– Democratic People’s Front leader Mano Ganesan
This government made sets of principal promises to the UN system twice in this post war era. First in 2009 May, days after the end of war, it agreed with the UNSG in a joint statement. Addressing the national question with 13A plus, a political facet steered the undertakings of the GoSL at that occasion. Again in 2012 March, sets of promises were given to UNHRC. They were based on the recommendations of LLRC, a local commission appointed by the very government. Addressing the human rights facets steered the undertakings this time.
Now this government stands naked on both political and human rights facets. My one sentence notice to this government is this. You can’t hide behind lies and lies again. The government troupe which is going to Geneva for the UNHRC sessions beginning on 25th should keep this notice in their minds, said Mano Ganesan, leader of Democratic People’s Front.
Ganesan speaking at the weekly media meet of the ‘Movement for Unity with Power Sharing’ (MUPS) held in Colombo today said further;
‘Lankan delegation that goes to the forthcoming UNHRC session in Geneva next month should come to terms with the fact that this time it would not be able to veil its pledges with more empty promises.’
‘The government is talking only about the resolution passed during the UNHRC session held in Geneva in March 2012. It is deliberately ignoring the resolution passed in 2009 May. The 2009 May resolution followed the joint statement issued by President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The joint statement between Lankan president and UNSG clearly states that GoSL’s undertaking on 13th amendment. This joint communiqué between Srilankan president Mahinda Rajapakse and UNSG Ban Ki-Moon states that “Lankan president expresses his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th amendment” and follow it with “a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about a lasting peace..” .This statement was made during UNSG Ban Ki-Moon’s visit to Sri Lanka immediately days after the end of war in May, 2009.’
‘Government assured the head of the UN that it would not only implement the 13th Amendment, but it would go beyond by enhancing it. This joint statement was followed by the resolution at the special session of the UNHRC. The original draft proposed by certain EU nations was defeated. The resolution passed praised Sri Lanka for defeating terrorism but demanded reconciliation. The steering point was the reconciliation with a political solution based on 13 amendment and enhancing it .. ’.
‘Subsequently, the second resolution was passed in March 2012. This time the Lankan government assured the UNHRC that it would implement the recommendations made by the Lessons Learned & Reconciliation Commission. The second resolution was more concerned about the issues emerging out of the human rights violations’.
‘However, the government has not fulfilled both these sets of promises made to the UN. This is the crux of the Sri Lanka situation report’.
‘The GoSL is planning send new faces to UNHRC this time. They plan to send bureaucrats of the ministry of external affairs. The same old Mahinda Samarasinghe, G.L. Peiris and Mohan Peiris who went to Geneva last time may not face the heat of the Geneva winter. It is because most of pledges given by them are dishonored.’
‘In such a backdrop, the government is trying to blame opposition parties with its outdated allegations. It grumbles that the opposition parties are selling out the country by making charges against the government to the UNHRC. This is an obsolete accusation. We do not have to be informants to the United Nations. Three representatives of the US state department came to Sri Lanka last week. They did not even meet me, the winner of Freedom Defender award of US state department. Not me, it is this government that granted visas to them. They came here, and met with the political and social actors. It was the firsthand fact finding mission. Therefore, there is no point in blaming us’
‘But we will blame the international community and the UN, The former co-chairs USA, EU, Norway and Japan, and India, if they do not act decisively this time. We will hold them responsible. The UN has the responsibility to uphold the joint statement made by the UNSG with the Srilankan president in 2009 May. The UNHRC has the responsibility to uphold the LLRC pledges given to it by the GoSL in 2012 March’.