Govt cannot dance to the tune of foreigners - Gomin Dayasri
The Sri Lankan forces should not be penalised for liberating
thousands of people from the grip of the LTTE.War crimes allegations
should have been investigated soon after 2009 to prevent white nations
waging a witch-hunt, said famed legal luminary Gomin Dayasri adding
"This is where the former government missed the bus".
He said, "The litmus test for the government is the wording in the
American backed Resolution at the UNHRC."
Q: Is it a possibility that Sri Lanka's military may have
committed war crimes against the LTTE terrorists at the decisive final
stages of the war as alleged?
A: War crimes are different from ordinary crimes. There are
two imperative ingredients that are essential -not a requisite under the
general law, namely (a) central intention to harm civilians (b) using
excessive power than what is required. Within those parameters if any
civilian deaths are caused, it is not a war crime. That is how the
Americans overcame Hiroshima and Nagasaki where millions including
babies were killed in a few seconds and the drones that kill innocent
civilians in multiples today.
The presiding judge must wear the cap of a commanding officer of the
particular unit that committed the excesses in deciding the above
queries. There is no jury and in his seat sits the commanding officer.
This is known as the 'victors law' and we are the only 'victor' to be
punished for overcoming dreadful terrorism.
War crimes came to punish the Nazis and Japanese Forces. The Allied
Forces never faced any trial nor were they punished because they won the
war. There are forces within and outside the country to bring disrepute
to our forces for comprehensively wiping out terrorism from its roots.
I do not find our forces guilty of such crimes since we can prove we
saved over 175,000 Northerners held in captivity by the LTTE, in the
largest human rescue operation known to mankind. We provided them with
the basics and full democracy where they could openly criticize, enjoy
political freedom and the freedom of movement. So Northerners have
elected their representatives in a free and fair election defeating the
government in office. Is not life better after the end of terrorism for
all of us? The security forces contributed to the victory sacrificing
life and limb.
There could always be isolated acts since war is a dirty game unlike
cricket or rugby where there are umpires, referees and TV replays to
make instant rectifications.
Q: Time and again Sri Lanka has been called upon to
investigate allegations of war crimes by certain members of the
international community led by the US. While some demand an
international mechanism, others say it should be a domestic mechanism.
Meanwhile, UN Human Rights High Commissioner Prince Zeid called upon the
Government recently to set up a special hybrid court. Should Sri Lanka
set up a domestic mechanism to investigate these allegations ?
A: If there are any allegations it must be investigated,
especially to clear our good name in saving the country from terrorism.
This should have commenced immediately after the war and completed
during the period of euphoria before the 'white nations' started the
witch-hunt. The mistake was not having a domestic mechanism for it. This
is where the last government missed the bus.
Our Constitution does not provide for a hybrid mechanism. Hybrid is a
slimy device to include foreign participation in a domestic inquiry
where it is not permitted, unless otherwise as invitees.
We must resort to a Special Presidential Inquiry for which there are
laws enacted under a truly domestic mechanism. If required we could have
foreign experts to provide evidence and foreign observers like at the
Udalagama Commission where there were French/EU and Japanese
representation till the end.
Q: But the former government accused the international
community of constantly shifting the goalpost. Could that be the case
with the new government if they fail to please the super powers?
A: The previous government had no goalkeeper and would not
even be able to net a ball into their own goal. If they accused the
international community of changing the goal post - it did not know
where their own goal post stood. Reason - The former minister, spent
time globe trotting in luxury at public expense and the man to whom he
abdicated his authority without a murmur was incarcerated recently and
knew little about international affairs.
The former government was a failure in a time of peace because of a
lame duck Foreign Ministry and a great success in times of war due to an
effective Defence Ministry.
The litmus test for the present government is in the wording of the
American resolution at UNHRC. Good chance for the government to come out
smelling roses or face an inquiry under a domestic municipal law with
the invisible hand of an international outfit which will incur the wrath
of the people. Can the government shift the American document to its
Q: What is the best way out for Sri Lanka in Geneva in the
A: I have outlined the way and we can see the ineffectiveness
of the government when we read the American Resolution at the UNHRC
sessions. The government must first win the confidence of the people to
govern. They cannot dance to the tune of the foreigners who were anxious
to help the terrorists. People also know the benefits of eradicating
Our stance at Geneva is to safeguard national interests especially
Q: What is your take on the consensus resolution mooted by the
US? What can be the repercussions of getting onto this bandwagon?
A: I don't have the wisdom or inclination to read the minds of
the US government. There are qualified people in the pay of the
Westernized NGOs who know the mind of Uncle Sam better. Ask them? They
will help you.
The only bandwagon we must travel is in the 'Pro Sri Lanka' caravan
and for sure the government will travel in thatt if they want to win the
hearts and minds of the majority at home.
Q: We are currently witnessing a major shift in Western power
houses, with new alliances being formed and old alliances being
ruptured, a case in point is Germany and US relations. Should Sri Lanka
exploit these undercurrents for its benefit?
A: We must try any source for our welfare provided we do not
lose our independence, culture and inherent values. These are the
characteristics that helped us to overcome terrorism that no other
country could. It must forever be a pro Sri Lanka stance.