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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 860

An Inquisitorial mindset still governs the Christian West

By Senaka Weeraratna

The US and European Union sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva was adopted with 24 countries voting for the resolution and 15 against it. Eight countries abstained from voting.

An analysis of the voting pattern at Geneva shows that the overwhelming majority of countries that voted against Sri Lanka are predominantly Christian countries (with exceptions like India, a largely Hindu nation, and subject to domestic compulsions, and a few African countries subject to blackmail of withdrawal of foreign aid and technical assistance).

Eighteen (18) of the 24 countries that voted against Sri Lanka (see Table below) belong to the Christian civilization and a large majority of them are from theChristian bloc of European nations.

Chile 2014

1

*

*

Costa Rica 2014

1

*

*

Guatemala 2013

1

*

*

Mexico 2012

1

*

*

Peru 2014

1

*

*

Uruguay 2012

1

*

*

Austria 2014

1

*

*

Belgium 2012

1

*

*

Italy 2014

1

*

*

Norway 2012

1

*

*

Spain 2013

1

*

*

Switzerland 2013

1

*

*

United States 2012

1

*

*

Czech Republic 2014

1

*

*

Hungary 2012

1

*

*

Poland 2013

1

*

*

Moldova 2013

1

*

*

Romania 2014                          

Quite a number of the movers and co – sponsors of the Resolution against Sri Lanka are former colonial countries that had suppressed the basic liberties of the indigenous people of Asia, Africa and America (both North and South) in the most barbaric fashion for over 500 years, and were never called upon by proponents of Human Rights or promoters of international law to be accountable for their colonial crimes.

Collapse of the Moral authority of the Human Rights Discourse

The moral authority of the Human Rights discourse as well as that of Public International Law lies in shambles today largely as a result of the hypocrisy and double standards employed by powerful western nations in the enforcement of the International law of Human Rights.

The Western obsession with 'self-benefit ' and ‘self – advancement’, and indifference to the concerns and rights of non-European people has been well analysed by the former Indian diplomat and scholar, Dr. K.M. Panikkar in his ground breaking book 'Asia and Western Domination - A Survey of the Vasco De Gama Epoch of Asian History 1498 - 1945, published in 1953.

Panikkar says that western colonial powers were reluctant to recognise that doctrines of international law applied outside Europe or that European nations had any moral obligations when dealing with Asian people. Panikkar avers that this doctrine of different rights (which made a mockery of the concepts of Human Rights and Rule of Law) persisted to the very end of western colonial domination and was a prime cause of Europe's ultimate failure in Asia.

The Inquisition
The finger pointing and inquisitorial conduct of Western nations governing their relations with the rest of the world today stem from the lingering influence of the Christian inquisition which ravaged Europe and other countries that were under their colonial dominance e.g. Goa, from the 13th to the beginning of the 20th Century.
The Inquisition, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis (inquiry on heretical perversity), was the "fight against heretics" by several institutions within the justice system of the Roman Catholic Church. It started in the 12th Century, with the introduction of torture in the persecution of heresy. Inquisition practices were used later on offences against canon law other than heresy.
In the wake of persecution by the Catholic Church against anyone considered ‘heretical’ for seeing things in another way or believing in different dogma, a mindset emerged among many European Christian nations and their people to view people who were different, whether by skin colour, ethnicity or religion e.g. Australian Aborgines, Hindus, Buddhists, and Muslims etc. as inferior and damned (condemned by God).
The use of the Human Rights Discourse essentially by members of the White races in the international arena as a tool to punish the ‘Black and Yellow Bastards’ repeatedly is an outcome and manifestation of this twisted and prejudiced mindset.

The pages of world history are stained with blood largely as a result of the huge crimes committed by European nations both within and outside Europe. Parallel to this policy was their unrelenting engagement in the destruction of the cultural and religious heritage of the colonised. The development of subjugated societies stagnated during the colonial period. Much of the backwardness of post - colonial societies is now attributed by experts to the setbacks suffered by the victims at both the physical and psychological levels. There is no dispute that the western countries were unjustly enriched and profited substantially from their colonial adventures.

The cries of accountability and bringing leaders and military officers of Asian and African countries to justice for war crimes, championed by the western world, must be viewed as nothing but pure rhetoric and hypocrisy because there is no such credible mechanism operating within these countries to mete out appropriate punishment for crimes committed by their soldiers in contemporary theatres of war such as Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Further these very countries have neither apologized nor paid compensation to the victims or the descendants of the victims for their colonial crimes in Third World Countries.

There must be established an ‘International Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ to investigate the vast crimes against humanity, genocide and theft committed in Third World countries by European nations over a period of over 500 years and the final report placed before these former colonial countries for a catharsis, enforcement of the recommendations and payment of reparations.

The Third World countries must accept the challenge to press for the establishment of such an ‘International Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ under the auspices of the United Nations or any other credible international institution as such a probe is long overdue.

- Asian Tribune –

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