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tv   Corona Spezial  Deutsche Welle  April 2, 2021 12:30am-1:01am CEST

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coronavirus a. special one day to run on. every question you start out by you know it's not easy to go to another country you know nothing about why they do this because we can't stay here and it's when i got on the subway that. cost. was that matters. made for mind. if i was part of a on speed and see all these things well planned you don't know that you proud of living in a country where child killers all get presidential pardons been delivered our group anyone who is doing something wrong the government of sri lanka has been strongly criticized of the un human rights council which warns of a deteriorating situation in the country the erosion of judicial independence and the increased marginalize ancient minorities my guest this week is john
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a column by secretary to sri lanka's foreign ministry is there any chance at all that his government will take the criticism seriously and finally do something about them. jai and off colombia 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 mandating 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
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that. well tim let me say the world war ended 78 years later. and we still see the residual effects on the environment on the physical things and the good friday agreement was in 1998 and there are 116 wars which which is called peace was still we're not talking about this novel all and 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 a war for one more one generation and it takes time to heal a completely war any positive us state in 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
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a human shield where we integrate and resettle into the community well also i understand i understand mr secretary but your your foreign minister has 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 that are 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. well we have seen
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this document prepared by the human rights commission and that's ok but you know there had been 5 i mean from 201220132 those and 14 and now 2 of those 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 breakup council and then that is fair if i only child should be held to a country or actions isn't it mr secretary i don't know what your father is one of your foreign minister called the accusations force and complained of our 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 vote to prove it to him who are these 40 countries and if i countries are in your wrong right then outside the europeans canada and
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america england malawi and solomon marshall islands so $35.00 countries got together and make this unsubstantiated accusations allegations so this is nothing to do with the human race in sri lanka also the so that automatically 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. i look at what 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 are you how 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 other country or entity is more interested than sri
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lanka to find a lasting solution to the residue will issues that we have in sri lanka because we 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 conciliation. 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 museum community and other minorities you've now retracted this order but you claimed in a recent interview that you simply followed the science on the world health organization had originally instructed all covert bodies should be cremated that
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statement of yours was completely untrue wasn't it never said anything of the kind . well if you look at the earth health organization there said cremation of all call in body as it is they are of course they haven't they didn't mr secretary they did not get what was 8 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 create either the burial is permitted and now the question is behind our scheme we have buried $69.00 eyes or 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 date and there is no evidence of persons having become infected from exposure to the bodies of covert
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900 victims that was march 20th last year but you ignored all that and your government 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 was never a political decision it was always a health and science decision only thing years we'd get 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 did 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
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november the 18th he talked about legitimate fears that the sinhala race religion 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 eastern one being easter bombing was the single most devastating act of terrorism which took place in this country nearly 270 christiana's foreigners and the hotels and the churches were bombed by the
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extremist you wait and see there was going to be 19 that was 2019 and everybody everybody admits there's no argument there that this was 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 well 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. being in the same state mon i fail remember right he made it very clear that he is the president for all communities all people in this country although he was elected by the single a majority so you take one portion of that and argue but i can argue back it is not but the president meant president has been very focused on maintaining our money but on the back of the elections one of the said mr secretary whether or not many did it it's what he said it's exactly what he said he said i am the president and i
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am the president for all people of this country so there was not an occasion in that culture you know everybody what it was contradicted by what he said about national resources and heritage sent her heritage will be threatened with destruction but. it's been pregnant for the last 5600 years from time to time yes it does mean yellow not even more and more fearful of minorities let's lower your quality let's look at your anti terrorism regulations which of so upset the un and human rights groups the international commission of jurists has consistently called for the repeal of this act which has been used it says to arbitrarily detained suspects for months and often years without charge or trial why do you keep such repressive laws in place. team from 2015 to 2019 there was a discussion of
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a counter-terrorism bill the unity government with 1st formed by coalition of the main 2 political parties with the support of e.u. with the support of us and other countries drafted the counterterrorism 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 i said that this long and i mean given your 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 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
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lessons from the best practices internationally and we are going to do that believe internally 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 p.d. here is in the in the topic of discussion and we are determined to revisit and we are determined to amend and also the long term detainees we need to find
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a solution for that we do agree that it is wrong it out charge to keep someone for a very long period president already given that it is through 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 arrest detention and punishment so you're wrecking your own constitution with these new regulations which you can buy. doesn't come here in the beginning i requested you please vet for another few weeks and you will come out i mean we are in this to get us will come out with the real picture and then the whole world will agree what has gone underneath we have only seen the tip of
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the iceberg one that is the bombing but there is a whole heap of things this has happened before that and it is happening even now so things will come out in due course and just p.t. if we will really see but there we be new legislation introduced to the country for the protection of human dignity for the short sale how many feet of yours that would that would that would make a change wouldn't because let's look at you know the way you've been handling trials and commissions the main reason for 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 violations and abuses by all sides this is now one of the hallmarks of your state isn't it. well it has nothing to do as you say because if you remember if you
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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 a balance. gender balance in order to find answers to whether there are any issues to guiding accountability and that there are any issues regarding missing persons so give us time the need we have given them a time we haven't even then once 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. 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
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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 picking up in less than 12 hours it doesn't have to be stressing this particular. we want is our number one who says he was threatened you must not be part of a conspiracy all these 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 when the in china in january last year your presidential commission investigating so-called political victimization of public officials began intervening to halt prosecutions including those of 2 former navy officers
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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 people in the court in the country they support the senate against that sense well i'm not in a position to comment on anything on that presidential commission on political be the right solution because it is
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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 country living in well team do you know that 1500 x. econ beckons for pardon similarly without any trial did you know that the you know 459 child soldiers as young as 10 were not even considered as americans by considered as victims of war and sent back to school to study with books and school
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bags and shoes right so we have done both right so i can't argue i can't comment on a decision made by the president to pardon a person and the b.b.'s regime also pardon me hard core terrorists so these are things happening so it is not only life or out 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 innocent 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 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
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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 if 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 is 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 as simple as that is just one person and we help our with bells and a 100. 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 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
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bringing reconciliation and the counter ability to your country how helpful that is of of missing person established according to this last one in 2015 and this of peace is empowered appointments made by dint of the locations given given an action plan is requested and they help reduce the size and not only about the harassment i'm asking you about the harassment your police. your police have continually harris the 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 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 an issue with
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a person they can always complain to the police and they can see progress from the judiciary and our judiciary is very independent and in this talk all areas is mostly it is they're 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 again the law police and the enemy judicially proceeding 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 the day human great defenders they are playing to the sound none of them you've just smeared the whole lot of them in one sentence is that 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
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interested in human great nor one else is interested in human rights than sri lankans and sri lanka that is a fact no uneasiness president about human race and we conceive years and then 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 separate and there's 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
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proceedings in the beginning when the report was submitted 21 countries spoke against the human rights commission us 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 they have a large number of absentees that is 14 so this world is divided so you are coming from 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 in consultation missing persons we are going to an accountability we are going to find answers through a domestic mckenney some as quickly as we can be said of him from the responsibility to the international community more than that to the ok well of this
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country we've run out of time john f. column by again thank you very much for being on conflict zone. thank you. thanks.
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now. to make. up for. on t.w. . more than a 1000 years ago europe witnesses a huge construction boom. christianity from established itself. both religious and secular leaders or eager to display their power. pushing race begins. who can create the tallest biggest and most beautiful structures. stonemasons builders and architects can keep up with each other. this is how massive churches are created. a.
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contest of the cathedrals. all 12 on t.w. . good on what it is you know i mean in your monotonous he. almost. goes over my dance scene to call me up i'm a seen us all up with out about a. vision of getting. it on what it. 'd this you know i mean when you're not in the scene crying you know. sort of a moment tonight is. what i'm focused on the material but i'm with what it took and i said i know what it's a time. this you know i mean in your mind not a single one you are getting in when you cry i don't want to. me number and unanimous. the show could oh. yes it said. i shouldn't quote i've only said that i thought going on with her being fun to. conceive
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because as if to say i said. this is a doubly nice lie from berlin the u.n. strongly condemns military violence in myanmar security council members cite bad think the concerns of the rapidly deteriorating situation as the army continues to ramp up its deadly crackdown on anti true protests also coming up u.s. president joe biden unveils his new cabinet saying his team looks like america will go by 12 washington correspondent for all the details on who has made it to the
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table. and of the coming back same skepticism african.

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