12 November, 2018

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Advancing Reconciliation Diplomacy

By Mangala Samaraweera

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

If you want to know what kind of diplomacy Sri Lanka is following, I would like to go back to something Jawaharlal Nehru said in 1947. He said “Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country.” So I think today it may sound very selfish but we aren’t ideologically driven but self-interest is I would say is the driving force in our foreign policy. Because we want to ensure that the people of Sri Lanka, even at this late stage, get the future that they truly deserve.

*Speech made by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera MP at the Norwegian Institute for International Affairs – June 2016

Ladies and Gentlemen, as all of you are aware, on January 08th last year in a historic election, in fact what the world calls the rainbow election of 2015, the people of Sri Lanka voted for change, for democracy, reconciliation and development, the three pillars on which the Government of President Sirisena and Ranil Wickremesinghe are taking the country forward today. In fact on that day, the people of Sri Lanka chose free and fair elections, good governance and the rule of law over authoritarianism and impunity; they chose stability, reconciliation and peace over the politics of fear and hate which had prevailed for many, many years previously. And they eschewed isolationist crony capitalism for openness to the world and a competitive, transparent rules-based economy.

In fact, this victory in January was repeated again in August where extremist political parties on all sides of the divide were again decisively defeated and for the first time in Sri Lanka’s history, the two principle political parties which have governed Sri Lanka since independence chose to be on the same side leaving aside the bitterness of the past. And also for the first time, the leader of the TNA, the party which represents the Tamil community in Sri Lanka was chosen as the leader of the opposition and thus I feel a new window of opportunity was opened for Sri Lanka after many years to rectify the mistakes of the past and go forward towards a new future.

In fact as you may be aware, when Sri Lanka gained independence in 1948, it was a country which the world believed will succeed in no time. I have seen an article written in the, I believe it was the London Times, the day after Sri Lanka gained independence from the British. The editorial in that paper says Ceylon, as it was called then, which gained independence will in no time become the Switzerland of the East because of its strategic location, because of its human and natural resources. Not only that, as recently as 1965, Lee Kuan Yew, the new Prime Minister of Singapore then having just broken away from the Malay Union presenting his first budget says that my ambition in 65 of course is to surpass the growth rate of Ceylon in the first five years meaning that we were way ahead even of Singapore at that time. But of course by 1983, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew went on to say that Sri Lanka is an example that no country should follow because we had all the opportunities, we had all the reasons to succeed but because we could not come to terms with our own diversity as a nation, what could have been easily solved at the early stages then became a bitter war and as a result, Sri Lanka today has to I believe recommence that journey all over again, trying to catch up for lost opportunity.

Because as I said, the new conjunctions have given Sri Lanka an opportunity it has never had for a long time. We have a Government which consists of the principle parties. We have an opposition and a leader of opposition who represents the moderate aspirations of the Tamil people and other minorities of Sri Lanka and therefore we also have a Government which is indeed committed to the three pillars of governance as I mentioned earlier, that of democratization, of reconciliation and development.

In fact again as some of you may know, we have achieved a considerable amount, many victories, in a short period of time in the area of democratization. Within the first one 100 days itself, President Sirisena pruned down many of his executive powers as much as he could without going through a referendum as the Supreme Court requested. He reintroduced term limits for the Presidency. He again took away all institutions like the Judiciary and the Public Service Commissions, the Corruption Commissions all out of the grip of Presidential rule and independent commissions are now functioning again and also committed himself for a new Constitution, not merely Constitutional Amendments, a new Constitution.

Once a new Government was formed after the General elections, which as I said took place last August and in Jan 09th of this year when the President was celebrating his first year in office, we converted the Sri Lankan Parliament to a Constituent Assembly tasked with the objectives of drafting a brand new Constitution for Sri Lanka. That was because we felt that the two Constitutions which were in place since independence, the two Republican Constitutions in 1972 and 1978 did not take into account the diversity of Sri Lanka as a nation.

As you know, Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic, multi religious, multi lingual, multi cultural nation. The Sinhalese and the Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka since history was written. The Muslim community came as traders and then lived there and had contributed immensely to the history of our country for the last 1000 odd years and we have other communities like the Burghers, the descendents of the Dutch and the Portuguese. We have the Malays and we even have indigenous Sri Lankans, the Veddas but unfortunately because the two Constitutions were basically majoritarian in nature, we feel that paved the way for one of the most bitter civil wars Sri Lanka and the world in fact has ever seen and our Government, the non – recurrence being one of our primary objectives, first and foremost must now create a Constitution which will celebrate the diversity of Sri Lanka and that is what we are doing now.

In fact the first report of consultations with the public was tabled last week in parliament. The work of the draft is going on very seriously and fairly quickly in parliament, in the Constitutional Assembly. In fact we have told the people who are doing it that we would like to have the first white paper on the Constitution distributed sometime in September and hopefully before the budget of Sri Lanka which is usually presented in the late November.

We are hoping to present, the new Constitution to parliament for ratification by a two-thirds majority, which most probably will have to be again followed in the New Year by a referendum. But of course with both the principle parties working together on this, we are confident of the two thirds majority as well as “Yes” at referendum in the future.

Along with the new Constitution, we have also being bringing various new laws to strengthen the democratic framework. As I said the 19th Amendment which again freed all the legal mechanisms and the media, the Public Service Commission, from interference from the government. I won’t be there for the vote but tomorrow even the Right to Information bill, which has been something which Sri Lanka has been wanting for long time, will be presented in Parliament and passed.

And of course the other areas in which we have been concentrating is the area of reconciliation, because without reconciliation as I mentioned Sri Lanka cannot achieve the promise it has. So that is why the new government was elected on a very strong mandate for reconciliation and a mandate also gave us power to start a domestic mechanism to inquire into the various allegations of human rights violations, perhaps even war violations during the earlier period.

In fact, that is why Sri Lanka took the very bold step of co-sponsoring the resolution presented in Geneva by the United States initially. After discussions, we decided that co-sponsoring is the best way we can bring justice to those who need it in Sri Lanka.

In fact, some people like to say that, specially the nationalist extremist wings which are still very much alive and kicking in Sri Lanka, which is hand in glove with one or two ghosts from the past. They like to say that we did it under International pressure. I like to say to you ladies and gentlemen, No! The decision to co-sponsor the resolution and to commit ourselves to a reconciliation process. A process which will basically take into account (that) our past was taken not because of the international community but we as a Government feel that it is the only way Sri Lanka can move forward. The only way is coming to terms with our past so that we can move forward as a united nation.

So in order to do so, we talked about 4 possible mechanisms. A mechanism to seek the truth, the truth seeking mechanisms. The second one was a mechanism for accountability, for justice. The third one was of course reparation and the fourth one is to ensure non-recurrence, to ensure that some of the tragedies which took place in our beautiful island in the last so many years since independence do not ever, ever happen again.

So with that in mind, we have been working hard in the last several months, especially since the resolution was passed unanimously on the first of October last year. We have now in fact, the first of these mechanisms which we proposed, the Permanent Office for Missing Persons has now being finalized and also got unanimous approval by the Cabinet and the next step of publishing it as a government gazette was also completed two weeks ago in all three languages and the final step would be to present it in Parliament within the next month or so once the due time frames are completed. So the OMP or the Office for Missing Persons, I feel is a massive step forward.

Then of course, we have also created what is called the SCRM, Secretariat for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms and that is working with leading members of the civil society, conducting consultations on the other mechanisms now. Consultations with all the stakeholders, the victims of the war, members of the armed forces, wives of the missing and the different political parties etc. That process has already started.

Meanwhile we have been working with the government of South Africa about their experiences in the setting up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Of course we aren’t guided by the South African model of the TRC because we feel that a model based on confession and forgiveness which I believe, if I am to simplify the South African process which is not as simple, but is not what Sri Lankans want. Many of them want justice. So we are working out the contours of not only the TRC but as I said what should come afterwards is the setting up of the special courts.

Of course there’s a certain degree of controversy on how it should be setup and the level of international participation. That too will be decided after the consultations are over but all I can say now is whatever we decide upon, will and must have approval, not only ourselves but of the victims those who suffered. This is not an exercise to please ourselves. So the final contours of the architecture of the courts we are hoping to set up will be in discussion. Especially with parties like the TNA or other groups which represent the victims.

Along with that we have taken certain steps to further kick start the process. As I said earlier, with the intention of de militarizing the North and the East immediately after coming into power, we appointed civilians, two highly respected civil servants as the Governors of the North. The demilitarizing process has started but of course not complete but we are now in the process of even giving back the land which has been taken over for military purposes over the years. In fact I know that during the course of this week another 700 acres will also be released. So far nearly 4000 acres but perhaps an equal amount of land remains to be released and that too we have told the military, that all must be released in a timeline going up to the end of 2018.

We did ratify the convention of enforced and involuntary disappearances for the first time and the enabling legislation will be presented to Cabinet, which is done by my Ministry, the moment I am back in Sri Lanka in July. Hopefully that will certainly confine the white van culture of terror we had earlier to the pages of history.

Today in Sri Lanka, two Marxist insurgencies or two JVP insurgencies and one 26 year old war later, Sri Lanka has started a new journey towards what I would like to call a new Sri Lanka. In fact, the legacy of this bitter past, I feel has united us in a collective determination to prevent, to torment such violence from ever reoccurring in our country again. When you try to wrestle with a past of this nature, you still have to deal with the ghosts of the past. As I said you still have to deal with the old mindset which sometimes is entrenched in certain sections of the bureaucracy and sometimes it’s very frustrating because it’s not happening as quickly as we would like it to happen, but all I can say is that Sri Lanka does have the will, whatever the challenges are to overcome all these difficulties

And we have. In fact, again I don’t want it to be like the monkey praising his own tail, to go on about the achievements we have made but, in the short period of time, we have made some remarkable achievements and we are continuing to do so. I saw some of our friends in the international arena call what we have done in this time as ‘baby steps’ but to them I’d like to say that even though it may look like baby steps to some of you in the international community, I think if I may paraphrase Armstrong going to the moon, It’s a giant leap for Sri Lanka and we will move forward.

From here I go to Geneva next week where I will be making a statement on what we are doing now and also the fact that the Government is united in its determination to come to terms with what happened earlier. Again certain newspapers and social media like to say that the President has one view, the Prime Minister has another, the Foreign Minister yet another but it is not so. We are working unitedly. In fact, those of you who heard President Sirisena addressing the nation on the 4th of February during the independence day of Sri Lanka this year, he said “ It is now time for us to seize the current opportunity that is before us to implement the provisions of the resolution, not because of International pressure, but because as a nation, we must implement these provisions for the sake of restoring the dignity of our nation, our people and our military, in order for Sri Lanka to regain her due position as a strong democracy among the community of nations.” So we are moving ahead as I said with confidence and meeting the challenges head on.

But of course if democracy and reconciliation is to succeed, we feel that the third part of the pillar, which is the pillar of development, must also succeed. The people of Sri Lanka must now feel that their pockets are fuller, that they are better off economically, their standards of living has risen because of our open policy to the world and our policy of coming to terms with our past. That is why I am here and this morning I had the opportunity, (which) the ambassador arranged, a meeting where we addressed many investors who are willing to come to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is a middle income country. We are no longer eligible for handouts or aid or grants. We must look after ourselves and in order to do so Foreign Direct Investment is of paramount importance in order to kick start the economy. Sri Lanka I would say as huge potential. In fact, Sri Lanka has been known as a paradise for tourists for a long, long time but now we also want to make Sri Lanka a paradise for foreign investors. We feel that it is strategically placed today. As the East or Asia grows in importance, we could be strategic gateway to the Indian Ocean or the Indian subcontinent.

We have, even though our own market is relatively small. 21 million is our population, but we have Free Trade Agreements with both Pakistan and India. We are now in the process of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with China or Japan which I’m sure as I said earlier makes it an exciting gateway for investors from this part of the world to come there.

We have been getting a lot of support from the West since the new government came into power. There’s a tsunami of goodwill I’d like say but that good will must now transform itself into practical day to day realities and the best way you can help is by choosing Sri Lanka as your destination of choice for investment and for trade.

We have ended the previous government’s policy of self isolation and confrontation. Today we have embraced the world. We were totally dependent on China along for nearly 10 years but I’m happy to say that we have restored our relations with our neighbor and friend, India to a level of excellence after many years.

We have restored our ties with the European Union. In fact just last week the fishing ban imposed on Sri Lanka was restored unanimously in the European Parliament and yesterday we handed in our official application to have the GSP + concession restored. Earlier it was again taken away because we did not or we had violated many of the criteria, which was required to get initially but now are ready to get it back again and offer and restore the thousands and thousands of jobs lost as a result of that. With the United States, we have raised our relations to a level we have never seen before and this year we started the US – Sri Lanka partnership dialogue in Washington in February with Secretary John Kerry. With Japan, President Sirisena was the first leader to be invited to the Outreach Summit ever in its history and all the G7 countries have promised to help us.

If you want to know what kind of diplomacy Sri Lanka is following, I would like to go back to something Jawaharlal Nehru said in 1947. He said “Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country.” So I think today it may sound very selfish but we aren’t ideologically driven but self-interest is I would say is the driving force in our foreign policy. Because we want to ensure that the people of Sri Lanka, even at this late stage, get the future that they truly deserve.

Finally thank you again, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity to go through some of the developments and I would like to invite all of you, as today there are no restrictions in visiting any part of the country.

All the Norwegian people here, I’m sure many of you have come here because you have an interest in the country and you should come back and see for yourselves. For the Sri Lankans who are here, the Sri Lanka Diaspora who are here also, we would like to invite you to please come back and see for yourself and become partners in the forward march of your country.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    3

    Mangala with his usual fairy tale. This time however with the begging bowl. Wonder when he will realize West is not going to give him a cent.

    • 7
      5

      He is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the international community;

      while the ammunition dump affected Sinhalese got quick relief, the war affected Tamils are still suffering in internal refugee camps.

      • 1
        10

        Didn’t I tell you that the result will be what is politically acceptable to the West and the government?

        • 5
          1

          Taraki

          “Didn’t I tell you that the result will be what is politically acceptable to the West and the government?”

          And the government will have to check with Hindia whether it is (whatever it is) acceptable to them.

          The final settlement has to be agreed by New Delhi and not by Washington nor by Colombo. Forget Beijing they are too busy fighting their own battles with surrounding small countries.

          • 0
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            Strangely, I agree with you. The US has already agreed that Sri Lanka is in India’s backyard but they will not let India have everything their way if it affects US interests. Did you see in the news that China has offered to start some development in the North?

            • 2
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              Taraki

              “Strangely, I agree with you.”

              Then I must be wrong.

              “The US has already agreed that Sri Lanka is in India’s backyard but they will not let India have everything their way if it affects US interests.”

              What if US/Hindian/Chinese interests converge?

              US has already learnt that it has to give due respect to Hindians (for various reasons, not just financial) never mind the Indians, and work with them as long as it is necessary.

              “Did you see in the news that China has offered to start some development in the North?”

              Please wipe smugness on your face.

              Let the Hindians do the worrying. Probably Hindians would have studied the cabinet papers on developing China/Sri Lanka relation.

              Don’t forget, if you don’t treat your family well strangers are ready and waiting to grope you and your family.

    • 3
      5

      Of course for economic benefits, Sri Lanka has more future chances in the East (India, China, Japan etc.), with contributions from the West. But for international legitimacy, strengthening democracy and bringing possible reconciliation, Sri Lanka’s friendship with the West is of paramount importance. External affairs have to be a balanced and a pragmatic policy as outlined in the MEA’s presentation.

      On the question of justice to the victims during the (last stages) of the war, I am pleased to see the statement saying “So we are working out the contours of not only the TRC but as I said what should come afterwards is the setting up of the special courts.”

      The Special Courts can be a domestic mechanism, but with international participation, the degree of which could be decided through negotiations.

    • 7
      1

      Patriot pathetic

      “Wonder when he will realize West is not going to give him a cent.”

      Alright, don’t you think it is your patriotic duty to advise MR to lend few billions to his country from what his loot.

    • 0
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      Mangala Samaraweera -Minister of External Affairs

      RE: Advancing Reconciliation Diplomacy

      Why don’t you start by putting CRIMINALS. those who carry out against society behind bars, first, and apply the countries Laws.

      Why are the Yellow robed criminals Exempt? Because they are Para-Sihala “Buddhist” “Monks?

      Start wuith the so-called BBS.

      All just talk, no action. All the criminals are still at large!

      Is this Yaha Palanaya, and still the Balu Palanaya of the BBS?

      Just curious!

  • 6
    2

    “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests”

    ― Henry Kissinger

    In diplomacy, there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies just permanent interests. Please keep that in mind Mr. Minister. All that wooing and statements of loving democracy in SL, USA is like Shylock wanting its pound of flesh. This time it is access to strategic ports like Trincomalee. So while you maybe thrilled at some of the liberal causes espoused by the failing Obama administration, be wary. Be it Democratic or Republican, US interests are permanent. They will not hesitate to screw over a nation, toppled governments by peaceful means(as you all did in 2015) or by deception, by coups(Egypt, Honduras) or invasion(Iraq) or by creating chaos(Libya).

    Do not be carried away by them calling you by your first name and being recognize by white men or white women. You will never be treated as an equal and they tend to be patronizing.

    First, IF Republicans win on Nov 8th(I do not see it happening unless Hillary is indicted by the FBI; what you might not know is that Hillary is the FIRST candidate of a major party to be under CRIMINAL investigation; I repeat it is indeed a CRIMINAL investigation but it might come to naught and they might conclude it is not worth an indictment) you know all the Gayrights, and HR matters will not be pursued.

    You need to realize Samantha Power is a gung-ho arrogant militant liberal Irish American who is too quick on the draw.(she is an Obama crony and seems to have an unhealthy fawning for Obama; she once called Hillary a monster in 2008) She and other political appointees like incompetent Susan Rice and Hillary are the ones responsible for Libya. Now US has gained a foothold there ostensibly to fight ISIS(for the public record there was NO ISIS in Libya before that).

    Take Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood won the first free election there. Within an year of course they showed their true colors of wanting to move Egypt to a Islamic Sharia type backward state. BUT the fact is they WON. So what does Obama do? Encourage massive Military coup and now the MILITARY is sentencing people willy nilly to death on trumped up charges. Why did the US want to change course? Because a secular Egypt at peace with Israel is the key to peace and stopping war in the Middle East. So Hillary, Obama, Samantha, Susie all did not give a damn about the Military killing people and also repressing Egyptian democracy again.

    Take Honduras. Zelaya was overthrown in a military coup. Hillary was behind the coup.

    So while they smile they will cornhole you with a baton (figuratively )if you do not toe the line. So IF you want to really be a neutral nation, watch your backs. But in post war SL, you need to trade with USA and EU. We have no markets in Asia or Africa for our apparel exports. I think you are on the right track.

    Good luck Mr. Samaraweera. Come to US and go to the Atlanta Civil and Human rights museum. You will learn a lot about the sordid recent history of the US.

    Mano Ratwatte

    Here is a good article on how Aunty Hillary helped ruin Honduras.

    In a recent op-ed in The Washington Post, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a review of Henry Kissinger’s latest book, “World Order,” to lay out her vision for “sustaining America’s leadership in the world.” In the midst of numerous global crises, she called for return to a foreign policy with purpose, strategy and pragmatism. She also highlighted some of these policy choices in her memoir “Hard Choices” and how they contributed to the challenges that Barack Obama’s administration now faces.

    The chapter on Latin America, particularly the section on Honduras, a major source of the child migrants currently pouring into the United States, has gone largely unnoticed. In letters to Clinton and her successor, John Kerry, more than 100 members of Congress have repeatedly warned about the deteriorating security situation in Honduras, especially since the 2009 military coup that ousted the country’s democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya. As Honduran scholar Dana Frank points out in Foreign Affairs, the U.S.-backed post-coup government “rewarded coup loyalists with top ministries,” opening the door for further “violence and anarchy.”

    The homicide rate in Honduras, already the highest in the world, increased by 50 percent from 2008 to 2011; political repression, the murder of opposition political candidates, peasant organizers and LGBT activists increased and continue to this day. Femicides skyrocketed. The violence and insecurity were exacerbated by a generalized institutional collapse. Drug-related violence has worsened amid allegations of rampant corruption in Honduras’ police and government. While the gangs are responsible for much of the violence, Honduran security forces have engaged in a wave of killings and other human rights crimes with impunity.

    Despite this, however, both under Clinton and Kerry, the State Department’s response to the violence and military and police impunity has largely been silence, along with continued U.S. aid to Honduran security forces. In “Hard Choices,” Clinton describes her role in the aftermath of the coup that brought about this dire situation. Her firsthand account is significant both for the confession of an important truth and for a crucial false testimony.

    First, the confession: Clinton admits that she used the power of her office to make sure that Zelaya would not return to office. “In the subsequent days [after the coup] I spoke with my counterparts around the hemisphere, including Secretary [Patricia] Espinosa in Mexico,” Clinton writes. “We strategized on a plan to restore order in Honduras and ensure that free and fair elections could be held quickly and legitimately, which would render the question of Zelaya moot.”

    This may not come as a surprise to those who followed the post-coup drama closely. (See my commentary from 2009 on Washington’s role in helping the coup succeed here, here and here.) But the official storyline, which was dutifully accepted by most in the media, was that the Obama administration actually opposed the coup and wanted Zelaya to return to office.

    http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/hillary-clinton-honduraslatinamericaforeignpolicy.html

  • 3
    0

    “”If you want to know what kind of diplomacy Sri Lanka is following, I would like to go back to something Jawaharlal Nehru said in 1947. He said “Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country.” So I think today it may sound very selfish but we aren’t ideologically driven but self-interest is I would say is the driving force in our foreign policy. Because we want to ensure that the people of Sri Lanka, even at this late stage, get the future that they truly deserve.””

    Doesn’t surprise Sri Lanka match Fixing? 6 and a draw [Edited out];))) Wins!

    something Jawaharlal Nehru said:
    There is nothing more horrifying than stupidity in action.
    ― Jawaharlal Nehru

    “”Advancing Reconciliation Diplomacy””

    Facts are facts and will not disappear on account of your likes.
    ― Jawaharlal Nehru

    Indo -Chino Bhai Bye is real and India still cannot buy a western plane or submarine that is without fault but Pakistan has the best F16, not even the paying Saudi.

    If indians believe Mangala then they might be fooling themselves right royally.

    Tamils were fooled via dia ass porara uk- single track south african and father.

  • 4
    0

    We know the president and the prime minister are ‘united’. Its called ‘good cop, bad cop’. One tells the world that Sri Lanka will reform and the other tells the Buddhist nationalists not to worry. Anyone watching Sri Lanka for the past 3 decades should be pretty used to this by now.
    What is amazing is that Mangala doesn’t understand how liberal economics works! If you create an environment for investment – i.e. with rule of law and security and liberty, investment floods in. Mangala and the current administration still think that the US or the EU just turns on a tap and investment comes in. No! You need to reform and make Sri Lanka a place where investors think there will be growth.
    If the leading neo-liberal in the camp doesn’t understand these simple concepts the country is in trouble.

  • 2
    0

    DOUBLE TALKING MANGALA IS SWEET TALKING AGAIN. MAY BE HE CAN TEACH NEHRU A THING OR TWO ABOUT HOW TO DO DIPLOMACY.

  • 1
    7

    Read the following. The tamil tiger lovers and fascist tamil Brahmin expats living in USA, Canada, France, Germany who write to this forum will be in a frenzy frothing at their rabid tamil brahmini or vellala mouths and call Mr. Sumanthiran a traitor. Remember how they murdered Neelan and Kadirgamar and a host of tamil moderates and real leaders to appease fisherman caste low caste smuggling VVT boys who did the dirty work for the Brahmin racists? Oh boy they will be in frenzy now.. How can they justify getting rich off tamil expats by floating the LTTE bogeyman now? Holy shit from the Holy Cow will hit the fan now.

    The people in Sri Lanka’s formerly war-ravaged Northern and Eastern provinces can now genuinely feel the change in terms of freedom of movement, Tamil National Alliance MP M. A. Sumanthiran said.

    The TNA MP said so addressing a gathering at the United States Capitol Hill Congress building last week during a panel discussion on ongoing constitutional reforms in Sri Lanka.

    “Nevertheless, there is more to be done to bring back normalcy to their lives,” Sumanthiran said.

    It was organised by the “Congressional Caucus for Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka” and was moderated by Sadhanand Dhume of the American Enterprise Institute, a Washington-based think tank.

    According to Foreign Affairs Ministry sources “Caucus” is an initiative launched by United States House Representatives Bill Johnson of Ohio and Danny Davis of Illinois, in November, 2013. US House representative Bill Johnson too was present at the briefing. Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States Prasad Kariyawasam was there as a panelist.

    MP Sumanthiran, who was a guest panelist at the forum, expressed his optimism that the ongoing constitutional drafting process will bring about an end to various differences and discord among communities.

    • 2
      0

      TeluguDesam
      Something wrong with you man or should i say it.You are incoherent are you after a few pints lr should a say few bottles of kasippu.
      What do they brew in telungana?
      Take your medicine listen to our mum and wife otherwise she will go with the driver next door.
      We are talking about the problems in Srilanka and not in your backyard.IPKF(Indian people killing force) learnt their lessons when they came to our country, what was their loss Do you remember?

    • 0
      0

      Today, in the present context the Minister of External Affairs should have done his homework long before this opportunity he got to speak. This is typical for Sri Lankan Leaders to talk, talk and talk, when nothing positive is done at home and is known to the International Community. The home must be first brought to order and if it is in order, there is no need for raising a begging bowl. There are opportunists waiting to invest if the condition is favorable and safe for them. TNA or Sumanthiran or Jewaharlal Nehru’s sayings may be good but the investors will not care for those words. They will care for their investment to be worthwhile. Again writing for a forum for the whole world to see should be formal and non aggressive to please the investors. Look! how well the Minister is addressing his words. His words are parliamentary and made well. Only problem is the real situation in Sri Lanka is different and is not promising for investors. He is doing his duty abroad but failed to do the necessary work at home.

  • 6
    1

    ‘As you know, Sri Lanka is a multi ethnic, multi religious, multi lingual, multi cultural nation. The Sinhalese and the Tamils have lived in Sri Lanka since history was written.’

    Can our Foreign Minister go around Sri Lanka making similar speeches to a Singhalese audience?

  • 0
    0

    Many hands to hold the begging bowls and many faces to show, many mouths to speak but nothing for fairness. Buddha diplomacy working well and well.

  • 3
    0

    a massive coordination of awesome force that was done spectacularly for public consumption. It was about putting the North East syndrome to rest.
    yet another viper?

    we talk about the victims, and we all understand what it means to feel vulnerable and be innocent, but pay the price for the life and the people who disappear and get killed.

    every dictator that served CIA, America protects them. They don’t arrest them. They don’t bring them to the U.S. and get them tried.

    we have all these different military sectors who train and use U.S.
    CIA manuals to train. So, for us, it’s not a surprise the issue of training for torture. Our whole experience, as young, as activists, we lived the experience of seeing our military train to disappear us from the 60’s.

    An inconvenient truth-The claim that climate change had caused the shrinking of Mount Kilimanjaro, although the evidence that the shrinkage was most likely caused by deforestation did not appear until after the film was made.

    Aren’t you on the payroll of the CIA??

    You know, rifling through underwear drawers.
    We all know `professional politicians`

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    Aayiram poiyai sollium oru kaliyaanathai kaddu-ஆயிரம் பொய்யை சொல்லியும் ஒரு கலியாணத்தை கட்டு Arrange for marriage even it would take to tell a thousand lies.

    Well, somebody may think why that word is for Mangala; after all he doesn’t need a woman and he is not going to marry. Mangala does not need woman, that is correct, but Ranil is waiting. That is why he is telling all the lies. It is for Ranil’s marriage he is lying. This is not MPHOT, but DPHOT; in other words that is not Mangala Praising His Own Tail. This is Donkey Praising the Horrible Orangutan’s Tail. The interesting thing in that is orangutan never had a tail to praise or castigate, but a big stomach to swallow a lot.

    They say in Tamil “Chaan eera mulam Charukkuthu”. (If one climbs up an inch that one is slipping down a foot. Northerners when they get back a perch their private land from the army, an acre of Northern land is swallowed by the government. More of the North’s Lands are under government control now with false excuses than any time. People are not able use the released lands because army still manages it. It is a comedy they released with lot of advertisements the Nadeswara College land. Neither teachers nor students can freely attend to it yet. The entire world saw after releasing the Sampor Mahavidyalaya, how Sinhala Rapist Navy and Political Prostitute Party SLMC’s CM were fighting for the control of that one time Tamils only school. For development projects in Northern Province CM CV gave lands appropriate to the Province. The Yahapalanaya minster Rishard, who was accused by the war criminal, Old King, as a land grappling criminal, is demanding for the lands he wants and if CM is not giving to his demand he threatens to have the project transferred to another Muslim area. Within 72 hours the IDPs of Kosgama were resettled. Even after 72 months there is not even plan for Mullivaikkal refugees who were living in their own lands. What a dupe master is this lier.

    We can take one after other all the lies he is telling. What is the use? It is not just Diaspora, but now all main INGO are unitedly telling there is no intention of Mangala’s government to genuinely to resolve any of the problems. For all the matters, their date is after November, the month American Presidential election supposed to take place. This is the Donkey lately praised that one of the earlier secretary Condoleezza’s tail was more beautiful to Lankawe than secretary Kerry’s one.

    He is talking about his meeting in Washington DC in February. But when he went there, it was said that the American State Secretary had told him to take American help to resolve the problems. He did not replay to Secretary Kerry. The next day,Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal reminded him about Secretary Kerry’s Colombo visit and his promise in Colombo of being ready help in anyway Lankawe’ Appe Andu wanted. He did not reply. Almost every month one Government big head is visiting China. Last week there was news about 13 ministers, who were visiting to China in one entourage. Still New King has to visit American White house on mutual friendship, other than UN visits. But his first visit was China.

    While Mangala is lying that Lankawe wanted the resolution, but during the 29th sitting, the UN Permanent Rep Ravinatha Aryasinge blasted UNHRC back and forth. When Mangala came back, Ranil blasted the whole Foreign Ministry from India. He did not talk to Mangala for some time. From that time, now and then somebody keeps releasing stories to media that Mangala is losing his job. Even last week there was talks about changing ministries for three ministers and one of them is FM. Even this Donkey’s job is not guaranteed; in that condition it is praising the Orangutan’s tail.

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      Mallaiyuran,

      He has now become a top diplomat.
      He has learned the art of stating untruths to a foreign audience, in a convincing manner.

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    Yahapalana Gay FM says his Reconciliation Diplomacy has benefited them..

    For Sure.. His gay mate Malik ,and the Singaporean whom other mate Batalanada Ranil appointed, have done well.

    In fact so well that the Yahapalana loan book has topped 3640 Billion LKR, according to the Auditor General.

    But Batalanada Ranil says that is bullshit. Because IMF said it is only 1600 Billion.

    And Batalanada says his on AG can’t do maths.

    On a more serious note our FX has been whittled down to just USD 3 Billion .

    Moody says that is hardly enough for 3 months imports for the Colombo Elites consumer needs.

    They say the drop in Economic growth has been the main problem.
    for Yahapalana woos.

    And they gave a minus one (-1) for Yahapalana Economics.

    This gay FM says the Western Countries have helped them soooo much.

    Wish Mr Moody believed him.

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      Sumanasekera, in addition to consistently displaying your unabashed racism and bigotry in CT, you are also displaying your rampant homophobia.

      Maybe you are not aware that homophobes are actually repressed homosexuals or lesbians who use the ploy of being extreme against homosexuality as a psychological reaction to hating themselves for what they truly are.

      What the hell has being gay got to do with the content of this post?

      You poor sap. get a life and spare us your never-ending bigotry.

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        Shrink mate,

        You didn’t get it. Did you?

        I was talking about Moody’s latest Report Card on your Yahapalana economy.

        Not your Homophily with Mangalan, Batalanada Ranil and Malik.or Viraj or Sagala as one commentator pointed out to me the other day .

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    SL, need highly educated but patriots that understand colonial white man’s mentality to counter regime changes and down right duplicity from those so called west.
    Sadly we lost a good FM, Mr Kadiragarma and possibly future president.
    Political corruption from any party is deep rooted and poor will not get any respect from those thieves if its sinhalese or tamils or muslims.

    At least we should look after our poor and give them a chance rather than robbing the country with expensive perks, cars etc..
    Magali never had any money before politics but some divine white intervention he is quite rich and people should ask where did he get his money from?
    People go to UK for higher specialised study but this guy only become a taylor with no qualifications..

    Only in SL we have uneducated taylor as FM.

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    “Whatever policy you may lay down, the art of conducting foreign affairs of a country lies in finding out what is most advantageous to the country.”

    Dear Mr Mangala Samaraweera, what made you to believe that whatever you do as the Foreign Minister will become advantage to the country? What made you to believe that you have the ability to match the brainpower of the West?

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    Its not Mangala’s brain power, it is MANGALA’S LGBT pOWER, Mr. Antany Peter that can match the power of the West.

    I know you are alien to that kind of power, Mr. peter.

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    This is the buffoon SL is sending round the world as her Foreign Minister. It is a tragedy that someone who has no understanding of the needs of his own country trying to preach to the world with pathetic bonhomie without a shred of knowledge of how the world works. Wearing full European suit and speaking in ‘Singlish’ appears to be the only qualification Yahapals need in order pose as intellectuals. Pity SL.

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    All sounds good in speech and paper, except that the Raj Rajaratnam connexion brought out dubious ways glaringly to the forefront.

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    Successive Ministers for Foreign Affairs have been made to lie through their teeth unashamedly. When will this stop?

    MAY THE RULER BE RIGHTEOUS!!!!!!!!

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    It’s only Talk and Tamashas ! Have the SL governments ever fulfilled what they have promised even to their very own electors ?

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