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President Mahinda Rajapaksa speech at UN General Assembly full of ironies-Inner City Press

At UN, Sri Lankan Defends Religion from “Human Rights of Alien Cultures”

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 23 — Amid war crimes charges, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s speech Friday at the UN General Assembly was full of ironies.

Known for ruthlessly ending a separatist movement, Rajapaksa in his speech said that dialogue is the only way to resolve problems. He has insisted that the Panel of Experts report detailing war crimes is not a UN report — but he thanked that UN.

Having opposed an aspiration for independence or autonomy, he nevertheless expressed support for a Palestinian state. He invoked religion and wished his audience peace, even as he’s sued for war crimes.

The religious reference was perhaps the most telling, as he said that longstanding beliefs cannot be trumped by “human rights… from alien cultures.”

The Panel of Experts report is now belatedly at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. On September 22, Rajapaksa’s foreign mininster G.L. Peiris had separate meetings with Lynn Pascoe and then Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff Vijay Nambiar, who played a role in what are called the White Flag murders of surrendering Tamil Tiger leaders. Nambiar declined to summarize his meeting with Peiris.

While several UN sources close to Ban Ki-moon have told Inner City Press Ban will meet with Rajapaksa on September 23, Ban’s schedule as put out Thursday night and Friday morning did not list any meeting with Mahinda.

Inner City Press has asked Ban’s spokesman, “today’s ‘Appointments of the S-G’ does not list Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka — please confirm that this means Ban Ki-moon is not meeting with Mahinda Rajapaksa today.” No response has been received. More updates at InnerCityPress – courtesy:InnterCityPress


  1. Patta Pal says:

    While I agree that if we adhere to our longstanding religious beliefs, we do not need people pontificating about Human Rights, it is ironic that every action of the government has been in contravention of our long standing religious beliefs.

    These beliefs hold all human and animal life as sacred, the complete opposite of what has and is happening in this regime today.

    I therefore fully endorse the words, but wholly despise the deeds of this government, which do not correspond to at all to the rhetoric. Therefore every word uttered by and on behalf of the Government is without any value.

    The daily actions on behalf of the state are at complete odds with our long held beliefs, in a state where every conceivable sin is being committed at their behest and full approval.

    To give a few examples, white vans, disappearances of journalists, daily protection rackets on traders, drug dealing, underworld contracts, threats against those who hold a different political opinion, breaking every law in the statute and obtaining police protection from prosecution, illegal tree felling, sand mining, wildlife killing, rape of the environment, skimming off large percentages off of every contract shoddy quality of imports of essentials, unethical fees charged for foreign employment, charging excessive fees for entering kids into state schools, defrauding the EPF by contrived stockmarket purchases, all point to a senior member of Government at the head of it.

    It is therefore important that the state is held accountable for every statement they make as they only seems to make false statements none of which are actually followed through. There appears to be no need to comply, because even the majority of the readers of this writing approve of the current activities of the state, otherwise they would have surely rebelled against it.

  2. Bruno Umbato says:

    This “INDEPENDENT” Inner City Express devotes so much time to Sri Lanka as if SL is the only country in the world. SL is where the crimes of abuses, corruption, human rights violations, discriminations, genocide occur if you read Matthew Russell Lee’s writing. Nothing good happens in SL …

  3. Kalu Albert says:

    There are no ironies pal.

    These are pure facts and figures ,that were eloquently articulated in simple English.

    Thinking people all over the world wish ,your President can make a speech here and say.

    * The Palestinian people who were chased away from their ancestral lands by your English speaking Buddies must be given their long due State back.

    * The economy in New Orleans must be growing at, at least half of 22 percent

    * And the Economy of our great America should be growing at least One & a half percent per annum to cut into at least some of the 45 Million unemployed?.

    With his trade mark “Yes We can”.

  4. SriLankan says:

    Religous beliefs not consistent with Human Rights? Wonder what religon he is talking about?

  5. Ananda Seneviratne says:

    Pro-LTTE and remnenet LTTE members and LTTE leaders like MR. Rudrakumaran are doing everything to “Kill” Sri Lanka and its President for nothing but for the anihilation of thier beloved barberic, worlds most ruthless terrorist organization called Tamil Tigers.
    It doesnt matter how much these ass holes are trying to attack Sri Lanka and its leaders for war crimes and human right violations, Sri Lanka and its leaders will succeed!
    Kiling and anihilation of worlds ruthless terrorist group is not at all any violations but saving more human lives.

    Long Live Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans!

  6. sr says:

    Lee. thank you for questioning injustice.

  7. ellalan says:

    Probably Ban has got cold shoulder and shying away from meeting with a war criminal!!

  8. Charith says:

    Mahinda rajapaksha is the greatest , strongest , best done president among the whole world leaders in present day. his speach reflects that his great leadership. Any real srilankan will be happy n proud to here such a speache has maden by srilankan presidant at an un assembly. u can critisize mahinda rajapaksa, but it just only show ur jelousy and low personality bcos he is an elephant and ur just a mosquito.

  9. Mayu says:

    Certainly Matthew Russell Lee is correct in his stand! He is doing a great job!

  10. Mayu says:

    You have missed lot of points sir.

  11. mah says:

    “longstanding beliefs”( meaning Mahavamsa mind set of Srilankan brand of Buddhism repeatedly taught in Srilanka) cannot be trumped by “human rights…(‘abuses’) from alien cultures.

  12. Hetige says:

    How do you know that Inner City Press is not dealing also with countries other than Sri Lanka?
    This forum publishes only what is relevent to SL.

  13. Peter says:

    The point discussed here is the killing of thousands of innocent civilians, women, children, and the elderly
    with an excuse of anihilating the terrorists.
    It is a fact that Tamils were, are and will never be treated as equal citizens in our country.
    Sinhala majority live with a minority complex. Long before the LTTE was born how many Tamils were killed?
    Even after more than 2 years of ending the war what is happening in the NorthEast, specially the North?
    Why is the military there in huge numbers? Has civilian administration returned there?
    Why are sinhales in large numbers settled in the traditional habitats of Tamils?
    Have you heard of the Grease Yakkas?
    Has the Government accounted for the missing persons from the North?
    Still you are hoping that Sri Lanka will succeed!

  14. Bruno Umbato says:

    Other great job he should do is to publicly declare how the Inner City Express is funded …

  15. veer says:

    Great job for LTTE and sympathizers.

  16. Hela says:

    Palestine is an occupied country recognised by UN as such. No amount of US veto can take it away. On the other hand, the issue in SL is an internal matter. ICP tries to cunningly ignore or mix the issues.

    The other point which ICP wants all to not remember is that it was LTTE who walked out in all rounds of talks. They are the ones who prepared for ‘Final War’ with the propaganda cover of people like Lee and funded by diaspora Tamils. It is LTTE who imposed war on SL and reaped the consequences of it.

    Therefore MR as a president who initiated dialogue soon after election in 2005 in the face so many devastating violations of CFA knows the value of dialogue and has the right to talk about it.

  17. A Tamil says:

    You know, hela, Something so sickening about you people is that you will keep mouthing the same shameful lie any number of times, never get tired of it, until it becomes the only truth extant. Sometimes, I do think that this is a tactic invented by Dr.Goebbels and perfected by your ilk, but then, that might even be wrong. Because, haven’t you been doing this for the last one thousand two hundred years,in a very organized manner, even having perfected a system to blare it out, calling it “Mahavamsa chronicles”, and then putting these “Godless bhikkus” in charge of propagating it from generation to generation. You can never come out of this vicious spiral. But, please, we don’t want to be part of that damn nonsense. Can we please get out of it? Please, please, please.

  18. silva says:

    Your comment shows your intellect!! It is obvious you are singing for your supper!!!Only people like you will appreciate the his speech!!!

  19. Krishna says:

    Noop,, buddy.. Its you who have created alot of points..

  20. kasun says:

    please my friends,Mr.Rajapaksha is our president,
    But why most of them angry with his speech.
    we are sinhalese,
    why all of you try to do the role of GOD?
    please allow GOD to sleep in peace
    We needs to live in peace with out a drop of blood
    we love our tamil friends and we always care of them(This is not a beautiful word,It is deep feeling of 20 millions of sri lankans)
    we have our life style …may be rest of world is being complicated
    No need western nations(including india) advice for us
    please India,pay attention to improve life standard of 1000 millions of people
    please USA,Iraq or Afghanistan(Muslims) are humans like all of you
    please UK,Try to earn your self.
    Please German,We have forgotten your former president Mr. Adolf Hitler!
    Thanks China,You will be the great example of the world
    Thanks Russia,You still remain our heart with October 17
    Thanks Cuba,You give the energy of encouragement.
    Thanks Maldives,Blood is thicker than water
    please Tamilnadu,children and women are in streets is not a fashion of modern world(may be JAYALALITHA think so)

  21. Yusuf says:

    What human right mr.rudrakumaran talk.where was he when learned tamil politicians and academics were killed by the ruthless ltte.i think first he must answer these questions.these are oppurtunist using innocent tamil plight to mAke their stooges safe in europe and western countrieswhy ca.t they go to srilanka and start a political party and work for the innocent tamils.

  22. silva says:

    what are you trying to say? We know how the majority of the sinhalese “cared” for the Tamil since 1956!! Some of them went out of the way to help the tamils!! some joined in inflicting misery for them!! some were unabe to do anything.

    All the Tamils are asking is to leave them alone to look after their affairs.

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