Navi Pillai has said that she does not come to criticise Sri Lanka, and that her visit is within the framework of human rights.
But there is a small hitch in her statement,
“I frame myself within the human rights standards set for the whole world by all the governments of the world including the government of Sri Lanka. So I’m not writing my statute. I’m looking at the framework that was also developed by Sri Lanka. So if I raise criticism its whether they are complying to those standards,”
It is with regard to the human rights itself. The human rights standards set for the whole world cannot be applied to Sri Lanka. Unlike other countries in the world Sri Lanka is the only country that went through thirty years of utter misery instilled by a ruthless group of terrorists.
How can those who have not gone through that intense suffering for thirty long years ever understand what it was like ? Any sacrifice it seemed worth just to end that unbearable mental agony the Nation was going through.
The elimination of that terrorism cost a lot in lives and material leaving many maimed, the memory of that thirty years of suffering will remains for ever embedded in the history of the Nation. Under such circumstances what accountability can any one ask Sri Lanka to give for the elimination of that terror, and bringing back peace.
No one member of the International Community through out that period sympathised with Sri Lanka and its people and helped the successive governments to eliminate terrorism, but instead helped in aggravating the terrorist situation, demanding from the government a political solution, by the foreign NGOs stationed in Sri Lanka, human rights activists, and foreign Ambassodor and governments.
Through out that period, though there had been a steady flow of foreign Ambassadors, government representatives, NGOs into the areas controlled by the terrorists eating and dining with them, none of them raised the question of human rights with the terrorists, or demanded the terrorists to give up terrorism and negotiate with the government for a peace settlement , though such demands were made to the government which was then the victim of terrorism.
It was when the situation was getting dangerously out of control of the Government that in 2005 the President elected by the people realised that the International Community was working to a secret Agenda. The Western Governments while demanding the government to come to a peace settlement, were helping the terrorists to form themselves into a “military force” allowing them to purchase arms, telecommunication material, and even preparing airstrips for a terrorist Air Force.
The President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse understanding the dubious role that was being played by the International Community demanded the Norwegian mediators to arrange with the terrorists for peace negotiations. The terrorists wanted such negotiations held in foreign venues and agreed to send delegations. After attending one or two sessions of negotiations in venues desired by them the terrorists themselves abandoned the negotiations and made it an occasion to purchase arms and military material to strengthen their terrorists forces.
The Government of Sri Lanka observed that the terrorists were only marking time preparing themselves for a major armed attack against the Government Forces. It was then that the Government took a decision to give up the peace solution, and decide on a military solution when the terrorists closed the sluice gates of a tank depriving the farmers of water.
That was the beginning of a military operation against the terrorists that resulted in their elimination.
It was after the elimination of terrorism that the International Community which failed in its secret Agenda commenced accusing the Government of Sri Lanka for violation of Human Rights, and its Armed Forces for war crimes.
Navi Pillai from a Tamil Community which suffered segregation under South African Apartheid Government, may have undoubtedly at some period of her life, hero worshipped Prabhakaran the terrorist leader as a Tamil rebel leader seeking freedom for the Tamil people of Sri Lanka segregated by an apartheid Sri Lanka Government.
The memory of that prejudice against the Sinhala Government of Sri Lanka, against which Prabhakaran had taken up arms may still be lingering in her mind.
It is therefore important that Navi Pillai on the first day or two of her visit see Sri Lanka comparing it with the sordid conditions of apartheid in South Africa, and immerse herself in the breath of fresh air of freedom and peace every body in this Island paradise of Sri Lanka without distinction of race, colour, religion or communal difference enjoy.
It is only then she will understand that violation of human rights, and accountability are a far cry from the reality of peace, freedom of moment and progress that Sri Lanka has offered to its people be they Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or other, after the elimination of a brutal terrorist group.
This reality of peace, freedom and on going development and progress are after a ruthless terrorism which it eliminated with the minimum loss to civilians in air strikes and tactfully using small weapons to protect civilians , and shoot at the terrorists, while the terrorists were using heavy guns planted amoung the Tamil Civilians held as a human shield.
The Sri Lanka military offensive against the terrorist was not like the irresponsible air strikes by the USA and allied forces to eliminate a “dictatorship” in Libya , which began by shooting 110 Tomahawk Cruise Missiles by US and British Naval forces into Libya. NATO would not give the number of bombs dropped in Libya, but one American Website makes a comparison:
“NATO bombed the inhabited part of Libya, which is just about the same size in square miles as Massachusetts, and with just about the same population of 6,700,000 human beings. So if you want to imagine what happened to Libya, imagine 14,000 bombs and rockets raining down on Massachusetts.”
In the boarder villages of Pakistan the number of civilian deaths resulting from US Drone attacks have been reported as :
“The secret government document was quoted by the London Bureau of Investigative Journalism (LBIJ) in a report and reveals: “Of 746 people listed as killed in the drone strikes outlined in the document, at least 147 of the dead are clearly stated to be civilian victims, 94 of those are said to be children,”
These are just two cases of civilians killed by the US and the Western Countries in their theatres of war which need not be repeated for which Navi Pillai as the UNCHR has not demanded accountability.
Navi Pillai at the end of her visit to Sri Lanka is to make a report of her findings to the UNHRCouncil in Geneva. When making her report she should think twice about Sri Lanka’s accountability, and violation of human rights in its military operations to eliminate terrorism, as ,
(i) she has failed to raise the question of accountability from the USA and its Western allies for far greater number of recorded killing of civilians, violation of human rights and war crimes.
(ii) the Sri Lanka’s military operations against the terrorists were justified and was an urgent necessity to arrest the continuous massacres of innocent men, women, and children, through every imaginable methods of murder, assassinations, massacre and destruction.
(iii) In that war Sri Lanka made many sacrifices, and any civilians deaths cannot be with any stretch of imagination be called planned or deliberate acts of criminality by the Armed Forces.
(iv) The Armed Forces which rescued nearly 300,000 Tamil civilians kept as human shields by the terrorists had no reason, necessity or desire to kill or maim the Tamil Civilians escaping from the terrorists seeking their help.
(v) Navi Pillai should also understand after seeing for herself the cordial existence of different Communities, that the Government of Sri Lanka protects and serves all its people providing facilities without discriminating against one Community or another, whether Tamil or Muslim.
(vi) Navi Pillai should also understand that there are always in any country or community disgruntled elements who are never satisfied with what they have, compare their circumstances with those of others and grumble, complain and make difficulties. They are not saints without faults.
Fact that there are so many organisations working freely criticising the government is proof of respect for media freedom, which interested parties project as denial of such rights by the Government.
Navi Pillai should take all these into consideration when making her final report, without harping excessively on violation of human rights, and accountability.