Sunteți pe pagina 1din 2

Sri Lanka Bloodbath: UNs lesson must be followed by Commonwealths lesson A.i.

UN ^Recommendation 4a made by the UN panel of experts in its Report of April 2011 stating that the UN should conduct a comprehensive review of its actions during the war in Sri Lanka and the aftermath, ^UN will use internal review of activities in Sri Lanka to do better, vows senior official, 15 November 2012, ii. Commonwealth ^Philip Alston, Roundtable, Human Rights Council, Geneva, 3 June 2008: ''In 2005 I sounded the alarm. I said that Sri Lanka was on the verge of a major crisis and I indicated to the General Assembly how to avoid the crisis. But nothing was done. The Sri Lankan government did not try and discuss the recommendations with me and it has not made any serious effort to resolve human rights problems. It only acted in Geneva to avoid the Council taking any measures against it". ^United Nations General Assembly, Third Committee, 25 October 2007, Statement by Prof Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions: ''I warned this Assembly last year of an impending crisis in Sri Lanka. The Government continues to contest my characterization while the crisis continues to worsen. I firmly believe that the establishment of an international human rights monitoring presence by the UN would significantly reduce the number of human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. It is time for the General Assembly and the Human Rights Council to act, and it's time for the Government to adopt a calm, measured, and engaged attitude toward those concerned with the human rights of all Sri Lankans.'' ^Report by Prof Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur, 27 March 2006: The human rights capacity of the United Nations Country Team should be expanded immediately, pending the creation of a broader monitoring mechanism. CMAG didn't make any comment on, leave alone condemn, Sri Lanka during the period Prof Alston had been raising his voice on HR atrocities. On the contrary: Sri Lanka in CMAG: 2003--2008: ''Two years ago in 2007 at Kampala, the heads of government pledged to end impunity for perpetrators of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Throughout 2008 and most of 2009, numerous allegations of serious international humanitarian law violations were made against Sri Lanka, and serious doubts were raised about the way the country had conducted its campaign against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Yet despite these doubts the country continued to sit as a CMAG member for a third consecutive term against the decision of the 1999 CHOGM in Durban that countries should be allowed to sit on CMAG for only two consecutive terms'' - Promises, Promises, R. Iniyan Ilango, Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative Newsletter, Autumn 2009, 09.pdf B.i. Post-war Atrocities in Sri Lanka: ^No war, no peace: the denial of minority rights and justice in Sri Lanka, Report by Minority Rights Group International, 19 January 2011, ^''But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority'' - Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, Gananath Obeyesekere (Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University), February 2012 ^An Ideology of Reconciliation Cannot be Built Without Basic Ingredients of Democracy and Rule of Law, Dr. Deepika Udagama (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), 15 August 2012, ^ ''Conflict-affected areas remain highly militarised, which has made progress towards achieving durable solutions more difficult. The military has become an important economic player and a key competitor of local people including returnees in the areas of agriculture, fishing, trade, and tourism. It has also been involved in areas that would normally come under civilian administration. It continues to occupy private land, thereby impeding IDPs return. The government has failed to make durable solutions a priority, and humanitarian organisations have faced funding shortages and restrictions on

programming and access'' Sri Lanka: A hidden displacement crisis, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 October 2012, ii. Commonwealth Secretary General's atrocities: ^ Leaked document obtained by the Guardian shows staff told by secretary general it is not their job to speak out against abuses - Commonwealth has abandoned human rights commitment leaked memo, 8 October 2011, ^ I dont think there is a deficit in democracy in Sri Lanka. Mr. Sharma said it was his intention and hope that as many heads of government as possible would attend the meeting(referring to CHOGM2013). He said the Commonwealth was looking into starting a number of projects in collaboration with the Sri Lankan government in the areas of public service, youth entrepreneurship and local government - No deficit of democracy in SL Sharma, 13 September 2012, ^ We conclude that continuing evidence of serious human rights abuses in Sri Lanka shows that the Commonwealth's decision to hold the 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo was wrong. . *Sir Malcolm Rifkind was among those who expressed concern at the actions of a number of countries that had opposed the idea of a Commissioner for Democracy, the Rule of Law and Human Rights. He said that Sri Lanka was "the obvious case in point Foreign Affairs Committee Fourth Report: The role and future of the Commonwealth, 15 November 2012, (* a member of Eminent Persons Group appointed by CHOGM2009 to examine Commonwealth Reform but CHOGM 2011 refused the EPG recommendations frank discussion)

The Commonwealth Secretary-General ignorantly or intentionally thinks that projects in areas of public service, youth entrepreneurship and local government will address the absence of Democracy and Rule of Law causing cultural and political colonisation of the North. In fact those projects will help the ongoing oppression: Presidential Task Force for Northern Development, the *governmental regulatory body, is located in Colombo and is virtually all Sinhalese in its ethnic composition, even though most of the people in the north are Tamil. Several of its members are retired military officers. This money comes from international donors for the rehabilitation of the people of the north. But decision makers in Colombo decide what should be done without reference to the wishes of the people of the area - Dispelling perceptions of uncaring government in the North, National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, 25 June 2012 (* in the absence of Northern Provincial Council the elections for which the government has been refusing to hold so far) There is a great deal of evidence to show that conflict-insensitive aid has been exacerbating the conflict in Sri Lanka over 4/5 decades: ^Disaster Response, Peace and Conflict in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka, Simon Harris, February 2006(University of Bradford, UK):'' Had international humanitarian interventions understood the dynamics of conflict and the role of assistance in informing such relationships, they might actually have helped contribute to peace building by tackling the underlying structures and root causes, or more minimally, by at least not making situations worse.'' ^Sri Lanka orders cuts in aid work, 9 July 2009: The Sri Lankan government has told international relief agencies to cut back their activities in the country. But it(ICRC) says an estimated 300,000 displaced people still need food, medicine and help to return home ^No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan, 13 March 2010: ''The funding crisis follows the governments refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP). The UN and other humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to meet the urgent needs of internally displaced persons in the North. ...'' The recent UN report says Sri Lankan government had been pressuring the UN officials to deviate from their practice. They seem to be succeeding with the Commonwealth Secretary General too. But the Commonwealth Secretary General needs to be firm and to be much better at his job.