What National Freedom Front Leader and former Housing and Construction Minister Wimal Weerawansa is to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is, what the rectum and the faeces is to the loin cloth (Amuday)!
Weerawansa who played the self-proclaimed role of Foreign Affairs spokesman of President Rajapaksa while in office, also made an absolute mockery of himself and the former President by touting international conspiracy theories and staging a fast unto death campaign outside the United Nations office at the time Moon arrived in Sri Lanka in May 2009.
It was when Weerawansa was almost dying with the bravado of the starvation that the former President had to salvage his life by offering him king coconut water!
Then there was also the cantankerous Mervyn Silva (buttressed with the portfolio of Minister of Public Relations!) who said that he was even willing to enter into wedlock with Navanethem “Navi” Pillay, the South African jurist who served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights from 2008 to 2014.
However, the salient feature and the tangible difference between the joint United Nations and the Government of Sri Lanka statements is that, while the 2009 statement which was issued by both parties stressed on probing the missing persons in the North and the East ONLY in the final phases of the war the 2015 Resolution signed by the United Nations stressed on missing persons in the entire country and especially persons who disappeared in the JVP insurrections of 1971, and 1988/1989.
The latter resolution provides justice to all communities and ethnicities across the country while the earlier one had been narrowed down to the North and the East. It is the 2015 resolution which resulted in the formation of the Office for Missing Persons.
It is also moot to note that the very President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was a party to the agreement with the UN with the arrival of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2009, stopped the inquirers/the probe team who were coming to Sri Lanka by refusing to issue visas. The requirement of the second resolution arose following the non- implementation of the first.
In a media release issued in the form of a joint statement by the government and the United Nations dated 26 May 2009, it said:
( Inter alia)
President Rajapaksa and the Secretary General agreed that addressing the aspirations and grievances of all communities and working towards a lasting political solution was fundamental to ensuring long-term socio-economic development. The Secretary General welcomed the assurance of the President of Sri Lanka contained in his statement in Parliament on 19 May 2009 that a national solution acceptable to all sections of people will be evolved. President Rajapaksa expressed his firm resolve to proceed with the implementation of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, as well as to begin a broader dialogue with all parties, including the Tamil parties in the new circumstances, to further enhance this process and to bring about lasting peace and development in Sri Lanka.
President Rajapaksa and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon discussed a series of areas in which the United Nations will assist the ongoing efforts of the government of Sri Lanka in addressing the future challenges and opportunities.
With regard to IDPs, the United Nations will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to the IDPs now in Vavuniya and Jaffna. The government will continue to provide access to humanitarian agencies. The government will expedite the necessary basic and civil infrastructure as well as means of livelihood necessary for the IDPs to resume their normal lives at the earliest. The Secretary General welcomed the announcement by the Government expressing its intention to dismantle the welfare villages at the earliest, as outlined in the plan to resettle the bulk of IDPs and call for its early implementation.
The Joint Resolution signed between Sri Lanka and the United Nations Human Right Commission in 2015 said: (Inter alia)
The draft resolution recognizes the need for a process of accountability and reconciliation for violations and abuses committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as highlighted in the OISL report.
It welcomes the commitment made by the GOSL to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation which is in line with contemporary international best practices.
While the resolution also welcomes the GOSL’s proposal to establish a Judicial Mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations of violations/abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, it notes that a credible justice process should include independent judicial and prosecutorial institutions led by individuals known for integrity and impartiality.
The draft resolution on Sri Lanka also recommends that the GOSL take steps to reform domestic laws in order to enable the trial and prosecution of those responsible for violations and abuses of human rights, and violations of international humanitarian law.
Focusing on the activities of security forces personnel the draft resolution calls on the GOSL to introduce effective security sector reforms as part of its transitional justice process. It also calls for an end to military involvement in civilian affairs and recommends that the GOSL speed up the process of returning lands to its civilian owners. Another recommendation made by the draft resolution calls for investigations into all alleged attacks on journalists and HR defenders.
The draft resolution calls on the GOSL to ensure that all Provincial Councils are able to operate effectively, in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. It also recommends that the OHCHR should continue to assess the progress of implementation of the draft resolution and stand ready to provide an oral update during the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council followed by a comprehensive report during the 34th session.
The draft resolution which will be co-sponsored by Sri Lanka also does not fail to commend Sri Lanka on undertaking several landmark commitments. While commending the GOSL for its commitment to a political solution it also notes that the decision made by the incumbent government to sign and ratify the international convention for the protection of all persons from enforced disappearances, is commendable.
So, it is abundantly and patently clear that Sri Lanka, as a country faced international isolation due to the likes of Weerawansa touting allegations of imperialist conspiracy theories and that too without substantiation and he doing the same on behalf of the former President for the benefit of the local audiences, a reality that Mahinda Rajapaksa should have realized, was one of the major reasons for his own downfall where he was willing to be pushed from the end of a cliff!
Also coming to mind is the hoary Sinhala idiom… Atheesarayata amuda gehuwa wage, which, translated to simple English, means ‘wearing a loin cloth to counter an attack of dysentery!’ Now, the loin cloth (read former President Rajapaksa) cannot stop the dysentery (read Wimal Weerawansa) and both, at least, literally and politically, are, in deep trouble!!!