High time for Human Rights inquiry against the US?

There’s a famous line written somewhere that talks about removing the beam from your own eye, before pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye. We’ve all heard about this line in various different ways right?

Wrong….!!!

Obviously the USA and the UK have never heard of this valuable piece of advice! Of course in their defense, it may be the fact that a bloody great beam that’s stuck very firmly in their eyes has grown so big, it’s blocking their hearing as well.

What exactly am I talking about here? Well, to be specific, it’s about the ongoing special session of the UNHRC to inquire into alleged violations that have happened during the assault on the LTTE’s final stronghold. Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe the armed forces actually held back to a certain extent and in fact declared numerous ceasefires in order to facilitate the safe passage of the civilians who were being held hostage by the LTTE.

Yes, there have been civilian casualties, inflicted by both sides of the fence, and that’s a sad fact we all have to accept. But what really gets my goat is the fact that the very countries that are pushing the hardest for this inquiry, the US and UK, are right now involved in an ongoing assault which includes repeated air strikes against a Taliban enclave in Afghanistan. An enclave where there are thousands of innocent civilians trapped between the two armed factions!

There have been numerous reports of hundreds of civilian casualties that are occurring as a result of these air strikes. But the US and UK seem to think these deaths are just a ‘regrettable consequence’ of the war on terror and should not be seen as a reason to call off the attacks. On the contrary, the ‘allied’ forces seem to be putting more and more effort into totally destroying this enclave with a devil may care attitude towards the loss of innocent lives.

Now is it just me being dense here, or is there actually some sort of logic that’s being used here? Maybe it’s the logic that says as long as you’re a western country, it’s perfectly OK to kill and displace civilians in your battle to eradicate terrorism. After all, God did die and leave you guys in charge of what’s right and wrong in the world right?

But God (The one who died and left them in charge) have mercy on any third world country that actually succeeds in ending a 3 decade long terrorist organization and in the process liberates thousands of civilians who were being held hostage!

IMHO, it’s high time Sri Lanka spoke to a few of our friends on the UNHRC and requested them to table a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan, and also for a prompt third party inquiry into the human rights violations perpetrated by the US and UK in their on going war on terror. This should also take into account the reports of torture and abuse of prisoners in the hands of the US and UK armed forces. Abuses that have been well documented and even admitted to by the administrations of these countries.

In fact, this inquiry should extend to all the western countries who were involved in George Bush’s almighty offensive on the ‘Axis of Terror’. I’m sure this list will read like a ‘who’s who’ of the countries pushing for the inquiry against Sri Lanka right now!

So what say you guys, can we all start a petition that calls for the immediate inquiry into US and UK human rights violations? If that doesn’t work, maybe we can start organizing some mass protests in Times square and also block a couple of highways in Canada and the US. But do remember to bring your kids with you so the police can’t do anything to stop you!

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17 Responses to “High time for Human Rights inquiry against the US?”

  1. TheWhacksteR Says:

    Pure hypocrisy. But thats the way things have been for a long time. the current hegemony of wester power emerged after the destructive WW2 where they used all their newfound clout to create a world order, or to make a damn good attempt to create one, in their own image.

    The meddling and violations of the US and its allies over the ensuing decades have been numerous and violent, the rogue regimes they have supported have wreaked violence upon thousands of innocents innocents. it was they who gave Saddam power when they wanted to, it was they who engineered countless coupe’s to overthrow ‘unfriendly’ governments and install their puppets. I can quote panama, Columbia, Iran as examples.

    What needs to be realized is that all this has nothing to do with ‘human rights’. Human rights are only a mask to push different agendas. Maybe driven out of a need to act on an opportunity to simply ‘act concerned’. The western nations are no altruists looking to ‘save the world’; they are what they always have been, capitalists looking to extend their power base. Nothing proves this more than the absolute disdain shown by the Bush administration in invading Iraq.

    The reason we pulled it off, finishing the war so soon I mean, is because of the current change in that world power structure that we are seeing. For the first time since the world war, superpowers are arising that have agendas not in tandem with those of the West. It was amidst this confusion that we managed to pull off victory, because we had some of the influential emerging powerhouses like India, China, Iran and Russia on our sides.

    Whatever the UNHCR does, will ultimately be decided upon which powerful country wins. We are but pawns and any ‘independent international footing’ SL will have in the international arena will only be an illusion.

    It will all depend on who our powerful allies are and who we side with. This whole thing is being decided on a higher level than is apparent to the layman. Petitioning will help, it is after all driving public opinion, and should influence things somewhere in some order.

    But ultimately, it is the victorious who write history and the SL govt will pull through only marginally scathed IMO. What will matter is how we portray the gruesome events that happened in the war to the people and the Diaspora. To solve the problem, we need to be honest and say look, bad things happened, we thought it was necessary to kill a disease, but let’s all now get together and rebuild this place.

    It is what the government genuinely does to abolish tyranny, appease the people and enable true equality in this nation that will matter to Sri Lankans in the long term.

  2. TheWhacksteR Says:

    *UNHRC

  3. Dervin Says:

    Man, while we are at this could we also ask UK about the killings that they did in Sri Lanka. They did come here without visa and defintelty over stayed their wecome.

    Can we also add the massive damage that they did to our water table in Wellassa and Monaragala ? They do have a massive environmental concerns department. Don’t they .

    Please also add the killing spree of the tuskers and can the queen please return the blue sapphiers and the pearls ?

    They came without visa, overstayed and commited every crime under the sun and now they are ever so worried when we solve the very problem that they created.

    USA I will ignore. They have no real interest in us, their voice is only the voice of the remnant LTTE money in Hilary Clinton’s pocket but UK ? come one man. They were the very people who created this problem for us.

    This is certainly the time to call justice upon the war crimes they commited in Sri Lanka. They owe us big time. Lets us just collect and with interest.

  4. RD Says:

    TKRP – I’m puzzled at your logic in this one and would appreciate if you can explain it. If you really do believe that the US and Uk should be subjected to an enquiry into human rights violations then doesn’t that mean that you should also agree that there should be an inquiry into the same for the GoSL?

    For what it’s worth my opinion on the matter is that an (as yet undefined) amount of civilian casualties may be acceptable, but part of the problem for many in assessing the situation in Sri Lanka is the variance of the figures quoted by so many.

    • thekillromeoproject Says:

      @ RD – All I’m saying is that if it’s fair for the US and the UK to push so vehemently for a Human Rights inquiry against Sri Lanka, then the same yardstick should be applied to them as well. The abuses that happened in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay is long past, but we have yet to see any country calling for an inquiry about it. Why not start there and then come to Sri Lanka?

      This same yardstick should also be used when calling for a ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in Afghanistan. After all, the US and UK had no qualms in calling on us to stop the war right?

      • RD Says:

        ok thanks, I understand what you’re saying. Do you have an absolute position on whther there should be an inquiry, or does your view depend on the other factors?

        Also, do you think that the fact there are so many countries calling for an inquiry into the SL situation might indicate a stronger need for an inquiry?

        And also, if there is an inquiry and the GoSL has nothing to hide, what would be the problem anyway?

        It’s not my intention to have some sort of online argument here, so sorry if I give that impression. I am genuinely interested to know your thoughts on these questions.

      • thekillromeoproject Says:

        @ RD – I believe there should be an impartial inquiry carried out by the GOSL, but not because there’s a gun being held to our heads by the western countries! We need to show the world that we’re serious about addressing the grievances of the Tamil people.

        Just because many countries are calling for this inquiry doesn’t make it more important, what makes the inquiry important is the need for reconciliation, and that needs to come from within the country. Not from outside influences.

        I never said the GOSL has nothing to hide RD, What I do believe is the need of the hour is to help Sri Lanka get back on its feet and in doing so also help the Tamil community get back on its feet. Labelling Sri Lanka as a pariah state is just going to make the situation worse right now.

      • RD Says:

        Thanks TKRP. I agree with you on the need of the hour for sure. I suppose there is a question of how much ouside influence is deemed as acceptable and how much should come from within.

      • thekillromeoproject Says:

        @ RD – I just believe that an inquiry that originates from within the country will be more honest as it will stem from a need to repair the fences, whereas one that stems from external pressure could just result in more tension and animosity between the Sinhalese and the Tamils.

        Of course this is just my opinion. 🙂

  5. galleblogger Says:

    i agree: gather all evidence adn take them ALL to int. tribunal. but pls don’t think that the western POPULATION is in favour of these war campaigns, it is the politicians as per usual. id love to see gw and co in the dock and so would other millions of ppl in the west.

    but

    in the west there is dissent and a relative freedom to write it and/or voice it, sites can be visited and written about without getting killed or deported or arrested for it. when humanitarian disasters happen other countries offer help and sometimes it is accepted when gvmts can’t cope. this second paragraph needs to be sorted here imo.

  6. DD Says:

    Pauly & RD, it happens everywhere so do we use that as an excuse to justify what has happened?
    Or are we coming out and saying the west has done it, the war against terror is such that there is always the loss of human life, and therefore use this as a justification.
    So then who decides the yardstick?
    Was it OK for Israel to bomb the shit out of Gaza?
    US of Iraq to conqueror Saddam…
    US and UK in Pakistan and Afghanistan? And still do so?
    What about Baby P in UK, isn’t the UK one of the biggest warriors and keepers of democracy but a one and half year old child was beaten to death by his MOTHER? The justification that it was an isolated incident good enough?
    So what’s the yardstick? Who decides on the morality of killing innocent civilians?
    Does the one with the biggest dick decide this?
    (sorry I think I meant to say Gun).
    Either way as a nation Sri Lanka is fucked, but I admire the SLGov this time around deciding who’s dick they will take up their ass, the Chinese and the Russians have the honour, and India clamours for a jump too.
    I wait the day Sanjiv Gandhi is made PM, he’s Pretty, Pretty.
    So what side am I on? As far as I am concerned I agitated for freeing the trapped civilians in the north. Now I will not agitate for the displaced civilians in the north. As long as they get a square meal, are not tortured and treated as humanly as possible; they are morally, socially, physically and psychologically the responsibility of the SLGov.
    The bloody west can come and suck my BIG BLACK DICK all they want as far as I am concerned. And yes, my dick is big and black, we foolish asians think that we’re brown, as far as the white’s are concerned, we’re black.
    The best way to stop any spread of LTTE rhetoric or love in the refugee villages is for the soldiers to impregnate every women there and create enough mixed children to ensure proper re-integration to Sri Lankan society – Now wouldn’t that be totally fucked up? eh?
    The time is now, are you with Mahinda Rajapakse or not?
    Masturbation is stimulation, its a worldwide tonic. David Miliband should try it. eh?
    🙂

    • thekillromeoproject Says:

      @ DD – “Does the one with the biggest dick decide this?” This is exactly what I’m trying to say. The US and the UK have absolutely no right no point fingers. Whatever inquiry into the alleged abuses needs to come from within Sri Lanka and needs to be born out of a genuine need for reconciliation.

  7. DD Says:

    Just food for thought – What about the Saudi’s who still behead people? Who decides this is OK. Approximately five to ten people are executed in Singapore every year, is that OK?
    They were criminals they deserve to die, so does Baby P’s mother then? Should she be hung or beheaded too?
    Where is the line, who draws it?

  8. Nayagan Says:

    1. Afghanistan is a very large country. The land the IDPs were trapped in was neither mountainous nor comparable in any way with the 41st largest country in the world (by area). The drone strikes do not enjoy the support you seem to think they do in the US military and the only reason they continue is because they directly cost no American lives and are vastly cheaper than paying for manned bombing runs.

    you fail to grasp the sway of cost-benefit analysis in US and UK policy-making–if it’s cheaper, and perceived as less risky to human assets, it’s the primary option. Does the GOSL army have accountants?

    2. The civilian deaths and torture by the US were documented, widely disseminated and are readily accessible by anyone with a decent internet connection. Where are the investigation into and documentation of war crimes committed in SL (and no i’m not talking about just one party, only the paucity of the even the barest of documentation)? How can patriots such as yourself bring Hillary to her knees to when you can’t even locate one single mass grave of Tiger victims?

    The advantage that the US enjoys is that we actually do have something better than an approximation of a truly free marketplace for ideas and information–you guys are unfortunately stuck with information asymmetry that creates negative externalities throughout every sector of civil society.

    you can wag the ‘hypocrite’ finger all you like, but in the end, citizens of SL are structurally incapable of even addressing, let alone redressing, grievances borne of large-scale action by both state and nonstate actors. This is why ‘progressive’ left types here and their corollaries in the state department respond to nearly every allegation of misconduct by a foreign gov’t with the threat of economic sanction and the red herring of int’l court and war crimes prosecution.

    • thekillromeoproject Says:

      @ Nagayan –
      1. Whether the SLA has accountants or not is besides the point. What you seem to be saying here is that it’s perfectly OK for the US to use unmanned drone air strikes to minimize their own casualty figures, but it’s not OK for Sri Lanka to use air strikes for the same reason. What’s your logic?

      2. Yes, the civilian deaths and torture by the US has been well documented, and I believe that’s only because of an inherent defect in the US mentality that makes them want to wash their dirty laundry in public. But where is the shock and horror at those crimes that’s now being expressed at the GOSL? Also where is the UNHRC condemnations? Where are the trade sanctions against the US?

      I as an individual person may not be able to redress the grievances caused by the state and the terror factions, but at least I can do my own part in helping the IDP’s by contributing whatever I can. I can’t bring back those who have died, but I definitely can make sure I never express hate or anger towards another race in Sri Lanka!

      • Nayagan Says:

        1. No, that is not what I’m saying. The drone strikes were justified as a harm reducing measure–not by me. What I was disputing was your comparison of drone strikes in Af-Pak, vast countries with geographically diffuse populations to the shelling of a bounded flat area where, if you’re quite honest, you’ll acknowledge a probability of X number of civilians killed every Y shelling.

        If I’m trying to liberate your house of vermin, i will certainly fumigate it, but I will not pretend that I am a legitimate and humane exterminator if I also insist on your pets and family members remaining in the house while I’m pumping toxic gases into it.

        I don’t know why you’re so hung up about the legitimacy of the HRC—didn’t SL send maids by the thousands for Arabs to rape, abuse and otherwise molest at their leisure? Does the word of Sudan’s leader mean much

        2. what enables the information to be shared, disseminated and challenged is that we have a healthy press, freedom of association, and a robust tradition of free speech and expression. we also have a strong tradition of individualism, a strong preference for liberty maximizing policy and an enduring suspicion of what we are told by agents of local and federal government.

        i don’t see evidence of those traits and traditions anywhere in the kottusphere or SL press. If I may stoop to the level of armchair psychologist, I would say that SL suffers from an overdose of socialism and disrespect for the foundations of liberal democracy (living with those whom you don’t like and whose arguments rest on premises that you do not grant.)

        3. The reason there are no economic sanctions against the US should be obvious–this is where Lankans move if they want to increase their standard of living within a time period not exceeding the birth of their grandchildren. We buy your shit—your tea, your textiles, your cheap labor. We also buy everyone else’s shit. As an economic model, it has many flaws, but it is still the reality.

        4. You should express your hate and anger—in words, in writing, but never in action. That is, in fact, is from where much of the inter-ethnic communications problem arose. I recall an article in the NYTimes where they interviewed an NY-based older tamil doctor and a Singhalese restaurateur (former capt in the army). The Singhalese fellow was quite vocal and open—there was no ethnic problem, nothing at all, the intrinsically violent tamils summarily decided to screw the country over BUT now it’s over and it’s all gravy. The Tamil fellow was guarded, merely saying that he didn’t agree but that the biryani was stellar and he would continue to be the Singhalese captain’s best customer. It doesn’t always go like that but the doc’s attitude is like much of my family—let open wounds age and fester as they will for we have escaped the paradise-turned-nightmare.

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