Don’t repeat MR’s mistakes – Champika | ‘Hybrid’ in another name – Dayan J.
A decision to co-sponsor the US draft resolution on Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) sessions in Geneva could be seriously detrimental to the Government of Sri Lanka, Minister of Megapolis and Western Province Development Patali Champika Ranawaka told The Nation.
Ranawaka, who is also the General Secretary of the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG), further stated he had expressly warned Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe against co-sponsoring any such resolution, as that would legally bind Sri Lanka to fulfill all its recommendations.
“What we had advocated was for them to adopt whatever resolution they wanted while ensuring that we were free to act on those recommendations independently,” he said. Ranawaka added the previous administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa painted itself into a corner by making various promises that were not deliverable.
“We cannot make the same mistake as ultimately, to implement such a resolution, it is the responsibility of the Sri Lankan Parliament to approve it. We have no idea what Parliament will approve,” Ranawaka said.
Minister Ranawaka added the government should not make commitments to the international community that it may not be able to fulfill.
He pointed out that the government would have to take into account the Constitution, Parliamentary approval and public sentiments before taking any decision on such a resolution.
However, Ranawaka did acknowledge that given the watered down nature of the resolution, the government was in a much better position than it ever was due to an opening having been created.
Meanwhile, writing to The Nation, former Sri Lankan Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka stated while the US resolution on Sri Lanka appears to have softened from the earlier draft, “the core, the essence, remains.”
He pointed to the wording on Operative Paragraph 6 which calls for the participation of Commonwealth and other foreign judges defense lawyers, and authorized prosecutors and investigators within a ‘Sri Lankan judicial mechanism.’
“This is not a “Sri Lankan judicial mechanism”. This is the infamous hybrid. It is quasi-colonial because we have not seen a combination of Sri Lankan and foreign judges or lawyers since the days of British colonialism. That’s how far back this resolution takes us,” he emphasized.
The veteran diplomat also noted that Operative Paragraph 8 calls for the non-retention in the armed forces of anyone found “credibly implicated” by an independent administrative procedure of the violation of human rights during the war.
“The prescription of foreign judges and the purging of armed forces members, who have not been found guilty by a Sri Lankan court of law, shows that the West is not a firm friend of Sri Lanka. Friends do not prescribe alien over-lordship on the institutions of other friends. Meanwhile the acceptance of the resolution by the Government shows that our government is not a friend of Sri Lanka,” Jayatilleka further states in his column to this newspaper.