Image courtesy of PMD
Sri Lanka’s president Ranil Wickremesinghe decried the apparent double standard of the “West” in their approach to the current bombardment in Gaza and Sri Lanka’s own 2009 military offensive but remained staunchly opposed to an international accountability mechanism into the massacres on the island.
“Why is it one rule applies to us, and another rule applies to them,” Wickremesinghe told an audience last week.
In particular Wickremesinghe singled out both the USA and Canada, who recently voted against a resolution at the UN General Assembly calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.
“Last year in October, at the Human Rights Council, they all got together and passed a resolution against Sri Lanka,” continued Wickremesinghe, referring to a resolution that calls for accountability for the massacres that took place almost 15 years ago. The resolution passed at the UN Human Rights Council last year will “extend and reinforce the capacity of the Office of the High Commissioner to collect, consolidate, analyse and preserve” evidence that may be used in future war crimes trials.
Wickremesinghe went on to label Canada “the henchman for moving these resolutions”. “The resolution has been moved against and passed by them. And we all have to follow it.”
Referring to the next sessions of the UN Human Rights Council, when the resolution will come up for review, the Sri Lankan president added “Next September come with clean hands and we will also answer you”.
“If you haven’t got clean hands, why should we answer you?”
His remarks have already been widely panned. Responding on Twitter/X, Tamil National People's Front (TNPF) leader Gajen Ponnambalam, said “Before we ask others questions, how about you Mr President @RW_UNP explaining Sri Lanka’s double standards on how you approach the question of Palestinian self determination and Tamil self determination?”
They come after the Sri Lankan president reaffirmed his support for a “two-state” solution between Israel and Palestine last month, before floating up his own idea of a “four-state solution”.
Last month Wickremesinghe lashed out during an interview with Deutsche Welle when asked for a response to serious concerns raised by the Channel 4 documentary on the Easter Sunday bombings and the need for an international investigation.