2ND LEAD

Colombo opts for bravado than complying with Human Rights

[TamilNet, Friday, 11 September 2009, 00:22 GMT]
Challenging the impending EU move to cancel 1 billion pounds trade concession to Sri Lanka, the islands former foreign secretary and newly appointed permanent representative to UN, Palitha Kohona , Thursday said, that it is a “cynical approach” of the EU. "We can handle [the loss]. Western countries should remember that economic power has shifted from the west to the east. New markets open up in the east. Our friends China, India, Japan, Korea, Iran … a whole range of countries [can help]," he said. UK refused ‘five years multiple entry visa’ to Kohona this week. Palitha Kohonoa was earlier named in media reports as one of the actors of the ‘failed rescue’ of LTTE officials that could be considered a matter for war crimes investigation.

Dr. Palitha T. B. Kohona
After claiming victory in a genocidal war, Colombo so far has not shown any signs of reconciliation or political settlement with the Tamil nation in the island. GSP Plus, the EU’s trade concession, is linked to human rights standards of the country getting this benefit and an EU review in this regard goes against Colombo. A final decision of the EU will be taken in October.

However, criticizing the move of the West on canceling trade concessions that will affect the export of 7200 items duty free to Europe, Kohona said that EU should consider whether it was interested in the past or the future.

In an interview to Guardian Kohona reiterated his earlier stand that winners can’t be indicted. "We won a war against terrorism … the EU should recognise that," he said.

The West’s move to indict Colombo in the UN human rights commission was defeated by India, China, Russia and a host of others.

"Sri Lanka has enough friends around the world. You have to realise that financial resources and power is no longer concentrated in one part of the world," was Kohona's response of bravado to the move on GSP Plus.

Citing western diplomats, The Guardian writes Colombo is reconciled to the loss of EU concession and it is trapped by its own rhetoric, which means that it can never be seen to give in to the west.

Palitha Kohona has been named by the UN official Vijay Nambiar as one of the actors in the ‘failed rescue’ that treacherously killed a group of civil and political officials of the LTTE including LTTE’s Political Head B. Nadesan and the Head of LTTE’s Peace Secretariat S. Puleedevan.

According to informed circles in Oslo, Palitha Kohona passed message asking the LTTE officials to come to the side of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA), holding white flags.

Diplomats in Britain and Norway were also involved in the rescue attempt. The Daily Telegraph, on 22 May 2009, reported that Mr. Nadesan and Mr. Puleedevan were subsequently found dead “amid claims that they were shot while waving a white flag, and Western diplomats have warned the government could face war crimes investigation of the incidents.”


Chronology:


External Links:
The Daily Telegraph: British officials in race to stop 'war crime' by Sri Lankan forces

 

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