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Moon Has No Evidence To Hang Even A Cat

[The Sunday Leader.lk, Sunday, 8 May 2011 09:02 No Comment]

ban6 In appointing an Advisory Panel of Experts (APE) Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General, has grabbed (literally and metaphorically) the tiger’s tail: he can’t let it go because he is under pressure from the Western and Tamil lobby (represented partly by the anti-Sri Lankan Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy within his own Cabinet) nor can he hang on to it because he knows (or should know) that he has done the wrong thing and no one has come forward so far to run with the report to the Security Council – the strategic point which can implement decisions.

Parenthetically, it must be reminded that it was Dr. Coomaraswamy who reacted like a woman scorned when she wrathfully blasted (in a private correspondence) Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka’s speech at the UNHRC as “obnoxious,” all because the vindictive efforts of the Tamil racist lobby to denigrate and punish Sri Lanka for crushing the Tamil Tigers was defeated by an overwhelming vote (29 – 12) at the UNHRC in Geneva. This is a clear reflection of her political alignment with the West to act against Sri Lanka – a policy pursued by her since she joined hands with Neelan Tiruchelvam of the ICES funded mainly by the Ford Foundation of America.

The immediate and official opposition to the UNHRC resolution came from Ms. Navi Pillay, the Human Rights Commissioner, another actor aligned to the international Tamil network of Dr. Coomaraswamy from S. Africa. Her opposition, however, prompted a severe backlash from India which at the time (May 2009) was openly and enthusiastically on the side of Sri Lanka. The Indian Ambassador to Geneva, Gopinanthan Achamkulangarie’s response to Navi Pillay was impeccable and succinct. He said: “It would be extremely unfortunate if the inter-governmental decisions adopted by the Human Rights Council were to be ignored or set aside (by) the High Commissioner and/or her office……according to their convenience or in accordance with the agenda of some states, or unrepresentative or unconscionable organisations to pursue their own agenda.”

Ambassador Achamkulangarie’s prophetic words are more valid today than when he uttered them in 2009. “Unrepresentative and unconscionable organisations,” handpicked by the Secretary-General from outside the UN organisation, have stepped in not only “to ignore and set aside” the resolution commending Sri Lanka but also to undermine the fundamental principles on which the UN is based. India, however, seems to have backtracked from her initial position of going all out to defend the multilateral resolution passed at the UNHRC on Sri Lanka. How can India which backed the multilateral decision of UNHRC in May 2009 now go back on it and back the arbitrary decision of one-man, Ban Ki-moon, acting without authority or legitimacy?

The sudden volte-face of India is contrasted by the consistency of China and Russia. For instance, the other day India marched into the American Embassy with the usual suspects in the Western embassies and the NGOs when the American Ambassadress wagged her index finger and asked them to come for her tea party. Neither Russia nor China was invited obviously knowing that they will not join the West-NGO plot against Sri Lanka.  The Indian move to join America, departing from her stance in May 2009, is less due to domestic considerations and more due to her new alliance with America as its “strategic partner” in the East to re-draw, if possible, the new map of Asia. This shift to the American camp (after abandoning India’s alliance with the Soviet bloc) is ominous and can pose a serious threat to peace in the SAARC region and the East. This is an issue that has to be dealt with in depth later.

But first, it is the next move of Ban Ki-moon that is now awaited with bated breath. Ban has painted himself into a corner and does not know how to get out of it. He now has two reports on his desk – one from his three-headed APE which has no legs to walk on and the other from the UNHRC which has given him clear instructions on how to assist Sri Lanka to take practical steps that could lead to peace, communal harmony and progress.

Ban’s move to appoint a three-headed APE is worse than what Kofi Annan did when he visited Sri Lanka soon after the tsunami hit. It was a time when Karuna Amman had split from Prabhakaran and the internecine warfare targeting each other was raging in the East. One of the victims of this warfare was ‘Lt.’ Kausalyan, a Tiger terrorist in the Eastern wing of the Tamil Tigers. He was caught in the cross-fire and when his death became known to the public Kofi Annan officially offered his condolences — an insignificant Tiger terrorist in the jungles of the East. This is like offering condolences to a Nazi lieutenant who was carrying out execution of the Jews in Europe. The death toll of the Vaddukoddai War had been rising – particularly the child soldiers — and the CEO of the UN, the primary guardian of human rights, condoles with a Tiger terrorist who was oppressing and massacring Tamil dissidents and their rivals in Karuna’s camp. It shows, more than his misplaced political sympathies, his utter lack of judgment and respect for human rights.

Ban’s judgments are no better than that of his predecessor. Take the case of appointing the three-headed APE to investigate Sri Lanka. There was no necessity for it except to pander to the West and the Tamil lobby. From the day (May 27, 2009) the EU and America (West) lost UNHRC resolution A/HRC/S – 11/L 1/ REV2 to the non-West they have been plotting to punish Sri Lanka. The UNHRC vote was a severe blow to the hegemony of the West which has dominated the UN and used it as a rubber stamp to endorse its international agenda. The APE is a counter-move by Ban to restore the hegemony of the West which it lost at the UNHRC in May 2009.

Besides, appointing the APE is the cheapest trick in politics. When politicians/CEOs are stuck without a handle to get what they want the cheapest methodology is to appoint a committee of either their cronies or ideological fellow-travellers, with the specific mission of getting a report that endorses their hidden agenda. Radhika Coomaraswamy did it when she wanted to nail the Sri Lankan government with accusations of recruiting child soldiers. NGOs allied to her in Colombo were cranking up this story of the government recruiting child soldiers to tar it with the same brush of Tamil Tigers who were forcibly grabbing under-aged children to fight in the futile Vaddukoddai War. Whom did she pick to do the job for her? Alan Rock, a Canadian politician who had close links with the Tamil Tigers in Canada. Predictably, he reported back to her saying that the Sri Lankan government too was involved in recruiting children.

A good local example is Ranil Wickremesinghe. Each time he is stuck he appoints a committee (invariably headed by his yes-man, Bradman Weerakoon) to produce a report. He has appointed an umpteen number of committees and the latest is to inquire into the panel report headed again by Badman Weerakoon. (Oops, I missed ‘r’ again!). Being an apparatchik of Dr. Coomaraswamy and her NGO gang, Bradman must be waiting for instructions from her on how to save both Ban and Wickremesinghe.

So it is not surprising to find Ban appointing the APE to get the kind of report he wants, ignoring the legally valid resolution passed by UNHRC for him to act. This arbitrary and unilateral act of Ban Ki-moon not only violates the international law of “consensualism” or “voluntarism” but also undermines the underlying principle of multilateral decision-making process which is needed to revitalise the UN as a vigorous multilateral institution that recognises the equality of all member nations rather than a rubber stamp of Western and bureaucratic hegemonists.

Coomaraswamy has been a vocal champion of multi-lateralism as opposed to unilateralism, or Bushism when he decided to invade Iraq with cooked up reports. Even Alan Rock, one of her fellow-travellers in her international network, emphasised this evil of unilateralism on the eve of his departure from his position as Canada’s UN Ambassador. He told the Toronto Star: “The UN is in trouble on many fronts, we have to find a way to address the North-South gap, to encourage the big powers to abandon unilateral approaches and work collectively — that’s in the interest of everyone, including them.”

So isn’t Ban resorting to bureaucratic hegemonism by acting unilaterally without the consent of the member states? Besides, why has he decided to violate unilaterally the recognised principle of “consensualism”? Who gave him the authority to dictate terms to Sri Lanka when the will of the nations expressed in the UNHRC has clearly defined the parameters of his next course of action? Where in his job description does it say that he is superior to the will of the member states and he can act arbitrarily on his whims and fancies?

The UN has been consistently plagued by the unilateralism of the of big powers. Now a new malaise has set in with the Secretary-General trying to usurp powers which he doesn’t have, to impose his will on member states. But his knee jerk reaction has boomeranged on him. He is stuck. He has confessed that he has no power to go any further unless Sri Lanka or an inter-governmental agency initiates action. He is in a pitiful situation where he has a report without any ability to take action on it. So far no one has come out of the trenches to fight on his behalf. Consequently, he is waiting from some state, aligned to the West, or manipulated by the West, to pull him out of the hole in which he is right now.

In any case the report he has in his hands is like the flawed one presented by Colin Powell to attack Iraq. It is now accepted without a demur that Powell’s report to the Security Council consists of fabricated evidence. It was another one of those cheap tricks of powers-that-be to convince the public that there is legitimacy to their political agenda of interfering in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state. There is hardly any difference between the APE’s report and that of Powell’s. Both are hoaxes. The other common factor in both reports is that they are designed to interfere in the domestic affairs, mainly for regime change.

Based on the principles of the backers of APEs Ban must have a report which accords with “international standards.” Robert O’Blake and his ilk demand an independent report that will stand up to “international standards.” Do they mean by this that it should be of the standard of Powell’s report to the Security Council or an anti-Sri Lankan  report like that of the APE, filled with anonymous sources and faked/vague figures. How on earth can Blake insist on “international standards” when the State Department produced a report with  pictures and unsubstantiated evidence of WMDs brushing aside the time-tested credible evidence of the UN inspectors who examined every inch of Iraq and could not find any such evidence?

In the case of Sri Lanka, “international standards” demand verifiable and testable evidence on the number of casualties. Before Ban goes to the Security Council he has to come up with a credible figure that can be accepted right across the board by the rational and reasonable elements in the international community.  But has he got any figures that would make him look like a truth-teller? The available statistics range from 7,000 – the figure accepted by the UN – to (1) 20,000 of the London Times, (2) 30,000 by the French ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, who is also the current President of the Security Council  (3) 40,000, according to Gordon Weiss, who is inflating his own figure of 7,000 when he was UN spokesperson in Colombo, to promote his book now on sale, (4) 50,000 according to Prof. Francis A. Boyle, the leading Tamil propagandist in USA, and, last but not least (5) “tens of thousands” of the APE.

All these figures are given by the international community. If these figures represent “international standards” then the foreign experts adding these numbers must be airlifted to a primary class in Debarawewa to re-learn their basics in subtracting. So which of these figures will he accept? He can’t lift a finger on these figures. Nor can he hide behind the fictitious figure of “tens of thousands” – the vague figure of the APE without specifying what exactly is  “tens of thousands”? Is it two “tens of thousands”? Is it ten? Is it twenty? Or is it like a recurring decimal that goes into eternity?

Ban Ki-moon can’t take another step without fixing a definite figure because the case against Sri Lanka hangs essentially on the number of casualties. It is not possible to even hang a cat on the untested, unverified and contradictory figures presented as evidence by the “credible sources” (to quote the APE) cited above. Sri Lankans do not have to accept bogus “international standards” that do not add up to verifiable truth. Finding a credible figure is Ban’s biggest problem. His APE have given him heaps of alleged accusations (which are yet to be proved, according to the report) from anonymous “credible sources” but what is missing is testable, verifiable evidence. Something more precise and credible than “tens of thousands”!

Not even a village court in Timbuctoo will accept anonymous “credible sources” as hard evidence. So why should Sri Lanka accept it? This leaves all the alleged accusations up in the air like the figure of “tens of thousands.” If he can’t give the world a testable, verifiable and “credible” figure then his whole case against Sri Lanka collapses. As things stand now he has a lot of allegations but where is the evidence to prove them?

Take the case of his representative Gordon Weiss, the former UN spokesperson in Colombo. He has admitted responsibility for his failure as a UN representative in Colombo in several interviews. More importantly he was a key player in the noxious game of fixing figures to suit his personal and political agendas. In Colombo he fixed the figure at 7,000 and after leaving his job he jacks it up to 40,000 to boost the sales of his book published in Australia. When Channel 4 of London asked him what his sources were Weiss said that he relied on two (unnamed) Tamil representatives in the Wanni. Doesn’t he know that he has cooked his own goose when he cites unnamed Tamil representatives as his source? Is Gordon, the author of a book on the war in Sri Lanka, Weiss or otherwise?

This game of fixing figures began with Matthew Russell Lee of the Inner City Press (ICP), the press puppy who has been barking and nipping at the heels of UN officials and diplomats on Sri Lanka and other conflict zones. He has been briefed sufficiently by the local NGOs and the Tamil lobby to raise issues on Sri Lanka at UN’s press briefings. In fact, Sanjana Hattotuwa of CPA, the garrulous loud-mouth from the Centre for Policy Alternatives, went all the way to New York to back up Matthew Lee’s allegations against Sri Lanka in a radio interview. Lee first went on the offensive on March 27, 2009 when he raised the issue of the number of casualties at a UN press conference presided by Ms. Michelle Montas, the UN spokesperson for the Secretary-General. Lee was armed with a leaked UN document which fixed the figure of casualties from January 20, 2009 – to March 7, 2009 in the conflict zone of Mullaitivu at 9,924, including 2,683 deaths and 7,241 injured. (See his video link of March 27 on Inner City Press web site.)

Boasting about the leaked document in his possession Lee asks Ms. Montas whether the UN has any fixed figure. She tells Lee quite bluntly that there is no way of counting the dead. She says: “No way of knowing what the exact count is” So if the UN has no way of arriving at an accurate figure, even with their representatives on the ground, what is the figure that Ban has to go ahead with his report?  This leaves the varying figures that range from 7,000 to 50,000 somewhere up in the stratosphere and on the ground in Sri Lanka. For instance, can Prof. Boyle of the Illinois University, Chicago, tell us how he got the figure of 50,000? Or at least tell TamilNet which is his main mouthpiece?

The other issue that has to be factored into this calculation of numbers is also critical to arrive at an accurate figure: when two parties fire at the same target, who is there to identify whose shells killed whom? The report of the APE admits that the Tamil Tigers fired at civilians. Tamil eyewitnesses speaking to Al Jazeera too complained that they were shelled by both sides and do not know which shells targeted the hospitals and the civilians. So if you take the figure of 40,000, purely for the sake of argument, can the APE tell us which shells killed what amount?

Besides, the APE report, and the defenders of the report, put the blame emphatically on the Sri Lankan government, ignoring that the report names three guilty parties: the UN, the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan government. The common tactic is to blame selectively the Sri Lankan government, while adding just a few passing references to the Tigers. This is predictable because from the time the EU resolution was beaten at the UNHRC in May 2009 the trend has been to put Sri Lanka in the dock. In fact, the EU resolution was also designed to accuse Sri Lanka of war crimes. The subsequent reports of Human Rights Watch, AI, ICG etc., have followed the underlying basics of the EU resolution in targeting Sri Lanka. This was the pattern even when the counter-terrorist offensive was at its height. None of the I/NGO commentators took into account that the Tamil Tigers were accused by the Tamil leaders of killing more Tamils than all the others put together.

This blame game is going to be a rather chronic feature for the simple reason that it is cranked up by the Tamil expatriates. The Tamil lobby abroad has taken to the APE report like the way Prabhakaran’s brain-washed kids took to suicide pellets. They believe that the APE report is the weapon that is going to bring them their elusive Eelam. But the winds of their sails have been taken out by the Chinese and the Russians. Shortly after Sri Lanka defeated the vindictive EU resolution in Geneva the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko “welcomed” Colombo’s success in “restoring control over the entire territory of the country” and liberating the civilians held hostage. Russia “supports the fight of the Sri Lankan government against terrorism and separatism and for state sovereignty and territorial integrity” and stands ready to “strengthen further its cooperation [with Sri Lanka] … both in a bilateral format and in regional and international organisations on counter-terrorism and on other themes of mutual concern.” (Asia Times – May 27, 2009).

The Chinese formula too seems to be gaining ground. Right from the start China maintained that Sri Lanka should be allowed to handle its own domestic issues without outside interference. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said: “As a friendly neighbour, China has kept a close eye on how the Sri Lankan situation developed. We sincerely hope Sri Lanka will make efforts to accomplish national reconciliation, social stability and economic progress.” That stance of allowing Sri Lanka to develop its own strategies has not changed.

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