Transparency and equality in human rights arena

Saturday, 25 February 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Human Rights Council

Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights and the Human Rights Council are noble bodies structured for the benefit of the humans representing the “Family of Nations”. 

These bodies are sacred because they are set up for the sacred duty of prevention, promotion and protection of the mankind through the “Honourable” United Nations body which is set up by replacing the League of Nations,  which the world considered inadequate to serve the mankind to the maximum benefit. Over 60 years the world body though not perfect has performed within their capacity and the mandate promoting the sacred duties they have been bestowed with to operate it on the grounds and basis of transparency, equality and fair play.

World body on equality

The world body and subsidiary organisations consist of human beings in the world in which the human weaknesses of “survival of the fittest” to succeed prevails. This is the law of the jungle.  According to Aristotle laws are created to protect the weak from the strong and powerful.  This is the theme that outlines throughout the UN Charter.  

 The human nature obviously is to overshadow less powerful small beings which will overcome only by advancement of intellectuality and great human qualities which unfortunately rare and need to improve.  Wealthy and powerful nations should not forget that the world body is structured and based on equality which is more fully echoed in article 2(1) as follows:

 2(1) “The organisation is based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all its



It is accepted that UN Body should be exemplary, honourable, transparent and act on equality and fair play.  Equality is the base on which the entire UN is constituted.  This concept spreads throughout the UN Charter as the theme of the Articles which have been construed 60 years ago  needs to be restructured based on the challenges of the current era.  Appointments to key positions in the human rights arena should be carefully considered.  Those who are engaged in activism and taking part in INGOs on agitations on ethnic basis and those who show feelings in public of their feelings based on ethnicity should not be considered for high positions in the UN.  Those who belong to certain ethnic groups about whom the controversies are discussed too should be excluded for high appointments.  

19th Session of the Human Rights Council

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Tamara Kunanayakam has quite correctly and timely raised the issue of equal treatment to all nations alike in the eve of 19th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council scheduled to begin on 27 February and continues until 23 March 2012. This pronouncement has raised an important and pertinent issue to the entire world. Whilst protecting the rights of individual and collective human rights of nation bodies and world citizens, the rights of members of the world body representing the world citizens too should be respected and protected.  

This obviously is a legitimate request as every member is entitled to be treated equally, impartially and with respect. The member nations represent different parts of the world with different ideologies and constitutions. It is worrying that some nations have to request for equal treatment for which they are entitled to morally and based on the spirit of the Charter drafted as a result of the aftermath of the bloodshed in 1945 for a better world during the World War.  It is thereafter that the entire world got together to reactivate the world body for the benefit of the mankind and a peaceful world to come.

Sri Lanka emerged victorious

Sri Lanka is a nation that bled for 30 years due to terror groups and emerged victories after a long struggle. The winning of the war in Sri Lanka is a miracle because world thought it is an unwinnable war. The victory was based on sheer commitment, dedication and strategy of the leader of the nation and the groups surrounded with determination to see an end to the terror regime which has threatened the peace in the region and the world over as the terror group was becoming stronger and stronger as described by international bodies as the most ruthless and feared terrorist organisation ever. It is with the help of genuine friends of the world family that Sri Lanka has succeeded the struggle for peace and stability that they enjoyed for the last two and a half years.

It is to the credit of the leaders and the security forces that there has not been an iota of incident since the peace was dawned and the country is currently booming economically, politically and all other areas. The economy is on upward trend with 8% GDP growth. It is one of the top destinations on tourism being one of the most beautiful and  stable countries  which has embraced democracy in practice since 1930s hand in hand with the “Giant” and loved neighbour India -  the two model democracies  in South Asia. Sri Lanka possesses the two main ingredients required for investment and tourism that is absolute peace and political stability which the people enjoy in a peaceful and happy environment. One should not refrain from taking the side of those who terrorised the entire population of Sri Lanka and South Asia as a whole.

Sri Lanka is a senior member of the UN

Sri Lanka is a senior member of the great United Nations in which she has performed par excellence as one time leader of the Non-Alignment Movement and currently a country that adores and practices Non-alignment and friendly bonds with all the nations small and powerful. It has taken over 60 years for the United Nations to shape it up, which is being restructured through the process of conventions and practices.  Sri Lanka as a most senior member enjoys the benefit of the world body sharing it with the citizens and the neighbours.  She is active in SAARC and the United Nations subsidiary bodies.  

Educated nation

Sri Lanka is an educated nation with highest rate of literacy and IT knowledge.  She is in the upward trend and needs time to shape up its future. Other nations take longer times of raising through rubbles of war as it is an arduous exercise to restructure a battered nation over the ugly wounds of terrorism.  She has shown herself capable of performing further miracles of progress, stability and prosperity for which the support and encouragement of the friends in need are required. It has proved this fact beyond doubts as the Sri Lankan economy is booming and developments are emerging in all the areas intellectually and physically. Infrastructure developments, economy, tourism, industry and human developments including education and modern trends are improving fast with no second to any other emerging nations.  Therefore it is obvious that she needs time and space to structure her economy as this is the best opportunity through crossroads of history to offer the best for the citizens who have gone through the worst periods in their history.

No stranger to equality

Sri Lanka is no stranger to offer equality to all citizens and the foreigners. When Arabs voyaged to Sri Lanka through the Silk Route thousands of years the Kings embraced the visitors and provided them with lands and facilities including construction of mosques. Today they are a strong partner of our culture and economy.  The majority of ethnic groups in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka are Muslims and Tamils.  Sinhalese - the majority race is in the third place in the capital. This indicates the impartiality and tolerance of the Sri Lankan society.  There is absolute freedom for religion and equality for all three languages by establishing Sinhala, Tamil and English as official languages in the country. The education and health is absolutely free for the citizens which is an extremely rare occurrence in this complex and competitive world. Education is free from Kindergarten to University. Health is free for all including foreigners. This is the only country that fed the entire North and East during the war including terrorist groups and the trapped citizens to maintain human kindness that they have been bestowed for thousands of years as a part of humanity and kindness in the Buddhist, Hindu, Islamic and Christian civilisations in which they were brought up.

Do not throw stones from glass houses

Those who are blaming and aiming to tarnish the image of Sri Lanka should go before a mirror to ascertain their records in the past in the field of human rights. Sri Lanka never invaded other nations nor hunted local inhabitants for lands. She has been adhered to the aspirations of United Nations and the great concepts on which it is set up. It is heartening to note that Sri Lanka is not alone or isolated. Sri Lanka has a great history running back to thousands of years amidst peace and loving kindness.  She adores and grateful to the close friends and allies who are friends in need.  This is the time Sri Lanka needs the help of the world and the close friends. Close friends are aware how close and warm Sri Lankans are and how they treat foreigners, neighbours and the human kind.  A foreigner who has visited Sri Lanka will again want to go back for the beauty and more over the warmth of the people who are tolerant, religious, friendly and kind.

The Ambassador Tamara’s request echoes thousands of words. It indicates magnanimity, friendship and loving kindness, duties and aspirations of world family whether big or small.  It is the duty of the powerful nations to look after the small and the world community at large. An ideal opportunity has emerged for Sri Lankans and friends of Sri Lankans to communicate with the following 47 countries who are members of the Human Rights Council to present the pleasant case of Sri Lanka aiming to be the Wonder of Asia full of happiness, joy and loving kindness to the world.

Angola, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Djibouti, Ecuador, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Uganda, United States of America, Uruguay

May we extend loving kindness and peace for all.

The writer holds LLM (London) Solicitor and Attorney-at-Law and is the Ambassador of Sri Lanka to United Arab Emirates. He could be reached via [email protected]

Recent columns