Nearly 2 and a half years later, and despite Sri Lanka’s commitment to a credible investigation into war-time abuses, the U.N. has yet to issue a firm public call for an independent inquiry into the war.
Monthly Archives: November 2012
But it is his response to the final, bloody months of Sri Lanka’s decades-long civil war — a human rights calamity that has largely fallen below the radar of most global policymakers — that may ultimately do more to shape his legacy, and that of the United Nations, as a defender of human rights…
“Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN,” the report concluded…
The U.N. chief has never authorized an independent investigation, arguing that only an intergovernmental organization like the U.N. Security Council or the Human Rights Council has the power to do it. (That hasn’t happened)…
“You had a crisis that unfolded before the eyes of the United Nations and the major powers and no action was taken,” [Steven Ratner] said. “Everything was done in a very quiet way. I think it’s a terrible defeat and setback for the whole commitment to R2P.”
“The U.N. struggled to exert influence on the Government which, with the effective acquiescence of a post-9/11 world order, was determined to defeat militarily an organization designated as terrorist. Some have argued that many deaths could have been averted had the Security Council and the Secretariat, backed by the U.N. country team, spoken out loudly early on, notably by publicizing the casualty numbers. Others say that the question is less whether the U.N. should assume responsibility for the tragedy, but more whether it did everything it could to assist the victims.”
Failure to respond to this crisis happened in Washington, DC, too. Anti-genocide groups that formed in the wake of the Darfur genocide did not rouse their constituencies around the mass atrocity in Sri Lanka. You barely heard from these groups, let alone see the kind of public awareness raising campaign that has made organizations like the Enough Project so effective in moving public opinion and shaping policy…The institutional standard bearers of the anti-genocide movement failed to respond to the singly worst atrocity since Darfur.
“Events in Sri Lanka mark a grave failure of the UN to adequately respond… during the final stages of the conflict and its aftermath, to the detriment of hundreds of thousands of civilians.”
by British Tamil Forum, November 10, 2012 The World Tamil Conference held in London in the British Houses of parliament last week endorsed a historic resolution, stressing “the United Nation member states to urgently set up an ‘international independent investigation’ into the complete conduct of the Sri Lankan State against the Tamil Nation and specifically… Read more »
In his second term, will President Obama elevate himself to the rank of an admirable statesman? Can Eelam Tamils expect something better than his previous performance?
“We must contest every single inch of ground and delay the baby-murdering, tax-raising socialists at every opportunity. But in due time, the maggots will have eaten every morsel of flesh off of the rotting corpse of the Republic, and therein lies our opportunity… Why should Vermont and Texas live under the same government? Let each go her own way in peace, sign a free trade agreement among the states and we can avoid this gut-wrenching spectacle every four years.”
“Our policy is not to contain China,” said George E. Little, the Pentagon press secretary. “It’s to continue to strengthen our defense relationships with our allies and partners in the Asia-Pacific.”
The Obama administration, if eager to maintain a good relationship with Sri Lanka, especially given its strategic location in the Indian Ocean, has also expressed concerns about the government’s human rights record.
According to what the former Attorney-General Mohan Peiris told Xinhua newsagency on the same day (5 November), the Army Court of Inquiry has had only 50 sittings for the whole of last ten months. That is little more than one sitting per week. It has only recorded statements from only 20 witnesses. These statistics speak very poorly of the so-called investigations now going on or claimed to be going on. It is not clear how many cases or incidents that they have been investigating. All these are kept as guarded secrets. That is why these investigations are considered like ‘asking evidence from robber’s mother’ (horage ammagen sakki aheema). It should be kept in mind that these are only preliminary inquiries. For any military prosecution, the cases have to be filed before the General Court Martial.
By design or accident, Weiss has conveniently ignored the contributions of CIA to the Sri Lankan civil war in his book of 342 pages. This is more exasperating, as he was “the United Nations spokesperson in Sri Lanka”! Phew! He cannot claim ignorance.
In conclusion, I will say, by talking and writing in the same manner as Rajakarunanayake, all Sinhala Buddhist governments have managed for 65 years to achieve their goal with maximum success. If they can manage in the same manner for another 10 years, there won’t be any more ethnic issue in Sri Lanka.
This is the reason the people, leaders in Tamil Nadu and India who have strong linguistic, cultural, religious, social and economic connections in Sri Lanka are looking in a pragmatic way to sort out the ethnic problem meaningfully and at the earliest.
The people and the government of India co-operated well with Sri Lanka in bringing the war to an end. Now there is nothing wrong in them finding all available mechanisms to find a peaceful solution where all can live in peace and harmony in Sri Lanka.
Of 26 voluntary commitments maden i 2008, Sri Lanka has fulfilled just two. Similarly,
out of 45 accepted recommendations, only 5 have been implemented. Continuing its
deteriorating human rights record, as of May 2009 Sri Lanka stands accused of war
crimes, crimes against humanity, and gross violations of human rights.
Mr. Reed was U.S. ambassador to the Indian Ocean island republic of Sri Lanka and the Maldives in 1976-77 and again from 1981 to 1985, serving the first stint under President Gerald R. Ford and his second under President Ronald Reagan.
At the time, the Sri Lankan government reportedly was seeking U.S. military equipment to combat the Tamil rebels who were fighting for an independent state in the northern part of the country. The bloody guerrilla war began in 1983 and lasted 26 years, until the government defeated the so-called Tamil Tigers. Tens of thousands of lives were lost on both sides in addition to environmental and economic destruction.
AI Enforced Disappearances Oct 30 2012 AI index: ASA 37/011/2012 30 October 2012 Sri Lanka: Continuing impunity, arbitrary detentions, torture and enforced disappearances On Thursday 1 November, the UN Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the human rights situation in Sri Lanka will take place – the first such review since May 2008, when the government… Read more »