NAVI PILLAY – Israel & Sri Lanka


“Israeli campaign in Germany blocks award to Navi Pillay” by Barbara Crossette is of particular interest to Sri Lanka for several reasons. It shows how powerful nations like Israel can exert diplomatic power & remove an award, while it also highlights how less powerful nations like Sri Lanka face the brunt of biased UN officials manipulating the UN system. Where do we draw the line?

Navi Pillay was to receive an award by the UN Association of Germany for her work on human rights & international criminal law. She didn’t receive the award because Israel contested it and prevented it.


Israel accused Pillay of being critical of Israel.

She had headed a 3 member Independent International Commission of Inquiry created by the UNHRC on Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territory.


If it is alright for Israel to accuse Navi Pillay of being part of the Boycott Divestment-Sanctions movement (a Palestinian initiative to undercut Israeli economy) why is it taboo for Sri Lanka to accuse Pillay of siding with pro-LTTE fronts?


While we do not wish to contest or contradict Israel’s allegations against Navi Pillay, we need to raise a difference in reactions to this decision by the so-called international community.


While Israel raised objections, Pillay was denied the award.

When Sri Lanka raised objections against Pillay, Sri Lanka was reprimanded for doing so. Why is Israel treated differently & why is Sri Lanka treated differently with regard to the same person?


The HRC is not part of the UN organization nor is it under the control of the UN Secretary General. It functions as an independent body since 2005-2006 after replacing the discredited Human Rights Commission. The HR Council is no less controversial than the HR Commission.


HR Council has 47 member states nominated regionally by govts with the presidency rotating as per UN geographic blocs.


The Commission of Inquiry on Israel & occupied Palestine was an inquiry by the HR Council.

This is a stark difference to the PESONALLY commissioned Panel of Experts appointed by the UN Secretary General on Sri Lanka. The difference must be noted given that HRC is not under control of the UN Secretary General while this report was not a HRC Commissioned Panel (as the Israel CoI)


All it took was a report in a German tabloid, Israel’s envoy to Germany calling the Berlin Mayor to call off the ceremony & even banned the use of the Community Hall for the ceremony, a week before the award was to be given.


Sri Lanka has been highlighting the controversial decisions and actions by Pillay since she took office as OHCHR Head, which have all fallen on deaf ears.

The legality of the resolutions against Sri Lanka based on a personally commissioned report is one of the key arguments that the UN system has evaded responding to. Moreover, Pillay being a Tamil, should have recused herself from handling Sri Lanka given that the so-called grievances being drummed by Tamils took centre stage. What is more alarming is that Pillay upon retirement has been a frequent invitee to pro-LTTE terrorist events & her statements thereafter negate or contradict what she made officially. Her new stand only reconfirms the allegations of bias against her stand on Sri Lanka while in office. Open Letter to UN: former UNHRC head Navi Pillay’s bias exposed – Investigate her role as UNHRC head & remove bogus charges against Sri Lanka. While she speaks on Tamil grievances has she uttered or highlighted the sufferings of Sinhalese or Muslims in Sri Lanka by LTTE violence! 2013 report by OHCHR head Navi Pillay on Sri Lanka Navi Pillay can meet LTTE Mahaveer widow but not families of civilians killed by LTTE

Retirement opportunities against Sri Lanka – Stephen Rapp – Ramsey Clark – Yasmin Sooka – Navi Pillay


Now that Israel has raised objections to Pillay, it is a good time for the UN & OHCHR/HRC to relook at their stand on Sri Lanka from the point of time Pillay took office and went on a personal crusade against Sri Lanka. It is time a proper investigation is launched into the legalities of all the actions taken against Sri Lanka from 2010 onwards.





Shenali D Waduge

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