24 August, 2019

Blog

Will Marapana Play Ace Or Joker At UNHRC

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

President Maithripala Sirisena, known for changing his mind on crucial issues has done it again. His delegation comprising of former Ministers and UPFA Parliamentarians Sarath Amunugama and Mahinda Samarasinghe together with Dr. Suren Raghavan, Governor of Northern Province to attend the 40th session of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) in Geneva announced last week has now been scrapped.

Their purported mission was to seek the possibility of withdrawing from the Geneva Resolution.

This week a new delegation has been named, now led by Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana and includes Dr. Amunugama, Dr. Raghavan, Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha and Deputy Solicitor General Nerin Pulle. Ambassador ALA Azeez, Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN office in Geneva and his Deputy will join the team.

Since there will be no change to the Wickremesinghe government’s stance of co-sponsoring the resolution of the core group spearheaded by the UK, the purported mission of this delegation can be none other than to reiterate the government’s stance already announced by Ambassador Azeez. Amunugama’s presence will only provide presidential confirmation to the earlier endorsement by the Ambassador. 

The Wickremesinghe government had previously not planned to field a team from Colombo for the 40th session.

The latest development of a unified delegation smacks of a devious political deal. It is quite well possible, a unified delegation led by the UNP Foreign Minister Marapana with Amunugama as a face-saving window dressing may have been agreed in return for the unanimous passage of the President’s cost head in the budget debate currently in progress.  

It is understood, the Foreign Minister’s speech would be approved by both the President and Prime Minister. One is at a loss to understand how President Sirisena who just last week was speaking of the possibility of withdrawing from the resolution will approve a draft of a speech agreeing to co-sponsor the resolution this week. UPFA Parliamentarian Mahinda Samarasinghe grandiosely announced, “You can’t do this by sidelining the President.” He seems to have missed the point. The President has been sidelined from the beginning in September 2015 when then Foreign Minister co-sponsored UNHRC Resolution 30/1. 

Two other unrelated developments are yet relevant to the issue.

The much-anticipated results from carbon testing six samples of skeletal remains of 325 bodies including those of 29 children unearthed in a mass grave in Mannar finally arrived last week. The report from Beta Analytical Institute of Florida, to the utter disappointment of some members of the Tamil community, has revealed that the skeletal remains date to a period between 1499 and 1719 AD. 

Unable to bear this disappointment, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) voiced their opinion through District MP for Mullaitivu Nirmalanathan Sivamohan by suggesting a second opinion be obtained. Sivamohan lamented, “A lot of people went missing in Mannar during the war. We need to expand the excavations at the mass grave site. We must do further tests to identify the victims. The TNA insists that the excavations and testing should go on.”

What is mind-boggling is that whereas the TNA has a problem with the carbon testing report from a reputed laboratory based on six skeletal remains, it has no reservations in accepting the figure of 40,000 civilian deaths reported by a group of so-called experts who did not even visit this country and no skeletons to show. Not a single Tamil politician has called for a second opinion on the 40,000 civilian deaths referred in the Geneva Resolution despite the availability of documents. Multiple sources such as National Census Dept. reports filed by UN office in Sri Lanka and confidential dispatches by former British Defense Attaché Lt. Col. Anton Gash, revealed in the House of Lords by British Peer Lord Naseby all estimate deaths during the closing stages of the conflict between 7,000 and 8,000. Around 25% had been LTTE combatants who had discarded their uniforms and adorned civilian clothes. 

Secondly, when Naseby disclosed the contents of the heavily redacted 39 pages of confidential dispatches, Foreign Minister Marapana’s spokesperson in the ministry in response to a query raised by The Island had this today. “Engaging in arguments and debates in the international domain over the number of civilians who may have died at a particular time in the country will not help resolve any issues, in a meaningful manner, locally, except a feel-good factor for a few individuals who may think that they have won a debate or scored points over someone or the other.”   

A few days later, pressed for a statement in parliament by MPs Dinesh Gunawardena and Bandula Gunawardane over the revelations made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords, Marapana stated, “We are not saying that we would not use Lord Naseby’s statement. We will certainly use it at the proper time and appropriate forums. There may be a time when the UNHRC asks us to conduct investigations into the war crime allegations. We will use this statement when such a time comes. Otherwise, our opponents will find counter arguments for this valuable statement. We must use it as an Ace”.

Whilst Tamil politicians demand a second opinion on six skeletal remains established to be between 400 and 700 years old, is it not time for the Sri Lankan state to seek a second opinion on the charge of 40,000 civilian deaths yet to be substantiated with a couple of hundred skeletal remains, leave along mountains of them?  

What is preventing the Sri Lankan state from demanding that the UK, the chief sponsor of the resolution produce Col. Gash’s reports in an unredacted state for scrutiny?

As Marapana himself said, he has the ‘Ace.’ He will be in the right place in Geneva. The chance to play the ‘Ace’ is now or never. 

Or will he play the Joker and return?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 10
    0

    Rajeeva,
    Did you ever asked to find out the truth when Mahinda originally claimed no death of civilians during the war? Did you ask ever what happened to those who were surrendered with white flags to the military at the end of war in 2009? Have you ever visited to the war zone ever? No, you rely on Naseby report because he was paid by Mahinda to speak in support of him. The priest of Mannar who was in the field gave a figure of over 100000 based on government statistics.
    You yourself said that only six samples out of over 350 bodies were sent for testing. The people involved in this process was Sinhalese. Sinhalese working for govt are famous for fabricating evidence. Even the murder of Lasantha or Thayabudin murder case still not reached a conclusion. The evidences were erased or murdered as well. As a racist Buddhist Sinhala fundamentalist, we cannot expect truth from you. You are didgraced Buddhist!

    • 10
      0

      Ajith

      Rajeewa Jayaweera is on a mission, a mission to reclaim the glory of the island, its Sinhala/Buddhist people, politicians, functionaries, armed forces, ….. and he has taken it upon himself to protect each category of war criminals, crooks, Sinhala/Buddhism, …… single handedly.

      Perhaps this is for him the Sinhala/Buddhist equivalent of Crusade.
      He is not alone in this crusade, fellow crusaders include Shenali Waduge (the most unhappy female batting for the Sinhala/Buddhists), Channa Jayasumana, Sarath Wijesekera, Hopper Sirisena, ……………. above all the great saviour of the people and country of Sri Lanka, Lord Naseby, ……..

      Please jog my memory, is this island still a serfdom of Lord Naseby’s clan?

    • 3
      0

      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

    • 3
      0

      Rajeewa Jayaweera is the essence of Sri Lanka.

      It’s the highest compliment and the biggest insult.

      • 2
        0

        nimal fernando

        Aren’t you going to help him in his sacred mission?

  • 0
    2

    According to Jayasumana, the Permanent Rep to UN has signed the British proposal not on instructions of the MOFA but instructions from someone related to Finance without the approval from the President and the Cabinet. In 2015, exactly the same thing happened. This Government brag that they are the savior of Democracy in this country. Is this the behavior of a Democratic Government or a Dictatorship? If this is true, the Foreign Minister should resign immediately without trying to survive eating the sh*t of this Government.

  • 0
    2

    “What is mind-boggling is that whereas the TNA has a problem with the carbon testing report from a reputed laboratory based on six skeletal remains, it has no reservations in accepting the figure of 40,000 civilian deaths reported by a group of so-called experts who did not even visit this country and no skeletons to show.”
    Not only TNA, even the so called ‘International Community’ have not questioned the validity of 40,000 civilian deaths. Only Lord Naseby challenged this. He challenged on the basis of information found in UK Foreign Office. But out dumbidiots of this Government did not make any attempt to use that information to clear the name of this country and our Armed Forces. Aren’t they traitors? All the UNP MPs who tolerate this kind of treacherous acts of the Government against this country also should be branded as traitors and kicked out at the next election.

  • 4
    0

    Buddy in your opinion what will make him an ace (lies) and what will turn him into a joker (facts) ????? Tamils do not need these shit heads to voice their grievances. Looks like they have their own. Is it a surprise MS did a somersault ??? which he does on a daily basis. Thaatha is still on the look out for the guy who tried to harm him, which he promised to expose months ago. If you care so much you can well go there and voice your bull shit in person as an independent. Otherwise please Shut The F–k Up. We already know the credibility of so called statesman of yours Naseby, Bandula, Dinesh and the rest are.

  • 2
    0

    Ct How come as a TRUE Critic of the SL Military & bastred sinhala Majority Buddhist …You never asked the Issues about Recently Confiscated Weapons & Ammos from the SL North -East….here is the Dilemma here…Geographical LOCATIONS these Stacks of weapons were found were Cleared all most 8 years ago..so Like is it too much to ask who the hell put them in there let alone from where the TIP-OFFS arising leads to Direct Discovery [Isn’t that Great-this so easy]
    *
    Instead of CARBON DATING Dead Dogs-Pigs-Cattles Bones [precisely removing any sort of Human remains….How come so far there were almost 20 or so weapon stashes Discovered But No Journalism Institution QUESTIONED ” were there any evidence -Finger-print-Serial Number Trace on International Market-Assistance from Interpol …none
    *
    every day it is the same old News” weapons were Found …weapons were found …weapons were found….Sri Lankan Sinhala Buddhist must be pleased by Seizing the Old Stockpile of LTTE weapons..but these are’t theirs…NO……These are of the SL military

  • 1
    0

    What are you trying to say Rajeewa Jeyaweera?
    Remember, Liam Fox visited Colombo few times. We were under the impression that he was representing British Parliament. Now we know that he was a guest of the then GoSL. Liam indicated that his mission was to reconcile the two sides.
    In a resolution to UNHRC sponsored by the British government, the stress is the need for reconciliation.
    .
    Rajeewa: Do you believe that the Lankan issue can be brushed aside? You are attaching too much importance to Lord Naseby. He too is a Conservative. He is NOT able to convince his mates. What makes you think that he can influence UNHRC? He has been pleading that the figure of those killed in the Darusman Report be changed to 10,000. This is very similar to the good old fish-market haggle.
    .
    Rajeewa: By the way Lord Naseby never mentions reconciliation. Do you think this must be explored?
    What is the relevance of the carbon dating?
    Do you remember we were told at one stage, that the Matale skeletons were pre-historic animal bones?
    In 2014, another skeleton find site in Mannar was cordoned, excavation continued in secret till a Professor in Archeology said that the skeletons were in prayer mode.
    The Professor got a diplomatic posting. Coincidence?
    .
    Rajeewa: You are blaming RW for our predicament. Was MS an innocent bystander?
    The last sentence “Or will he play the Joker and return?” is insensitive.
    Our predicament is no card game.

  • 2
    0

    Once upon a time in Ancient Greece, a group of philosophers were engaged in a heated debate. What they were arguing about was how many teeth did a horse have? They kept talking and making claims and rejecting each others’ arguments. The debate kept raging for days on end!

    But it did not occur to any of the wise philosophers to get hold of a healthy horse, open its mouth and count the number of teeth the horse had. That was too much trouble! So they kept on speculating and generating hot air!

    The same scenario is being repeated in Sri Lanka. The point at issue is the number of civilian deaths that occurred during the closing stages of the war. There is an easy way to ascertain the truth. Interview all the widows in the Northern and Eastern provinces of the country and specifically find out how they lost their husbands. There are more than 100,000 of them. A survey could be conducted among all the widowers too, to find out how they lost their wives. Interview everyone who lost a family member and ascertain how exactly they lost them

    But of course, the GOSL will never conduct such a survey and interview the surviving members of families who lost someone in the war. You know the reason why!

  • 3
    0

    Addendum:

    Not only HOW they lost family members but WHEN they lost them.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.