Geneva 2017 – GSLF Applauds Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera’s Defence of Sri Lanka’s National Interest
Ranjith Soysa Media Coordinator For Global Sri Lankan Forum
The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) applauds the remarkable effort by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera to defend the good name of Sri Lanka and its security forces at the recently concluded sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.
His determined initiative was supported by the Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF), the Federation of National Organisations (FNO) as well as several other patriotic organisations and individuals in and outside Sri Lanka.
Rear Admiral Weerasekera, a former Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Navy and a decorated war hero himself, fought against tremendous odds to secure space and time at the Geneva Sessions to present the case for countless Sri Lankans who were victims of the LTTE campaign of terror for three decades. He was also able to handover valuable material to the UNHRC. In particular, the document entitled ‘A Factual Appraisal of the OISL Report: A Rebuttal to the Allegations Against the Armed Forces’ contained a wealth of information and expert legal opinion that strongly counters the trumped-up charges against the Sri Lankan security forces. He also called on the UN General Assembly to declare a moratorium on any further UNHCR action on Sri Lanka and investigate how the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights came to produce the one-sided ‘OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL) Report’ of 2015 based on unsubstantiated claims made largely by parties that have been overtly hostile to Sri Lanka.
Shamefully, the Official Representatives of the Sri Lankan Government, led by Foreign Minister Mr Mangala Samaraweera, did little to counter the vitriolic propaganda and false accusations of the Tamil Tiger Diaspora, the racist Tamil politicians, the foreign funded NGO industry and some western powers. The GOSL merely sought additional time to implement the UNHCR Resolution A/HRC/30/L.29 which it had co-sponsored in 2015. This resolution had endorsed the conclusions and recommendations of the 2015 OISL Report in which the Sri Lankan security forces were accused of assorted human rights violations, while glossing over the numerous atrocities committed by the Tamil Tiger terrorists. The UNHRC Resolution also made a number of demands from Sri Lanka including the inclusion of foreign investigators, prosecutors and judges in the cases against its security forces. In effect, the 2017 sessions have endorsed these with the consent of the GOSL.
Furthermore, those representing the GOSL made no attempt to mobilise either Sri Lanka’s traditional allies or their new relationships in the ‘international community’ to get the UNHCR resolution withdrawn or amended in favour of Sri Lanka. Neither did they utilise the skills and experience of expatriate Sri Lankan organisations and individuals who have been countering the LTTE’s international misinformation campaign for several decades. It is also deplorable that some members of the Government are now attempting to belittle Rear Admiral Weerasekera’s role in Geneva and distort his statements.
The current regime’s stand in Geneva follows its dubious record on national security, which includes closing down strategic defence establishments in the North and East, releasing of hard-core LTTE cadres, de-proscription of foreign LTTE front-organisations, harassment of military personnel including top intelligence officers and advocating constitutional changes to dilute the unitary status of Sri Lanka.
The actions of Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera have clearly exposed to the people of Sri Lanka, the servile mentality Foreign Minister Samaraweera and his bungling cohorts who have embarked on a futile strategy of appeasement at the expense of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and national interests.
In conclusion, the GSLF appeals to the President of Sri Lanka to replace the current Foreign Minister, strengthen future Sri Lankan delegations with professional and patriotic officials, and draw on the experience of those who have consistently supported the Sri Lankan cause for many years.
We also call on the people of Sri Lanka to urge their elected representatives in Parliament to stand united against the twin forces of ethnic separatism and international intervention.
For Global Sri Lankan Forum