27 October, 2020

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Geneva: From ‘Roasting’ In ‘87 To Toasting In ‘09

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

Let’s see what an independent and authoritative source has to say about May 2009 Geneva and the role of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the time. In its 8th-14th August 2009 issue,  the prestigious journal The Economist (London) referred to “…Dayan Jayatilleka, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Geneva, who warded off the threatened UN war-crimes probe in May [2009]…” (‘Sri Lanka after the war: Behind the Rajapaksa Brothers’ Smiles’, p 43)

How does one identify successful diplomacy and who is to do so credibly and authoritatively? Wikileaks revelations of confidential cable traffic to Washington DC, threw a spotlight on a moment when the US, and in one case France, another Permanent member of the Security Council, regarded Sri Lanka as following “an effective” and even “a very effective diplomatic approach”, in challenging conditions.

Though newspapers had already published the Wikileaks cable disclosing that in April 2009, the UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, spent 60% of his time on Sri Lanka due to the “very vocal Tamil Diaspora in the UK”, what was unknown at the time was that Hillary Clinton, the Secretary of State of the world’s sole superpower, had instructed its Mission in Geneva to throw its weight behind the move on Sri Lanka at the UN HRC Special Sessions in 2009.

“Mission Geneva is requested to convey to the Czech Republic and other like-minded members of the HRC that the USG supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed, to the Czech Republic in obtaining others, signatures to support holding this session…Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka. Instructions for line edits to the resolution will be provided by Department upon review of a draft.” [Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)]

Those were the odds then; that was the combination that Sri Lanka was up against in May 2009. We entered the battle with an added disadvantage: we were no longer a member state of the UN HRC. Nominated by the Asian Group, I had been a Vice President of the Council in 2007-8, but we had lost the election held in the UNGA New York by 2009, a venue I was not allowed to attend as PRUN-Geneva, by the edict of the then Foreign Minister, which reversed a norm.

As early as September 2007, just two months after I had taken over as Ambassador/PRUN, the Western Group, led by the UK, was revising and reactivating a resolution that had been hanging over Sri Lanka in the previous year, 2006 – a danger and challenge which I had inherited.

“….a UK Mission contact told us that work is only at an early stage on the text of a possible resolution, which would update one that the EU put forward in last year’s Council session.” [Cable dated 10th September 2007]

A Wikileaks cable registers the US concern at our strategy of a high visibility, assertively principled stance, actively building the broadest possible coalitions, issue-based and longer term, as well as holding seminar-type events on the HRC sidelines, fielding academics, professionals and officials of moderate, pluralist views.

“The GoSL holds numerous events during Council sessions to lay out its position, whereas critics of Sri Lanka’s record are less active. Discreetly encouraging NGOs critical of Sri Lanka to arrange side events could be useful. A member of the International Independent Group of Eminent Experts, possibly its (Indian) Chair, might also be invited to Geneva to discuss Sri Lanka’s human rights situation.” [Cable date 10th March 2008]

We returned to and refreshed our Non Aligned roots, while twinning Tri-continentalism with the rise of Asia and emergent multi-polarity in the world order. The US Mission informed Washington of the efficacy of our line and stance:

“As in the past, Sri Lanka’s delegation took a tough and often acerbic tone in its latest public relations campaign in Geneva. While this may in part reflect the personality of its ambassador in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka, it also reflects a strategy of appealing to NAM countries, to whom it argues implicitly (and probably explicitly, behind closed doors) that it is willing to stand up to the West, which is unfairly picking on it. That message resonates particularly strongly in the Human Rights Council, further complicating our efforts to use that body to pressure Sri Lanka on its human rights record.” [Cable date 10 March 2008]

An important aspect of our pro-active stance was to regularly field members of our carefully chosen delegation, such as Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, Shirani Goonetilleke, Mohan Pieris PC and D-SGs Yasantha Kodagoda and Shavindra Fernando at side events organized by hostile NGOs. Our own events took a debate mode, to which all actors including NGOs and pro-LTTE representatives were invited. At our invitation, Amnesty International actually chaired one such event. This attitude of dynamic, open dialogic engagement was praised by the US mission:

“…They (NGOs) also organized several side-events. One panel, hosted by AI, HRW, and the International Commission of Jurists, included representatives from national human rights institutions but also a representative of the GoSL, Deputy Solicitor-General Shavindra Fernando, who presented the GoSL’s response to issues related to witness protection and the Constitutional Council. NOTE: Several of our interlocutors who were otherwise critical of Sri Lanka praised it for sending a representative to a session at which it knew it would come under criticism. Few other governments showed any willingness to do so.” [Cable date 7th July 2008]

Wikileaks show that NGO activity was high at the HRC:

“….NGOs were highly visible on the margins of the sessions of a number of countries, with Sri Lanka being perhaps the most notable. Activists, including several who had come from Sri Lanka for the occasion (in many cases after having come for the earlier working group sessions as well), were active in the corridors before and after the actual review.” [Cable date 7th July 2008]

In the face of this hyperactivity, our Geneva Mission adopted methods and tactics that eventually defeated the efforts of its adversaries.

“Meanwhile, Sri Lanka has continued to press its public relations campaign in Geneva even as the EU begins to consider either reintroducing a resolution condemning Colombo’s human rights policies or calling a special session of the Council on the issue…. … the GoSL is certain to continue pressing its case in Geneva, as it has been doing aggressively to date.” [Cable date 18 Jan 2008]

A US Mission cable described the effect of our strategy as follows:

“… There was general agreement that Sri Lanka, and in particular its outspoken ambassador here, were effectively playing off the West against less developed countries.”[Cable date 10 March 2008]

In May 2009, the EU finally managed to present the resolution that it had been nursing for so long, in the wake of a failed effort to table it before the end of Sri Lanka’s victorious war against the LTTE. Anticipating this move, we, together with a broad bloc of allies (NAM plus BRICS), had already prepared a counter resolution which was tabled and adopted by the now well-known majority vote of 29-12.

A considerably important cable conveys the assessment made to Susan Rice, Cabinet-ranked US Ambassador/Permanent Representative in the Security Council, by Human Rights High Commissioner Navi Pillay, on the results of the Special Session on Sri Lanka. The assessment was that “Sri Lanka and its allies…simply outmaneuvered the EU”.

“Pillay praised the very quiet and effective work of the U.S. Charge in Geneva in helping secure passage of the Sudan resolution. She contrasted this outcome with the result of the special session on Sri Lanka, where the EU was ineffectual, carrying out few if any demarches (this was confirmed to her by Ambassadors from India, Mexico and South Africa). Sri Lanka and its allies, meanwhile, had a draft resolution ready to go and simply outmaneuvered the EU.” [Cable date 25 June 2009]

This is not a one-off assessment. The Wikileaks cables report a conversation in Paris, significantly between the US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues, Clint Williamson, and senior officials of the French Foreign Ministry (widely respected as the fount of modern European diplomatic tradition and practice). A cable from the US Embassy in Paris to Washington DC quotes France’s Official Representative for International Penal Tribunals, Christian Bernier, as saying that Sri Lanka was “very effective in its diplomatic approach in Geneva”:

“Bernier opined that the Sri Lankan government is “very effective” in its diplomatic approach in Geneva and said France is in an information-collection phase to obtain a more effective result in the HRC”. [Cable dated 16 July 2009]

The very fact that Sri Lanka figured prominently in a discussion that the US Ambassador-at-large for War Crimes Issues had with the Official Representative for International Penal Tribunals of a Western ally, fellow Permanent member of the UN Security Council and NATO member, is an incontrovertible indication of the high stakes in Geneva at the Special Session in May 2009, and what would have followed had we not prevailed in that battle. The Wikileaks treasure trove also shows that in 2009, veto wielding powers Russia and China (supported by non-Permanent member, Vietnam) determinedly protected Sri Lanka at the UN Security Council against pressure by the Western Permanent members, with legendary Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov being especially articulate in our defence.

Outside of purely partisan ethnic propaganda, the most serious negative account of Sri Lanka’s war and the conduct of the Sri Lankan state is the solidly researched, well written, intelligent and readable book, The Cage by Gordon Weiss. It contains an entire chapter, 30 pages long, on the international and diplomatic dimension of the conflict’s closing stages (Ch 9: The Watching World). That it does so confirms that diplomacy was an important arena of struggle and contradicts the conception of diplomacy as mood setting Muzak for making nice.

Weiss focuses on the UN in two theatres, New York and Geneva. In an earlier chapter he makes clear the situation in New York: “As the situation unfolded, the positions of China, Russia and India became clear. There would be no resolution from the UN Security Council warning Sri Lanka to restrain its forces. China and Russia, with separatist movements of their own would veto any motion within the Council. India struck a pose of outward ambivalence, even as it discreetly encouraged the Sri Lankan onslaught, though urging it to limit civilian casualties. But of the veto-wielding ‘perm five’ in the Security Council, it was China…which was the largest stumbling block” (pp.139-140)

“In the halls of the UN in New York, Mexico, which held one of the rotating Security Council seats, tried to have Sri Lanka formally placed on the agenda. While Western and democratic nations broadly lined up in support, it quickly became clear that China would block moves to have the council consider Sri Lanka’s actions….The possibility of an influential Security Council resolution remained distant…Sri Lanka had deftly played its China card and had trumped.” (pp 200-201)

Thus in New York, Sri Lanka was structurally safe and in Weiss’ book, its diplomats in that theatre at that time, remain unnamed.

The UN Geneva is brought to life rather differently in Weiss’ volume: “On 27 May  at the Palais des nations in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanetham Pillay, addressed the Human Rights Council and called for an international inquiry into the conduct of both parties to the war. While the EU and a brace of other countries formulated and then moved a resolution in support of Pillay’s call, a majority of countries on the council rejected it out of hand. Instead they adopted an alternative motion framed by Sri Lanka’s representatives praising the Sri Lankan government for its victory over the Tigers…” (p229)

In his concluding chapter Weiss describes my role: “Dayan Jayatilleka, one of the most capable diplomats appointed by the Rajapaksa regime, had outmanoeuvred Western diplomats to help Sri Lanka escape censure from the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. He had also been one of the most trenchant advocates within the government for meaningful constitutional reform, including the devolution of power to the provinces (p256-7)”. In his Notes he makes this evaluation: “Jayatilleka was the most lucid of the vocal Government of Sri Lanka representatives…” (p 330)

Here’s an observation about Geneva 2009, made recently by the international award-winning journalist and author Nirupama Subramanian: “As Sri Lanka mulls over last month’s United Nations Human Rights Council resolution, it may look back with nostalgia at its 2009 triumph at Geneva. Then, barely a week after its victory over the LTTE, a group of western countries wanted a resolution passed against Sri Lanka for the civilian deaths and other alleged rights violations by the army during the last stages of the operation. With the blood on the battlefield not still dry, Sri Lanka managed to snatch victory from the jaws of diplomatic defeat, with a resolution that praised the government for its humane handling of civilians and asserted faith in its abilities to bring about reconciliation.” (The Hindu)

There has also been impeccably scholarly research and publication. The most interesting is a piece which helps advanced students of international relations understand the deeper dimension and wider ramifications—far wider than Sri Lanka—of the battles in UN forums including most notably the May 2009 Special session. This essay talks about a clash on norms which took place in the UN Human Rights Council over the Sri Lankan issue and that the Sri Lankan diplomats played a role of ‘norm entrepreneurs’.

Research scholar David Lewis presented a paper at the University of Edinburgh, entitled ‘The failure of a liberal peace: Sri Lanka’s counterinsurgency in global perspective’, and published in Conflict, Security & Development, 2010, Vol 10:5, pp 647-671. Lewis is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for International Co-operation and Security in the Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, and headed the International Crisis Group’s Sri Lanka programme in 2006-7. In the study, he writes:

“Many of the battles over conflict-related norms between Sri Lanka and Europe took place in UN institutions, primarily the Human Rights Council (HRC)…it was Sri Lanka which generally had the best of these diplomatic battles…”

“Although this process of contestation reflects shifting power relations, and the increasing influence of China, Russia and other ‘Rising Powers’, it does not mean that small states are simply the passive recipients of norms created and contested by others. In fact, Sri Lankan diplomats have been active norm entrepreneurs in their own right, making significant efforts to develop alternative norms of conflict management, linking for example Chechnya and Sri Lanka in a discourse of state-centric peace enforcement. They have played a leading role in UN forums such as the UN HRC, where Sri Lankan delegates have helped ensure that the HRC has become an arena, not so much for the promotion of the liberal norms around which it was designed, but as a space in which such norms are contested, rejected or adapted in unexpected ways…”

“As a member of the UN HRC Sri Lanka has played an important role in asserting new, adapted norms opposing both secession and autonomy as possible elements in peace-building—trends that are convergent with views expressed by China, Russia and India…”

“The Sri Lankan conflict may be seen as the beginning of a new international consensus about conflict management, in which sovereignty and non-interference norms are reasserted, backed not only by Russia and China but also by democratic states such as Brazil.” (Lewis: 2010, pp. 658-661)

So there we have it; that’s the reconstruction and evaluation by critical observer-analysts.

The backdrop of the special session of the UN Human Rights Council in 2009 was emotionally as highly charged as you can possibly imagine. The long Sri Lankan war was reaching its endgame, but what would that end-game be? There was a lot of pressure not only from the Tamil Diaspora communities from the émigrés but also the liberal humanitarian view that there would be a blood bath which had to be stopped by a humanitarian intervention. It took the formula of a ‘humanitarian pause’. Lakhdar Brahimi and Chris Patten had written a piece in the New York Times about the imminent “bloodbath on the beach”. The EU Parliament was pushing a resolution for a ‘humanitarian pause’ and the resumption of negotiations with the Tigers. This was the template for the resolution that was planned for the Human Rights Council.

A very serious special session of the sort that was held years later on Syria or Libya in the Human Rights Council was sought to be held. This required 16 signatures. The Sri Lankan team together with our friends and allies in the Non-Aligned Movement, in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), fought a bitter rearguard action to prevent the 16 signatures’ requisite for the holding of a special session and managed to hold it back while the war was on. I was fully conscious of what we were doing in fighting hard to hold back the 16 signatures from being obtained so that a special session could not be moved in which there could have been a UN mandated call for a ‘pause’ on what would be the final attack on the Tigers.

Shortly after that the war was over on the 18th-19th of May, the last signature was obtained. The EU was one signature short for 10 days and then it got that signature and then the session moved on at full speed. Instead of waiting for the EU resolution to be tabled and voted on, Sri Lanka together with the Non-Aligned Movement seized the initiative. We presented a resolution of our own. The special session was held on the 26-27 May 2009 and it went down to a vote. Because of the nature of the counter-resolution that we crafted together with the Non-Aligned Movement, we obtained almost a two-thirds majority. The sole superpower was unable to get as many votes for its resolution on Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013 in Geneva. The US got 24 and 25, we got 29. That is a measure of our success in 2009.

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Latest comments

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    Dayan

    Be frank!

    Geneva May 2009 was not your achievement.

    It was India who was fully behind this resolution.

    Can you deny this?

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      Er…. a small problem with that allegation is the Wikileaks cable with the date, signed by the US Secy of State.

      “Mission Geneva is requested to convey to the Czech Republic and other like-minded members of the HRC that the USG supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed, to the Czech Republic in obtaining others, signatures to support holding this session…Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka. Instructions for line edits to the resolution will be provided by Department upon review of a draft.” [Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)]

      You see, Sri Lanka wasn’t a member at the time either.

      The US wasn’t a member, but it was present and active in the Council, as we were, but with infinitely vaster resources and capacities.

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        Don’t mind the haters. There just angry they are just staring and not starring! It was good see you and Sanja at the unity rally!

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      Well, my dear James, what can I say? What a pity that the US mission in Geneva, Navi Pillay, Clint Williamson, Christian Bernier, The Economist magazine, Gordon Weiss, and Dr. David Lewis failed to consult you in making their observations, since you seem to have been intimately involved in the proceedings in Geneva and know better than they.

      None of these sources say anything remotely similar to your superior insight into the proceedings. If only Navi Pillay had the foresight to consult you, instead of telling Susan Rice that Sri Lanka outmaneuvered the EU, she would have said India outmaneuvered the EU, the US Mission would not have said ‘ Sri Lanka and its outspoken ambassador were effectively playing off…’ , while The Economist would not have mentioned me as ‘ having warded off a UN War Crimes investigation’. Instead they would have attributed the success to India. After all it is far better for the collective ego, if they could have claimed they lost to India rather than to Sri Lanka.

      By the way, in which capacity were you so closely involved in the Council’s work and which (credentialed) sources can you quote in support of your view ?

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        Dr DJ, I had read in many Indian magazines that India was behind the success of Srilanka in Geneva 2009 and watering down the recent resolution favoring Srilanka in 2013. Would you deny and how?

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        Dayan Jayatilleka

        We know that you are son of a journalist, read every news papers and magazines published all over the world.

        Dont be selective. Dont talk cock and bull story.

        We need direct answer to James question.

        Are you denying that India was not behind this resolution.

        We need this answer from the horses mouth for a good purpose.

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          Where are you Dayan?

          You are not for workers to be busy with May day rally?

          We need your answer,

          Are you denying that India was not behind the May 2009 resolution?

          If you are not answering this question, all you claim that you were the hero of the May 2009, will be considered as exageration and great lie.

          We are going to inform this to the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bologama

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    Dayan Jayatilleka is talking utter lie.

    During May 2009, America was a not member of the Human Rights Council.

    In 2009, if American would have been one of the members, Dayan story would have been different.

    Praise praise, all bogus claim by Dayan Jayatilleka

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      Er…. a small problem with that allegation is the Wikileaks cable with the date, signed by the US Secy of State.

      “Mission Geneva is requested to convey to the Czech Republic and other like-minded members of the HRC that the USG supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed, to the Czech Republic in obtaining others, signatures to support holding this session…Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka. Instructions for line edits to the resolution will be provided by Department upon review of a draft.” [Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)]

      You see, Sri Lanka wasn’t a member at the time either.

      The US wasn’t a member, but it was present and active in the Council, as we were, but with infinitely vaster resources and capacities.

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    The most depressing thing in this article is the part about Hillary Clinton calling Prague to ask the Czechs to support a UN resolution against SL. Clearly, the US sees Prague as an ally. What about SL? Why doesn’t the US see SL as an ally?

    The greatest threat that SL faces is the stealing of its resources by the mass of humanity to its north numbering in the billions. Nothing illustrates the danger more than Nirupama Rao’s recent statement that, Indians should be allowed to fish in Sri Lankan waters because “Fish don’t know where international maritime boundary is”. Yes – She actually said this!

    The best lever SL has to ward of the Indians is the US. However, somehow we have been led to this situation where the US has to call on other allies like the Czech Republic to help it manage the nuisance that SL has become.

    Perhaps the GOSL will never be able to tell the difference between friend and foe, asset and liability. And perhaps the US will never be able to call Colombo just as readily as they would call Prague, but I sense the day is near when the US Secretary of State will be able to call Trincomalee and speak to someone who shares her values and strategic interests.

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    It is hard to take on Dayan on his favourite subject – himself! But I wonder whether the following have been discounted:
    1. The support that Congress in India was giving to a speedy end to the conflict.
    2. The promises of a political settlement that were given by MR to India.
    3. The Govt’s strategy of having zero-reporting on the war and the fact that there was insufficient evidence at that time.
    4. The fact that the US appears luke warm in its support for the resolution against Sri Lanka (the cables cited dont seem to indicate that it was high priority).
    5. The movers of the resolution against Sri Lanka did not have a strong member in the HRC who was championing the move. (The US was on the sidelines. The Czech Republic is hardly the General behind whom the troops would rally)
    6. China, Russia and India were all on the Council. The US wasn’t.
    7. The US had just had an election and a transition to the Obama administration. I doubt that the Secretary of State was going gung ho on any issue.

    To me it seems that the method employed by DJ and the Govt surprised the other delegates who did not expect to have such an aggressive opposition. In this context DJ did contribute to ensuring that there would be no resolution passed. However, the attitude adopted I think has had a long-term impact on Sri Lanka’s diplomatic endeavours. DJ pissed off so many governments that they were not going to give Sri Lanka any quarter.

    DJ may or may not have assisted in winning a battle (a tough one but not as tough as DJ makes it out to be) but he seems to have messed the war up for Sri Lanka.

    s

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      Not unlike or quite similar to the SL Presiduncey MR claiming all the credit for the defeat of the LTTE.

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    Ok we now have Burma, China, North Korea, Cuba on our side. Wonder if there are any more paraya states that we can approch on your next appointment?

    • 0
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      Don’t forget Pakistan, the hellhole of a country that is desperately cultivating Rajapakistan to counter India. Rajapakistan is well on the way to becoming a hellhole like Pakistan under Rajapaksa rule.

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    Dr Dayan Jayathilake,

    What Happened in Geneva in the year 2009!

    Apparently Sri Lanka won a magnificent victory comparable to the victory achieved on the ground by the armed forces.

    Hence the name of Dayan should be added to the list of names- The President Mahinda Rajapakse, the Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse and (army Chief Sarath Fonselksa?.

    But the victory was illusiory.It was only an illusion!

    Victory valid only for a year!

    What happened thereafter- a series of defeats?

    Don’t blame others like a spoiled child!

    Even if you were there, the results would have been the same if not worse!

    Wasn’t the seeds for the subsequent defeats germinated in the 2009 Geneva victory!

    A victory for a limited period is not victory at all

    The lies and promises of 2009 culminated in the later day defeats?

    Shouldn’t the list of architects of victors be revised?

    Dayan Know your dialectic!

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    Dayan,
    You have accused Sinhala Buddhists as fundamentalists at an interview with BBC’s Haviland at the end of that ‘peace march’, as if being a Buddhists fundamentalist is a sinful, wicked and wrong. Dayan may not know that, most of us (Sinhala Buddhists) wish to live exactly as Buddha preached meaning as explained in Tripitaka if at ll possible. Is that what you mean being fundamentalist? Are you telling us, it is wrong? Without loosely rendering Buddhists with the Jihadist brand, Dayan must tell us what is wrong being a Buddhist fundamentalist.
    Leela

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      You wretched carnivore, your own attributes speaks well of what you expect from Dayan. You are a fundamental example of a grossly fundamentalist stupid under the guise of the name of Buddhism.

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    Dayan has been unceremoniously dumped by his former handlers. That hurts his ego more than anything else.

    So he does not miss a chance to tell the world what a hero he has been for poor SL and what a bad mistake the rulers have made by kicking him on his behind.

    Unfortunately he thrives only in the light, even though he regularly turns the torch on himself.

    He is like that old man who once won a race in the Kindergarten, and kept repeating this story till he died.

    Like that old man let him keep repeating his victory ad nauseum … We have strong stomachs!

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    Leela,

    There are many nice Tamils (in their millions) who kept their mouths shut regarding LTTE’s attrocites against Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese: Just Like those nice Buddhist – like your self.

    Give Dayan some credit. He speaks up.

    Dayan,

    We are now getting tired of “monkey praise its own tail” kind of business. Why not give due credit to Prabakaran – that he showed the world what a moron he was along with the educated Tamils to backed him to the hilt while burying their swollen educated heads in the sand pits of the western world, till it was obvious to every nation in the world – that Prabaharan is a racist and fascist.

    Ealmm was viable. If not for the racsism/fasism competent and the blind racist of Tamil expatriates – who were blinded by the racists attack on them by the Sinhalese mobs – mobilized then by the government. This is happening now again, and it is not going to be difficult to convince the world that the Sinhalese governments are incapable of learning along with the nice Buddhist people who only hum hyms in the Temple.

    Time for you to give those who really worked hard, for the world to temporarily support the government of Sri Lanka and that his excellence y Vellupillai Parabahrn along his Tamil racist backers – who remain intact.

  • 0
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    Some people love to blow their own trumpet and none do it as well as Dayan !

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    Come on Dayan have some sophistication when you want to self-promote. Dont make it look so blatant. make it look more accidental you know ….

    The shine on HRC 2009 keeps getting less and less with every passing year. Your attempt to keep polishing it is quite pathetic.

    There was a time when you had some credibility but with this…

    Cry mother lanka for the ‘intellectuals’ you have been condemned to live with.

    Why can you not learn about the pitfalls of the ego…..

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    Dr Dayan Jayatilleka,
    In an interview with BBC’s Haviland at the end of that ‘peace march’, you have accused Sinhala Buddhists as fundamentalists. It sounded as if being a Buddhists fundamentalist is a sinful, wicked and wrong. You may not know, but most of us (Sinhala Buddhists) wish to live exactly as Buddha preached meaning, as in Tripitaka. Is that the fundamentalists you meant? Are you telling us that fundamentalism is wrong? You should know that Buddha never preached his followers to hate those who had not follow him or not agreed with him like Muhammad did. Koran says non-Muslims are destined for eternal torture in Hell, and that People of other religions are to be violently punished in this world. We know Bibles and the Old Bibles in particular has similar writings. But Tripitaka doesn’t say anything like that. I say you have ganged up with anti Buddhists and try to render Buddhist fundamentalism bad. I suspect that you have equated Buddhists with Islamic fundamentalists or the Jihadist brand with ulterior motives of neo-colonialists.
    Leela

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    James has raised a very pertinent point. If it is the great Doctor
    who was responsible for not only the first Geneva resolution but
    also for birth of diplomacy in Sri Lanka, what would the other
    claimant Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe has to say? The only difference
    between the two – Dayan whilst serving as Sri Lanka envoy wrote his own
    articles and press releases. Samarasinghe had a translator to get it done. Both had one objective – to lie, lie and lie. At this rate, like
    Al Gore, they will also claim they invented the fork and spoon!!!

  • 0
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    When is this Dayan Jayatilleke’s diatribe about
    “I, me and myself” going to stop?

    Is it only after President Percy Mahinda Rajapaksa
    confers the title Deshamanya? Or, is he expecting
    a Vir Chakra from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee
    for all the homiles he has sung?

    Like father, like son. Who in the world of politics or
    media say “andayas always getaway?”

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    I think commentators here have lost sight of the fact that this is a follow up piece to several articles that appeared previously both critical and congratulatory. Dayan Jayatilleke is only defending himself and his writing must not be construed in this instance as self aggrandisement. We need not be shy to acknowledge that the 2009 result was mainly due to Dayan’s initiatives. India may have helped but their actions in the past have been mostly perfidious than not. Dayan’s success was not only because of good strategy but also, and I suspect mainly, due to his moral stand on the subject of a reasonable political solution to the national question. This intent was recognized by the international community. In other words he articulated a belief he himself entertained like Lakshman Kadirgamar, though each in his own way. On the other hand G.L. Peiris, despite his academic brilliance is a slave to theory and prose unwilling to commit to a moral stand, ever willing to carry and defend a superiors’s message. Mahinda Samarasinghe and Rohitha Bogollagama have no thoughts of their own and live on pretence.

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    Mr.Wickremesiri – I respect your point of view. Of course,
    DJ’s have to be heard whether he is defending himself or
    propounding something. That is not what is at issue here.
    In fact the CT has, in keeping the accepted (and even
    laudable) norms given a forum to vent his feelings. The
    comments the others are making is based on the thoughts,
    ideas and more importantly the self promotion DJ indulges
    in. There is nothing wrong in it either.

    However, please remember Sir, what the CT readers are exercising
    is that inalienable right. Of course you cannot do so in Sri
    Lanka without getting a Business Class ticket in a white van.
    All the body massage and roll overs with batons are thrown in
    free of charge.

    Now to the most important point – Even when DJ says something in
    his defence, it is coming out as an offence to the readers only
    for one reason. He is pushing his own image beyond the levels to
    which a common person’s intelligence is insulted beyond normal
    tolerance levels.

    In politics there were men of great ability and vision, some in
    different political parties. Most people respected them for what
    they were: Take for example Pieter Keuneman, excellent in English
    oratory in Parliament. Bernard Soysa who could speak authoritatively
    on any subject from space to minerals. Philip Gunawardena, the Lion
    of Boralugoda are just a handful.

    DJ is neither a patch on them nor cannot stand up to them. Being a
    doctor is one thing. Being a cultured product with humility, dignity,
    self respect and above all team spirit are absent in DJ. I don’t say
    this to insult him. I wish him well. I hope he will learn after reading the plethora of criticism against his conduct. This shows there are a large number of discerning readers for CT and the message is very clear – you cannot bullshit all the people all the time.

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