Sri Lanka bracing three pronged attack in Geneva
Sri Lanka is expected to face a three pronged attack this time at the 22nd session of the UN Human Rights conference - US led International Community, Tamil Diaspora and Tamil National Alliance.
All these years, the Tamil National Alliance confined its opposition within the borders of the country, but this time it is all set to take the challenge to the international fora to seek justice and fair play in the governance of the Tamil minorities.
It was unfortunate Sri Lanka Government has so far came up with hollowed strategy of defending its position against charges leveled by TNA, Tamil Diaspora and the international Community and failed to adopt any corrective stance to counter charges.
Defending is an act done with weakness and the moment Sri Lanka Government appoints leaders and officials to defend; it amounts to a meek confession of charges leveled against the country.
But it is said the corrective measure is countering and this is the strategy which is the need of the hour, a very courageous move and this could only be done by Tamil leaderships in the UPFA Government. Minister Douglas Devananda is the 'Tamil face' of the Mahinda Rajapaksa Government, and he must be given responsibility to shoulder Government’s burden in the international forums and counter charges leveled against Sri Lanka.
Tamil National Alliance knowing well that Sri Lanka Government will never put a Tamil in the helm to counter charges leveled by international community of discrimination and bias against minorities, hence the TNA has decided to seek the intervention of the international community against Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, Tamil National Alliance has decided to seek the intervention of the international community for an independent international inquiry.
Mr. Suresh Premachandran one of the members in the TNA delegation, said that TNA will strongly demand for investigation about missing persons, as it has been already pointed out in the LLRC report, killing of more than 100,000 persons and not 40,000 as UN report has pointed out, war crimes and crimes against humanity.
If in case these charges are proved it would spell disaster to the country.
At the TNA parliamentary group meeting chaired by Mr. R. Sampanthan held in Colombo before his departure yesterday to London, it has been decided to seek the intervention of the international community.
The TNA Parliamentary group meeting has decided to go in a delegation to Geneva to meet with the representatives of the international Community and member countries of the UN Human Rights Council.
The TNA leader Mr. R. Sampanthan has already left for London yesterday evening to participate in the third anniversary of the inauguration of Global Tamil Forum (GTF – one of the strong Tamil diaspora organizations in the West), which is scheduled to be held at Westminster, Houses of Parliament, Committee Room 14, on Wednesday 27 February 2013, from 10am-5pm.
Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg MP, Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and former Conservative Party Chairman, Baroness Warsi, Leader of the Opposition and Ed Davey MP, and the Shadow Foreign Secretary, Douglas Alexander MP, will speak. Mr Erik Solheim, Chair of the OECD Development Assistance Committee, former Minister in the Norwegian Cabinet and main negotiator in the peace process in Sri Lanka will also speak. Members of the International Relations team of the African National Congress (ANC), including Cde Sisa Njikelana MP, is also expected to attend Global Tamil Forum's conference.
Mr. R. Sampanthan and Mr. M.A. Sumanthiran are expected to meet separately most of these speakers who are billed to participate in the Global Tamil Forum conference. Also they are expected to meet leading members of the Sri Lankan Tamil Community in London.
In the meantime on 28th of this month TNA delegation consisting of Mr. Suresh Premachandran, Mr. Mavai S. Senathirajah, Mr. Selvam Adaiklainathan are expected to leave directly for Geneva.
When Asian Tribun contacted TNA Leader Mr. Sampanthan before his departure to London about TNA delegation leaving for Geneva, he said that “I have not made up my mind about going to Geneva. I am not going.”
He further said that some of the members of the TNA might go. “I don’t know whether I am going, probably I am not going. I have not made up my mind about it. What is all these excitement about going to Geneva,” he asked.
When Asian Tribune said for the first time the TNA has come forward to directly to confront Government’s propaganda abroad and advocates TN’s position abroad.
Sampanthan said “we are pursuing on this and we don’t need to go to Geneva for this you know? In Geneva our presence may not be necessary, but you have to do only what you have to do?” It was a paradoxical statement of the TNA leader.
He further said, “We have been telling the Sri Lankan Government what they have to do. If the Sri Lanka Government has done at least half of what we have asked them to do, then they would not have been in this critical situation today.”
“You see if Sri Lanka Government would have done 50 % of what I have urged President Rajapaksa in the past three years, then they would not have been in this precarious position today, “ he said.
Asian Tribune learnt that TNA has completely lost confidence in the Government of Sri Lanka.
However sources told Asian Tribune that Mr. Sampanthan and Mr. Sumanthiran are expected to join the TNA delegation in Geneva to push the international community for the appointment of a international investigation committee to investigate issues they are bringing up against Sri Lanka Government.
Asian Tribune also learnt that American diplomats who are in the process of finalizing the wording of the procedural resolution against Sri Lanka to be presented in the UN Human Rights Council session in the third week of March, are expected to meet with TNA leaders and would receive their feedback before finalizing the draft.
Asian Tribune also learnt that Indian Government has already indicated their position through contacts to Mr. Sampanthan and embolden by their favorable stance taken by India, TNA will be in Geneva for promoting their cause.
Already Indian Government has announced that India will vote with the America’s procedural resolution against Sri Lanka.
In the meantime, when Asian Tribune asked Suresh Premachandran “How are you going to meet representatives of the international community in Geneva as you are a political party and there is no provision for you people to participate in the UN Human Rights conference session.
He said that it is not necessary that we have to meet everybody inside the UN building. We can meet them in their embassies. We can meet them wherever they are staying – may be in their hotels. Our Tamil Human Rights activists are in Geneva and they will arrange all these things and that want be a problem.
The battle lines are drawn by both parties - Sri Lanka Government and its tripartite opposition alliance, for winning the support for and against in the American sponsored procedural resolution.
Unfortunately, out of the 15 countries that voted in the 2012 resolution, 5 of them are no more members of the UN Human Rights Council. Most important supporters of Sri Lanka are Russia, China and Cuba and they are not there to support Sri Lanka.
Though Sri Lanka has established diplomatic relationship with a few African Countries and Latin American countries, it is not sure whether they may support Sri Lanka but Asian Tribune learnt that Sri Lanka could strongly depend on Kazhagastan for its support.
- Asian Tribune -