UNHRC: Sri Lanka at the crossroads

The USA pulling out of the UN Human Rights Council may appear at first glance to be advantageous to Sri Lanka since Washington is among the UNHRC’s main funders. But appearances are deceptive and they have become worse because (1) Sri Lanka being the world’s only country to co-sponsor an accountability resolution against itself and (2) SL has so far taken no stand on the U.S. pulling out of the UNHRC.

Furthermore the American Embassy in Colombo has issued a statement with a lot of hollow platitudes we are used to (that the U.S. “fully engaged” with the Sri Lankan Government “to help meet its continuing and standing commitments to the international community”) though it cannot hide Washington’s true aims of ‘taming’ Sri Lanka to serve Washington’s agenda in this region, no matter the Americans calling the UNHRC “a cesspool of political bias”.

The hard fact the U.S. pretends not to recognize – because of its unequivocal support for Israel – is that the UNHRC has been most of the time serving American interests, directly and indirectly.

As journalist Malinda Seneviratne observes the US wants to continue wielding power over countries like Sri Lanka using the UNHRC’s resolution mechanism while denouncing that very same process as less than ingenuous when it comes to Israel. Washington pulling out from the UNHRC therefore will not make much of a difference in the attempts by the U.S. and its European Allies to hound Sri Lanka – whatever the differences among them on others issues may be.

Supporting their moves is some of the so-called Civil Society Groups in Sri Lanka and – needless to say – the pro-LTTE Diaspora. Despite all this we cannot expect any worthwhile attempts by the present back-boneless ‘Yahapalanaya’ to counter them.

So where do we go from here?

My view is that patriotic organizations in Sri Lanka and abroad, primarily the Global Sri Lanka Forum, should launch a relentless campaign to expose and condemn the UNHRC (1) for its selective approach to issues of human rights violations and war crimes and (2) for its hypocritical and deafening silence on LTTE crimes thus helping the pro-LTTE Diasapora to take advantage of it to destabilize this country and pave the way for its bisection.

No matter the true reasons for the U.S. withdrawal from the UNHRC this is the right time for us to bash the UNHRC concerning the sovereignty of our country. The GSLF and other patriotic bodies should express full backing to China’s stance on “smashing the West’s monopoly on human rights.”

By Janaka Perera

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