The International Bar Association in the executive summary of their report entitled, ‘A Crisis of Legitimacy‘ issued in March 2013 makes the following recommendation to the Commonwealth:
(i) Whether they are respecting its core values and principles, including the respect for separation of powers, the rule of law, good governance and human rights enshrined in its Charter;
(ii) Whether the Commonwealth’s reputation would be more enhanced or tarnished if Sri Lanka were to host the forthcoming Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting and act as its Chair-in-Office for the next two years.
What the International Bar Association is requesting the Commonwealth to do is to review the situation and be satisfied that Sri Lanka respects its core values and principles, including the respect for separation of powers, the rule of law, good governance and the human rights enshrined in its Charter.
While the International Bar Association seems to be unsure about where Sri Lanka stands in terms of the core values which cement the relationships within the Commonwealth, the Sri Lankan government is quite loudly proclaiming to the rest of the world that they do not care a damn about these ‘core values’.
Within the last week itself, in three glaring incidents, Sri Lanka demonstrated to the local community as well as the world at large, where it stands on these ‘core values’. These four incidents are:
The most recent incidents narrated above are only a fraction of a large list of incidents which demonstrate quite clearly that the government is in no way reluctant to flout the core values, such as the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and democracy.
The problem that the UN Resolution on Reconciliation and Accountability is faced with is that while the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the international community insist that the Sri Lankan government should prove its accountability regarding the core values on which all these international relationships are based, the government of Sri Lanka is structurally committed to the abandonment of all these core values.
The people in Sri Lanka know that the gap between these core values and the Sri Lankan government is a wide as the distance between the Earth and the moon. However, the international community has not yet grasped the actual reality that, structurally, governance in Sri Lanka is now based on a system of values which are the very opposite of the core values that the United Nations, the Commonwealth and the international community are insisting on.