31 October, 2020

Blog

A Crisis Of Expectations

By Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Months of anticipation for human rights campaigners, the Tamil Diaspora communities and the country’s main Tamil party ended in an anti-climax when despite international pledges and dire warnings, the US draft resolution at the Human Rights Council released Monday failed to call for an international inquiry into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Many of these groups have rejected the resolution outright as being weak and ineffectual, but the real tragedy is that the Sri Lankan Government fails to see the opening the draft provides for resuming engagement with those players it now credits as being hostile states. And despite the criticism, the resolution’s call for the investigation by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights into violations in Sri Lanka, offers the clearest indication yet that the clock on engagement is fast running out

Three days after the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council opened in Geneva, some might say President Mahinda Rajapaksa whose Government is being accused of major crimes during the war, has already achieved a massive victory.

After months of dire warnings, threats and much finger wagging, the first draft of the US sponsored resolution makes no reference to the establishment of an international investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka.

The exclusion of the ‘international inquiry’ clause in the resolution’s initial text goes to prove what the Rajapaksa Administration has known all along – that the international community’s bark is much worse than its bite, irate human rights activists said, after the first text was officially submitted to the Council at 4 p.m. Geneva time on Monday (3).

The initial draft of the third US backed resolution on Sri Lanka, first revealed exclusively in Daily FT’s lead story on Tuesday (4) and likely to be adopted by the Council later this month is significantly stronger in language than the two that have preceded it in 2012 and 2013. Ongoing attacks on religious minorities, the transparency failure in the probe into the murder of three unarmed civilians during a protest for clean water in Weliweriya in August 2013 feature significantly in the draft resolution, indications that the spotlight not only remains on the Sri Lankan human rights situation five years after the end of the war, but that the focus is not limited to war time abuses. And while the 2013 resolution attempted to hold Sri Lanka to its promise that elections for the Northern Provincial Council would be held by September last year, the 2014 version now calls on the Government of Sri Lanka to ‘provide the Northern Provincial Council with the resources and authority to govern’ in accordance with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.

The inclusion of the recommendation is significant.

Problems with the NPC

Since his election to office with an overwhelming majority in the September 2013 election, Chief Minister C.V. Wigneswaran has a single battle-cry. The former Supreme Court Justice insists that Colombo is blockading the TNA-led Council in every way, permitting the Northern Governor – a presidential appointment – and a heavily entrenched provincial bureaucracy to call all the shots in the formerly embattled region.  Wigneswaran tells visiting dignitaries and diplomats with much angst, that the Council has been reduced to a body that passes non-binding resolutions on issues fundamental to the political rights of his people, despite the great expectations with which it was swept into power. When External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris presented Sri Lanka’s National Statement at the UNHRC’s High Level Session in Geneva yesterday, he made special reference to Tuesday’s grand re-opening of the railway line between the former LTTE stronghold of Kilinochchi and the town of Pallai. The ruling administration often references the phase-by-phase reconstruction of the rail connection to Jaffna, and legitimately so, as an important step in re-linking the south of the country to the north after decades of war had severed the connection. Pallai was a bustling railway station pre-war, and on Tuesday it became the first the first station to be re-linked in the Jaffna District, the cultural heartland of Sri Lankan Tamils. In every way the symbolism of post-conflict reconciliation, reconnection and rebuilding associated with the opening of the station is inescapable. The project was undertaken by an Indian company with the full backing of the Indian Government that is strongly supportive of the Northern Provincial Council. It is deeply mystifying therefore that the Government failed to invite the Northern Province Chief Minister to Tuesday’s opening. . The guest of honour was UPFA Minister Douglas Devananda, a man whose party the people of the North vehemently rejected in last year’s election.

The move makes it clear that the ruling regime is loathe to share the credit for post-war development with the TNA, that is a major thorn in its side politically. But the blatant snub is also an apt illustration of how the Rajapaksa administration confuses its post-war priorities, prizing physical reconstruction over healing and reconciling hearts and minds across the ethnic divide. The exclusion of Wigneswaran also belies the Government’s claim, most recently made before the UNHRC in its response to High Commissioner Pillay’s damning report on Sri Lanka that the Government was working in cooperation with the Northern Provincial Council.

Far from abstract therefore, the US resolution is dealing explicitly and minutely with political issues facing the Tamil community on the ground, in real time.

No kudos for resolution

But that has won Washington and its co-sponsors no kudos from the Tamil community in Sri Lanka or the vocal Tamil Diaspora communities that are hungry for action overseas. The British Tamils Forum, a major lobby group in the UK has openly condemned the resolution as being weak, and their sentiments were echoed by the Tamil National Alliance’s more nationalist sections last afternoon. Addressing a press conference, TNA Jaffna District MP Suresh Premachandran charged that the resolution in no way addressed the heart-cries of the Tamil people. Making a strange argument, the TNA MP alleged that the US Government was focused on regime change in Sri Lanka and was seeking to win favour with the Sinhalese majority to achieve this goal, resulting in a watered down resolution. Human rights activists worldwide are critiquing the draft resolution as weak in tenor and just another ‘holding resolution’ that will afford the Sri Lankan Government further time and allow the global appetite for action in Sri Lanka to wane as the months and years wear on.

From the Government of Sri Lanka’s perspective, each of these groups – Rights watchdogs, Tamil Diaspora and the TNA are the enemy. Ironically, these are the same groups the Government credits with conspiring against Sri Lanka and pushing powerful nations of the world to act against a small island nation that did the unthinkable and defeated a ruthless terrorist outfit. It defies logic therefore that the Sri Lankan Government will soon join the chorus of critics of the latest US resolution – for vastly different reasons. All indications are that Sri Lanka will reject the resolution outright – despite the fact that it is universally acknowledged that in its first draft at least, the document has gifted Sri Lanka another year to work on its outstanding post-war issues. The resolution stresses cooperation, strongly supports a truth seeking process to address allegations of abuse and opens a further window for the Government to actively engage with sponsors and supporters of the resolution on dealing with the concerns outlined in a credible and internationally acceptable way.  Judging from Minister Peiris’ speech, which alleged bias and intrusion by Pillay and rubbished the report she presented to the Council following her fact finding mission in Sri Lanka, engagement is off the table. For too long, Sri Lanka’s foreign policy has focused on belligerence against perceived enemies. It is a habit that is proving hard to break. Worse still, it may be blinding the regime to opportunities being laid squarely at its door.

Despite the initial criticism however, the draft resolution released on Monday also makes it clear that the clock on international engagement and the world community’s appetite for stonewalling by the Sri Lankan Government is fast running out. The most significant clause of the draft resolution appears on its fourth and final page. The eighth recommendation of 10 included in the draft resolution requests the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights (OHCHR) “to investigate alleged violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders as appropriate.”

OHCHR Inquiry

The Office of the High Commissioner is being called upon to report on progress of this investigation and other monitoring and assessments to the Human Rights Council orally at the 27th Session in September 2014. A comprehensive report of the OHCHR findings is to be presented before the Council and followed by a discussion in March 2015. In her address before the Council on Tuesday (4), US Under Secretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights confirmed the resolution was calling for a probe by Pillay’s Office, into both allegations about war time abuses and more recent violations. “In 2012 and again last year, this council urged the Government of Sri Lanka to launch an independent investigation into the deaths of thousands of civilians during that country’s terrible civil war. To date the Government has refused,” the US official told the Council.

When calls began to mount over the need to establish an international mechanism to look into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka, the big question before the international community was what form the inquiry could take. For UNHRC led investigations, two options were before the co-sponsors of the resolution on Sri Lanka. The first, more well known and understood option is the Commission of Inquiry mechanism. Commissions of Inquiry have most recently been conducted in Syria and North Korea, the findings of which are before this Council session. Commissions of Inquiry take months to constitute, once approved by the 47 member Human Rights Council and comprise independent investigators and experts with the power to summon witnesses and gather evidence. The resourcing and funding of such Commissions must be borne by UN member states, therefore Council members must deem the exercise emergent and dire in order to approve the magnitude of costs involved in the process. The more desirable option in the case of Sri Lanka, both in terms of the fact that it would more easily achieve consensus within the Council and because it was less intrusive from the Government’s perspective, was the OHCHR inquiry mechanism. A probe by Pillay’s Office would be easier to set up, cost-effective and would not imply great deviance from the 2013 resolution which called for a fact finding mission by the High Commissioner.

Weak resolution: HR activists

According to human rights activists, the draft resolution is weak in its current format because it does not explicitly call for an OHCHR inquiry, even though the process is implied and reinforced by Sewall’s remarks to the Council. The clause leaves room for the Pillay-led inquiry, but perhaps only in the absence of the Government’s continued refusal to address the allegations through a domestic process. The good news for the Sri Lankan Government is that the draft resolution may be diluted in terms of language and action required in the next three weeks before the vote is taken, in order to allow its adoption by a broad majority of the Council.

The draft resolution also provides the Sri Lankan Government with significant leverage by its strong backing for a truth seeking mechanism to deal with allegations that have arisen about the last days of the war. The reference is code for a South African style Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) that the Sri Lankan Government is toying with establishing especially in the run up to the March sessions in Geneva. Hopes were rising in the past few weeks about a South Africa assisted TRC in Sri Lanka, especially after the ruling African National Congress appointed Cyril Ramaphosa as its special envoy to Sri Lanka. A Government delegation led by Leader of the House Nimal Siripala De Silva has also just returned from a visit to South Africa, presumably to “explore” TRC type options. The two moves were widely believed to indicate that the South African Government was willing to work with Sri Lanka on a truth telling process. Relations between the two countries have been robust after South African President Jacob Zuma attended the Commonwealth summit in Colombo despite the controversy surrounding the meeting.

South Africa and the TRC

At the UNHRC, where the US resolution will come up for a vote on 28 March, South Africa’s support is crucial for Sri Lanka. The votes of several other African states, including Namibia (a new UNHRC member for 2014), Botswana and Burkina Faso will hinge on South Africa’s decision on the US resolution. Sri Lanka’s cooperation with South Africa on a TRC process, will almost guarantee that the ANC will side with Colombo in Geneva this year, against the US move. The appointment of Ramaphosa, informed sources say is significant because the ANC Deputy President is tipped to be South Africa’s next president, after Zuma concludes his next term. The ANC is keen to boost Ramaphosa’s international profile ahead of that development, resulting in his appointment as envoy to both Sri Lanka and South Sudan.

The sticking point for the Rajapaksa Government however, is that the ANC will insist on a credible process if it is to assist Sri Lanka with a TRC. In fact, if the process adopted by Sri Lanka is found to be inadequate or prejudiced in any form, the ANC was likely to both criticise the process and repudiate it publicly, sources said.

It is unclear if it was these considerations that prompted the strange pronouncement from Arun Thambimuttu, the SLFP organiser for Batticaloa and member of the Government delegation to South Africa, that discussion in Pretoria had revealed there were more differences than commonalities between the post conflict situations in Sri Lanka and South Africa. Thambimuttu’s declaration was buttressed by Minister Peiris, who was also present at the presidential interaction with foreign correspondents based in Colombo at Temple Trees last Friday (28). The Minister said the delegation to South Africa had focused on sharing experiences, steering clear of committing on whether the Government was decided on a TRC. The Government is keen to keep the promise of the TRC alive, at least to ensure it does not lose South Africa’s crucial support at the Council.  But it would prefer not to firmly commit to a truth seeking process, in case it finds it is backed into a corner. The regime learnt what it considers a brutal lesson several years ago with the LLRC which was established to ward off international pressure, only to find that the Commission’s report was pounced upon by the Western lobby that insisted on its recommendations being implemented in successive UNHRC resolutions.

Strange developments

While progress on backroom discussions between South Africa and Colombo remains unclear, South African Minister for International Relations and Cooperation Emily Nkoana-Mashabane excluded a reference to Sri Lanka in the delivered version of her speech to the UNHRC’s High Level Segment on Tuesday. In the text of her speech, uploaded on the UNHRC website shortly after it was delivered the Minister said it was important to allow Sri Lankans to find each other and out of this, find solutions that are durable for their country.  “We as South Africans also had to find each other and consequently find our own solution to our own problem. This is our wish for the people of Sri Lanka,” the document uploaded on the website said. However, in her oral presentation, Nkoana-Mashabane omitted the reference to Sri Lanka altogether. Oddly, the exclusion coincided with a call by South African Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, and Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu for an international investigation into alleged war crimes in Sri Lanka. Tutu, a member of The Elders, a grouping of global leaders working to foster peace and human rights which was founded by Nelson Mandela, said only an international commission of inquiry, established by the March 2014 resolution at the UNHRC would put Sri Lanka on the path to justice and reconciliation. “The biggest issue Sri Lanka faces is a systemic lack of respect for the rights of its citizens, particularly – but not exclusively – its minority citizens. This is rooted in a culture of impunity that is in turn rooted in a failure to hold to account those, on both sides, who committed some of the worst atrocities this century,” Tutu said in an open letter to the UNHRC released yesterday.

Tutu’s public call puts the South African Government in a supremely awkward position with regard to the Sri Lanka issue. Desmond Tutu, a tireless anti-apartheid activist and peace-campaigner is widely regarded as South Africa’s moral conscience. As South Africa comes to its own economically 20 years post-conflict, spiritual leaders like Tutu strive to  keep the ANC true to the founding values of the South African constitution drawn up post- Apartheid. When the ANC bowed to pressure from China and turned down a visa request for the Dalai Lama in 2011, Tutu railed against the Government, threatening to pray for its downfall for betraying the values upon which the rainbow nation formed in 1994.. The ANC’s decision to back a regime that Tutu and others have come to regard as major violators of its peoples’ freedoms and an oppressor of minorities, may provoke a similar outcry. As the debate rages about whether the ANC is deviating from Mandela’s vision for South Africa by allying with purported oppressors, the party’s approach to Sri Lanka will be a crucial indicator for its critics.

All this notwithstanding, South Africa’s vote at the UNHRC will be a crucial litmus test of the kind of support US resolutions will be able to muster going forward.

The way Saudi Arabia swings with regard the US resolution will also be an important indicator as to whether allegations of the Government’s patronage of anti-Islamic groups in Sri Lanka is resonating with sections of the Arabic world. So far, there are no indications of the Islamic bloc switching allegiances on the basis of discrimination against the minority Muslim population in the island. But ironically, even as religious freedom features heavily in the debate over Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, the Gangodawila Magistrate on Tuesday (4), shut down a small mosque operating in Kadawatha Road, Dehiwala. Mosque trustees attempting to file a motion against the injunction yesterday were turned down by the magistrate. Its belligerent diplomacy and emphatic rejection of mounting evidence about the final phase of the war has already cost the Government the Western liberal bloc. Will Mahinda Rajapaksa, champion of the people of Palestine, also sacrifice the key support of the Islamic bloc, so crucial as Sri Lanka faces off with world powers at the UNHRC, by plying the expedient path of Sinhala-Buddhist hegemonic politics?

Courtesy Daily FT

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 6
    2

    Excellent article. Desmond Tutu calling for an “independent international investigation in the form of a commission of inquiry” in Sri Lanka ridicules the notion that a TRC is an option for Sri Lanka. He goes on to say: “Only this will help put the country on the path to justice and reconciliation”.

    • 0
      3

      Frustrated?

      Get a life lady. Americans don’t have them.

  • 5
    6

    “Tutu, a member of The Elders, a grouping of global leaders working to foster peace and human rights ……. “

    What fostering was Tutu doing in Sri Lanka when the LTTE terrorists were suicide murdering innocent civilians (Both Sinhalese and Tamils), forced recruitment of Tamil child soldiers, distributing cyanide capsules to its own terrorists and bombing and destroying the infrastructure of Sri Lanka? He had 30 years to write to the UN, US, UK or UNHRC etc., but did he even speak out about this carnage?
    And now he wants peace, justice and reconciliation? with/for whom? The terrorist or the innocent Tamils who had nothing to do with terrorism?

    • 4
      1

      Nuisance

      “What fostering was Tutu doing in Sri Lanka when the LTTE terrorists were suicide murdering innocent civilians (Both Sinhalese and Tamils)”

      He was too busy reconciling his severely wounded country, an unenviable project which he completed with great admiration.

      What were you doing during the period from April 1971 to date when Sri Lankan armed forces were massacring innocent civilians (both Sinhalese and Tamils)?

      “He had 30 years to write to the UN, US, UK or UNHRC etc., but did he even speak out about this carnage?”

      Yes he did speak out. What a pity you didn’t hear it.

      Here is an excerpt from his lecture delivered some years ago:

      God wants to say to those flash points in the world, just look at what happened in South Africa. They had a nightmare called apartheid. It has ended. Your nightmare is Northern Ireland, East Timor, Sri Lanka, Burma. Your nightmare too will end. South Africa had a problem which so many regarded as intractable. It is being solved. Your problem too is not
      intractable, it can be solved.

      Give peace a chance.

      1999 Sydney Peace Prize Lecture

      Peace through
      Reconciliation

      Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

      http://sydneypeacefoundation.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/1999-SPP_-Desmond-Tutu2.pdf

      Is there a parallel universe where you normally reside?

      • 1
        2

        Vedda,
        I know what I write is a nuisance for you because the truth hurts.

        So, Tutu “was too busy reconciling his severely wounded country”?? Wow, That is why he did nothing about the Tiger carnage?? What do you think, readers here are stupid?

        So, your point is that in his 15 page speech he used the word “Sri Lanka” once in a list of countries? I pity you for such stupid irrelevant references? Has he written to UNHRC anything like this on behalf of human rights violations of Iraqi and Afghan people? Tutu is nothing but an opportunistic farce!

        This is my advice to Tutu: Please, do not get involved, you never got involved when the real carnage was going on in Sri Lanka. You don’t know the whole story. You know only what the Tamil diaspora is telling you. That is the same diaspora who funded the 30 year suicide murder reign.

        • 4
          1

          Nuisance

          Why didn’t the Sinhala/Buddhist stupid state ban LTTE until 7th January 2009?

          Let me have your response to my question above before I respond to your very very very …….. stupid comment.

          ” You know only what the Tamil diaspora is telling you.”

          May I remind you that unlike you Rev Tutu has had access to other sources as well for his information whereas you stupid people rely on myth, disinformation, state’s spin, ………..

          • 1
            3

            vedda,
            You still don’t know the answer to this question? I though you are a smart guy! Let me answer you for the last time though I am not here to educate morons.

            LTTE was not banned until 2009 because the GOSL wanted to give them a chance to come sit and negotiate a settlement. The stupid terror group did not take that chance in good faith. So, what did the gov. do? Banned them in January and cleaned up By May!

            “Rev Tutu has had access to other sources as well for his information…..”
            So, what are these “other sources”? Are you embarrassed to reveal them?

            Honestly, I feel you are a challenged person and should not respond to my posts and even should refrain from posting here. You are a waste of time.

  • 2
    3

    Darisha,

    You are right, the watered down UN resolution is a victory for the GOSL. They have another year to enforce authoritarian rule and the marginalising of minorities without let or hinder. In 2015 there will be another resolution by which time the opposition to the GOSL will be even weaker. No wonder MR and GR are so belligerant and laughing.

    By the way the South African initiative can also be shelved now. It was only an option if the UNHRC came down with a more resolute document.

    I wonder where Cameron will choose to hide his shamed head. Nothing came out of all his big talk and ultimatums.

    • 2
      1

      Good to hear that MR & GR are winning the war against USA & UN & Cameroon.

      BBS (Bodu Bala Sena)& Ravana balaya can start going on their rampages against mosques and churches again.

      Hurrraaayyy!!!!!

  • 1
    1

    Bourgeoning Tamil middle class diaspora aim is end of politics get rid of Tamils been enjoy in post War PEACE and STABILITY in Sri lanka. Revisionist politics of post independence history Sri Lanka by LTTE Rampant violence ad terrorism that under LTTE ‘war politics’ had been done tremendous damage to only Tamils but whole in Island.
    This realm of irrationalism move by LTTE terrorist outfit put system of values of lumpenisation of democracy and society run by gun rule politics.
    But our people of island cannot containment so-called ‘war crime’ & ‘human rights’ that we are compelled progress to defense democratic setup which that undermine by LTTE and JVP and shifted path of economic development. Development should be share by whole people of island and move reform and development of peaceful path of Capitalism SL.
    Social turbulence major cause are inequality, poverty, stagnant economic growth, unbalance social mobility and prosperity is limited to the privileged FEW. Irrational development of capitalist economy in past had been disappointment people of SL. Terrorist of LTTE politics manipulated by few Tamil elites in diaspora and certain TNA members in inside Island. So-called ‘war crimes and human rights’ come under such anti-democratic politics by TNA.
    TNA has share and valued democratic norms and base on rights Tamils national vested interest, as well as nation Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity, independence and Democratic foundation of unity of Country.

  • 6
    1

    bastian looks shocked ……….

    • 8
      1

      Yes, the real tragedy is that Dharisha and the rest of the anti-Sri Lankan HR gang still fail to see accusations of war crimes and calls for an international investigation are totally unwarranted in the Sri Lankan case. They should dispel their romantic delusions, give up their idealistic pretensions and return to political realism and work for real solutions to real problems such as reconciliation and reconstruction.

    • 1
      3

      Abhaya

      “bastian looks shocked ……….”

      Did she see you flashing at her?

  • 1
    1

    Sensible analysis by Ms.Bastians and sadly the true situation. It’s going to be a never ending game of politics for unholy nations and more sufferings for the already butchered, brutalized, affected and marginalized people. They have not given up hopes and that only from the almighty god. There will be an end for everything..until then, let them destroy the rest of the people and the nation at will, with impunity, disregard for humanity.

  • 0
    1

    People of Tamils in Sri Lanka is part and parcel of our society, culture and civilization since more than thousands years.
    No body can divide Three ethnic and religion groups by Politics of Sinhalese or Tamil or Muslims version of adverse ideologies. We were under the colonial tyranny over 425 years. Indeed that Issues of ethnics are crucial important that call for in-depth debate, over which type of capitalist socio-economy-political model are to be developed and what form New Capitalist relation should be established by all communities of Sri Lanka.
    After end of thirty war of Terrorist by LTTE and JVP, that we are lie at the heart of this issues, that which we have overreach concern as the peace and development awakening defeated LTTE-terrorism in 2009 May.
    Few Tamil political elites mindset of extremism are not seek re-gain peace for the people who suffer long years , contrary to that they now move by Tamil-extremist international “war crime” by UNHRC against elected government of people of Island. This barraging having all kinds of political motivations.
    Few this kind of attacking few Muslim mosques and few Churches are no reason for ‘War crime or international search for criminal’ against sovereignty people the country. Even we very all know that is not state sponsor by or Buddhist majority or Sinhalese or personally involve by MR ruling class or it hegemony.
    We will need all the intellectual efforts all the close constructive criticism and emancipation form western domination we can muster.

  • 0
    1

    Fine piece as usual from Dharisha Bastians. It would seem that the UN resolution is disappointing to the Tamil diaspora, the TNA, and other HR activists. That is because they harboured totally unrealistic expectations from a UN body, in fact, expecting it to enable, through sanctions, armed intervention and/or coercion, the formation of an independent self governing unit in the North for the Tamil people. The reason is not that the GOSL has won a “victory”, but that the US/UK the movers of the resolution and the international community did not believe in the hyped agitations, and the organized moves to discredit Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is not the GOSL. Sri Lanka is the people, the good people, who are in overwhelming majority, Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, whether foolish, ignorant, or innocent. You cannot pass a damning resolution without considering the severe impact on the people can you? Sri Lanka is still an influential though minor player from the global strategic perspective, but it is doubtful that such impacts had consideration here. Indian influence, perhaps, yes. Though India has been selfish in the past, and openly harmed Sri Lanka, and despite some strained relations between the two countries, India does realize that Sri Lankans are basically Indians at heart, and the Chinese influence on the economy was inevitable, when no one else stepped in to help Sri Lanka on this huge scale. In that sense even if India, as expected, votes against Sri Lanka, nothing will change.

    A regime change in Sri Lanka is good, but it is up to the people. To win the rights of Tamils for equality in all respects the Tamil representatives must engage the Sinhala people not the international community. The IC can help by arm-twisting the GOSL to act on grievences and HR violations during the war.

    • 1
      6

      Wikra,

      I disagree. How many years Tamils should negotiate, if not for last 60 years, do you want them to go on and on for ever negotiation to see only the deceitful tactics of successive sinhalese governments. And you say majority of people are good, if thats the case how come the party which are Anti-Tamil being routinely elected in Srilanka. Just compare a situation in 2002 across the strait and see for yourself, After Gujarat riots, why BJP was not elected again for 10 years? Do you think that is because of only minority votes being going aginst them. Fairly more than minorities, even majority of Hindhus rejected their core ideologies after 2002 riots. To point, CPI, CPM, Janata, Congress, DMK, they were against BJP being elected again.Thats the reason inspite of spiralling inflation BJP was touted in successive two elections. If Majority of Sinhalese are like what you claim, post 1956 they should rejected outright the racists politics, which would have made progress many moons ago for you, but that’s not the case, that’s what exactly Rajabaccha also learnt from you people and practicisng it. People of your sorts are very minor indeed! In my opinion if they are fairer, Ranil would have been much better choice for them.

      • 0
        2

        manisekeran, Thank you for your view. Sri Lankan people may not be as assertive or possess strong and independent opinions as the people of Gujarat or other Indian states. Take the case of the large Indian Tamil voter base in Sri Lanka’s Central Province who voted for Rajapaksa despite the latter’s racism. The reason is that their political leadership holds them in psychological bondage and they vote for whom ever they are told. The Sinhala rural population too does likewise. I have always wondered why, whether it is innocence or foolishness, or both. The Sri Lankan media too plays a servile role as against the strong and spirited influence of the Indian media. This is why the Indian people too must observe the degeneration in Sri Lanka and not permit ultra religio-nationalistic tendencies to hold sway at their elections. For instance the Tamils in Tamil Nadu are as emotionally motivated as the Sri Lankans. The Sri lankan condition is a good case study for democracies to avoid. What Sri Lanka is experiencing is a near dictatorship under the guise of democracy and the situation is such it may not be reversible without catastrophic consequences. Indian or other direct external intervention is not the answer.

        • 1
          5

          Your view itself confirms to the fact that solutions to the long standng problems can be achieved through political restructuring that is backed by IC players and if people are not yet fully independent enough to think on these lines in a age that is driven by information, what are the options left inside your country? The best option is moderate sinhalese need to cooperate with IC and bring the change that is required.

          • 3
            1

            Mani,
            What are these problems you are talking about? What rights, privileges and any other social benefits only the Sinhalese have but not the Tamils?

  • 0
    1

    Majority of the Sinhalese are brain washed by the successive governments and racist politicians to the maximum and that cannot be easily reverted back. The racism has been ingrained into everyone’s mind so deep, it’s not possible to erase them even by the people who systematically organized that. The divide is only widening and not diminishing at all. After all, it was not a consensual but mostly a forced ‘marriage’ between the Sinhalese and Tamils by the British in 1948 and they tried to live together as a family for the past 65 years with all the problems. The most affected lots, the Tamils who were always at the receiving end, tried unsuccessfully to adjust, bear and live together. They realized many years ago that the marriage was a blunder, a failure and decided that only a divorce was the viable option left to them to live by themselves, in some peace, after facing all the brutal miseries they went through. DIVORCE is the only and the final option Tamils have today and nothing else is going to work. In order to stop more blood shed and for the country to stay intact as one, let two nations be created with or without the help of International help. Nothing else will change the crisis situation.

  • 2
    0

    Differnet rules apply to different countries as the article in Asian Tribune points out.

    ” “It is important to emphasize that the mere existence of credible allegations that civilians were killed or injured in these incidents does not necessarily establish any violation of international humanitarian law or international human rights law. Still less does it provide clear evidence of the commission of a war crime”. ”

    This is with reference the wilful murder by drone of innocent Afghan civilians at funerals, wedding ceremonies or merely collecting firewood to keep themselves warm in the winter. There is absolutely NO defence of US personnel being under threat of any sort. Yet the above is in the report of the UN rapporteur, an employee of the UNHCR, the very same organisation which accuses Sri Lanka of war crimies during a completely different set of circumstances, in the midst of a war.
    The UN apparatchiks know who pays their wages. Fair they are NOT.

  • 2
    0

    OK. Let us put it this way. The government or their mainly Buddhist, humanistic, non racist forces never killed, tortured, raped, kidnapped, white or red vanned, imprisoned any body Tamil or Muslim or even Sinhalese to date. All the deaths, destruction, bombing, kidnapping, tortures, disappearances were all done only by the dreaded inhuman racist LTTE, the notorious, ruthless terror outfit Sri Lanka or even the entire world ever had.
    Now that the SL govt says that they have completely eradicated the LTTE in 2009, who is really killing, raping, torturing, kidnapping, land grabbing, not allowing the NPC to do their work ? Who killed the Weliweriya protestors or who kidnapped Sunil from Wanathamulla ? May be it’s the remnants of LTTE !
    Gota or his army will never do such a thing.They are true Buddhists. Even Duminda for that matter will not even trample a fly. So, LTTE is the only cause for all the calamity in our country and we cannot blame Gota, MR, Champika, JHU, BBS, Ravaya, Sihala Urumaya, Gunadasa Amarasekara, Sarath Fernando, DJ, GLP, Puran Appu, Ranil, Chandrika, JR, Solomon Banda, Srima Banda, Cyril Mathew, Konara Mudiyanselage Podiappuhami Rajaratne, Premadasa, Chandrika or any great Sinhala leaders of our time.It’s all the fault of GG, SJV, the racist TNA and the new NPC CM Wiggy.
    Nazi pillai , Ban-Ki-Bafoon, USA, UK, India and all the rest are interfering in our internal affairs and that cannot be tolerated by a true Buddhist sovereign country with a 2500 year old history and tradition of tolerance, peace, harmony and equal opportunity to all the people.
    The burning of Churches, destroying Hindu temples, closing Muslim mosques are all done with rules and regulations prevailing in our justice system the country has, without affecting the people. This is Sri Lanka , our nation and we have our own rules and everyone should respect that or go elsewhere. Nazi pullai and UNHCR can go fly a kite ! ha ha ha …

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.