Chandre Dharma-wardana – responding to a vibrant EMAIL DISCUSSION among Sri Lankans re what should be done at the forthcoming human rights charade at the UNHRC in Geneva
I personally think it doesn’t matter who Sri Lanka sends to Geneva. This whole thing is NOT based on facts. It is NOT based on what was said, is said or will be said. They KNOW the facts. The UNHRC’s commissioner is not a fool, but a seasoned politician. If she wants, she can get at the facts.
The British who are now leading the charge because the USA is not there, also has the facts: The stuff unearthed by Lord Naseby is from British Diplomatic cables. So, the British Foreign Minister has all the facts.
Sri Lanka’s representative in Geneva, ex-Journalist Chandraperuma also has at least all the publicly available information at his hand.
So the whole question is: how will the countries in the Commission vote? Can Tamara swing votes in favour of SL more than Columbage? In fact, I would say, neither Tamara, nor Colombage, nor anyone else I can think of can swing the votes in favour of us. If the Indian PM, or the Chinese President, or The Russian President or even the Saudis were to weigh in on our side, dozens of countries will discreetly agree to oppose the West, or at least abstain.
Ex diplomats from minor countries like Tamara have no clout, Diplomats of minor countries, like Colombage or Mohan Pieris have no clout, and even somebody like the French President Macron has no leverage.
The UNHR bosses have to show that their very expensive organization does produce results. So: SL is the test case and the sacrificial lamb. If they can’t get Sri Lanka, the UNHRC only has a string of failures to show since its beginning.
So, Sri Lanka should save unnecessary expenses and merely indulge in a token show. It is better for someone,anyone, t just present Sri Lanka’s case just for the record, and simply state that Sri Lanka, as a sovereign nation, will do what is best for its people, consisting of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, and that it will brook no interference from any organization.
If Sri Lanka wants to go about finger pointing, Sri Lanka can point to UK record on how they are dealing with allegations of British war crimes in Ireland, Iraq, and Afghanistan. The Chilcott report was suppressed by Cameron. Theresa May said that “no British soldier will have to face investigations in their duty to her majesty”!
But why bother to even point fingers at the British? They know their game.
Sri Lanka should just politely opt out of being part of that game (but not opt out of the UN).
A COMMENT from The Editor, Thuppahi:
Professor Dharmawardana is on the mark. Having received his first lessons in political by-play as VC of Vidyodaya University, his subsequent international experiences in University circles in Canada and elsewhere have given him the wherewithal to decipher the chicanery underpinning high politics.
Note that the ‘genteel’ American lady official heading the UNHRC in Geneva, one Eileen O’Donahue, spat out “We will get you” during a telephone call to Tamara Kunanayakam in September 2011.