Maha Nayakas advise Zeid
The Maha Nayakas of the Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters have informed visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein that the UN should not unduly interfere with the attempts made by the government to address its issues through a domestic mechanism.
The two Chief Prelates told the visiting UN dignitary that UN’s merely assisting the government to reach its aims in this connection would be sufficient.
The Chief Prelates had told this to Prince Hussein after the latter visited the Sri Dalada Maligawa in Kandy and paid homage to the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha.
The Chief Prelates had informed the visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that Sri Lanka under President Maithripala Sirisena and PM Ranil Wickremesinghe was in the process of winning the hearts and minds of people, be it in the North-East or the South.
They said that the two leaders were determined to bring about national reconciliation having gained the trust of the electorate and hence there was no need for a foreign mechanism for such a purpose.
The Chief Prelates also told the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights that after the end of the 30-year separatist war, Sri Lanka was enjoying national reconciliation and religious co-existence.
Speaking at the meeting the Chief Prelate of the Malwatta chapter stated that the incumbent regime was determined to sustain national reconciliation and even pointed out how President Sirisena had recently given an official pardon to a LTTE cadre who had attempted to kill him during the height of the war.
The two Prelates also noted that both the President and the PM were geared to provide a speedy solution to the North-East issue and that they were confident of their ability to resolve such issues in time to come.
They also told Prince Hussein that providing solutions overnight, to problems that had cropped up during a 30-year span was always going to take its time and advised him to give the UNP-SLFP unity government sufficient time to reach its goals.
The audience Prince Hussein had with the Chief Prelates was not open to the media while the Prelates later chanted ‘Pirith’ and blessed the visiting UN dignitary.
Speaking afterwards to the media Chief Prelate of the Asgiriya chapter Most Ven. Galagama Sri Attadassi Thera noted that for the formulation of the UN Charter two of the eminent scholars of Ceylon Professors Jayathilaka and Malalasekera had contributed in large measure back in 1947.
He said the UN Charter has been formulated in keeping with Buddhist philosophy. Speaking after his audience with the Prelates, UN High Commissioner for HR, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein stated that at a time when extremism was ravaging globally religious leaders had a pivotal role to play to bring such situations under control or even nip them in the bud. He asserted that in regard to the work rendered by the Maha Nayakas it was noteworthy. Prince Hussein also thanked those who had made arrangements for his audience with the Prelates and said that being able to pay homage to the world renowned Sacred Tooth Relic at Sri Dalada Maligawa was pleasing to him.
(Source: Ceylon Today – BY KAMAL SURAWEERA)
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The endorsement of the Maha Nayakas of the Malwatta and Asgiriya chapters of the Yahapalana Government of the Sirisena-Ranil-Chandrika trio, is welcome news indeed.
However, it should be noted that the Prince, as the UNHCR High Commissioner, is only a servant of the Council and has been entrusted with the task of implementing the unanimous resolution of the Council related to the war crimes enquiry in Sri Lanka.
The Prince cannot deviate from the requirements of the resolution. At the forthcoming sessions of the UNHRC, the Prince is likely to report that the GOSL, having sponsored the resolution, is now unable to implement the resolution.
That wouldn’t help us in any way; it will perhaps add, a couple of more black marks on the character of our splendid nation.
President Sirisena has made remarkable achievements in bringing the country together in only one year. He has demonstrated his commitment to democracy by reducing his presidential powers, seeking to include the Tamil and Muslim communities in governance and forging Sri Lanka’s first national unity government.
International human rights activists should curb their enthusiasm to address accountability by giving priority to establishing a war crimes court. Instead, they should push first for truth commissions, reparations and identifying the missing.
A war crimes court can follow. In the meantime, President Sirisena’s political reforms – if successful – will pave the path for both legal and political accountability in the long-term, by first healing the country and reconciling all communities.
The timing of the visit of the High Commissioner is significant, it comes in the wake of a controversy at the summit of power over implementation of a recommendation relating to foreign involvement in a domestic judicial mechanism that is central to a resolution aimed at limiting State sovereignty. Contradictory declarations emerging from Colombo confirm that the new Government may be a reliable ally, but not a stable one.
In June this year, the High Commissioner must submit an oral update to the Human Rights Council on progress made on implementation of the resolution. If the regime in Colombo fails to do so, it is not only the credibility of an ally that is at stake, but the credibility of Washington and its ability to achieve the broader goal. Given the extreme fragility of the regime and the existence of an alternative, the US and its auxiliaries are determined to ensure that the new Government stays its course and unconditionally implements the Geneva decisions.
The High Commissioner will echo this demand. Since its establishment in 1993, following the collapse of the Socialist Bloc, Washington has heavily invested in fashioning OHCHR in its own image, an example of the type of international institution that can respond to its demands. Financed largely from voluntary funds and staffed overwhelmingly by the donors, it has become a privileged weapon in Washington’s soft-power arsenal. Today, the High Commissioner functions as UN Secretary-General bis and it is no surprise that countries posing a challenge to Washington’s grand design are channeled through the human rights system.
The High Commissioner will also seek to establish the hard-fought for OHCHR field office accepted by the Government in the October 2015 resolution when agreeing to the recommendations in the High Commissioner’s report. That Office will have the combined function of investigation, monitoring, and governance, and will be the Trojan Horse that will permit direct US intervention in Sri Lanka.
Zeid’s trip was just a routine trip and should not attach much importance. Four day orchestrated visit that fits in with the UNDP policy. His main preoccupation is as to what is going on in the arab world while the Russians and the Americans are blasting Syria to oblivion. Probably Zeid is cluless as to where to strat with, What is his doing about human right violation in Burma during the military ccupation!
Dealing with the lankans is easy stuff for there is none strong enough to challenge unsubstantiated allegations about Lankan authorities. So far they have failed to name anyone in particular about war crimes which means either Mahinda should be tried as Commander in chief.
If there is nothing to hide why worry about UNHCR investigations when the soldiers fought with the UN HR charter in one hand and the gun in the other?
Why is MaRa and his gang of thugs planning a one million signatures against such investigations?
The above two statements/actions contradict one another.
An independent investigation is definitely warranted to get to the bottom of it immaterial of who the real culprit/s are for the mayhem towards the end of the war.
Uncle Siririsena has to play his cards right this time taking an impartial independent stand on the matter to avoid the rest of the civilised world clamouring for justice and fairplay immaterial however long it takes. The issue will not vanish in to thin air as some may wish. Strong leadership is what is required now to call a spade a spade.
To prevent a direct US intervention we need to identify who our true friends are and who our pretending friends (who really are our enemies). Then get close to the true friends to save the country. However not every leader, not every politician has the talent and skill to identify who the true friends are for a country. That is where everything fails.
I refer to the scatter-brained comment by the blogger “Manjula”.
A sate does not have enemies and friends; a state only belongs to a community.
I invite the blogger to identify a “friend” of Sri Lanka. Russia is no friend and China is not a friend too. Can China, which charges us double the market interest rate for its loans to build non-productive white elephants (eg: Mattala Airport and the Rajapaksa Harobour), be our friend?
My previous comments on this blog demonstrates the issues.
Eng P Maheswaran,
I endorse 100% of you assessment of scatter-brained blogger Manjula’s thinking. He/She still seems to living in a sinhala supremist dream. Wakie wakie Manjula.
I agree 100% what Manjula said. Contrary to what Eng. Maheshwaran said stated have friends and enemies. That is why USA always veto any resolution against Israel. Siriya, Russia and Iran are friends. It is better to have China as our friend. I agree with Maheshwaran if he says India is not our friend. If India is our friend it wouldn’t have trained and armed LTTE. I request Eng. Maheshwaran not to call names. Anyway, a ‘watti amma’ try to earn a honest living than present day politicians who comes to power lying to masses. According to Eng. Maheshwaran OHCHR is the soft-power arsenal of USA. The question is as a soverign state SL going to allow OHCHR to dictate terms and conditions?
Dear Eng. Maheshwaran and so called “uduravana” who does not have gutts to show that he is tamil,
1. If we do not have friends or enemies in the world then the current incompetent government must also be lying about having friends in the west.
2. If you cannot or unable to distinguish between friends and enemies, then you must be needing a lot of help, let alone commenting in this forum.
3. uduravana, I can see you are a Tamil racist having a deep grudge with the Sinhalese race, you must be the one who should awake from dream walking ! Your racist thinking will end up in disaster.
4. As Amarakoon highlighted name calling to the ones who do not agree with you is a sign of defeat. The losers will quickly call names in order to score a quick and cheap victory over the debate. Shame on you. I thought you two are some what educated. Looks like I was wrong.
you asked why worry of UNHCR if we have nothing to hide. I like you to ask that question in chronological order from first to last who are accused of war crimes. So may be we can start asking that question from USA re Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc, why not ask UK (War criminal accused Tony Blair) etc. Whay would not USA let the UNHCR to inspect the Deago-Garcia island which is a top secret USA prisoner torcher chamber?
Also what would UNHCR has to hide when they do not want to investigate human rights abuses before 2009 in Sri Lanka? What about IPKF human rights abuses, what about Indians creating a murderous uncivilized terrorist group to attack Sri Lanka?
So, I ask again what to you have to hide, and why worry about investigating the whole war starting from 1983?
Giving answers to above will make it easier to find answers to your questions.