U.N. rights boss urges international war crimes probe for Sri Lanka

Comments (13)
Metteyya wrote:

What is peculiar about this particular effort to use the UNHRC to investigate war crimes of a non-signatory country to the Rome ICC War Crimes Treaty like Sri Lanka is that it is toothless and worthless theater, as Sri Lanka can simply thumb its nose at the UNHRC regardless of their findings just like Israel has done in the past, including its recent thumbing of the nose at the Goldstone Report that found widespread and systematic human rights abuses and war crimes in Israeli action against Hamas.

The REAL question is what does the US/UK do after Sri Lanka thumbs its nose at the UNHRC when it finishes its probe? The UN Security Council is not an option since China and Russia will likely veto any war crimes action against Sri Lanka. And a trade spat (sanctions/boycotts/tarrifs) only harms the US and the UK, as Sri Lanka is currently running a trade deficit with these countries in that the dollar value of US/UK imports far exceeds the value of Sri Lankan exports to these countries. In fact, an organized popular boycott (similar to the very effective Halal certifications boycott) of US/UK products may occur even without US/UK sanctions, as the Sinhalese Buddhist majority (70% of population) are simply fed up with former colonist countries like the UK and the US trying to dictate their internal affairs.

So it looks like at the end of the day, the UNHRC resolution is all about making a lot of noise and headlines to publicly embarrass the Sri Lanka government for winning a war against the Tamil terrorists that the US and the UK thought was not winnable. But spending a lot of political and diplomatic capital to embarrass a particular country is not very prudent and harkens back to Bush and Reagan-era incoherent (Ugly American) foreign policy that attempts to trample on the sovereignty and independence of democratically elected governments simply because they pursue public policies with which the US disagrees.

War is ugly, particularly war against an internationally declared terrorist group like the Tamil Tigers whose main tactic of killing civilians and using them as a human shield is a war crime. Nonetheless, the Sri Lankan government has finally rid its country of this terrorist menace after a 35 year effort. This hard-won peace needs to be respected and not undermined by encouraging Tamil (mainly Christian) separatist elements with false hope of a separate state within Sri Lanka.

The US and the UK need to do the superpower-ego-crushing-thing and admit they have absolutely no power at all on the UN Security Council to force a war crimes investigation of Sri Lanka, and harness all of the energy and political capital they are wasting at the UNHRC with toothless resolutions and use it to help Sri Lanka with its extraordinary progress in reconciling its nation (you can’t even tell a civil war just happened in 99% of the country), rebuilding its infrastructure, and developing its economy.

Unless the US/UK changes its tune quickly, they are going to be on the outside looking in at one of the fastest growing economies in the region. And efforts to distract the government from growing the economy or blatant attempts to destabilize the country by supporting small residual Tamil separatist elements (maybe 3% of the population at best – Christian Tamils in the Far North of the country) are going to fall flat on their face.

Mar 26, 2014 3:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Metteyya wrote:

What is peculiar about this particular effort to use the UNHRC to investigate war crimes of a non-signatory country to the Rome ICC War Crimes Treaty like Sri Lanka is that it is toothless and worthless theater, as Sri Lanka can simply thumb its nose at the UNHRC regardless of their findings just like Israel has done in the past, including its recent thumbing of the nose at the Goldstone Report that found widespread and systematic human rights abuses and war crimes in Israeli action against Hamas.

The REAL question is what does the US/UK do after Sri Lanka thumbs its nose at the UNHRC when it finishes its probe? The UN Security Council is not an option since China and Russia will likely veto any war crimes action against Sri Lanka. And a trade spat (sanctions/boycotts/tarrifs) only harms the US and the UK, as Sri Lanka is currently running a trade deficit with these countries in that the dollar value of US/UK imports far exceeds the value of Sri Lankan exports to these countries. In fact, an organized popular boycott (similar to the very effective Halal certifications boycott) of US/UK products may occur even without US/UK sanctions, as the Sinhalese Buddhist majority (70% of population) are simply fed up with former colonist countries like the UK and the US trying to dictate their internal affairs.

So it looks like at the end of the day, the UNHRC resolution is all about making a lot of noise and headlines to publicly embarrass the Sri Lanka government for winning a war against the Tamil terrorists that the US and the UK thought was not winnable. But spending a lot of political and diplomatic capital to embarrass a particular country is not very prudent and harkens back to Bush and Reagan-era incoherent (Ugly American) foreign policy that attempts to trample on the sovereignty and independence of democratically elected governments simply because they pursue public policies with which the US disagrees.

War is ugly, particularly war against an internationally declared terrorist group like the Tamil Tigers whose main tactic of killing civilians and using them as a human shield is a war crime. Nonetheless, the Sri Lankan government has finally rid its country of this terrorist menace after a 35 year effort. This hard-won peace needs to be respected and not undermined by encouraging Tamil (mainly Christian) separatist elements with false hope of a separate state within Sri Lanka.

The US and the UK need to do the superpower-ego-crushing-thing and admit they have absolutely no power at all on the UN Security Council to force a war crimes investigation of Sri Lanka, and harness all of the energy and political capital they are wasting at the UNHRC with toothless resolutions and use it to help Sri Lanka with its extraordinary progress in reconciling its nation (you can’t even tell a civil war just happened in 99% of the country), rebuilding its infrastructure, and developing its economy.

Unless the US/UK changes its tune quickly, they are going to be on the outside looking in at one of the fastest growing economies in the region. And efforts to distract the government from growing the economy or blatant attempts to destabilize the country by supporting small residual Tamil separatist elements (maybe 3% of the population at best – Christian Tamils in the Far North of the country) are going to fall flat on their face.

Mar 26, 2014 3:20pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sumith321 wrote:

Do you appoint a stooge from Putin’s inner circle to investigate Crimea problem? Whay this tamil woman and her South African buddies investigating Sinhalese?

Mar 26, 2014 3:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sumith321 wrote:

Also tamils were brought into Sri Lanka and South Africa by English. They are been discriminated and looked down upon due to this reconciliation (revenge) theater

Mar 26, 2014 3:34pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jay-k wrote:

Sri-Lanka depends on the EU and US for half its exports and for aid money.
It also depends heavily on Western tourists.

Tourism Industry in the country is controlled by the Rajapksa family and the military. Most of the money spent by tourists go into their pockets.

UK and Western Tourists should boycott the country.

If sanctions can be used effectively against Burma, Iran, Syria and Zimbabwe, they can also be used against Sri-Lanka.

Mar 26, 2014 5:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

South Afrika is a hellhole for natives. Tatoo has sold his people, natives live in shacks, The gold is dug by the looters, Miners are shot at land is owned by Africaner , UN is a rubber stam agency that works for multinational corporations.
UK – the kingdom demanocracy wants to create misery tin Srilanka.
It is RACIST to relentlessly pursue the killing of the most horrendous suicide bomber tamil tigers.
Navi Pillay is an ethnic tamil used by the UK .
Srilankans had forgiven the loot by the colonizers and the divisions they created.
They the Brits who live in glass houses should behave.
It is sad the US is trying to undermine a small nation.
Plain RACISM.

Mar 26, 2014 5:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

South Afrika is a hellhole for natives. Tatoo has sold his people, natives live in shacks, The gold is dug by the looters, Miners are shot at land is owned by Africaner , UN is a rubber stam agency that works for multinational corporations.
UK – the kingdom demanocracy wants to create misery tin Srilanka.
It is RACIST to relentlessly pursue the killing of the most horrendous suicide bomber tamil tigers.
Navi Pillay is an ethnic tamil used by the UK .
Srilankans had forgiven the loot by the colonizers and the divisions they created.
They the Brits who live in glass houses should behave.
It is sad the US is trying to undermine a small nation.
Plain RACISM.

Mar 26, 2014 5:49pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

Navipilai is an ethnic Tamil used by multinational corporations.

Mar 26, 2014 5:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

South Africa is a hellhole for natives. That is a fact,you may not publish it ,that is spin mill journalism for you.
Reuters is in that business.

Mar 26, 2014 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse

South Africa is a hellhole for natives. That is a fact,you may not publish it ,that is spin mill journalism for you.
Reuters is in that business.

Mar 26, 2014 5:52pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
sumith321 wrote:

Navi pIllai is a tamil pure enemy of Sinhalese. trying to bomb Sinhalese. Tamil is south will be asked to leave to Jaffna. Many tamil families in south will be destroyed. so as many lives of Sinhalese.

Mar 26, 2014 10:22pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jay-k wrote:

This is what Gotabaya Rajapaksa told “The Australian” newspaper on 23 March 2009:

The UN may tell you that at least 2000 civilians have been killed in fighting since January, but Sri Lanka’s Secretary of Defence, Gotabaya Rajapaksa, says there are none. Absolutely none.

“If you want to believe me, believe me, NO civilian casualties!

In 2009, the Rajapaksa regime arrested five doctors who worked in the War-zone and forced them to tell the media that a maximum of 750 civilians were killed in the final five months of the war!

In 2011, the regime claimed that around 7,500 civilians were killed!

It first dismissed Channel 4′s Sri-Lanka Killing Field programme as a fake. It then said last year that it would use the programme to investigate allegations of War Crimes!

A UN investigation said 40,000 people were killed in the final five months alone!

After five years, not a single person has been brought to justice!

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Abraham Lincoln

Mar 27, 2014 7:47am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Jay-k wrote:

Today, the regime in Syria is committing similar atrocities in the hope that it could get away, as no one has been held accountable for the alleged war crimes in Sri-Lanka. By not bringing war criminals to book, the civilized world is sending a wrong message to tyrants everywhere.

War criminals can run, but cannot hide!

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Mar 27, 2014 7:48am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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