Worsening human rights woes drive political skulduggery

[TamilNet, Thursday, 07 March 2013, 00:56 GMT]
While Tamils unitedly view the Mu'l'livaaykaal killings as an international crime of genocidal proportions committed by the State, Colombo, sensing the tightening of the rights noose around its neck at the UNHCR and beyond, is resorting to political skulduggery, even while Tamils look suspiciously at the international actors, particularly India and the U.S. Both India and the U.S., even while armed with credible evidence of Rajapaksas' complicity in the genocidal crimes, continue to allow Colombo space and time to act on "improving" the rights climate, while Colombo continues its cultural genocide, and aggressively erases any remaining evidence of mass atrocities.

Recent reactions by two Sinhala opinion makers in Sri Lanka captures the ignominious Government response to the worsening diplomatic situation due to Sri Lanka's inaction on improving rights on the ground and the failure to implement the recommendations made by Colombo's own commission.

In either case, there was no attempt to ascertain and admit to what the facts are. The approach is to find ways to avoid or circumvent the need to expose the truth.

Mr. Wickremesinghe, a former Prime Minister and the current leader of the opposition, recalled that he had declined to sign an agreement on International Court (ICC) during his tenure as Prime Minister, thus preventing the Sri Lankan leaders from being charged of war crimes. “I created a favorable situation for Sri Lanka in 2003, but the present regime had turned the table,” Wickremesinghe is quoted as saying.

Wickremesinghe either knowingly misrepresents, or unknowingly makes a factual blunder questioning "why the government decided to join the ICC by changing the stance of the previous UNP Government. During my tenure as the premier of this country I did not join the ICC because I had plans for a political solution for the national problem."

TamilNet is unaware, and the Coalition for ICC, which advocates universal ratification of Rome Statute, has not made any pronouncements that Sri Lanka has taken even the preliminary step as a signator to Rome Statute. A Signator simply expresses the intention to join, and is not bound by the Statute until the country ratifies the Statute.

As of February 2013, 122 states are states parties to the Statute of the Court, including all of South America, nearly all of Europe and roughly half the countries in Africa. A further 31 countries, including Russia, have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute. 41 United Nations member states have neither signed nor ratified or acceded to the Rome Statute.

Sri Lanka is one of the last group of 41 UN members, a position adopted by successive Colombo governments precisely to escape being hauled into the ICC for crimes committed, legal sources in Washington said.

A former ambassador to France, Mr. Jayatilleke, admonishes Colombo, "what is crucial is that they [Sri Lanka diplomats] speak with credibility so as to convince the members of the Council [UNHRC]. However, the wicket they have to bat on is not a good one, due to the fundamental miscalculations of our policymakers."

"The worst thing that could happen is the setting up of an international inquiry, but even the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Sri Lanka would mean a whole new ball game. In any case these repeated resolutions and defeats suffered by Sri Lanka at voting time, constitute a gradual encirclement and choking of the State. It is not yet the end-game but these are all steps that will lead to such an endgame," Mr Jayatilleke ponders.

Bad wicket, a mere "miscalculation," and new ball games indeed. The light hearted comparison to cricket does not comport with the seriousness of genocidal crimes in question, Tamil activists point out.

"The Sinhala opinion makers appear to be intensely concocting ways to avoid an investigation. Truth appears to scare these pundits," Tamil circles commented.

Related Articles:
22.02.13   Blake, architect of Tamil tragedy, spectator to genocide
07.08.11   Russell, Foucault on Truth, Lies in Sri Lanka context
13.01.09   Humanitarian tragedy unfolds in Vanni

External Links:
Wiki: States parties to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court
CT: The Perils of Reporting Progress


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