BY H.L.D. MAHINDAPALA
The increasing interventionist role of the UN and its agencies, mainly the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), in the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka, seen especially in the unwarranted excesses listed in the latest Michelle Bachelet’s report, threatening, for instance, to report Sri Lanka to ICJ, should come under unrelenting scrutiny to expose its (1) disproportionate scrutiny and intervention of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in the domestic affairs particularly when M. A. Sumanthiran says that progress has been made though not to their satisfaction; (2) partisan selectivity manipulated by pro-Tamil/LTTE agents abroad, including TNA, NGOs, INGOs.
All these players have been complicit in one form or another, by word or by deed, in the crimes against humanity committed by the LTTE and (3) politicisation to appease the Big Brothers who are engaged in twisting the arm of Sri Lanka to serve the urgent interests in combatting and containing China.
So, when Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, pretend to be the moral high priestess supervising all that is not to her liking on earth, she must be told in no uncertain terms that in burying the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), the immediate predecessor to UNHRC, Kofi Annan, the former Secretary-General, quite rightly pinpointed that it was put six feet under because meddlesome interlopers such as Bachelet overstepped their mark and violated the three evils mentioned above.
She must also be reminded that the new UNHRC was established not for the likes of Bachelets to go back to the rotten old ways of the buried UNCHR but to hold the balance and steer human rights justly, even-handedly and proportionately to achieve the long-term interests of the human rights of all and not just those who are vindictively waging a war in Geneva to get even with the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) for crushing Tamil terrorists banned by the world.
Take the case of M.A. Sumanthiran, the current holy cow of Tamil politics, manipulating with the American Ambassadress, Alaina B. Teplitz, to fix Sri Lanka in the coming session of UNHRC on human rights principles. Not so long ago he was on the other side, going on his bended knee to Velupillai Prabhakaran. During that time, he had no qualms in pledging loyalty to him as the supreme leader of the Tamils when he knew that he had killed more Tamils than any other.
To this day he has not apologised to the Tamil people for collaborating with the Tamil Pol Pot and willingly being a part of his killing machine. At least Adolf Eichmann had a rather tenuous excuse for being a part of Hitler’s killing machine. He claimed that he was only a cog in the wheel of the Nazi system and he had no choice. He said he was merely carrying out orders. But Sumanthiram had a choice. There was no compulsion for him to be an integral part of Prabhakaran’s killing machine. He did it on his own, voluntarily, agreeing to be a partner in crimes against humanity, particularly the crimes against his fellow Tamils.
For instance, did he once go with a Tamil parent to Tamil Chelvam, to plead for the life of an abducted schoolgirl or schoolboy? He is a lawyer. Did he ever file a case in Prabhakaran’s court complaining about the violation of the fundamental rights of Tamils in his quasi-state? Did he go to the American Ambassador and put pressure on him/her to protect the dignity, justice, equality and peace of the Tamils denied by his ‘sole representative of the Tamils’?
Today, he says that truth will set him free, quoting the Bible. True. So when will he liberate himself from the web of lies in which he is trapped and walk as a free man? Also, will the American Ambassadress hold the hand of Prabhakaran’s partner in crimes against humanity and escort him to Geneva for him to pose as champion of human rights?
Both of them will find themselves quite at home because UNHRC is built on lies, biases and frauds. John Bolton, the arch conservative, was right when he said that “US did not have sufficient confidence to be able to say that HRC would be better than its predecessor” (p.56) the United Nations Human Rights Council, Rosa Freedman, Routledge). He added: “If the UN Secretariat building in New York lost ten storeys, it wouldn’t make a little bit of difference.” (ibid – p. 156). In any case, the UN and its agencies have been taken over from time to time by war criminals, liars, frauds, sex maniacs, morally blind hypocrites that one more going from Jaffna will not make much of a difference to UN’s moral failure to be a universal instrument for peace, justice and the security of imperilled man.
A quick glance at some facts will reveal why humanity cannot depend on the UN as an instrument for the overall good of man:
Between 1972 and 1981 the UN – the highest instrumentality set up to protect human rights – was run by a war criminal: Kurt Waldheim. As lieutenant in the Nazi killing machine he operated in Greece where more than 60,000 were deported to Jewish death camps. He had no qualms. Waldheim served as Secretary – General for two terms. Is this the institution that is now pointing a finger at Sri Lanka?
On February 5, 2005 Colin Powell, Secretary of State for Bush, deliberately lied to the Security Council, saying that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction from inspectors and refusing to disarm. The unpardonable immorality of the UN-sanctioned lies diminishes the credibility of the UN making accusations against other countries. In the case of Sri Lanka it’s worse. A case is constructed against Sri Lanka by the three hand-picked characters sitting in New York and collecting the evidence of accusers whose names will not be revealed for the next thirty years. What credibility or justice will there be in a case built out of anonymous accusers whose identity will not be revealed for the next thirty years?
UN-sanctioned naval cordon thrown around Iraq killed 600,000 children and when Madeleine Albright, America’s State Secretary, was asked whether the price was worth for achieving the aims of the West in Iraq she replied that the price was worth it. This figure of 600,000 amounts to more than all the children killed in Hiroshima. UNHRC is crying its heart out, wringing its hands, on an unverified figure of 40,000 dead between September 2008 and May 2009. Leaving all other factors out, at least on the principle of proportionality will Bachelet report Albright to the ICJ? She can do it because there is no statute of limitation for crimes against humanity. Will she do it?
Derek Halliday, former Assistant Secretary General of UN in charge of Humanitarian Operation in Iraq said that the West is waging a war through UN on the people of Iraq, with results that you do not expect to see in a war fought under Geneva Conventions.
“We are targeting civilians… it’s monstrous situation for UN, for the Western world, for all who are part of some democratic system and the implementation of economic sanctions”.
Halliday calls it genocide and believes when history books are written the Security Council, the UN, Washington and London will be ’slaughtered’ for their actions (British Medical Journal – March 11, 2000. John Pilger’s documentary Paying the Price – the killing of the children of Iraq.)
Fact 5 :
Under UN Security Council Resolution 819 Srebrenica enclave was declared a safe area by UN. The safety status was extended to Sarajevo, Zepa Gorazde, Tuzla Bihac. All cities were placed under UN peacekeeping units UNPROFOR. Member states who voted for it were for political reasons not willing to take necessary steps to ensure the security of the safe areas When the Muslims of Srebrenica were panicking fearing the imminent attacks from Serbs the overall UN Commander rushed and assured the Muslims that they are safe because they are under the protection of UN forces.
The next day under the very eyes of the of UN forces commanded by a Dutch unit 8,000 Muslim men and boys were massacred in a pre-planned genocidal attack. The Dutch state was found liable in the Dutch supreme court and the Hague district court of failing to do enough to prevent more than 300 deaths. (Wikipedia)
In the Darusman Report the GOSL is accused of firing into zones declared as No Fire Zones. This is denied by the GOSL. But let’s assume that it did happen. Unwittingly the Darusman Report provides the answer. It says that the LTTE placed military equipment where civilians were to provoke fire from GOSL forces.
GOSL forces did not rush into the No Fire Zone to launch a genocidal attack under the blind eyes of the UN. It was reacting to provocative fire from the LTTE. This is different from UN forces turning a blind eye to the genocidal attack on Muslims who were in the UN protected Safe Zone. If anything near to what happened in Srebrenica happened in the No fire Zone in the last days of the 33-year-old battle against terrorism Ms. Bachelet would have danced by now.
The overall pattern emerging from her irate report indicates that she is in cahoots with the NGOs, anti-Sri Lankan Western powers who overlook – and even defend – the violations of human rights of their allies, the Tamil diaspora, India with its pinch-the-baby-and-rock-the-cradle policy – all of which is taking UNHRC down the very same path that led to the burial of UNCHR.
To understand the inexcusable immorality on which the whole attack on Sri Lanka is based one has to look at the framework on which it stands. Organised Tamil violence against the democratically elected began officially when the Vellala elite declared war in the Vadukoddai Resolution on May 14, 1976 urging the Tamil youth to take up arms and never rest until they achieve Eelam.
Since then they have financed it, mobilised cadres for it, internationalised it, lobbied and raised funds for Tamil terrorism in every available corner of earth for it, manufactured theories and excuses for violations of human rights and crimes against humanity, glorified war crimes, triumphantly hailed every killing and/or massacre that led to territorial gains, demonised or eliminated any potential rivals including the cream of Tamil elite, justified the suppression of all liberties that denied the dignity, justice, liberty and peace etc.
This ran for 33-years with the backing of the Diaspora, local elite and even at time with the support of India who never fails to profess eternal friendship with Sri Lanka. It ended on May 19, 2009. Now here comes the irony of ironies. In its infinite wisdom UN pundits pick only eight months out of 33 years to accuse Sri Lanka in the main of violating human rights and subjecting Sri Lanka only to the severe strictures and judgment of the UNHRC and UN.
The unanswered – and even the unasked — question why limit the judgment on a battle against terrorism of 33 years to the last eight months only? On what logic? On what rationale? And who was it who drew up the dates? For what reasons?
The dates were arbitrarily determined by the three UN zombies sitting in New York for their convenience. They were not after serving justice or peace, or human rights, or the truth. They were out to pick bits and pieces from wherever they could, stitch them together as ‘credible evidence’ and hang Sri Lanka at the end of their rope.
Apart from their personal convenience there is a grand design behind it. It was the only way they could eliminate all the other responsible actors in originating, causing, promoting, financing, and directing a needless battle and pin it exclusively on Sri Lanka. It provided the rationale for the whole world to gang up against Sri Lanka as the only culprit responsible for the 40,000 (a figure picked out of the skies) that died in the last days of the battle against terrorism.
This arbitrary dating avoids (1) the key issue of crimes against peace committed by the Tamil leadership under the Charter of the Nuremburg Tribunal principle where they planned and conspired and made preparations for waging a war of aggression – the principle under which the Nazi war criminals were tried and sentenced – in passing the Vadukoddai Resolution on May 14, 1976 declaring war against the democratically elected government of Sri Lanka; (2) the interventionist role of India which engaged in deliberately pursuing a policy of aggression in recruiting, training, financing and directing Tamil terrorists to destabilise a friendly neighbour violating universally accepted international law ; (3) the guilt of Western nations which provided safe havens for agents of Tamil terrorists to raise funds and propagandise terrorism violating Resolution 1373 of the UN; (d) war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the IPKF in massacring patients, doctors, nurses in the Jaffna Hospital etc., (e) the issue of safe havens given in Western countries to LTTE agents who had directly aided and abetted the violations of human rights and been an active part of the killing machine of Tamil terrorists (f) the refusal to give information on LTTE agents hiding in Western havens as refugees fleeing from the GOSL, thereby hampering the overall attempt to bring justice and reconciliation based finding the truth, etc.
It is the responsibility of Ms. Bachelet, if her office is genuinely concerned about dealing with human rights issues to help the GOSL with these issues instead of passing the buck to GOSL on every minor issue. For instance, it is immoral for her to limit her investigations arbitrarily only to the last eight months of a 33-year-old battle against terrorism.
If truth finding is vital for reconciliation and peace then revisiting the past – the entire length and breadth – is imperative to arrive at a fair and reasonable judgment. If she sits in Geneva like the Darusman zombies in New York and continues to pass judgment impulsively, with eyes wide shut, she will be doing a disservice to the reputation and viability of UNHRC. Even at this stage she has to take a holistic view of the crisis and be fair by all parties.
UNHRC has been battered by all sides. It has been used mainly by the US to wipe its feet whenever it decides to get out or come in. Her task is to lift the UNHRC to a new level of respectability and acceptability. Can she do it? Can she make a difference? Her latest report indicates that she has the capacity to act only like the monkey dancing to the organ grinders behind her. There is no great achievement in becoming a Ditto head to the paymasters. Any mug could do it. It is Ms. Michelle Batchelet’s turn to write a new chapter to the UNHRC. She should, for instance, go back to the beginning and start from the Declaration of War by the Tamils against the democratically elected state and see how it went all the way to Nandikadal. The Declaration of War took place in Vadukoddai and though it’s a short distance as the crow flies to Nandikadal where it ended it took 33 years.
How fair is it, Madam, to judge a journey of 33 years with the events of only last eight months, eh? Can it serve truth and justice? Doesn’t it all come back to the original sins of selectivity and politicisation? You didn’t break through the glass ceiling just to follow in the footsteps of the male chauvinists, did you Madam?