International forces can't sway Sri Lanka
United Nations High Commissioner
for Human Rights, Navaneetham Pillay has again shown her true colours by
playing into the hands of the West. She has called for an international
inquiry into alleged war crimes committed by both sides during the
battle against terrorism, saying that the government had failed to do
its own credible investigation.
This does not come as a surprise, going by Pillay's questionable
conduct and the manner in which she had conducted herself all along.
Clearing the path for the much anticipated US-led Resolution to be
tabled at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Sessions next
month, Pillay has recommended an "independent, international inquiry
mechanism, which would contribute to establishing the truth where
domestic inquiry mechanisms have failed".
One fails to understand on what basis Pillay could say that Sri
Lanka's domestic inquiry mechanism has failed when the country is making
headway in reconciliation and implementing the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations.
It is crystal clear that Pillay's report is arbitrary, intrusive and
of a political nature. It is evident that she has overstepped her
mandate as the UNHRC chief by being partial to the whims and fancies of
It is abundantly clear that Pillay's conduct is unbecoming and
moreover interferes in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. She
had never gone to this extent against any other country although there
had been grave human rights violations in several countries, including
the US-led NATO forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
While turning a Nelsonian eye to the countless civilian deaths due to
the US drone attacks in Pakistan, Pillay is weeping buckets of crocodile
tears over LTTE terrorists killed in action, alleging that the Security
Forces should be held responsible "for shelling civilian areas".
She has gone one step further by trying to tinker with the local
judicial system, expressing "concern" that legal proceedings have not
begun against any LTTE suspects. Even a kindergarten child knows that
the Government has rehabilitated a large number of ex-terrorists and
provided them livelihood opportunities. Only a handful of hardcore LTTE
cadres who had serious criminal and terrorist charges against them on
large-scale bomb explosions and brutal killings still remain in custody.
Does Pillay expect Sri Lanka to grant an amnesty to all LTTE
terrorists in custody, ignoring the serious crimes they had committed
and the brutal killings of thousands of civilians? Has she shown the
same concern on Al Qaeda terrorists taken into custody by the US and its
The Government has rejected the call by UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights "to establish an international inquiry mechanism to further
investigate the alleged human rights violations in toto.
She pays scant respect and has no regard for the ongoing domestic
process here within the framework of the LLRC.
Sri Lanka's Permanent Mission to the UN had pointed out, that the
trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation of the
High Commissioner reflects the preconceived, politicised and prejudicial
agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka.
After her wild allegations following a tour to Sri Lanka in August
last year, the Government called upon Pillay to provide factual evidence
to substantiate the allegations and refrain from making general comments
without a degree of specificity which would allow the Government to
investigate and respond in a comprehensive manner, which however had not
Rather than doing so and providing concrete evidence, in the event
she had gathered any, during her week-long visit here, Pillay continues
to level unfounded allegations, generalising the incidents without a
specific reference or evidence. This clearly shows that she has a set
agenda and a role to play to appease a specific country or group.
The Western agenda came into sharp focus with the remarks by the UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights at the end of her visit last year.
Though Pillay had made a desperate attempt to prove that her conduct as
the UNHRC chief was neutral and transparent by claiming that she began
her tour of Sri Lanka with an open mind without prejudice, the cat was
out of the bag during her final news conference prior to leaving
Her statement at the press conference was carefully worded. While
trying to debunk the widely-believed allegation that she was a Tiger
sympathiser labelling the LTTE as a ruthless terrorist organisation, she
overstepped her mandate as the UN Human Rights Chief saying that the
Government is heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction.
There is no doubt, whatsoever, that Pillay had transgressed her
mandate and the basic norms which she should have observed as a
discerning international civil servant, by making a political statement.
It goes without saying that the judgement of the country's leadership
is better left to the people of Sri Lanka to decide, rather than by
extraneous forces influenced by those with vested interests. Does she
have the right to give a political twist to her visit by passing
judgement on the country's political leadership, which had received an
overwhelming mandate from the masses at all elections?
Pillay has been notorious for making sweeping statements to pamper
the LTTE even during Sri Lanka's 2006-2009 battle against terrorism.
Being cognizant that it would be a conflict of interest for a person who
has roots in South India to pass international judgments on Sri Lanka,
Pillay labelled the LTTE as a terror outfit and added that there should
be no place for the glorification of such a ruthless organisation.
What is most intriguing are Pillay's double standards which are not
in keeping with the status of a person who holds the high office of the
UN human rights chief. Her delegation's wily efforts to pay a floral
tribute at Mullivaikkal where the LTTE leadership was vanquished by the
Security Forces in May, 2009 were thwarted.
If Pillay and her OHCHR delegation wished to pay tribute to those who
had perished during the LTTE's three decades of terror, it should have
been done at a venue common to all victims and certainly not at the spot
where LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran met his waterloo.
The West is hell-bent on having a puppet regime here which would
dance the fandango round it. It does not favour the national leadership
which does not fall in line with it. Western forces with vested
interests are doing their utmost for a regime change in Sri Lanka so
that they could have a leader who could be remote-controlled from
Certain Western powers yearn to have a Government here that is
closely aligned with its interests to influence the country's destiny.
They also seek to influence Sri Lanka's destiny so that it would not
pursue the independent course it is now taking.
Pillay's report is indicative of a prejudiced mind and in no way
shows the fairness and open-mindedness of an official undertaking such a
mission. Pillay acknowledges progress and positive developments
half-heartedly. What is most deplorable is the tone and substance of her
report and the lack of fairness and balance.
The UNHRC chief had no empirical evidence, whatsoever, to support her
claim that Sri Lanka is moving towards authoritarianism. Undoubtedly,
Pillay would have planned this statement even before her tour here.
Be it the UNHRC or its head Pillay, nobody has the right to scuttle
Sri Lanka's hard-earned peace and the peaceful coexistence among all
communities now prevailing. Some Western countries begrudged Sri Lanka
sailing towards prosperity. They prefer to create problems to control us
The West abhors countries such as Sri Lanka being governed by regimes
that could not be controlled by them. None of the present war crimes
allegations would have been levelled against Sri Lanka if the current
leadership says yes to anything and everything of the West.
Since President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA Government are
becoming increasingly popular among the masses and continue to register
landslide victories at every election, the West is determined to exert
undue pressure and create problems in the country.
No force on earth could endanger Sri Lanka as long as the masses
continue to repose implicit faith in the President and the Government.