Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera makes history : Sri Lankan takes UN to court
A plaintiff has made history by filing a prima facie case against the United Nations Organization. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera has filed a case in a domestic court in Sri Lanka against the illegalities being adopted by the United Nations Organization against his country. That a bold initiative has taken place requires the UN system & the International Community to now take a step back and take a look at the plaint and apply the terminologies the UN system enjoys quoting to member nations at itself. The case now requires the General Assembly to select a set of truly independent judges and jurors from outside of the UN system to evaluate the merit of the case being filed. Until such time the current resolution against Sri Lanka must be kept on hold forthwith and it is the duty of the current Sri Lankan Government to officially request that the Resolution (whether watered down or not) be delayed until a real set of international judges not linked to the UN or those party to the resolutions against Sri Lanka are selected by the General Assembly to decide whether the UN has acted illegally against Sri Lanka.
Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera’s arguments
- The recommendation for an international investigation is based solely on the recommendation made by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in 3 reports filed by her in February 2013, September 2013 and February 2014.
- The primary and principal basis for the High Commissioner’s recommendation for an International investigation in her 3 reports takes ‘evidence’ in the Report of the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts released in 2011. Using the UNSG’s Panel of Expert report to recommend an investigation against Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council is ex facie illegal.
- The Panel of Expert Report was commissioned by the UNSG for his PERSONAL USE. The report was not commissioned by the UN Members in consultation with Sri Lanka which becomes a violation of a UN Member’s rights (Article 1(3), 2(1) and 2(7) of the UN Charter) deeming the right of Sri Lanka to participate and provide input to the decisions of the UN when it is affecting Sri Lanka’s interests.
- The Panel of Expert Report was never placed officially in the General Assembly, in the Human Rights Council or any other UN body. This denied Sri Lanka the right to respond officially and directly to the report. Sri Lanka was given no right of response which is a basic right under Natural Justice.
- Thus using the Panel of Expert Report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights as the basis to authorize an investigation through resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 is illegal. The UNHRC was created by the UNGA by resolution 60/251 in April 2006
- The plaintiff also highlights that at the time the investigation against Sri Lanka was authorized the Government opposed the investigation and authorizing such was an imposition on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.
- The Plaintiff makes clear that Sri Lanka’s constitution holds the sovereignty of the country in the people and that sovereignty is inalienable. In other words every citizen shares the sovereignty equally and an imposition on that sovereignty becomes an imposition upon the individual citizen.
- If the sovereignty of a country is the basis of all rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens as per Sri Lanka’s Constitution if that sovereignty is compromised it disrupts the environment where the Constitution functions.
- The Plaintiff goes on to state that the sovereignty of Sri Lanka is the basis for security, peace of mind, national security of every citizen and when that sovereignty is compromised it affects all the citizens.
- The Plaintiff has taken into account numerous special steps the GOSL had to take as a result of the resolutions and cites the example of the appointment of a team of international advisors comprising Sir Desmond de Silva, Sir Geoffrey Nice, Mr. Rodney Dickson and Prof David M Crane to assist the Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons as having cost the State Rs.135million for 7 months. This is only one payment the State had to incur among many others to defend the nation paid out of public funds. The Plaintiff and the public have suffered loss of funds because of illegalities adopted by the UN.
- The Plaintiff cites that he has suffered dishonour and disgrace, disruption of sense of security, peace of mind and national security because of the impositions on Sri Lanka caused by the investigation and proposed resolutions against Sri Lanka.
- The Plaintiff also cites the inconvenience and mental harassment experienced by him for the losses to public funds of the country as a tax-paying citizen.
- The Plaintiff reminds that on 2 September 2015 he wrote a letter of demand to the Defendant giving two weeks for a response by an admission in writing that the investigation against Sri Lanka was illegal or an apology in writing for the inconvenience, mental harassment and financial loss caused by the investigation. Copies of the letter has been annexed to the case. Replies had not been received however.
- The Plaint has been valued at Rs.10million for purposes of stamp duty.
- The Plaintiff requests The District Court of Sri Lanka to
- Issue an order requiring the UNO to admit in writing that the investigation against Sri Lanka is illegal
- Issue an order requiring the UNO to apologize in writing for the disgrace and dishonour caused by the investigation against Sri Lanka.
- Grant costs
- Grant other such relief as deemed by His Honour.
This basically summarizes what Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera has filed against the UNO.
Now it is time for the UNO to follow its own preaching. There is little point in the UNSG’s lawyers saying that they have gone through the legalities – that’s like asking the crooks’ mother if the son is a crook!
Let’s take the UN’s own phrases and terminologies because if a plaintiff is saying that the UN and its bodies have adopted illegal resolutions and investigations against Sri Lanka, international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators selected by the UN is certainly not correct to deny the case.
If the UN sees fit to point fingers, the UN cannot object to having its own system investigated by completely outside judges and jurors. It is therefore now the onus of the UN General Assembly to seriously view the prima facie case against the UN by a very honourable, respected and senior citizen of Sri Lanka and have countries that have not been part of the resolutions against Sri Lanka to select judges/jurors to investigate if the UN has acted in violation of its Charter and whether illegalities have occurred against Sri Lanka.
If the UN has not done any illegality it has no reason to oppose being investigated by judges outside of the UN system and judges who have no links to the nations who have by way of drafting or voting against Sri Lanka shown that they have been party to the illegalities against a UN Member Nation.
Of course if illegalities have taken place, it would only require a call to throw the case to the dustbin but we sincerely hope that what the UN preaches it actually practices. The onus is also on the current Sri Lankan Government to use this case to defend the nation. The lawyers now coming forward to defend the Sri Lankan War Heroes must use and cite this case.
We look forward to the case being taken on the merit of its argument and for the domestic judges to show their legal prowess which would come under international attention and highlight how independent Sri Lanka’s judiciary is in the manner it takes up the case.
The nation owes much to Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera for the magnanimous thought it taking on the mighty UN and challenging the legality of its actions in a domestic court.