Sri Lanka Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responds to EU

Sri Lanka's Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka tells UK, France, to submit their own past military conduct to international inquiry

Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka responding to statements by the EU, UK and France supporting High Commissioner Navi Pillay’s call for an international inquiry into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Sri Lanka, made the following remarks at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva during the General Debate today:

“Mr. President,

Sri Lanka noted with some degree of amusement that the EU, the United Kingdom, Ireland and France were all cheering on the notion of an International Inquiry into allegations of human rights violations conducted “by all sides”, as they put it, to the Sri Lankan conflict.  

So here’s the deal. Sri Lanka will be prepared, I think, to regard this a little more charitably if we start from the human rights situations that precede the Sri Lankan conflict.

Let France institute an impartial independent inquiry into the millions of deaths in so called French Indo-China, and then in Algeria, including those who were submitted to electro-shock during the battle of Algiers! Let it also have an independent inquiry into the disappearance of Mehdi Ben Barka from the streets of Paris, and possible complicity of all sorts of personalities in that disappearance.

Let Great Britain and Ireland have an international inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972 in Londonderry, where there was no fog of war unlike in the closing stages of the Sri Lankan conflict, but dead civilians were strewn on the streets of Londonderry. After two commissions of inquiry, the only result has been the promotion of every single soldier who was there on that day, and the commanding officer being given some sort of honor by her Majesty the Queen!

Now, if these countries set an example to Sri Lanka and submit their own conduct to so-called impartial or independent international inquiries of the sort that they have commended us, Sri Lanka would be ready to regard their suggestion with somewhat less contempt than it does at the moment.

Thank you.”

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