Saturday, 7 May 2011

Why the Government should not send a reply to the report of the UNSG’s advisory Panel ?

When a case is presented before a judge in a court of law the judge could refuse to accept it for hearing if the respective documents do not meet with court procedures. Similarly the Government of Sri Lanka as a member state of the UN should not accept to respond to a document presented by the Secretary General of the UN, which has not received the sanction of either the Security Council, or the General Assembly of Member States.

The Secretary General of the UNO according to the UN Charter has no right to act independently without the authority of the Assembly General of the UNO or its Security Council. Therefore, the report of the Advisory Panel of the UNSG which is strictly a private document prepared by the Panel as it is said in the document it self:

“ On 22 June, 2010 the SG announced the appointment of a Panel of Experts to advice him on the implementation of the joint commitment included in the statement issued by the President of Sri Lanka and the Secretary General at the conclusion of Secretary General’s visit to Sri Lanka on 23 March,2009.”, without even obtaining the approval of the Government of Sri Lanka as a Member State of UN, has no legal limb to stand on.

Therefore, a response to this document, which had not even the right to be published as a UN Document, will only give it a “legal sanction” which it lacked initially when it was published against the demand of the Government of Sri Lanka. Such an initiative by the Government of Sri Lanka to answer the “report”, will further more give a precedent for the Secretary General of the UNO take arbitrary decisions against any member State of UNO, without consulting the Security Council or the General Assembly.

The joint commitment , mentioned in the above excerpt is the agreement of the Government of Sri Lanka for an accountability process, to take measures to address those grievances.” The government of Sri Lanka fulfilled its part of the agreement in appointing the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee, consisting of highly qualified persons coming from different Communities of Sri Lanka.

There was therefore no necessity for the SGUN to appoint a panel of his own to advise him on, “ modalities applicable, international standards and comparative experience relevant to an accountability process….”. Unless he wanted to “insult “ the honourable men of our own country as not qualified to apply” modalities applicable, international standards, and without comparative experience relevant to an accountability process”.

The LLRC is far better qualified than his own Panel of three members who have no knowledge of the cultural back ground of the soldiers who took part in the final stages of the elimination of terrorists, “to understand the nature and scope of alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law during the final stages of the armed conflict.

That knowledge goes a long way to understand and analyse the mental make up of the soldiers of Sri Lanka Armed Force fighting a group of terrorists in their own homeland, who are also of the same origin though ethnically different, with the knowledge of their responsibility that in their military operations they have to do their best to avoid putting in danger the lives of the Tamil civilians who are also their own people. That obligation towards their own people sharing the same mother land is more important to avoid harming those people in the last stages of the conflict than any obedience to a humanitarian or human rights law.

If the SGUN cannot accept the conclusions of the LLRC appointed by Sri Lanka Government is his problem, but he has no right to publish the findings of a panel appointed by him to advise him before the LLRC had concluded its investigations and issued its own report.

Secretary General of the UN should understand that he holds an important position. He is above politics, and independent of allegiance to any country or Nation. He is representative of all Nations. His position should remain independent and unbiased so that he could take objective decisions not influenced by any other Nation or a political system.

But unfortunately Ban Ki Moon as the Secretary General of UN in appointing a Panel under the pretence of it being a Panel appointed by him to advice him and then publishing the report of the panel as a UN Document calling the Government of Sri Lanka to answer the “very questionable” accusations raised in the panel’s report, is overstepping the bounds of his mandate as the Secretary General of UNO. He therefore stands accused as a man biased against a Member State and confiscates his right to be the Secretary General of that August body which is the UNO.

In conclusion, it has to be mentioned that it was infantile to accuse the terrorists equally responsible for the violation of human rights and humanitarian Laws, as it was wrong to have put both the terrorists and the Sri Lanka Armed Forces on the same footing and secondly the members of the panel should have at least known better that terror is what the terrorists are capable of and they are not bound by any laws, religious fear, or a feeling of human oneness. Therefore it is “stupid” to hold them accountable to their acts of terrorism.

On the other hand as terrorists are no more to make them accountable to their terrorism, the Panel should have held those front organisations of the terrorists in the Tamil diaspora, such as Father Emmanuel of the LTTE Front Organisation, and those terrorist front organisations in USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Netherlands and elsewhere, and Rudrakumaran responsible for the terrorism of the terrorists and hold them accountable.

This unfortunately, had been left out by the UNSG’s Panel. Why ?

However, the Government should acknowledge the receipt of the report, which had been published despite its opposition, with appropriate comments to show its disagreement, and request the Secretary General to await the issue of the report of the LLRC.

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