UK Suppressed ‘Robust Evidence’ at Sri Lanka’s Expense at UNHRC – Lord Naseby

Admin | 26 Mar, 2021 05:51PM | Leave a comment
Source - The Island

‘It is unforgiveable and a black day for my UK Govt.’

It was reprehensible that the UK, as the leader of the Core Group on Sri Lanka and a member of the UNHRC, had suppressed ‘robust evidence of utmost importance’, Lord Naseby said on Tuesday (23).

The Conservative party member said in his capacity as the President of the All Party Parliamentary UK – Sri Lanka Group: “It is unforgivable and is a black day for my UK Government.”

The following is the text of a statement made available by Lord Naseby’s Office in the aftermath of the UNHRC adopted accountability resolution with 22 voting for, 11 against and 14 countries, including India skipping the vote: “The Core Group chaired by the UK tabled a shoddy motion based on a hostile UNHRC Report riddled with factual errors and unproven allegations going back to 2009; none of which qualifies as robust evidence.

It is a gross intrusion on the sovereignty of a state, Sri Lanka, based on a simple majority vote when Motions of this significance would need a 2/3rds majority. Even worse, the UK Minister for Human Rights Lord Ahmad is the same Minister, who despite a series of Written Questions from me has purposely and consciously withheld ‘Robust evidence’ of the utmost importance being sent to the UNHRC. I refer to the UK Military Attaché, Lt. Col. Gash’s Dispatches from the War front. Dispatches that highlight the care the Sri Lankan armed forces took not to kill civilians, indeed how nearly 300,000 civilians were rescued. He also witnessed the war actions of the Tamil Tigers in recruiting and putting in the front line several thousand Child soldiers, a War Crime in itself, plus the 250,000 poor Tamil civilians forced out of their homes to be a human shield. Finally, Lt Col Gash makes his own estimate as 7,000 civilians sadly killed of which 25% were probably LTTE cadres.

I find it unacceptable that the senior UK Minister responsible for Human Rights policy should state that the UNHRC did not ask for these Dispatches. The Minister knew how crucial the contents of these Dispatches are to the truth. He should have sent them unredacted to create an informed Report. The action is made even worse by the UK Chairing the Core Group and is absolutely reprehensible. It is unforgiveable and is a black day for my UK Government.

As we approach Easter, I remember a phrase from St Mathew in the Bible: ‘Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?’