It’s a mere change of venue - instead of Geneva or New York; the US-Sri Lanka joint resolution shifts the backdrop to Colombo to cast a false sense of domestication. Circus moves on with foreign actors in starring roles. The Big Top would be erected in the halls of the BMICH, would space the domestic mechanism in courtrooms, cloakrooms and washrooms for inquiries on war crimes. Otherwise it is expansively internationalized with foreign mainstays in the shape of Judges, prosecutors, defence counsel and investigators. Their entry to this legal realm is prohibited in our law. Can they creep through the Commission of Inquiry Act?
Hybrid is a word unseen in the resolution. It’s presented in an inverted form, more emphatically and in greater detail, in the amended text. The UNHRC report was bold and courageous to use the word ‘hybrid’ upfront. Deception was the intention in the resolution by clouding it with more words and succeeded in looking more alarming.
Prefer speaking face to face rather than adopting double standards of lavish praise cosmetically applied on the face of the Sri Lankan Government with a knock-out blow directed on the other cheek. The joint resolution shows an associate Sri Lankan fist in the writing: “…affirms in this regard the importance of participation in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the Special Counsel’s office of the Commonwealth and other foreign Judges, defence lawyers and authorized prosecutors and investigators”.
If this local fist travelled to the Wanni war front, he would carry a white flag instead of ammunition. As for the foreign Judges and Counsel, have they not already hastily pre-judged the case? They are on a jaunt to make a fast buck, enjoy the sun and make us whine for the rest of our life.
The People are the jury. Do they want their beloved security forces that made them their lives secure from the onslaught of the terrorists be treated in an offensive manner by a set of travelling jurists known to be hostile to Sri Lanka? Mind you, ghastly details will be featured in the media. There are limits to tolerance. Politicians, be mindful of your voters before taking decisions!
Imported guys and dolls get on the ramp in the form of Judges, prosecutors, defence counsel and investigators in the words of the resolution. [Note: ‘Commonwealth’ comes before the word ‘foreign’ to denote the inclusiveness]. Possibly a servile Foreign Office was over-powered by US stakeholders to surrender ending in a tragic joint script. The foreign Office has lost its clout.
To regularize these features, require legislation as to the Special Counsel’s Office -- [hopefully not an obliging local NGO hack in black coat] -- will deliver dispensations to visiting dignitaries. With a majority in-built in Parliament given permanency for four and a-half-years; it is an easy passage in these early days to pass the resolution leaving many SLFP members red in the face. ‘What can we do if our leaders’ consent’ – is the response from the SLFP parliamentarians – leaves a split party in a quandary with the Polonnaruwa Man alleging that the report would have been a thousand times worse under the Hambantota Man. It is Sri Lanka that matters: who wants a determination made between MR vs. MS, to decide as to who is worse!
The boot is on other foot as civilians may be required to save the military. The red lights were blinking when the Prime Minister suggested an amendment to the constitution. Are we dancing the jig to the tune of The Star Spangled Banner?
Much of the resolution deals in commending the new Government and the immense trust and confidence the purported international community places on them. If words in the resolution are to sound true, why cannot the US repose confidence in the acclaimed new government that assures a domestic inquiry? It was never held out that the war tribunals would be packed with foreigners. US never asked for more than a domestic inquiry. Now with a servile Government in office, and the domestic inquiry a reality why doesn’t US trust their trusted Government and permit it to carry the inquiry following the rules of natural justice without foreign interference.
Read the resolution closely – a hundred hurrahs are screamed for the present government; sandwiched between the provisions internationalize the hearing. If the US finds the present Government fit to be their hurrah boys, why should they destabilize it before its own people after harassing the last for not being obedient?
It appears if you walk the line: you are compelled to walk the plank with a badge for traitorous conduct. Many on the borderline might say it wouldn’t have happened in Mahinda’s times? Sure, he slept over when he could have held proper inquiries keeping the foreign legions a distance away provided natural justice was adhered to the letter.
Instead the resolution delivers a message to hold a hearing with an international flavour. It’s like carrying Sri Lanka on their shoulders singing ‘He is a Jolly Good Fellow’ and throwing the poor feller up in the air for the final hurrah and watch him fall on to the ground. Allowing this non-stop drama to be enacted in Sri Lanka with a foreign cast before the people could land the Government in jeopardy.
Does the West want a Government of their favourite sons to come to a premature end? This exercise would cause ethnic tension. It happened with the presence of the Norwegian negotiators on our soil, Scandinavian monitors and the IPKF. This would be the moment of glory for Ranil Wickremesinghe, if he could persuade US, to prevent the participation of foreign elements at our domestic inquiry in the text of the final resolution – it’s a bountiful benefit. Ranil is rightly the most trusted politician of the Americans in the local scene as he is their favorite son. Sri Lanka should negotiate till the cows come home reminding the US of its many hurrahs; surely they were not meant as hollow expressions? It would be a great boost to the Wickremesinghe-administration if voluntarily on persuasion the US calls off the foreign thrust.
Is Ranil more interested in the northern votes than the disgrace riddled with bias that would be heaped on Sri Lanka for eliminating terrorism? Is America interested in safeguarding the interest of a loyal Government in Sri Lanka, or catering to the foreign busybodies that dabble in our internal affairs? UN’s unofficial rating on Sri Lanka would be known if the US on persuasion varied the resolution on the floor of the House. Can Ranil assuage the impact of this resolution? Does he want to do so? The US sure will give him a good hearing if he cares to be heard. Or is it an arranged home and home match to show the US has softened its stance on Sri Lanka?
Irrespective of any consequence; if Ranil gets the country out of the crooked hook he deserves a loud applause.
All that is sought is a fair trial: the majority of fair-minded local minds have reservations of the western stand on our national issue, especially of its media that calibrates.
"If this local fist travelled to the Wanni war front, he would carry a white flag instead of ammunition. As for the foreign Judges and Counsel, have they not already hastily pre-judged the case? They are on a jaunt to make a fast buck, enjoy the sun and make us whine for the rest of our life."
Imported guys and dolls would parade the stage in the form of Judges, prosecutors, defence counsel and investigators in the words of the resolution. [Note: ‘Commonwealth’ comes before the word ‘foreign’ to denote the inclusive] the sop to get Sri Lanka on board; our Foreign Office has gamely agreed to earn vocal but meaningless hurrahs after conceding the game, set and match. Well done, Mr. Sumanthiran, able counsel at Geneva 2015, specifically not wearing the TNA cloak (loyal team member of the Leader of the Opposition) instead representing Tamil lawyers.
The Government would cheer the winner in the best traditions displayed at Twickenham by the loser as the teams leave the fields of Geneva after a friendly scrum where none heaved.