08 December 2019
VIENNA CONVENTION AND THE IMMUNITY FIRE
Sri Lanka, as per its Constitution and many Political leaders including the current President, is a Buddhist Nation. As per my understanding - Dharma is expressly recognized by Buddhism as the pathway to Ultimate Justice. It starts with Truth and ends with true Justice. As per that pathway, those who are immune to law automatically go into the path of Dharma. This system works as per the Common Conscience of all active participants and delivers outcomes that would enrich all true members of the system. It delivers to each seeker as per her/his/its truth.
In its Media Release dated 07 December 2019 and headed ‘FOREIGN MINISTRY COMMENTS ON THE JUDGEMENT IN THE CASE OF BRIGADIER PRIYANKA FERNANDO’ – the Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka includes the following:
[The Government of Sri Lanka continues to maintain that Brigadier Fernando as a diplomat who was attached to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London is entitled to diplomatic immunity as per Article 31 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961.]
Article 31 (1) (c ) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961 states as follows:
[A diplomatic agent shall enjoy immunity from the criminal jurisdiction of the receiving State. He shall also enjoy immunity from its civil and administrative jurisdiction, except in the case of:
(c) an action relating to any professional or commercial activity exercised by the diplomatic agent in the receiving State outside his official functions.]
As per my observations – the final punishment was a fine which effectively makes it a civil proceedings. This is covered by Article 31(1)(c ).
As per the above report:
[During proceedings the Court conceded that the summons procedure was not conducted in the ideal manner and this gave rise to re-trial. According to available evidence, demonstrators who had staged the protest in front of the Sri Lanka High Commission as well as those who protested in front of Westminster Magistrates’ Court during the Court hearings had used flags of the LTTE which is a proscribed organisation in the UK.]
A concerned British citizen who felt close to the Sri Lankan Government had every right to initiate such ‘reciprocal’ action against the LTTE supporters. They would have, if their pain was true and if in spirit - they felt part of the Sri Lankan government.
The motto of the University of Jaffna says ‘That which finds truth is knowledge'. Some may find it through Buddhist laws; others through Hindu laws and others through British Law, Sri Lankan Law or Vienna Convention principles. Brigadier Fernando – if he were Buddhist – acted in breach of Buddhist principles of Ahimsa when he made the threatening gestures towards the LTTE supporters. Article 31 (4) of the said Vienna Convention states as follows:
[The immunity of a diplomatic agent from the jurisdiction of the receiving State does not exempt him from the jurisdiction of the sending State.]
But the actions of the Sri Lankan government as well as Tamil Political leaders confirm that at their respective local levels the above is accepted as politically correct. But where the investment of their Diaspora leaders is strongly through the law of the country of expression – that country has the duty to preserve that deeper investment in common pathway of expression . To my mind, that has been confirmed by the British Judiciary.
The written law is the highest regulated human pathway. If the British Government failed its citizens who have invested in that higher pathway it would lose the moral authority to discipline nations through global conscience that the Vienna Convention represents.
Immunity to top leadership / representation, when taken at the lower level – pushes one to a free area where truth applies. For example – within a family – one who is true to other members develops the power to work the whole. It is when a family does not have such a leadership that it needs to go to Courts. In courts the same facts are required to be interpreted as per the law. Some facts would become irrelevant at that level.