Sri Lanka presidential hopeful says won’t honor deal with UN
A former Sri Lankan defense chief who is a front-runner in next month’s presidential election said Tuesday that if he wins, he won’t recognize an agreement the government made with the U.N. human rights council to investigate alleged war crimes during the nation’s civil war.
If Gotabaya Rajapaksa wins the Nov. 16 election and follows through with his comments, it would be a severe setback to Sri Lanka’s post-war reconciliation process.
“We will always work with the United Nations, but I can’t recognize what they have signed” with past Sri Lankan governments, Rajapaksa said at a news conference.
“We have already rejected that, as a party we have rejected that agreement and in public we have rejected that. … On this issue, our policies and the present government policies are far apart,” he said.
Rajapaksa was the top defense official during the last few years of the long civil war, which ended in 2009, serving under his brother, then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Under their watch, Sri Lankan forces were accused of targeting hospitals and killing civilians and rebels who surrendered to the military at the end of the war, which saw the military defeat Tamil rebels who were fighting for an independent state for minority ethnic Tamils.
Rajapaksa is accused by opponents of being behind men in mysterious vehicles whisking away rebel suspects, journalists and activists. Many people taken away in the so-called “white van abductions” were never seen again.
Rajapaksa said Tuesday, however, that Sri Lankans should look to the future rather than think about the past.
“We have to move forward, we have to forget about hanging on to old allegations and all that. We have a lot of things that we can do to the betterment of the people of that area,” he said, referring to the island nation’s north and east, where Tamils live in the majority.
He said those listed as missing are only war combatants who went missing in action.
“Even in the military, we know that there are more than 4,000 officers and soldiers missing … because when you go to war, when they are in the battlefield, there are certain instances even we could not recover our own bodies,” he said.
Rajapaksa reiterated that immediately on being elected, he would release members of the armed forces held for allegations of abductions and forced disappearances.
He said the soldiers and sailors accused of killing, abducting and attacking journalists have been framed for political reasons.
The daughter of a slain journalist has filed a case against Rajapaksa in a U.S. court linking him to her father’s killing in 2009.
Rajapaksa says he has renounced his U.S citizenship to contest the presidential election.
In 2015, current President Maithripala Sirisena’s government agreed with the U.N. rights body to probe human rights in Sri Lanka as well as possible war crimes allegations.
Abraham Sumanthiran, a lawmaker from the Tamil National Alliance, the main political party representing minority Tamils, said Rajapaksa’s stand can’t be accepted. “It is an undertaking given by the government of Sri Lanka. Whichever party, it is bound by the undertaking,” he said.
“He will have to necessarily implement all of the provisions in that resolution. We will continue to advocate for that,” Sumanthiran said.
According to conservative U.N. estimates, some 100,000 people were killed in the 26-year civil war. But a later U.N. report said that some 40,000 civilians may have been killed in the final months of the fighting alone.
It appears the Rajapakasa Pavula has not learnt the bitter lesson of the electorate in 2015.
The extremism that they continue profess is rather deadly.
Unfortunately, the UNP’s choice of M*dadas*a isn’t helping the electorate.
I am now neutral and shall leave SL Politics in the hands of the voters.
2015 election was won by the Yahapalanaya with organized propaganda and money pumped from outside. NGOs sprung up like mushrooms (with funds abroad) were against Rajapakse regime. Yes, they are corrupted too. Accusations such as Lamborghinis, Golden Horses, Money in Dubai banks, Desi Grand mama’s Gem bag,’ Siri Liya’ accounts were accusations and never lateralized by sending Rajapakse’s into prison. Yahapalanay came to power is corrupted to the bone starting from Bond Scam.
At least Gota has a backbone to say he is not homering UN accusations and agreements made in Geneva for example, Resolution 30/1. If Israel, Myanmar and Philippines do not care of UN agreements and Resolutions why only in Sri Lanka? For a change we need leaders with a backbone. Sri Lanka is still a sovereign state!
You are a proud Citizen of a PARAYA STATE.
I respect your choice.
Some of the UN agenda’s are harmful for the country matters.
It is right to refuse any such even-though we get bad reputation.
Myanmar refused all recently, and nothing happened. It is because of the iron lady.
We had banana trees last 4 years.
My dear Ms. Esmee de Zilva, Well thank you for your remarks. BTW, do you know the meaning of PARAYA? Paraya is someone came from a foreign country. In this case, people influence our internal matters are PARAYAs. Yaha Palanaya government is driven by foreigners (may be Tamil Diaspora, UN, Western Countries) so their leaders (RW, MY3, Rajitha, Awa-Mangala) they all are parayas. Yes, Sri Lanka is a Paraya-Country run by backboneless PARAYA fellows mainly coming from Colombo.7 (we can call them as Kalu-Sudda too).
Please do not beat about the bush and interpret stuff to your own convinience.
Following is the Wikipedia definition of the Pariah State:
Dear Respected Esmee de Zilva, OK let me agree the ‘Bible’ Wikipedia. Then tell me 1. When Sri Lanka became a so called Paraya state? 2. What was the status of Sri Lanka from January 2015 up to November 2019 (still Paraya or Super Paraya)? 3. Is there any official body to name countries as ‘Paraya states? Only Parayas can say others to Paraya?
you can take a horse to the water but you can not make them drink. All these people who agree to this bullshit UN interference only do it because they just love to hate the Rajapakse’s. I agree that the last regime was not perfect but at least they never bowed down to the UN or any body for that matter. If they had bowed down to the pressure put on them by the NGO’s who we know was clearly supporting Prabhakaran then the war would never have been won. And as you mentioned there were so many allegations pointed at the Rajapakse’s prior to the previous presidential elections but the Yahapalanaya was either inefficient or the allegations were all lot of lies because they were not able to send any of the R family to prison. So these allegations must be just a lot of bullcrap to hood wink the people.
At Least MR developed the infrastructure in the country after the war at a rapid rate and the country was clean and tidy. The Yahaplanaya did nothing worth while talking about other than complain about the previous government and rob the central bank. And ofcourse send the poor soldiers who risked their lives for the country to jail while the commander of the forces was not touched because he was not with the Rajapakse’s.