| by Robinhood

( March 26, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The 25th session of the UNHRC is seeking its decisive fourth week not only creating a division among the member states but a creating sharp division among the Diaspora. The unofficial discussion about the resolution held on the 18th Tuesday at room number 22 at the Play De Nasion in Geneva. 

An outstanding characteristic which could be found is that the friendly nations which were against the resolution that is Cuba, Vietnam, China, Russia, Pakistan and Egypt has thanked the co sponsors of the resolution. This is due to including their viewpoints in the resolution. From this it appears that there is a conventional joint approach shown by the co sponsors. This would pave the way for an effective discussion for in the next round. 

From the very outset and from it responses it is clear that the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) has a reluctance to get critics over its accountability process. It appears the GOSL is ready to face any challenges despite getting observed. The dislike to get monitored from observers is apparent from its tenacious attitude. This brings a clear indication of dishonesty and treachery in its own domestic accountability and credibility. Therefore an international inquiry legitimizes the fact to bring true justice for the bereaved. 

These changes were made only in the 25th preface sections and not in the 10 recommendation sections. As a matter of fact from these recommendations the 8th one is a decisive. Following the recommendations and the conclusion of the UN High Commissioner about the continuous violation of Human Rights abuse and taking into consideration the necessity of an international inquiry in the absence of a practical and an effective domestic mechanism and calling the UN high commissioner’s office;

  • a. To assess and continuously monitor the progress of the Human Rights situation and the National Reconciliation actions.
  • b. To get help of technical experts to ascertain the crimes and violation, under which circumstance the Human Rights violation and abuse were committed by both parties and to investigate such crimes and prevent impunity.
  • c. To make the 27th of the UNHRC session as a verbal update about the implementation of the resolution and to submit a comprehensive report on the 28th session and discuss further.
  • The third unofficial discussion was subjected around this recommendation. Three criticisms were adduced by member states that were against the resolution. First is that there is no legal right and capacity for the UNHR to implement such a commission. Second there is no time frame given to implement the resolution. Third there is no specific indication of the technical experts involved. (In the first draft it was stated there would be a special representative from the UN who will be assigned to investigate)
 An outstanding feature of this discussion was the recognition given the report submitted by Ms. Navi Pille during her visit to Sri Lanka. For instance the answer to the question rose as to why the Weliweriya massacre report was not made public? The answer was that it was included in her report. The criticism alleging the attacks faced by minority community are false too was subjugated by her report.

The antagonistic approach shown by the Sri Lankan government against the visit made by Ms. Navi Pille was based by a chaos made by an insignificant Singhalese extremist group who does not know about international politics. According to her report nearly four ministers made contemptuous statements against her visit. During her visit President Rajapaksa made a visit to see the cornered dictator of Belarus and made a reprehensive statement against the UNHRC. The extremist nurtured by the regime insulted Navi Pille as just a Tamil woman yet again proving their blind in Human Rights. 

From the responds of the co sponsors of the resolution it appears the international investigation against Sri Lanka would depend solely on the UNHR office. Responding to the criticism made against the council stating that it has no powers or experience the Macedonian ambassador Dusko Urnosvisky said in 1994 the UN General assembly has adopted and vested this power to the council under sub section B. Adding a point to that the senior Human Rights representative from UK Bobby Lastee said in 1993 in Georgia, in 1998 in Afghanistan, in 2002 in Columbia, in 2004 in Cambodia, in 2005 in Togo, in 2009 in Honduras, in 2011 in Syria, in 2012 in Nepal there were similar inquiry commissions established. 

The reason to keep an open time period is to independently investigate the inquiry mechanism. The US assistant ambassador Ms. Paula Schriefer said for instance if anybody wants to inquire the incidents in 1983 they can do so or as an alternative they can include the time period taken to learn the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission that is from 2002 to 2009. 

Ms. Paula Schriefer said who will investigate the commission is still not pronounced as the commissioner’s office can flexibly choose the required person which will be done according to the UN procedure. 

During the parallel meeting held last Wednesday relating to Sri Lanka Dr. Varadarajah who addressed the meeting said that the Sri Lankan Government deliberately failed to supply medicine for the injured and allowed to bleed and die and watching them die still concatenated in his mind. Many foreign representatives who were present to listen to his testimony and the director of Human Rights Watch Geneva Ms. Julie De Rivero presented her statements as evidence. Mean time Callum Mcrae of Channel 4 demonstrated a video of Dr. Varadarajah attending to the injured in the war zone.

On the 21st during a parallel meeting a report on alleged sexual violence and torture is due to be submitted by Ms. Yezmin Sooka who was a member of the South African truth seeking commission.
Amid these developments it appears the Tamil Diaspora has split in to two, favorable and unfavorable to the resolution. A member of the Diaspora community who participated in the third unofficial discussion strongly asserted that this resolution does not lead to justice or any progress for the affected Tamil community. During the first week Ms. Anandi Sasidaran who addressed the gathering said that this resolution has collapsed the progress of the Tamil people’s aspirations. It is believed that this statement would take a high profile in the media communiqué in the Geneva Pres Club. Rohitha Bashana Abeywardana, Gajendra Kumar Ponnambalam, Kumar Vadiwel and Gurubaran would participate in the communiqué. The common opinion of the Tamil Diaspora which is against the resolution is to certify that there was Genocide occurred against the Sri Lankan Tamil community therefore to hold a referendum in the North East of Sri Lanka and to establish an independent Ealam state. Due to the comparative power and diffusion in the UNHRC it is not practical to ask for such a proposal. 

From the very outset and from it responses it is clear the GOSL has a reluctance to get critics over its accountability process. The dislike to get monitored from observers is apparent from its tenacious attitude. There is a clear indication of dishonesty and treachery in its own domestic accountability and its credibility. Therefore an international inquiry legitimizes the fact to bring true justice for the bereaved. 

Robinhood – Human Rights Defender

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