By Dhyan Abeyagoonasekera
Many people were under the impression that because Ban Ki-moon was the Secretary General of the UN, his panel to probe and report of ‘human rights violations’ and ‘war crimes’–as considered by some parties–was with the approval of the UN. But a trillion dollar query looms at this point: did the UN vest any powers on its Secretary General to appoint such a committee without the approval of the UN General Assembly or the Security Council? Apparently such formality had not been followed in this issue. Consequently the three-member commission appointed by Ban Ki-moon is ultra vires and its report invalid.
It is Ban Ki-moon’s play
Ban Ki-moon interpreted certain statements made by the President of Sri Lanka during a meeting with him to his advantage–that the President had not opposed the appointment of the commission to ‘seek find, and advise’ how Ban-Ki moon should deal with ‘accountability’ on the part of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces during the last stages of the Tiger war.
Now, what is the reason for Ban-Ki moon’s keenness? Is it to prop his waning image as the Secretary General of the UN because he has set his sights on a second term in office?
Flawed and baseless
Despite the question of legality of Ban-ki moon’s commission, this advisory report is now a reality. However, an obvious question had been passed around on Ban Ki-moon’s effort at ‘accountability’. What is the Sri Lankan government accountable for and to whom? The government of Sri Lanka is accountable to the people of Sri Lanka: the reason it waged a war and defeated the LTTE terrorist group that had been on a murderous terror campaign in which thousands of innocents died. It is therefore no surprise that when the Ban Ki-moon report was received the government diplomatically told them to stuff it as a transparently ‘flawed and biased’ affair; the rest referred to it pithily as ‘absolute bloody nonsense’.
What’s accountability in war?
It also opened a flood of questions regarding Ban Ki-moon and his commission. Many suspect that Moon’s ploy in dipping his toes into the waters of accountability was to open other doors of convenience to achieve their goal of ‘proving Sri Lanka’s accountability’ in the war–perhaps with some factions of the UN and Western actors. But then it is common knowledge that such manipulations follow squint-eyed scrutiny Western types reserve for states they think can be bullied with impunity. Most importantly the cockeyed gentry have conveniently forgotten their own soiled hands in the unimaginably horrifying incidents in the World Wars, the atom bomb on Japan, Vietnam, Afghanistan, African and South American countries, the Middle-East etc. As people who consider themselves as the Good Lord’s supreme umpires in world affairs they didn’t think they were accountable for such devastation of life and property that are still common place: Libya, Egypt, Iraq and Afghanistan for instance (God only knows on which other countries they have strained their scopes.) So, the skeletons of West inspired wars, agitations, killings, bribery and manipulation of governments, turning blind eyes to massacres of civilians during armed conflicts etc. in Titanic proportions remain in lockers.
Stuff for the report
What macabre incidents took place in Sri Lanka towards the end of the terrorist war that the Ban Ki-moon Commission is said to have found ‘credible’? Since the commission was not welcome here, how did it gather facts and evidence in compiling their report? how did it verify the information gathered? were payments made for such information? how unbiased and reliable was the information? who were the informants? NGO’s? IRC personnel? embassy staff? anonymous squealers? Tamilnet? the TNA, the Tiger representatives? e-mail senders? Tamil diaspora living thousands of miles away? Or were they based on figments of imagination of anti-Sri Lankan forces?
When considering this whole scenario, is the government of Sri Lanka obliged to respond to an illegal report made by the Ban Ki-moon Advisory Panel based on stuff it collected ‘from the air’ so to speak?
Any war is a crime
Tommo a pussycat and Ooty an owl were all ears to the conversation between their master and mistress that morning.
Shelton Perera put down the Daily Dodger he had been reading for sometime. “This Banki-kook guy can’t leave our country alone can he? I was just reading about the harangues on his commission that is facing a question of legality in the first place. Nobody has spoken about LTTE accountability of their twenty-five year killing spree. Why’s that? Everybody is asking that question.”
“That’s Western Imperialism of the mod kind for you. Even after those people branded the LTTE as terrorists they supported them on the sly. Can’t imagine how stupid these Westerners can be.” Shelton’s wife Joy immersed in a society-magazine echoed her husband’s attitude to thick-skinned Western finger-mongery.
Suddahs are Shylock fans
“Stupid they are not,” said Shelton. “Can you remember the suddah shouting when the Tigers were being trounced by our Forces? They tried everything possible to halt the war in various guises. Those characters were the combined cats’ paws of the Tigers–the Tamil diaspora, bum-sucking, politics, money and ‘I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine’ arrangements. Their calls for a ceasefire and table-talks for peace had one goal–to get Eelam for Tamils and split the country to their advantage. Our guys were too smart for that game and continued to cut the LTTE down to size. That riled the suddahs no end and now, like Shylock, they want their pound of flesh–somehow.”
Joy did not disagree. “Of course, Shelley, Ban Ki-moon not Banki-kook dear, has no business to poke his fingers into our affairs. The Tigers wanted a separate piece from our country–nothing less. While hoodwinking everybody they went killing people including their own to reach Eelam as if they had a right to do that. So our government had to get rid of them in the protection of our country and us. What’s wrong that?”
“Nothing,” said Shelton. “When the Tigers slaughtered ordinary people during their heydays, the suddahs didn’t bat an eyelid. They closed their squint-eyes when the Tigers killed Tamils and used their own people as human shields and killed those who made a run for it. I wonder…did the Banki-kook panel look into Tiger accountability?
“Maybe not: the Moon people look only in one direction. But then where are the Tigers to be held accountable? Prabhakaran and his gang of murderers are all dead!”
“Meeooow. You heard that Ooty? Fat chance the moonwalkers have in clobbering our governor’s government or the Rajathuma who is more influential than Hobama of America, and Pushtin of Russia.”
“Tooot! And it’s according to the Time mag. What do you think our governors’ government should do with this Banki somebody report?”
“Purrrrr. The government saying the report is ‘all buggerall’ is justified. And the damn thing is illegal as well. Anyway it is an advisory report–not a blooming charge sheet! ”
“Whoom, whooom. So, what now?” The owl wanted to know.
There are friends…
“Meeoow. The government has problems only with some suddahs. But they have supporters who treat the Ban-Ki moon report as bunkum. That’s here. They also have powerful have friends in China, Yindia, Pakistan, other Eastern neighbours, Russia and the Middle-East. Purrrrr…I am sure that this friendly crowd will do a Portia act and keep the Shylocks wondering what- to-do about the pound of Sri Lankan flesh they are after. As for the report, the lokkas can return it to the senders with a message: zip-up; we are tired of the view.”