Neville de Silva from London, in Sunday Times, 17 July 2016, where the title is “Lord Naseby accuses UK, US of double standards over Sri Lanka”
Lord Naseby, president of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Sri Lanka, has accused Britain and the United States of double standards in asking the UN Human Rights Commissioner to investigate allegations of war-time abuses by Sri Lanka whereas Britain’s role in the Iraq war was investigated by British judges and privy councillors with no foreign involvement.
Pic from news.bbc.co.uk
Speaking at the House of Lords debate on the recently released John Chilcot report that was largely critical of Britain’s role in the invasion of Iraq and its aftermath, Lord Naseby said Britain and US had called for Sri Lanka’s war against the “terrorist” Tamils Tigers to be investigated by the UN Human Rights Commissioner in Geneva along with foreign judges while in the case of the Iraq war domestic investigators were considered sufficient.
“This is wrong and misconceived,” Lord Naseby told the House of Lords. He said there was a parallel with Sri Lanka as Britain was also engaged in tackling terrorism in the form of weapons of mass destruction. He said the key elements of International Humanitarian Law relating to the targeting of military objectives during a conflict were set out in the 1977 Additional Protocol to the Geneva Convention and were mentioned in the Chilcot report.
Sri Lanka, however, was not assessed under the Geneva Convention and instead Britain and the US endorsed investigations by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Lord Naseby argued that there were in Sri Lanka a “reasonable number of fair-minded judges across the ethnic groups who could undertake the task of judging what happened against the principles of the Geneva Convention.”
Terrorism and hypocrisy of the West
ISLAND, July 19, 2016, 12:00 pm
I am sure the readers of The Island would have read with absorbing interest the two-part article written by Fr. Vimal Tirimanna under the title ‘Western hypocrisy and the UN call for accountability in Sri Lanka’, which appeared in two installments on the 15th and the16 instants.
Fr. Tirimanna has explained in vivid detail the insidious strategy adopted by the US and Britain to by- pass the main body of the UN, by setting up a convenient ‘paw’ in the form of an appendage, termed the UNHRC, to investigate Human Rights violations and War Crimes purported to have been committed by selected developing countries. Fr. Tirimanna has further demolished the contrived mechanism of the US /UK cabal, which is referred to ‘grandly’, as the ‘International Community’! This term ‘International Community’ is meant to convey to the rest of the world that it is a body representative of all the nations on this planet! I would strongly recommend to The Island readers, and others who have missed out reading this edifying article, to try and access the same on line as it is a meticulously prepared presentation replete with the relevant facts and figures cogently advanced with irrefragable logic. It also deals with the long statement issued recently on SL, by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Hussein, which, while praising SL for certain positive steps taken towards meeting the objectives laid down in the Resolution, asserts firmly, and one might even say rather ominously, that there is much more to be accomplished in making good the promises made in the Resolution!
Following the catastrophic act of mindless terrorism in Nice a couple of days ago, French Premier Hollande on a visit to the site of the massacre, is reported to have said in apparent despair – ‘‘We have now to live with terrorism’’. France in particular, has become a prime target of the Caliphate as evidenced by the serial massacres committed by sympathizers of the ISIS in that country within the short space of about one year.
It is indeed a tragic irony that it is only now that the West is realizing that terrorism has now become a universal phenomenon that can take place within the boundaries of their own countries, shattering their complacent insularity, by manifesting its virulence in the most brutal form! It has yet to dawn on them that little SL had to live through the most inhuman forms of terrorism for thirty long years at the hands of the LTTE terrorists, who were widely acknowledged as the most dangerous terrorist outfit in the world! During this appallingly harrowing period of unmitigated Tiger terrorism, the West from the safety of distance, pursued their own private geo-political hegemonic agendas in collusion with the Tamil Diaspora in their countries, by actively encouraging the separatist aspirations of the Tigers. When the Tiger terrorists were finally crushed by the Govt. in 2009, the West took umbrage by reacting angrily by going to the extent of framing charges of War Crimes by quoting ridiculously exaggerated figures of civilian casualties during the last two months of the conflict. The Tigers holding 300,000 civilians as hostages and using them as a ‘human shield’ was conveniently brushed aside by them, in the same manner in which the valiant humanitarian operation of rescuing the 300,000 civilians from the clutches of the Tigers by the Armed Services was peremptorily ignored! If this is not outrageous hypocrisy, one is indeed at a loss to know, what is?
It was indeed a huge folly for the newly elected government to rush in and co-sponsor a damaging UNHRC Resolution, which clearly contained clauses inimical to the interests of SL. The modus vivendi contained therein, which stipulated what were deemed conciliatory measures to assuage the Tamil minority, had Special Committees to investigate disappearances, along with the obnoxious ‘Hybrid Courts’ to examine the charge of War Crimes . The authorities, in their anxiety to endear themselves to the West, overlooked the fact that these stipulations were violative of the sovereign rights of SL entrenched in the country’s Constitution. The West itself may have been surprised at the alacrity with which SL lent its signature for co-sponsorship. It virtually amounted to jumping in and gleefully committing ‘hara kiri! Can one blame the West for being over the hill at this obsequious deference shown to them!
In the meantime, as a sequel to the publication of the Chilcot Report, Lord Naseby in a speech made in the House of Lords, has categorically come out strongly against the double standards that are being employed by the insistence of having Hybrid Courts for the investigation of War Crimes against SL. His contention is that it is unfair and unreasonable to employ foreign judges to conduct the trial in SL as the Chilcot Inquiry was conducted by a Committee comprising solely of British judges!
All this, along with the recent spate of terrorist attacks experienced by the West, and the determination unequivocally expressed by them to deal with terrorism with unremitting severity wherever it raises its head, it does intrigue one to see whether the West has realized that what SL did in decimating the LTTE cadres and crushing terrorism in2009, was something that just had to be done in the face of the total intransigence of the terrorists and the manic mind set of their Supremo.