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We must implement comprehensive action program that is not restricted to conditions laid down in UNHRC Resolution only

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By Victor Ivan

It is correct for Sri Lanka to express its protest against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution against Sri Lanka. Yet, the government had apparently failed to mobilize the protest move in a manner conducive to safeguarding the dignity of the country.

The government’s approach has resulted in causing considerable damage to the good image of the country. The heated debate that was launched against the decision of the UNHRC was eventually brought to a climax with the Minister Mervin Silva suddenly entering the limelight assuming the anchor role of the protest move.

The sentiments generated in the world community by the public utterances made by the Minister Mervin Silva claiming the responsibility for the assault on Poddala Jayantha that forced the latter to flee the country and his assertion that he would not hesitate to punish even others who made representations at the UNHRC against Sri Lanka can in no way be considered beneficial to the country. These utterances no doubt have portrayed uncivilized imageries about Sri Lanka in the minds of the international community.

Similarly, there is no possible justification for a team of Sri Lankan human rights activists to testify before the UNHRC supporting the alleged human rights allegations against Sri Lanka, particularly when the human rights issue has become a crucial issue which may have deeper and more far reaching repercussions on the future of the country.

Yet, the policy adopted by certain TV channels controlled by the government targeting these activists has been extremely unreasonable. It created a fertile ground to provoke these activists. The verbal assaults on them were conducive to kindling hatred in them. Obviously, the injurious criticisms levelled against them would not have contributed to create a good feeling about the country in the minds of the listeners, particularly when this process entered the arena of world news

The clarification of the government’s policy in regard to the Resolution that was adopted by the UNHRC now remains most significant and crucial. In the immediate aftermath of the adoption of the Resolution, the reactions of the government leaders were hostile and emotional; this trend now seems to be slowly changing. They appear to be returning to their proper senses and viewing it more objectively.

We must not forget that it might lead to a great catastrophe unless the situation is reviewed calmly and objectively and bring the emotional reactions under control. Failure to manage this crisis appropriately might even result in the country being thrust into an enormous blood bath again at some point of time.

It might even create a situation which is conducive to dividing the country in the absence of a Prabhakaran. If Sri Lanka fails to adopt an intelligent and diplomatic approach on this issue, the country might ironically be confronted not with the Western countries led by the USA, but by its immediate neighbour, India which is emerging as super power in addition to being the regional power

The foreign policy of the present government seems to be based on the assumption that the balance of power is currently shifting to the advantage of an alternate camp led by China and to the disadvantage of the Western camp which is led by the USA. In the circumstance, it can be presumed that certain theoreticians who are close to the ruling party may have ingested the Rajapakse government with the notion that there was no need for Sri Lanka to maintain a close cooperation with the Western power bloc led by the USA. There may be some truth in this proposition which appears to be revolutionary in its approach. But viewed from a holistic angle it cannot be treated as being a correct approach.

Despite there being an element of truth in the assertion that there has been a relapse in the strength of the western power bloc led by the USA, it cannot, however, be presumed that there would be a rapid change in the balance of power soon. On the other hand, this approach emphasizes China as the only alternate power that is emerging; it has completely ignored the importance of India in this process. In the present context, it is a fact that China is extremely powerful.

Similarly, India has also entered into the path of acquiring the status of being a super power. In this power contest between China and India, India appears to be acquiring more benefits that surpass those of China.

Though China remains the most populated country at present, the future population forecasts predict that India will surpass China in the next three decades and become the most populated country in the world. Further, at the end of the next two decades, the demographic character of the two countries will change drastically with China having a larger share of elderly population and India representing a larger share of the younger population.

In view of the fact that China has invested its surplus gains in the USA and the Western countries, any likely depression in the West will inevitably have a destructive impact on China. China is primarily involved in producing goods for foreign markets while India is still more engaged in producing goods mainly for its domestic market than for exports. India therefore, has a greater potential for endurance in the event of an economic slump than China.

Moreover, India has a strong democratic system of government which is flexible and capable of facing any internal crisis. On the contrary, China has a communist dictatorship based on coercion and arbitrary force of power. In proportion to the increase in the per capita income in China, the aspirations of the Chinese people in acquiring democratic rights too, might go up. Under those circumstances, the political unrest that is likely occur at any point of time can prove to be an important factor undermining the political stability of China.

There is another important consideration that we must not overlook; in the event of a shift in the world power that is at present being held by the USA and its Western allies, it is more likely that they would cooperate more with India than with China. This is because India, more or less shares the same or similar values that the USA and the Western countries uphold. In managing the present crisis, Sri Lanka obviously has failed to recognize this fact in its correct perspective and the position that India enjoys in a likely shift of balance of world power.

This does not imply that Sri Lanka should get closer to India abandoning China which has always extended its support to us. Instead, we must give due recognition to the importance of the Indian factor and adopt a balanced policy of reinforcing Indo-Lanka ties whilst at the same time retaining the relations that we have developed with China. As a country, we must take cognizance of the fact that we are compelled to live at the edge of India and not that of China. On the other hand, we must not overlook the fact that there is an ethnic community living in Sri Lanka, about which South India is extremely sensitive.

The geographical location of Sri Lanka is an important factor that aggravated the crisis the country is faced with. It is located on a major sea route of strategic importance. It is because of these factors that Sri Lanka has become a specific focus in the context of international geo- politics. Sea freight constitutes a major share of the international goods transportation today. Obviously, Sri Lanka does not seem to have given due consideration to these factors in formulating its foreign policy.

As a country, there is no need for us to stoop down before any force, however powerful it may be. Yet, we must be mindful of our limits when we attach importance to ourselves and in our dealings with the other countries. If we forget our limits, invariably we may end up in a situation analogous to what happened to the frog which bloated itself out of proportion. We must bear in mind that we do not have the strength to defeat the world powers just because we have been able to defeat Prabhakaran.

National Sovereignty is a political concept to which we attach utmost importance. It implies the authority that the state enjoys in managing its affairs both internal and external. It embraces the discretion and the right of the state in determining the affairs of every sphere of governanance which include political affairs, formulation of laws, social organization, system of governance, economic development, foreign trade and foreign affairs in a manner as it thinks fit and without being subjected to and dictated to by any foreign authority.

However, the national sovereignty of a country is not an absolute notion. It is a relative issue. The world consists of not just one country; it is a conglomeration of hundreds of independent countries. Just as much as the group impacts on restricting the individual freedom within permissible limits, the conglomeration of national states equally impacts on limiting the sovereignty of the national states.

Sri Lanka is an independent and sovereign country. But at the same time it has to forego its sovereignty to a certain degree by virtue of being a member country of the UN. This is not a situation unique to Sri Lanka only. It is an inherent situation shared by all nations which are members of the UN. Though we have a right to manage our national affairs at our discretion, we are at the same time legally bound by international law to abide by the agreements that we have entered into with the UN in managing these affairs and safeguarding certain morals and ethical standards.

The UN is not an infallible institution. There are many instances where it has not delivered justice fairly and equally for its members alike. There were several occasions where it had adopted a dual policy, one favouring the powerful countries and one discriminating against the weaker nations. Yet, merely because of these drawbacks in the system, we cannot afford to ignore its authority. We do not have the ability to do so. We cannot afford to resign from the UN and maintain an isolated existence. We must take due cognizance of these realities while addressing the present crisis that the country is compelled to face.

Of the various agreements Sri Lanka has entered into with the UN, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights can be described as being the most important and powerful commitment. It is concerned with the policies to be complied with by Sri Lanka as a member country in respect of the rights of the people living in the country. It safeguards the right of the people of the member countries to live, right to be free from slavery, equality before the law, right to a fair trial, right to assembly, right to travel, right to privacy, right to be prevented from arbitrary arrest and right to expression

It is natural that the world powers were surprised to see the total defeat of the LTTE which remained a ruthless terrorist outfit of the first order, by the security forces of Sri Lanka. The pro LTTE Tamil Diaspora was shocked to see this unexpected defeat. It is also natural for the international community to look at the government of Sri Lanka and its security forces with a certain element of suspicion

The government of Sri Lanka and its security forces won this war keeping them to acceptable civilized norms of warfare. Obviously, it was not pursued beyond the object of defeating terrorism. It was never turned into a campaign of taking revenge against the Tamil people. There might have been isolated incidents of excesses on the part of the security forces, but the volume of such errors was rather negligible compared to the magnitude and enormity of the war.

The most important thing has been that the USA had followed the last phase of the war through satellite technology. Despite the government successfully defeating the LTTE through a military offensive, it did not have an effective strategy to counter allegations which were likely to be raised by international circles through respective committees of the UN or the General Assembly. In these circumstance, one could argue that an assessment of the damages caused by the war should have been made. However, what the UNHRC has done to Sri Lanka cannot be justified since the war it self was not illegal.

The government obviously has failed to fulfil this requirement. In the modern world, it is natural for the international circles to raise questions whenever a war is concluded in any part of the world. Specially, it was not unnatural for the Tamil Diaspora which is extremely strong, active and sympathetic towards the LTTE to raise issues in this respect. The government was unable to foresee this threat and launch an effective and practical propaganda campaign to face the situation.

It is also natural for the UN to raise questions in this regard. We should not have been oblivious to the fact that the UN constitutes the main body of international governance. The government should have adopted diplomatic and logical approaches in responding to the questions raised by the UN rather than letting emotions and anger hold sway. But what Sri Lanka has done is the exact opposite of that.

Soon after the war came to an end, the pro LTTE Tamil Diaspora and some Western countries made serious allegations against Sri Lanka. A large section of the world community viewed them with a sympathetic eye on Sri Lanka. In 2009, when the pro LTTE alliance demanded the UNHRC to appoint an international commission against Sri Lanka, 32 member countries (62 percent) out of 47 members of the UNHRC came out in support of Sri Lanka to defeat the demand.

However, Sri Lanka was unable to consolidate and strengthen this positive international support which it mustered in 2009 to its advantage. Instead of adopting a consistent policy of enlightening the friendly countries and consolidating their alliances, the government abandoned the campaign completely until the US brought up the Resolution once again in 2012. By that time the horse had already left the stable.

It is a fallacy to say that Sri Lanka was defeated by only one vote. 24 countries voted for the Resolution proposed by the US while only 15 countries voted against it. 8 countries abstained from voting. From 2009 to 2012 Sri Lanka had lost 17 votes. This reflects that there has been a significant drop in the number of countries that were supportive to Sri Lanka. We have desperately failed to retain the favourable position that we commanded in 2009.

This pathetic situation is a direct consequence of the inability of Sri Lanka to adopt a proper vision or an organized campaign subsequent to the defeat of the LTTE to face the propaganda war that was launched in the international arena by the LTTE sympathizers. For this the Government in general and both the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Ministry should be held responsible.

Adopting a pragmatic approach in responding to allegations and pursuing arguments and dialogues with the UN in a spirit of diplomacy remains the main responsibility of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yet, it did not adopt a policy that would have resolved this issue amicably. Instead, the policy adopted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and his Ministry has aggravated the problem beyond its legitimate proportions.

In fact, we must appreciate that the Ministry of Defence accomplished its duties and responsibilities well when the military offensive was launched against the LTTE. On the contrary, the Minister of Foreign Affairs has failed to perform his duties and responsibilities satisfactorily in confronting the propaganda war that emerged subsequently, in the international arena with the backing of the western countries. Under the circumstances, despite Sri Lanka being able to win the war against the LTTE led by Prabakaran, it can be presumed that it has lost the propaganda war launched by the Tamil Diaspora sympathetic to the LTTE.

The most important thing that should be borne in mind is that the Resolution proposed by the US against Sri Lanka, remained an American proposal only till March 22 and since then it has ceased to be an American Resolution. Since March 22 it has acquired the status of a UN Resolution. It is no longer an American product but a UN Resolution. Therefore there are three options open to Sri Lanka in this crisis. They are as follows;

1. Reject the Resolution

2. Implement the Resolution

3. Implement a comprehensive program of action without restricting it only to the conditions laid down in the Resolution.

The first option can be described as self destructive and suicidal. It may even lead the country to a blood bath again and even a division of the country in the absence of a Prabhakaran.

There is nothing wrong in the second option. But it lacks creativity. It might appear as something is being done because of the external pressure and not in good faith and genuine concern for resolving the problem.

The third option is conducive to building a new and a strong image for the country. It will take the problem as a whole and offer an inclusive and holistic approach to finding a sustainable and far reaching solutions to many issues rather than finding piecemeal remedies for only certain aspects of it.

It will prove to be a creative approach which is not restricted only to this crisis. Rather it will take both the present political system and the current crisis together as a common program in a bid to reshape and recreate the state of Sri Lanka in a new mould.

Such a programme cannot be implemented only by the government. All opposition parties also should join hands with the government. No one should be excluded and all made stakeholders in this endeavour. In my view, the third option remains the best.

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42 Comments

  1. Well said Victor,

    I am in full agreement with you. We should foster and enourage the moderate tamil leadership and encourage the tamil people to move away from seperatism. This could be done only by doing what you have stated. NBot only that it would be good for the whole country.

  2. Wisdom of Victor Ivan speaks. Is the message RESURRECT APRC ?. Is it really ? May be.

    Why talk about India, China and US and the West. Since 1948 Srilankans had the means to resolve this internal problem among themselves as brothers and sisters. After UNHRC resolution now again leaders are talking about realtionships. They are saying Srilankans and Indians are relatives. Does it means that within Srilanka the different national races are not related ? Only the relationship of the majority of the Srilankans who are related to the majority of the Indian that should matter ? Based on history going along that path will bring more misery in the present day world and South asia can not go forward.

    Victor Ivan going for the third option prompts me to think why not the silent lions who are coalition parterns resurrect APRC with the support of all the parties show that external players whehther they are from the West or east become redundant in the internal affairs of SL.

    All the parties need a kind of Wizard of OZ not from the West or East or neighbour India but from within.

  3. Gone are the days where Govt can do anything independently, 40K+ civilians were killed, evidence is out there, if PhD holders think they can skip this, and save their beloved Army, you are wrong..Any “programme” will have to start by answering this allegation.

  4. If the Rajapakse regime does not implement the LRRC recommendations in a timely and comprehensive manner as suggested here, they will pay for it!
    There will be a boycott of the Commomwealth Heads meet in Lanka in 2013 for which Rajapakse has built up so much national debt on white elephant infrastructure in Hambantota – with Chinese loans.
    The US, India and EU have not yet APPLIED THE ECONOMIC SCREWS on Lanka but they will and can in the future if Rajapakse does not deliver on power sharing with the minorities. They are in a position to do this as Lanka’s largest trade partners. TRADE NOT AID which generated huge debt is the way forward for Lanka.
    The current balance of payments crisis that has triggered the rupee depreciation and affected poor people worst since the purchasing power of the rupee is reduced will see a Arab spring situation in Lanka. Poor people are paying for Rajapakse’s and Cabraal’s extravagance, negligence and policy mistakes.
    The US and EU are Lanka’s largest trade partners and actually help grow the REAL ECONOMY, unlike Chinese aid which has indebted the country and contributed significantly to the current financial crisis which is barely covered by Cabraals spin about 8 percent GDP growth.
    The current economic crisis and unprecendented fall of the rupee (this did not happen even in the worst days of the war years) is the direct result of Rajapkse Bros Inc and Cabraal’s irresponsible running up of debt mainly in the form of Chinese “aid” and loans for Rajapkas’s car races, conspicuous consumption,and white elephant development project in Hambantota which is the cause of the current economic crisis.
    Cabraal should be held accountable and tried. Meanwhile there is a need for a political economic paradigm shift if Lanka is to get itself out of the mess that the under-educated Rajapakse Bros and their Cabinet of goons and fools have got the country into at this time.

  5. We can have an action plan to hoot the national anthem instead of singing it in Sinhala and Tamil. Some thing like Hu hoo – Huhoo hoo hoo

  6. Hello Ivan,
    An article, though with many fallacies and going to boutique for MR writing, is worth to read and dream. Rajapakshas use many lefties, religious leaders, opp. party members, civil servants, diplomats, journos, even Mr. Sambanthan etc etc as “Sand Bags” for floods. You are one of them. Ruling junta is facing a flood cum tsunami right now. MR needs the above propaganda writing. It is sad to see Ivans, Dayans and Wijesinhas (some with questionable Phd’s)sell their souls (If got one) like this manner. Did you hear Ivan, how many made disappeared within last 24 hours? How many state vandelisms and religious desecreations? Any comments on them please Ivan?
    Dimuthu

  7. The problems of Sri Lanka are the consequences of the negative political culture prevalent in the country since it gained independence. Change of Govts. from time to time has only worsened the situation than creating any positive trends. Development of rebellious trends among the youths in the South and emergence of militancy among Tamils youths in the North and East are not trends caused without reasons. Still the main stake-holders in the political process fail to realise this. The flowing of the blood of thousands of valuable life in the country too has not touched the conscience of these stake holders who seek and cherish political power only to take forward their own self-interested agendas. There should be an awakening of the people to completely defeat this people hostile political culture and to pave a new path for the country.

  8. Wow,
    Geneva resolution, Darusman report, LLRC report, APRC report, Party leaders report, 2002 Peace agreement and peace talks agreements, Eminent persons report, Anil Munasinha report, p-tom agreement, Chandrika’s federal agreement, Indo-Lanka agreement, Premadasa peace talks and agreements, and the list continues non stop for last 6 decades. Rajapaksha, Ranil and/or any SL leaders dont want to implement or agree with any provisions of any roprts or agreements.
    Why not pick all provisions from each report, that are agreeable to SL, and implement them. Your “Comprehensive program of action” sounds familiar. Few more commissions and reports, and reports on reports, few more decades, IC and diaspora would give up the call for justice. Writer day dreams. Rajapaksha crumbs are so tastier even Victor Ivan types are lost in licking them. Dont try to sell or promote murderous Pol Pots regime to innocent Sri Lankans. You would be an ultimate looser.
    Meryl

  9. Ravi Perera

    We should foster and enourage the moderate tamil leadership and encourage the tamil people to appease.

    Keep talking until the cows come home, and keep talking again until the cows come home, and keep talking again until the cows come home…………………..

  10. I agree with Dimuthu, Ivan, one time so called leftist now started to whitewash Rajapaksha n co. I wonder how he fogot the pain of getting injury (he lost part of the hand in a battle??. He simply justifing some 30,000 lives are not much bigger. LTTE is only part of the tamil struggle, but it starts much long..

  11. The unfortunate consequence of Sinhala Only is the UNHRC Resolution of 2012.

    It seems very likely that the current inept regime lost in a supremacist miasma will go for the first option mentioned by the author of this article, and the result would be what Colvin R de Silva prophesised at the language debate in Parliament in 1956, the materialisation of ‘two bleeding stumps out of one little state for imperialism to mop up…..”

  12. high time sri lanka wakes up and face reality. we are still a poor country, and we can not work and think like a rich country. abolition of presidency was the very popular slogan put forward by many presidential candidates to win the elections. provincial councils were forced on us by India.

    The sinhalese and tamils need to work together (we can have a panel of mediators and a mature statesman of high standing) discuss, and gradually workout the way forward like any other country. No external power will really assist us, unless we are ready. The UN resolution has happened and we need to turn it as a positive step.

  13. THe solutions are very clear. A section of SriLankas who are tamils want to have a say in their affairs. What is wrong with that. A meaningful federal structure will do that. Treat them well and they will not think of seperation. The major parties have to promote this and not try to gain political mileage out of this – a familiar trend for the last 6 decades.
    China is not SriLanka’s trump card. Remember..if India is pushed into a corner… it willl CONFRONT even China and India will not be alone. It will have the backing of the West. The `playground’ of this confrontation will be on SRILANKAN SOIL.
    The political parties cannot go on with the same game of Deceit. This issue is now on the International Agenda. Take Note.
    Be mature, and think and Act like a Statesmen. Not like a Hambantota Thug. Otherwise….the consequences are terrible.

  14. The author has gone through comprehensively on the UNHRC Resolution as a neutral umpire and gives advice and solution to the Government. It is commendable.

    Unfortunately the author’s neutrality lacks in place where he says that had the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) functioned effectively and won the propaganda war abroad as had the Defense Ministry (DM) functioned and won the LTTE war, the present situation would not have arisen. Has the EAM enjoyed even a fraction of authority and independence allowed to the DM? Had not some genuine preliminary steps taken after May 2009 in resolving the ethnic issue avoided this situation?

  15. Did government deny to implement LLRC report? If so please let me know where they have said no to LLRC. Government stance is very clear over this issue and majority Sri lankans are accept it. Since LLRC is a internal mechanism for our internal issue it should implement by us not by the out siders. Western powers and India could wait 30 years untill ruthless Prabhakaran kills many innocent civillians in the country but they couldn’t be patient even 3 months to implement LLRC recomendations. This is the conspiracy.

    Democracy, Human rights, accountability, freedom of speech where were these words during last 30 years? As a Sri lankan I’m asking, Did any western power came forward to protect those when prabhakaran was tasting our blood and flesh. Ivan has compared India and China here. When I put this issue on to Chinese they just ask me to check the Chinese olympic medal list against Indian list to get an idea what they think about them. Simply said USA is the only competetor who begging money from them now.

    It is very easy to say implement LLRC for the people who even never read it. It has recomended to compansate terrorist, which cannot accept at all. And it has mentioned about the devolution of power which clearly showing the commitee has act beyond its mandate and given subject.

    Issues such as Power devolution only can be dicide by the people of Sri lanka via parliment and also by referendum. LLRC has no authority to take people’s sovereignty in to their hand.

    But some recomandations are seems usefull to national reconciliation and those should decide not by the out siders but by the sri lankans.

  16. Can Prez Mahinda implement the LLRC report alone? Will the Parliament agree to do so? UNP, the main opposition is silent. TNA opposed the LLRC from the start. Now JVP says they dont accept LLRC!

    What will happen if President and Parliament ask a referendum on the LLRC report?

    Are these Americans and UNHRC expect to by-pass Parliament?

  17. pandu says:

    “we are still a poor country, and we can not work and think like a rich country.”

    However in Sri Lanka there are a few very rich people with close political connections. How did they become rich and how did the rest of the population about 20 million become poor?

    Since the war had ended after the massacre of many thousands of innocent civilians Sri Lankan political leaders, ruling extended first family,the Sri Lankan state institutions and the ordinary stupid Sinhalese begun to believe that Sri Lanka is the sixth super power deserving a seat in the UN Security Council with a VETO. Sri Lanka manned its foreign missions with alleged war criminals in the pursuit of seeking a VETO power in the UN Security Council also demanded the official recognition of Indian Ocean as Sri Lanka’s Ocean.

    You say:

    (we can have a panel of mediators and a mature statesman of high standing)

    Where would you find such people?

    Would you like to import mature statesman of high standing from abroad?

  18. M.Sivananthan

    “What will happen if President and Parliament ask a referendum on the LLRC report?”

    When the International Community catches MR and his cronies by their balls their hearts and minds will follow. This is the lesson MR refuses to learn from VP’s death and destruction of LTTE.

    Recent history gives you many examples only if you look at them.

  19. i saw journalism of victor ivan for two and a half decades.during J R ,pramadasa and Chandrica’s governments he was our voice.I have to admit that. i respected him as a hero ! but now whats happenning ? is he getting old ? when we had horrible times in last few years,he was not concsentrating on the issues of the srilankan people (singhalese,tamil,muslims,burgers and others).but,he was attacking sarath n. silva and J.R.. he was avoiding the current situation for his own reasons.now he is questionable ! journalists should be the voice of the people,at least !then , he will be a hero ! but if you are going to be the mouthpeice of politicians,you are going to fall into the dustbin of journalists ! still, ‘rawaya’ is the best journal in our motherland ! i propose,if rawaya can translate few important letters in to tamil and english in your weekly paper,you can help the country to understand each other better! Jayawewa !!!!!

  20. Good reading material.We all know what you have said and the hidden dangers but very unfortunately it is your highly ineffective friend who do not understand any of these things. Frankly, can you tell us who runs this country that is extremely detrimental to the peaceful existence of a Society …see the increased abductions of people who hold different views and opinions….it has come up to the level of a NATIONAL SPORT….it has come to the level the President can now exist only in this manner because of his inability to make decisions….

  21. @Chandana

    >>Did government deny to implement LLRC report?

    Yes, by omission: not doing a damn thing for over one year about LLRC’s crucial interim recommendations. So, here you have your answer.

    >>LLRC has no authority to take people’s sovereignty in to their hand

    Stop shooting the messenger simply because their message is not the music you want to hear. Grow up!

    My friend, I too am a Sinhalese-Buddhist. It is high time that we stopped blaming anyone and everyone who says anything that we don’t like to hear, and instead we should become more introspective. Unless we take a deep look at within ourselves, and change our xenophobic ways, we, the Sinhalese are destined to become an extinct species – sooner than later. It is imperative that we comprehend that the survival of our Sinhala-Buddhist ethos are inextricably intertwined primarily with the healthiness of the relationships with our minority citizens who are not exactly like us: our Tamil and Muslim brethren. Unless we get this fact crispy clear in our thick heads, we can kiss good bye to our unique Sinhala heritage. If you honestly wish to preserve Sinhala-Buddhism, be free, and grow then learn to respect, preserve, protect, and enhance the cultures, religions, rights, liberties, and dignity of our fellow minority citizens – as if they were exactly like your own. And desist controlling others. It is THE only way to win their hearts, so that all of us can converge to become a cohesive team – like our beloved cricket team!

    The LLRC has done an unexpectedly admirable job, and if you truly wish our small island to remain undivided, pressure the government to implement almost all of LLRCs recommendations – beginning tomorrow with the one that calls for submission of a sincere apology to those affected by the horrendous war. (Don’t you think it is the Buddhist thing to apologize when you hurt someone? Then, why don’t we do it?)

    It would be a grave mistake for us Sinhalese to believe that the American move is just a bluff that we can call. The Americans and the West is well cognizant that the average Sinhalese has not risen up to defending their fellow minority citizen. This realization by the major powers, as recently expressed by US Under Secretary of State, Maria Otero, that “that the Sinhalese should realize that diversity is a strength” (not verbatim), is a crucial observation directed not at the Rajapaksa govt., but at the Sinhalese people. If the powers conclude that the Sinhalese people (not the govt.) are simply incapable of rising up to accepting minorities as true equals, then, they may very well draw a boundary line separating the two communities. Then, what are you going to do? Whether our little island remains as one IS IN YOUR HANDS and of all conscientious Sinhalese. Defeating Prabakaran is not the greater challenge, rather it is our individuual capacity to transform – our fears to hope!

  22. What a grand mess Sri Lanka has gotten herself into? Thanks mainly to self-serving, idotic politicians our country is cursed with since Independence from Brits.

    The very cunning LTTE rump overseas must be plotting day and night by now.

    The way Sri Lankan politicians behave, LTTE rump overseas may very well end up having the last laugh, after all.

    That means an engineered external intervention in Sri Lanka under cover of R2P. How convinient.

    Followed by temporary lines of seperation with UN’s Blue Helmets and phoney experts on Sri Lankan soil. Even worse than that, an army of INGOs turning SL into yet another Republic of NGOs. As we all know well from examples in Cyprus, Kosovo or Congo, once they get in, they never get out. It will eventually lead to a partition of SL, along ethnic lines.

    UNHRC resolution was the first warning shot. Ominous!

    Sri Lankans must face this head-on and not buckle under pressure. We must rise to this challenge in a dignified way and preavail to save the country from:
    1. Cunning LTTE rump overseas always looking to advance the racist/seperatist dream.
    2. Corrupt, self-serving political families in Colombo
    3. External forces playing geo-political games in the Indian ocean at Sri Lanka’s expense.

    I would go with something like the 3rd option described here by Victor Ivan as a start.

    May god bless Sri Lanka.

  23. The government is paying the price for not spelling out its intentions in a clear manner, during the first year post- war.

    The enthronement of Tamil para-military men and ex-LTTEers who had joined the government in the sham and premature political processes in the north and east, was a big mistake. I have told many senior politicians and senior government officials that the peoples in the north and east are very different. I told them that the ‘Jaffna man’ is a different breed and this factor should be taken into account. The LTTE was born in Jaffna, though the east provided many of the foot soldiers. The ‘Jaffna man’ is a doubting Thomas and will ask questions- rightly or wrongly- that the others in Sri Lanka will never ask. Further, the failure to appoint ‘Interim Councils’ to handle post-war issues and prepare grounds for the democratic process was also a mistake. The rehabilitation and development thrust of the government have achieved much in the north and east. However, Chettikulam IDP camps, there was rampant corruption by government supporting politicians and para-military groups. Many an LTTEer was smuggled out of these camps by these men and others out to earn a quick buck. The IDPs yet remain poor, but these elements have become very rich. The IDP’s were observing what was going on silently. The same people are now complaining about political and bureaucratic corruption and insensitivity by the enthroned politicians and the bureaucracy.

    The abandonment of the APRC recommendations without proper explanations was a mistake. Failure to categorically state that the LLRC recommendations would be implemented in all matters that have no security dimensions, was also a mistake.
    Further, the failure to spell out the alternative proposals the president has in mind is also a mistake. Permitting the weather wanes around him tilt in all directions, in a chaotic and malignant manner, is the biggest mistake. The national anthem issue was an ill-thought diversion.

    It is time for Mahinda Rajapakse to stand up and say what he wants to do and do it, with as much support as he can muster. The people, who matter, will be with him.

    The vacuum created by these failures is paving the way for many elements to step-in to stir a witches brew. The President who was very decisive during the war, appears to be floundering in a political fog. He is looking over his shoulder too much, to see how the political elements around him are reacting. He is on his second term and yet can become a national leader. He has proven he is an astute politician and is capable of being a leader through the war effort. He has to now prove that he is a wise and decisive leader to sustain and reap the harvest from the peace he won.

    If he fails, we will be doomed for a long time.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  24. Siva,
    Prez Mahinda insists on a “homegrown”solution and UNHRC
    just says “hurrah” we the UNHRC and you the LLRC are like
    brothers and I, the senior UNHRC will walk you there.
    Simple.Very helpful isn’t it?

  25. The third option would have been easier for the govt,if it
    had been magnanimous in its victory.Instead,political mileage was put at the top and in doing so,not only Tamils,the interests of the whole country was put at risk.LTTE is the card they are applying for all occasions to keep the people happy about them.So,solutions come with a price on their heads.Main opposition offered its
    support on many occasions.But unfortunately for the govt
    it’s not only “home grown,” but also solo!There are many
    things that Mr Ivan hasn’t touched but this much is applaudable.

  26. I am tempted to make a comment, not without appreciating the efforts of DBSJ, but to what effect? This is not a time for comments and arguments, but to do something within our possibilities. I am not implying an insurrection or similar violent mode of action. PRAY, PRAY and PRAY that evil elements are punished!!!

  27. It is natural that you claim any Diaspora Tamil who speak for Eelam Tamils still live under Sinhala rule as LTTE supporters, any Sinhala human right activist as anti-Sri Lanka, and a foreigner as white tiger……etc.

    It is natural that you claim (implied) total victory achieved against LTTE without any help from the same countries now demanding some accountability for human right abuse. Not alone 146,000 civilian massacred by Rajapakse thugs.

    It is natural that you will not advise the Sinhala regime to resolve Tamil issue, and improve human right condition of the nation, instead of taking up usual propaganda abroad.

  28. It is correct for Sri Lanka to express its protest against the US sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution against Sri Lanka. /////

    First thing we should recognise id that the US sponsored UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka is not against Sri Lanka but it is the only way forward to recover the nation from its ill management over the period of 60 years from independence. The rulers of this country and particularly the current regime was not only used the power against the tamil speaking communities but also against those voices that were against to unlawful activities of the rulers. The current President and his friends Vasudeva, journalists Lasantha were on the side of JVP terrorism in 1989 and went to UN in order to raise the voice against Human rights violation of the government and its forces. Unfortunately later Lasantha and other journalist were victims of the current President (Govt). so, the current regime has no legitimacy to claim that they represent SRi Lanka.

    We must bear in mind that we do not have the strength to defeat the world powers just because we have been able to defeat Prabhakaran.

  29. It appears that this writer has shifted cognizance of his mindset from a revolutionary to an admirer of the indefinite wisdom of the West. The fact that Ivan failed to see the availability of a fourth option for us to take on UNHRC resolution where we can implement what we think is good of LLRC recommendations alone shows his inability to think out of the western mould.

    In so far as our rational point of view is concerned, although communism and capitalism are two sides of the same coin, it must be said that Ivan has failed to mention many a sensible reason why China would end up at top and India would break in to pieces sooner than later and why we should look up for east and not west to provide us inspiration for progress.

    I would like to pick just one point that Ivan seemed to have gone wrong on the morality the West and its lapdogs. In Ivan’s words: “It (the UN) safeguards the right of the people of the member countries to live, right to be free from slavery, equality before the law, right to a fair trial, right to assembly, right to travel, right to privacy, right to be prevented from arbitrary arrest and right to expression.” And the US projects itself as the authority and the custodian of all such UN principles.

    Now read what ‘Patriot Act’ of the US empowers its law enforcement authorities in a nutshell s described in New York Times.
    •To assist terror investigation, the government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting criminal activity.
    •To close public hearings on immigration, and secretly detain hundreds of people without charges and encourage bureaucrats to resist public-records requests and remove “Sensitive” information from government Web sites.
    •To prosecute librarians or keepers of any other records if they tell anyone the government subpoenaed information related to a terror investigation.
    •To monitor conversations between attorneys and clients in federal prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes.
    •To search and seize Americans’ papers and effects without probable cause to assist terror investigation.
    •To jail Americans indefinitely without a trial.
    •To be jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses against them.
    •To hold “Enemy combatants” incommunicado and refuse attorneys for them.

    Alas! The US wants us not to do as they do, but do as they say. What would Ivan say, eh?

  30. Dias, your first two paragraphs make absolute sense and I fully agree with what you say.

    However, in the third para what you write may be questioned. US and its allies did what they did at UNHRC not out of any goodness and not because they see the need for reconciliation in Sri Lanka, but simply because they think it is in their geo-political interests at this point in time to pressure GOSL and MAY BE they also see a chance to force a regime change in Colombo and get a government that is more friendly to their interest if sufficient pressure is kept up.

    These are the same people (US and the West) who went to war in Libya when Gaddafi coughed. Why? because they have been gunning for the Libyan leader since he came to power and they want to get a good source of oil, give that Iraq has not turned the way they thought it would. The same bunch would not move as Syria burns and thousands are killed by their own government (sounds familiar?). Why is US and the West inactive? Because they and are terrified as to who will form a government if the currant one goes. In Syria, it is the Sunnis that is getting massacred at the moment and it stands to reason that it will be a Sunni government that Syria will get if Bashar al-Assad is gone. A Sunny government, with likely ties to radical Islamists in it on the borders of Israel is a nightmare for the West. So it may seem that again Israeli security is being ensured on Arab blood. So the West holds its breath, send UN observer mission after UN observer mission to Syria, blaming Russia and China for not letting them act while in Libya it was NATO all the way at a blink of an eye. So obviously Libyan blood is more important that Syrian blood to the West.

    Now why is this important to Sri Lanka? It is important because we have to understand what the geo-political interests of these people are and then only we can anticipate what they are most likely to do next. To ignore these is at our country’s own peril. The government in its overconfident mood after 2009 thought that tiny Sri Lanka can thumb her nose at these countries and carry on like nothing happened. Sri Lanka could have done what she wanted only if in the last three years the government went all out to resolve the political issues between Sinhalese and Tamils. That was forgotten and to placate IC, a Lessons Learned commission was appointed which as you say has over-performed to the surprise of probably everyone. In the process, we have given the IC a nice stick to beat us up with. So what options do the government has? Not many, one is to implement as soon as possible the recommendations of out own commission. The other option is somehow convince US that we are not slowly drifting into Chinese sphere of influence – not bloody likely. I think the GOSL by its own stupidity opened a side door slightly and the West and India has driven a 18 wheeler Mack truck through it.

  31. Unless there is de-militarization and the end of Gotabaya’s impunity as part of a comprehensive action program for peace in lanka, Sri Lanka under Rajapakse is doomed, regardless of what the US, UK or India may do!
    The abduction and release of some of the jana aragala (what a great name!) activists (others are still missing or dead at the hands of Gota’s and Douglas’ militias in Jaffna – tells us the direction that Lanka under Rajapakse Co is headed. It seems that the Rajapakse Bros are now running scared of their own community – the war within the Sinhala south is breaking out as the cost of living sores.
    Finally, Dinuk please do a comprehensive analysis of Rajapakse’s jumbo cabinet of ‘goons and fools’ and tell us their average educational level. Also, to the ‘goons and fools’ may be added the old leftist GERIATRICS who are partners with this murderous regime. These so called leftists are now benefiting from Rajapkse – now that there shelf life is over and a new generation of left activists with a solid analysis of lankan politics has emerged.. Vasu, Tissa Vitharana and DEW should be sent to a retirement home for those who have lost the plot!

  32. What the Tamils in Sri Lanka wants and what they get is of little interst to http://www.com(white wild west company). They are out for Rajapakse blood and will keep hounding until they get their reward. Since it is not going to be easy we are in for the long haul.
    What ever the govrnment does,it is clear,will not meet the expectations of the http://www.com.Having said that,no matter what the government must now do what ever it can,regardless they get TNA on board.

  33. John Wayne:
    Can you tell how many Tamils came back home from the prisons of LTTE criminals?

    Douglas will be protected by armed guards for ever because LTTE goons tried to kill him 13 times. EPDP lost more than 900 of its members to the LTTE guns. Even now one was killed in Trinco.

    The so called Tamil LTTE champions are now become human rights champions after the LTTE vanished.

    Now the “Jaffna Man” is looking for more killings in Sri Lanka from the safe heavens of the WEST.When LTTE was there, LTTE killed Tamils everyday. Rajapakse stopped it.

    Rajapakse brothers are needed not only for Sinhalese but also for the Tamils and catch the trouble makers.

  34. Ben Hurling says:

    “The very cunning LTTE rump overseas must be plotting day and night by now.”

    I am happy to draw your attention a news report appeared on BBC Sinhala Service website.

    It appear that a demonstration was organised by the
    London branch of the Socialist Frontline Party rumps,
    rumps of several political parties and civil organizations,
    the UNP Sinhala rumps,
    Nava Samasamaja Party rumps,
    United Socialist Party rumps,
    Tamil Information Centre rumps,
    and other Sinhala and Tamil rumps.

    Actually BBC did not report the presence of any LTTE rumps.

  35. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Can you tell how many Tamils came back home from the prisons of LTTE criminals?”

    He could not have counted them in nor counted them out.

    Do you remember EPRLF killing a Korean Bikku when Douglas was its military commander in the mid eighties? Or have you conveniently forgotten about it? Do you remember Soolai Medu in Tamilnadu?

  36. Fool Vedda:
    No Korean Bhikku was killed in Jaffna but a Japanese Bhikku was killed by LTTE. I think you are the propaganda master for the LTTE goons even today!

  37. LLRC is GovSL’s report which was prepared by a set of experts. When it was in the process of preparing all pro-LTTE’ers negatively said they cannot agree with such partial report that is like talking of an unborn baby about her/his character. Once it came out they sit with US/EU clans and sought to implement. Any report of a commission can implement fully or partially. In the case of LLRC, most of the suggesting could be implemented and certain of them should direct for a referendum democratically otherwise it is like implementing said experts idea and changing the structure of the country bypassing the people which is not advisable. Changing the frame work of any country cannot be done by based on the suggestions of a set of experts or UNHCR. Hence GovSL should implement the LLRC subject to under said reality and for that; Tamil representatives should unconditionally agreed broadmindedly as a norm.

    GovSL could clearly say UNHCR about their said stance and prepare a roadmap (action plan) and provide it to all local respective people as an internal arrangement of SL.
    NOTE : In order to implement any plan in any sector (public or pvt) we should require an ‘action plan’. This is for the requirement of GovSL, not because UNHCR resolution says.

    In the action plan, activation of APC should be given priority and push all parties including TNA, UNP …etc in a wise manner (strategically) of nobody could run-off from their prim responsibility. Especially now UNP and TNA are trying to avoid the APC but they should stick to this, then they will become highly uncomfortable to take their decision to join APC, otherwise entire historical blame should go to them. GovSL should put them into deadlock situation. In return, the GovSL can see the indirect response of international community regarding them. In case if they get away then GovSL can find alternative path to go ahead may be ignoring the TNA and directly go to Tamil people in different mechanism to get their representation. As a result it will cause such parties to perish from the people.

    Finally GovSL make sure to give a concrete (‘necessary and sufficient’) solution for our own Tamil community. At the APC, GovSL should start fresh discussion forgetting all various discussions such as Thimpu, 13th amendments..etc happened in the past because those had with unnecessary involvements and pressures. We need a balance solution which cannot affect other communities which could create different issue in the country.

  38. Dr Narendran
    ‘Jaffna man’ is a different breed and this factor should be taken into account. The LTTE was born in Jaffna, though the east provided many of the foot soldiers.”
    —–
    foot soldiers are in the cabinet..jaffana man is a dying breed…more by suicidal act and back stabbing by the same breed

    —————-

  39. M.Sivananthan says:

    “Fool Vedda:
    No Korean Bhikku was killed in Jaffna but a Japanese Bhikku was killed by LTTE.”

    Is it so?

    Douglas was never been a member of EPRLF.

    Karainagar Navy camp was never attacked by EPRLF when Douglas was the Military Commander of the organisation in which nearly 19 cadres died including women. Or Was it Prabaharan who commanded EPRLF?

    The American couple known as Allen were not kidnapped when Douglas was the Military commander. Was it Prabaharan who commanded EPRLF?

    Douglas never was part of EROS. Was it Prabaharan who was part of EROS?

    Was it Prabaharan who was in Soolai Medu?

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