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DateLine Sunday, 23 March 2008





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Government Gazette

Country Reports on Human Rights practices - The real truth

Country Reports are reports compiled by some countries and International Organisations about Human Rights situations of other countries of the world family.

Though it is un-diplomatic to deal with internal affairs of other countries - according to principles of Friendly Relations, Cooperation among the States, and Sovereign equality, based on principles of the Charter of the United Nations, rich and powerful countries argue that those who have ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights should be subjected to scrutiny on the human rights violations in the respective country, World policemen.

We had two "World Policemen" during the peak of the Cold War. After the collapse of the Russian Empire, the remaining USA assumed duties as the only World Policeman and acted accordingly.

With the help of the concentration of wealth and power, the USA manure world politics with the help of the CIA and the powerful political and arsenal capabilities. USA today is facing economic hardships and problems as a result of the joint mistakes made in foreign policy with Western colleagues.

Member states that have ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNHCER) are expected and abide by the spirit and the intention even though the Convention is not legally binding and requires changes after 60 years of existence.

Sri Lanka was quicker than United Kingdom to embody the principles of International Human Right Laws principles and conventions in the 1971 and 1978 Constitutions, when UK took 50 years to incorporate UNHCER and ECHR (European Convention on Human Rights) in the legislature on the year 1998 by the Human rights Act..

Human Rights situation and treatment to minorities, blacks, immigrants and underprivileged by the USA, is as unsatisfactory as UK, EU, France and many other western countries in the fore front on publication of reports on Human Right situations in poorer and less developed countries. Prime Minster of Great Britain Gorden Brown started the campaign against war on terror months before his campaign to be the Prime Minister.

Preventive measures

Today the United Kingdom is hard on terrorists and takes all measures legally and politically to curb destabilising of the nation by terror including all possible preventive measures. Currently UK is not a comfortable place for Muslims, Minorities, and Immigrants as after 9/11 USA, UK and EU have taken toughest safety measures and standards ever for the sake of the security of the nation.

There were times ordinary civilians were chased and shot by Security Forces in the United Kingdom by mistaken identity during preventive security operations. The forces have been given a free hand... Search operations, cordon, arrest, long time detention, which measures are permitted in the name of security of the nation.

Houses could be searched day and night. Executive, Legislature and Judiciary acts with utmost restraint and understand helping the war on terror by the Government in power.

Prevention of terrorism is active, and the international institutions head offices of most which are based in the United Kingdom has given tacit approval to UK and USA to take any preventive measures to fight against terror and terrorism, while being critical on Sri Lanka fighting the worst battle with the most dangerous and ruthless terrorists in the world. President Bush too is honest and is tough on terrorism especially after 9/11. He retained power to practice coercive interrogation methods to gain information from suspected terrorists.

Techniques alleged to be practised by the CIA are water boarding which involves strapping a person and pouring water over his cloth-covered face to create the sensation of drowning.

In addition to water boarding the hood in prisoners or putting duct tape across their eyes striping, forcing prisoners to perform or mimic sexual acts, beating, burning or physically hurting prisoners and subjecting them to mock executions are some methods mentioned condemned by Human Rights groups as barbaric and primitive and has put a black mark to the United States. We are not as bad or uncivilised as others.

There is the Human Rights Commission, the Judiciary and "FAT CAT NGOs" with a great extent of funds backing and awaiting for information in order to satisfy the fenders.

Under the heading of Arrest Detention, Use of excessive force, Prison Detention Centre Conditions report has given a different picture based on hear say and gossip.

We like America and love Americans who are rich enterprising and patriotic. We also like and love His Excellency Robert Blake (Jar) who is a fine human being, a good friend and a fine Diplomat, an excellent cook, and a person with the highest family backgrounds. This writer is impressed with his personal charm and love towards this beautiful island and the people living in it.

But the country report by the USA on Sri Lanka is highly unsatisfactory, full of errors and of substandard. We fully agree with the sentiments expressed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the reply "The report presents a distorted view of the actual situation in Sri Lanka during the year 2007, and is unfortunately a litany of unsubstantiated allegations, innuendo and vituperative exaggerations.

It was noted that there was a suspicious similarity between the comments made in the report and view expressed by those deliberately seeking to degenerate the Government of Sri Lanka."

Serious indictment

This is a serious indictment on the USA Embassy in Sri Lanka and person or persons who were instrumental in the preparation of the report tarnishing the good name and the image of USA and His Excellency who in the end has to bear the full responsibility for the report which is full of errors, exaggerations and mistakes.

The Government and the Foreign Minister was compelled to take measures to put the record straight in the interest and name of saving lives of citizens and national economy.

Small at times is powerful. This is the ideal opportunity to narrate a village story how a mighty elephant was brought to its knees by a small lizard, by creeping into the long nose and made life miserable to the giant elephant.

The economy of the USA is not satisfactory and the wars on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq are as bad as Vietnam with casualty figure rising. China and India are emerging world powers that happen to understand our issues. It is time for USA to rethink and the Officers-in-Charge in provisional police stations worldwide should give the correct picture to the World Policeman who apparently has understood the danger.

Though Sri Lanka is a small country with difficulties in the economic front, being a senior and a respectable member of the world family commands equal rights according to Article 2(1) of the UN Charter which states: "The organisation is based on the principles of equality of all its nations." Countries such as USA, UK, EU, France and other new Nations such as Australia and Canada are in the forefront in preparing reports and critical of Human Rights situations in other countries when their backyard is full of such violations. Sri Lanka has ratified most of the Human Rights Conventions and Instruments and has an effective Human Rights mechanism and a judicial system.

None of the allegations in the report running to hundreds of sentences are substantiated or presented with sources and proof. Throughout the report it says credible reports, according to media, according to NGOs, believed to be, reliable sources and not referred to any authentic document or credible facts. The first two paragraphs of the report are completely biased.

It attacks the Government on infringement of violations on Tamils as a race and religious discrimination.

Sri Lankan Kings permitted Muslims who came to Sri Lanka as traders thousands of years ago to construct mosques and settle down in the country. Separate Ministries too have been established for all religions. Freedom of religion and movement is guaranteed and protected island wide.

Tamils are the majority in Colombo, North and East. Christianity is flourishing in Colombo and in the costal belt. Leaders of all religions are highly respected and inter-religious relations are in the peak.

The LTTE is the most ruthless and dangerous terrorist organisation in the world banned in the USA, UK, EU and India. It is powerful and wealthy with a strong network worldwide.

But the US report in paragraph three is very soft on the LTTE by giving only few incidents of terrorism and terrorist acts by them while the entire report was based on the Sri Lankan Security Forces and the other limbs of the Government.

The report admits that LTTE controls a substantial area in the North and continue to attack other areas as well. There is a war on terror with a heavily militarised and dangerous terrorist group, ready to blow up or attack mercilessly. The USA expects Sri Lanka to handle them softly based on an instrument agreed upon by the world family 60 years ago, which is now outdated and grossly misused by few rich nations.

There is lot on the report on prison conditions on overcrowding and ill treatment. Prison conditions in the United Kingdom too are substandard and unsatisfactory. Belmash is reputed as dangerous and most prisons have no good reputation. In the USA it is worst. We have read and seen through TV and other media how tough and rough prisoners are treated.

Arrest and detention is permitted in UK, USA and SL, though accuses only against the Sri Lankan Security Forces. The Report does not show an iota of sympathy on the ordinary citizen on the road attacked by terror and the practical difficulties of the Security Forces on combating terror.

The LTTE is the main terror group. EPDP has now embraced the democratic process and is a part of the Government. Karuna and Pillaian are LTTE breakaway groups gradually entering into the democratic process.

Recently the Batticaloa mini-elections were conducted successfully and the main elections will be held shortly despite terror problems in the North.

Now the terror is confined to a part of North and the Security Forces are successful with minimum casualties.

We need the help and encouragement of our friends at this hour of need. We are about to reach the goal in achieving freedom for the trapped brothers in the North and East by terror groups, who will not understand law and order, due to the process and great values of Human Rights.

They are in the jungle governed by "Law of the Jungle" and survival of the fittest. Very little is mentioned and written on their atrocities and barbarism. It has been the fashion to be anti-government for media publicity and it is now time to change the attitude in the interest of the world community as the cancer is spreading all over the world. It is time for powerful nations to rethink on this attitude towards victims of their economic and media policies.

We plead from the International Community to understand our intentions and difficulties in combating terror and terrorism and not to stand in the way of liberating our brethrens trapped in the North.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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