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UN can be disabled by an oppressive regime: ‗‘Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that the UN system did not adapt properly when the final brutal stage of the conflict put great pressure for a broader UN presence, which had been focused on development‘‘ - UN official notes failure in SL, 10 October 2013, http://colombogazette.com/2013/10/10/un-official-notes-failure/ ‗‘UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has made a reference to Sri Lanka in his annual report on the work of the UN. In his report released at the UN Headquarters, the UN Chief says the UN is looking at strengthening its capacity to respond to crisis situations by using a panel report on Sri Lanka as a guide‘‘ – Ban refers to Sri Lanka, 4 September 2013, http://colombogazette.com/2013/09/04/ban-refers-to-sri-lanka/ ‗‘ The UN‘s failure to adequately respond to events like those that occurred in Sri Lanka should not happen again. When confronted by similar situations, the UN must be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities‘‘ - REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL‘S INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL ON UNITED NATIONS ACTION IN SRI LANKA, November 2012 II Hostility towards UN: a.Sri Lanka has been hostile to i. visits by UN officials Saying no to interference, 20 September 2012, http://www.dailymirror.lk/captionstory/22086-saying-no-to-interference.html ii.statements made by UN officials during the last seven years of the present regime.They have even burnt effigies of the Secretary General in Colombo http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/07/06/us-srilanka-un-idUSTRE6651MI20100706. They vilified John Holmes(Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs) http://www.humanrights.asia/news/ahrc-news/AS-192-2007 b.Sri Lanka is opposed to UN reports: Sri Lanka rejects UN panel report, 13 April 2011, http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/news/story/2011/04/110413_amnesty.shtml c.Sri Lanka brushes aside UNHRC resolutions, but employs PR firms to ''work'' with the US: UNHRC passed US-sponsored resolutions on Sri Lanka in March 2012 and March 2013 asking the Sri Lankan government to investigate violations of International Law and to implement the recommendations of its own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission: i.''President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to lead a campaign organized by the government to muster the support of the people against the Resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva'' - MR To Lead Campaign To Get People‘s Support, 1 April 2012, http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/04/01/mr-to-lead-campaign-to-get-peoplessupport/
ii.Sri Lankan government appointed two PR firms to work with the US in February/March 2013 and told the parliament on 9 April 2013 that it did not concur with the USsponsored resolution. c. Under international pressure it pretended to take Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission seriously and prepared an Action Plan but no action is yet taken: i.''In the interim report of the LLRC, recommendations were made which were eminently sensible and humane, and which would have been a step in the process of reconciliation that the government talks about. The president accepted the recommendations very promptly, to his credit. A committee was appointed, the usual bureaucratic game, presided over by Attorney General Mohan Peiris, but we have still not heard about implementation'' - Economic development alone will not satisfy minority grievances, Jayantha Dhanapala, 30 July 2011, ii.The Sri Lankan Foreign Minister took an Action Plan to the US in May 2012 and told the US Secretary of State that Sri Lanka would implement the LLRC recommendations. It's under great pressure from the public that the government released the very professional-looking Action Plan to the public after the Minister returned home but the government has not implemented even the easy-to-implemnt recommendations: iii. ‗‘The LLRC itself laments the non implementation of its ―interim recommendations‖ and should it be able to, would no doubt lament the non implementation of its final recommendations. Sri Lanka and the shared future of all her peoples would be much better off, if the Lalith Weeratunga and Mohan Peiris Committee on implementing the LLRC recommendations was to actually ensure that the letter and spirit of the LLRC recommendations be implemented, speedily, fully and completely, which is exactly what the world seems to be telling Sri Lanka in Geneva - Geneva And The Implementation Of The LLRC, Harim Pieris, 5 March 2013, http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/geneva-and-the-implementation-of-thellrc/
III.UN agencies have been prevented from helping the IDPs in the North and the East: i.Denying access to humanitarian aid: ‗‘It should be noted that the problem of accessing camps for humanitarian personnel persists throughout the country‘‘ - Mission Report: Visit of Major General (ret.) Patrick Cammaert, Special Envoy of the Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict, to Sri Lanka, 05-11 December 2009, http://www.un.org/children/conflict/_documents/SriLankavisitReport09.pdf/ ii.Governmt refusing to endorse application for aid: No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan, Namini Wijedasa, 13 March 2010: ‗‘With nearly 200,000 people still displaced in the North — some living in temporary camps while others squat with host families — international agencies are running out of money to meet urgent needs like water supply and resettlement grants, according to a report released last week. The funding crisis follows the government‘s refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP), authoritative sources said. Produced annually through a collaboration of all major humanitarian assistance groups in the country (including UN agencies), the CHAP is a document listing out priority areas for donor funding along with estimates. This is usually released to the international donor community by way of consolidated or flash appeal and offers information about sectors that require injections of aid'' - http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/03/no_funds_to_meet_needs_of_near.html
IV. Presidental Task Force for Northern Development has no Tamils: and refuses UN agencies access for essential work ''The nineteen person-Presidential Task Force implementing the government's "Northern Spring" program has not a single Tamil member and does no consultation with the local communities involved or with their elected representatives, (mostly TNA)‘‘ - LLRC report, an inconvenient truth? , 5 January 2012, http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/15903-llrcreport-an-inconvenient-truth.html ..‗‘The military leadership continued to control the approval of humanitarian projects in the north through its membership in the Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province (PTF). The PTF places particular restrictions on the provision of mental health care and psycho-social activities. Because of government restrictions, no comprehensive assessment has been conducted in conflict-affected areas, and there is no comprehensive data on the needs of the most vulnerable groups. No IDP profiling has been done since 2007. The government, UNHCR and the UN Office for Project Services launched a survey of protracted IDPs in 2011, but the project was abandoned in December 2012 due to obstacles placed on it by the PTF'' Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 29 April 2013, http://www.internaldisplacement.org/8025708F004BE3B1/(httpInfoFiles)/DB8A259305B071A8C1257B5C002 68DDC/$file/global-overview-2012.pdf V. No economic development without political solution which the international community can acieve through the UN: On 19 February 2013, Overseas Development Institute launched the book, ''Horizontal Inequalities as a cause of conflict: findings and policy conclusions'' (edited by Prof Frances), During one Q&A period, Prof France said: Aid is complicit in worsening horizontal inequalities: aid over many years, not just during a critical period, in countries like Ruwanda, Burundi and Sri Lanka has supported one group rather than another: partly because donors tend to work with the govt and the govt wants to support one group rather than another and partly because this is not an issue built into the donor's consciousness and they are not worried about this and they just go with the government. Permanent political inequality leads to violence Donors concentrate on socio-economics and little on political inequality, and what the international community can do for the deeply distressing situation in Sri Lanka is to act through the UN'' http://www.odi.org.uk/events/3131-horizontal-inequalities-as-cause-conflict-findingspolicy-conclusions ''SriLanka has severe social and economic Inequalities'' - A Typology of Post-Conflict Environments, Graham Brown, Arnim Langer & Frances Stewart, September 2011, http://soc.kuleuven.be/web/files/12/80/wp01.pdf VI.Many UN Special Procedures mandate holders have been waiting for years for invitation to enter Sri Lanka: i.‘‘These independent experts serve as the eyes and ears of the UN human rights system. This book provides concrete evidence of why the system works and ways it can be improved‘‘ - Catalysts for Change: How the UN's Independent Experts Promote Human Rights, 13 July 2012, http://www.brookings.edu/research/books/2012/catalystsforchange ii. ‗‘There are currently eight outstanding requests to visit Sri Lanka by special procedures mandate holders: on minority issues; freedom of peaceful assembly and of association; freedom of opinion and expression; extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions; enforced or involuntary disappearances; human rights defenders;
independence of judges and lawyers; and discrimination against women in law and practice.. ….. The High Commissioner suggested that the Government consider engaging with the Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparation and guarantees of non-recurrence, who could provide valuable advice …. The High Commissioner also recommended that the Government invite the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons to undertake a country visit to examine and advise on issues falling under his mandate …‘‘- Report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on advice and technical assistance for the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka, 11 February 2013, http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session22/AHRC-22-38_en.pdf VII. The cumulative effect of the refusal to let in many UNSRs over several years is grave: ''Arguably the worst moments for RtoP and the UN came later in 2008, and in the first half of 2009, in Sri Lanka'' - The Responsibility to Protect: Towards a ―Living Reality‖ Prof Alex Bellamy, April 2013, Report written for the United Nations Association-UK, http://www.una.org.uk/sites/default/files/UNAUK%20Alex%20J%20Bellamy%20R2P%20Briefing%20Report%20no.%201.pd Sri Lanka‘s Authoritarian Turn: The Need for International Action, International Crisis Group, 20 February 2013, http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/srilanka/243-sri-lankas-authoritarian-turn-the-need-for-international-action.aspx Investigations into murders had been stopped as soon as the war was over in May 2009. VIII..Successive governments have been successful in controlling damage at the UN for decades by ''appointing commissions'': Sri Lanka: Twenty years of make-believe. Sri Lanka‘s Commissions of Inquiry, Amnesty International, 11 June 2009, https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA37/005/2009/en The present President refuses to publish more than 15 reports of commissions/committees (on murders, disappearances, abductions, corruption at high levels of institutions) he appointed in the last seven years: http://www.scribd.com/doc/85007346/A-List-of-Commissions-of-Inquiry-andCommittees-Appointed-by-the-Government-of-Sri-Lanka-2006-%E2%80%93-2012 IX. Lessons from Sri Lanka for the rest of the world: a.UN Headquarters: i.REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL'S PANEL OF EXPERTS ON ACCOUNTABILITY IN SRI LANKA , 31 March 2011: ''The final months of the war are a grave assault on the entire regime of international law. .... The Government subjected victims and survivors of the conflict to further deprivation and suffering after they left the conflict zone‘‘ http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Full.pdf ii. REPORT OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL‘S INTERNAL REVIEW PANEL ON UNITED NATIONS ACTION IN SRI LANKA (with some *blacked-out parts), November 2012: ‗‘The UN‘s failure to adequately respond to events like those that occurred in Sri Lanka should not happen again. When confronted by similar situations, the UN must be able to meet a much higher standard in fulfilling its protection and humanitarian responsibilities‘‘ http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/The_Internal_Review_Panel_report_on_
Sri_Lanka.pdf *Guide to blacked-out parts: http://blog.srilankacampaign.org/2012/11/the-un-internal-petrie-report-into-sri.html iii.―The United Nations system failed to meet its responsibilities,‖ Secretary -General Ban Ki-moon said on 14 November 2012 as he released the report of the Secretary-General‘s Internal Review Panel on UN action in Sri Lanka. ―This finding has profound i mplications for our work across the world, and I am determined that the United Nations draws the appropriate lessons and does its utmost to earn the confidence of the world‘s people, especially those caught in conflict who look to the Organization for help ‖ - Following report on Sri Lanka war, Ban determined to strengthen UN responses to crises, 14 November 2012, http://reliefweb.int/report/sri-lanka/following-report-sri-lanka-war-bandetermined-strengthen-un-responses-crises iv. ‗‘But we have also been caught unprepared. And we need to improve our ability to engage preventively in fragile countries where we have only a development presence, as was the case in Sri Lanka‘‘ – Ban Ki-Moon, Inaugural Andrew Carnegie Lecture on Conflict Prevention, 1 May 2013, http://www.un.org/apps/news/infocus/sgspeeches/statments_full.asp?statID=1847#.UZ UrQrUsmzF v.Deputy Secretary-General: ''On the follow-up of the Sri Lanka report, I was given the responsibility to set up a working group, and they delivered their report to me on 17 June. It is now up to me and my colleagues in the Executive Office of the SecretaryGeneral to go through these recommendations and draw the appropriate conclusions from that report. It was a serious report, that there were systemic failures of the UN system, and others also, not least, Member States and the Security Council‘‘ - PRESS CONFERENCE BY DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL JAN ELIASSON AT UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS, 3 JULY 2013, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs//2013/dsgsm680.doc.htm b. UN Field Staff: . ''During my time working in Haiti after the January earthquake in 2010, several humanitarian workers from various United Nations agencies approached me regarding what they viewed as a parallel situation between ethical problems within the UN mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and what they experienced in the final months of the conflict in Sri Lanka. ..... This report is a collective statement of individual experiences by twelve UN workers who lived and witnessed incredible abuses of the mission that they were supposed to fulfil in Sri Lanka. Ultimately this study reveals repeated and corroborating testimony of those humanitarian workers and one press agent who witnessed and experienced an array of abuses which brought them within months of their missions in Sri Lanka to speak out. Each and every interlocutor has compared the abuses in Sri Lanka to various abuses they witnessed in Haiti. There seems to no doubt that changes need to be made within these agencies not to mention within the hierarchy of the United Nations which has demonstrated itself in Sri Lanka as an organisation which makes decisions that are often more political than in the interest of the people it ostensibly serves'' - Independent Report on Sri Lanka and United Nations Human Rights Violations, Julian Vigo, 10 April 2012, http://endoplasm.org/independent-report-on-srilanka-and-united-nations-human-rights-violations/
X. The UK government took time to mind UNHCR guidelines, but the Upper Tribunal has gone through a lot of written and oral evidence to revise the UK country guidance: it has accepted that many Tamils are in danger from the Sri Lankan government and need international protection and endemic bribery can release anybody from detention and passage out of the country:
Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Determination on Sri Lanka, 03 July 2013 - - http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKUT/IAC/2013/00319_ukut_iac_gj_srilanka_cg.html XI.There should be a UN Dispute Tribunal for Sri Lanka just like the one for Zimbabwe: ‗‘This week the United Nations Dispute Tribunal handed down a decision finding several officials from the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the UN Resident Coordinator in Zimbabwe in 2008 involved in grave misconduct concerning the inhumane treatment of the former Head of Office in Zimbabwe, Dr. Georges Tadonki, whose urgent warnings in early 2008 about the unprecedented political violence, the resulting large scale crisis and the closure of humanitarian access were ignored by his superiors‘‘ - UN Tribunal Issues Landmark Ruling In UNOCHA-Zimbabwe Case – OpEd, Robert Amsterdam, 4 March 2013, http://www.eurasiareview.com/04032013-untribunal-issues-landmark-ruling-in-unocha-zimbabwe-case-oped/
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