Gota silent, Mahinda belatedly responds, Silva evokes Buddhist sentiments with SL Chief Justice

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 19 February 2020, 23:44 GMT]
Acting SL Chief of Defence Staff and SL Army Commander Shavendra Silva, subjected to a travel ban along with his immediate family members by the US State Department on Friday, was gracing a “mammoth multifaceted Anuradhapura ‘Swarnamali Thupabhivandana’, meritorious programme” on Saturday, said SL Army website on Sunday. In the meantime, SL President and Commander-in-Chief Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a US citizen, remained silent without commenting anything on the travel ban. Meanwhile, SL Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has issued a statement, attacking the report of the 2011 UN Panel of Experts as “unofficial” and the 2015 OHCHR report and the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 as being based upon the 2011 “unofficial” report, which he described as the source of “unfounded allegations”.

Although various media outlets interpreted the statement by Rajapaksa as an announcement of withdrawal from the UNHRC co-sponsorship discourse, Rajapaksa was cautious of not indicating a direct departure from the Geneva discourse.

The regime of Rajapaksa siblings is aiming at renegotiating the resolution removing allegations against the armed forces of the SL State and watering down the human rights commitments while consolidating the unitary state system of genocidal Sri Lanka.

The statement was also aimed at the forthcoming elections as it called for the [Sinhala] masses to be the judges on the US ban and the Geneva discourse.

In the meantime, SL Chief Justice Jayantha Jayasuriya was accompanying Shavendra Silva amidst a “sea of Buddhist monks(Maha Sangha) and withe-clad devotees,” noted the news dispatch of the occupying SL Army on Sunday.

Full text of SL Prime Minister's statement released to selective media outlets in Colombo follows:

The United States of America has prohibited the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army Lt. Gen. Shavendra Silva or members of his family from entering that country. Even though we are now in the 21st Century, even members of his family who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, have been subjected to a collective punishment reminiscent of the practice in medieval Europe. The people should be the judge of how fair this is. Even though this collective punishment has been meted out on the grounds that the Army Commander had committed violations of human rights, no one knows what these allegations are.

Our government has already conveyed our displeasure in this regard to the government of the United States in the strongest possible terms.

It is because of the historic betrayal committed by the Yahapalana government formed by the United National Party, the Tamil National Alliance and the JVP in co-sponsoring UN Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 in 2015 that other countries are able to name members of our armed forces as violators of human rights. The first operative paragraph of that Resolution had taken note ‘with appreciation’ the September 2015 Report of the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights which accused the Sri Lankan armed forces of human rights violations. This report was based on the previous 2011 unofficial report prepared by a three member committee appointed by the then UN Secretary General outside the established procedure of that organization. In this manner, the UNP-TNA-JVP combine ended up accepting all the unfounded allegations made against our armed forces by various interested parties.

Even though the Army Commander of our country and his family have been subjected to a collective punishment reminiscent of medieval times, the Yahapalana political parties have not condemned it. UNP Parliamentarian Lakshman Kiriella says that this travel ban imposed on the Army Commander and his family is the responsibility of the present government. The JVP says that the USA has imposed a travel ban on the Army Commander and his family at this particular moment due to a deal to ensure that the SLPP obtains a resounding victory at the forthcoming Parliamentary elections. For its part the Tamil National Alliance has welcomed the collective travel ban imposed on the Army Commander and his family. The people should take note of the fact that when the UNP government co-sponsored Resolution 30/1 in the UN Human Rights Council, the so called anti-imperialist JVP did not oppose it.

From the discussion that has taken place with regard to the collective punishment imposed on the Army Commander and his family, it becomes clear that the political divide in this country is between the patriotic camp which puts the country first, on the one hand, and born traitors who are waiting for the first opportunity to betray the country, on the other hand.


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