22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council: Sri Lanka needs a high powered team to defend the country
It is reported that Sri Lanka Government is considering not to attach any importance to the forthcoming 22nd Session of the UN Human Rights Council, when it has been already indicated that United States of America has decided to come up with another resolution against Sri Lanka.
I learnt that already Israel has simply discarded the UN Human Rights Council and accordingly Sri Lanka too has indicated to ignore the Human Rights Council session. Unfortunately the decision makers are trying to draw some parallel with Israel and following what Israel has announced 'to ignore'
Unfortunately, decision makers have failed to understand the distinction between Israel and Sri Lanka.
Since of late, US President Barack Obama nominated the former Senator Chuck Hagel as his nominee for Defence Secretary.
In 2007, then senator Hagel in a speech he delivered at Rutgers University in New Jersey has said, according to reports, “U.S. Department of State was an adjunct of the Israeli foreign minister’s office”.
This statement to a great extent is true that Israel in fact is running the affairs of America and not Americans are running the affairs of Israel. When that was the predominant position of Israel, then the Jewish state can afford to disregard UN Human Right Council session and even the UN Security Council, because it is Israel the ‘mighty’ and the Jews unquestionably runs the international Affairs.
But in the case of Sri Lanka, for the time being Sri Lanka would be in a position to avoid matters against Sri Lanka being taken up in the UN Security Council for strictures for the human Rights violations , war crimes, crimes against humanity and for other allegations.
How long Sri Lanka can depend on China and Russia to come to its rescue?
At one stage or other, Sri Lanka was wholly depending on India during the war with Prabhakaran and the LTTE. But in the last session of the Human Rights Council, India voted against Sri Lanka and it is not clear whether India would come forward to support Sri Lanka even in the forthcoming US sponsored resolution against the country.
Therefore, Sri Lankan Government has to take steps, measured steps in the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council session.
Already it was decided that Sri Lanka should not attach any importance to the forthcoming UN Human Rights session and it was decided that the Ambassador who is the Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and he has been asked to attend the sessions with a team of officials and handle the situation appropriately.
Mr. Karunatilake Amunugama, Secretary to the Ministry of External Affairs told Asian Tribune that there is no ministerial representation to participate in the Geneva Conference. He said at the moment that is the decision of the Government. He also said we have our direction to our PR in Geneva to represent the country. This is the decision of the Government.
But now it is learnt that the Government is coming to realize the seriousness of the situation that it may face in the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council session.
UN Human Rights Council High Commissioner Navi illay is scheduled to present two reports to the Council when the High Segment Conference begins its deliberations – one about the Universal Periodic Review report and another report which was called by the Human Rights Council in Resolution 19/2 of March 2012, on Sri Lanka to implement recommendations made by its Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), to take additional steps ensure justice, equity, accountability and address alleged violations of international law. The truth is that Navi Pillay will not be showing any degree of empathy or sympathy towards Sri Lanka and her reports may not be kindlier versions.
At the same time, Tamil diaspora and several vested politicians in United Kingdom, Norway, and Canada as well as some NGOs and politicians in Sri Lanka are working overtime against Sri Lanka in the international foray.
Already, as usual, the Channel 4 has come out with another 90 minutes video version against Sri Lanka – No Fly Zone – a horror story cleverly and ingeniously developed against Sri Lanka for the third time.
Also I learnt that a few group of NGO’s are planning to hold side event against Sri Lanka in UN Geneva, while the session will be on.
As a sovereign country, it is the bounden duty on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka to counter all those allegations – may be they are flawed, unsubstantiated, but they have to be countered and the true position has to be told.
Asian Tribune learnt that Sri Lanka President has indicated that he needs to know the latest situation about the things that are being developing and the proposed action the Government has envisaged.
The Government is planning to have a meeting this week, may be today, or in a couple of days, to go into the latest issues that have emerged and to come up with a strategy to tackle them.
• It was unfortunate the Government has not come up with proposals to meet various UN Human Rights Council Members in the capitals of their countries and meet with those leaders and bring to their notice the true picture of the country.
• Also the government has failed to take steps to brief the foreign country ambassadors accredited to Sri Lanka and brief them one to one on regular basis on the actions the Government has taken against those contentious issues.
• But it is unfortunate there were reports that foreign missions in Sri Lanka are visiting the North on a regular basis, meeting civil society members, meeting those catholic clergies who oppose the government, Tamil leaders and filing reports about the country – mostly adverse reports mainly by many embassies representing the countries of the West.
• Recent reports indicate that some Western Countries have successfully influenced a section of the Buddhist monks to promote activities against minorities – especially against the Muslims.
• Sri Lanka’s Missions abroad are not instructed to meet heads of state, Ministers, Parliamentarians, media personnel and brief them on a regular basis the development that are taking place about those critical issues and also about the accountability actions undertaken by the Government.
• The most unfortunate thing is - forget about the international press, but even the national press - daily are up in arms against Sri Lanka Government.
• Take for example the headline news that appears in all the morning dailies, in Sinhala, Tamil and English languages and almost 95 % of them are anti-government and those news items are made use by those opposes Sri Lanka as ammunition to fire against Sri Lanka.
It was unfortunate that we don’t have press that is patriotic enough to safeguard the country and again it was unfortunate that the Government has failed to take note of all these dangers.
It is high time Government should not come forward to foolishly to ignore the impending danger the country is facing.
Some might argue that though anything is successfully brought against Sri Lanka, that cannot be presented to the UN Security Council for action against Sri Lanka, as we have Russia and China with veto powers to safeguard Sri Lanka.
It is high time we learnt from our lapses. European Union without going to UN or anywhere, has withdrawn the GSP Plus concession the country enjoyed.
Also, there are impending dangers that USA, Canada and European Union imposing embargoes unilaterally against Sri Lanka. This is what happens with Iran, Syria, North Korea and in some African countries.
Therefore, all these matters have to be considered very carefully and a decision has to be taken to safeguard the interest of Sri Lanka in the forthcoming 22nd session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The country must have high-powered delegation this time, to be led by a new team to safeguard the interest and sovereignty of the country.
- Asian Tribune -