How long can the Sri Lankan government hoodwink the UN and international community?

May 31, 2018 Asia , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

vikalpa photo

 

By

Kumarathasan Rasingam

 

 

The Sri Lankan State runs on Sinhala Buddhist chauvinism, the Maha Sanga and the Buddhist Clergy. The Sri Lankan State has to obtain the blessings of these people to enact any laws regarding devolution of powers to the Tamils in the North and East of Sri Lanka and the participation of foreign judges to investigate the war crimes committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces.

 

The President of Sri Lanka has openly said on several occasions that he will not allow anyone to punish any soldier who participated in the war. He also openly stated that he will never allow foreign judges or investigators to investigate the Sri Lankan soldiers.


The Government has shown no genuine interest in security sector reform. Pervasive militarization and the concomitant lack of accountability for past abuses have ensured that human rights violations in the country’s north and east remain widespread.

 

It is to be noted what the Chief Minister of Northern Province Hon. C. Wigneswaran [Attorney at law and former Judge] said on the occasion of the Genocide Remembrance Day and remembering those dead during the war in Mullivakkal on May 18th 2018.

 

Wigneswaran accused the Sri Lankan State of being communal. “Those in the highest echelons of power have been heard to say that they will not allow even a single Sinhalese soldier to go to jail. Does that mean criminality depends on one’s race and community?” he asked. “We have no paucity for Sinhala politicians who consider any offence committed against the Tamils by a Soldier is no offence at all,” he pointed out.

 

Wigneswaran recalled that Sri Lanka had consented to install a hybrid Inquiry Panel before the world body and pointed out that now it refuses to abide by its promise. “This would point out to the world the manner in which our successive governments for 70 years have deceived and fooled our Tamil people,” he said.

 

The culture of impunity still continues under this so call “Good Governance” The draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act is still in force. The Government promised to repeal this Act to the United Nations and European Union long ago and was successful in obtaining its GSP + concessions from the EU by making false promises, cheating and by persuading the EU officials.

 

Sri Lanka has failed in its commitments to the UN and the International Community and has succeeded in hoodwinking in myriad ways so far and will continue to pursue these tactics in future also.

 

Sri Lanka having co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 in 2015 and 34/1 in 2017 cannot go back on it now. Sri Lanka cannot dodge the implementation of the Resolutions fully.

 

It is shocking to note that the International Community and the United Nations giving time extensions to implement the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 ever after knowing the GOSL’s policy of promising everything and doing nothing.

 

 

GOSL’s Lessons learnt and Reconciliation Commission:

Interim recommendations: Govt. of Sri Lanka failed to fulfill its own recommendations even after 8 years?

 

In September 2010 the LLRC published its interim recommendations:

 

  • A special mechanism should be created to examine the cases of long term detainees on a case-by-case basis;
  • A list of names of those in detention be published;
  • Released detainees should be issued with a certificate of discharge so that they are not taken into custody again;
  • Delays in the legal system should be looked into;
  • The government should issue a clear policy statement that private land will not be used for government backed settlements;
  • Illegal armed groups be disarmed (high priority);
  • Immediate steps be taken so that the public can communicate with officials and receive documents in a language that they understand;
  • Free movement on the A9 highway should be encouraged; and
  • There should be better coordination and communication between government agents and the security forces in normalising civil administration.

 

Sri Lanka is reluctant to speed up the judicial process regarding the long standing killings of the following due to the alleged involvement of Security Forces:

 

December 26, 2005 – Mr. Pararajasingham, who was a senior Tamil National Alliance (TNA) figure, and the MP for Batticaloa district, was shot and killed by two gunmen whilst he was attending Christmas prayers at the St Mary’s church in Batticaloa town and his wife, Sugunam Pararajasingham was seriously wounded in the gunfire.

 

January 02, 2006 – Five High School students were killed in Trincomalee [alleged to be killed by Sri Lankan Special Task Force [STF] while they were playing in the beach.

 

January 08, 2009 – Lasantha Wickrematunge, one of Sri Lanka’s leading journalists, a freelance reporter for TIME and an outspoken critic of the Sri Lankan government, was shot as he drove to work in Colombo, his country’s capital. He later died of his injuries.

 

August 4 & 5 2006 – 17 Tamil Employees of the French NGO Action Against Hunger [ACF] were shot dead at close range in the city of Muttur near Trincomalee. Sri Lanka. Alleged killers are the Army & Police.

 

April 28, 2005 – Taraki Sivaram or Dharmeratnam Sivaram was a popular Tamil journalist of Sri Lanka. He was kidnapped by four men in a white van on 28 April 2005, in front of the Bambalapitya police station. His body was found the next day in the district of Himbulala, near the Parliament of Sri Lanka. He had been beaten and shot in the head.

 

November 10, 2006 – Nadarajah Raviraj was a leading Tamil Lawyer and Member of Parliament in Sri Lanka representing Jaffna Electorate. Being a human rights activist he took active role in finding justice to the oppressed Tamils in Sri Lanka and he was shot dead in Colombo on 10th November 2005.

 

 

Missing Journalist: [Since January 24, 2010 [Alleged to be abducted by pro Govt. Supporters]


Prageeth Eknaligoda is a cartoonist, political analyst and journalist. He was reported missing on January 24, 2010 – Members of his family believe he has been abducted by pro-government supporters because he was investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons.

 

In addition to these there are numerous similar killings and abduction by the infamous White Vans. [Alleged to be operated under the direction of the former Defence Minister Gotabaya Rajapaksha [brother of former President of Sri Lanka – Mahinda Rajapaksha]

 

In conclusion it is now high time for the United Nations and the International Community to show its genuine concern towards human rights and rule of law.

 

Tamils all over the world [90 million] living in Sri Lanka, India, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius and those migrated in millions to Europe, Canada, USA, Australia, New Zealand immediately after the pogrom against the Tamils in 1983 when the Tamils were killed in thousands and burnt alive, their houses, shops, establishments and temples looted and set on fire.

 

Unless otherwise drastic actions like economic sanctions, diplomatic sanctions are implemented as requested by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva for Sri Lankan’s defiance and delaying tactics in implementing its own sponsored UN Resolution of 30/1 and 34/1, Sri Lanka will continue in its usual delaying tactics.

 

The United Nations and the International Community are duty bound to consider the plea of the Tamils in Sri Lanka in the North and East for a United Nations supervised referendum for the people of the land in the North and East to decide their future [as stipulated in the UN Charter].

 

Tamils are demanding their lost Kingdom which existed before the arrival of European conquerors.

 

The United Kingdom is responsible for the amalgamation of the Tamil Kingdom and Sinhalese Kingdom for the easy administrative purposes. They should have handed over the Tamils’ land [North and East to the Tamils]. Instead, the United Kingdom handed over the entire Island to the majority Sinhalese, a blunder which caused all these miseries and losses of lives and land to the Tamil people in the North and East.

 

It is not too late for the United Kingdom, United Nations and other civilized democratic countries to consider the plight of the Tamils since independence from the British and right the wrongs without further delay.

 

 

Better Late Than Never

 

 

 

 

Kumarathasan Rasingam

Kumarathasan Rasingam

Kumarathasan Rasingam, a Human Rights activist and former President of the Tamil Canadian Elders for Human Rights Organization, migrated to Canada from Sri Lanka in April 2011.

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