Saturday, June 6, 2009

UNHRC Turns Back Humanitarian Crisis

An emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). An army battles an insurgent group of 'resistance fighters' that have been fighting for Independence for decades. The resistance fighters are considered terrorist by many countries for their use of suicide bombers and children soldiers. Many people were killed including civilians. Human Rights Groups, Humanitarian Aid NGOs and reporters have been blocked access. Accusations of genocide, human rights violations and war crimes. Sound familiar?

Sri Lanka was the country in question over their war with the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) and treatment of the Tamil community. As the experts of the events in their country they took the task of writing the UNHRC resolution. The 12 point report acknowledge that they were doing a great job and encouraged Sri Lanka to continue to wish them success in handling the humanitarian crisis. Any criticism against Sir Lanka was written off under the principle "respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, and its sovereign rights to protect its citizens and combat terrorism," On May 27th the resolution was approved.

[Adopted by a recorded vote of 29 to 12, with 6 abstentions.

The voting was as follows:

In favour: Angola, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, China, Cuba, Djibouti, Egypt, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Madagascar, Malaysia, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Africa, Uruguay, Zambia;

Against: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;

Abstaining: Argentina, Gabon, Japan, Mauritius, Republic of Korea, Ukraine].

There were no calls to let in Humanitarian workers. There will be no War Crimes investigations. There was no pronouncement of guilt before the facts were investigated. No calls for any interference by the UN unless requested by the Sri Lanka government. This may have come as a shock to members of the Tamil community. They fail to meet the UNHRC most important criteria for considering the plight of their people. They are not Palestinian and there is no way to blame Israel for their suffering.

Whenever Israel is taken to task for protecting their citizens against terrorism the UNHRC reacts quickly and harshly. The calls for cease fire are immediate and resolutions take minimal consideration into the facts that prompted a military response. Pronouncements of guilt for war crimes are pronounced before proper investigations can be carried out.

The UNHRC cares about condemning Israel over and above any other consideration. This Tamil community is learning the hard way, just how important they are to what is supposed to be the most important Human Rights Organization in the entire world.

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