Manohara asks if US visa denial was for Gotabaya’s arrest

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy of The Island

Manohara de Silva, PC, says the United States’ rejection of a visa application by Gotabaya Rajapaksa near the end of his presidential term could allow Western powers to arrest him under the Geneva resolution.

The President’s Council pointed out that the Geneva Resolution authorized universal jurisdiction by accepting the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka. The High Commissioner conducted this investigation, in accordance with the Geneva Resolution (A/HRC/25/1), adopted in Match 2014.

Sri Lanka co-sponsored the Geneva resolution on October 1, 2015, introduced by the United States. UNHRC is made up of 47 countries, divided into five zones. The Island questions, de Silva said the possibility of Western powers acting against the wartime defense secretary could not be ruled out, particularly in the context of the statement in the House of Commons that the former president should be stopped.

Sir Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats, told the House of Commons last week that an international arrest warrant should be issued for Gotabaya Rajapaksa and his cronies. Scottish National Party MP Alyn Smith told the House of Commons that even though the president had fled Sri Lanka, he could not shirk responsibility. Smith asked UK Asia and Middle East Minister Amanda Milling if she agreed that the president and officials who had been complicit in acts of humanitarian abuse should and should be held accountable. , and would the UK contribute to these efforts?”

Sri Lanka carried out the war on the shores of the Nanthikadal lagoon on the morning of May 19, 2009. the allies make the arrest. President Rajapaksa left the country on a SLAF plane for the Maldives, less than 24 hours after protesters invaded the president’s house, and from there flew to Singapore, from where he sent his resignation letter , through the Sri Lankan Mission in Singapore.

Rajapaksa renounced his US citizenship before the last presidential election in November 2019. The 19th Amendment to the Constitution barred foreign passport holders from running for president or parliament.

India has also categorically denied having played any role in facilitating the departure or travel of former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa from Sri Lanka. and the army, whatever the circumstances.

Responding to another question, the best lawyer said that in fact political parties represented in parliament and other stakeholders should explain their position on the contentious issue under consideration. Since Sri Lanka co-sponsored the Geneva resolution eight years ago, the United States and Australia have refused visas. to several senior officers, serving and retired. Among them were Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka (US/Retired), Major General Udaya Perera (US/Retired) and Major General Chagie Gallage (Australia/Serving). The United States also blacklisted General Shavendra Silva in February 2020.

De Silva said Sri Lanka should, at least now, rethink its response to the threat from Geneva. Those in political power, particularly from November 2019 until 09 July 2022, should be ashamed that Lord Naseby’s revelations of unsubstantiated war crimes charges were never properly used to counter the lies spread by interested parties, de Silva added.

SLPP MP Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera said the government should address the issue without delay. Western powers could exploit the former president’s predicament to humiliate Sri Lanka, which is going through a severe financial, political and social crisis, the former public security minister told The Island.

The Colombo District MP said previous leaders overlooked the issue of accountability. The government’s failure to do so has now created an enabling environment for interested parties to go after key political and military leaders, Weerasekera said. Parliament should also address the issue, the MP said, adding that the current political imbroglio was no excuse to ditch the president.

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