Darusman Report seeking to discriminate against Sri Lanka - Gomin
Following are the excerpts of the interview:
At a time when Sri Lanka is engaged
in bringing the country’s communities together through a process of
restorative justice, the controversial Darusman Report is intent on
having retributive justice, to punish one party to the conflict. This is
a discriminatory practice of targeting the victorious party, which is
Sri Lanka. The Report has the potential of re-opening healing wounds and
of gravely harming the reconciliation process, leading lawyer Gomin
Dayasri told the Daily News in an interview
Question: Is it not Sri
Lanka’s responsibility to take this Report on alleged human rights
Dayasri: It is not a UN
report nor does it bear the stamp of the UN. It was not initiated by the
members of the UN or its prime body the Security Council, but by a paid
employee of the UN and not on directions from the members of the UN.
Moon is on a solo run.
This appointment was made at the personal initiative of the UN
Secretary General exercising his own personal discretion. The panel is
his personal choice and it has no official UN sanction. He does not
reveal who influenced him to take this route. Let him be transparent to
say who motivated him.
UN has where necessary carried out inquiries on violations of human
rights. But UN has made no decision to hold such an inquiry against Sri
Q: It is assumed that
human rights violations can take place during a phase of war. Is it
wrong on the part of the UN Secretary General to appoint a panel of
experts according to his discretion to make an accountability report on
Dayasri: In this 30 year
long war the LTTE carried out such atrocities that it was
internationally recognized as a terrorist organization.
But the SG never thought it necessary to ask for a report during the
whole or part of the 30-year war when the LTTE leadership was alive and
indulging in acts of terrorism. Moon was in office.
Instead, after the LTTE is no more and no accused of the LTTE could
be found to fault for crimes against humanity, the SG determines a
period that could target the Sri Lankan forces. Why did Moon not shine
during a period the LTTE leadership was alive and could stand trial? Why
these double standards?
Q: Does this have a
negative impact on the task of reconciliation undertaken by the
Dayasri: It certainly
does. Sri Lanka is engaged in restorative justice to bring the two
communities together and uplift a backward community living under the
yoke of terrorism for 30 years, yet Moon seeks retributive justice to
punish one party to the war. This is a discriminatory practice of
targeting only the victorious party to the war knowing the losing party
Reconciliation means bonding the two parties but if one party truly
believes there is a witch-hunt against it, the old wounds will surface
and trust and confidence will vanish and a thaw will develop in the
reconciliation process. We must place the reconciliation procedure in a
fast forward position. The future of Sri Lanka lies in reconciliation
and we cannot let some interfering foreigners disturb the process.
Q: Can one consider the
Darusman Report as a diplomatic blow to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty?
Dayasri: Not so much to
the sovereignty, but more to the country profile. It dents the pride
that comes after triumphing over one of the most vicious terrorist
formations while the West with its sophisticated war machine is unable
to achieve this distinction in the wars they are endlessly fighting. Now
those hostile nations that are still engaged in countering terrorism in
their back garden and invaded fields in faraway countries, are trying to
shame our victory by picking holes. This is an attempt to penalize a
victorious force after eliminating brutal terrorism and provided peace
and democracy to an endangered community.
The Tamil diaspora living beyond our seas does not understand the
hardship suffered by their brethren in the North and the present
improvements to their way of life. They feel if the Sinhalese and Tamils
live serenely together, the diaspora will go out of business. So to keep
Sri Lanka divided, the diaspora with its vote power is making foreign
governments greedy for that vote to confront Sri Lanka.
Q: What does the Report
implicate as a whole?
Dayasri: Report is on a
mission to discredit Sri Lanka and make it a rogue state. There is an
attempt to make a limited regime change notwithstanding Blake’s denial -
to dislodge the principal architects of the war victory - to displace
the President and the Defense Secretary. Thereafter it matters not
whether UPFA or UNP rules, to the foreign mercenaries.
The Darusman Report is the first small step in that long journey to
effect a regime change. Our intelligence networks must be on alert.
Q: The government is yet
to respond to the Report officially. How should it happen?
Dayasri: We still do not
have an incisive road map to navigate the Report. We are acting ad hoc
and in a contradictory inconsistent manner.
The answer is obvious. If we do not recognize this Report we must not
respond to it. Otherwise we are recognizing it after unrecognizing it.
We sure would look silly.
There are two steps we must take - (a) have a paper prepared showing
the infirmities and weaknesses of the Report and the bias associated
with the panel members. (b) prepare a report on how we conducted this
humanitarian operation and steps we took to safeguard civilian life and
restoring them to democratic normalcy. These two stand-alone papers
should be circulated to relevant parties world over. If we reply to the
Report, there will be responses to it that will require another paper to
defend ourselves. It will turn it into a paper war. With all the paper
work in circulation, people will believe the version they want to
believe. No we must go for a frontal attack. That has instant impact.
Q: Is the report in
violation of the UN mandate?
Dayasri: The Report is the
private artwork of the Secretary General. It has nothing to do with the
UN system and does not touch its mandate. You can treat it like the SG’s
roll of washroom tissue paper. But the danger is some of the white
European nations would recycle it. So we cannot flush it down the
Q: Is the report
compatible with the UN’s current counter-terrorism policies?
Dayasri: I am afraid I am
not aware of the counter terrorism policies of the UN? Is there one?
If there was one, certainly it was not visible when the LTTE was in
full swing. I know of agreements dealing with terrorist financing and
money laundering but nothing more.
Q: Why would the UN want
to level allegations against a legitimate army that has successfully
decimated a terrorist organization?
Dayasri: UN is not
involved in this game. It is some countries where the diaspora vote
works a magic spell and there are countries trying to please their Tamil
constituents along with their acolyte satellite nations and there are a
few countries under human rights regimes that are trying to blacklist
Sri Lanka. Most of the countries including some enlightened European
nations are in our corner. I feel our foreign office can lobby them
diplomatically to provide results in our favour. But we must feed them
with our pluses, such as, how democracy was restored, the holding of
elections and TNA coming to power in the North to show a free and fair
election, fact that all the terrorist groups, excluding the LTTE, came
to the democratic wood work, child soldiers going to their parental
homes, rehabilitation of the LTTE cadres and massive development
undertakings. We hold the trumps in out hand but never play them.
Q: Any comments on
Darusman Report’s recommendations. UN Secretary General had asked Sri
Lanka to consider them seriously?
Dayasri: In the first
place Darusman is disqualified from sitting because he has loads of bias
acquired in the role he played as an IIGEP and withdrawing from the
Commission of Inquiry. We must reveal the strong bias. (I have already
done so). Secondly the Report is very faulty saddled with infirmities to
which we must not respond to give it authenticity but circulate a paper
on its shortcomings to media and embassies. There must be an exposure of
the infirmities in this Report. It must be a logical presentation.
Q: What will be Sri
Lanka’s role as a nation in facing the Darusman Report?
Dayasri: We must as one
nation stand behind the country to defend it from foreign intervention.
Forget differences, political or otherwise. The UNP fortunately seems to
be coming on board. So seems the JVP. We have to save the President and
Defense Secretary to show the gratitude of the nation for ushering
peace. We had to face the onslaught of the terrorist and we overcame it;
now it is even more dangerous, the threat of foreign intervention. We
have the true grit to fight it.