Monday 12 September 2022


12 September 2022

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam



“The Universal Declaration for Human Rights [UDHR] was adopted on 10th December 1948 by the United Nations at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. The UDHR contains thirty Articles. Articles 1 and 2 outline the philosophical claim of the UDHR and emphasise that human beings are born free in equal dignity and are entitled to all rights and freedoms without any kind of discrimination.


Considering the emphasis of articles in the UDHR it is important to analyse how far the UDHR has been respected by the successive Governments of Sri Lanka regarding the human rights of Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka.” Mr Kumarathasan Rasingam at


Is Sri Lanka automatically bound by the declaration? If yes, it becomes the parallel of Buddhism Foremost article in the Sri Lankan constitution. Article 1 of the Declaration states:

[All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.]

This is the parallel of Hindu philosophy, according to which we are bound by our souls.

Article 2 of the Declaration states:

“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

The essence of this is written in Chapter III, - the Fundamental Rights chapter in the Sri Lankan Constitution. Buddhism Foremost article is listed in chapter II.

The first independent Sri Lankan constitution, written in 1972, was in breach of this Declaration. The question is ‘Why did non-Buddhist politicians not  report it to the UN? despite  the breaches highlighted by Tamils through their Protests?  The answer to my mind is that they themselves did not believe in the UN. Now, after migrating to countries that lead the UN, they are complaining against the government which effectively is to balance the defeat in the 2009 battle. Belief  , which is a soul-power, is unaffected by wins and losses. Otherwise it is thought and not belief.

In her article ‘Sri Lankan Government Appoints Alleged Rights Abusers’ , Ms Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch highlights:

[Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, better known as Pillayan, is a former member of the armed separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), who was personally implicated in abducting children and other abuses. Later he joined a pro-government armed group that was also responsible for abductions and recruiting child soldiers. In January 2021, the attorney general dropped charges against Pillayan in connection with the 2005 murder of a parliamentarian. He is now state minister for rural roads development.]

Any belief based action within the Sovereign borders of a group is the business of that group. To the extent  Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan came into the Parliament, through an uncontested ,  Due Process of law, Human Rights Watch cannot find fault with the outcome. Given that the Rajapaksa government fought against the LTTE, they would need such traitors of the LTTE, to acquire the ‘intelligence’ of LTTE, to protect themselves. By failing to absorb them into their own parties, Tamil politicians have confirmed their they are naive.

Ms Ganguly highlights as follows:

[As defense secretary, Rajapaksa was in command of Sri Lankan security forces throughout this period. Even after the fighting, thousands of young Tamil men who were suspected LTTE fighters or supporters, as well as journalists, activists and others deemed political opponents, were abducted. Many have never been heard from again.]

Has any Tamil politician taken action against LTTE fighters or supporters – in Parliament or in a Court of Law? If the answer is ‘no’, then their silence confirms that they believe that the LTTE was right. To that extent they have the accept that the Sri Lankan government  also was right. When we point a finger at another, three fingers pointing back at us.

When we ‘judge’ we need to be independent of all parties concerned. If we judge without this independence, we become relative and hence ineligible to ‘judge’ others.

It is time for UN to use laws of Sri Lanka to judge Sri Lankans, without expecting Sri Lankans to know the UN laws. Former is Democracy and latter is autocracy.

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