It is vitally necessary to understand the role of UNHRC in the modern global context. There is a tendency among the young left oriented atavists to classify every international institute, formed under the influence of UN, as reactionary and a new instrument of exploitation. In their analysis, the factor of international labour and its intervention is not taken into consideration.
It is futile to classify UNHRC and other international organisations as instruments of global capital and imperialism, and neglect the power of organised labour however conservative it appears. In the modern world side by side of global capital, international labour plays a massive role in the fight for human rights and other social rights.
On the other hand, it is hilarious to claim Donald Trump has tightened the HR conditions on Lanka! Truth is the power of international labour has compelled Lanka to retreat. Already power of labour is indicated by signing the DSP +, which would give much benefit to Lanka. Donald Trump had to bow down to the power of international labour even though he is living in dream world of fascism.
All liberal analysts agree that one of the most unfortunate features of the present time in Lanka is that the government alliance shows signs of disintegration.
‘This is on account of the rivalry between the two parties; including their leadership that shows no signs of abating, and for which statesmanship is required if it is to be overcome.’
Local government elections
The dissolved condition of the government was seen in its poor electoral performance at the local government elections held last month. UNP did not launch a dynamic campaign.
The opposition parties made use of the co-signed resolution to allege that the government was too subservient to foreign powers. They said ‘country sold to US’, to conduct an emotive campaign against the government.
It used arguments of nationalism, patriotism and betrayal that showed, if not countered and crushed, its potential to sweep the government off its feet at other national elections to come.
This has aroused the ‘for democracy peoples movement’ which has criticized both Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena.
In this difficult context, there is a positive role that the international community can play.
Its nurturing role can be seen in the manner in which specialized international agencies have taken on responsibility for supporting the establishment of viable reconciliation mechanisms that the government has promised.
It would be more constructive for the international community to be supportive rather than add to the pressures on the government in a manner that would further undermine it electorally.
An example of constructive support would be the role played by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). For many years this organisation has played a key role in gaining humanitarian access to the war zones of the North and East.
Yes, it is true that the sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva no longer occupy media headlines as they did in the past when the fascistic Mahinda government used the occasion to confront the international community; but they are still very important.
Because it does not mean that the country is able to deal successfully with the issues identified in the resolution. The suspicions and mistrust that continue to undermine inter-nationality relations within the country are an obstruction to their implementation.
TNA and Tamil Diaspora
The TNA and the Tamil Diaspora represented by the Global Tamil Forum have been urging the UNHRC in Geneva to extend the period of their scrutiny of the implementation of the resolution. This is because of their concern that if such international scrutiny ceases there will be even less incentive for the government to continue with the task. Tamil leaders were patient but were pressing the Yahapalanaya to implement the conditions accepted in the UNHRC agreement.
A delegation of the TNA supported by the Global Tamil Forum visited the United States of America at the time when Lanka has been under scrutiny at the UN in Geneva.
TNA was with appointments secured from the relevant highest levels of authority at the UN, US Administration and Government and the Norwegian Government. Before that TNA continued engagement with the Government of Lanka to encourage implementation of 2015 manifesto commitments, and commitments made to all Lankans and the international community.
The delegation included Sumanthiran, Lanka Member of Parliament of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), and Father S J Emmanuel, President of the Global Tamil Forum (GTF), now resident in Lanka. Among other serious concerns, the delegation discussed the need to demand Government of Lanka to commit to a time-bound implementation plan of resolutions 30/1 & 34/1 of the UNHRC and the need for UNHRC monitoring and oversight over Sri Lanka beyond March 2019. Delivering a joint statement in Geneva, the UK said Lanka is safer and freer than it was in 2015.
However, it added that it was disappointed that the pace of progress has been slow. It stated that “Much still remains to be done to implement Sri Lanka’s commitments. We remain concerned about reports of abuse of authority by some security officials.
And multiple incidents of inter-communal violence, attacks, and hate speech against minorities are alarming and demonstrate the need for reconciliation efforts.
As Sri Lanka acknowledged with its co-sponsorship of resolution 30/1, devolution of political authority through constitutional reform is integral to lasting reconciliation and non-recurrence of violations and abuses.
Families of disappeared persons from all communities have waited too long for answers.
We urge that the Office of Missing Persons be fully operational without delay, and for meaningful steps to establish the other transitional justice mechanisms outlined in resolution 30/1.
Effective security sector reforms, repeal of the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and release of more military-occupied land to civilian ownership will all help build trust and confidence.”