Sri Lanka confident of avoiding war crimes probe
by Mel Gunasekera Mel Gunasekera
COLOMBO (AFP) – Sri Lanka said Wednesday it was confident of averting an international probe into alleged war crimes committed during its blistering offensive against the Tamil Tigers.
Human Rights Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe said the island had managed to lobby enough backing during a special United Nations Human Rights Council session to fend off what he dismissed as little more than empty rhetoric.
"There is no reason for a probe. These are political statements made by various people. I don't think we should get excited about it," Samarasinghe told AFP by telephone from Geneva.
UN human rights chief Navi Pillay on Tuesday said there was credible evidence that both Sri Lankan government forces and the defeated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) grossly violated international humanitarian laws.
"An independent and credible international investigation into recent events should be dispatched to ascertain the occurrence, nature and scale of violations of international human rights and international humanitarian law, as well as specific responsibilities," she said.
The Tigers were accused of holding tens of thousands of Tamil civilians as human shields, while government troops were alleged to have subjected rebel-held areas packed with civilians to intense, indiscriminate shelling.
Hypothetically, if the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE are found to be guilty of war crimes, then they would have to suffer the consequences. Supposedly then, there would be some sort of action taken against the GoSL. The LTTE too. However, it would be interesting to see what the judgment of action to the LTTE would be and how the UN Human Rights Council will set about executing the judgement to them.
There is no LTTE. Would they get hold of K.Pathmanathan or Castro, or the LTTE supporters who protested on the streets. Perhaps, pro LTTE web sites and others who are now passively backing the now defunct terrorist organization by way of authoring articles and doctoring photographs will have to carry the can.
The days when the Europeans, most of them occupiers of foreign land at some stage in history are fast fading. They are seeing a rapid decline of 'yes' countries. The smaller countries, especially in the third world are standing up to these bullies. This is heartening.
The British have been really bad losers. The only time they moaned more than Prabhakaran's death was when England lost to Sri Lanka for the first time at Test Cricket match. Beaten by their one time subjects. Not acceptable.
Some of the smaller countries have been commenting about the initiative brought up by these European Nations.
Colonialist attitude behind convening the special session – Bolivia
Bolivia cannot endorse the colonialist attitude of certain countries that convened a special session on Sri Lanka, which it believes was uncalled for. Adding that the money used to convene this special session could have fed IDPs currently in camps in Sri Lanka.
Duty of Govt. to address whatever threat on nation’s sovereignty – Angola Whatever the threat is on the sovereignty of a nation be it internal or external the government has the right to address it in an appropriate manner, Angola tells UN HRC speaking on Sri Lanka. Angola also said that this is only a way of a government discharging its duties.
Bangladesh says it trusts Lankan Govt. to find enduring peace
Bangladesh speaking at the special session on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC in Geneva said that the Sri Lankan victory over terrorism allows the government to focus on rehabilitation and reconciliation. Also Bangladesh added that it trusted the Government of Sri Lanka to find enduring peace.
Pakistan congratulates Lanka for defeating terror
Pakistan congratulates Sri Lanka at UN HRC for defeating one of the most ruthless and dangerous terrorist groups in the world. Adding that a special session is a ‘sanctimonious’ and unnecessary.
Some countries have politicized the mission - India
India tells UN HRC that by forcing a special session on Sri Lanka, some countries have politicized the mission.
Several countries show open support to Lanka at UNHRC session
Among the countries openly supporting Sri Lanka at the on-going UNHRC sessions are African nations, Non-Aligned countries, India,Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia,Cuba, China and Russia.