Home / Letters to the Editor/ Beyond platitudes and misinformation

Beyond platitudes and misinformation


Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Tuesday, 3 July 2018 00:00

Facebook

Nilantha Ilangamuwa’s recent opinion piece (‘When Trump dumped the UN Human Rights Council’) is inundated with inaccuracies, misguided notions, banalities and oversimplifications. It’s infeasible to address all of them in a single letter.

Ilangamuwa correctly notes that America’s withdrawal from the Council is unfortunate. Nevertheless, the body hasn’t been operational for seventy years, as Ilangamuwa asserts. It was created in 2006 and replaced the tarnished UN Commission on Human Rights.

Ilangamuwa’s reference to a “US deep state” is laughable and completely inaccurate.

Ilangamuwa wonders what will happen regarding the “US’s co-sponsored resolution on Sri Lanka” in light of America’s withdrawal. For starters, it’s just plain wrong to suggest that any co-sponsored resolution belongs to the US. And the resolution – which the coalition government has largely disregarded – doesn’t disappear just because the US has withdrawn from the Council. 

To be sure, any future resolution on Sri Lanka will be significantly more difficult to pass absent American leadership. And it’s hard to imagine the Coalition Government co-sponsoring another resolution. Yet, realistically speaking, another resolution on Sri Lanka would have been highly unlikely even if the US had not withdrawn.

Ilangamuwa asserts that “the Scandinavian countries and their allies have a pivotal role to play in balancing global power and enhancing the rights of every man and woman on the planet”. It’s not clear what this pivotal role might look like or how the rights of every man and woman on earth might be enhanced as a result. 

On the human rights front, the administration of Donald Trump has been terrible. More specifically, Washington’s withdrawal from the Council empowers autocrats and almost certainly precludes any meaningful reform of the multilateral body in the near-term. So, figuring out the best ways to protect and promote global human rights is hugely important. But doing so will require more than promulgating misinformation and regurgitating vacuous remarks about international politics. 

Taylor Dibbert

Takoma Park, Maryland (USA)


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


DISCLAIMER:

1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.

COMMENTS

Today's Columnists

Religion is a problem in Sri Lanka; can it be a solution?

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Generally, it is expected that religion should be a solution to a problem. Ironically in Sri Lanka religion is the problem. Therefore, what would be the solution? When religion becomes a problem of a country....


Orthodoxy and change: A perennial Muslim issue

Saturday, 17 August 2019

Whether Muslims live as minorities in non-Muslim countries or as majorities in a total of fifty seven countries, the clash of orthodoxy with modern challenges is a perennial issue that bedevils progress on several fronts in these communities.


Making the MCC Compact work for Sri Lanka

Friday, 16 August 2019

It is a sign of these political times that even an apolitical issue like a foreign aid program becomes a hot topic in Sri Lanka. In April 2019, the Board of Directors of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) approved a compact program for Sri La


Sri Lanka needs a president hungry for success, not power

Friday, 16 August 2019

The late John F. Kennedy described politics as a “noble adventure, an adventure in which one joins hands with the masses for the service of man”. Not that the Kennedys didn’t play “politricks” in their heyday. But playing “politricks” w


Columnists More

Special Report

SPECIAL REPORT MORE