Admitting Rajapakse into US criminally similar to allowing-in genocidaire Karadzic, says Boyle

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 January 2011, 02:30 GMT]
Comparing alleged war-criminal and Sri Lanka's current President Rajapakse's reported admission into the United States to the Clinton administration's providing entry visa to genocidaire Radovan Karadzic to enter the U.S in order to attend the Vance-Owen Peace Negotiations in New York City, Professor Francis Boyle, expert in international law at the College of Law, University of Illinois, told TamilNet that Obama administration is obligated to apprehend, investigate and prosecute alleged genocidares for violating Geneva Convention and Genocide convention. Obama administration giving Rajapakse visa to enter US and allowing him free movement is "Machiavellian Realpolitik at its worst," said Boyle.

"Why did the Obama administration give Rajapaksa a Visa to enter the USA in the first place? Arguably if he were going only to UN Headquarters in New York, he would have a right to enter the country in order to do work at the U.N. under the terms of the U.N. Headquarters Agreement," said Boyle, adding, "But he has no right under international law to enter the USA itself.

"Indeed, the Conservative Reagan administration put Austrian President Kurt Waldheim on the Watch List and barred him from entering the country for mere alleged complicity in World War II war crimes—not ordering and supervising them like Rajapaksa.

"Where are Michael Posner, Harold Koh, and Samantha Power?" Boyle asked in disbelief. Michael Posner is the Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, Department of State, Samantha Power is in the National Security Council Staff, where she serves as a Special Assistant to the President and runs the Office of Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, and Harold Koh is the Legal Adviser of the Department of State.

"Somewhat ironically and tragically, the Reagan administration had more respect for the Geneva Conventions than the allegedly “liberal” Obama administration. This is Machiavellian Realpolitik at its worst," said Boyle accusing the Obama administration for allowing Rajapakse to enter the U.S.

In a recent leak of US diplomatic cable, US Ambassador in Colombo, Ambassador Butenis, has openly acknowledged the complicity of Rajapakses in war-crimes in Sri Lanka.

"This reminds me of when the Clinton administration gave a visa to the mass murderer, war criminal and genocidaire Radovan Karadzic to enter the country in order to attend the so-called Vance-Owen Peace Negotiations in New York City. Instead, the moment he set foot into the country the Clinton administration had an obligation to apprehend, investigate and prosecute Karadzic for violating the Geneva Conventions and the Genocide Convention. The same should be done by the Obama administration to Rajapaksa," Boyle added.

Professor Francis A. Boyle was also a member of Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA (1988-1992).

The United States should investigate Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapksa, when he arrives on a surprise visit to the US this week, for his alleged role in perpetrating torture and war crimes, Amnesty International said Wednesday.

Spokesperson for US-based activist group Tamils Against Genocide (TAG) told TamilNet: "In the U.S. only the Justice Department can file criminal charges against individuals for war crimes. TAG's indictment document against Sri Lanka officials is already with the Justice Department. This document, together with the information collected by the State Department's war crimes division, and the recently made public contents of US diplomatic cables attaching culpability for war crimes on Rajapakses provide sufficient evidence that should exceed required "probable cause" standard to initiate investigations.

"Also, private citizens can file civil suit asking compensation for damages resulting from war-crimes. TAG intends to use this approach if the Justice Department does not act, or delays acting on, war crime charges," said the spokesperson.


Chronology:


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External Links:
Yale: Biography: Harold Hongju Koh
US: Biography: Michael H. Posner
Atlantic: Bystanders to Genocide by Samantha Power
Bosnia: Samantha Power: The day Srebrenica fell was the worst day of my life

 

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