ஒப்பந்தங்களை கிழிப்பதும், ஆணையங்களை அமைப்பதும் சிறிலங்காவுக்கு புதிதல்ல : பிரதமர் வி.உருத்திரகுமாரன் கருத்து !
சிங்கள ஆட்சியாளர்களின் கடந்தகால வரலாற்றில் பண்டா-செல்வா, டட்லி-செல்வா போன்ற பல ஒப்பந்தங்களை கிழித்தெறித்தவர்களுக்கு, சர்வதேச தீர்மானம் ஒன்றினை தூக்கியெறிவதும், ஆணையங்களை அமைத்து காலத்தை கரைத்து தப்பித்துக் கொள்வதும் சிறிலங்காவின் பொறுப்பற்ற அரசியல் நடத்தையை சர்வதேசத்துக்கு வெளிக்காட்டியுள்ளது என பிரதமர் வி.உருத்திரகுமாரன் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
ஐ.நா மனித உரிமைச்சபையில் ஐ.நா தீர்மானத்தில் இருந்து தாம் விலகுவதான சிறிலங்கா வெளிவிகார அமைச்சரின் உரை தொடர்பில் வெளியிட்டுள்ள அறிக்கையொன்றிலேயே இதனைத் தெரிவித்துள்ளார். சிங்கள பௌத்த பேரினவாத நிலைப்பாட்டை வெளிக்காட்டும் வகையில் அமைந்த சிறிலங்கா வெளிவிவகார அமைச்சரின் உரையானது, பொய்களும், ஏமாற்றுக்களும், பொறுப்பற்றதுதான மட்டுமல்லாது, பழியினை பிறர் மீது சுமத்திவிட்டு தப்பித்துக் கொள்வதான உத்தியைக் கொண்டதென்றும் அவர் சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ளார்.
குறிப்பாக குற்றங்கள் புரிந்த இராணுவ தரப்பினை நாயகர்களாக கொண்டாடிக் கொண்டு ஆணையம் அமைப்போம் என்பது ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளனின் நீதியாகவுள்ளது என பிரதமர் வி.உருத்திரகுமாரன் இடித்துரைத்துள்ளார்.
பூகோள அரசியலில் தம்மை பகடைக்காயாக சர்வதேச சக்திகள் கையாளுகின்ற என்ற சிறிலங்காவின் வெளிவிவகார அமைச்சரின் கருத்தினை முற்றாக நிராரித்துள்ள பிரதமர் வி.உருத்திரகுமாரன், உண்மையில் பூகோள அரசியலுக்குள் அகப்பட்டு பாதிக்கப்பட்டது தமிழர்கள்தான் என தெரிவித்துள்ளார். இலங்கைத்தீவை மையப்படுத்திய பூகோள அரசியலை அரசென்ற வகையில், தமக்கு சாதகமாக பயன்படுத்தி தமிழினப்படுகொலையினை மேற்கொண்டது சிறிலங்கா அரசுதான் எனவும் அவர் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
மனிதகுலத்துக்கு எதிரான வகைதொiயான பாரிய குற்றங்களை விசாரிப்பதற்குரிய நீதிக்கட்டமைப்பு சிறிலங்காவில் இல்லை என்ற நீதிச் சுதந்திரத்துக்கும், சட்டத்துறை சுதந்திரத்திரத்துக்குமான ஐ.நாவின் சிறப்பு அறிக்கையாளர் மொனிக்கா பிங்கோ அவர்களது கூற்றினைச் சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ள பிரதமர் வி.உருத்திரகுமாரன், சிறிலங்காவை அனைத்துலக குற்றிவியல் நீதிமன்றத்திலோ (ICC) அல்லது இனப்படுகொலை தடுப்புக்கான அனைத்துலக உடன்பாட்டுக்கு அமைய அனைத்துல நீதிமன்றத்திலோ (ICJ) சிறிலங்காவை உடனடியாக சர்வதேச சமூகம் பாரப்படுத்த வேண்டும் என கோரியுள்ளார்.
TGTE Calls on Int’l Community to Reject Sri Lankan Domestic Justice Mechanism & Refer Sri Lanka to ICC, ICJ
The Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) urges the United Nations Human Rights Council and the international community at large to reject a “domestically designed and executed reconciliation and accountability process” as described by Sri Lanka’s Foreign Relations Minister Dinesh Gunawardena yesterday before the UNHRC as a suitable replacement for the international judicial process mandated by UNHRC Resolution 30/1, which Sri Lanka unilaterally withdrew from on bogus pretenses, and instead proceed with a remedial justice initiative that includes referring Sri Lanka to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) under the Genocide Convention.
Sri Lanka has a long history of establishing Commissions to ward off international pressure to pursue a legitimate accountability process in accordance with international standards. For example, according to Amnesty International’s 2011 review of the Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) created in bad-faith by the former Rajapaksa administration, where the LLRC “appears to really falter is in ignoring the serious evidence of war crimes, crimes against humanity and other violations of the laws of war by government forces…[t]here is a clear sign of the bias we had feared and already detected in the LLRC’s composition and conduct.”
Sam Zarifi, Amnesty International’s Asia-Pacific director at the time went to say, “The LLRC has admitted its own inability to establish the facts about the conduct of the fighting and points out legal complexities beyond its abilities. This is why the international community must now follow up with an investigation, bringing to bear the full resources and assistance of the UN and the international community.” In his speech yesterday, Minister Gunawardena failed to give the international community any reason to believe a new domestic mechanism would a yield a different outcome from past domestic pursuits.
On the contrary, Minister Gunawardena’s speech yesterday shows Sri Lanka’s true colors as a rigid ethnocratic Buddhist Sinhalese State only interested in “victor’s justice.” By criticizing former High Commissioner for Human Rights Hussein’s 2015 Report on Sri Lanka (OISL) on the grounds that it “unjustly vilif[ies] the heroic Sri Lankan security forces,” the Minister exposes the State’s entrenched bias in favor of the state forces that a domestic mechanism would be tasked with investigating and holding accountable, revealing that a domestic mechanism would never work.
The Minister’s statement that “[t]he end of the brutal conflict advanced, secured and protected one of the fundamental human rights – the ‘right to life’ for all Sri Lankans- Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslims and others” displays Sri Lanka’s total disregard for Tamil lives and dignity. There is no greater violation of ‘the right to life’ than the genocidal campaign waged against Tamils by State forces during the final stage of the conflict, which resulted in the death of 70,000-100,000 Tamils.
Third, the Minister’s description in his opening statement of the new administration’s “policy framework” as one “envisaged to achieve sustainable development and peace in the country, firmly anchored in safeguarding ‘national security without compromising the democratic space available to our people” glaringly omits any mention of “accountability.” Given the Minister’s repeated statement that a domestic mechanism must be in line with Sri Lanka’s “policy” and “priorities,” the Minister’s description shows that the State has no interest in pursuing justice.
The Minister’s speech also includes many statements that are on their face outright lies, offering critical insight into the lack of credibility that any domestic mechanism would carry. For example, the Minister accused fellow UN Member States of using Sri Lanka as a “pawn” for geopolitical gain. However, the fact is that Sri Lanka used its strategic location in Indian Ocean to keep international powers away from intervening militarily and diplomatically while Sri Lanka carried out the Tamil Genocide in 2009. Sri Lanka continues to play the victim card while ignoring the suffering of the armed conflict’s actual victims: the Tamil People.
The Minister also claimed, “The government led by the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa, of which the current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, initiated a sustainable reconciliation process in Sri Lanka to bring about ‘healing and peace building’” that was an “ an inclusive process.” This is outright delusional. One need look no further than President Gotabaya’s recent statement that any political resolution should be based on the support of the Sinhala people to discern the State’s total lack of interest in reconciliation and inclusion. The Minister’s closing remarks quoting Buddha and spoken in Sinhalese underscores the vapidness of the Minister’s claim.
TGTE therefore maintains its decade-long position that a domestic mechanism to investigate and prosecute “credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity” (2011 UN Panel of Experts’ Report on Sri Lanka) perpetrated by Sri Lanka against Tamils during the armed conflict serves only to attempt to deflect calls for referral of Sri Lanka to the ICC and delay other meaningful actions on accountability and will never deliver justice to Tamils given neither the State nor the judiciary is ethnically neutral, the judiciary is not independent, and there is no known instance of a State guilty of international crimes investigating itself.
No fewer than 10 UN reports substantiate TGTE’s position, as do reports by many highly respected international NGOs as well as the US Department of State. In his 2015 Report on Sri Lanka (OISL), former High Commissioner Hussein stated that “the domestic criminal justice system” in Sri Lanka “needs to be strengthened and reformed” and that that process “needs to be undertaken in parallel to the establishment of a special hybrid court, not in place of it.” High Commissioner Hussein also called attention to widespread “reprisals against judicial and other professionals who try to prosecute human-rights related cases involving State officials.”
Minister Gunawardena’s baseless allegation that the Commissioner’s report is “much flawed,” among his other stern words for fellow Member States, is the equivalent of such a reprisal on the international stage. His attack of OISL is also an attack on fellow UN Member States that adopted the Report. This hurling of insults against the UN, its experts and its processes as “flawed,” “biased,” “politically motivated,” and a violation of Sri Lankan “sovereignty” is a longstanding strategy imparted by Sri Lanka to manipulate the country’s Buddhist Sinhalese majority, undermine all justice initiatives, and perpetuate the State’s culture of impunity.
In her 2017 report, which Sri Lankan Justice Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe called “a harm to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty”—one of Sri Lanka’s go-to false pretenses for rejecting UN findings that contradict its ongoing narrative of lies—UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers Monica Pinto, who Minister Rajapakshe also accused of impropriety in her reporting, noted the “inadequacy of the State’s domestic legal framework to deal with international crimes of this magnitude.”
“In the past, when Sri Lanka has prosecuted conflict-related cases, it has relied on offences in regular criminal law, sch as murder. fails to recognize the gravity of the crimes committed, their international character, or to duly acknowledge the harm caused to the victims. It also constrains and undermines prosecution strategies, as it does not follow the chain of responsibility and prosecute those who planned, organized or gave the orders for what may be system crimes,” she reported.
The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister claimed that one of the reasons for Sri Lanka’s withdrawal from Resolution 30/1 is that the accountability process envisaged by the UNHRC can’t be carried out within the Sri Lankan constitution. But that is exactly why the UNHRC called for constitutional reforms to accommodate an accountability process that meets international standards. However, the fact of the matter is that the Sri Lankan polity will never allow for any kind of amendment that integrates international human rights and humanitarian legal norms, such as the prohibition of torture and the commission of war crimes, that would deny the State the convenient (albeit lame) excuse upon which it has come to rely to eschew international justice and force the hand of the State to investigate its own.
The State’s abandonment of the UNHRC transitional justice initiative it co-sponsored under Resolution 30/1 is only the latest example of Sri Lanka’s historic betrayal of Tamils, which also includes the State’s abandonment the Bandaranaike–Chelvanayakam Pact and Dudley- Chelvanayakam Pact.
Against this backdrop, anyone can sees that Sri Lanka’s declaration that it will create a domestic mechanism to investigate international crimes perpetrated during the armed conflict is nothing more than a pretense for the State to continue its “delay and never deliver” tactic used to sabotage the UNHRC transitional justice initiative, which TGTE repeatedly tried to impart unto the international community was a fool’s errand.
Former High Commissioner for Human Rights Hussein stated in his report, “[t]he High Commissioner remains convinced that, for accountability to be achieved in Sri Lanka, it will require more than a domestic mechanism.” He also said, “Importantly, the report reveals violations that are among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.”
How the UNHRC, other UN bodies and the international community at large react to Sri Lanka’s unilateral declaration that it plans to create a domestic justice process as articulated by the Foreign Relations Minister before the 43rd Session of the UNHRC will have implications not only for Tamil victims but also for the future of international justice and accountability globally.
Given Sir Lanka’s string of broken promises and deeply entrenched culture of impunity, which is a threat to international peace and security, Tamils and the international community should get together and see that accountability does not involve Sri Lanka, but rather Sri Lanka, as part of a remedial justice agenda, is referred to the ICC and the ICJ.
Prime Minister Office