Rear Admiral (Rtd) Sarath Weerasekara respond to the ill-informed speach delivered by the UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on 26th June 2017 at the Grotius Lecture at British Institute of International and Comparative Law.


UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein delivered the Grotius Lecture at British Institute of International and Comparative Law on 26th June 2017. In the course of that lecture Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein specifically mentioned “A few days ago, citing Prime Minister May, a former Sri Lankan rear admiral delivered a petition to the President of the Human Rights Council. He demanded action be taken against my Office for ‘forcing’ Sri Lanka to undertake constitutional reforms, and for exerting pressure on them to create a hybrid court to try perpetrators of war crimes and crimes against humanity – when in reality, he claimed all they had engaged in was fighting terrorism. My first question: Why is international human rights law such an easy target? Why is it so misunderstood, so reviled by some, feared by others, spurned, attacked?”

Then, he further went on by saying that “My second question: If the Prime Minister meant what she said, which universal right would the UK be willing to give away in order to punish people against whom there is insufficient evidence to justify prosecution?”

In this context Global Sri Lankan Forum, GSLF which was represented by former war hero Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara at the UNHRC in June 2017, categorically state that, nowhere in the GSLF petitions submitted to UNHRC did try to target or belittle human rights, and do not in any way revile, fear, or spurn human rights law.

The main point of in both petitions submitted by GSLF was that, where the Human Rights Council takes action against a particular country for purported violations of human rights, it should do so according to law, which is to say, within the boundaries set by the UN Charter and related statutes, including most importantly Article 2(7) of the Charter, and that where this is not done the Council compromises its credibility along with that of the United Nations Organization.

In this regards GSLF has written to Professor Robert McCorquodale, Director of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law clarifying the stance of the GSLF on the biased actions taken by the UNHRC towards Sri Lanka to please the super powers and separatists.

The full text of the clarification letter sent to BIICL and petitions submitted to the UNHRC by GSLF are as below;

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