By S. V. Kirubaharan –
Since the end of the war in May 2009, the UK Channel 4 has become controversial on many affairs concerning Sri Lanka. It has released valuable information with evidence, especially the ‘No Fire Zone’. The reporters or the presenters are Callum Macrae, Jonathan Miller, Jon Snow and others.
Last Tuesday, 28th July, Channel 4 News broadcast another important and interesting news item, “Sri Lanka justice: leaked UN document casts doubts”. The presenter of this news item was once again controversial Callum Macrae. The news item gives two important messages – the leaked document: (1) …outlines plans to set up a purely domestic inquiry into human rights violations – with technical support from the UN. (2) …claims that the “implementing partners” for the scheme would include, along with the Sri Lankan government, the Tamil-dominated Northern Provincial Council, widely seen as representing the popular voice of the Tamils.
These two issues are really worrying the victims and the pro-human rights community. However, Channel 4 contacted Mr. C. V. Wigneswaran the Chief Minister of the Northern Provincial Council and he denied any involvement of the Northern Provincial Council – “But that council’s chief minister, former Sri Lankan Supreme Court Judge CV Wigneswaran, told Channel 4 News that the UN had not even consulted them on the plan.”
So what is happening here? First of all, one should ask several questions about the leaked information. Yes it may be from the UN. But the UN has several divisions and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights – OHCHR is the one responsible for the impending report on Sri Lanka. Therefore any sensible person would want to know whether the leaked document was from the OHCHR itself. If not, is it worth wasting our time on it? We must not underestimate the marvellous tasks done in the past by Channel 4 on Sri Lanka. If they had not reported on this news, what might have been the consequences of the material disseminated internally in the UN through this document?
This news item has a positive effect as well. If what was released or said by Channel 4 news is true, then all International Human Rights organizations, Human Rights defenders, victims and others can work on a strategy to use, after the long-awaited report is out in late August or September.
On the other hand, how can it be possible to believe this leaked information which says that a domestic inquiry would include the Northern Provincial Council! We can’t ignore the significant fact that the Northern Provincial Council recently passed a resolution naming what happened to the Tamils as ‘genocide’.
In conclusion we can consider this leaked information as a document for consumption during the run-up to the August election in Sri Lanka. There are powerful countries in the West, USA and India, expecting or wanting Ranil Wickremesinghe’s party, the United National Party – UNP and its coalition partners to win the forthcoming election. This leads us to wonder whether this so-called UN leaked information has been fabricated by some powerful states, for the UNP and its coalition to use as a campaign tool.
They will use this so called ‘leaked information’ to tell the people in the South that with the greatest difficulty, they have found a solution to the mess created by Rajapaksa and his regime during the end of the war.
However, if this leaked information includes true information, it is not a good message for the victims, who fully depend on an independent international investigation by the UN, for justice.