24 September, 2018

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UN Report Is Well-Balanced And Unbiased: FM Mangala Samaraweera

Sri Lanka would have faced economic sanctions from the US and EU countries if the Rajapaksa regime had been in power today, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said addressing both foreign and local media in Colombo yesterday.

Speaking for the first time after the release of the much anticipated report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Sri Lankan war, Samaraweera said that broken promises by the former Rajapaksa regime had led to a possible international intervention on issues which otherwise could have been solved locally.

MangalaThe 300-page OHCHR report, among other things, called on the Sri Lankan government to set up a “hybrid special court” with international judges and investigators to investigate the crimes against humanity committed during the war and bring the perpetrators to the justice.

Blaming the Rajapaksa regime for the present imbroglio Samaraweera said soon after the war ended in 2009 the government made a Joint Statement with the UN at the conclusion of the UN Secretary-General’s visit to Sri Lanka, promising to take certain steps including on accountability.

Soon after Samaraweera said that Sri Lanka proposed a Resolution in the UN Human Rights Council containing a series of measures to be taken by Sri Lanka including investigating war crimes charges and punishing those responsible.

Samaraweera said that the resolution which also included the endorsement of the Joint Statement between the Government and the UN was hailed by the rulers at the time as a great victory achieved by the government.

In the immediate aftermath of this so-called victory, the government appointed the Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation which made a series of recommendations for implementation.

However Samaraweera said that the Previous Rajapaksa regime had failed to keep the promises it made and also in a childish attempt to cover up blunders and drag the issue the government had kept repeating one lie after the other, to both the locals as well as the international community.

He said that Coupled with the general breakdown of the rule of law and democracy in the country over the years led to the call by the Human Rights Council in March 2014, for an international investigation on Sri Lanka.

Samaraweera pointed out that the new government which came to office after the victory of President Sirisena on January 08 had been able to convince the UN to postpone the release of the report from March to September.

If Rajapaksa’s had been in power Samaraweera said that the report would have been released in March as scheduled and by now economic sanctions could have been in force against Sri Lanka.

While pointing out that the US and EU countries are the recipients of over 50% of Sri Lanka’s exports Samaraweera said that if sanctions had been imposed it would have severely affected the local economy.

As an overwhelming volume of Sri Lanka’s apparel exports are sent to these countries Samaraweera said that sanctions would have resulted in over 500,000 apparel workers losing their jobs.

Meanwhile speaking on actions that Sri Lanka will initiate Samaraweera said the government was planning to set up a domestic mechanism to probe the human right violations committed during the war by next month and finish within 18 months.

In a clear indication that the government would reject the UNHRC proposal to set up Hybrid courts with international judges and prosecutors Samaraweera said the government was confident of obtaining international support for a domestic inquiry.

He added that international experts could play a role in technical and advisory capacities in the domestic mechanism.

Minister Samaraweera noted that the report submitted by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to the 30th session of United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) is a well-balanced and unbiased document.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    On the one hand the Hon Minister says it is a unbiased and well balanced report and he rejects a hybrid investigation the other- confused?. Does he agree with what Namal baby says that SL judiciary has the capacity to get to the bottom?. All looks political stunt to me and indications are,for US, some kind of investigation seems to be good enough.

    Other probability if the report had been released in March, MR could have been the PM and by now, working towards uprooting MS from the Presidency using his own 19th amendment. Looks an inquiry is imminent with sovereignty is still intact in order to eyewash the IC, let see what will be played out.

    • 3
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      Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera

      RE:UN Report Is Well-Balanced And Unbiased: FM Mangala Samaraweera

      We need to see the guilty identified and punished.

      When will it happen? Is this another delaying tactic?

      Black Tigers and Assassins for Justice- Where are you? Be ready, if the authorities will not do their assigned job, again!

    • 7
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      even though the UN suggests appointing a HYBRID court in SL for war crime , Sri Lankan law doesn’t allow to do so ;hence ,Parliament will have to pass a special bill to enforce the new law , in order to pass the bill , it needs 2/3 , here comes the tricky bit , how many MR stooges( now so called Ministers) would vote for the proposed bill ? my gut feelings say ,near zero ! then the UNP MPs , though there may be few dozens of MPs willing to vote for it ,would MY3 and Ranil persuade them to do so , i have my doubts about it . only TNA MPs would push for such a bill to pass , in the end Mangala could tell the UN , SL is a functioning democracy , we put the vote before the parliament , our lawmakers rejected the idea of forming a hybrid court .

      • 6
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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, srilal, Spark, paul, Analyst, maalumiris, Bensen Berner, ………… Wee Thamihz, Somass, Nuisance, KASmaalam

        We have been searching, analysing, debating, abusing each other for many years never agreeing on what could have been obvious. Please read the following :

        Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson decided to go on a camping trip. After dinner and a bottle of wine, they lay down for the night, and go to sleep.

        Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend.

        “Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see.”

        Watson replied, “I see millions of stars.”

        “What does that tell you?”

        Watson pondered for a minute.

        “Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets.”

        “Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo.”

        “Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three.”

        “Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful and that we are small and insignificant.”

        “Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow.”

        “What does it tell you, Holmes?”

        Holmes was silent for a minute, then spoke: “Watson, you idiot. Someone has stolen our tent!”

        – Courtesy The Old Codger

        • 2
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          NV we have seen stars many a times in the last six decades , never mind about losing the tent we’ll be losing our country to the aliens at the rate the Twiddle dumbs and Twiddle dees manipulating and twisting the UNHR Report every second .
          One says I am the champion did not allow the names to be published where as Prinz zeid says due to reasons he omitted publishing the names.
          Twiddle Dee says I managed to prevent major something or the other. They’re all playing double games to please the general public.

          We’ll be hearing different versions from these horses mouths but the public can read the report and understand what exactly the UN Report says.

          Why can’t they shut their mouths and wait ,
          No fun now without the clowns tying themselves round the trees in front of UN / US buildings in Colombo pretending to be on fast until death. Where are they? We could do with patriotic clowns for now.

          CLASSLESS +. MODAYAS. =. IDIOTS

          • 4
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            Analyst

            CLASSLESS +. MODAYAS. =. IDIOTS = Stupid = Sinhalese + Tamils

  • 0
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    Can someone tell me how I can download a copy of the full report?

  • 5
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    The FM has announced that a domestic enquiry will be ready by next January. What happens until then? The US, UN & FM negotiate the procedure, personell and required results. They decide between them who is going to carry the can, who is politically acceptable to all, how many will be charged, whether charging MR/GR will destabilise the country and so on.

    Next year the enquiry starts and the agreed number of undesirables are thrown to the wolves. The Government is happy becuase the matter is finally closed. The US are happy because justice (as far as they are concerned) has been done. The UN are happy because the US is happy. The Tamils are left. That’s politics.

  • 1
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    I am very dissapointed that there is no any single photograph in this report.

    • 3
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      There are a lot in the public domain? Are you after the partial and fully de-robed dead bodies of the young girls, or the voices of the men talking about this body is still warm, or the shooting of nude men?

  • 2
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    Can someone tell me why the suspected criminals are still allowed to raise their voice/displeasure publicly??

    If they are free it’s another matter.
    But most of these so called criminals are still under investigations ? they should not be allowed while under investigation.

    They should not Have a public voice?? In my law books it’s not allowed until they are proven innocent. One is guilty while under investigations .

    You can count the chief culprits who are expressing their displeasure on the media frequently. Why the Judiciary has not given them the rules of law what they can do and what they cannot do while REMAIN UNDER INVESTIGATION.

    IS IT THE TOILET LAW PRACTISED IN SRILANKA??

    What kind of hearing would it be if they were given the Human Rights case by the UNHRC?? Can the Srilankan Judiciary be trusted.?? Never in my thinking for million years.

    • 3
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      @Analyst

      “In my law books it’s not allowed until they are proven innocent. One is guilty while under investigations”

      Shows how your hatred has twisted your thinking! Seems like you follow the Spanish Inquisition version of Jurisprudence

      • 2
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        Malumiris
        I know jolly well the truth hurts.
        You can Twist it however you wish to but Srilankan judiciary sucks. A suspect is accused and called for inquisition to clear his / her accusation .
        Until the perpetrator provides evidence to clear his guilty charges he falls into the category of guilty until proven innocent. Court of law should clear the criminal from charges., then only he’s a free man.

    • 0
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      G.L. Peiris is a brilliant Professor of Law who, Faust-like, sold himself to the devil, Rajapaksa, and he should not be taken seriously. The same “MaRa” appointed career diplomat Ravinatha Ariyasinha to represent us at Geneva. He is still doing the job, professionally, that he was asked to do. Please study his response, and take it more seriously.

      We do want to achieve Peace, but remember that it has to be spelled out in such a way that Sri Lankans belonging to all communities will find it acceptable. To achieve this, all players, including the United Nations, must compromise.

  • 0
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    Here is one person who has read the report in full> Bensen

  • 3
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    With relation to the Hybrid Special court and related areas of international participation, The island (17/09/2015), reports an excerpt from FM Mangala Samaraweera’s press conference as follows:

    “The UN OHCHR Report which was tabled at its on-going sessions in Geneva on Wednesday has called for the establishment of a Hybrid Special Court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, as an essential step towards achieving justice in Sri Lanka.

    The government was also prepared to accept international support, in terms of technology and experts in establishing a credible domestic investigative mechanism, the Foreign Minister said.”

    This version seems more in accord with what I heard in the telecast of the press conference yesterday and my impressions.

    The paragraphs in the main body of the above CT report seem to give a difference nuance in interpreting the FM’s words by use of the word ‘REJECT’:

    “Meanwhile speaking on actions that Sri Lanka will initiate Samaraweera said the government was planning to set up a domestic mechanism to probe the human right violations committed during the war by next month and finish within 18 months.

    In a clear indication that the government would reject the UNHRC proposal to set up Hybrid courts with international judges and prosecutors Samaraweera said the government was confident of obtaining international support for a domestic inquiry.

    He added that international experts could play a role in technical and advisory capacities in the domestic mechanism.”

    I understood that the FM was very diplomatic in what he said and in the words he used. In answer to a question whether the UNHCR will be permitted to set up an office in Colombo, he said they can use the existing UN facilities. He did not say no.

    What is unfolding is a skilled and eleborate diplomatic dance to get the international community to support an ‘essentially’acceptable domestic inquiry while adressing its concerns and carry the local public opinion along in support. The nature of the state of partisan and extremist pollitics in Sri Lanka, demands this approach.

    Further, on reading Weerawansa’s comment that the UNHCR reort was partisan, I wondered whether he was able to read the 260+ page report in full and in English, and comprehend it. Has a Sinhala translation become available now? Was he fed this interpretion by someone else, which he mouthed? It is this type of urresponsible politics we have to contend in this country!

    I personally am convinced that this report is as fair and non-partisan as it could be after reading most (but not all) of this report. I would take me one more day to finish reading it.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4
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      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      If all those army, navy, air force commanders who served in 2009 had read the report some of the incidents could jog their memories in a series of flashbacks.

      The report should be made available in Tamil, Sinhala and Hindi.

    • 1
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      Rajitha Senaratna and Maithripala Sirisena are saying the original
      report had 48 names listed. It seems the report was watered down in order to give some leeway to the current government. I would have liked to hear the unvarnished truth, even though this type of behind the scene massaging of reports is part of international political culture.

      On the whole the report looks fair, but a leak of the original report at some point would shed more light.

  • 2
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    There is no time to drag the country with this painful period. Most politicians are trying to gain some points here. It is a well balanced report and contains some serious accusations that has to be addressed. We all know the previous government’s intentions, not to have a conclusion and they failed us. Gaining trust and the accountability is an uphill battle to the new government.

    • 5
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      Merril Fernando

      “It is a well balanced report and contains some serious accusations that has to be addressed.”

      I am sorry, do the victims and their kith and kin want to unearth truth see justice done or see a balancing act by OHCHR?

      A balancing act mean compromising truth to satisfy no one.

      Its time we called a spade a spade.

      The victims and their kith and kin have been awaiting for truth to come out since 5th April 1971.

  • 1
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    I watched the press conference ove the report and I surmised it was fair and unbiased and the best we could have achieved after the stupid standoff by the likes of Mahinda Rajapakse and Weerawansa, now having the gall to condemn. I believe Mr.Samaraweera that we would be facing sanctions but he has underestimated its devastating effects. We would not only be losing 500,000 garment workers jobs, but also our other exports, assets frozen, oil embargoes etc. The mighty Russia and Iran gave in to sanctions from the West and Weerawansa is delusional if we ever could. I get the impression that for the sake of self respect, the new administration is trying their best to keep Gotabhaya and Mahinda Rajapakse from facing any war crimes charges, but it is a lost cause and these two should be thrown to the wolves and made to pay restitution to every citizen they have hurt and return to our coffers the Billions they have stolen.

    • 2
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      Well said Sylvia

  • 1
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    I feel sorry for the Lankawe people. They believed an extreme Nazi as their hero. It is unfortunate that they have been trained to like the like ones of Dutugemeu, Aanakarika Tharmapala, D.S, the father of the crook Nation and all the troubles, and the Old King. When the Rome was burning, the arrogant emperor who set the fire was playing violin. The Old King was enjoying his time at the beach and releasing his photos to the people who were worries about their hero and early waiting for the report. One should know how much tribute the New York Mayors are paying for the 3000 people died in the 9/11 out of 300 million. The Lala’s wild animal, without any human sense, releasing the photos on the eve before the release of the OISL report, to show their victory of have their names removed from the report. These beasts do not know how to celebrate a victory. I feel sorry for the Lankawe people to honor these wild animals as their heroes.

    It is believed that in 2009, before the Indian election results were released, most of the war was finished. Then the civilian were taken care with the false accusation of human shield usage. Once that carnage also was coming to an end, the demon No.1 handed over the defense to No.3 and went to Middle East (Jordan). Mourning Vanni civilians were bulldozed with the cover up of human shield. Stage was set with a clean job. The demon No.1 came from Middle East and kissed the land of Lankawe to celebrate the victory. It is the same drama mentality that made this Lala’s wild animal to publish the vacation photos at the improper way at an improper time.

    One who has simply travelled from the one subway station to another and witnessed the actual city in New York knows about the New York City. It is a never ending epic in every unit of time. The ride is a too big scene even a sage to reduce into an epic. In that one woman might kissing her child; one woman man might punish her child to cry. One man might give his chance for a pregnant to get in; one man might be blocking the door way from passengers getting in, to secure comfort travel for him and his girlfriend. A thief might be lurking around to pickpocket; a woman might be reading from the Sermon on the Mount “Take my yoke. My yoke is easy and my burden is light”. One might be sitting on one seat and open up and place the makeup organizer diy on another one starts to paint the face; Other might be politely stand up so the two elderly couple can sit next to each other and support each other during on the rough subway ride. A pan handler might be doing gymnastic s on the bars in the middle of the car; a lonely school kid might be sitting on a corner seat and doing his homework. That is only a tiny bit of the New York City. It is not just for me, even for Dickinson, to bring out the true nature and the culture of the city in English Language sentences will not be that easy. It was the landscape of New York like city was in the mind of poet Kannathasan when he wrote the song “annaanthu paarkinRa maaLigai katti athan aruginil Olai kudusai katti ponnaana ulagenRu peyarumittaal”. It is a place of contradictions and contrasts. The City is place where racism is not just alive and well, but to some extend it thrives too. But it is a city where about a 200 nationalities and races not living or surviving, they are peacefully thriving together while keeping the city as most famous city the world. The only magic that is keeping the city as magnificent city is the administrative marvels of the Americans. That is the path Washington and Lincoln opened for American by fighting their war. That is the path Jefferson and Kennedy guided American to follow. But in Lankave, the power hungry monsters DS and SWRD, without fighting a freedom war, fought win in themselves and guides the Lankan to go on this this way. It is for this OISL report the Old King fought his war.

    Hitler was captured and murdered by Russians. This eased the pain of reversing his legacy for Germans. Now, that country is the model democracy for the world. That kind of easy path is not going to come to Lankawe people. The demon is going show his ugly skin to attract the faith of fools and perverts. Depart from him and cleaning them is going to be a skinning process for the ones attracted by him.

    Lankawe people have to set up their minds to abandon the ill-heroes, drug peddlers, rapist, murders who were ruling the country from D.S.Senanayake to Old King to New King. They should call a criminal a Criminal, not “Mahata”. This will ease their pain of returning to pre 1948 eras.

    From the time of D.S.Senenayake, we have seen there that no-one-single leader has appeared. Mother Lankawe has bear only mindless beasts for her proudness those on her time of the pain lying on the beach and sent out photos. It is really the time for Lanka to return back to British rule until it can reach the maturity to rule itself. Their yoke will be (and was) much easier on the shoulders of the Lankan. That is the solution open for now for Lankawe people.

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