23 June 2018
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I like to think the old Mahinda is dormant within him

mangala samaraweera sittingOne time government strongman and a man who was considered one of the most powerful Ministers during the tenure of the Former President, and now one of the current regime’s most vociferous critics, speaks to Daily Mirror on the current regime, the alternative he proposes, the fallacy of the 'computer jilmart' and President Mahinda Rajapaksa, his friend.

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I deplore any form of extremism; Gota

gotabaya rajaThe country’s powerful Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa spoke to the Daily Mirror in one of his most wide ranging interviews in recent times, on a gamut of issues. Rajapaksa explained why he believes that devolution of power is not the solution to the national question.

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Prof Francis Boyle interviewed by Law journal on Lankan crimes

Francis BoyleInterview with Prof. Francis Boyle (FB) by Parasaran Rangarajan (PR)

 

PR:

Good afternoon everybody the date is July (June) 26th, 2013 and we are with Professor Francis Boyle, international professor and lawyer at the University of Illinois. My name is Parasaran Rangarajan and I am the editor in chief for the International Law Journal of London. We will be spending some time with him today going over the exciting developments in the world of international law and relations as well as go over some of Dr. Boyle's career accomplishments. How are you doing today professor?

FB:

Well, thank you very much for having me on and my best to your audience but its June 26th, July 26th il be on vacation. Go ahead.

PR:

So first off, I would like to touch on your most recent work with the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE). As former counsel to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you represented Muslim genocide victims at the International Court of Justice. In what ways are the circumstances similar to Rajapakse's genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka? Why was Rajapaska not held accountable at the International Courts?

FB:

Right, well I just sent you the paper I recently delivered at the TGTE conference on May 18th going through all this in great detail. You are certainly free to publish that paper in your forthcoming journal and also on your webpage. You certainly have my permission with the copyright on there, go right ahead so im not going to go through all that here.

 

As for Rajapakse's not being held accountable so far, the major obstacle we have is Sri Lanka is not a party to the statute for the International Criminal Court (ICC). You know thats not the end of the matter at all. I'm still working on it trying to figure out how to do this. The 112 states, I think it is now party to the Rome Statute are all obligated to have domestic implementing legislation for the Rome Statute so we might be able to hold the Rajakapskes to account. Under these respective domestic implementing legislation, in the Rome Statute states themselves.

 

For example, the U.S. government is not a party to the Rome Statute either but Bush was going to go to Switzerland which is a party and has domestic implementing legislation, a Swiss parliamentarian had found out about my complaint against Bush and the rest of them lodged with the ICC and publicly demanded Bush be prosecuted in the event Bush entered Switzerland. This got back to Bush and he decided not to travel to Switzerland but if he had traveled to Switzerland, dossiers had already been prepared to try to get him arrested and prosecuted. So the Rajapakses face the same type of situation and we'll stay on top of it. What can I say?

 

You have to understand the atrocities they afflicted here were so enormous that it's going to take time for justice to be done. It might even take a generation until they're old men but I think they will be held accountable as is happening now for example with the Argentine dictators and torturers thanks to the mothers of the Plaza de Mayo who are now the grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo. But they have insisted justice be done for the dirty war in Argentina in the early 1970's and justice is now being done. So yes, international justice is slow but I believe it will happen.

We have a large numbers of lawyers on it, not just the TGTE but other Tamil groups I work with. We'll move forward but we need more lawyers thats for sure to do this work.

PR:

Yea because I think many people feel that there has been a double standard as we have seen with Gaddafi's war crimes and now they're persecuting Assad in Syria so that's why that question that came up.

FB:

Of course there is a double standard, but I was able to get Milosevic prosecuted at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia for every crime in the ICTY statute including two counts of genocide, one count for Genocide in general and other count for Srebrenica and it took me 8 years to do that work. I first went after Milosevic in 1993 and he died on trial at the Hague in 2006 at the close of the prosecution evidence against him so yea what can I say? These things take time, they take lawyers, and take resources. Theres no silver bullet here. People have to understand that.

PR:

Right, right and as a Tamil myself I appreciate much of the world you are doing here and I wanted to convey that. Do you think a UN referendum is possible after September's provincial elections and do you think it will lead to international recognition of a separate Tamil state? If so, how long do you think this process will take?

FB:

That's a much harder question. I also sent you my paper that I gave at the TGTE conference on the right of Tamils to self-determination and their own state. Your free to publish that both in your journal and on your website despite the copyright that. I hereby waive that so fix that if you want. Thats going to take a longer time. The TGTE has set the process in motion with the adoption of the Tamil Freedom Charter so in terms of time frame, I was the legal advisor to then chairman Yasser Arafat at the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The Palestinian Declaration of Independence, I started that in 1987 and finally on November 29th, 2012 the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine as a UN observer state. So 1987 to 2012 that took 25 years of work, hard work, the TGTE has just started the process now. I'm hoping I will be around 25 years from now. I try to stay in shape and take good care of myself but thats why we need more lawyers, doctors, and news media experts and everyone to pitch in here to do this type of work. I think it can be done. If we're using the Palestinians as a precedent here and one precedent that has worked that I have worked with from the get go. It was my idea in 1987 and it took 25 years. Today the state of Palestine is de jure a recognized by about 133 other states, now recognized by as a state by UN General Assembly, full state membership in UNESCO, and Palestine has the votes to be admitted to the United Nations Organization as a state itself. The only thing preventing that is the threat of a veto and pressure by the Obama administration, but Committee already figured out a way for Palestinians to get around that invoking the "Uniting for Peace Resolution" (UNGA Resolution 377).

So, we'll see what they have to do, I don't know, it's their right to self-determination, not mine. Just as it is the Tamils right to self-determination, not mine. Im just a lawyer.

PR:

Well we definitly appreciate the work that you are doing and considering that Israel is a supporter of the Sri Lankan state who recently had several human rights resolutions passed against it, can you envision any cooperation between the PLO and TGTE to hold the genocidal states accountable?

FB:

I havent seen any cooperation yet, that doesn't mean anything negative one way or the other. The Palestinians have been against a wall since 1948 dealing with this problem. The Tamils have been against a wall since 1948 dealing with this problem. In both cases, it was the British who created this problem. And theyve been off and on their own pretty much abandoned and betrayed and everyone. Now, I've worked with both groups, the Palestinians the early 1980's, Tamils I didn't get involved since late 1990's. So we'll have to see how this develops. So right now both groups are working on their owns in their own constituencies and things of that nature.

PR:

So like you said you were the legal advisor to the PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in the late 1980's and have been working with Palestinians since then. I spoke to the UK Foreign Office recently who said they would have recognized a Palestinian state if they had provided assurances that they would not go to the ICC. Do you think this trade off would have been worth it? If not, what can we expect at the ICC and International Court of Justice (ICJ) as we move forward?

FB:

It's just a cop out by the UK government, they can always come up with some excuse why they're not going to recognize the State of Palestine. In fact, Palestine already went to the ICC pursuant to my advice after Operation Cast Lead by Israel. I recommended to Palestinian President Abbas that they accept the Rome Statute for the ICC under Article 12 (3) which he did do. Eventually the first ICC prosecutor Moreno O'Campo, copped out and punted, and rejected their acceptance. So Palestine's already gone, they might go back, I really can't say.

But remember the British created this problem in the first place, so they're simply going to tell you whatever lie they can to be against Palestinians and support the Israel and Zionists. The entire British government is run by Zionists so what else do you expect them to say? They're not going to help the Palestinians. They never have. The British created the problem in the first place. Nothing has changed. It's that simple. You can quote me on that.

PR:

It will be interesting to see how that plays out if they do go to the ICC definitly.

FB:

Well it's on the agenda, like I said Palestine has already gone once, Bensouda the new prosecutor has recommended they return. So we'll see, the documents are there, and we'll see what President Abbas decides to do. It's his call. The PLO Executive Committee that serves as the provisional government for the State of Palestine. President Abbas is not a dictator over there, he is accountable to the PLO Executive Committee that serves as the provisional government for the State of Palestine. He is their President. So they can go back anytime they want to. But you know its a very difficult situation for them to be in.

You have to understand, legally there are no obstacles. Palestine already went once, they can go back. And I want to condemn in the strongest terms possible Moreno O'Campo, he is a completely shameless ICC prosecutor. Im not expressing any opinion on Bensouda, she just started the job, so ok lets see what happens. But Moreno O'Campo is completely shameless and unprincipled and turned the ICC into nothing more then the white mans court where all he did was go after tin pot dictators in Africa and Bush and his henchmen escaped accountability, Tony Blair, his henchmen escaped accountability, and Israel escaped any accountability under O'Campo's watch.

So he's worthless but I heard he's going to go work for FIFA or something, well fine let him go play soccer or football as they call it in Europe. He's completly worthless, spineless, and unprincipled on that and you can quote me on that too.

PR:

Thank you very much, we understood you were a War Crimes Prosecutor in Malaysia which convicted former President Bush and Prime Minister Blair of crimes against humanity. Could you tell us a little bit about those charges? What legal effects do these convictions hold and are they binding in terms of arrests if they were to enter Malaysia?

FB:

Well they were two sets of proceedings, the first a year and a half ago was against Bush and Blair for crimes against peace over Iraq. They were found guilty unanimously. The second was against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfield, Rice, and some of their lawyers for torture and war crimes. They were also found guilty so we are making efforts to get the convictions enforced in every state in the world where these individuals show up. Its just like any enforcement of any criminal judgement, no different. I drew up a de marsh and if we have any word that any of these individuals are gonna show up in a foreign country, we send a de marsh to the foreign country.

We request that pursuant to our convictions, that the arrested and investigations opened and they be prosecuted under the relevant standards of international law recognized in these foreign states. So that's where we stand today. We'll keep at it. There's a whole secretariat there in Malaysia administering this process and we're monitoring where these individuals travel and we'll keep at it. Again, you have to understand these people have enormous power, there's the British Empire behind Blair and the American Empire behind Bush and the rest of them.

And again it might take what happened with the Argentina junta, a generation for them to be held accountable. But I can this can happen, but we're gonna need lawyers, resources, and things of that nature. So it's not going to happen tomorrow but it will happen in time. You have to look at this in a historical perspective.

PR:

Do you feel that these there have been any breaches of international law or war crimes being committed in the latest conflict in Syria by fueling the conflict and arming terrorists in which thousands of innocent citizens are being killed?

FB:

Yes, I discussed this in my new book just came out, Destroying Libya and World Order that you can get at Amazon.com. Chapters 5-6 and the conclusion segway into Libya. Clearly what the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and now Libya are now doing in Syria by arming, equipping, supplying, and directing these fundamentalist terrorist groups is illegal. It was condemned by the International Court of Justice in the Nicaragua case in 1986 so that precedent is there. All you have to do is go back and read the Nicaragua case and change the name from Nicaragua to Syria and indeed, I point this out in the relevant passages in my book. You can get a copy of my book and see it there and post it on the web page if you want to. So it's all in there right.

PR:

 In 2006, the Islamic Republic of Iran requested you to represent them at the International Court of Justice in lawsuits against Western and European nations in order to deem the UN sanctions against them as illegal. Under what basis are those sanctions illegal and why didn't the lawsuits move forward as requested?

FB:

Well I want to make it clear, Iran never asked me to represent them. Rather the Iranian lawyers asked me to submit a proposal to them on how to sue at the International Court of Justice the United States and other states that were threatening to attack them over this bogus nuclear issue and also imposing economic sanctions on them. So I did submit a memorandum on this to Iran's lawyers, it's quite extensive and then answered the followup questions I received from them. There it stands as of today, I haven't heard back from them for a year from their lawyers so I really don't know. There was just an election, theres going to be a change in government. Who knows what their going to do. Apparently theres a new President, you know he might very well first try negotiations and thats great. I've advised several governments over the years and governments generally prefer diplomacy to litigation which is fine so lets see what Iran decides to do with their new government.

I would certainly hope that President Obama would negotiate in good faith with the new government of Iran. I can't say im overly optimistic because up in to this point in time and despite President Obama's Cairo speech, we have not seen good faith negotiations by the United States with the government of Iran. It could happen and I hope it would happen and that litigation could be avoided. But if not, perhaps certainly the new government will decide to authorize these lawsuits. I also want to make it clear, Iran has outstanding international lawyers of their own who would be fully capable of doing these lawsuits without me but if they want me to be involved, I would happy to be involved.

Again this is for them to do, they already have my memorandum on how to do it.

PR:

There have been many allegations by many African nations that the ICC has unfairly targeted African nations for war crimes. What do you make of this allegation and do you think that creating an International Court chamber at the African Court of Justice will help alleviate some of these claims?

FB:

I think these claims are correct, under Moreno O'Campo, the ICC became the white man's court. All he did was go after black tin pot dictators in Africa. He avoided the wholesale murderers and killers in the United States, Britain, and Israel. And I think thats correct, indeed I know that the African states are considering pulling out of the ICC. I think that would be a good idea. They should all pull out because its clear that the ICC is nothing more then a tool set up by the white racist European colonial states together with Japan which is also a racist state to go after them.

And I think the idea of them setting up their own court is an excellent idea and just boot the ICC out of Africa. "He who pays the piper calls the tune" and the ICC if you look at the contributions, its basically Europe, Korea, and Japan. We know all of Europe is racist and Japan is racist for sure. So I think as far as Africa is concerned, the ICC is hopeless, thats perfectly clear. They need to set up their own tribunal and try their own people.

PR:

In conclusion, do you have any remarks or messages for those aspiring to be international lawyers such as you out there?

FB:

Man, theres an enormous amount of work out here which needs to be done. So much that I spend full time, 6-7 days a week working on the different things I work on and we need more lawyers. Theres no question about it to give advice, counsel, representation, and everything else thats going on. We have to have more lawyers. There just aren't enough out there to bring peace and justice to the world.

So keep on with your studies, study international law, human rights law, certainly the constituational law of whatever state you plan to practice in. Get your license to practice law, and then move out and do it.

PR:

Some good advice there. I think that should be about it. Thank you for making the time today, I understand you are very busy person.

FB:

Well im always happy to encourage law students, especially international law students, and even more especially international law students trying to set up their own journal. So my best wishes to all of you involved in this endeavour.

PR:

Thank you very much sir.
Courtesy - International Law Journal of London

'In Sri Lanka, accurate information percieved as a crime' - Lasantha Ruhunuge

lasantha ruhunage 3When the Sri Lankan government wanted to give away free laptops to journalists, many seemed happy. But Lasantha Ruhunuge differed. As the president of the largest media trade union in the island - Sri Lanka Working Journalists Association - he had overwhelming reasons to do so.

'What we need is not free laptops, but freedom to write and justice' he wrote to the media ministry.

'Tell us who killed our colleagues. Bring the perpetrators to book. That can strengthen us, but free laptops cannot.'

The consequences could have been deadly. But he prefers to shrug them off. "When you know that you cannot write without risking your life, it's important to stick to your principles' he says.

"For me, it was simply a matter of principles."

As the news editor of the Sinhala weekly 'Ravaya', he keeps trying to push the boundaries. But heading a prominent journalists union can still be more challenging in a country where scores of media workers are killed with impunity.

Lasantha spoke to JDS on the role of state and corporate owned media, the limits of press freedom and the state of democracy in Sri Lanka.

The excerpts from the interview, follow:

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LNW 300x80pix

Navin-300 6 sinhala

 

info

patali-1

 

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