Report made on hearsay, breaks rule on natural justice - Gomin
by Muditha GAMAGE
Veteran Lawyer Gomin Dayasri said that Sri Lankan must rally round
the country's Security Forces that made Sri Lanka the most secured place
in South Asia.
are excerpts of the interview: During this post war scenario most people
argue that Sri Lanka's critical success factor is rebuilding the
Country's image as a pluralistic nation with full participation in the
economic, social and political life of the country which includes all
segments of the population. According to your personal opinion so far
how do we reach that target? There is development hitherto unknown,
visible in the North and East that is improving the quality of life of
the people, but it has not won the hearts and minds of the Tamil people.
There is still an LTTE hangover with the TNA endeavouring to ensure
there is no harmony between the two major communities to sustain their
hold on the vote. If there is goodwill between the two communities
Tamils will be voting for the national parties and not for ethnic
parties. It is only some Tamil public servants who are standing in
between, conditioned by the TNA trying to prevent the Tamil people from
enjoying the benefits given by the central government. They are
distancing the people from the central government because they want to
usher federalism To build bridges would be difficult with the present
adult generation of both communities, because of the conditioning during
the war on terrorism but it could work well if the children are bonded
through schools. The government must work on the next generation now in
schools. The coming generation will overcome this problem if we become a
trilingual society and have the "sister schools" concept where schools
in the North and East are linked with schools of the rest of the country
and have interaction. We must invest in the children so that they grow
side by side.
The government must pay attention to the legitimate grievances of the
Tamil people and make it a priority issue. The 13th Amendment will only
help the TNA to grow stronger and will not strengthen ties between
The central government must directly access the Tamil people via
solving their legitimate grievances. It's the TNA oriented public
servants that will try to spoil the soup.
The recent United Nations so called expert panel report as well as
the US State Department Country report has strongly condemned and
reported of large-scale human rights violations during the final stage
of the humanitarian operation against the LTTE . What is your overall
assessment about these reports? Those who want to believe in the
atrocities will believe irrespective of the contents in the report -
whether they are true or otherwise.
It is a report based on hearsay made without hearing all the parties.
It breaks the basics of the rule relating to natural justice. Such a
report has little or no value.
But this is a starting point for TGTE and the Tamil Diaspora together
with human rights activists to pressurize the Human Rights Council to
revisit Sri Lanka. They will use the Ban kin Moon report to further
One thing for sure, three members who did this report were hand
picked for this hatchet job. They were not objective or impartial. They
were biased from the beginning.
On the other hand, the government was not in a "on their marks-get
set" position when the report was released.
But, recently an exclusive revelation by the former TNA MP who was
victimized during the final stage of the battle field as told a
completely different story about the war on terrorism. "I have seen with
my own eyes, the tragic and horrendous scenarios unfolding those days
and seen people being ruthlessly killed by the LTTE - Rule of the gun
prevailed." Do you believe his revelation? If yes, what are the
possibilities the government has to pressurise the international
community depending on this type of revelations? The TNA will sing
different songs on different podiums.
We remember them singing for their supper during the glory days of
the LTTE. They were chorus boys of the LTTE during that period.
Sometimes they will play tunes true to their conscience.
They cannot bear to see the Sinhala and Tamil communities living in
harmony. If that happens they will be out of business.
What is the legal/ethical status of the UN panel and its report? It
carries the stamp of Ban ki-Moon as the Secretary General of the UN; but
since the Sri Lankan side of the story was not heard, it has no validity
except as the 'complain sheet' of LTTE supporters and the Western human
To gain credibility they made allegations against the LTTE also;
since no action can be taken with the leadership vanquished.
Why did Ban ki-Moon not appoint a similar committee during the period
the LTTE leadership was operational and was named a terrorist outfit by
the international community and the UN described them as illegal child
Asian Tribune: What are the implications for Sri Lanka? Implications
are it is a set up to a run-up in trying to make us an outlaw state by
finally appointing a foreign body to investigate war crimes and disgrace
the reputation of Sri Lanka and to take away the glory of a victory over
terrorism that the sophisticated western nations after years of trying
failed to achieve.
Our Foreign Ministry was caught napping on this report. At least now
they must come alive.
They must act positively and intelligently to save our good name.
How should the general citizenry of this country react? People must
rally around the Armed Forces that made this country the most secure in
South Asia. They must stand up to the President and the Defence
Secretary and the then Commanders, forgetting political differences.
Religious Dignitaries, Intellectuals Professionals and the Business
Community must take leadership to save the country. They cannot remain
silent because they are the prime beneficiaries of the prevailing peace,
unlike the common man who sacrificed so much and made the war victory
possible by offering their children to the forces and living stoically
amidst hardship but yet has made no economic head way thereafter. Most
of the elite society was fine-tuning in the belief that the LTTE were
invincible and our Forces cannot match the might of the terrorists.
Such were hyping to demoralize our fighting forces by speaking of the
glories of the fighting formations of the LTTE.
This is the time to show who is for Sri Lanka and who is not? The TNA
is a beneficiary of the peace exercise as they can engage in politics
without reservations; but they will root and cheer for the Ban Ki-moon
Report. The TNA is not for a peaceful Sri Lanka where communities can
live in harmony; they want the opposite.
People must take the lead in saving Sri Lanka. This is going to be as
thorny as winning the war. The same forces that wanted us to take the
road to peace rather the road to war to end terrorism; will now fight to
punish Sri Lanka for achieving peace through war.
The supporters of the Ban Ki-moon are targeting a regime change. We
must not succumb to it.
Do we have the mechanisms that ensure accountability? We have the
machinery but it is too slow - the process through courts of law. For
example the action filed against the TRO years ago has not had a single
date of trial; instead a series of adjournments.
We should within our constitution set up a speedier trial process to
determine humanitarian violations if they have prima facie evidence. For
this purpose special courts can be set up as it happened against the JVP
But who ever are appointed, the judges/prosecutors must act in a way
that the trial gains recognition and respectability and are not mock
trials. It must be done in a credible manner to gain international
Much of these issues will disappear if the Human Rights Commission,
Bribery and Corruption Commission and Election Commission contain
credible people with reputations of integrity and independence If these
are sycophancy zones it is the country that loses face.
According to your knowledge, what is the reason for delaying the
final report of Mahanama Tillekeratne commission. Which has investigated
abductions, disappearances, killings, and unidentified bodies? To me
this is another occasion the country has lost face. The government must
see reports are released and act on its recommendations if they appoint
commissions. Otherwise they can reject the report and give reasons for
it. We have to grovel in the dust because we get our act wrong and make
appointments that do not command respect. Freedom of expression means
tolerance of conflicting views that enriches a society. The freedom of
the press is a necessary check and balance against arbitrary regimes.
Arrest and detention are part of the rule of law but at a time terrorism
prevailed and life in society was greatly disturbed, national security
limitations could be imposed on arrest and detention but not on free
expression and the freedom of the press.
Courtesy: Asian Tribune