Skip to main content

tv   Kulturzeit  Deutsche Welle  April 3, 2021 6:30pm-7:00pm CEST

6:30 pm
what secrets lie behind. discover new adventures 360 to. explore fascinating world heritage site. w one of her teachers 360. the. first part of all on speed is the all these things well you don't know that you proud of living in a country where child killers all get presidential pardons. anyone who's doing something wrong the government of sri lanka has been strongly criticised of the un human rights council which warns of a deteriorating situation in the country the erosion of judicial independence and the increased marginalize ation minorities my guest this week is john a column by secretary to sri lanka's foreign ministry is there any chance at all
6:31 pm
that his government will take the criticism seriously and finally do something about them. jagoff columba gave welcome to conflict zone in the last few days the un human rights council passed a landmark resolution highlighting your government's failure to ensure accountability for human rights violations and mandates in un investigators to collect and preserve data that can be used in future judicial proceedings they did that mr secretary because of your abject failure to do it for yourselves and because of the worsening human rights climate in your country aren't you ashamed of that. well tim let me say the world war ended 78 years later. and we still see the receipt to effects on the environment on the
6:32 pm
physical things and the good friday agreement was in 1998 and there are 116 wars which is called peace while still we're not talking about his novel arlan mr secretary i was talking about we're talking about sri lanka and your failure to ensure accountability for human rights violations which you've already illinois in which you have denied in other interviews. no we had the war for one more one generation and it takes time to heal completely war and we pass a device keeping war it was a brutal war right and we finished the war in 2009 and between 2009 and 201592 percent of the land occupied by the military were wheelies 295000 people who were used as a human shield where we integrate and resettle into the community where they'll say i understand i understand all that mr secretary but your your foreign minister has
6:33 pm
already denied the accusations of serious human rights violations you put out the inevitable barrel of denials and accusations of western bias do you really think that the rest of the world is so stupid that they're going to immediately accept those denials in the face of overwhelming documented evidence of your current human rights abuses i'm not talking about those just in the past i'm talking about continuing human rights abuses in your country. there are these documents can we have a look at these documents that you are referring to the u.n. has said to the to you the u.n. has sent back to you numerous times you read them in the in the resolution of the human rights council so it's a little strange for you to pretend that you haven't seen them but we have seen this document prepared by the human rights commission now that's ok but you know
6:34 pm
there had been 5 i mean from 201220132 those and 14 and now 2021 so every time this government comes to power they said resolution from the united nations human rights council right is that fair i think we have to ask that the human race council when that that is far should be held to a country or actions isn't it mr secretary i don't know your father as one of your foreign minister called the accusations forced unka. plain that all resolution was politically motivated but more than 40 countries co-sponsored this resolution 22 voted for it 14 abstained only 11 against your rapidly losing international support and credibility and the votes prove it to him who are these 40 countries if i countries are in your wrong right then outside the europeans canada and america england malawi and solomon a marshall islands so $35.00 white countries got together and made this an
6:35 pm
unsubstantiated accusations allegation so this is nothing to do with the human race in sri lanka also that is so their automatic so they're automatically wrong even your good friend india who you lobbied incessantly to vote against the resolution they abstained they weren't buying your denials either were they. but look at mark the statement made by the indian permanent representative in the beginning they said this kind of country specific resolutions are wrong and then they said they abstain that is their policy that yes they are your kind that you want to that will support you the real question from all this mr secretary is do you want to be taken seriously on the international stage or just dismissed as one more serial human rights abuse or protected by a small gang of other abusers we want to be taken very seriously in the international community and nor are the country or entity is more interested than sri lanka to find a lasting solution to the residue of the shoes that we have in sri lanka because we
6:36 pm
are a small country small population and the harmony and peace is of critically important for us more than anyone else but it has to evolve within us no one can force a consolation yet lets you say you want to hear wounds and you want reconciliation but let's take the un's charge of you marginalizing minorities one of the worst examples has been your instruction to cremate the bodies of covert victims something that you knew would be deeply hurtful to your muslim community and other minorities you've now retracted this order but you claimed in a recent interview that you simply follow the science and the world health organization had originally instructed all covert bodies should be cremated that statement of yours was completely untrue wasn't it they never said anything of the kind. well if you look at the world health organization in need they're sent
6:37 pm
cremation of all call in body as it is they are of course they haven't they no they didn't mr secretary they did not get what one state what date was that when they could have that out but i will come back to you on this and then lead grounded change that to katie the burial is permitted and now that question is behind us a team we have buried $69.00 i know you are you change the subject but you told them you made a statement that was blatantly false since march last year the w.h.o. made it clear that the burial of covert victims was perfectly acceptable its statement called it a common myth that persons who have died of communicable disease should be cremated but this is not true commission as a matter of cultural choice and available resources to data there is no evidence of persons having become infected from exposure to the bodies of covert $900.00 victims that was march 20th last year but you ignored all that and your government
6:38 pm
kept on ordering the cremation of covert victims despite knowing that this would cause untold pain and distress so your excuse for the world health organization said this falls apart it just simply doesn't conform to the facts mr secretary well it must never a political decision it was always a health and science decision only thing years we did fight against the decision to change that back but it took some time and we do understand that past not the best thing to do we didn't hurt the sentiments of a population our community in sri lanka that is not the best thing we could do yes we do understand i'm not arguing against that but now we have corrected it and we have moved on 69 bodies have already been buried and now it's behind us we took time. talking of marginalizing minorities it turns out that your own president has indulged in some pretty inflammatory rhetoric over the last year hasn't it on november the 18th he talked about legitimate fears that the sinhala race religion
6:39 pm
national resources and the heritage would be threatened with destruction in the face of various local and foreign forces and ideologues that support separatism extremism and terrorism this was a clear dog whistle to his supporters to be on their guard against muslims and other minorities wasn't this wasn't a call for national unity he was blatantly pressing the fear button knowing full well that it would stop the kind of discrimination and disharmony that you claim to be fighting. team you wait and see there is a lot of evidence surfacing regarding the easter bombing easter bombing was the single most devastating act of terrorism which took place in this country nearly 270 christiana's foreigners and 3 hotels and 3 churches were bombed by the extremist you wait and see the end i was 19 that was 2019 and everybody everybody admits there's no argument there that this was
6:40 pm
a terrible attack i'm talking about what your president said november the 18th last year stoking the fires of into communal hatred as i said this wasn't a bell for the last no unity he was pressing the fear button telling people to be afraid of the minorities quite clear from what he said. thing in the same statement i fail remember right he made it very clear that he is the president for all with destruction but. it's been president for the last 5600 years from time to time yes it does mean yell and that you know more and more fearful of minorities let's lower your holiday let's look at your anti terrorism regulations which of so upset the u.n. and human rights groups the international commission of jurists has consistently called for the repeal of this that which is being used it says to arbitrarily detained suspects for months and often years without charge or trial why do you
6:41 pm
keep such repressive laws in place. team from 2015 to 2019 there was a discussion of a counter-terrorism bill the unity government which was formed by some of the main 2 political parties with the support of e.u. with the support of us and other countries drafted the counter-terrorism proposal that is the new act but they could not just do it right so there are issues in our p.t.a. we do accept that we need to revisit our p.d. if we do our sense that this long term and i mean the way you are sending your time on on revisiting it you said that sri lanka has a very democratic regime no repression whatsoever these are your words but your anti terrorist laws make a nonsense of that what place does arbitrary detention without charge or
6:42 pm
trial have in a democratic country if that's what you are that's what you claim to be this is why i said we need to revisit the prevention of terrorism act and we need to draw lessons from the best practices internationally and we are going to do that given time only while you're passing your passing new repressive legislation march the 12th this year your so called the radicalization regulations these allow for arbitrary administrative detention of people for up to 2 years without trial this is a whole mark of repression arbitrary detention without trial you say you're working on it you keep passing new regulations that are just as repressive as the old ones . well imagine the situation if we did not have the pedia after the 19001000 is the bombing we would not have been able to do anything in this country it would have been a chaos maybe somebody wanted our country to make our chaotic so i am seeing the
6:43 pm
p.d. here is in the in the topic of discussion and we are determined to revisit and we have. a minute and also the long term detainees we need to find a solution to that we do agree that it is wrong if i would charge to keep someone for a very long period president already given that it is for the attorney general to find a solution to this when meanwhile these regulations are in blatant violation of your international legal obligations and they violate article 13 of the surrey lankan constitution do you know what that article says. well i don't have a copy right now but what it says if i remind you is that it guarantees freedom from arbitrary ringback arrest detention and punishment so you're so ranking your own constitution with these new regulations that you can but i'm happy to. have you doesn't come here to me in the beginning i requested you this very for another few
6:44 pm
weeks and you will come out i mean we are in this to get 1st will come out with the real picture and then the whole world will leave what has gone underneath we have only seen the tip of the iceberg on the is the bombing but there is a whole heap of things that has happened before that and it is happening even now so things will come out in due course and yes. we will see but there will be new legislation introduced to the country for the protection of human dignity or the shore cell how many 3 volume of that would that would that would make a change wouldn't because let's look at the you know the way you've been handling trials and commissions the main reason the human rights council voted against you was that you've disrupted and impeded efforts to bring justice and accountability for all sides in the civil war that's the u.n. saying that they accuse you of him in trenching impunity for grave human rights
6:45 pm
violations and abuses by all sides this is not one of the hallmarks of your state is a nerd. well it has nothing to do as you say because if you remember if you recall from 2009 to 2015 there were 3 commissions appointed to find out the way forward but unfortunately after 2015 none of these commissions could continue function and now the president has appointed a commission of inquiry with the supreme court judge maintaining in mississippi vallance mean change gender balance in order to find answers to whether there are any issues to guiding accountability whether there are any issues regarding missing person so give us time we need we have given them a time behind him in the box you've had time to disrupt and impede the existing judicial processes this obstruction says the u.n. has taken the form of actually arresting some of the war crimes investigators and threatening others the u.n.
6:46 pm
said one former chief of the criminal investigation division who led investigations into several key human rights cases was himself arrested and another nation for silver from the same division had to leave sri lanka because of threats immediately after the last presidential election and you tell me that's the way a democracy which you claim to have pursues justice doesn't look like it does. well everything is in the media everything is in front of the commission a police inspector can leave for another country without taking up less than 12 hours it doesn't have to be stressing this particular. we want you for our number one who says he was threatened you must not be part of a conspiracy all these things well and they will probably give me lots of money to do these all these no no no you don't know that mr secretary that's that's a sign i'm saying that inquiries are coming out all these things that is why i said it will come out with the talk in china in january last year your presidential
6:47 pm
commission investigating so-called political victimization of public officials began intervening to halt prosecutions including those of 2 former navy officers charged in relation to the disappearance of 11 people in 20082009 this intervening in judicial proceedings doesn't inspire public confidence does it so also this commission has intervened in favor of military intelligence officers interfered in other trials including by withholding documentary evidence threatening prosecutors with legal action running parallel and contradictory examinations all these are accusations by the united nations in other words you've been destroying any chance of a proper trial and bring proper accountability you've allowed suspects to go free you're not interested. in i will not comment on a presidential commission and that matter before the court in the country they
6:48 pm
support me send against me sense well i'm not in a position to comment on anything on that presidential commission on political big station because it is a matter before the courts. well you may not want to comment on that the fact is that you have been freeing guilty people in march last year the president pardoned a soldier convicted of massacring 8 civilians including children human rights watch said it showed your government's disregard for justice for the worst abuses mr secretary you pardon child killers the other no limits to which you won't sink you a child killer convicted child killer gets a presidential power pardon what kind of a country living in well team do you know that 1500 ex econ beckons for pardon similarly without any trial did you know that the you know
6:49 pm
459 child soldiers as young as 10 were not even considered as veterans but considered as victims of war and sent back to school to study with books and school bags and shoes right so we have done both so i can't argue i can't comment on a decision made by the president to pardon a person and the devious regime also pardon e.t.a. hardcore terrorists so these are things happening so it is not like route i'm i come back to this you proud of living in a country where child killers are get presidential pardons you can't sing well i don't imagine you're not you're not holding your own forces accountable the message that that sends to your armed forces is basically you can get away with anything can't you if you can kill hills and if you don't kill children in cold blood you can get away with anything it is never like that we will never pardon anyone who is doing something wrong and the president is determined to make things right and make
6:50 pm
someone accountable if a person has done anything wrong against the law president will never ever. the side of a criminal never ever not just give him a presidential pardon mr secretary your civil war. presidential pardons are there in the world now we're not talking about the rest of the world we're talking about sri lanka and about my why why you only see longer why you need you talk about one person well because then you don't represent our eyes of the world and talk to the rest of the world about what they do i mean talking to you about censoring lanka does hypocrisy i mean you are talking about one person may not be saying it's asking you to account for the actions of your government it's in symbolism like this one person and we help our bells and 500. mr secretary your civil war may have ended more than 12 years ago but since your government isn't interested in accountability thousands of family members from all communities are still seeking justice and truth about the fate of their loved ones and your response to date has
6:51 pm
been to send state agents to harass and intimidate human rights defenders lawyers journalists social actors and victims of human rights abuses how does how hopeful is that to your declared aim of bringing reconciliation and the counter ability to your country how helpful that is of of missing person established according to in the last one in 2015 and this of peace is empowered appointments made by that area locations given given action plan is requested and they have to produce the size as the harassment i'm asking about the harassment your police. your police have continually harris to a member of the adversary advocacy group mothers of the disappeared one of them whose son was disappeared in 2009 told human rights watch that officers of the criminal investigation department continually questioned her about who's going to
6:52 pm
meetings who's going to give testimony in geneva what are they going to say what business is that of your criminal investigation division. well if there is a issue with a person they can always complain to the police and they can see from the judiciary and our judiciary is very independent and in this talk all areas is mostly it is they are all natives who are the judges so this is these are only accusations very conveniently made without any substance why don't they make a complaint to the police where they can make a complaint to the president they can make a complaint to the inspector general of police and they can make do the senate proceedings without doing that you just complain and then you mentioned about human rights defenders we know most of the human great defenders are receiving money from the west and we know the bank accounts we know how much money has come and gone so these are not born of being the human brain defenders they are playing to the sound none of them you've just smeared the whole lot of them in one sentence is that
6:53 pm
really what you want to do you don't have a lot of times to smear and smear a whole raft of your society defending human rights. we are very much interested in human great nor one else is interested in human race than sri lankans and sri lanka that is a fact no i'm easily impressed and about human race and be conservation down sri lankans in sri lanka where not only is your human rights record is criticize you deny everything mr secretary the u.n. insists that you address these criticisms some of which we've talked about during this interview and it also holds out the threat that member states might start applying targeted sanctions asset freezes and travel bans against your state officials and others credibly alleged to have been involved in human rights violations are you ready for that. well you know if individual countries have a separate agenda not necessarily human race but using human rights are some happen
6:54 pm
with these very little we can do but let's wait and see i mean we also have support from a large number of countries it was evident in the human rights commission proceedings in the beginning when the report was submitted 21 countries spoke against the human rights commission nurse report and in the proceeding discussions there were a lot of opposition to this of course the warning they got 22 but even they got one word less than the last time and 14 and there were a large number of absentees that is 14 so this world is divided so you are i mean some very very very quickly as we're running out of time are you going to take note of these criticisms or are you going to stick to your blanket denials which no one believes where the yes on a or not we are going to continue in the play just that we have made to the international community to find answers or a concierge and missing persons we are going and accountability we are going to
6:55 pm
find our ancestors through a domestic mckenney some as quickly as we can we do shed of it from the responsibility to the international community more than that to the ok we love this country we've run out of time john on earth column by again thank you very much for being on conflict zone. thank you.
6:56 pm
what's going on here. house of your very own summer printer. computer games that are killing. my dog needs electricity.
6:57 pm
explosions delivers facts. what the future holds. living in the digital world. minutes on d.w. . they shared one dream to start a new life for young migrants in sicily to face if they like the living hell was good in which they took they what i went through. it's not really want to you know in that way to give you 25 good old us of i believe that you cannot survive on that coming here to call me or you are drawing from the oak you are only for the change you fall for got the 77 percent of you living in 30 minutes on d w. 4.
6:58 pm
every journey begins with the 1st step and every language but the 1st word published in the book. rico is in germany to learn german and why not i'm with him it's simple online on your mobile and free to sap d w z learning course nikos fake german made easy. good. all the more. current. big crozier of war isn't love. em will swallow smaller. news poll workers will say. there's no use no love over for a book which. doesn't mean your workers are
6:59 pm
burger. a chance. saloon. bar currents. this is deja vu news live from berlin germany's president tells people to pull together as the nation spends its 2nd easter under coronavirus restrictions we're not pandemic world champions but we're not sinatra fadia we in the federal republic
7:00 pm
of germany with me often have on doubts but there's plenty we're capable of to talk capabilities not talked out which facts are now. and thousands of coronavirus skeptics rally in the german city of stuttgart so far the gathering of the so-called.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on