By Malinda Seneviratne –
Extensive Methodology of the OHCHR
Days after the announcement that Sri Lanka had decided to deny access to the UN investigation team, the Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) said it had developed extensive methodologies to deal with situations where access had been denied. Wow! Now that’s refreshing. All these years all that the OHCHR did was regurgitate lies, damned lies and statistics tossed around by people who quote people who quote people who are utterly unreliable due to multiple reasons, framed of course by the policy preferences of the USA.
The monsters they spawn!
The Bodu Bala Sena is in a fix. Having done enough chest-thumbing, arms-throwing, spewing invective and inciting people to violence, the BBS is now forced to deal with the monster it helped create. There are BBS clones using the ‘BBS’ tag sprouting in various parts of the island. The BBS says ‘not us’. Well, that may be the case, but the rhetoric is word-for-word scripted from BBS (official) speeches. Now what, BBS?
Mangala’s kurundu-polu memory
UNP condemns Aluthgama violence, says Mangala Samaraweera. Mangala has gone on to ask ‘where was the government?’ i.e. when tensions were rising and eventually spilled into violence and mayhem. Legitimate condemnation. Legitimate question. Here’s another legitimate question, this one to Mangala: ‘Where was the government and where were you when some people picked up cinnamon clubs and set upon some people who were on a peaceful march?
Mechanism to prevent escalation of violence
In the aftermath of the flare up in Aluthgama and nearby areas, several Buddhist and Muslim religious leaders backed by politicians agreed to set up a mechanism to prevent further escalation of violence, officials have said. This is all good. It is a relief indeed to know that there are not only sane people around, they have the courage to come out and take a stand. But there’s another mechanism that can prevent violence, escalation included. The Police. It cannot be that the police are too dumb to identify possible flash-points. Why is the entire law-enforcement mechanism (which also has a ‘keeping the peace’ role) so impotent? Surely, things that can be nipped at the bud should be nipped at the bud?
Mainstream Media Vs Social Media
The mainstream media failed, champions of social media say. Social media exacerbated things because you can tweet to your heart’s content and not have to account for anything, those in the mainstream media say. Nalaka Gunawardena put it best: ‘irresponsible conduct in both (mainstream and social media)…our common challenge is to contain it while allowing freedom of expression.’ Good for the reader to exercise some grey cells too, to read and read through and to read and wonder about silences.
*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com