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From R2P to RANP Sri Lanka and ‘Responsibility After Not Protecting’

From R2P to RANP Sri Lanka and ‘Responsibility After Not Protecting’

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Published by Maria Anderson

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Published by: Maria Anderson on Feb 08, 2014
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05/15/2014

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, FEB 7 2014The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine sets out a three!old responsibility" First, states ha#e a pri$ary responsibility to protect their populations !ro$ %enocide, &ar cri$es, cri$es a%ainst hu$anity and ethnic cleansin%" 'econd, the international co$$unity has a responsibility to assist states so that they can !ul!il their R2P" Third, i! the state in uestion $ani!estly !ails* to !ul!il its R2P then the international co$$unity has a responsibility to act in a +ti$ely and decisi#e $anner on a +case by case basis"-1. But &hat happens &hen both the host state and the international co$$unity !ail to !ul!il their obli%ations under the doctrine o! R2P/  ar%ue that the international responsibilities under R2P sur#i#e a!ter $ass atrocities ha#e been co$$itted and a!ter a !ailure o! pre#ention and protection"  ar%ue that inherent to R2P is RP* 3 Responsibility !ter ot Protectin% 3 and  e$ploy the ea$ple o! 'ri 5an6a to de$onstrate the #alue o! this concept"
Sri Lanka: Placing the Conflict in Context
For so$e 2 years, 'ri 5an6a &as ra#a%ed by ci#il &ar"-2. Follo&in% independence in 1849, tensions $ounted bet&een the Buddhist 'inhala $a:ority and the island*s $inority Ta$il co$$unity" Fro$ 18; successi#e %o#ern$ents had ca$pai%ned on a 'inhala nationalist plat!or$" <hat &as an electoral de$ocracy at ti$e o! ndependence beca$e the tyranny o! the $a:ority*"-=. <ith the !ailure o! social $echanis$s to hear and address %rie#ances, #iolence erupted" The 5iberation Ti%ers o! Ta$il Eela$ (5TTE) e$er%ed as the sel!declared representati#es o! the Ta$il people" The con!lict intensi!ied" ll atte$pts at resolution !ailed, $ost notably the or&e%ian bro6ered peace process (2002 3 200)"-4. >n o#e$ber 18, 200;, ?ahinda Ra:apa6sa &as s&orn in as President to the 'ri 5an6an Freedo$ Party @o#ern$ent, it &as a narro& #ictory !ou%ht on the pro$ise o! reassertin% state so#erei%nty on the international sta%e and, on the do$estic !ront, endin% the ci#il &ar" Ander Ra:apa6sa*s presidency the !orces o! the 5TTE &ere dealt &ith illiberally"
 
President Ra:apa6sa celebrated the destruction o! the 5TTE, triu$phal, in ?ay o! 2008"
The Failure of R2P in Sri Lanka 
<ith the eception o! 'ri 5an6an state denials, there is no& near !ull acceptance that 'ri 5an6a &as responsible !or the co$$ission o! atrocities particularly in the !inal $onths o! the &ar" The A Panel o! Eperts report !ro$ ?arch 2012 puts the ci#ilian death toll at a $ini$u$ o! 40,000"-;. The o#e$ber 2012 nternal Re#ie& Panel Report, the Petrie* report, re!erences credible reports* that ci#ilian casualties &ere as $any as 70,000"-.The nternational o$$unity has reco%niCed its o&n !ailures in 2008D the Petrie report detailed both the etent o! 6no&led%e o! the cri$es perpetrated by the 'ri 5an6an state a%ainst its citiCens and the lac6 o! international action in the !ace o! such 6no&led%e" t &as not a &ar &ithout &itness, but a &ar &here a decision &as $ade not to bear &itness" ?ore recently, ?adeleine " lbri%ht and Richard '" <illia$son, in their capacity as cochairs o! the <or6in% %roup on the R2P, obser#ed
,
+Tens o! thousands o! Ta$il ci#ilians died at the end o! the 'ri 5an6an ci#il &ar &ith little international outcry or e!!ecti#e A response"-7. 'ri 5an6a is thus an ea$ple o! R2P +double $ani!est !ailureD a !ailure to protect on the part o! both the state and the international co$$unity"-9.ountless reports attest to the #ast hu$an ri%hts abuses that ha#e been co$$itted in the island since 2008" The A u$an Ri%hts ouncil (R) has t&ice passed resolutions on 'ri 5an6a in 201= and 2012 epressin% concern at the hu$an ri%hts #iolations, at
en!orced disappearances, etra:udicial 6illin%s, torture and #iolations o! the ri%hts to !reedo$ o! epression, association and peace!ul asse$bly, as &ell as inti$idation o! and reprisals a%ainst hu$an ri%hts de!enders, $e$bers o! ci#il society and :ournalists, threats to :udicial independence and the rule o! la&, and discri$ination on the basis o! reli%ion or belie!"-8.The ouncil ur%ed 'ri 5an6a to brin% itsel! to account"Gespite the o#er&hel$in% e#idence o! 'ri 5an6an state responsibility !or cri$es a%ainst nternational u$anitarian and u$an Ri%hts 5a&, atte$pts to brin% the 'ri 5an6an state and its o!!icials to account are !rustrated on $ultiple le#els" Go$estically
 
the state is neither &illin% nor able to pro#ide :ustice" The A >!!ice o! the i%h o$$issioner !or u$an Ri%hts released a da$nin% report on the do$estic 5essons 5earnt and Reconciliation o$$ission* and the ational ction Plan*"-10. 'ince the 'ri 5an6an state re!uses to concede that there &ere any ci#ilian deaths in the !inal phase o! the con!lict, sa#e $ini$al collateral da$a%e, the !indin%s o! the report co$e as no surprise" Further$ore there is no independent :udiciary in 'ri 5an6a"-11. >n the international sta%e, 'ri 5an6a is not a state party to the Ro$e 'tatute and thus the nternational ri$inal ourt cannot eercise :urisdiction, at least not &ithout a 'ecurity ouncil re!erral"-12.Today*s abuses in 'ri 5an6a are a continuation o! past cri$es and policies"  potent blend o! i$punity and triu$phalis$ be%ets yet $ore Ta$il su!!erin%" lthou%h the international co$$unity has re!lected upon its o&n !ailures, it is in dan%er o! !ilin% a&ay that !ailure, o! consi%nin% it to the past as thou%h the ti$e !or R2P action is o#er" But the #iolence has not stopped" The citiCens o! 'ri 5an6a continue to be !ailed, nationally and internationally, in part because R2P is understood and e$ployed too narro&ly"
Responsibility After Not Protecting !RANP"#
The a#ailable $easures to protect* and pre#ent* under the R2P are $any and #aried"-1=. The pro#ision o! :ustice is part and parcel o! the international co$$unity*s responsibilities under R2P" ?adeleine " lbri%ht and Richard '" <illia$son, in their coauthored report, pre#iously $entioned, reco%nise the pree$inent i$portance o! pre#ention &ithin the R2P and the si%ni!icance o! :ustice and accountability !or pre#ention"-14.The i$perati#e to pro#ide :ustice is ar%uably $ade all the $ore pressin% a!ter a de$onstrable !ailure o! R2P, as is the case in 'ri 5an6a, &here the state (ha#in% perpetrated cri$es a%ainst the Ta$il people durin% the con!lict, in contra#ention o! international hu$anitarian la&), is no&, in the space enabled by i$punity, co$$ittin% %ra#e hu$an ri%hts #iolations predo$inantly a%ainst the sa$e body o! people"o&e#er, despite the scope and breadth o! the concept in theory, R2P has beco$e increasin%ly associated &ith $ilitary inter#ention at the cli$a o! a crisis" Thus 5ibya is held up as an R2P successH 'yria, a current !ailureH 'ri 5an6a, a past !ailure" To reen%a%e the less 6inetic aspects o! the R2P, and $ai$ise the concept*s potential utility,  ar%ue that there is roo$ !or and need o! another ne& acrony$, na$ely RP*D Responsibility !ter ot Protectin%"-1;.RP is a concept !or%ed entirely !ro$ &ithin R2P" s such, it is not a ne& creation" But it is in need o! its o&n title in order to i$press that R2P is as ali#e and pertinent

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