26 September, 2020

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What The Sri Lankan Ambassador Has Failed To Defend

By Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Tariq A. Al-Maeena

Diplomats invariably have to lie through their teeth to protect the stance taken by their respective governments. In instances where governments are renowned for human rights abuses or crimes against humanity, foreign diplomats often find themselves forced to respond to severe global criticism.

A recent opinion piece in a US newspaper was critical of Sri Lanka’s suspected human rights abuses, including possible war crimes, committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war.  The report was  very critical of Sri Lanka’s president, Mahinda Rajapaksa’s refusal to cooperate with UN investigations into the alleged abuses and compared his actions to those of Syria and North Korea, two countries notorious for refusing access to investigations by UN human rights teams.

The report doubted the Sri Lankan president’s claims that his country would conduct the inquiry itself. It said: “This is doubtful. It was the Sri Lankan government’s failure over several years to prosecute and punish perpetrators of abuses during the civil war that prompted the United Nations Human Rights Council in March to request a comprehensive investigation.”

The report further elaborated that “the United Nations estimates that 40,000 Tamils died during the final weeks of the conflict. Hundreds of thousands of people were interned in camps under military guard after the war ended in 2009. People suspected of being linked to the LTTE were tortured. Thousands simply disappeared.

“The safety of witnesses is a major concern. People demanding accountability for those who disappeared have faced threats and arrest. Sri Lanka’s Prevention of Terrorism Act is being used to detain people without trial. After the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, visited Sri Lanka last year, she reported that she had never seen such a ’level of uncontrollable grief’ as that of families of the disappeared in Sri Lanka, and that people with whom she met were promptly visited by security forces.”

In conclusion, the report stated that the Sri Lankan president should “cooperate with the investigation. Failing to do so will only feed international suspicions that his government has much to hide.”

Mr. Prasad Kariyawasam, the Sri Lankan ambassador to the US, in responding to the publication carrying the opinion piece was critical of what he termed “insensitive assertions about my country.”

He then added that “Sri Lanka has enjoyed uninterrupted democracy since 1931. Last September we held the first election to the Northern Provincial Council, delayed by more than two decades because of the refusal of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam to politically empower people in the North. Now, the Tamil National Alliance is in control of provincial administration. To compare Sri Lanka to human rights and humanitarian emergencies elsewhere in the world is unjust.

“We reject the United Nations investigation because its intrusive nature exceeds its mandate. It challenges the sovereignty of our country; violates basic principles of international law; vitiates the atmosphere needed for reconciliation; and ignores substantial and progressive socioeconomic and political progress already achieved, including the resettlement of 300,000 displaced people and the reintegration of 11,000 armed cadres.

“The three-decade-long conflict with many failed attempts at peace because of LTTE intransigence affected the whole country. Local accountability mechanisms, now strengthened with international experts, are respectful of inherent social, cultural and ethnic susceptibilities, unlike the United Nations-driven process, which serves externally motivated interests and will destabilize the intricate balance of the national reconciliation process.” Prasad Kariyawasam, Washington

Perhaps what the good ambassador has failed to defend, in spite of his objections, is that the current government is fueling ongoing ethnic and racial animosity within the country, and not only against the Tamil population.  The emergence of the Buddhist terrorist group, BBS, that has unchecked spread its brand of sectarian violence against minorities in the island can only be attributed to dirty politics being played by the Sri Lankan government.

No rebuttals from Sri Lankan diplomats the world over can defend such actions.

*The author can be reached at talmaeena@aol.com. Follow him on Twitter @talmaeena

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Latest comments

  • 10
    24

    Well, the writer should have reminded that if Sri Lanka continues along the present course it could end up like the most intolerant society such as Saudi or another backward Arabic Islamic state! By then pigs will fly. Thank you for wild conclusions of govt backed violence.

    • 0
      0

      A Saudi is talking about human rights in other countries, funny! I was in Saudi Arabia close six years and those who was there knows what type of human rights are practice in the Saudi Arabia.

  • 13
    26

    Tariq Al Maeena lives in Jeddah in the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. Nineteen people were beheaded there in August alone.

    Saudi Arabia is a destination point for Sri Lankan workers who are subjected to shocking conditions which include slavery, non-payment of wages, confinement and withholding of passports, rape, beatings and torture.

    It is also a destination country for children trafficked from other Middle Eastern and African countries and nations like Pakistan and Afghanistan for the purpose of forced begging and involuntary servitude as street vendors. It is also a destination for African women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.

    So he should comment on his own nation first (if he dares)before writing about a COMPARATIVELY civilized nation like Sri Lanka. But why should he risk having his hands chopped off? It is much easier to pontificate on human rights in a faraway island.

    • 8
      1

      Taraki,

      We all know the state of affairs within Saudi Arabia. One is excused for finding fault with Tariq Al Maeena for not reporting on the abuses going on around him.

      However your assertion that Sri Lanka is a civilized society, comparatively or not, is going really a bit over the top. Democracy is only a tool of the Sinhala Buddhists to retain power and not for the checks and balances enshrined within democracy that ensure justice to its citizenry. The net worth of human life has been reduced to almost zero, if that human life should stand up to the abuses going on around him. How many do we torture, kill, maim, rape in this civilized country of ours as we speak.

      What we have now is a quasi dictatorship with almost no dissent permitted against the nepotistic government’s atrocious excesses. Civilized it is not.

    • 2
      0

      Why are Sri Lankans still clamouring to go to Saudi if what you say about the harsh conditions are so bad and if it is so true. I have also met and employed many Sri Lankan women who have returned from such stints, who claim to have earned very well and have been able to give their kith and kin in marriage, brougnht properties and now living prosperous. At least better off now than before and yearning to get back. There are some who even claim they have been taken to to many places all over the world on vacation trips with the family, well looked after as part of the family, and generally well paid by our own SL standards. Why don’t you comment about them too without so much of the negativity. Haven’t you heard ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do,’ and so it is in these cases too. Those stringent laws are for them (the Saudis), but if migrants go as labour workforce, they agree to follow the law or face the consequences. Is it useless blaming the law as being hostile, since it is not their (workers) choice nor their call. Thats Tough Luck.

    • 2
      0

      Taraki

      “Tariq Al Maeena lives in Jeddah in the dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. Nineteen people were beheaded there in August alone. “

      The Saudi Wahhabis are using Islam, the same way the Sinhala “Buddhists” are using Buddhism, for their hegemony.

      one Follows the Satan, the other Follows the Mara.

      Both are deviations ans substantial bastardization of Islam and Buddhism.

  • 30
    11

    Tariq A. Al-Maeena,

    Well said:

    Liars have to lie all the way to the tribunals and perhaps to the jails,
    simply because telling the truth will still condemn them anyway.

    Sri Lanka has become a paradise for a regime of liars, deception artists ruthless mass murderers.

    • 8
      24

      “Sri Lanka has become a paradise for a regime of liars, deception artists ruthless mass murderers”.
      Not now in Sri Lanka. The Terrorists were sorted out in May 2009. The “regime” and the military did an excellent job!

      • 6
        1

        lal loo

        “Not now in Sri Lanka. The Terrorists were sorted out in May 2009.”

        However the biggest terrorists remain in power.

  • 15
    9

    Tariq A. Al-Maeena –

    “Diplomats invariably have to lie through their teeth to protect the stance taken by their respective governments. “I

    “The report doubted the Sri Lankan president’s claims that his country would conduct the inquiry itself. It said: “This is doubtful. It was the Sri Lankan government’s failure over several years to prosecute and punish perpetrators of abuses during the civil war that prompted the United Nations Human Rights Council in March to request a comprehensive investigation.”

    Thank you. Well stated the factual position.

    Sri Lanka, dominated by the Sinhala “Buddhists” have been lying for a long, long time. The examples since Independence have been numerous.

    They, the Sinhala “Buddhists” have been lying about history, lying about Buddhism and Buddhas Teachings. Do not believe, what the Sri Lanka State is saying. They are all liars, all the way down from the President, ministers and the Sri Lanka’s UN Representative.

    Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese Buddhism = Lying and distortion.

    The Lying Starts with the 5th Century Mahawansa, The Lying Book of Sri Lanka ( The Land of Native Veddah Aethho) and Buddhism. In fact the Book id called, Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha!

    Mahavamsa- An Insult To The Buddha!

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/mahavamsa-an-insult-to-the-buddha/

    By converting the philosophy into a religion, Buddhist monks, also converted the Buddha, into a ‘God’, and themselves, as his ‘Messengers’, who must be revered and worshiped; totally disregarding the Buddha’s words-

    “Believe nothing, in the faith of traditions,
    even though, they have been held in honor,
    for many generations, and in diverse places.

    Do not believe, a thing, because many people speak of it.
    Do not believe, in the faith, of the sages of the past.
    Do not believe, what you yourself have imagined,
    persuading yourself, that a God inspires you.

    Believe nothing, on the sole authority, of your masters and priests.
    After examination, believe what you yourself, have tested
    and found, to be reasonable, and conform your conduct thereto.” The Buddha

    A case in point, as it is recorded nowhere, of the Buddha having said, is that alms must be offered to monks, in one’s home or at a temple, seven-days, three-months and one-year after a death, in one’s family.

    This practice perhaps, originated through a custom, followed by our ancestors, that has today become sine qua non, for Buddhists-

    • 9
      14

      parAmASSiri the altar boy with more cut-paste crap….get some medicine

      • 8
        6

        @elu kola

        It appears the medications YOU are taking does not work. Seek help ASAP. Dong!

    • 2
      0

      Why don’t you use your Muslim name without using a Sinhala name to denounce Sinhala Buddhist. You are turning everything upside down by attacking Sinhala Buddhist while using a Sinhala name, without answering to the point. If you are really Amarasiri then you must be a Sinhalese and as I also have part of your name you should be a Buddhist. Why attack Sinhala Buddhist consisting 75pc of the Sri Lankan population without any evidence.

      As you are a Muslim person please use your name. Did you notice. Any one other than a BBS supporter attacking Muslims?

      • 1
        0

        U must be new to thus forum and its denizens. If not, by now u should know that Amare is an athiest or an agnostic (one of two, not sure), but not Muslim (attacks all mullas and Wahabism, and even Islam itself). It is true has a name close to yours (may be even a relative, who knows), and certainly has no claims to Buddhism. His comments are as straight as an arrow, and says it as he sees it, no less no more. At times we miss him when he goes silent for periods at a time..

  • 6
    7

    ela kolla

    Which part of South India did your great grandparents come from? Erriveerer Pattinam?

  • 8
    6

    This man is from a country where democracy does not exist and the country is ruled by a bunch of despots who is so greedy to enjoy all the wealth among the ruling few, believe in a religion that believes in violence, marrying very young girls who have not even attained puberty (in short the country is full of technical rapists).

    So what human rights for you Charley Brown.

    Nuwan

    • 4
      0

      Nuwan,

      I have cut and pasted the following from your rightful comment.

      ‘democracy does not exist and the country is ruled by a bunch of despots who is so greedy to enjoy all the wealth among the ruling few, believe in a religion that believes in violence,’.

      Now extrapolate what you said to Sri Lanka. Get the picture?

  • 8
    4

    Prasad Kariyawasam is an able man, a good diplomat and a decent human being. He has a poor brief to defend. How long are the Rajapakses and the Sinhala extremists, lead by the Buddhist priests and the more influential sections of the army, going to subject the country to continued decline. The way out is to empower the NPC and Justice Wigneswaren to take care of their Province by providing sufficient resources and cooperation to accomplish this objective before the International Community is forced to step in to do that – the difference being in the case of the latter option the Island will be split into two. If the Rajapakses are rational they will go for the other option.

    Kettikaran

    • 1
      1

      You said it right Kettikaran. The way out of all these problems faced
      by the govt is about empowering NPC and I have a feeling that once this is done, the international community will wash their hands off by
      getting the Govt. to engage in direct talks with TNA and the Govt. must
      accept the fact that TNA is the sole accredited representatives of the Tamils of N/E. instead wasting time by looking for scapegoats like Ananda Sangary, to break the unity. That will not happen as this is not
      peace time for N/E people.

  • 3
    6

    srilanka Diplomates are not talking facts and figures, simply talking without any back round.USA paper critise the srilanka human rights violation,even indian news 9th sept on air srilanka army killied the civilian in live program,

  • 6
    7

    What right he has to call BBS a terrorist group, living in Saudi where not even a picture depicting another religion can be taken in to the country. He has taken all third party information and make suggestions. If beheading of people for being non Muslims is not terrorism, may be practicing religion.

  • 8
    8

    Garbage produce more garbage.

    Tariq Al Maena talk about a garbage article in a bankrupt newspaper.

    How about WMD they talked in IraQ ?

    ISIS – who trained them ?

  • 8
    7

    Saudi Barbarians talk about human rights.

    It is Saudi Arabia the origin of Wahabis. ISIS and Saudi are believing the same Quran which talk about ruthless barbaric violence.

    first understand how violent your country is. Generally Arabs have a very very violent and barbaric culture. that is why Islam fits to you.

  • 5
    6

    This article appears to have touched a raw nerve of the Rajapaksa apologists and Sinhala nationalists. That is excellent!

    Try an attack what the man has written and not the man who wrote it. And, be careful because his newspaper is widely read in the MIddle East where your women toil daily to keep the Rajapaksa brothers in luxury and buys their sons’ luxury cars.

    If the muslim arabs get upset by the Rajapaksas or their cronies attacking muslims here then Sri lanka and the Rajapaksa brothers will go bankrupt.

  • 5
    5

    Mr Prasad kariyawasam who,is the Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, is the quintessential diplomat, who poor chap, has to lie for his country for his sustenance. He is the only diplomat, Sri Lanka can be proud of, compared to the other imbeciles who represent SL in other countries. Other countries and the UN have to put up with mass murderers,like Shavendra Silva (UN) and Samarasinghe (Australia). Jagath Dias another murderer in uniform was kicked out of a European country and the tea trader and swindler who was -Ambassador in the US before Kariyawasam,as well as a family member of the execrable Rajapakse family was not welcomed in Canada.He is believed to be an Advisor to His
    Excellency the President of the Republic of Sri Lanka, The appointment of these murderers was to provide immunity from prosecution for war crimes, crimes against humanity and violations of International Human Rights laws.
    The day will come when these scoundrels will be in the rightful place – behind bars.

  • 1
    0

    Mr ;Al-maeena , US next target for your country !!!!!!!!!!!!be rady!!! god lake.

  • 3
    0

    Dear Tariq A. Al-Maeena, you state that “the current government is fueling ongoing ethnic and racial animosity within the country, and not only against the Tamil population. The emergence of the Buddhist terrorist group, BBS, that has unchecked spread its brand of sectarian violence against minorities in the island can only be attributed to dirty politics being played by the Sri Lankan government.”

    The attacks on Muslims and Christians is not some madcap rush by the government to commit hara-kiri, but a well planned strategy. There are two prongs to this master plan.

    1) Dictatorial rulers always need the populace to be in a ‘state of war’ so that people’s minds are taken off their daily struggle to survive. Sri Lankans are in a pathetic situation with the incredible cost of living which is fuelled by incredible corruption and incredible white elephants like Mihin Air, Mattala, and that artificial harbour in Hambantota, all of which are hallmarks of egoistic rulers wanting to build grandiose projects with people’s money (even money borrowed in the people’s name at exorbitant interest rates from Shylocks like China) so that the rulers can have projects named after themselves. These rulers think they will rule forever but new rulers will rename all those projects and shut donw Mihin. Now that the LTTE war is over there needs to be other wars, and what better targets than the hapless, and until now peaceful, Muslims of Sri Lanka, and the even more hapless Christians? The BBS terrorists are currently being held in reserve until after the Pope’s visit and the crucial UNHRC report in March 2015. After that report, which will have internationally acceptable and judicially actionable evidence against the regime, there will the threat and likelihood of US led sanctions with Britain, EU and Canada joining in. That’s when the Muslim ‘terrorist’ card will be useful.

    2) “Al Qaeda”. That’s the ticket to cosy up to the US. By attacking the Muslims, the regime hopes to cause even a handful of Muslim youth to take up arms in self-defence. Maybe the Machiavellian government itself will provide the arms to a few hot headed Muslim youth using government controlled army ‘deserters’. There will then be a huge blast of propaganda claiming that Al Qaeda is active in Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka and the US have a new common enemy and therefore nothing must be done to destabilise the regime. Obama is probably too smart to bite that bait but the village thug mentality of the Sri Lankan rulers think that Obama and America will buy into that bogey.

    All this will be disastrous to Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans whether they be Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Malay, or whoever. But for the regime that lives on a planet of their own, far removed from the average citizens and protected by thousands of body guards, this war footing situation is of paramount importance. What the regime (and its unthinkingly rabid Sinhala-Buddhist followers) have probably not factored in is the calamity that will befall us if the Arab countries retaliate for the anti-Muslim actions of the Sri Lankan regime by sending back the million plus Sri Lankans working in the gulf states, and replacing them with workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia and other Muslim countries. If that were to happen, all the unemployed gulf returnees will riot and cause havoc in Sri Lanka. But for a regime that thought nothing of shooting and killing Sinhala-Buddhists in Rathupaswela and the Free Trade Zone, shooting and killing even hundreds of southerners to cow down the population and ensure regime rule and regime succession will not be too horrible an action to contemplate. After all, it was not so long ago that the dictators in Burma shot hundreds of protesting Buddhist priests on the streets of the Burmese capital. And that regime is one of our regime’s closest friends.

  • 4
    2

    The devil quoting from the scriptures?

    Go fix your ISIS problem first.

    We Muslims have become the laughing stock of the world because of utter hypocrisy. Every day at least 250 Muslims (mostly Muslim men) die from Muslim-Muslim violence. There are over 1,260,000 Muslim war widows in the world today.

    What are we trying to pretend?

    I’m sure Srilankan leaders are laughing from both ends.

    • 2
      2

      Fathima (aka Lorenzo)

      We Muslims…… seriously Lorenzo?
      You pretend to be a Muslim at CT and then pretend to be a Tamil as Lorenzo at LW
      You maybe able to fool the idiots at LW but cannot fool ppl here.
      ps- what happened to LW. Rajapakse forgot to send a check for web hosting fees?
      pass the hat around…

      LOL!

      • 2
        1

        So, Fathima (aka Lorenzo)

        What are the other aka? leela, Sumanasekera, Nanda, Jim Softy?

        Just curious?

        Lorenzo, why are the Shills at Lankaweb Lying?

        why is that they have no shame?

        Did they learn from the President and the Ministers?

        • 1
          0

          Amare, you forgot LESTER. I wonder if he finally succumbed?

    • 0
      0

      Another piece of crap from a ‘Fathima’ pretending to be Muslim. Everyone knows your devilish intentions to discredit Muslims by acting like a Muslim using an avatar of a pious Muslim woman dressed in a hijab, and writing the most stupid things to arouse hatred and attract anger towards Muslims. The devil himself in disguie.

  • 6
    1

    We all know what happened to the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse investigations the US carried out in 2004-2006 and the rubbishy sentence that was given to those soldiers involved in the torture and abuse. These were authorized by their superiors.Go to Wikipedia and you can check it out.The US has the worst case of human rights abuses or crimes against humanity and its still going on. How come nobody is talking about investigating these crimes?
    Navi Pillai. Ban Kee Moon are just puppets who dance to the tunes of the West. Nothing more. These are the hypocrites who profess to be concerned about human rights.They collect the fat salaries and divert the issue of the crimes committed by the US by targeting other countries. SL is the perfect scapegoat for them.

  • 3
    1

    High Commissioner Prasad Kariyawasam talking to the media in India:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2aD8W0TouOk

    He seems like a decent man.

    The author presents only a snippet of Kariyawasam’s defence of Sri Lanka, preceding it with his own jaundiced perspective from Saudi Arabia. I think the diplomat deserves more consideration.

  • 5
    1

    Is this dude a comedian ?.

    Talk about the hundreds of thousands of poor Palestinians ,Shiites, Alwaties and even Sunnis you failed to defend and protect from Americans , British, Israelis French and other Europeans in the last twenty years alone encouraged and financed by your own brother Saudis….

    • 2
      1

      No, Sumane putha, the comedians are in the Rajapaksa government. Some good examples are as follows:

      G L Pieris, the educated clown
      Rambuttan Rambukwella, the hairy clown
      Ravinatha Aryasingha,the liar parrot clown
      Rajiva Wijesingha, the verbose clown

      The rest are in the SL diplomatic service.

  • 0
    1

    Read the message and stop attacking the messenger or his country. Kariyawasam is a paid cooly, what valid argument he has to defend the murderers ? If he is a decent guy, he should have resigned. He is another Diplo mutt , just like all the other scums.

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