Wednesday 8 November 2017

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

08 November   2017

American Peace Corps to strengthen Christianity?

Article 18 of UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights states:
[Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.]
Given the inclusion of the rule in the Sri Lankan Constitution that Buddhism ranks foremost in Sri Lanka, members of other religions need to practice their respective religions at a higher level, to qualify for the support of the above provision through Natural forces or demand that the UN take appropriate action to deny  the Sri Lankan Government support to uphold its status in this regard at global level.
As per my understanding, the 2015 UN Resolution is presented as follows,
[Action on Resolution on Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

In a resolution (A_HRC_30_L.29) on promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, adopted without a vote, the Council encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to investigate all alleged attacks by individuals and groups on journalists, human rights defenders, members of religious minority groups and other members of civil society; further encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to develop a comprehensive plan and mechanism for preserving all existing records and documentation relating to human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law; requests the Office of the High Commissioner to continue to assess progress on the implementation of its recommendations and other relevant processes related to reconciliation, accountability and human rights, and to present an oral update to the Human Rights Council at its thirty-second session, and a comprehensive report followed by discussion on the implementation of the present resolution at its thirty-fourth session. It also encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to continue to cooperate with special procedure mandate holders, including by responding formally to outstanding requests.]
As per the published version of the proceedings :
[United States, introducing the resolution L.29, explained that the draft resolution aimed to support Sri Lanka’s path to peace with a view to build national reconciliation and prosperity for all Sri Lankans. The goal of the resolution was to help the country undertake a difficult but necessary journey, during which the Human Rights Council would play a vital role in order to build a country that realized the full potential of all its citizens.]
[Sri Lanka, speaking as the concerned country, thanked all members and observers of the Council for the support they had extended towards the adoption of the draft resolution. The Government saw the resolution as a measure of encouraging and inspiring the Government and the people of Sri Lanka to uphold human rights, establish the rule of law, end impunity, and strengthen democracy and good governance. In a clear departure from the past when the Council had witnessed the situation in Sri Lanka as divisive, the new Government of Sri Lanka was committed to the promotion of civil and political rights, as well as economic, social and cultural rights, in a manner that benefited all individuals and communities living in Sri Lanka.]
As per Daily FT report headed ‘US pledges support despite delay in SL reconciliation efforts’:
[US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon, who is the highest ranked official from the Trump administration to visit Sri Lanka, told reporters that the US would work to return American Peace Corps members to teach English in Sri Lankan classrooms, give $ 21 million to develop the dairy industry and provide a second Coast Guard Cutter vessel to the navy.]

This particularises the Commonness in the UN Resolution on the basis of UN Declaration of Human Rights. English at the moment is listed as a link language through Article 18 (3) of the Sri Lankan Constitution. Only those Tamils who consider Sinhalese as the Equal official language and v.v.  are entitled to be facilitated out of Common funds to link to each other  through English . Only they have the authority to enjoy Common global resources in this regard. The above offer if accepted would have bilateral status and would effectively weaken the Common UN Resolution led  by America. Energies once they are made Common would demote and weaken the structure when parts  are particularised / personalized.
There are ongoing reports from Sri Lanka, about threats of takeover by more powerful religions. I heard it when in Thiruketheeswaram and I read about an alleged attack in Chettikulam where the IDP camps were established in 2009.
Language is the outer form of our thoughts based on hearsay as well as culture and belief. In terms of English the culture is Christian. Hence any investment in English, needs to be to promote Christianity openly to maintain the Cosmic Balance (Dharma) of Article 9 – so that Buddhists do not victimize themselves by acting in breach of Buddha Sasana.
The premises and assumptions of the coursebook ‘International Human Rights in Context’ by Henry J Steiner and Philip Alston include the following:

 [Human rights are violated within states, not in outer space or on the high seas or during combat between states. It could therefore be argued that rights should be studied within the framework of different states – say human rights in Kenya, in Pakistan, Peru, China, France, Israel, the United States. Such a book might consist of contextual studies of human rights issues – regulation of police, freedom of the press, religion and the state, discrimination, and so on – that would draw on different national histories and political cultures. It would have the high value of studies in comparative law, history and culture.]

The context in which human rights are framed in America would therefore be different to the same rights being framed in Sri Lanka. It’s like One soul different individuals. The Lankan government has the duty to decline the above offer from the American Government.

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