21 September, 2018

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US Resolution Criticises, Surges Beyond LLRC

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

It is almost a crime to lie to the people and mislead them on a matter of vital national interest. When it is committed by politicians it is an act of unconscionable opportunism. When it is perpetrated by so-called intellectuals belonging to civil society, it is a counterfeiting of the currency of the intellect and the function of the educated, which is to educate the public.

One of the rankest untruths in the public domain today is that the US resolution is innocuous and unobjectionable because it only seeks to commit the government of Sri Lanka to implement its own LLRC report within a reasonable time frame. This untruth is perpetrated by the dominant elements of the UNP, the TNA and the civil society commentariat.

The utter falsehood of this assertion is instantly provable by a mere glance at the Resolution itself. Far from limiting itself to the harmless and arguably even constructive pursuit of merely seeking the implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations, the Resolution actually criticises the LLRC. The fifth and final paragraph of the preamble of the US Resolution, immediately preceding its operative clauses, reads: Noting with concern that the LLRC report does not adequately address serious allegations of violations of international law…”

It is nothing short of disgusting that this sentence, in plain view in the text, is being hidden by pro-US resolution politicians and opinion-makers. It is one thing to be a critic, however harsh, of the government, quite another to be a supporter of the US Resolution and worse still, to brush under the rug that which is quite overt in the Resolution itself.

The Resolution’s criticism of the LLRC report is itself an untruth. That report not only earmarks issues of accountability which it states should be addressed by the government of Sri Lanka, it contains an impressively thick and closely argued chapter precisely on international law issues pertaining to the conflict. Given that one of the LLRC report’s authors is the former Chairperson of the UN Ad Hoc Committee on Terrorism and a former member of the International Law Commission, this assertion by the US Resolution is indeed disingenuous.

Having made this criticism of the LLRC, the US Resolution then goes on to stipulate measures in its operative clauses which range well beyond the LLRC’s recommendations:

“(1). Calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations in the LLRC report and take all necessary additional steps to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans,

(2) Requests that the Government of Sri Lanka present a comprehensive action plan as expeditiously as possible detailing the steps the Government has taken and will take to implement the LLRC recommendations and also to address alleged violations of international law. (My emphases-DJ)

This plainly gives the lie to the assertion that the US resolution seeks only the (harmless) implementation of the LLRC’s recommendations. It is permissible to argue that the additional measures are good and necessary, but quite another to sweep under the rug, or divert attention from these stipulations which range beyond the LLRC into the domain of international law. That practice of providing a smokescreen for external interventionism is rather like persuading customers, in this case the Sri Lankan citizenry, to participate in a Ponzi scheme.

The third and final operative clause of the US Resolution reads:

(3) “Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and relevant special procedures to provide, and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept, advice and technical assistance on implementing those steps and requests the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to present a report to the Council on the provision of such assistance at its twenty-second session.”

In other words, the High Commissioner becomes the monitoring authority, with operational functions as well, of the compliance of the elected government of Sri Lanka with the US request to “take all necessary additional steps [beyond the LLRC] to fulfill its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans…and also to address alleged violations of international law.” This seeks to give the Office of the UN High Commissioner the role of an overseer, in relation to a national process of (national) reconciliation. In the US Resolution, the political and policy implementation process in Sri Lanka changes its circuitry and loops through the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; an extra-national entity, accountable not to the UN Human Rights Council but primarily to the UN Secretary-General in New York.

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    The LLRC report is itself a fraud. It exonerates the Sri Lankan government of responsibility for the most heinous of war crimes. As far as punitive measures are concerned, nothing short of sanctions will suffice. Given that the latter is unlikely to materialize, however, a resounding condemnation of Sri Lankan war crimes at the UNHRC ought to do diplomatic wonders for the next decade or two. Sri Lanka will be outed as a pariah state, which will isolate it both economically and diplomatically from the West. In the ideal scenario, this might even accelerate the downfall of the Rajapakse dictatorship.

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    Dayan,don’t waste your time on this phony US resolution.No one believes the US anymore.These Yankies have murdered millions of civilians during the last decade in the pretext of protecting human rights and promoting democracy.We all know what happened during the bogus peace process in which the US was one of the co chairs.Still those unfortunate blacks in Louisiana are living in tents after they lost everything due to Kathrina cyclone. If this is how they treat their own people,no point wasting time in talking about these fellows.

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      you look to me a boy trained by wimal weerawansa ?

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    Once again as expected Dr Dayan is out there to bail out his fascist State. He wants to safeguard this murderous state from further international pressure for independent inquiry. In order to do that he should present the LLRC report as true. Lucky he does not need to use his Anti- imperialism rhetoric this time.. But he should understand a basic thing in a fair Trail: A fox should not be on the jury at a goose’s trial. the point now here is that the Fox does not want even his own report implemented … this is the life long history of the Sri Lankan chauvinist state , making agreement then tearing them down..

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      Correct, Suganthy. Dr. Jayatilleke is using the LLRC report to bash the UNP, when in fact it is up to the Rajapakse regime to implement the recommendations of the report. And of course, it is because of the Rajapakses that Sri Lanka is even in the hot seat.

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    Mr. Ambassodor. I don’t think you are correct. If you know your English, the intention of the resolution is to get your government to investigate into the ” Serious Allegations” of Violations, “Alleged” is the important word. This was intended because not only that your government has not made any credible investigations into the “Alleged” violations during the last three years but it is also well known to the international community that your government has willfully avoided to make any credible investigations into alleged violations even of national laws in many instances including the notable allegations of murders and disappearances of journalists and other activists even if a number of them were your own Sinhalese.

    So in such circumstances what is wrong with getting the UN High Commissioner’s oversight and assistance to conduct a credible investigation into “Alleged” violations,- you can always disprove the allegations if you have credible evidence which can be presented to High Commissioner whose credential as a sound Judge when she presided the International Court of Justice on Rwanda is well recognized. (hope you are not that uncivilized to protest against her because she is a descendent of a Tamil) Or else is it because you are obliged to hide some terrible things you don’t want others to know?

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    Dayan, since the US had invited SL to be a part in drafting the resolution, why didn’t the latter do so; thereby ensuring that the more objectionable bits of the document would be left out? How can we refuse to engage in the formulation and then complain about the result?

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      WOW – David makes sense for the first time!!!

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        Roshan, it makes sense to you because you agree with it, nothing more.

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      What an idea… Inviting Sri Lanka to draft a resolution against Sri Lanka.. Very Funny…

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    Selva,Events that will unfold in the coming weeks and OUR response to them will give you a better idea of by whom i am trained.My comments on CT is just to tease the defeated Tiger terrorists and nothing more.When it comes to the real thing,you will see through your own eyes what befalls the leftover terrorists and their behind the scene terror god fathers who disguise themselves as human rights activists.As for being trained by Weerawansa,No i am not interested in performing in circuses.But only live action.

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    Hi David,

    I cannot speak for the GoSL delegation– or should I say flotilla- in Geneva, but I can reproduce a (hostile) report of what I did under the circumstances, at a similar ‘interactive informal’ event on May 21st, 2009. (please see below)

    ——————————————————————————–

    Sri Lankan U.N. envoy lashes out at Western “colonizers” over emergency meeting of human rights council
    Published by UN Watch- at May 22, 2009 in Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and Sri Lanka. 3 Comments

    Today at the U.N. Human Rights Council informal consultations were held on the draft text for the special session on Sri Lanka to be held this Tuesday. The meeting was chaired by Muriel Berset of Switzerland, sponsor of the text, along with representatives of the European Union (the Czech Republic), Chile and Mexico. The group took pains to emphasize their “cooperative” and “consensus” approach, underscoring the special deference shown to Sri Lanka in contrast to the approach taken toward other countries that the council has censured — Israel, 26 times; Myanmar, 4 times; and North Korea, twice.
    Whlie the purpose of the meeting was for the international community to work on the resolution to hold Sri Lanka accountable for its actions, Switzerland and its co-sponsors, evidently fearful of upsetting the alliance of repressive regimes that dominates the council, went so far as to grant the ambassador of Sri Lanka the right to participate in the meeting — and even to join the podium and speak first following their brief introduction.

    This he did with much drama. Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka walked in late, delivered a 30-minute harangue against Western “colonizers,” and then walked out.

    It being so rare for most of the UN’s 192 members to be censured, the Sri Lankan ambassador felt the need to show that his country enjoyed broad diplomatic support. He began by insisting that he considered the Western-led consultation on the draft resolution as one organized by “friends”, even if they some may be “misguided.” The “only enemy of Sri Lanka was the one within its borders,” now defeated.

    Sri Lanka “put an end to that problem” after several attempts at negotiation failed and that all civilians caught in the conflict were hostages to the Tamil Tigers. The ambassador argued that it made no sense to hold a special session now that the 30-year war is over and “no one is dying,” and considering that the regular human rights council session is only a week away.

    He complained that Tiger sympathizers are planning a demonstration on Monday, saying they should not be allowed to “hold the Human Rights Council hostage.”

    Ambassador Jayatilleka used his remarks to rally the council’s majority of African and Asian states to his cause, attacking the sponsors of the special session as Western “colonizers” who refused to consult with the Asian bloc. How, he asked, could “distant” states know better than Sri Lanka’s neighboring states, who agreed with its positions?

    He complained that states “in the region” were “bypassed,” “their advice and views completely ignored,” and not even sought. He decried the Swiss text, complaining that “those who are former colonizers somehow know more about how to handle Sri Lanka than our immediate neighborhood.” Sri Lanka can only take on the Swiss proposal if it is “de-mined and removed of booby traps,” something, he said, his country knew how to do very well militarily.

    Adopting a pugilistic tone, the Sri Lankan envoy said he welcomed a diplomatic battle at the session, unafraid of a contested vote. He suggested that the Western-sponsored resolution was meant to force Sri Lanka to respond with a no-action motion — a procedure favored in the past by China, Zimbabwe and other repressive regimes in order to kill a censure resolution — so that Sri Lanka would be “trashed for the international media.” Nevertheless, he welcomed any such contest.

    Ms. Berset of Switzerland thanked the Sri Lankan ambassador, who already got up and walked out, for his remarks and his “eloquence”, and said that her country sought “total openness, transparency, and inclusiveness.”

    Next were a long list of speakers who opposed holding a special session, and who voiced their support for Sri Lanka’s outrageous competing resolution that is designed to praise itself and preempt any scrutiny: Egypt, Cuba, the Philippines, India, China, Malaysia, Syria, Thailand, Indonesia, and Lebanon…”

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      As I responded to your response on Groundviews, Dayan, this doesn’t really answer the question.

      It still doesn’t explain why the GoSL is choosing a hard defense over engagement in regard to a largely toothless resolution. The criticism of the LLRC would probably have been dropped by the US if we engaged with them in the drafting as they have pushed for.

      The GoSL is painting itself into a corner where it MUST win in Geneva at all costs if it is not to be humiliated at home. The GoSL made out the resolution to be as bad as an investigation, and incited people to protest it in the same manner. This is absurd, given the pointlessness of the resolution. However, the GoSL cannot now declare the resolution pointless because the locals will ask it what on earth the big deal is. The vocal protests from the GoSL has even convinced the diaspora that the resolution is worth supporting!

      And you may not speak for the Geneva delegation, but you speak for the GoSL in your criticism of the resolution.

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    Despite the rhetoric being bandied about, there are a few facts which defy argument. One is that the US has never in its history been compassionate about the human (or other) rights of people in the third world.

    Their deliberate targetting of vast civilian populations in Hiroshima and Nagasaki which gave rise to the immediate deaths of millions and generation after generation of deformed, sickly, cancer-ridden children, their deliberate targetting of the entire north Vietnamese population by spraying of poisonous defoliant (napalm)and massacre of several millions of innocent Vietnamese, Cambodians and Laotians,again giving rise to generations of horribly deformed children, their deliberate targetting of entire townships of Iraq, with white phosporous, cluster bombs, depleted uranium that have wiped out most of the populations of Falluja, Najaf, Tikrit and given rise to four out of every five births being deformed and unsustainable in many parts of Iraq are manifest evidence of their insincerity in the case of Sri Lanka. It is simply vengeance for having defied their will at the eleventh hour.

    At the same time, not everything has been rosy in Sri Lanka either. Civilian casualties during war is inevitable. However, successive governments have in fact helped sustain the enemy with food and provision shipments to the LTTE during that war.

    The evolution of politics in Sri Lanka cannot be said to have been in a progressive or positive direction. The concentration of power in the hands of a few is unconducive to good governance. This is not to say that opposition parties would behave any better, given half a chance.

    There is a need for balance and countervailing influences in the exercise of political power, hitherto unavailable and inaccessible. The solution is not economic sanctions as only the people will suffer for no fault of theirs. Friendly countries like China and Russia must place fair conditions on the aid and funding they provide, where the exchange is of improvement in the exercise of the will of the people and guarantees of their welfare in everyday existence.

    The Tamil groups, opposition groups and human rights activist groups including NGOs must lay the cards on the same table that the Sri Lankan government’s cards are required to be placed, face up. It is the spirit in which this game is played, that would matter in the end..

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