“Geneva and You”; a thought provoking dialogue on the Geneva Resolution , was organized by Sri Lanka Inc - an independent non-partisan think tank consisting of professionals , entrepreneurs and academics.
The event was aimed to educate people and stimulate discussions on the issues developing from about the US led UNHRC Resolution which was co-sponsored by Sri Lanka by exploring the events surrounding the adoption of the resolution and its possible impacts on Sri Lanka as a whole.
It was held in the form of a panel discussion with the participation of a set of distinguished panelists covering an array of topics relevant to the Geneva Resolution promoting war crimes investigation in Sri Lanka.
Providing a brief introduction to the Geneva Resolution Mrs. Natasha Goonerathna who was once the second secretary to Sri Lanka’s permanent Mission to the UN, Geneva, pointed out, most the Sri Lankans have a misplaced view of the country as it is placed in the world, that Sri Lanka is simply a dot in the Indian Ocean. But global powers have long seen, not simply the country’s significance, but its immense significance due to Sri Lanka’s geopolitical placement.
Delivering a candid speech, Fr. Vimal Thirimanne, who teaches theology at colleges in Sri Lanka and Rome stressed that the UN Human Rights Council has neither legal nor moral justification for ‘War Crime’ probes. He further went on to reason that the term “ international community” is a vague terminology used exclusively by the western allies led by the United States to refer to themselves and thus camouflage their hegemonic project over other countries .
Chris Dharmakirti, a gifted orator and a well-known campaigner of environmentally sustainable development, went on to question as to why the current regime did not produce the Paranagama Commission Report, prepared by an internationally renowned eminent experts in War Crimes investigations, that have factually and categorically debunked the war crimes allegations against Sri Lankan military forces, to the members states of the Human Rights Commission , Secretary General and rest of the membership of the UN .
Dr.Palitha Kohona, Sri Lanka’s Former Permanent Representative to the United Nations, highlighted that there are many provisions in the 2015 resolution, that have gone way beyond the mandate of the Council via its recommendations including, devolution of power via constitutional reforms, judicial mechanism and restructuring of military that would eventfully give way to the whims and fancies of separatist extremist elements.
Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka, an internationally regarded political science academic and a renowned diplomat, warned the incumbent regime, any of its attempts to implement the recommendations of the resolution will carry very serious sociopolitical consequences. He further went on to put all Sri Lankans on notice that , our future generations will judge us for how we act now, on this matter, now when we have a choice and a chance to make a difference.
The event was held at Sri Lanka Foundation Institute on 29th September 2016. All speeches are available on Facebook page and YouTube Channel of Sri Lanka Inc.