Why The Sri Lankan President Is Attempting To Undermine The Human Rights Council Resolution

Why The Sri Lankan President Is Attempting To Undermine The Human Rights Council Resolution

President Sirisena turned against something he himself had sponsored.

After the end of the 23-year-old civil war in Sri Lanka between the government and the Tamil Tigers and other ethnic minority separatist groups, a human rights organization decided that both the separatist groups and the government of Sri Lanka perpetrated human rights violations, some even counting up to the charge of war crimes. Following the report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, the Human Rights Council took up the matter drafting a resolution that was co-sponsored by the United States, Britan, and other nations, including Sri Lanka itself.

The resolution that was produced called for a number of things, including the creation of an Office of Missing Persons (OMP) for the forced disappearances that had occurred during the civil war, criminal war tribunals, and the amendment of domestic constitutional laws; this includes the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), which allowed the government to kidnap and detain its citizens for undisclosed reasons for any period of time. The resolution, the Human Rights Council’s consensus resolution 30/1, the October 2015 resolution on transitional justice, has largely failed to be implemented by Sri Lanka.

A recent interview by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Sri Lankan network Derana on February 6th, 2018 denounced the resolution, which his administration co-sponsored, completely. In this interview, the Sri Lankan President made various claims that depict either a genuine or construed ignorance of what these and other UN resolutions called for and an admission on the Sri Lankan co-sponsorship of HRC resolution 30/1.

On February 9th, the Asian Tribune reported:

“When the president declared in the interview that Sri Lanka had not been accused of committing any international war crimes he displayed his ignorance that the UNHRC Resolution 30/1, a joint effort by his own government and the United States, in several places called for accountability for past abuses. In fact the March 2017 subsequent resolution in Geneva clearly used the term ‘war crimes’ noting that the government of Sri Lanka agreed to probe the issue.”

Then the president made another admission, stating that the reason that he had removed Mangala Samaraweera from the position of Foreign Minister was regarding the resolution he co-sponsored with the United States at the Human Rights Council in Geneva.

According to the Asian Tribune:

“The resolution proposed to invite foreign judges to investigate allegations of human rights violations during the military offensive against the separatist Tamil Tigers. The president stated that he did not agree to the involvement of foreign judges then, and he does not agree with it now. 'Therefore I told them not to send foreign judges to my country. There will be no international war tribunals or electric chairs,' he said, in the interview with Derana 360°.”

Whether this ignorance is genuine, which seems unlikely, or simply created as a way out of Sri Lanka’s promises to the UN and the international community, one thing that it's not is shocking. The Sri Lankan government continues to use the very policies that the HRC resolution wanted to conduct these tribunals in reference to. For example, concerning the draconian Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Sri Lankan government says more than 80 detainees are still being held under this act but human rights groups believe that number to be much higher.

All the while, President Sirisena continues to adamantly state that there are no secret detention and torture camps in Sri Lanka. Even the one part of the resolution that has been fulfilled has been little more than for show. The Office of Missing Persons is the only mechanism in which any progress has been made, and yet even with this the office has not been formally constituted and operationalized. In addition, the initial steps have been conducted in less than perfect ways, with little to no consideration for the victims' voices and concerns, as well as the lack of transparency about the Constitutional Council’s selection process of the OMP chairs. This has left it wide open to allegations and due process has been subverted as a result of political bargaining, which will have profound consequences for the future of the OMP.

There is still speculation toward Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president of Sri Lanka, who was in power during the atrocities committed in the civil war. As Rajapaksa regains his power, the current administration is afraid of losing to him and then being left at his mercy. This may lead to further conflict as violence and riots ensue.

Cover Image Credit: Joe Roberts / Unsplash

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.


Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

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The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

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Stop Cussing Damn It!

Why society needs to be less aggressive in response to foul language.


Well shit, here we go again. In a world of constantly changing language in our everyday society, we need to take a step back on the censorship of words. Foul or vulgar language is frowned upon in most social settings, more specifically in public settings. Language has been created for us to communicate with one another. The fact that there is a whole group of words that are completely disregarded because they are "Cruel" or "Unnecessary" strike me as odd. Language and lexicon was created to allow each person to freely express themselves, their feelings and ideas, openly to everyone. Words like damn, shit, hell, and phrases like son of a bitch and fuck off are overly addressed as negative and foul.

As with any way of speaking, it is all about your deliverance of such language. Yes, is directing a "Fuck you" openly to someone in public a great idea, not really. But, in a general context, there shouldn't be a censorship on such phrases. If these types of words are not being used in derogatory ways, then I see no issue with them. Words help express us and our emotions. Foul language can emphasize our excitement, frustration, or anger with any situation. These words and phrases are just the natural evolution of our language. More so, there is a huge acceptance gap generation to generation.

This acceptance gap is huge from Generation X to Generation Y, or the Millennials, and even more of a gap with Generation Z. Things that offend Gen Y and are disgraced by Gen X don't always phase Gen Z individuals. Saying shit and damn have become natural filler words, sometimes used as verbs, most of the time as adjectives. It's actually quite interesting to hear people from different generations speak. Most people nowadays don't even register how much they swear because of how natural it is to them. I myself cuss a lot, a part of me in what society has labeled as a "bad habit".

Cussing, swearing, using foul language, or however you want to label it, is just something that has been integrated into our society more and more. Like anything, the time and place should always be taken into consideration before dropping words like bitch and fuck, but most of the time there isn't a bad time to speak with these choice words. Another thing is, if society accepted, and even mainstreamed, words that are frowned upon into natural conversation, they no longer would hold much power. If everyone "talked dirty" or used a "foul mouth" all the time, then no one would be cursing. We would all be simply speaking.

We as humans are constantly witnessing change. Our language has been changing and evolving since the very first grunt in history. We will continue to evolve our language and words that are viewed as "bad" now probably wont even be spoken by the end of the century. There will always be "bad words" and sayings that can be taken offense to, but like stated earlier, it's all about deliverance. I say who gives a shit, go ahead and cuss all the damn time, I don't give a fuck. Nothing in that sentence is rude or offensive. Is it the most professional sentence? No, of course it isn't, but nonetheless, sentences like that shouldn't be disapproved by society. We, as a society, should embrace the way our language and communication levels are evolving, and if we properly teach people how and when to use such "disgraceful phrases", there won't be an issue.

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