4 December, 2020

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Bandula Jayasekara Thinks We Know Little Beyond What He Writes

By Bruce Haigh

Bruce Haigh

Writing in the Weekend Australian on December 15-16, the Sri Lankan consul-general in Sydney, Bandula Jayasekara, gives a very one-sided defence of the Sri Lankan persecution of dissenters, including Tamils. It is interesting that Jayasekara is being put forward as the Sri Lankan representative in Australia to defend the indefensible, an acknowledgement that the Sri Lankan high commissioner, Thisara Samarasinghe, has singularly failed to get his message across.

Jayasekara begins by saying, ”There is a misconception among some Australians regarding the issue of Sri Lankan asylum seekers because of a misinformation campaign carried out by parties with vested interests.” Australians are quite used to weighing the facts, they saw through the propaganda of the South African apartheid regime, the lies over East Timor and weapons of mass destruction and it is only a matter of time before the truth will out on the treatment of Tamils and the political enemies of the corrupt Rajapaksa regime.

The Sri Lankan flag has a sword-bearing Sinhalese lion. Attempts, after independence, to adopt a flag with neutral symbols were rejected by the Sinhalese majority. Instead two ribbons were added to represent minority Tamils and Muslims. With the advent of the civil war the Tamils adopted a tiger as their symbol and the Sinhalese army, the lion.

Jayasekara would have us believe that Tamils fought (as terrorists) to divide Sri Lanka. What he conveniently fails to mention is that what occurred was a civil war fought because the Sinhalese refused to share power on the departure of the British. Tamil protest eventually turned Sinhalese exclusionary policies into genocide, which erupted in a blood bath in Colombo in 1983.

Many fled to the north and were subsequently forced to defend themselves from the army. The Sinhalese fear and hate the Tamils, hence the belief that Tamils are reorganising overseas for another civil war. It may well become a self-fulfilling prophecy if the Sinhalese continue to deny their rights.

Jayasekara makes a series of unsubstantiated claims, among them that the ”pro-LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) lobby wants to enter Australia, having penetrated into Canada and Britain. Its long term plan is to have a voice in Australian politics, so as to lobby and tilt the balance in its favour … it believes it is important to create that base in Australia …” Jayasekara does not say what the LTTE hopes to gain by doing this.

He claims that, ”As the former consul general to Toronto in Canada, I have experienced first-hand how these groups interrupted the daily lives of Canadians with their violent methods” and they ”may breed terrorism on Australian soil”. Perhaps he might like to detail the harassment of Tamils in Australia by Sinhalese, some of them security operatives. He claims LTTE groups control people smuggling operations for profit. I would have thought that if they are operating out of Sri Lanka they would be well and truly behind bars by now.

What Jayasakera does not mention is Sri Lanka’s appalling human rights record, where young Tamils have been abducted and murdered. Forty Sri Lankan journalists have been murdered over the past 10 years for reporting state-sponsored corruption and abuse of human rights.

The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs is well aware of the nature of government in Sri Lanka. However the Australian government has been prepared to gloss over these abuses and in its own treatment of Tamil asylum seekers has now transgressed accepted human rights.

In September 2012, the Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, warned that he may refuse to attend the November 2013 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, unless the Rajapaksa government addresses allegations of Sinhalese atrocities during the closing stages of the civil war.

In a matter continuing while the Australian Foreign Minister, Bob Carr, was in Colombo over the weekend of December 15-16, Canadian senator Hugh Segal and the Commonwealth Secretariat in London expressed grave concern at the impending impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Shirani Bandaranayake.

The Commonwealth Lawyers Association, the Commonwealth Legal Education Association and the Commonwealth Magistrates and Judges Association issued a statement saying, in part, ”By virtue of its membership of the Commonwealth, Sri Lanka is committed to the shared fundamental principles, at the core of which is a shared belief in and adherence to democratic principles including an independent judiciary … The consistent and serious violation of these could well result in a country’s membership being questioned.”

In early December the Indian newspaper The Hindu said that ”Just 19 months after Bandaranayake was appointed … the fate of the 43rd chief justice appeared to have been sealed following a ruling she gave to a bill introduced in Parliament by the Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaska, one of the many presidential siblings controlling the levers of power.

”In early November, when 117 parliamentarians handed over an impeachment motion against the chief justice to the Speaker of the legislature (Chamal Rajapaksa, another sibling), the process that followed affirmed how heavy were the odds stacked against Bandaranayake.” The Hindu noted that such was the haste that due process and legal consistency had been given the flick and the government controlled media had already judged the chief justice guilty.

Jayasekara seeks to deceive because, with hubris and ignorance, he thinks we know little beyond what he writes. He should take pause and think again.

*Bruce Haigh is a political commentator and retired diplomat who served in Sri Lanka and on the Refugee Review Tribunal. This article is first appeared in the Age, Australia under the title  Diplomats paint one-sided picture of Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    Spot on, Bandula muppet can fool sinhala veerayas not civilised world….

    • 1
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      Time for Australia to drop its racist and classist immigration policies. It steals the best brains from Asian countries but turns away poor refugees from these same countries!
      Australia should pull out of the Commonwealth heads meeting scheduled for 2013 and ask that it be shifted to a less controversial place and boycott the Rajapakse regime.
      If not the people of Lanka will be on the streets to protest Australian racism and support for third world dictators like Mahinda Rajapakse in the Lankan Spring scheduled for 2013 for REGIME CHANGE IN LANKA.
      Australia is on the wrong side of history at this time!

      • 0
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        Dinuk

        Really. I am just wondering how many people you could managed to gather for such a protest in SL.

      • 0
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        Current Julia Gillard’s government immigration policies are worst than the racist john Howard’s (Philip Ruddock )policies , They would not give a monkey about SL human right situation, as long as SL navy stops boats sailing towards the pacific, junta is safe .

  • 0
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    Bandula Jayasekera is another foolish apologist for the Rajapaksa regime who thinks that the outside world is oblivious to what is happening to the country and it’s people under Mahinda Rajapaksa. The vast amount of information about the sorry state of affairs under the corrupt Rajapaksa dictatorship that is coming out of the country is too much for Bandula Jayasekera to defend. Mr Haigh’s response demolished his pathetic claims about the state of affairs in Sri Lanka today.

    • 0
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      Well said. This guy is a stooge of Idi Mahin. When he served as Consul-General in Canada, he tried to undercut the then Ambassador and eventually got him out. While in Canada and in the U.S. he had a weakness for his biological needs…and eventually he was back in Colombo. Now in Sydney, he is trying his old pranks. [Edited out] caution!!

  • 1
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    Bandula is a shame, not only to Sri Lanka but to his Alma Mater Trinity College. I am told, when he arrived in Canada he made a speech at a Trinity College OBA event that he was in Toronto to bring about unity among the Sinhalese and the Tamils. Immediately after his speech, the following week he wrote an article attacking the Tamils and that was the end of his neutrality. With the way things were progressing in Toronto he could not stay in Toronto any more so under the patronage of his guardian angel he moved to New York, there again he started having “[Edited out]issues” and was kicked out and again the guardian angel took him under his wings in Colombo. Now that he is in Australia he is trying his same old trick again. Diplomats should be Diplomats not mouth pieces of THUGS! If he truly understands the meaning of the Trinity Moto -“Respice Finem”- Look to the End, I am sure he will look to the end to bring about a meaningful term to his career as a Diplomat, not as a moth piece of THUGS. Bandula should first learn to be honest to himself before he preaches the Sri Lankan Government doctrine to the public, especially in a Democratic country like Australia.

  • 0
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    Bandula J went to Toronto ..

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.The key to maintaining the website as an inviting space is to focus on intelligent discussion of topics.For the sake of robust debate, we will distinguish between constructive, focused argument and smear tactics.
    For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

  • 0
    1

    Isn’t this Bruce aware that hundreds of thousands Tof Tamils escaped from Tiger Terrtory to settle in Southern parts of the country and mainly in Wellawatta?.

    Is Bruce’s acquired Mother Land sharing power with the original inhabitants of the Land?.

    Has Bruce Motherland got at least one ribbon to say this was taken by force from the original inhabitants?.

    Can Mr Bruce give a guarantee that his compatriots will agree to change the Flag to accomodate the aspirations and wishes of the original inhabitants?.

    Don’t point the finger at others when you have shit in your own back yard.

    • 0
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      People Settled in Wellawatte because they live din teh Army Controlled areas and they felt Capital with its international exposure is safe for them. Still many of them disappeared. Are you trying to join the folds of Bandula Jayasekara

    • 1
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      KNS

      Totally agree. Every valid points that you raised above.

  • 0
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    It is welcome that the international community and especially the commonwealth group of nations is taking note of the duplicitious behaviour of the Govt. Three years after the war was over the govt has failed to implement any solution for the tamils in the north other than keeping them under military rule and harrassing them using the draconian PTA.

    In the south it has embarked on a journey of corruption, swindling of public funds and suppression of democratic rights. The latest attempt is to do away with the independence of the judiciary. What we have in Sri Lanka is a quasi dictatorship where the rule of the President and his Family is supreme. Four Brothers control the Finances, Armed Forces, Economy and Legislature. The President has unlimited powers and is above the laws of the land.

    It is noted that the commonwealth took action against Pakistan when it lapsed into a dictatorship under Musharraf. Similiar action or at least cancelling the CHOG meeting should be contemplated in view of the dictatorial actions of the Rajapakse regime. Holding CHOG meeting here will simply serve to legitimise the undemocratic actions of this rogue govt which suppresses and harrasses its own people.

  • 0
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    Bandula J is one of the rats of MR. He feels the ship is sinking and so has chosen the right time to try and settle down Down Under. How could he defend a poor brief?

    • 0
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      You got it right. He will eventually settle down in Sydney with his lady friend and not look for any further “openings”? Thanks to MaRa.

  • 0
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    I worship this colonial master with a bunch of lotus flowers at his feet, simply because he is against the Sinhalese and the Rajapaksa government that helped the Sinhalese beat terrorism.

    At the same time I ask him why this compassion of his, pouring out of his ears, for Sri Lankan Tamils is not extended to the Australian Aboriginals in the Northern Territory of Australia.

    Will he answer? Of course not. His name is ‘Haig’ and he is laying down the law for the world government.

    Aboriginals can die. Haig’s people poison their drinking water, just like they did to Arafat.

    Let us worship him in this website.

  • 0
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    I think you should say successfully try to suppress Tamil freedom movement by Sinhala State Terrorism. But you might have suppressed the violent form movement not the non-violent fro. we will fight for it till we achiove. Till we achieve, Sinhala racist State will get ruined more and more

  • 0
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    Sri Lankan Government Ministers use the words, “carried out by parties with vested interests.” for anything and everything UN has vested interest, UNHR has vested interest, Canada has vested Interest and Channel 4 produced 2 videos with vested interest. But they don’t revel what these interests are and all Modayas behind this Government without knowing go out on the streets to protests organized by MR

    • 0
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      AMT

      65% of SL are Modaya? Is it an insult from a so-called wise man like you?

      • 0
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        AMT

        By the way, this 65% of SL backed MR to defeat one of the best blood sucking terra groups in the world.

  • 0
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    “The Sinhalese fear and hate the Tamils,…….”. Spot On, Mate !!!

    This what the IC cannot understand.

    The fear arises from the inherent cowardliness of Sinhalese.That fear in the end led to the barbaric and inhuman war crimes against innocent Tamils.

    The hate arises from the jealousy of the superior intellect of the Tamils.

    Australian media should rally behind Tamils in exposing these crimes.

    Thanks Mr Haigh again for your honesty and courage to stand up for the truth.

    • 0
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      “the superior intellect of the Tamils”

      ROFL. So what exactly is your excuse then?

      • 0
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        It is well known why the racist Sinhalese governments introduced standardisation system to university entrance in Sri Lanka. Nothing but to deny the superior Tamils brains the opportunity of higher education for them. This discriminatory act has been since approved by the jealous Sinhalese.

        So get it clearly, it is the Sinhalese who are jealous of and full of hatred towards Tamils not the other way around.

        • 0
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          Uh huh. And I suppose the ‘superior Tamil brains’ have taken a turn for the stupid since then, seeing as how the university cut off marks now are consistently lower for Tamil majority districts. Actually that would explain the presence of so many dullards here :)

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka’s new Mahinda Chintana Constitution:

    “By the Crooks….For the Crooks….on the instructions of the Crooks..
    ….to screw the country and it’s people by those crooks”

    JAYAWEVA.

  • 0
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    Australian Aborigines living conditions are worst than Ethiopia and this white racist openly trying to get favours from ltte apologists.. I know GFC is bad and Is he now working for terrorists?

    Why not fix your own back yard before preaching to others.. What a humbug.

  • 0
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    mr.bruce identifies new species of lions ‘the sinhala lions’
    ” Jayasekara does not say what the LTTE hopes to gain by doing this.”
    sentence previous to this explains ‘lobby and tilt the balance in its favour ‘ bandu j is a blind advocate of dicktator and regime but mr.bruce seem to be a similar one of terorist elam group.

  • 0
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    Bob Carr has bought the Lanka govt story hook,line & sinker that thousands of Lankan boats will arrive in Australia! That’s the reason so many Australian politicians are arriving in Lanka…they all talk of boats but not rights !!

  • 0
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    Bandula jayasekera was stripped at Lalith Athulathmudali’s funeral. He had to put his hands in front of his genitals and run.

  • 0
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    Ah, yes! Bruce Haigh the well-known Australian philosopher of the effectiveness of terrorism as a political strategy so beloved by Australia’s loony-left. Also founder member and “advisor” to the self-styled UK based Sri Lanka Campaign for Peace and Justice. His ideas on the effectiveness of terrorism bringing an “advantage” were practised by the Tamil Tigers and look where it got them!

  • 0
    0

    Without commenting on Haig’s criticism of the Consul, I would suggest that he (Haig) has only a second hand experience of Sri Lankan political and social history. Therefore, he must desist from commenting or writing on a subject that he only vaguely understands.

    I notice that several commentators have very accurately described Australia’s sordid past with their atrocious treatment of the indigenous population, which is presently maintained with more subtle but similarly devastating outcomes.

    On the other hand, Sri Lanka has much to learn from the perseverence of generations of migrants who centrally made Australia the developed nation it is today, despite not being credited adequately for their enormous contribution.

    • 0
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      Lasantha, are you saying that Sri Lankan politics is a democracy and treats all the people equal, or have you accepted the stand that Sri Lankan Government is anti Muslim, anti Tamil, anti Hindus, anti Christians etc… You are talking about Australian Governments treatment against the natives of Australia, this in no way wipes out the atrocities of the Sri Lankan Government against its own citizens. Above all Sri Lanka is no more a democracy.

  • 0
    0

    Bandula J went to Toronto heightening the hope of the Rajapakse regime – with the advantage of his journalistic Network there; his assured influences with the Sri Lankan community and his experience, he will be able to weaken the growing Tamil diaspora in Canada. When he left his highly fortified office in downtown Toronto, the diaspora there had become stronger, the Canadian Govt more sympathetic to the Tamil cause and a section of the Canadian Tamils contributing in no small measure to the coming into being of Rudrakumaran’s TGTE – with him (VR) as PM. BJ’s posting to New York was of a shorter duration and ended in events described by insiders as of an unwelcome salacious nature. His next and shorter stint at home as Govt Spokesman did not create many waves. That he was, nonetheless, chosen to lead our campaign against the Tamil diaspora in Australia, after two clear failures in the two earlier overseas postings, is best explained in that strange but new Rajapakse doctrine “apey minussu api balaganda oney ney” (we have to take care of our own,No?) that defies all known norms of governance, foreign-service or logic.

    But so far, the Aussie diaspora has not been weakened. In fact a former Lankan Sinhalese is now a Minister in the TGTE making the watching world wonder what indeed is happening in Sri Lanka under the Rajapakse Family.

    BJ will have a tough act in Australia to whiten the Rajapakse mendacious litanies of woes. There are many academics, ex-diplomats and experts there who know and have access to information on the ground on a daily basis. Bruce Haigh is indeed one of them. Using Cricket parlance, the Aussies are used to facing spin and googlies for centuries.

    Let us hope Bandula J succeeds more for the regime Down Under than his dismal performance in the earlier postings.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Hiphop – Please ignore comments where one talks of a “superior intelligence” of one community here. This is a foolish position and has
    no place in a forum focussing on serious debate. All communities living in the Island are blessed with the same intelligence. Some study and work hard improving on their own natural intelligence and such men/women are found in all communities.

    Why Jews and Tamil/Malayalee/Telugu/Kannada Brahmins in India outdo others in their own fields is yet another matter requiring a different study.

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Bruce What do you tell when my brother was killed in broad day light by a LTTE bomber in Colombo. You were sitting in Australia probably eating Kangaroo flesh. Such a stupid way to counter Bandula J comments.

  • 0
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    Ranil, my guess is that Haigh would not be as concerned about the loss of Sinhalese lives in Colombo as he would have been about the death of Australians in Bali. Nor would he have been concerned about the death of tens of thousands of Tamils or the displacement of 90,000 Muslims by the LTTE. It’s Haigh’s position as a white-skinned moral arbiter that lets him choose which victims are worthy of mention.

  • 0
    1

    All you who throw thrones from glass houses must realize that with fame comes hate and jealousy, a great example is numerous hate comments against BJ. Bandula has done a great job to tackle the LTTE supporters at its steps and have won many debates. He put his heart before anything, so I suggest for everyone to check their facts. Bandula has created history and he is a legend and he will always be commended for his good work, what happened or didn’t happen in his private life is his business and not ours. He is defending the good name of his country that he truly loves which gives traitors and haters amusement to cry foul.

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