Sunday, January 6, 2008

Human rights double-speak

In its entire history Sri Lanka has never invaded and occupied another country. Instead for over 2000 years it people have been forced to resist foreign aggression and occupation. The worst of these were those led by Europeans – the ancestors of today's international human rights champions in the West. These white-skinned alien occupiers not only disturbed the country's ethnic and religious harmony but also overturned the island's cultural environment. Their (especially the British) divide-and-rule eventually contributed the present crisis the country is facing.
We are now again facing a second independence struggle against a home-grown enemy which has set up a rogue state within our sovereign territory aided and abetted by foreign moral crusaders and those Westerners engaging in political double-speak. Their political history is filled with countless numbers of human rights violations in Asia, Africa and the Middle East from about the 17th Century to right up to this day.
Yet none of those (Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International etc) who pontificate on HR to small fry like us, have never really succeeded in controlling or preventing the glaring atrocities that were and are being committed in Iraq, Afghanistan and Latin America among other states by the governments of the home countries of these bogus pundits.
Since they have to date failed to pressure these governments, especially those of the United States, Britain and Israel to withdraw their troops from foreign lands and cease bombing operations they are trying to justify their existence by 'diplomatically' intimidating small States like Sri Lanka trying hard to safeguard their territorial integrity.
If these global do-gooders are really concerned about human rights violations in Sri Lanka the first step they ought to take is to spearhead an international campaign to pressure the LTTE terrorists to lay down their arms, give up their Tamil elam pipe dream and agree to a solution that is acceptable to the majority of people of Sri Lanka. Then all air, sea and ground operations against the Tigers will automatically cease and the need for arresting, deporting and detaining anyone of adding and abetting separatist terrorism will cease.
Ignoring this reality the human rights crusaders have the gall to say:
" The failure of the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including customary law relating to the methods and means of warfare, and to take all feasible measures to protect civilians from harm, has encouraged a cycle of abuses against civilians with impunity."
Before telling us what we should or should not do Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch should ask the Human Rights Council to urge the United States Government and Israel to agree without delay to the establishment in Iraq and Afghanistan and Palestine of United Nations field operations with a strong monitoring mandate. They should urge the council to call on the U.S. British and Israeli Governments and the NATO to improve civilian protection by:
Ensuring compliance with international human rights standards and international humanitarian law;
Accepting a United Nations human rights field operation with a strong monitoring mandate.
Noted Veteran Sri Lankan Journalist and Editor Asian Tribune, H.L.D. Mahindapala during a speech at the BMICH, Colombo, last Nov. 29:
"The West seems to claim and act as if they are the sole guardians of human rights. This also implies that they own the monopoly to interpret and dictate terms to the rest primarily with the aim of pushing their political and economic agendas. Of course, they have the resources and the power to dominate and dictate which country should have their blessings to get away with violations of human rights and which should be pressured to obey their diktats. They even hire a global army of NGO policemen to monitor the conduct of others who do not confirm to the political standards stipulated by them. Some of the reports are cooked up to suit the agendas of the funding masters abroad as seen in the case of Iraq."