31 October, 2020

Blog

Danced On The Graves Of Dayan And Tamara

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Coping with Western pressures 

Once again, following the vote in Geneva, which made clear how influential the United States of America was, and how comparatively friendless we were, there is talk of re-establishing relations with the West. Thankfully this year it has not taken the form of denigration of good relations with others, as happened last year when those elements in the Ministry of External Affairs, which would have been described in the Cold War days as the running dogs of imperialism, danced on the graves of Dayan Jayatilleka and Tamara Kunanayagam.

This was profoundly ironic, for it was those two who had built up our friendships with other countries in the time honoured fashion that had brought us so much respect internationally in the days of Mrs Bandaranaike. At the same time they did this whilst commanding the respect of the West, as numerous cables in Wikileaks make clear. It was no coincidence then that two of our most sympathetic, if not uncritical, interlocutors from the West said to me in astonishment, after the vote, that we had made insufficient use of Tamara, who was clearly our best representative at Geneva.

How did they achieve this moral ascendancy, even while combating the political machinations of the West? It was through a careful understanding of the motivations of the West in persecuting us, and in appreciating that a blanket criticism of those motivations would not be convincing. To build up our support base, they had to respond positively to the arguments the West used to gain support from those who otherwise shared our view of the desired architecture of the world order.

In essence there are three elements in the determination of the West to do down the current government. The first is geopolitical, and based on fears of China, which is seen as a threatening rival. Unfortunately emotional respondents in the Foreign Ministry see the solution to this problem as being total adherence to America. Their even less rational opponents think the answer is total commitment to China. The simple fact that ignoring India, which neither of those countries does, is the root cause of our problems escapes both these Manichaean, fundamentally oppositional, views of the world.

The second element motivating the West is those elements in the diaspora who are determined to pursue separatism, now in a more civilized form than before, given that they can now claim to have no truck with terrorism. This is nonsense, given the track record of the most influential figures in the movement (who command the most resources, which immeasurably helps their case), but because we have failed over the last five years to develop a solid system of working with the moderate elements in the diaspora, we are at a hopeless disadvantage. Given the Foreign Ministry’s determination to root out many who developed positive links with the diaspora – Amza and Pathmanathan in London, Krishnamoorthy in Chennai, Dayan in Paris – it is no wonder that we are floundering.

Finally there is what might be termed the Human Rights element. This has two strands, which need to be distinguished, even while we work on both of them. The first relates to the ethnic question, namely the need to ensure ‘minority participation in the day-to-day running of the affairs of our nation’ (as Fr Vimal Tirimanna puts it in LTTE Terrorism: Musings of a Catholic Priest, which is forthright in its condemnation of terrorism and defends eloquently the success of the government in eradicating the LTTE in Sri Lanka, even while affirming eloquently the need for making up to the Tamils and others for the majoritarian outlook of the past).

In this regard it is tragic that government simply has not moved on reforms that are generally agreed as desirable. In addition to the long postponed elections to the Northern Provincial Council, and clarification of the ambiguities of the 13th amendment, we could have introduced a Second Chamber and strengthened Local Government as pledged previously by the President. Unfortunately these matters have been left to those concerned with gaining political advantage from any arrangement (or worried about damage to their own careers from any problems), so nothing has been done, for four long and wasted years.

The second element with regard to Human Rights, which has won votes for the West, is what seems a deterioration in the Rule of Law. Numerous unsolved cases, intimidation of journalists, the manner in which the Chief Justice was impeached, have all contributed to a general feeling that Sri Lanka is not concerned with Human Rights.

These are areas in which we must do better. One reason given for not devolving police powers is that the police should not be under the control of petty politicians, but that unfortunately seems to be the case in many areas in the South, even without those powers being devolved. The answer surely to this problem is greater professionalization of the police, a task the current Inspector General is well equipped to perform. He needs to be strengthened, with commitment to the sort of training that transformed the army in the nineties into a disciplined professional force.

Solving all problems in the sphere of Human Rights will not be easy, but given what goes on in other countries too, no one will expect miracles. We must however make a start, and moving swiftly on the Bill of Rights the President has pledged would make a world of difference.

If we act effectively in the two areas of concern that I have noted, we will be able to get over the third area ostensibly connected with Human Rights, but which is in fact part of the diaspora agenda. I refer to the War Crimes claim, which Indian commentators who favoured their country voting against us nevertheless made clear was absurd. The areas the LLRC highlighted should be dealt with, but we need not otherwise worry, provided we work seriously and sincerely on the other Human Rights concerns.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    What a load of bullshit. Army was not transformed into a professional disciplined force. it has been transformed into private army of the rajapakse’s to do their bidding including executions and extra judicial activity. it is no longer a defender of democracy but a defender of a corrupt regime, the same as the police, which broke up a candle lit vigil while guarding that other state sponsored vigil outside the UN by their joker.

    • 0
      0

      You are so right Dushy!
      The post-war militarization of Sri Lanka is to ensue that regime change will not happen easily because once out of power the fate of the Rajapakses is sealed – a war crimes trial for the 3 brothers and a massive corruption inquiry and confiscation of the ill gotten gains of the whole of the extended family – South Asia’s Gaddhafis.

    • 0
      0

      Dushy Ranetunge:
      I really have to take issue with you for saying that this is what comes out of the south end of a north-bound bull. It is FAR WORSE, but befitting the author who is together with his heroes and the other Phd types and pimps in the FM pig-pen monuments, not only to pscho-phancy but to the most reprehensible examples of the Land Like No Other.

  • 0
    0

    yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaawn!

  • 0
    0

    It is very important to be honest to maintain any relationship. State media has a limited capability to cover up Government!s dishonesty with both locals and outside. Truth wins in the long run.

  • 0
    0

    ”time-honoured fashion that had brought us so much respect internationally in the days of Mrs Bandaranaike”:

    Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development- A POLICY ORIENTED ANALYSIS, John Richardson(1996) “Democracy alone cannot ensure ethnic harmony. Instead, it may allow freer expression of ethnic antagonisms and legalised persecution of minorities. In Sri Lanka, both S.W.R.D. and Sirimavo Bandaranaike won democratic elections by appealing to Buddhist-Sinhalese nationalist sentiments and denigrating the ethnic Tamils. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Communist Party Chief of Serbia and General Franjo Tudjman of Croatia won their presidencies by appealing to the most divisive aspects of Serbian and Croatian nationalism”.

    Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil Wars(2005), John Richardson:
    ”In international setting, Mrs. Bandaranaike could speak movingly of oppression and its costs and of the feelings of oppressed people. Her words were not so different from those of Tamil leaders expressing their aspirations for political freedom. Has Sirimavo Bandaranaike brought the brilliance and the energy to domestic communal problems that she brought to international affairs, relations between Sri Lanka’s Sinhalese and Tamil communities might have followed a different path.”

  • 0
    0

    Rajapaksa’s regime must be toppled in order 4 Sri Lanka to be liberated.Why the power’s that be r nodding to evrything he say like hungry dogs waiting to please its master is beyond me!

  • 0
    0

    Tamara K,as a member of the World Christian Students Federation and as an interventionist at the 1987 meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission,read a detailed account of human rights violations in sri lanka.

    FR.Vimal Tirimanne should read the book by Rev.Fr.X.J.Karunairatnam to understand the birth of the LTTE – due to terror visited on tamil citizens from soon after independence.
    Here it is :-
    http://nesohr.org/files/Lest_We_Forget.pdf

  • 0
    0

    Rajiva your posts tare getting more and more irelavent. It is all about Dayan Tamara and you. It is all about how Dayan hoodwinked the un human rights commission in 2009 and brought about a resolution congratulating Sri Lanka for wiping out terrorism.of course things have changed dramatically in un human rights circles and we are now in the dog house..get real . Sri Lanka best diplomatsera, were men such as sir senerat gunewardene,ceylons first permanent rep to the un . Who labored hard to get Ceylon into the un along with 23 countries in 1955.he was chairman of the human rights commission when Eleanor Roosevelt wife of president Roosevelt was vice chairman.here are some of the outstanding diplomats that Sri Lanka produced, prof.g.p. Malalasekara,sir Claude corea,Shirley amerasinghe,Neville kanakaratne,ananda guruge,lal jayawardene,and of course lakshman kadirgamar and dhanapala.
    compared with these outstading diplomats of yore the present heads of missions are just pathetic.take for example Washington is headed a.by an ex tea taster with poor fluency in English and hardly any training in the art of diplomacy. London is head by a doctor who is bussinessman with no training in diplomacy . The rest of the missions are staffed by relatives of the family, ministers children, friends and politcians. How could we have an efficient foreign service when the responsible minister does not represent the country at the UNHCR meetings in Geneva.when an unqualified plantation minister represents the country.when an ex wharf clerk is a supervising mp in the ministry of foreign affairs, and reportedly more powerful than the minister.that’s diplomacy in our country. Run by amateurs.

    cr meetings.

    I

    • 0
      0

      Dont you thiink or feel that it sound like that – it is just because of the minority of highly educated and experienced in the current parliaments are the tiny minority ? RW speaks out about the issues that GOSL is paying a blind eye ..is not it ?

  • 0
    0

    Prof should you not resign from the Govt?

    • 0
      0

      Leon:
      Are you nuts?
      That’s the kind of thing that HONOURABLE people do, not the Rajiva Wijesinhas of this (under)world!

  • 0
    0

    What can one say to a politician like Rajiva who argues so passionately for a de-politicized police force while shamelessly being a part of, and defending, a regime that has overseen its descent into depths hitherto unseen?

  • 0
    0

    Empty, vacuous and simply put, an article written for the sake of “something to do.” What more can you expect from this useless court- jester.

  • 0
    0

    Come on Rajiva talk with your friend the President. Give him some advice. He will never read your post. Go to him and tell him firmly what he needs to do to govern righteously.

    • 0
      0

      How can he do so, if MR closes door to anyone but his bunch.

      MR is unpredictable. I really dont think that there exist anyone who could know MR well. He has no vision wisdom, or priciples. His acting is simply like being alert to USE AND THROW pinciple.

      That is unfortunately, very common to any leader who come from poor backgrounds.

      Winning a war killing civlians and anyone who met with is an easy task, he did manage to do it – with no values paying towards civilians. I believe, any other leaders could also have done that if they were killing minded as MR and the bunch have been.

      They have got that in their genetic code. If one would analyse DNAs of Rajapakshes, gene regions common to them will get into surface.

      They are made thick skinned – no matter any one would criticise them to draw their plans to the end by hook or crook – whereby no human values or democratics values have been concerned. That is the thuggish nature. Look at the aftermathe of the war –

      Instead of trying to do their best also ironing out what the govts failed in the past, they just stay with villagers that are still stupidly aware only Lttes being millitarily defeat within the country. As DJ clearly pointed out – cold peace process is painfully low. So called populistic rhetorics by SLGO are telling something else. The gigantic bunch of thieves keep on abusing the nation by every means sofar.

  • 0
    0

    It is true that Rajiva has nothing better to do than write something in
    support of his pet theories at fixed intervals!

    He must admit however that the diaspora which he runs down has come to
    stay and is growing stronger by the day against every under-hand action
    of SL “diplomats” driven by Regime “Policy”. The diaspora with positive
    links were all temporary based on “deals”.

  • 0
    0

    “One reason given for not devolving police powers is that the police should not be under the control of petty politicians”

    How bout the Police being under the control of not so petty politicians such as Athigaru politicians and their war lord brothers? Rajeeva says the answer is to train the police. How about training or firing if untrainable their masters? What is the point in “training” policemen when the politicians simply transfer or withold promotions to honest policement who are trying to do their job in spite of interference from their masters? Ho do you solve that problem Rajeeva?

    If a politician can order the police to arrest an enemy or release a friend under threat of transfer or demotion where would Rajeeva say the problem lies?

  • 0
    0

    The article is full of Bull Shit! In addition to what Dushy has mentioned, all Tamil Diaspora is not for a separate state for Tamils. In fact most of the Diaspora is against a separate state and they are for equal rights.

    • 0
      0

      Lankan,
      I agree with you.
      But “equal rights” is denied citing the dead LTTE as being still alive,and labelling people who demand equal righta as “LTTE proxies”

  • 0
    0

    are Dayan Jayatilleka and Tamara Kunanayagam. dead Prof. Looks like your meta data is wrong corrupted and fake

  • 0
    0

    Good , Rajiva has admitted that nothing comprehensive had been taken place during the four years concerned in the fields of reconciliation,human rights and devolution.

  • 0
    0

    Rjiva, Very soon you will be able to witness the dancing on the mass grave of Matale and the resurrection of those victims to give evidence against wrongdoers.

  • 0
    0

    What I believe is that if you make all legal bodies to act independently EVERYTHING will be fine. Allow Police,judiciary, Economists, and engineers and town planners to do their work and see.

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.