Geneva Resolution – ministerial violation of power!


Sri Lanka - or shall we say the then foreign minister of Sri Lanka working closely with a number of NGOs and civil activists - co-sponsored a resolution in 2015 along with 11 other countries. These included the United States, Britain, Australia and Germany, and called for an investigation into alleged "serious human rights violations" against both government forces and the Liberation Tamil Tigers for Eelam (LTTE), which led to the separatist war that ended in May 2009, when the LTTE leadership was annihilated.

Strangely enough, the proxies of the LTTE, namely the TNA leaders, have been entirely left off the hook. The atrocities committed by the LTTE against Tamil civilians and children were well known to the TNA leadership as they were the content of an address made by Mr. V. Ananadasangaree in his capacity as the leader of the ITAK at its annual convention. But the TNA regarded such atrocities as necessary to achieve Eelam, and fully endorsed the LTTE strategy of holding civilians as hostages, for use as a human shield and in attempting to trigger a human catastrophe to force foreign intervention. In fact, the TNA took the convenient position that the civilians were there voluntarily as a human shield, although the TNA members themselves preferred to live in Colombo!

Although this "co-sponsoring" of the resolution against Sri Lanka was carried out by the then foreign minister Mangala Samaraweera, neither the Cabinet, nor the National Executive Council (NEC) which was responsible for running the caretaker government from January to August 2015, had given approval to it. It was foisted upon a hapless Sri Lanka, just as another cabal of the same government (or, equivalently the NEC) was in the process of robbing the Central Bank, and paid no heed to the Foreign Minister. He found it convenient to hitch his foreign policy to that of Samantha Power. It should be remembered that the person most responsible for getting President Obama to intervene militarily in Libya in the name of "human rights", while not forgetting Libya's oil resources, is none other than Samantha Power. Today, Libya is a destroyed land of many militia, and millions are in refugee camps. The UNHRC has no eyes for such atrocities.

With the end of the Yahapalanaya government, the new Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Mr. Ravinatha Aryasinha, is reported to have met Human Rights Council President Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger in Geneva and informed her that Sri Lanka's Cabinet has decided to withdraw from the resolution. This time, it seems to be a Cabinet decision and not the personal mission of an individual miinster.

An individual minster may accept the ideas of certain NGOs and "civil society" activists regarding the best approach to ethnic reconciliation after three decades of separatist terror as well as state terror. However, irrespective of whether such policies are the correct ones for achieving reconciliation, or not, a minster has NO right to take the law entirely into his or her hands. The executive president as formulated by JRJ's constitution would have had the power to do so, but certainly not the then minister Mangala Samaraweera.

When a minster acts in extreme excess of his powers, and does so without even obtaining the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers (or the NEC at the time) he may have done so, well knowing that what he is doing is NOT likely to be approved by his own government. That is, the rights and powers of the parliament itself have been breached.

Now it is up to the Attorney General, in consultation with the Speaker, to frame suitable charges and bring such individuals before the courts, so that they are given a chance to plead guilty or clear their name sullied by a crime perhaps tantamount to treason, in having undermined the sovereignty of the nation. Alternatively, some member of "the civil society", or a member of the armed forces as a grieved party, may file a fundamental rights petition.



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