Bachelet’s Deafening Silence to GR’s Request
By Jatila Karawita
Three prominent Buddhist monks representing national Organisations here said the response from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva Michelle Bachelet, to the request made by the President to the Tamil Diaspora to engage in a productive dialogue with Colombo, has been a deafening silence.
The monks charged that this dubious behaviour on the part of Bachelet, further underscores the double standards adopted by the UNHCHR in Geneva towards Sri Lanka, with regard to issues such as human rights, war crimes and the failure to prosecute those behind the 2019 Easter Sunday terror attacks. “The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has failed to come out publicly and air her views with regard to the President’s recent request to the Tamil Diaspora,” the monks told a live political talk show aired by Stateowned SLRC on 22 September.
“This only further reiterates the cunning double games played by the UNHCHR in Geneva, as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. If the High Commissioner is not biased or partial, then she could have responded to the President’s invitation to the Diaspora. Furthermore she does not make any effort to highlight the mass scale HR violations taking place in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Israel etc.
But, thus far she had been conspicuous by her failure to respond promptly to the President’s remarks, on his willingness to engage in a broad discourse with the Tamil Diaspora on pertinent issues.” The Buddhist monks, who were featured on the programme, were Ven. Iththekande Saddatissa Thera of the ‘Ravana Balaya’, Ven. Magalkande Sudatta Thera of ‘Nawa Sinhalaye’ and Ven. Madille Pannaloka Thera of the ‘Sinhalaye’ Organisation. The monks questioned the true motives behind Bachelet hounding Colombo over the aforesaid issues at each annual session of the UNHCHR in Geneva.
They charged that the Human Rights High Commissioner had become a pawn in the wider political game played by influential western nations and at the behest of powerful groups with vested interests in the region. They also advised the Government to totally restructure the country’s foreign (envoy) service, in such a manner in order to judiciously and effectively face up to spurious and trumped up charges made against the Tri-Forces annually at the UNHCHR sessions in Geneva.
The monks delving into the Easter Sunday carnage of two years ago remarked that the Archbishop of Colombo, Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith, is presently either knowingly or unknowingly had become enmeshed in a political game played by politicians with vested interests from the current Opposition in Parliament. They advised him to not to unduly panic, over the perceived delay in the attempts made by the present regime to prosecute those behind the Easter Sunday mayhem and instead allow the law to deal with the process.
The trio also warned that the recent threat of another terror attack at any moment could be perpetrated here by extremist Islamic groups in the mould of the Easter carnage, which was disclosed to the country recently by BBS General Secretary Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera, was very much alive.
They advised the Government not to dismiss the warning as a false dawn, without taking effective measures towards its defeat through dialogue and discussion through the mainstream media. The Theras opined there are scores of brainwashed Islamic youth who could set off similar attacks at any given moment in this country to achieve their aim of sacrificing human lives in the name of the Almighty God.