By: Pramod Thomas
THE UN human rights office said last Thursday (2) that any submissions made by representatives of the so-called “United States of Kailasa (USK)”, founded by Indian fugitive Nithyananda, at its recent public meetings in Geneva were “irrelevant” and will not be considered in the final outcome drafts.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) confirmed the participation of the so-called “USK representatives” at two of its public meetings in February. Registration to attend the event was open to everyone.
However, the OHCHR said USK representatives were prevented from distributing promotional material and their “tangential” speech was not taken into consideration.
Videos and images showed a USK representative speaking on behalf of the fictional state on “indigenous rights and sustainable development” at one of the events went viral on social media. The two events were held on February 22 and 24.
“Registration for such public events is open to NGOs and the general public. Anyone can submit information to the treaty bodies, who will use their judgment to determine the credibility of the submissions received,” an OHCHR spokesperson said.
“On 24 February, at the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)’s general discussion, when the floor was opened to the public, a USK representative spoke briefly.
“As the focus of the statement was tangential to the topic at hand, it will not be taken into consideration by the committee in the formulation of the general comment,” the spokesperson added.
There was no immediate comment from India’s permanent mission in Geneva.
However, India’s former Permanent Representative at UN, TS Tirumurti, described it as a “complete abuse” of UN procedures.
“It’s a complete abuse of UN procedures to have representatives of an organisation run by a fugitive from law address the UN as NGOs or otherwise. India has been consistent in calling for a robust process to ensure that only credible NGOs get accredited. However, this call has not been heeded to,” he said.
“While NGOs continue to have an important say in a range of global issues, we need to preserve the integrity of the UN, which is a member State driven organisation,” the former diplomat added.
Vijayapriya Nithyananda, who claimed to be “the permanent ambassador of (so-called) the United States of Kailasa”, can be seen making her intervention in videos from the event and has triggered questions over the group’s involvement at sessions addressed by former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard and other human rights experts.
Nithyananda, a self-proclaimed ‘guru’, is wanted in India on several charges of rape and sexual assault – allegations he denies. He claims to have founded the “United States of Kailasa (USK)” in 2019 and according to its website, counts “two billion practising Hindus” among its population.