February 10, 2013
A second resolution is being brought against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions next month because the US remains dissatisfied with the scale of progress and the measured implementation of the LLRC. This is coming from a country that carries out foreign invasions/interventions and does not wait for any UN approval (but gets it anyway) to bomb indiscriminately, violate Geneva conventions, and cares not a penny for the IDPs or refugees the US has displaced and doesn’t appear to receive any deadlines or timelines to address the appalling conditions it has left the countries the US and its allies have forcefully invaded! So much for equality of status and so much for the international justice system!
For the nations looking forward to voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC sessions headed probably by India all we can say is that the people of Sri Lanka are very disappointed at the manner nations are being diplomatically coerced to vote against Sri Lanka without looking at the merits of Sri Lanka’s resettlement record in a space of just 3 years given its limitations as a developing Third World nation.
It is clearly evident that development, resettlement, rehabilitation or reintegration is not what US and its lobbies have in mind and these Resolutions are simply to coerce and instill fear that the country’s leaders will be tried for war crimes so that their fear would get them to compromise or sell the nation to them – we hope our leaders are all the wiser not to fall prey.
Whereas Sri Lanka dealt with a non-international armed conflict – an internal terrorist problem, the US and Allied foreign interventions and invasions without UN approval has left over 2.4m Iraqi IDPs, the military intervention of Libya in 2011 and the ongoing interventions of Syria and now Mali show that it is the desires of a handful of powerful countries that matter and the entities such as UN and the office of the UN human rights are mere spectators but to project to the world that their office has a voice they go after the meeker nations of the world – yes, they are after Sri Lanka.
Notwithstanding all these negatives projected the world over about Sri Lanka, it cannot take away the fact that Sri Lanka took just 3 years to complete the military elimination of the LTTE including its ground leadership in May 2009 after 30 years of terrorism, becoming the first nation to eliminate terrorism from its soil freeing the people from suicide attacks and indiscriminate LTTE bombings. It took just 3 years to achieve another feat – that of resettling all the 295,873 IDPs who were rescued by the armed forces in a humanitarian rescue operation that left 5000 soldiers sacrificing their lives to bring Tamil civilians to safety. This last resettlement of 1186 persons from 361 Tamil families puts Sri Lanka on top of an exclusively single position of being the only country to resettle its IDPs given that there are 27.5m internally displaced people worldwide. The number of refugees worldwide is said to be over 62m more than half of whom have become refugees because of war – wars that are engineered.
Sri Lanka has demined 5000sq.km of land, it has rehabilitated and reintegrated 11,989 surrendered LTTE combatants, only 383 ex-combatants will be charged whilst 594 child combatants have been exempt from formal charges with the Government of Sri Lanka taking a magnanimous decision to treat these children as victims instead of perpetrators of terror. Some of these children have gone on to pursue higher education and vocational training, 53 LTTE couples were married in a mass wedding organized by the Sri Lankan military. As a nation we do not live in fear because there are no bombs going off at every corner, there are no suicide missions and assassination squads. The Tamil people themselves do not have to forcefully contribute to the LTTE kitty or pay “taxes” when they go to visit relatives in the North. So is the world concerned about the happiness of the Tamil people or the political aspirations of the Tamil politicians! The Government has diverted the bulk of loans received towards the rebuilding of the northern and eastern provinces. Over 1000 schools have been restored, canals, tanks and revival or agriculture and farming is visible to those visiting the areas that were once prohibited by the LTTE.
The most unbiased and explicit account of Sri Lanka as seen through the eyes of 2 Australian Opposition MPs visiting Sri Lanka is by far the best account the nation could ever hope to hear and we are thankful that there are some politicians of integrity still around. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_us_2XXRKmc Australian Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop and shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and border protection spokesman Michael Keenan.
The crux of the issue for most countries who had been part of the “solution” exercise over the years is that they cannot chew the fact that Sri Lanka defied their “orders” and marched on to totally eliminated the LTTE ground terror whilst the fronts of the LTTE remains very much functioning in their nations. Were they sincere they would at the very least investigate when we say they are still raising funds to again destabilize the nation.
Leaving aside the Government of Sri Lanka’s response, the rest of the country cannot understand how a country such as the US that has a criminal track record of human rights violations, crimes against humanity and one of the worst violators of the Geneva Conventions over a period of time can evade its own guilt to bring resolutions against other nations!
The military intervention of Libya took place on 19th March 2011 using UN Resolution 1973 with a coalition force of 19 nations that included Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, Qatar, Spain, UK and US. To France, Gaddafi was better dead than alive because it now emerges that former French President Sarkozy’s 2007 election campaign was funded by Gaddafi giving €50m- a lot of other secrets would have emerged had not Gaddafi been killed on 20 Oct 2011. As for the thousands of Libyan civilians who died – the simply answer is that they were killed by Gaddafi’s troops and the case is closed, all other countries the answer is “collateral damage” – case is closed. They say the Libyan civilian deaths are around 30,000 but the way Sri Lanka is being thrown ghost estimate figures we would rather not comment on civilian casualties because the West and its media have a way of creating dead figures and people to vouch that they saw the dead!
The people of Libya had a “dictator” – well that’s what the pro-west media termed Gaddafi and by easily getting UN approval US and NATO attacked Libya even going so far as to openly arm, train and supply rebels (using the clause “take all necessary means” to justify) to finally get rid of Gaddafi by killing him. If one man was a horror for the people of Libya, now Libyans have to contend with groups of armed militia all having a free run killing each other. Before Gaddafi’s death Libya was the “most prosperous nation” in Africa with people enjoying free health care and free education, they also enjoyed free electricity and interest free loans – that was why UN designated Libya the 53rd highest in the world in human development. A country that people were never homeless now according to UNHCR “At the end of August 2012, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Libya remained somewhere between 65,000 and 80,000, a population composed mostly of minorities, such as the Tawerghas, who are unwilling or unable to return to their areas of origin for fear of reprisals”. So where are the UN officers handing over deadlines to the US and Allies for it is they who are responsible for Libyans now internally displaced?
Seven years after Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans’ homeless population is estimated at 4,900, nearly two and a half times bigger than before the levees failed. The majority of the homeless sleep in the 40,000 abandoned buildings that remain as a legacy of the storm. So what is America talking about not being satisfied with the pace of “reconciliation” – in 7 years it has failed to house the remaining 4900 homeless in its own nation, is that such a difficult task for the most powerful nation in the world?
When Robert Blake the US official carrying instructions to the GOSL from the US says “I emphasized the importance of progress in reducing the role and profile of the military in the North, and full respect for human rights” – he seems to think that we are ignorant that the US has over 1000 foreign military bases installed in over 120 nations and territories through the “status of forces agreement” which guarantees US cannot be held accountable for any crimes the US soldiers commit in the nations they are stationed and there are over 160,000 such US personnel. These bases function as storage facilities for weapons, nuclear arms, training, intelligence gathering, monitor email, phone and data communication traffic, extra-judicial transport, imprisonment and torture of Guantanamo Bay and Diego Garcia are two good examples.
We are living in a world where conflicts do not happen naturally – they are all engineered to happen and created after a systematic and planned layout by people who remote-control virtually all of the decisions that affect most of the Third World nations because it is always they who become the best prey for profiteers.
If the world was sincere about solving terrorism all it had to do was to stop the manufacture and flow of arms, cease the flow of finances to purchase arms, stop the terrorist training and arrest all those involved indirectly or directly in fostering terrorist activity. Nevertheless, terrorism is today being used to bring nations to their knees, to dethrone political leaders, to force nations to be heavily reliant on international loans, every loan comes with a compulsory change to adhere to Western agendas and it is not difficult to see how enslaved most politicians of the Third World are and they in turn would compromise anything to remain in power. Over a period of time we are looking at nations losing their Westphalian sovereignty rights, creating a demographical imbalance or totally changing the cultural and historical dynamics of a nation.
Whilst we as a nation know the hidden agendas behind these Resolutions our fears also include to what extent the Ministry of External Affairs headed by a Minister ever ready to appease to the wishes of the West would have compromised of Sri Lanka.
The views expressed are the author’s own.
Shenali Waduge is a Sri Lankan civil society writer concerned about fair play in all matters that concern citizens of her country as well as the world at large.
She strongly advocates the belief that all the countries of the world can live in peace if they only learn to respect the space of others.
Read all posts by Shenali Waduge