputational and diplomatic cost. The arrogance of the GoSL, past, present and almost certainly the future, is that this is of no consequence to Sri Lanka.
As Geoffrey Robertson QC has stated, participants in the UNHRC are, “paltering diplomats”- i.e diplomats who lie. So all that Sri Lanka has to do is to find some liars to present the situation in Sri Lanka in Geneva (and elsewhere). There is an abundance “paltering diplomats” in Sri Lanka.

To make a bad situation worse, the elected parliamentary members of the Tamil people in the N&E, the TNA (Tamil National Alliance)- at least their leaders and spokesmen, are in bed with the Sri Lankan government for personal gain.

The Sri Lankan government and the Human Rights Council

The GoSL is well aware that the HRC is a talk-shop and is not in a position to do anything. As such, Resolutions coming from the HRC can be ignored. If there is no penalty for non-compliance, why should the GoSL comply?

If the participants in the UNHRC are, “paltering diplomats”- i.e diplomats who lie, as Geoffrey Robertson said, does the HRC have any credibility? The answer is “No”. Combine this with what the Nikki Haley, U.S. Representative on the U.N. Security Council, recently said: “I mean, the Human Rights Council is so corrupt that it includes ‘bad actors’ who use it to protect themselves”. What emerges is a talk-shop that does not need to be taken seriously.

What will Sri Lanka do in the next two years?

Will it address the problems for which a further two years have been given – “Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights”? No, it will not do anything of the sort. Why not? Because there is no penalty.

All that the Government will do is to do what it is already doing – keeping the Tamil people in the North and East in a Military/Police State, and moving Sinhalese into the Tamil area ie ‘Sinhalisation’. If there is no time to complete this process in two years, I am sure that another two (or more) years will be asked for and given.

All that is necessary in March 2019 is for Sri Lanka to send another ‘paltering diplomat’ to Geneva to lie. The HRC is most unlikely to send an independent observer to see whether what is being presented by Sri Lanka is true.

If the necessary strings are pulled by Sri Lanka, there might even be a repeat of what happened in May 2009 – Sri Lanka being commended and praised. History does have a habit of repeating itself and this is not an exception.

The appointment of Shavendra Silva

I can do no better than to quote Yasmin Sooka’s International Truth and Justice Project, Sri Lanka (ITJPSL):

“The appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva, an alleged war criminal, as the chief administrative officer of the Sri Lankan Army is a slap in the face to tens of thousands of victims still waiting for justice eight years after the war ended. The Sri Lankan Army announced on Thursday (23/3/17) that he had been sworn in as Adjutant General.

This appointment coming just days after the Human Rights Council session ended in Geneva shows that the GoSL is not serious about accountability, reconciliation or human rights. This is a man whom the former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillai, said had, at the very least, a case to answer regarding international crimes.

In the UN Human Rights Resolution the Sri Lankan Government co-sponsored in Geneva, it undertook to deal with accountability, reconciliation and human rights. The appointment of Shavendra Silva to a top position in the Armed Forces is not just an affront to victims but also the international community.

The UN should suspend the deployment of all new peacekeeping troops from Sri Lanka as they clearly cannot be trusted to vet personnel they send abroad for their alleged involvement in war crimes if they keep on rewarding alleged perpetrators at home.

Background of Shavendra Silva

Major General Shavendra Silva commanded the notorious 58 Division during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. An independent UN investigation found reasonable grounds to believe that the 58 Division was among units that shelled the Puttumattalan Hospital in 2009. The makeshift hospital, the GPS coordinates of which were sent to the military, was also visible with the naked eye from the 58 Division’s positions across the lagoon.

War survivors speak of the hospital overflowing with injured civilians and coming under repeated attack. Major General Silva however has asserted that the hospital was only used to treat LTTE fighters and contained no civilians. Nevertheless, targeting combatants who are injured and hors de combat constitutes a crime under international humanitarian law.

Silva also confirmed that he was the officer who led the assault to recapture Puttumattalan in April 2009, which survivors say resulted in extensive civilian loss of life. He says that he was aided by drones, which means he knew that large numbers of civilians were present during the attack and that it was foreseeable that they would be injured and killed.

According to the UN, the 58 Division under Shavendra Silva was present in the area where LTTE military and political leaders and their families surrendered on 18 May 2009, hundreds of whom were subsequently either summarily executed or subjected to enforced disappearance. In 2014, the ITJP compiled a list of surrendees seen by eyewitnesses in army custody who subsequently disappeared; the list includes women and young children who were put with LTTE cadres on buses.

Silva is also alleged to have been at the location of the “white flag” surrenders on the morning of 18 May 2009 and has said he was in overall command of the area. In a 2014 report on the “white flag” incident, the ITJP quoted an eyewitness who said he saw Shavendra Silva shake hands with the LTTE political wing leaders who surrendered to him; their corpses were seen on the roadside a few hours later.

The UN’s Investigation said LTTE leaders were summarily executed, despite assurances from the Government that they could safely surrender. The UN further reported that the 58 Division is alleged to have been involved in torture.

Forensic examination of photographs of the corpses suggested one had been shot multiple times in the back while his hands were bound behind his back.

After the war, Shavendra Silva was sent as Sri Lanka’s deputy representative to the UN in New York, affording him diplomatic immunity from prosecution. In 2012, he was removed from a top UN peacekeeping advisory committee because of the allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity against him. He was then prevented from being posted as a diplomat to South African by NGOs who argued in a legal brief that there were substantial allegations that he was involved in war crimes, and crimes against humanity which rendered him ineligible for the post, and compelled South Africa to refuse to receive him.

This is the man whom President Sirisena thought fit to appoint to a senior position in the Armed Forces!

What about the Tamil people in the North and East?

The Tamil people in the N&E of Sri Lanka who are facing a massive violation of their human rights bordering in genocide, will have to look elsewhere for help. It will not come from the UN Human Rights Council.

They might well have to look at other options such as total non-cooperation, civil disobedience – grinding the North and East to a halt.

This was seen on 24th September 2016. There was a massive protest in Jaffna, in the Tamil North, where some 15,000 Tamils took part in the biggest protest since the end of the armed conflict more than 7 years ago. Called ‘Ezhuka Thamizh’ (Let Tamils rise), thousands of Tamils from all eight provinces in the North and East came for the protest. The massive crowd surged through Jaffna town grinding Jaffna to a halt. All shops in the peninsula were closed in solidarity with the rally.

It was an excellent example of ‘people power’, of what is possible when people decide to act.

200,000 members of the Armed Forces were no deterrent. The crowd could not care less.

There was a recently a heart-warming incident in Jaffna. On 3 March 2017, three Tamil students in Jaffna Hindu College with outstanding courage, demanded that both TNA ‘leaders’ – the elected leader. R.Sampanthan MP and de facto leader and chief spokesman, M.A.Sumanthiran MP resign, saying in no uncertain terms, that they were bought by the Sinhala (‘Sri Lankan’) government. It was particularly courageous because one of the MPs referred to, was in the audience. What was also important was the reaction of the (massive) audience who applauded every sentence, indicating that what the three students said was widely supported. These three Tamil students will hopefully come forward as Tamil political leaders which is what the Tamil people need.

This is what is needed, not guns or violence. This is what Gandhi did when he had to take on the British Empire. At a time when Britain was at the height of its power, it could not cope with a ‘half-naked’ man in a loin cloth. Every time he was thrown into jail, Gandhi said, “I have won”. And he had. So did the 15,000 people who marched across Jaffna and the three Tamil students showed with commendable courage.

What the Tamils need most is a leader(s) who can stand up to the Sri Lankan (Sinhalese) leaders, not get into bed with them as some of the so-called Tamil ‘leaders’ are doing today for personal gain. I cannot think of a single instance where Gandhi compromised his stance and got into bed with the British. That is why he succeeded in what was thought to be impossible – to bring the world’s largest empire at that time, to its knees.

This sort of non-violent mass action is far more likely to yield results than useless Resolutions passed by a useless body such as the Human Rights Council.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    Not only the UNHRC but the entire UN does not contribute towards world peace anymore.

    All problems within Sri Lanka needs to be resolved through the Sri Lankan parliament.

    • 12
      4

      That is entirely correct.
      That will happen only when the people in the island are ready elect a parliament to ensure the formation of a government that will protect the interests of all irrespective of their race, religion, the languages they speak and would be comfortable with to know that their aspirations and requirements will be fulfilled.

      • 2
        2

        Correction
        Read “ready to elect”

      • 5
        3

        Utha gun,
        Like we hire foreign cricket coaches, we need to hire foreign prez and cabinet ministers

        • 5
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          Isharata Yanna
          Yes, go ahead and first start the process by appointing foreign judges to hear the issue of the violation of Human Rights during the war in keeping with the solemn undertaking given at the UN by the My3 Yahapalnaya administration. After that you can decide on the need to hire foreign prez and cabinet ministers.

    • 4
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      The will to change the prevailing mindset is a pre-requisite. This is being touted as unpatriotic.

    • 2
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      Thamilan

      Not only the UNHRC but the entire UN does not contribute towards world peace anymore.

      In the above statement, world peace means a country for Tails.

      they are floating in every ocean in rusted boats. They live in every country doung everything possible but they don’t get a country in Sinhale.

      • 1
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        Only people who hate peace is monks, Sinhalese and that fat dude who came from a Hindu family.

  • 6
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    thanks Thmilan
    i could not agree more with you
    however, now thatthe UN has gt rid of ban Ki-moon, the situation MIGHT improve
    thanking you
    Brian Senewiratne

    • 2
      2

      Yes agree that Ban Ki-Moon appeared listless but he successfully snookered MR that is the basis of the subsequent UN Resolutions!

    • 4
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      BS
      So, change of guards is the answer for you? Keep dreaming!

    • 2
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      Brian Senewiratne, what are you up to here. As the late Thalaivar, the leader of Tamils in Eelam and the world knew well only realiable sinhalese is a dead sinhalese. Why should we Eelam Tamils trust you?
      My feeling is you one of those jackles trying to make a good buck out from the pain of we Eelam Tamils. so you suddenly wake up after HRC meetings. Now the proposals are called for funds by EU,

      can you tell us this not your objective .

      Do not try to fool us , Eelam Tamils can not be fooled.
      Now tell us
      1) what is your contribution to Tamil Eelam? list them, if any?
      2)why should we Eelam Tamils trust you?

      • 3
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        Eelam Tamil analyst

        ” Do not try to fool us , Eelam Tamils can not be fooled.
        Now tell us “

        The history shows otherwise.

        Didn’t you realise the man who was in battle fatigue cheat you, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Hindians, ……..? General Don Sepala Attygalle
        LVO, SLAC was the most disappointed man on this soil.

        Wasn’t VP a psychopath who couldn’t pass a single day without killing people including children?

      • 0
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        Ealam Tamil Analyst.
        You yourself is not a Tamil. You are a third grade Sinhalese Analyst of Ealam Tamils. Come off it.

        • 1
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          Listen up you fagot native Naga
          who are you to question my Tamilness? my contribution to Eelam struggle is well known by people who fought struggle. i dont disclose myself for security reasons. Even Thalaivar had feted me. you are a scum. Who are you to question me, you are one of those scumbugs who use Eelam struggle to seek asylum, while heroic Eelam fighters fighting and dying. Even Thalaivar knew they are coward scumbs

          Many such scums have changed colour after the glorious death of Thalaivar. Now they licking ass of genocidal sinhala government. do you think we dont know? you will be made to pay for your treachery when time comes.
          What is your contribution to Eelam struggle? list now
          Tamils quest is for Eelam. Eelam or death

          • 2
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            Eelam Tamil analyst

            “Tamils quest is for Eelam. Eelam or death”

            Why sre you still alive?

      • 1
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        Eelam Tamil Analyst

        “list them, if any”

        Please go to google and search for “Brian Senewiratne”

  • 6
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    Dear Brian,

    I have a great respect to you.

    “There was a recently a heart-warming incident in Jaffna. On 3 March 2017, three Tamil students in Jaffna Hindu College with outstanding courage, demanded that both TNA ‘leaders’ – the elected leader. R.Sampanthan MP and de facto leader and chief spokesman, M.A.Sumanthiran MP resign, saying in no uncertain terms, that they were bought by the Sinhala (‘Sri Lankan’) government”

    ****One student***** asking to resign does not mean anything.

    Both are MPs elected by the people.

    • 1
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      This article has some material that needs serious consideration.  
      Brian has quoted many parts of a report by the ITJP to show that the Sri Lanka Government is not sincere about implementing the provisions of the UNHRC’s Resolution 30/1  during the two years it has asked for to do so. 

      Thank you Brian

  • 5
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    “Their problem is an entirely justifiable fear – fear of the Armed Forces that control the area and who treat the area as ‘conquered territory’ and the inhabitants as the ‘spoils of war’. For them the change from Rajapaksa to Sirisena is only a name-change of no consequence.”

    Oh Brian! How true. Now for the rest of the country it is the fear of the Police, not the Armed Forces per se. If you cross the borders, that role is played by the customs.

    Brian, don’t expect any fancy from the International Community. What they wanted was done in Jan 8, 2015. Their statements, actions etc is an eye wash now.

  • 0
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  • 2
    2

    I have also great respect for you Dr. But do you believe “These three Tamil students will hopefully come forward as Tamil political leaders which is what the Tamil people need” this kind of prediction will do any good for Tamils going forward. These three students might do these things for some reasons and in overnight would have flown out and join the rest of their families or friends. Those poor kids are the ones who face the brunt when the 56 marching forward, not the three.

    You could try and help bring an end to this problem rather uttering something that make feel good a section of Tamils, who fled this country when the going get tough and keep baking, don’t have any concern to rest of us live here but want to see some turmoil here to make them relevant and to be heard. It is a number game, democratically or otherwise, minority has no chance even what the SL Gov does is blatantly violation of human rights. Ban going could have been good thing but not good as Donald coming. So mindful sir your words do not make these young ones cannon fodders yet again sir.

  • 4
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    Thanks for writing this Dr. Brian Senewiratne. We are living depressing times. Any news about Sri Lanka these days is almost always bad news. But your article reminds me that people who genuinely care about fellow human beings still exist.

    Benjamin Franklin said “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” You are one of those few rare Sri Lankans who are outraged about injustice even when you are not directly affected. The fact that such people still exist gives me hope.

  • 0
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  • 5
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    Brian S,
    You say “The outrageous decision is devastating for the survival of the Tamil people in the North and East of Sri Lanka and also calls into question the credibility of the UNHRC.”
    Strange you are suddenly calling on credibility of UNHRC!
    What on earth were you doing when the UNHRC was taking outrageous decisions of doing nothing for the Palestinians?
    Hypocrite!

    • 3
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      Eusense

      question the credibility of the UNHRC.”

      In the same article he says UNHRC is a political organization.

      He should have said, the Sri lanka govt is more credible than the UNHRC which is run by the western DEMOCRA_ZIES.

      • 2
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        Jim
        This guy is a nut case!

        • 1
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          Dr. Senewartene was a former professor at Peredeniya. Since he left Sri Lanka, he taught in various universities around the world. So he must be nuts.

    • 1
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      So the rule is that you have to care about Palstine if you want to care about Sri Lanka ? So somebody from Sri Lanka before they care about homeland they must meet the prerequisite set by EU SENSE to care about a country of his choice. Good to know.

  • 7
    3

    Many thanks Dr Brian Seneviratne for the article.

    Brian is foul-mouthed by Lankan extremists as pro-Tamil and by implication anti-Sinhalese. He is really one of the few pro-Lankans.

    At a very tender age he saw through the exploitation of the language/religion divide. He never wavered. He foresaw the plight Lankans are being led to. He was correct.

    Unlike HLD Mahindapala-Izeth-Waduge ilk he does not write what certain Lankans want to hear.

    Thanks again Brian.

  • 7
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    BS
    Where were you when the Suicide murdering Tamil terrorists were blasting our citizens to pieces all over the country??

    • 4
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      Euse,

      I am outraged as you are about the “Suicide murdering”; this does not negate the fact that the Tamils require a political solution in keeping with international norms! This you try to obscure every time you utter something on these forums!

      • 1
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        BI
        Let me explain to you. First, Tamils have no political problem to solve the same way blacks in the US have no political problems as decided by the US gov. though they are 25% of the population. No country will give any autonomy to a minority of less than 10%. Can you list the problems Tamils have but no Sinhalese have? The Tamils who talk about problems are the lazy who does nothing to improve their lives other than complaining. Look at Tamils in the south; Colombo, Kandy Galle etc., how many thriving small and big businesses are run by Tamils? They are doing way better than most Sinhalese.

        • 2
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          Yes Eusense, V Prabakaran was a terrorist and even classed as the worst in the world and he killed HUDREDS of Sri Lankans during the 27 years. The TNA also backed Him for survival and still has not apologised to the nation. 1. These figures are dismal compared to the July 1983 Pogrom (3,000 in a week?) by JR and his cabinet or the number of Sri Lankan killed by the SL Armed forces till May 2009.
          Eusense, please distinguish between the size and proportion of killings by the world’s worst terrorist and that of the President, the Cabinet members, the Armed Forces that are there to protect, defenceless Sri Lankan. Is it 80 ? 90 ? or 100,000?
          2. Tamils have no political Problem like the Blacks. Tamils were indigenous population of this island referred to as Nagas. Long before the Advent of the Sinhalese. Tamils lived as independent tribes in the North and the East occupying nearly half of the coat and 1/3 of the land of Ilanka before the arrival of the Portuguese. Now the Tamils are classed as “Remnants of the South Indian Invaders” by the Sinhalese, even taught to the Sinhalese children in their text books. Hence Tamils have lost their heritage and Identity as the indigenous people of Ilankai.
          3. Look at the number of heads of Govt. Bodies, Corporations who are non Sinhalese.
          4. The proportion of non-Sinhalese in the Police and Armed forces?
          5. How many Sinhalese know that the last 3 kings of the Sinhala Kandyan kingdom were Tamil speaking Davadian South Indians?
          Would this be the best place to start the Reconciliation Programme?
          Hence, where do you want to start addressing the Tamil Issue (?).

          • 2
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            Native Naga.

            “Hence, where do you want to start addressing the Tamil Issue “

            When did it become known as Tamil issue?

            Don’t you know it is a Sinhala/Buddhist problem, imposed on rest of the people, including Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, ….. Atheist,… Agnostics, ….

        • 1
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          Dear Eusense,
          Please do not make sweeping statements like “No country will give any autonomy to a minority of less than 10%. “
          Wales has a population of 3 million,and full autonomy. England has 65 million.

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            o.c.
            I could add to your argument.
            The relatively small Nicaragua after the Sandinistas took power gave autonomy to tiny minorities. The practice remains intact.
            The Russian federation retains the autonomous units that it had within the USSR.
            China with a 96+% Han majority has five major autonomous units and other autonomous sub-units to accommodate smaller minorities (some numbering a few thousand).
            Swiss Cantons cater to the following: German 65%, French 18%, Italian 10%, Romansch 1%.
            Belgium accommodates German (spoken by <1%) as official language

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          African Americans 12%
          Hispanic 17%

          African-American and Hispanics are 58% of Prison population.

          http://www.naacp.org/criminal-justice-fact-sheet/

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      What is your proof suicide bombers were Tamil trrrorists. Sinhalese terrorist committed suicide bombings in Colombo. Give me a list independent evidence that Tamils were behind it.

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    As usual very forthright views of Dr.Brian.S.

    The Tamil Leaders[TNA in this instance]have not got into bed with the Sinhala Leaders[Govt:in this instance] on their own free will but have been seduced!
    A new Constitution,that will most probably not see the light of day is the carrot that is being wangled.Both sides seem to be buying time!

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    ….he was counting and counting and counting the stripes on his favourite pet the Kotiya

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    Dr. Brian Senewiratne,

    You are suffering from a disease called ‘Selective Amnesia’ that some people get when they are old. You can very well remember all the things Tamils use in their propaganda to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka and its armed forces but cannot remember a single thing that Tamil terrorists did over a period of nearly 30 years.

    It was Tamil Tigers who started ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and the war. They killed civilians indiscriminately by blowing bombs; used suicide bombers; bombed sacred places of Buddhists like Temple of Tooth, Sri Maha Bodhi; wiped out Sinhala villages killing men, women and children in brutal way using machetes, killed Buddhist monks; killed Muslim worshippers; raped Sinhala women; recruited child soldiers, used civilians as human shields; assassinated politicians. You are putting all those crimes under the carpet and go on blaming the Sri Lankan governments and armed forces.

    For people like you we have a saying in Sinhala ‘muge jaathake weredda’.

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      Yes Eusense, V Prabakaran was a terrorist and even classed as the worst in the world and he killed HUDREDS of Sri Lankans during the 27 years. The TNA also backed Him for survival and still has not apologised to the nation. 1. These figures are dismal compared to the July 1983 Pogrom (3,000 in a week?) by JR and his cabinet or the number of Sri Lankan killed by the SL Armed forces till May 2009.
      Eusense, please distinguish between the size and proportion of killings by the world’s worst terrorist and that of the President, the Cabinet members, the Armed Forces that are there to protect, defenceless Sri Lankan. Is it 80 ? 90 ? or 100,000?
      2. Tamils have no political Problem like the Blacks. Tamils were indigenous population of this island referred to as Nagas. Long before the Advent of the Sinhalese. Tamils lived as independent tribes in the North and the East occupying nearly half of the coat and 1/3 of the land of Ilanka before the arrival of the Portuguese. Now the Tamils are classed as “Remnants of the South Indian Invaders” by the Sinhalese, even taught to the Sinhalese children in their text books. Hence Tamils have lost their heritage and Identity as the indigenous people of Ilankai.
      3. Look at the number of heads of Govt. Bodies, Corporations who are non Sinhalese.
      4. The proportion of non-Sinhalese in the Police and Armed forces?
      5. How many Sinhalese know that the last 3 kings of the Sinhala Kandyan kingdom were Tamil speaking Davadian South Indians?
      Would this be the best place to start the Reconciliation Programme?
      Hence, where do you want to start addressing the Tamil Issue (?).

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    “On 27 May 2009, just a week after the end of the slaughter of Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka’s N&E, the UNHRC passed a deeply flawed resolution at a ‘Special Session’ on Sri Lanka.”
    Yes.
    But why did it happen? was not mischief planned by the US at the root of it?

    The UN, the Security council. the UNHCR etc. are effective only to the extent that they serve US imperialist interests.
    The UNHCR was used to bring the MR regime under control. It failed in its mission. The US and allies are now struggling to relieve their allies in Sri Lanka without leting go the War Crimes whip, as it can be wielded in case MR returns to power.

    “however, now thatthe UN has gt rid of ban Ki-moon, the situation MIGHT improve– Brian Senewiratne”
    Changing the pillow cannot cure the headache. Changing the Secretary General cannot cure the UN of its ills.

    Amid all this, does anyone care about the real sufferings of real people.
    They are being punished every day for no crime of theirs.

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      SJ

      “But why did it happen? was not mischief planned by the US at the root of it?”

      Actually Hindians were the architects of the final version of the diplomatic building blocks. Of course behind the scene Hindian foot work can be seen in the resolution itself.

      You are still obsessed with USA as your weeping widow did in the earlier epochs.

      Dayan still thinks/believes he did a great job on that first resolution.

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    Excellent article: The whole truth is exposed: Will the UN New Secretary General Abnd UN High Commissioner for Human rights take action: The mindset of the extremist leaders of this country and evil guidance of few Buddhist clergy which is totally against Lord Buddha’s preached – the beauty of Buddhism is non-violent. The violation of this important aspect of this wonderful religion is like disrespecting this religion. Hope the wise and respected and noble Buddhists clergy [at least a few] will take a lead and guide the Political leaders in the correct path.

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    I have admired Dr.BS for fairly several years and I see him more as a Human being and if he is a Buddhist a sincere and faithful devotee of that faith. I wish him a full life committed to the welfare of humanity.

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    Dear Dr. Brian S.
    You have, as usual, presented an in-depth analysis. Thank you Sir.
    May I add my two cents’ worth:

    TNA LEADERS- are a complete sellout. Power, perks and pelf are too sexy and tempting for them. During the elections, TNA top rung leaders had been the beneficiaries of “Sinhala” and Indian largesse, including Sarath Fonseka’s “blood money”. Yet, TNA leaders have the temerity to use our late leader S.J.V.Chelva’s name. To hell with the humbugs!
    Note the dateline when Sampanthan was appointed Opposition Leader. – On 3 Sept. 2015, just weeks before UNHRC 30th sessions were to begin. Resolution 30/1 on Sri Lanka was passed on 1st Oct.2015.

    SHAVENDRA SILVA: In 2014 he was refused a slot at US Army War College (USAWC) in Pennsylvania due to his 58th Division’s role in the war and pending war crimes allegations against him. Sri Lankan govt’s efforts to get him the slot did not work. But, on the request of Sirisena-Ranil govt, the Indian BJP govt., (i.e., the patron-saint of TNA leaders) obliged, and accommodated Shavendra, the war crimes accused, at the National Defence College (NDC) in New Delhi for Defence & Strategic studies (leading to M.Phil. Degree) in Jan. 2015. Nary a hum from TNA !. Now, NDC course is a major qualification for Shavendra’s appointment as Adjutant-General in March 2017 and will be counted for his next promotion as Commander of the Sri Lankan Army. God luck Maj. Gen.Shavendra Silva ! Good luck Sampanthan and his swanky sidekick.
    DISGUSTING.

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    Dr.Brian Senewiratne had been a rebel against the system and the establishment even while he was a Senior Lecturer in the Medical faculty of Peradeniya University in the 1970’s.So much so that the university authorities unsuccessfully put in issue his qualifications obtained from the UK! Although being a kinsman of Madam Sirima Bandaranayaka who was in power at the time he never approached the government for any favours. He was almost hunted out of this country for the convictions he espoused..He could hold his head high for the personal and professional standards he has set.This explains his tenacity in pursuing the war crimes committed against Tamil civilians by the Srilankan military in the closing stages of the war.

    Persons like Karikalan Saravana could do more meaningful things rather than sulking and coming out with grandmothers’ tales. He could of course take a leaf from the role of Dr. Brian Senewiratne who is of course several years senior in age.People talk of TNA being in bed with
    the government,but what is the alternative left for the Tamil people?

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    I believe Dr.Brian is connected to D.S.Senanayake family as well. For, that great leader Edmond Samarakody (represented Dehiowita, later, Bulathsinhala MP), was Brian’s uncle (Maternal uncle?). Edmond, I heard, was closely related to D.S. Senanayake. Maybe, Edmond inspired Brian in his young days. Edmond had remained a powerful voice of the oppressed people,including the Tamils. As a result, he was marginalized in politics.Thus, chauvinists derisively referred to him as M.P. for “Bulaththemala”.

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    yes indeed. Ban ki Moon was in the pay of the Rajapaksa regime. There is evidence to suspect that chemical weapons were used in the destruction of innocent Tamils. If that was so it could have been with the collusion of Russia. Bensen

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