| by Gajalakshmi Paramasivam
( June 10, 2014, Melbourne, Sri Lanka Guardian) As per current news from the Tamil Diaspora – Ms Sandra Beidas has been appointed by the UN to be the Senior Coordinator of the UN body that has been empowered to investigate claims of war crimes by both sides to the Sri Lankan war. As per the report ‘Ms Sandra Beidas has been declared “Persona Non Grata” by Somalia in 2011 and South Sudan in 2012’.
The purpose of the investigation needs to be towards preventing future wars from within by the dissatisfied at grassroots level and not for Sri Lanka to be taken over by the USA through the UN. The authority to investigate was through majority vote and the status of the work needs to be at the level of the proposer who felt the pain – i.e. – the USA. If therefore the USA would not hire Ms Sandra Beidas to investigate its own armed personnel’s conduct in war – it ought to object to the appointment of Ms Sandra Beidas who carries negative status allocated by two countries with equal voting status as the USA, in terms of UN activities.
Given that this exercise does not have legal status, the findings need to be as natural as possible – with the investigating body including citizens of Sri Lanka made up of 50% Tamils and 50% Sinhalese making up a total equal in number to the UN personnel in that body. The Sri Lankan representatives need to be from the respective groups that would be most affected by the investigations. Any work undertaken by such a body carrying the spirit of equality – would contribute to natural prevention of war. The expected requirement of any global body is that it should not have greater powers than any other member. Status of one may be higher for functional purposes – but the number of participants for the other side needs to be more to maintain the equality balance – especially where decisions are made through votes rather than common laws and principles.