UN High Commissioner’ s report
- It is meticulously detailed, painstakingly crafted and scrupulously structured
- Why is this bleeding hearted humanitarianism not manifested elsewhere
Sri Lankan Ambassador to China Dr. Palitha Kohona who commented on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka to be moved at the UNHRC session said the report of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is based on a multi-tiered edifice of lies, innuendo and suggestions.
Making his remarks during a webinar on the human rights issue, Dr. Kohona said the report simply defies explanation that the High Commissioner who is highly regarded in the UN system and as a former president of Chile, and as a UN Executive Director for Women’s Affairs should have lent her name to this document.
He said it is meticulously detailed, painstakingly crafted and scrupulously structured. But it is based on a multi-tiered edifice of lies, innuendo and suggestions which go back to previously debunked reports. To an impartial observer its goal is obvious.
“It kindles hatred and stokes vengeance. It ignores that fact that Sri Lanka formally withdrew from the co-sponsorship of 30/1. At this point, I recall the words of our great sage, the Buddha, “Hatred ceaseth not hatred, love ceaseth hatred. “Nahi Verana Verani”.
This is what amazes me. She contributes to the now familiar and orchestrated effort of some countries, influenced by a cabal of noisy lobby groups and NGOs to embarrass Sri Lanka, to denigrate Sri Lanka, and its leaders and diminish Sri Lanka’s achievement in eliminating a ruthless terrorist group. And they seek accountability.
Let me ask the question why? Why was the High Commissioner’s report compiled in this manner.
Towards the end of the conflict Mr. Miliband, then the UK Foreign Secretary and Mr. Kouchner, then the Foreign Minister of France, visited Sri Lanka, under pressure from the Tamil expatriate groups and a noisy NGO community and almost demanded that Sri Lanka stop the military operation against the LTTE. A group that had terrorised the country for over 30 years causing widespread death and destruction.
The President refused to comply and, if I remember right he told Mr. Miliband bluntly that Sri Lanka was no longer Britain’s colony to be told what to do by its Foreign Secretary.
We proceeded to defeat the LTTE and end the 30-year brutal conflict, with it terrorism.
As is abundantly clear from Wikileaks, the UK and France were not alone. The US, Sweden and Norway had this common goal. The rushed visits of Mr. Eric Solheim to Washington are all documented in Wikileaks. It is difficult to attribute a coherent reason for this affection for the LTTE by all these countries, and their representatives. Given that it had been proscribed by these countries.
Sri Lanka is not unique in employing retired soldiers in high positions. Other countries have had presidents who were retired soldiers
It is possible that it could have been purely humanitarian. But why is this bleeding hearted humanitarianism not manifested elsewhere? In Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Yemen or Libya. What was so special about Sri Lanka a country that eliminated a ruthless terrorist group? Where children are no longer recruited by the terrorist group for combat purposes, where child soldiers are no longer given cyanide capsules by their terrorist minders, where underage girls are not married off early to avoid being recruited, where places of worship are not blown up killing hundreds, where democratically elected political leaders are not assassinated at random, where mothers don’t wait anxiously for their children to return home without being blown to bits by a roadside bomb, where husbands and wives do not travel together to avoid making their children orphans.
There are no such uncertainties in Sri Lanka now, while these other places in the world are a horrendous mess. Yet, it is Sri Lanka’s past that the High Commissioner seeks to examine in meticulous detail. Is it because that the High Commissioner’s office is motivated by other factors? Or are its key funders otherwise motivated. Is it the strength of the lobbying, the campaign funds, and vote blocks that really motivates the High Commissioner’s funders?” he asked.
In any event, over a thousand sq kms of land had to be cleared of indiscriminately laid land mines. The LTTE had removed the roofing material of the houses as they herded the people with them as they retreated before the advancing military.
The metal roofing sheets were melted to make pellets for their IEDs.
The people had no houses to go back to.
A quick inquiry from Mr. Miliband would have revealed this.
He visited those so-called internment camps.
Or is it more convenient to follow Nazi Goebbles’ dictum “Repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”
The report is critical of military officers who have been assigned responsibilities in government departments and institutions. Sri Lanka is not unique in employing retired soldiers in high positions. Other countries have had presidents who were retired soldiers. In any event, our retirement age for senior officers is 55, an age when a man is not considered to be old anymore. It is difficult to imagine for a poor country like Sri Lanka to waste the talent, experience and the skills of a military officer retiring at age 55.