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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2647

What to do with Prabhakaran?

By L. Jayasooriya

I am not sure of the wisdom of taking Prabhakaran to the International Court in the Hague as suggested by the World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS) because it was this same Court, which in the 1960's, left a bad odor in many quarters for rejecting important human rights claims on jurisdictional grounds.

Even after a change of personnel, the Court was equally divided, giving the President, Sir Percy Spender of Australia, a deciding or "casting" vote, according to the Northwestern University School of Law, Northwestern University Journal of International Human Rights (Volume 1Fall 2003). Spender ruled that duties under the mandate were owed to the League, and that Liberia and Ethiopia did not have any legal interest in the subject matter of the dispute allowing them to challenge the apartheid regime in South West Africa.

Says Journeyman International Lawyer John R. Crook:

"ICJ is not a specialized human rights institution, either in terms of its mandate, its jurisdiction, its procedures, or its personnel. Each of these elements may well limit the Court's future role in the human rights arena."

He further observes:

"To give an unscientific illustration, if you look at the indexes of the five recent volumes of the I.C.J. Reports covering 1994-1997 sitting in my bookcase, you'll see very few references to "human rights." Those you do see are concentrated in dissenting or separate opinions of a few judges. Thus, human rights issues have been an intermittent and not especially important part of the Court's work."

Hillary Clinton has said that not all terrorists can be called terrorists as long as they have a justifiable goal. That to us is very frightening.

In view of the wholehearted support that Prabhakaran got from the so-called International Community (IC) we should not be surprised if the Court finds him to be a patriot who has fought for what he believes is right? Prabhakaran in the west, a free man with the full support of the IC could be a catastrophe for us about which we should be rightly concerned. That could also be the end of India's Research and Development (R&D) program that has given the IC a lot of headaches for a long time. As a fringe benefit to us India will then no longer be a threat to us but a new threat will emerge from independent and sovereign Tamil Nadu forcing us to have sufficient men and material to defend our coastline.

Should we not have our own International Court of Justice consisting of China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan and other Asian countries and call it international as we define it? Are we so foolish to accept as genuinely international the so-called International Community (IC) as it is presently constituted which is nothing but a rich Westerners club?

L. Jayasooriya, B.Sc. (Ceylon) B.sc. (Engineering London has been a chartered Engineer in the UK and a Professional Engineer in Canada. Currenly residing in Sri Lanka has been the author of two books, Teachings of the Buddha for the Inquiring Mind and How School Books Destroyed Buddha Dhamma in Sri Lanka. Forewords for the two books have been written respectively by Prof. Tilak Kariyawasam (Director - Post Gaduate Institute of Pali and Buddhist Studies, University of Kelaniya) and Professor S.B. Hettiaratchi (Former Vice-Chancellor of the Sri Jayewardenepura University).

- Asian Tribune -

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