30 October, 2020

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UNHRC Draft Resolution: Tight Grip With A Soft Approach And Why The UNP Is Absolutely Correct In Its Statement

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The West has employed overtly a soft approach towards Sri Lanka, or rather the Rajapaksa regime, nevertheless tightening its grip firmly around its neck where the barren diplomatic efforts to shake off that grip will take the country towards an abysmal future both nationally and internationally. It is not merely or mainly the sterile nature of the diplomatic efforts that is reprehensible, but its duplicity and dishonesty. Accountability is not only a requirement of international law or relations, but also a national imperative of any democratic system of government.

In Sri Lanka, accountability is required for reconciliation with the Tamil community. It is required to prevent a possible re-emergence of an outfit like the LTTE, by punishing the perpetrators on both dies. It is required to halt impunity, create disciplined security forces and to break the cycles of violence that has been gripping the country for many decades. It is also an imperative of the rule of law.

The above does not mean that some ‘perpetrators’ cannot be pardoned if they genuinely confess and repent. But that has to be done in a systematic manner and the government also should be responsible for the chain of command during the last stages of the war where the lives of thousands of civilians were involved. Even according to the most conservative estimates, the magnitude of the death toll of civilians requires a full and impartial investigation. This is where the international participation and/or monitoring are necessary. The regime is no longer reliable.

Geneva Resolution

Coming back to what is happening in Geneva, the proposed resolution – if the leak draft is any indication – does not propose a separate international investigation on war crimes which can call alleged perpetrators as respondents. Obviously, that is beyond UNHRC’s mandate. It can be done only by the Security Council (SC) or the International Criminal Court (ICC). The UNHRC nevertheless can recommend or propose the SC or the ICC to do so. Even that is not there in the draft resolution, perhaps believing that either it is premature or would not carry the majority support. For that step to be taken by the UNHRC, it should have its own evidence or preliminary investigation to convince the member states. Although there is the Darusman Report it is not of its own and it is rather old.

What is proposed in the draft resolution is not even what the UNHRC proposed in the case of North Korea last year (A/HRC/RES/22/13) to appoint a Commission of Inquiry. One may think that what is proposed for Sri Lanka this year is weaker than what was proposed for South Korea, but that is also not the case. What is central is the section 8 of the draft resolution as follows.

“Welcomes the High Commissioner’s recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation in the absence of a credible national process with tangible results, and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to assess progress toward accountability and reconciliation, to monitor relevant national processes, and to investigate alleged violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders as appropriate and to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-seventh session, and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at its twenty-eighth session.” (My emphasis).

The draft resolution may appear convoluted as it is also a cut and paste job from the last resolution. However, the central intent and the principle recommendations are crystal clear as could be seen from the above quoted section. It “welcomes the High Commissioner’s recommendations and conclusions on the need for an independent and credible international investigation.”  Then it requests the Office of the High Commissioner “to investigate alleged violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka.”

The process suggested is mainly to conduct the investigation by the High Commissioner and her staff “with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders as appropriate.” This is why I say that Sri Lanka is badly cornered and in a tight grip because of the short sighted and dishonourable polices of the Rajapaksa regime.

The UNP is absolutely correct in its recent statement that “We must understand that this militaristic regime that continues to curtail our democratic freedoms in their attempts to establish a dynasty while making Sri Lanka the drug capital of Asia is solely responsible for our current plight.” I am quoting only one sentence.

Why the UNP is correct in this statement? The reason is clear. If not for the present nature of the regime, largely militaristic, and its continuous curtailment of the people’s democratic rights and the attempts to establish a family dynasty, there is no reason why the government couldn’t investigated the alleged violations and crimes that the UN and others are talking about.

Can there be an Escape?

No, there is no escape now. This is not only due to the pathetic diplomacy that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts now, but also due to the policy guidelines that the Presidential Secretariat or perhaps the Defence Ministry issues. The heart of the matter is the steady deviation from Sri Lanka’s non-aligned policy and the erosion of good relations with its closest neighbour India.

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine or Crimea, the Rajapaksa regime’s traditional supporters are in a greater shamble at the UNHRC meeting. How can you claim the proposed UNHRC investigation on human rights violations as an interference in sovereignty, if the regime or its supporters do not condemned the Russian invasion? The Ukraine issue would figure most prominently in the UNHRC debates in the coming days.

What is reflected in the Rajapaksa regime’s policy at the UNHRC is the lack of commitment to or even a basic understating of human rights and humanitarian concerns not in other countries but in Sri Lanka itself. Prof G. L. Peiris’ statement to the High Level Segment of the Session was rather hilarious.

After some formal preliminaries, he uttered quite an archaic argument to emphasise the importance of the Right to Development and Economic, Social and Cultural rights. Then this is what he said immediately thereafter.

“At the same time, we remain deeply concerned that the lack of financial independence of the OHCHR leads to the erosion of independence in its overall functioning. For example, the disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council which selectively targets some countries, while situations, human rights violations and restrictive practices in other parts of the world that warrant more urgent and immediate attention and action remain conveniently ignored, is a matter of serious concern. The stark reality is that the continuation and proliferation of the practice of the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Council is a tool that exploits human rights for political purposes. Regrettably, a similar pattern is evident in the case of continued action on Sri Lanka in this Council. We reiterate that such politicized action is contrary to the high purposes and principles of the Council and must be arrested. We believe that additional budgetary allocations from regular funding would lessen the OHCHR’s dependence on voluntary contributions and earmarked funding and thus would allow it to function in an independent manner.”      

He tried to picture, perhaps naively believing so, that lack of funds for or financial independence of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights might be the reason for what he termed as the “disproportionate attention being paid to country-specific action in the Council which selectively targets some countries” and not others. But he didn’t have the spine to name the other countries. This is perhaps how he sees the connection between economic and political matters, or economic rights and political rights. How hilarious?

Of course he repeated the regime’s usual lamentation that “the selective adoption of country-specific resolutions in the Council is a tool that exploits human rights for political purposes.” For what political purposes, he didn’t explain. It is also interesting to note that he didn’t object to ‘country specific’ resolutions as such which was the old argument. The objection was for “selective targeting.” Does this mean that if not for the “disproportionate attention” or the ‘selection of Sri Lanka’ rather than the others, the accusations or allegations are true and correct? That is the impression given throughout his lamentation.

Most comical was the conclusion that proposed to increase “budgetary allocations from regular funding” to OHCHR and lessen the “dependence on voluntary contributions and earmarked funding” to avoid selective political targeting of countries like Sri Lanka.

Repercussions

It may be correct that if the proposed resolution goes through the Council, and it certainly would, and an investigation proceeds through the OHCHR as proposed, then some countries would make ‘voluntary and earmarked funding’ available for that purpose. It is not healthy, but that cannot be avoided given the way that the regime has antagonised some of the important countries or even as a practical requirement. There is no point in trying to close the stable after the horse has bolted.

It should be recollected that even for the ‘peace process’ that G. L. Peiris handled (2002-2005), the Co-Chairs (US, EU, Japan and Norway) pledged US $ 4.5 billion on which he didn’t have any qualms. All those were voluntary and earmarked funding from the same sources. Now to talk about ‘undue influence’ through ‘voluntary and earmarked funding’ for the UNHRC by the same person would appear utter hypocrisy to any perceptible person or country.

The draft resolution has not closed all doors to Sri Lanka. Out of 10 specific recommendations for the Council, even before the recommendation for the investigations by the OHCHR (no. 8), the following is the specific call for Sri Lanka in section 2.

Call upon the Government of Sri Lanka: to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable; to hold accountable those responsible for such violations; to end continuing incidents of human rights violations and abuses in Sri Lanka; and to implement the recommendations made in the reports of the Office of the High Commissioner;

This should mean that if the Sri Lankan government even now initiates ‘independent and credible investigations into alleged violations,’ there is still a possibility of avoiding separate investigations by the OHCHR; however on the premise that other integral recommendations are also followed up and technical assistance and cooperation are sought from the OHCHR.

As still a citizen of Sri Lanka, also with an academic expertise or background on human rights, I have no disagreement or objection for the draft resolution on Sri Lanka and wish to call upon the government to pledge particularly its agreement with section 2 of the draft resolution and cooperate with the OHCHR in implementing its recommendations as applicable.

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Latest comments

  • 10
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    .
    Dr…. very well said…..

    “If not for the present nature of the regime, largely militaristic, and its continuous curtailment of the people’s democratic rights and the attempts to establish a family dynasty, there is no reason why the government couldn’t investigated the alleged violations and crimes that the UN and others are talking about”.

    This is what most Srilankans are saying, but they are all silent.

    :-)

    • 1
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      Don’t know what Thomes More, Laksiri’s hero would have said?
      Who cares anyway?

  • 7
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    “Most comical was the conclusion that proposed to increase budgetary allocations from regular funding to OHCHR and lessen the dependence on voluntary contributions and earmarked funding to avoid selective political targeting of countries like Sri Lanka”

    The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) receives about one third of its funding needs from the United Nations regular budget.

    The other two thirds of OHCHR’s budget needs are met from voluntary contributions by Member States and other donors.

    In 2012 total voluntary contribution = $ 111 million from 75 donors.
    But 66% from just 8 donors.

    US 11.9%
    Netherlands 11%
    Sweden 10.7%
    Norway 11.1%
    EU 6.4%
    Germany 6%
    UK 5.6%
    Canada 4.4%

    http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/FundingBudget.aspx

    So dependent is the OHCHR on voluntary contributions from Western countries that it has  ‘internal guidelines and procedures for interaction with donor governments’.

    One can only imagine how such a process will impact on the even handedness of the OHCHR.

    • 5
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      The king can give some money (he has plenty to give to american lobbyists) , no one is stopping him LOL

      Then he can “influence” the process too.

      From ground views:
      The Minister noted that the losses incurred by Mihin Lanka for the financial year 2011/2012 were Rs. 1.9 billion and Rs. 3.2 billion last year.

      All that money could have been used to “influence” the pillay lady LOL

      What is stopping him from doing that?

    • 2
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      .
      Why not China and Russia in the list?

      If China is world’s next super power as called by many rajapakse fans, why don’t china donate few $ to OHCHR?

      Doesn’t make any sense?

      :-)

      • 1
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        Here is the full list from OHCHR’s website.
        http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/AboutUs/FundingBudget/VoluntaryContributionsToOHCHR2012.pdf

        Russian Federation is No 17, and China No 46.

        Unlike the “International community”, perhaps they are not looking into influencing Miss P and her kitchen cabinet.

        • 0
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          I read Sri Lanka has made $4982 as voluntary contribution. But in my opinion, we shouldn’t have made even one rupee as voluntary contribution for tiger striped Pillay to waste making not just bias reports for and behalf of her neocon masters that would eventually go into the waste bin just like that Darusman’s so-called advisory report for UN SG.

      • 3
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        China and Russia are not in the list because they don’t bother about human rights. These countries follow a sort of dictatorship and they keep their people at slavery level. If you look at all the countries that are with Sri Lanka are religious fundamentalist or communist regimes.

    • 1
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      Navi Pilay does know who butters her bread.

    • 0
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      Thank you Puppetmaster for the valuable input.
      One can see very clearly how West’s funds converge and control the agendas of Pillai and the West.
      Pity Dr Laksiri has joined the ‘Club’ to advance their agendas. His support to the UNP’s statement shows his bias very clearly, a tilt towards the ones with financial resources. He can look forward to a very comfotable retirement even if his desire for a lucrative appointment with a future UNP lead government does materialise.

  • 12
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    Govt is behaving like a Keselwatte Republic, calling names and organising demonstrations. Today there were a lot of vehicles gathering at various locations on the outskirts of the city to transport paid demonstrators to the US embassy. Police were seen busy handling the parking arrangements etc.

    Various Monks are seen visiting the UN office delivering their anusasana’s, as if the UN is impressed by their bana. Yesterday a Chandiya was despatched to Geneva, proclaiming that the Navi Pillay was a liar. So the Govt indulges in gutter diplomacy and expects to be treated with respect by the International Community.

    • 2
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      Safa

      Excellent that misdemeanours unbecoming of a government are credibly exposed by you.

      • 0
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        In the end the US resolution has nothing that Cameron has been threatening us or Tamil extremists wanted or even India wanted, its just a puswedilla that is not worth the paper it is written. There is only one reason for this come down: The sponsors has come to know that (as South Africa and Australia voiced) a call for International investigation on ‘war crimes’ will be thoroughly defeated.

  • 2
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    Wonder what you will be branded as by this regime and it’s supporters !

    By the way, wonder what N.G.O. Dayan J thinks of this piece.

    • 0
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      Dev:
      Dr Fernando’s is a voice of reason and objective critique. Many readers of his writing on these pages appreciate what he says very much. The sad thing is that this voice of reason is not able to penetrate the wall of denial and obfuscation put up by the regime. (You ask, and I think) Dr DJ will acknowledge this as a very good and logical analysis; something that he should perhaps do and lend another voice of reason to the powers that be.

      “What will the regime and its supporters brand this learned gentleman” you ask. Frankly it will brand him as a pundit who doesn’t tow its line at best and a traitor at worst.

      That it does thus at its own peril is obviously something that it cannot comprehend.

      C’est la vie.

  • 2
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    We have to realize is that the slow incremental pressure that is being applied by the US is the best indication of the end-game that’s to come. The US is spending a tremendous amount of soft power year after year on SL. They have elevated this issue to the same level as Ukraine and Syria. Yet, they are not acting rashly. Instead they are working to a long-term multi-year game plan. That means that the matter of the Tamil national question and all the attendant issues that have been contested over the last 66 years will be given a hearing and settled once and for all.
     
    The GOSL has to realize that the US is not treating SL as hostile. Even though the GOSL decided to deny a visa to a US official there was no retaliation from Washington. They are going out of their way to preserve their long relationship with the Sinhalese people even though the sentiment is not reciprocated. That being said, we have to recognize that there is now a “special” relationship between the Tamil people and the United States. Like many other places in the world (Kosovo and South Sudan come to mind) the Tamil people have now been brought under the wings of the US. The US is not India. They may have made mistakes in their foreign policy, they may be as guilty of hypocrisy as any other country, but one thing you cannot accuse them of, one thing they are not guilty of, is abandoning their friends. After having sponsored two successive resolutions that promised to deliver justice and relief to a battered, defenseless people, they are not going to abandon them. They are not going to lose interest or take a better offer. The US is not going to throw the Tamil people under the bus. I believe that as much as I believe the sun will rise from the east over Tirukoneswaram tomorrow.
     
    I think that Sri Lankan needs a new foreign policy that takes the above realities into consideration. Hopefully, it will also have a measure of humility. We have now seen 66 years in which the NE has been governed by Colombo. Is the NE now in better shape that it was in 1948? Governance over the NE, its abundant natural resources, and its industrious hardworking population was given on a silver platter to the Colombo based Sinhalese elites. Colombo has had 66 years. They have not led – now it’s time for Jaffna to lead. It’s time.

    • 0
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      The stand that the US continues to take will depend on India’s attitudes to a great extent. Let us hope that the impending change of regime in Delhi will be favourable to the interests of the Tamils. But the strangle hold that the South Block Brahmins and the Keralites have on the foreign policy decisions of India should not be under estimated.

      Sengodan. M

      • 1
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        Well, This will also slowly change for multiple reasons which I decline to post.

      • 0
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        Sengoden,
        Lets face it, ever since Tamils demanded the division of India, Hindians started to distrust them. Once Pirapakaran blasted Rajeev to pieces, Hindians have sealed the fate of even Tamil pipe dream (Eelam).

        A Tamil will never be the Prime Minister of India. There will never be a Tamil country.

        • 4
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          Banda man

          “A Tamil will never be the Prime Minister of India.”

          The King Maker K. Kamaraj refused to become the next prime minister himself after the death of Nehru. Instead he played a crucial role in appointing two Prime Ministers,Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1964 and Nehru’s daughter Indira Gandhi in 1966.

          It was Annadurai’s government that renamed the Madras State to Tamil Nadu after making a package deal with Delhi. The deal included various give and take trading, created a win win situation for Tamilnadu and India, a lesson the stupid majoritarian Sinhala/Buddhist won’t learn for another 5,000 years.

          Banda

          Please keep away from Indian history

        • 4
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          Banda

          Dravidian speaking South Indians have occupied high offices of India.

          FYI

          Past presidents from South India:

          Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

          V. V. Giri

          Zakir Hussain

          Neelam Sanjiva Reddy

          R. Venkataraman

          K. R. Narayanan

          A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

          Past prime ministers from South India:

          P. V. Narasimha Rao

          H. D. Deve Gowda

          Were there any Tamil or Muslim presidents in Sri Lanka?

          Were there any Tamil or Muslim prime ministers in Sri Lanka?

          And could you name them.

          • 0
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            Native Vedda,

            “Were there any Tamil or Muslim presidents in Sri Lanka? Were there any Tamil or Muslim prime ministers in Sri Lanka?”

            These are forbidden by the Monk Mahanama Sinhala Racist “Buddhists”, currently followed since 1948.

            Do you know why there are hardly any Tamil Buddhists in Sri Lanka, whereas in India every State has a few percent Buddhists?

            Native Veddah, these Paras, the Para-Sinhala with Monk Mahanama has made a mess of your Native Land. Send them to South India, where they came from.

    • 0
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      Patriot ,

      while i agree on most of your analysis ,still there are a few important outstanding facts remaining unanswered , for instance , alleged war crimes by SL , had US really been sincere on this so called war crime accusation and consequent actions , US could have easily started questioning their own citizens before going for these fruitless , lengthy UN resolutions , what is the real motive behind the so called Geneva ? why US embassy issued entry visas to Mr(Ven) Galagoda ganasara ? what real purpose does it serve for the victims etc ?

    • 2
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      “one thing they (US)are not guilty of, is abandoning their friends. “

      Poppycock!

      Bangladesh was created by India alone while the west just looked on said calm down while being involved with Pakistan. Once created US went mad and threatened nuking India. The attack of the Golden temple UK/US were there with the government forces. Finally Indira died by a CIA agent bodyguard. Who runs graft India today – Muslim like kotchi mahinda passa.

      Whose independence have the Yankees given??
      Balkan my foot! Its where both WW started so they split it for the future of EU but no peace. Panama only CIA does that shit and repeats it.

      Two nations still being milked by US and the Japanese refusing to apologise to the millions of unarmed Asians slaughtered.
      1/2 million US/UK forces still at Germany until 2020.
      100 thousand marines and 7th fleet in Japan indefinitely.

      US/UK is just sudhu pukka confidence because they are the former slave masters of Spice Island. Do you know about opium wars?? The Americans tried to repeat what the Brits did to china by trying Afghan poppy on Russia but now thanks to the Chinese its turning around.

  • 1
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    I agree with you fully.
    But the rulers are trying to paint a totally opposite picture on UNP´s stand in terms of any foreign invasions. Some even dared to say that UNP signed pacts giving the parts of the country to tigers. This the UNP has to clarrify. That is very important. Having listened to one political TV program (wada pitiya on Derana) day before yesterday, I undrestood that UPFA candidates would do everything to grab the power by spreading all lies about UNP. See, today they have no good arguments if asked about the increasing high crimes, impunity and the related issues.

  • 0
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    Dr. Laksiri,

    Well understood and presented!

  • 0
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    @ Patriot: Very sensible illustration of real facts and reasoning of USA’s strategy and planning. Your analysis is absolutely understandable and agreeable. You made some valid points and made me understand about USA’s overall intentions and actions. Thank you !
    UNP is non existent now and in disarray for a longtime without a strong leadership. They were too, never honest or sincere in their approach or handling things of the past with Tamil problem or LTTE. They could have easily done and solved all the disputes with ease but they just lost all the opportunities and dragged things for sheer political mileage and fear of rotten , destructive Sinhala Mahawamsa Buddhist sentiments, just like their racist and suspicious forefathers. They did not realize that a genuine and honest trust between the communities only will pave way for a peaceful coexistence of different communities. They just want to have it all for themselves, discarding the other communities who call Sri Lanka their home and country. That’s the whole reason for all these chaos, calamity, murder, rape, disappearances, LTTE, bombing, murders, war etc.,
    Even now they are refusing to understand the core problem or their mistakes but blame it all on Tamils, diaspora, Tigers, Muslims, Christians, USA, UK, India and every one but them. If they do not accept the fact and get their acts together, they cannot avoid international intervention , one way or the other. Just organizing stupid protests with Weerawansas or Boorowansas, or saffron robed Buddist Bhikku thugs won’t do any good. These rascals should grow up at least now and understand the serious situation. They cannot try to cheat the world over and over anymore. USA will also tolerate only so much and one fine day these idiots will have to face the consequences and pay dearly.

  • 0
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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando:

    I wish you would answer the following question.

    In 2009 LTTE fired at SLA deliberately from places where there were civilians to get SLA to return fire and make the accusation that government forces were killing civilians.

    Now if it was not GOSL that was fighting the LTTE but Americans or British forces, they would immediately “investigate” this matter and say sorry to any civilians deaths.

    However, they usually take the position that what the troops did was IN ACCORDANCE with “protocol”. In other words civilian deaths were unavoidable collateral damage. You may follow up on how they investigated these incidents (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xu4TW7HNK7U&oref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DXu4TW7HNK7U&has_verified=1 and http://www.theguardian.com/world/2008/jul/11/afghanistan.usa)

    In general, there are many civilian deaths in Iraq/Afghan fighting but no war crimes by American/British forces. It appears no amount of collateral damage is a crime. However, where have they positioned the bar for GOSL?

    I agree that there has to be a line somewhere, where we do not call civilian deaths unavoidable but a criminal act. However, in the world of power-politics, is it reasonable to accept even if GOSL comes up with a genuine investigation, the LTTE rump behind the Americans/British and TNA will accept it as such? Is it not possible that what was disclosed in good faith could be twisted and used against GOSL?

    The political/economic clout that west has, allows them to admit that civilians died as an unintended consequence of their actions out in the open but I do not think the same goes for GOSL.

    I’m not saying two wrongs make one right. What I’m saying is that politics that powerful countries play (at the behest of LTTE rump and for their own interests) does not allow GOSL to do the right thing.

    You take a purely academic stand on a political issue. You may say that human rights are not a political issue. Unfortunately, that is only from an academic standpoint.

    You do not believe that GOSL is honest. Likewise, I do not believe that TNA is either.

    • 0
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      Navin,

      Let me answer your two specific questions first and then one general matter last.

      Q1. “In general, there are many civilian deaths in Iraq/Afghan fighting but no war crimes by American/British forces. It appears no amount of collateral damage is a crime. However, where have they positioned the bar for GOSL?”

      A. You have already admitted “I’m not saying two wrongs make one right.” I would add ‘unless you do the right thing, you don’t have the right to criticise the others.’ This means both to GOSL and to the Americans/British. It is not that they who have positioned the bar for us, it is the HR and IHL. When a resolution comes before the UNHRC what matters is the text and not so much of the proposers. This I have said before. I have no disagreement with you to criticise the horrendous violations and hypocrisy of the Americans and the British but it should not be a shield to cover up our follies or violations. It is even childish to point the finger at others in defending ours. Isn’t this the way children behave?

      Q 2. I agree that there has to be a line somewhere, where we do not call civilian deaths unavoidable but a criminal act. However, in the world of power-politics, is it reasonable to accept even if GOSL comes up with a genuine investigation, the LTTE rump behind the Americans/British and TNA will accept it as such? Is it not possible that what was disclosed in good faith could be twisted and used against GOSL?

      A. You have agreed “that there has to be a line somewhere.” If you draw the line clearly, then first you don’t need to bother much about whether the others accept it or not. That is about our conscience or moral standing. You may consider me an idealist/academic. No, even in practical terms or second, if we had done so, then the international community would have accepted it perhaps not the LTTE rump. Consider the situation before the UNHRC as of now. If we had already punished the responsible perpetrators, there would have been no difficulty in mustering the majority against the resolution. It is a question of RULE OF LAW. Even a resolution would not have been there. I think you have a black and white view about the Americans/British which is quite unhealthy. It can also be an unnecessary phobia. It is not only political/economic clout that matters in international politics but also the moral high ground, diplomacy and strategy. GOSL won a resolution in May 2009.

      You have given me the following scenario at the beginning of your response and let me focus on that now.

      “In 2009 LTTE fired at SLA deliberately from places where there were civilians to get SLA to return fire and make the accusation that government forces were killing civilians. Now if it was not GOSL that was fighting the LTTE but Americans or British forces, they would immediately “investigate” this matter and say sorry to any civilians deaths.”

      Your pictured scenario is very much similar to the Paragraph 11 of Army Board Report, except what you say about American or British forces. However, one question that the LLRC raised (not me) was the following: “The Commission considers whether the action of the Security Forces of the returning fire into the NFZs was excessive in the context of the Principle of Proportionality.”

      First we have to keep in mind, that these are not just civilian areas but ‘no-fire zones’ declared by the government itself. Second, the above happenings were not incidental but recurrent events spaning for some months. Therefore, the top decision makers should have devised a different strategy without allowing the army to just fire back. Of course I agree with you and the army report that the LTTE tried to trap the army by firing from the NFZ’s, placing their heavy weapons there and firing at the civilians who tried to escape. However, the question is whether the Army Board had inquired the situation with details, detailing the sequential events and also ascertaining (or try to do so) how many civilians were killed and try to ascertain who were they? No, Army Board didn’t go into details. There was no apology either as you have preferred. My impression is that they were not even allowed to do so for political reasons. Otherwise, I do have my respect for good soldiers and good commanders.

      I am saying this also as a former resource person who was involved in army training on HR and IHL particularly during 2000 and 2005.

      I do want to close this debate on my part because of some other involvements. I do respect some of your views and genuine questioning. If we cannot resolve the differences in this birth perhaps we may do it at the next one. On these and other matters, people do have different views and values and at least we should learn to respect them.

  • 2
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    I think Laksiri Fernando should read the following type articless to first understand the true motive of the Agenda.

    http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-58120-news-detail-us-seeks-regional-military-base-in-sl-kunanayakam.html

    You should understand how Tamils lose.

  • 1
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    Laksiri F’do plays with words. Interference, Intervention and invasion have different meanings.

    An invasion occurred in Afghanistan and Iraq involving ground troops and airborne troops, with the resultant deaths of some 1.4 million in Iraq alone. The Afghanistan fiasco is still ongoing, and as with Iraq, “we don’t count the enemy dead” is the rule that is followed by US/NATO. Iraq ultimately had to ask the US to leave it’s soil, and the bulk of the troops have done so reluctantly, NOT having being able to impose the 14 bases that they were desirous of keeping, and having had spent large sums building them. The Afghanistan imbroglio too would soon come to an end, and Kharzai, initially a US appointee having seen fit NOT to betray his nation, is refusing to put his signature to a document to place US troops permanently on it’s soil. Both of the above were invasions. In the case if Iraq it was an aggressive war carried out under trumped up ‘intelligence’ to control the vast oil wealth that Iraq is blessed with. It is the ‘supreme crime’ as described by a US judge on a previous occasion, but with reference to a different country, when he stood in judgement of that nation.

    Intervention does not quite describe what happened to Libya, again based on absolute falsehoods. The US and some NATO countries went on to act as the air force for a group of terrorists, both local and foreign, with the avowed intention of regime change. They succeeded, and we had that US harridan visiting the scene of Gaddafi’s demise, and uttering the despicable words “we came, we saw, and he died”. Let us NOT forget Yugoslavia which was the start of all these ‘interventions’. Here the charge was that the Albanians arriving in the province of Kosovo, from neighbouring Albania , had been massacred in their thousands (the figure bandied about was 200,000), again another falsehood. The KLA , an Albanian terror group was murdering and ethnically cleansing the province with the connivance of NATO. The US and it’s allies in NATO bombed that country for 88 straight days using more munitions than had been used in the entire WW2. In the end NATO got what it wanted, a fractured controlled country and multiple military bases in it’s desire to encircle Russia. Louise Arbour, the French Canadian UN apparatchik who was sent examine the alleged mass graves found zilch and had to withdraw with the tail you know where. Yet she has the temerity again to demand answers from Sri Lanka.

    Interference is what has been happening in Sri Lanka. Our fair weather friends having stood idly by while our people being massacred by the ruthless barbaric LTTE, now want to know how many civilians died in the last week of the war. The aim is to replace the government with a pliant more amenable one. Biswas and Sison are busy determining who should run Sri Lanka, just as Nuland and Pyatt chose who should run Ukraine following the violent successful coup funded by the West.

    What Russia did in Crimea does not amount to anything compared to the events in Kiev. The US has suddenly discovered it’s love for national sovereignty and territorial integrity. Funny that.

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    Sorry Lucksiri,

    You have been totally brain washed by the Western propaganda of the Tamil Diaspora.

    UNP is in such a mess, that the two up coming elections will wipe them out.

    Can pandering to the West and repeating their propaganda win votes?.

    You are talking big about Democracy. If the inhabitants don’t vote for the UNP how can they form your Democratic Government.

    Now the poor Non Vellala Tamil people are marching in Kalmunai in support of the President.

    And it is in the Tamilnet.

    And you are predicting our doom and no return.

    Is it No return to the old ways where Ethnics hijack provinces and make people suffer, like the ones in Kalmunai.

    Come to Srilanka and feel the vibrancy , and the support , the great majority extend to the President to continue this unprecedented development which has been long overdue.

    It is a surprise a Srilanka born and Srilankan educated academic can’t grasp reality,

    Read our ex Diplomat Ms Karunanayakam’s write up about the current draft from American wordsmiths,rather than giving us the LTTE supporters interpretation.

    And Ms Karnanayakam is no Sinhala Buddhist, as I understand.

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    ‘The West has employed overtly a soft approach towards Sri Lanka, or rather the Rajapaksa regime’ because they knew otherwise the results at the final voting may well be a disaster to them. Whatever it is, this ‘soft approach’ is a huge comedown on Cameron who has been threatening an International Investigations for ‘war crimes’ in Sri Lanka on the ‘last days’ of the final Ealam war. But the word ‘war crimes’ is no where in the US resolution. Unless the US change it, this resolution will become a puswedilla.

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