Feature Article

Zeid’s report implies ‘operation success, but patient died’

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 29 June 2016, 17:55 GMT]
UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra-ad al-Hussein was listing on Wednesday the symbolic measures taken by the genocidal Colombo as efforts towards reconciliation and transitional justice in the island. However, his own update was also listing how the SL State has not lived up to the expectations although he projected them as slow delivery. The report was a pathetic exercise as it failed to indicate any single UN action towards charting real accountability. While the powers are appeasing the genocidal Sinhala military, which is occupying the homeland of Eezham Tamils, the only UN action mentioned in the oral update was shielding the genocidal military as that action too was trading off international justice with whitewashing a Sri Lankan combat convoy battalion to be deployed at a UN peace mission in Mali.

“Preparations are already advancing for the prospective contribution of a Sri Lankan combat convoy battalion to MINUSMA in Mali, but it will be essential that the Government puts in place an appropriate vetting procedure - with an independent, civilian human rights component – in advance of this deployment. To this end, the UN will be working with the Government to put in place stringent screening procedures, at both national and international level, for all personnel Sri Lanka intends to deploy,” Mr Zeid was saying in his oral report.

“If you carefully read the report and avoid the symbolic and useless measures, which it seems to praise, the remaining would indicate that everything is negative. Then, where is the UN action,” questioned a leading Tamil rights activist on condition of anonymity as the rights group of the activist is receiving UN funding.

Mr Zeid was simply saying that he went, saw and did whatever he could and was asking the Tamils, without any UN action, to rally behind the Sri Lankan Government, the activist said after reading the text of the oral update.

Zeid was trying to imply that everything was on track. But, the only problem was the slow delivery and that too because of the reluctance to implement certain measures.

“OHCHR continues to stand ready to provide further advice and technical assistance,” Mr Zeid said.

The message was simply that The UN will not take any action; the UN can’t take any action. Just follow the discourse being charted by the powers.

The conclusion should be interpreted by the independent Tamil voices as there will be increased manipulations by the powers not to project alternative discourses and demands. Zeid’s conclusion said: “Inevitably, the transformative process on which Sri Lanka is embarked will take time. Dealing with the multiple tracks of constitutional reform, transitional justice, economic recovery and security sector reform would tax the capacity of any government. Nevertheless, the High Commissioner urges the Government to take concrete steps to address the impatience, anxiety and reservations towards the process that stem from various quarters, and reiterates the importance for all Sri Lankans to rally behind the process.”

The following two points are the strongest observations by Mr Zeid in his oral update to the UN Human Rights Council:

32. A key question remains the participation of international judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in a judicial mechanism. In late May 2016, while addressing a large group of senior military officers, the Prime Minister was reported to have again ruled out international participation in a domestic Sri Lankan justice mechanism. The High Commissioner remains convinced that international participation in the accountability mechanisms would be a necessary guarantee for the independence and impartiality of the process in the eyes of victims, as Sri Lanka’s judicial institutions currently lack the credibility needed to gain their trust. It is also important to keep in mind the magnitude and complexity of the international crimes alleged, which the OHCHR investigation found could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.

33. In light of recent reports on new evidence that has emerged on the use of cluster munitions towards the end of the conflict, following similar allegations in the OHCHR investigation report, the High Commissioner calls for an independent and impartial investigation to be carried out.

Zeid’s smokescreen update at Geneva has also exposed how the investigations process is being dragged upon through Geneva-based discourse despite the existence of crucial evidences that are more than enough to call for independent international investigations.

For example, the report of OISL Investigations brought out in September 2015 was trying to tone down the use of cluster bombs, despite established evidence right from the very first day when cluster bombs were deployed against civilian targets.

The independent watchers of the UN discourse on the island have also not forgotten that a UN representative, who initially admitted the use of cluster bombs, withdrew his statement during the genocidal war.

On the allegation of cluster munitions, the OISL report said the following last year: “[I]ndirect fire munitions may also be configured to explode into fragments overhead”.

The OISL report was stating that further investigations were needed to determine whether or not cluster munitions were used.

Now, there was a need to bring the issue of cluster munitions, as the credibility of the Geneva discourse was being seriously questioned by Eezham Tamils.

This was only a smokescreen measure carefully designed to protect the so-called credibility of the line already adopted by the UN Human Rights Chief and his OHCHR.

Even the delayed ‘revelation’ of cluster bombs is being used to protect the ‘domestic investigation’ logic where Mr Zeid expects deployment of some international judges to suppress the independent voices demanding the investigations to be conducted by an international criminal tribunal, the International Criminal Court or the investigations to be taken up at the International Court of Justice to investigate the SL State responsibility in the genocide against Eezham Tamils.

It has taken 8 years for a sitting UN Human Rights Chief to admit the use of cluster bombs, even after intentionally avoiding the findings in the ‘comprehensive’ investigations.

How many years would it take for the UN rights regime to investigate the decades-long protracted genocide against the Eezham Tamils is the question asked by the Eezham Tamil political observers in the island. The SL State would have completed the structural genocide through full-scale militarisation by that time. Therefore, Eezham Tamils, should operate without being manipulated by the handlers of the powers that influence the outcome in the UN Human Rights Council.

More details are expected to emerge in the near future on how Mr Zeid and his office have manipulated the conclusions of the OISL report to facilitate US influenced ‘consensus resolution’.



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