Tuesday 23 April 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

23 April  2019

Impeach the Head of National Security Council

Article 9 of the Sri Lankan Constitution states:

[9. The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).]
Article 14(1)(e ) states:
[Every citizen is entitled to –the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching;]

Did the President as the head of Government act to satisfy the requirements under Article 9 through which he ought to have ensured the protection of rights of Christians gathering on Easter Sunday.
As per Daily News article headed ‘Rajitha tenders apology on behalf of Govt.’:

[Explaining the situation prior to the Easter Sunday attack, Dr. Senaratne admitted that the International Intelligence Services have informed on April 4 of an eminent terrorist attack in the country. “They have warned of suicide bomb attack. In those intelligence reports they have informed that the targets are Christian and Catholic Churches and also the tourist hotels. On April 9, the Defense Ministry has informed this situation to the Inspector General of Police and they have even mentioned the names of the suspected terrorists. They have given out a list of names of these terrorists including Zahran Hashim, Jalal Ithal, Shahid, Rilwan, Maulawi and Milhan.” Minister Senaratne said.
“And on April 11, there has been a circular issued by the DIG of the Special Security Division sending to all the security institutions of the country and VIP security divisions cautioning about a possible attack and they have given a detailed report about what is going to happen. So finally it has happened and we all witnessed that. With all the warnings, with all the details given, it had happened and nearly 300 people have died and more than 500 people have been injured. We are very sorry as a government and want to apologize from the people and other affected parties about this incident.” Minister Senaratne said. The Minister stressed that he is explaining the complexities not with the intention of disclaiming the responsibility of the government with regards to the incident but because it is important that everyone get the details correct.]

The President who is responsible for Defence, had knowledge of this intelligence on our before 11 April 2019. Whether Mr Sirisena actually had knowledge of the intelligence is secondary. It was his DUTY as head of National Security Council to develop systems that would bring such intelligence to his attention.  In this instance there was the additional responsibility to protect the constitutional rights of Christians as required by Articles 9, 10 and 14(1)(e ) of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

The seriousness of how the UN Security Council viewed this was presented as follows:

[Security Council Press Statement on Series of Terrorist Attacks across Sri Lanka
The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Christoph Heusgen (Germany):
The members of the Security Council condemned in the strongest terms the series of heinous and cowardly terrorist attacks that took place at St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo, St. Sebastian’s in Negambo, Zion Church in Batticaloa, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand, and Kingsbury hotels in Colombo, as well as three explosions across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, 21 April 2019, which resulted in nearly 300 killed and hundreds more wounded.
The members of the Security Council expressed their deepest sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government of Sri Lanka and they wished a speedy and full recovery to those who were injured.
The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
The members of the Security Council underlined the need to hold perpetrators, organizers, financiers and sponsors of these reprehensible acts of terrorism accountable and bring them to justice, and urged all States, in accordance with their obligations under international law and relevant Security Council resolutions, to cooperate actively with the Government of Sri Lanka and all other relevant authorities in this regard.
The members of the Security Council reiterated that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whomsoever committed. They reaffirmed the need for all States to combat by all means, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and other obligations under international law, including international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts.]

The authority of the UN Security Council to ‘find the perpetrators guilty’ flows from its own practice of laws that would prevent such pain and loss to the People in its care. The Sri Lankan National Security Council likewise has the parallel duty to protect Sri Lankans.

When we believe, the intelligence comes to us. This is why we elect leaders through confidential vote in a free environment. Not only did the intelligence not go to President Sirisena, but Mr Sirisena went to the Indian Hindu Shrine of  Thirupathi Venketesharar and performed poojahs on 16 April 2019.  If Mr Sirisena had actually heard the voice of Lord Venketesharar / Vishnu who incarnated as Krishna – he would have heard the message loud and clear ‘DO YOUR DUTY’. That was the message to Prince Arjuna who hesitated to fight against his family elders and gurus. When we fight to establish Dharma / Righteousness – natural forces come to support us. When we act in breach of Dharma – the natural forces of Adharma / Satanic forces – possess us. We then start neglecting our duties while enjoying benefits of  high positions held by us.

The inquiry must focus on whether or not the Sri Lankan President neglected his duty as head of Defence. If the above account by the Minister is true – then President Sirisena needs to be impeached. Former American President Nixon was threatened with impeachment for stealing intelligence of the opponent. Sri Lankan President Sirisena needs to be impeached for negligence if it is established that his negligence resulted in this terrible tragedy.

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