Ban Ki-moon excels in double standards

(March 13, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian)We have always held the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in scant regard. His recent pronouncement on Gaddafi’s crimes against humanity viewed in relation to the massacres of innocent Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka between January and May 2009 smacks of double standards. This is no surprise to us. Nevertheless, we wish to place this instance on record. In our estimation he is the worst and the most despicable Secretary General that the UN has ever had. To say the least, he is ineffective and lacks the slightest modicum of integrity. What is worse is that he is surrounded by unscrupulous persons who can stop in our view to the lowest depths as water seeking its own level. He was brought into office because the former US president George W Bush wanted a person lacking in spine. It is apparent that Moon’s agenda are never on the Table but always under it.

The number and the scale of those being destroyed by Col. Gaddafi are nowhere near the tens of thousands of non combatant Sri Lankan Tamils massacred by the Rajapakse government. The people who are now being massacred by Gaddafi are those persons who have been protesting and demonstrating on the streets of Libya, some non-violently and some using some crude weapons. The Sri Lankan Tamil civilians, the old, the infirm, the children, women, patients in hospitals that were bombed, massacred and poison gases used against were no demonstrators. Their only crime if any was that they were passive Tamils of whom many in desperation looked to liberation from the atrocities of the Sri Lankan racist terrorist State. This does not mean that we in anyway are diminished or diluted in the expression of the solidarity and support for the struggle of the Libyan people against the atrocities, the oppression of a terrorist State, headed by Gaddafi riddled with tribalism and dynastic considerations, controlled by his sons and other close relatives.

Ban Ki-moon in a recent televised interview with the BBC called for sanctions against Gaddafi for the matter be referred to the International court of criminal justice for investigation into crimes against humanity and war crimes and for the matter be referred to the UN Security Council, and justifiably so. The question is why the double standard. The answer is that he knows which way the wind is blowing as much as the US diplomat Robert Blake who has now changed his tune making a stronger case for international accountability for the Sri Lankan genocide and its continuing crimes against humanity for the reason that the US now insist on having Gaddafi, tried for war crimes. At least now Blake has got some sense in him.

Gaddafi has been a traditional foe of the West especially the US though he tried to befriend them soon after the invasion of Iraq. Although to the US Gaddafi is a son of a bitch, he is not their son of a bitch like Hosni Mubarak of Egypt for whom they would have stuck their neck out but his crimes were too overwhelming to do so. Gaddafi must go, but the Libyan people evidently do not want any other power to step into their territory and we hope the international community will respect their aspirations and act accordingly.

Gaddafi came to power as a pseudo revolutionary and a socialist of sorts using anti western rhetoric. Having come to power he soon sought to establish a terrorist State amassing its wealth from oil controlling, building and consolidating his dynasty often claiming that only he could destroy Libya. Now he is blaming the Al Qaeda for his current plight. Gaddafi’s fall is only a matter of time.

It would be recalled that a few weeks before the intended massacre of innocent Tamils in the Vanni in 2009 a pre emptive mission to placate Moon was made by the President Rajapakse’s brother Basil, one in the Rajapakse dynasty, the very perpetrators of the massacre, by meeting him in advance. Moon thereafter stated: "The Sri Lankan issue is not, in fact, on the Security Council agenda and the respect for the sovereignty of Member States is another principle I firmly bear in mind…”. In hindsight, it is now clear that Ban Ki-moon was implicitly privy to the conspiracy with the Rajapakse brothers who had decided that the only way to winning the war against the Tamil militants entailed the massacre of innocent Tamils too notwithstanding the number. In the backdrop of Moon’s statement should be viewed the fact that between February and May 2009, he was being briefed by his own representative in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss that the figure of the Tamil civilians being killed was amounting to 35,000 to 40,000,which Moon chose conveniently to ignore. He preferred to be guided by his chief of staff. Vijay Nambiar, the “honest” broker from India.

Soon after the completion of the war, along with Vijay Nambiar, now deemed a war criminal, Ban Ki-moon, it would be recalled, toured the Vanni area by air . Thereafter, as if by design, he was met in the hill capital of Kandy to be entertained by the Rajapakse brothers to a sumptuous dinner before he left Sri Lanka. Apparently on their advice, he avoided meeting a delegation of Tamils led by the TNA the principal Tamil party in parliament waiting to meet him before he left thus failing in his duty to hear their side thus denying them even the basic tenet of natural justice.

Subsequently, Moon was to state to the CNN at an interview, on what he saw on the ground on his inspection flight immediately after the war: “I was so sad and I was so humbled by what I have seen”. When asked whether heavy weapons had been used his doctored view was that he had no clear evidence of it. What is important to note is that unlike in the case of Libya, Ban Ki-moon was taken on a guided tour to see the carnage on the innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka, to get first hand information presumably for Moon to give a report salutary to the government but he could not but be betrayed by his own conscience, if he has any, to say what he stated to the CNN. Devoid of independent media or international NGOs banned at the scene of the massacres, Moon was guided by what he chose to see and also by a humbug.

It would be recalled that in late April 2009 in an interview with Al Jazeera, Palitha Kohonna the Sri Lankan secretary to its foreign affairs at the time and currently its Ambassador to the UN, another alleged war criminal contradicting his statement made two weeks prior to that completely denying the aerial bombings on civilian targets including hospitals by the Sri Lankan government within its farcical No Fire Zone (NFZ), finally admitted when confronted with pictures of them, justifying that this act of genocide as being a retaliation "perfectly legitimate", against guns located on the ground, stating that the attacks were proportionate, when in actual fact, they were an act of indiscriminate aggression and by no means self-defense. Subsequently in an interview to the Himal journal he stated he was misquoted.

Ban Ki-moon’s love affair with the Sri Lankan establishment began when in his capacity as South Korea’s foreign minister, he donated on behalf of his government monies for the December 2004 Tsunami relief handed personally to a top Sri Lankan politician. As to where and how they were expended was none of his concern for he was more interested in soliciting Sri Lanka‘s vote for his election as Secretary General of the UN. Corruption is not one sided. Now he is working hard for a second term and the Libyan episode provides him an excellent opportunity.

Having come from a culture of corrupt politics with his president (of South Korea) committing suicide in shame to recompense his much publicized corruption, Ban Ki-moon was in familiar territory when it came to dealing with the Sri Lankan authorities. Moon is a disgrace to the international community of which the UN is part.

It is little wonder that the alleged war criminals of Sri Lanka like Palitha Kohonna and his assistant Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva, strange bedfellows enjoying diplomatic immunity against international prosecution.

In the interests of international justice, equity and fairness it is time that the international community prosecute those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka along with the crimes of the brother leader Gaddafi, his close relatives and associates for the same kind of crimes in Libya. In fighting terrorism, the world must be rid of all manner of it including the use of the State apparatus as a weapon of terrorism to further oppress its peoples.

(The writer, editor of the EelamNation, an online journal)

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