UN 51st session – “Zero draft remains Zero to victims”!  

S. V. Kirubaharan, France 

The United Nations definition of ‘victims’ is as follows: “Victims” means persons who, individually or collectively, have suffered harm, including physical or mental injury, emotional suffering, economic loss or substantial impairment of their fundamental rights, through acts or omissions that are in violation of criminal laws operative within Member States, including those laws proscribing criminal abuse of power…..”

If this is the case, then who is not a victim in Sri Lanka? From top to bottom, I mean from so-called executive presidents to normal citizens everyone remains a victim. Here, I can quote several examples but to be brief – the President, the Chief Justice, members of civil society (human rights defenders, journalists, parliamentarians, lawyers, religious leaders, academics and others) are/were victimised in Sri Lanka.

A Tamil proverb says: “One will know the effect of a fever and headache only when he/she gets it”. (காய்சலும் தலை வலியும் அவர் அவருக்கு வந்தால் தான் அதன் தாக்கம் விளைவு தெரியும்!). In Sri Lanka, we have experienced the fact that victims have become horrendous violators of human rights and then again become victims.

In an earlier session of the UN Human Rights Council – UNHRC, I have listened to a representative of Sri Lanka as he related in meetings how at one time he had been in hiding in Sri Lanka because the security forces were looking for him. Unfortunately, later he was defending the state violations to the maximum in the same forum – the UNHRC.

This is to say that Sri Lanka should learn to take the grievances of victims seriously and with sincerity. Victims vary from the youth uprising to capture the whole of Sri Lanka, to the failure of thirty years of non-violent struggle to achieve political aspiration …read more

Source:: LNW English