It was a matter of might
Our front page lead story
heading yesterday captured most tellingly, the essence of the
odds Sri Lanka faced at the just concluded UNHRC sessions. It
was indeed a question of 'Might overruling right.' While
substantial satisfaction could be gained by this country over
the fact that a sizeable 15 countries voted at the UNHRC against
the US-propelled resolution and that eight countries abstained
from voting, it is the consideration that those who abstained
from voting did so under Western pressure, that Sri Lanka and
progressive sections of the world should find most thought
provoking. To make a long story short, the might of the West had
the final say in a vital organ of the UN system which should
base its operations on the tenets of justice and equity.
In fact, the ordeal just undergone by Sri Lanka should, among
other things, highlight some of the more fundamental limitations
of the UN system which have been crying out for rectification
over the years. It is now abundantly clear that the most pivotal
of the UN organs, the UN Security Council, for instance, is not
representative of the current global distribution of political,
military and economic power.
Besides, although the UN General Assembly is broadly
representative of the collective interests of mankind, its voice
is not sufficiently heeded by those powers of the West which
have a preponderant presence in international affairs. There is
the persisting Middle East conflict, which is yet to be resolved
with any enthusiasm and vision on the part of the West, although
it is plainly clear that an equitable resolution of the problem
would require a positive move to end the grievances of the
Therefore, the position could be taken that the UN system is
weighted against the majority of mankind who belong to the
category of the less powerful of the world system. It could be
said that one of the most graphic and unsettling pointers to
this anomaly was the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC.
Whereas, a considerable number of countries represented in the
UNHRC were supportive of Sri Lanka they were not in a position
to openly demonstrate their support for this country on account
of Western arm-twisting. As a result, many of them had to
abstain from voting. Might and might alone had a say, while the
moral majority had to remain silent and was forced into a
position of helplessness.
That said, these comments should not be misconstrued to mean
that Sri Lanka is having reservations about supporting the UN
system. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Sri Lanka will
remain a firm supporter of the UN system but we are obliged to
point out that UN reform should be brought back to the
international community's list of priorities and concerns.
Besides, the world should be in a position to hold the big
powers accountable for their iniquities. Today, it is no secret
that countries in our region, such as, Afghanistan and Pakistan
are suffering many an indignity as a result of the actions of
the major Western powers. For all this and more, these breakers
of International Law should be brought to justice. But is the
moral majority in a position to do so?
These are not questions the West could be expected to take on
itself voluntarily and resolve. It would not do anything that
would result in the current world power balance, which is
decidedly in its favour, being changed. The efforts at changing
this fundamental imbalance in ways that would benefit the less
powerful would need to be initiated by the latter themselves.
Accordingly, the developing world would need to think and act in
concert on these issues from now on.
It could be seen that the issues being faced by Sri Lanka and
many other questions which confront the developing countries,
have very much to do with the relations of power between the
world's mighty and the lesser powers. It is power that is at the
heart of these questions. Accordingly, Sri Lanka and the rest of
the developing world cannot cease the quest a just international
political, military and economic order.
The need to expose Western canards
Most countries and particularly the Western
powers are jealous that we have wiped out terrorism, while they are
still struggling to contain it, let alone wiping it out completely.
The West is going through difficult times regarding their finances,
and therefore controlling weapons sales eats into their income. The
major weapon manufacturers are the Western countries,
Falklands, Diego Garcia and the IOPZ
In 1982 the Argentine junta invaded the Falkland
Islands. Notwithstanding the fascist nature of the junta,
Argentina’s claim to the islands, which they call the Malvinas, was
fairly solid. Argentina, the successor state to the Spanish Empire,
settled the islands in the 1820s. In 1833 Britain, going against its
Treaty of San Lorenzo commitments not to colonise the islands,
Geneva: the great lacuna in wisdom and
HR physicians must heal themselves of hypocrisy
The forces ranged against Sri Lanka have had
their day. It is now up to us to have our way. The long exercise in
battering Sri Lanka in Geneva is over. Those who carried the day
will have their moment of triumph. But their success is evanescent.
If reconciliation in Sri Lanka is the catchword, rather than the
theme of their actions,