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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 79

Double talk on 'unfettered access' and 'international probe'

By our diplomatic correspondent

Paris, 06 June, ( The United States dropped two atom bombs to kill tens of thousands, injured few more tens of thousands and caused radiation affects on millions for generations. The question is how many of the victims were Japanese soldiers and whether there were civilian casualties.

The US and the democratic world at large that the most devastating bombs had paved way for the great victory of the democratic forces over the evil forces of fascist dictatorship.

To give recent examples of such attacks where civilians suffered heavily include US action in Iraq and Afghanistan.

UN High Commissioner Navi Pillai seems to be of the opinion that US, UK and the governments of many countries should be punished for every action against civilians irrespective of whether the achievement of the end goal of liberating hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians from the ruthless fascist rulers or autocratic dictators most barbaric terrorists.

If Ms Pillai’s logic is right the soldier who shot the pirate who was holding the captain of the merchant ship hijacked off Somalia should be punished first (and if the grants permission one could applaud the heroic deed of the soldier later).

She seems to have forgotten that the motion to support Sri Lanka was carried through last week at Human Rights Council Special Session with 29 votes in favor and only 12 against. International observers hoped it was as good for the co-sponsors of the Special Session as it was for Sri Lanka.

No, it was not enough for her. She made a strong plea for a comprehensive process of accountability for human rights violations committed by all sides, and concretized that in a call for an International Inquiry.

Sri Lankan Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka gave many examples from various parts in the world to show that the end result was worth the deed. He pointed out a recent judgement by Spain that inquiries into a seventy-five year old conflict - the Civil War seventy-five years ago, should be frozen because it would have seriously destabilizing social consequences. Then he gave the example of Nuremberg, after World War II, where it was the defeated fascists who were tried, and certainly not the victorious liberating Allies who among other things burned Dresden to cinders. In Cambodia UN-assisted process is investigating the war crimes committed by the Khmer Rouge. But for very valid reason nobody made a foolish suggestion that the probe should also include the excesses, if any, during the valiant efforts made by those who overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime.

So, Mr. President, I think we have to be very clear about this. Sri Lanka is fully conscious that every transition is different from every other. Every search for accountability is different from every other. Much depends on the degree of social pressure, of social maturation, and the sovereign decisions made by each country as to which tasks assume priority at any given point of time.

He pointed out that after 30 years of war Sri Lanka privileges the search for normalcy, for stability, for healing and for reconciliation. And it is in the light of those priorities that the issues of accountability will be taken up. And when those issues are taken up, they will privilege the national institutions and the national processes.

Sri Lanka is an old democracy that enjoys adult franchise since 1931. Sri Lanka is not the case of an army of occupation invading and occupying another peoples or another country. Sri Lanka's is a military that serves a constitutional democracy, a military that fought a war strictly within its recognized borders against a separatist, terrorist militia, with whom the State had tried to arrive at a peaceful settlement on numerous occasions.

Sri Lanka will accept, and welcomes, the offers of international assistance. Sri Lanka has absolutely no problem with access, but Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation and will not barter its sovereignty to those with hidden agendas.

The appeal of the democratic forces should be ‘stop hounding Sri Lanka. Let us help her as she struggles to restore democratic rights of quarter million people who were under the thumb of a ruthless terrorist for long years.

- Asian Tribune -

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