17 January, 2018

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Heading For A Diplomatic Elephant Pass Or Nandikadal

By Dayan Jayatilleka – 

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

The major challenges Sri Lanka faces in Geneva this month are threefold: the possibility of a vote and losing that vote; the possibility of getting fewer votes or losing that vote by a larger margin than a year ago in March 2012; the possibility of an unfair or imbalanced compromise which is actually a capitulation, which affects our vital interests such as national sovereignty.

I hope that it is possible for Sri Lanka to ward off these dangers, but I confess I am rather pessimistic, just as I was in the run-up to the vote in March 2012. I hope that we do not get fewer votes than last year, where in March 2012 we saw a reversal of the dramatic diplomatic victory we had obtained in the same diplomatic arena, the UNHRC, in late May 2009. I hope that the vote does not give our enemies—the Tamil Eelam separatist networks in the Diaspora and Tamil Nadu—evidence that our international standing is growing weaker by the year.

I do not think it fair to place the blame on our permanent representation or the SL delegation in Geneva, because how they perform depends to a large measure upon the options they have been provided by Colombo. Be it politicians or officials, what is crucial is that they speak with credibility so as to convince the members of the Council. However the wicket they have to bat on is not a good one, due to the fundamental miscalculations of our policymakers.

As I advocated on the public record last April, the government should learn from how Myanmar slipped out of a far worse situation by liberalising, by opening up and democratising more. Instead, with the impeachment the Sri Lankan government went in the opposite direction.

The government must not assume that world public opinion is gullible or that every administration in the world community is like them and responds to the same material incentives and disincentives.

The government must learn to communicate successfully outside their cultural comfort zone, because the international system is based, by definition, on universal global norms and values, and this is even more so in United Nations bodies such as the Human Rights Council.

The government must know that its crude propaganda and denials have no currency outside their borders and probably outside their vote base. A lie or denial however loudly repeated has no credibility and the government must know that credibility is vital in winning over the international community.

The government must know to listen to early warning signals and not shoot the messenger. The government must ask itself why those who voted for us in 2009 are either voting against us or abstaining. If those who voted against us in 2009 or 2012 abstain, then that is a moral victory for us, but when those who voted for us in 2009 abstain in 2012 or 2013, it is a shift away from us and cannot be understood as a moral victory in any sense.

The government must know to seek the opinion and advice of its friends and patiently construct or reconstruct our international support. The government must understand that its aggressively unilateral domestic actions have external ramifications.

The government must realise that we cannot even get the support of Asia, the Non-Aligned Movement and the larger Third world, if we do not have the support of India, and that with an actively hostile Tamil Nadu in play, the only way we can win back India’s support is by strengthening Delhi’s hand so it can balance off Tamil Nadu. This can only be done by fast-tracking a political solution to the Tamil issue through a successful negotiation with the elected representatives of the Tamil people, mainly the TNA, on the basis of implementing the arrangements for devolution already embedded in our Constitution. There is no Non-Aligned option for Sri Lanka without India; no Indian option without settling with the Tamils; no settlement with the Tamils without devolution and the TNA.

If we lose a vote by a larger margin this March than we did the last time in 2012, it will show our growing weakness and isolation. If on the other hand, while there is nothing wrong with a balanced compromise, if instead we capitulate and surrender a portion of our national sovereignty, then we are in a different kind of danger.

The worst thing that could happen is the setting up of an international inquiry, but even the appointment of a UN Special Rapporteur on Sri Lanka would mean a whole new ball game. In any case these repeated resolutions and defeats suffered by Sri Lanka at voting time, constitute a gradual encirclement and choking of the State. It is not yet the end-game but these are all steps that will lead to such an endgame. There are moves against Sri Lanka on several routes: the UN S-G’s PoE (Darusman) and Charles Petrie reports in New York and their follow-ups, the several votes in Geneva, the campaign over the Commonwealth summit, and the most serious of all, the build-up in Tamil Nadu and across the Indian political spectrum about Sri Lanka which will see a new ball game during and after India’s general election of 2014.

When all these tracks of the multi-track strategy converge, someday, perhaps sooner rather than later, we will find ourselves in a diplomatic Elephant Pass or worse, a diplomatic Nandikadal. When they forced us out of Elephant Pass in 2000, did Prabhakaran and the LTTE think that they would be encircled in Nandikadal before the passage of a decade?

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    Title for this article – Heading For A Diplomatic Elephant Pass Or Nandikadal

    Same article with different TITLE –
    When the Tigers Forced us out of Elephant Pass in 2000 Did Prabhakaran and LTTE Think they Would be Encircled in Nandhikadal in 2009?
    DJ – could you please explain the reason for changing the TITLES?
    Thanks

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      @Anpu – You should ask it from DBSJ – CT

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    It is exactly this kind of gutless, defeatist mentality the enemies are betting on.

    This is the psychological weakening, the ‘noose around the neck’ feeling they expect us to have.

    America only has one vote at the UNHRC and they will have some European and corrupt developing country votes, but there are 47 members.

    The government should hold its nerve and get the developing country support against the rubbish.

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      Some one stolen my identity.. Any way keep up the good work..

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      Watcher:
      When you say, “It is exactly this kind of gutless, defeatist mentality the enemies are betting on” WHOSE enemies are you referring to? If you think that any principled, thinking Sri Lankan supports the likes of the fascists that you so obviously do, give you head a good shake to make sure it contains anything of substance!
      The people to whom you hold pandam cannot “white van” those in Geneva. They can only do that kind of thing in Sri Lanka.
      Even if they don’t get their just desserts in Geneva, they are going to be pushed at least a little way down the slippery slope to damnation! One can only hope that pandankarayas like you go down with them!

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    I just cannot get past the image of this fellow sitting at the back of the class shouting “me… me… me…” hoping the teacher would pick him to take the attendance-registry back to the principle’s office; in this case all the way to Geneva.

    Well, what is in-between the lines, throughout the article is about how he could understand and do stuff that the current bunch of bumbling fools cannot even comprehend. In the process he doesn’t miss a chance to highlight “his 2009 success” to the point of being shameless. He starts with an attempt to deflect the criticism away from the gang presently in Geneva, by saying “I do not think it fair to place the blame on our permanent representation or the SL delegation in Geneva, because how they perform depends to a large measure upon the options they have been provided…”. But little does he realize that this argument also diminishes his role in the 2009 success, that he is so fond of touting.

    Like a pimp trying to keep his prostitute in-line, by saying ‘you better work with me or else they will gang rape you’, he concludes the article with all the bad things that can happen to you Sri Lankans if he is not allowed to deal with it. Did anyone else find any revelations or a fresh approach that only a “Political Scientist” can provide us? Yeah, I thought so. We will continue to see this snake-oil sales pitch until March 22, I suppose.

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      Yes I agree with Katmai. There is a sharp difference between his stand when he was the class monitor and now when he is in the back row. All what he is saying is “I told you so.” It is not political science. The very things he advocated for Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2009 have morphed into something unpalatable to him this time around. It is surprising that Dayan, who claims to be progressive and realistic in his approach to the study of international politics, finds some merit in the farce that is being stage-manged in Geneva. Dayan seems to be saying Sri Lanka is trapped in some kind of an invincible endgame.

      If the Rajapakse regime had thought similarly “inside the box” like Dayan, we will still be at Elephant Pass 2000!

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        Yeah, thank God for the Rajapaksa regime, lead by a direct descendent of Buddha (I wonder if the rest of the brothers have any relation to Buddha as well, Jacky never said), through their enormous wisdom and courage, they were able to defeat the terrorists our army, lead by Sarath Fonseka, could not deal with for 30 years (2009-1983=30 <= notice the use of advanced mathematics employed in Astrological Predictions).

        Rajapaksa brothers risked their life and limb daily and almost injured themselves more severely than that caused by a petrol pump. One brother used his American equipment to destroy the terrorists while the other erected huge cut-outs of himself to scare scare the -beep- out of terrorists. Yet another brother used gold and enormous amounts of money to destroy the terrorist in such a way that you would not understand it even if I explained it to you; it is like a divine thing that you just have to believe without asking questions.

        I’m on a roll here but I’ve got to go. Let it be known that, even if the above text seems like it came from a book I am NOT writing one titled “Basil’s Development”.

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          KattAmai

          Not only Buddha, but Sarath Fonseka was part of the regime too until 2009. Some people cannot sort out their “personal” from the “political.” Grow up. Sort out your priorities before you roll into oblivion.

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    Rajapaksa has dug his own grave and a war crimes trial is now inevitable sooner or later.
    The wheel of justice turns slowly but surely and the Rajapassa brothers must pay for their greed and murderous violence and destruction of the social fabric of society by unleashing the BALU SENA in their attempt to DIVIDE AND RULE AND DISTRACT the people from their crimes and robbery of the national wealth.

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    The outcome of geneva 2013 is still in the balance. It is reported that the govt is adopting a ‘different approach’. Much depends on the pressure and leverage exerted by the UN, UNHRC and International Community. If not this problem will drag on for years and may result in another catastrophic outbreak.

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    “The government must know that its crude propaganda and denials have no currency outside their borders and probably outside their vote base. A lie or denial however loudly repeated has no credibility and the government must know that credibility is vital in winning over the international community.” …truer words were never spoken.

    Sadly Dr.The Yarn speaks the truth (like most SL politicians) only when he is not working for the government in power. There is a pithy Sinhala saying, “Balay thiyenna kotta molay naa…molay thiyenna kotta balay naa.”…translated it means that when you have power you don’t speak the truth but when you are out of power you speak the gospel truth.”

    Here is what Chandrika had to say about the present government at a recent function. Click link to watch.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10200668032374140&set=vb.1560673664&type=2&theater

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      DUNCE

      This is what President Chandrika Kumaratunga said in the Parliament
      about the LTTE after the presentation of the Constitution Reform Bill on August 3, 2000.

      “We have been witnessing this confrontation with an LTTE terrorist group of about 5000 for a number of years even before we came to power. The LTTE are carrying on their terrorist campaign causing destruction not only in the North and East but also in the entire country for nearly 18 years saying that they are doing so to liberate the Tamil people who have been living with us for thousands of years in this country. The lives of young people and civilians have been lost in their thousands in this country owing to LTTE terrorism.

      While the lives of thousands of young soldiers have been destroyed on the one side, the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim villagers are being cut and chopped to death on the other. The lives of civilians are being destroyed by exploding bombs in Colombo and the other main cities. Friends this war was started during the UNP regime. It was the UNP who carried on this war for 11 years. It was at a time when the whole of the North of this country had been given over to Prabhakaran by the UNP Government that we took control of this country. We liberated 85 per cent of the North . This was something the UNP could never do. It is not only the lives of soldiers, policemen, the Sinhala people that have been destroyed, by Prabhakaran’s LTTE but also the lives of Tamil people and dozens of their leaders. Hundreds of lives. The lives of very valuable Tamil leaders have been destroyed. Even today the LTTE are keeping Tamil civilians as hostages in areas of the North and East under their control, destroying their lives.”

      And this is what the LTTE said about Chandrika in reply citing the Asian Legal Resource Centre:

      “…what has taken place in Sri Lanka (under President Chandrika Kumaratunga’s government) in terms of mass disappearances is a crime against humanity. The local commissions have concluded that most disappearances that occurred in Sri Lanka were killings after arrest; they have further concluded that disappearances were carried out as part of a plan approved by the highest political authorities. In terms of the number of persons killed, the Sri Lankan case is much worse than the East Timor case. It is also much worse than the case of the Chilean dictator Pinochet…” (Statement by Asian Legal Resource Centre, February 2000 quoted by Tamilnation.org)

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        Shehan the Dunce only knows what’s been happening since he was born.

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          David Blacker:
          That’s FAR more than can be said about an ignorant pandankaraya like you!

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    DJ appears to be concerned only with the survival of the present regime.
    He appears unconcerned with how the regime survives day to day,and with the Rule of Law and Human Rights situation.
    Survival at all costs appears to be the name of the game,according to him.

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    Success generates pride and pride leads to destruction. This is yet another ‘circle of life’. Mr VP’s life story was one example and one can only hope that MR and GR will not be the next.

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    The government must know that its crude propaganda and denials have no currency outside their borders and probably outside their vote base.

    And yet, out of hostility to the UNP and the desire to acquire elevated diplomatic status at any cost, Dayan J. defended Sri Lanka from war crimes allegations in 2009. Here is Dayan J. in 2009:

    It is vital to recall the larger, real-world backdrop against which the issue was being posed: that of the bitter and victorious final battles fought back home. The Quartet, the NAM and I as SL’s PR rejected such a sell out of the Sri Lankan armed forces and citizens, our hard fought and finally won victory over secessionist terrorism, and the principles of the NAM.

    Clearly, Dayan J feels .. [Edited out]

    @Lester, you cant write what Dayan feels – CT

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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

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      By the way, when someone uses the words “terrorist” and “sell out” in the same paragraph, it’s pretty clear how they feel, whether they say it or not. It’s called an inference .

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        In Sri Lankan journalism, truth is a censored process.

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    DJ does not miss an opportunity to beat his breast about his self-described 2009 success.

    The fact is, at that time he did not face all those Channel 4 Videos nor the organised attack of an invigorated Tamil Diaspora. In todays context DJ would have perhaps been a dismal failure in Geneva.

    DJ, you are not the last word on any subject, though you love to flaunt your erudition quoting chapter and verse of international intellectuals.

    Humility has never been your strong point, and sadly that is your undoing.

    You hate to wallow in the back-room, and therefore regularly trot out your “told-you-so” verbose pieces in order to, not so subtly, convey your outrage about being dumped where you belong!

    Leave our present team to deal with Geneva. So far they are doing an excellent job given the constraints, and Sri Lanka will no doubt deal with the aftermath without your two-cents!

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    Well well well,
    The Truth is bitter, VERY much to the Rajayaksha Acolytes.
    THe worst nightmare of Rajayaksha oligarchy rule is being realized by the Vitizenry today!!!>
    Do not shoot the messenger.
    If the Idiots who still crowing about the mighty king should have read some time back, Dr. Dayan openly denied such representation on behalf of Sri Lanka in Geneva claiming UNLESS thewre is a regime change in Colombo, it is a case of defending the in-defensible.
    Yet, the International Isolation is a just one problem, wait until the debt burden crushes this nation and see how all the acolytes jump ship and run-away with the pot luck of debt money encashed in corrupt deals and white elephant projects like Hambanthota harbout , Mattala Airport, various nefaruious deals on Uthuru Wasanthaya, Gama Neguma and Deyata( Puthuta) Kirula etc etc.
    So folks think about fixing what is possible.!!! A change of guard in COlombo, before dreaming about teaching a lesson to the World at large!!!. Just like Dr. Nalin Silva.
    I think he lives in his mein Kamf ( ‘Mage Lokaya’) and very happpy preaching to the King as he wish and coming out every single blemish to be white washed on behalf of the King.
    I am so disgusted why these intellectual do this without shame, not forgetting Prof. P. W. Epasinghe etc etc.
    Now the best that we can expect is folks like Maithripala Sirisen who are rightful heirs to the PM post come out and spill the beans, call Spade a spade and Blow the Rajyaksh bubble.
    Then ONLY the DIE hard ‘Woder( WANDAROR really) of Ais ‘ fans will get a reality check.
    It has to come from the horse’s mouth to be believed.
    THese gullible idiots buy into the crap spouted out of those vagabonds like Wimal, Rohitha, etc etc that the burden we arry as Inflation and COL is the cost of developing fast as a Nation!!!
    Oh my foot!!!!

    aj

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      @aj

      A Presidential election will be held in March 2014. Since there is a constitutional obstacle in holding the Presidential election in March 2014, a constitutional amendment (19th amendment) is to be introduced…but only after the conclusion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (if they do decide to hold it here).

      MR appointed his brother, Minister Basil Rajapaksa as the national organizer of the party recently as part of this long term plan. Minister Maithripala Sirisena will also be removed from the post of SLFP general secretary, and the post will be filled by MRs relative, Minister Dullas Alahapperuma.

      MR and his family will continue to stay in power through sham computer jilmart elections…since the majority are spineless and will not get on to the streets to oust him, the best we can hope for is death through sickness or some other means like what happened to Hugo Chavez. The other remote possibility is regime change through UN intervention.

      Like you said, people like Dr.The Yarn live in “Mage Lokaya.” The RogerPox Sirs live in their “Dynasty Building Lokaya” while the idiotic majority live in their “We are Great Sinhala Buddhist Lions Lokaya.”

      …and all that the few broadminded Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and Christians can do is either leave the country or stay put and watch this tragicomedy unfurl…

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        ‘since the majority are spineless…’ Dear, always amusing, Presi dunce bean, just how often have YOU got onto the streets? Maybe you should start and others will follow!

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          @manel fonseka

          Ha haa…so your saying that when we minorities (Tamils, Muslims and Christians) get onto the street, the majority Buddhists will follow us??? :) :)
          Did you read what happened yesterday when hundreds of Tamil family members of the disappeared were blocked in Vavuniya by Sri Lankan authorities while traveling to Colombo???

          https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/u-s-alarmed-by-peaceful-protestors-detention/

          ps. what I meant was, (in my previous comment) a majority of the majority are spineless.

          “A slave is one who waits for someone to come and free him.”
          ~ Ezra Pound.

          Since independence this majority has always depended on politicians and Buddhist clergy for everything and they are so gullible that they will believe anything these people say…just like small children trust their parents.

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        Dunce

        Word of caution, don’t take those two web sites news stories as gospel truth, just go through their archives and see the credibility of most of the stories.

        PS : remember , GL’s resignation farce fiasco put out prior to 18 th amendment.

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    Dayan, I can see you are still pushing Indian agenda… So why not come up and say so with out going round in circles… May be phd in Brisbane cost much and now need indian money?

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    Every time the Tamil polity has been dragged in the diplomatic negotiations, it has always lost. It won’t be differ this time: presenting the Geneva vote as “capitulation”, “Elephant Pass”, the Sinhalese party triggers the revenge instinct of the Tamils. Only one problem: winning the international vote won’t change the position of a stone in Sri Lanka. The Tamils think that it is the first step to accountability and justice. Wrong: it is implementation of a government-sponsored committee. As usual the Tamils are fighting dead-track diplomatic battles.

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    Dayan,
    When LTTE was destroyed at Nanthikadal, Did Mahinda Rajapakse think that he will be encircled at Geneva?

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    Dayan:

    Even at this late hour, your earnest desire to save this regime is actually foolhardy. Not that you are a praiseworthy saint either. That to understand your logic to save this regime, by whatever means, would be nothing short of bearing a racist label, although you cleverly (and slyly) chose to assign your argument of a warpath against terrorists, no matter how much this means would be a human tragedy.

    As much the accolade of the triumph in 2009 at Geneva has not, or never will escape you, as much as the triumphalism of the Sinhalase over the Tamils, it is noteworthy that you have clearly understood the Tamilnadu factor blowing away all what you and this regime seemed to have gained, your position in history stands diminished as ruefully as the reversal of fortunes of the regime from the 2009 resolution to the 2012 resolution. At the backdrop of the 2012 resolution, and what portends the future, the 2009 resolution, though it did not say in as many words, has now come to be considered as a perpetrated lie. What that makes of you? Despite the fact that you may protest loudly, the label of a Sinhala chauvinist will stick on to you forever.

    While this regime believes that it can ignore the sentiments in Tamilnadu so long as the Centre will be on its lap, it is learning painfully belatedly that as much as it believes that it only knows how to push the wheel, the Tamils too will stack it up. We are ready for the long haul. As a Sinhalese may be you have an affinity with this regime, but in the process you lost your soul as a human being. As I started with this reply, even at this hour, it is only about how to place the cards, including the devolution of power, to save this regime.

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    I think it is a bit late in the day. It is going to be Nanthikadal not Elephant Pass.

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    For DJ one objective is paramount. To firm up the MR regime, SL must win back India. Do it by neutralising Tamil Nadu, weakening the SL Tamils thereby, thrusting any counterfeit upon them through ND and then prate to the world that the Tamil issue is resolved. If this is sagacity what is chicanery? Why does this man strut about speaking about the Tamil cause off and on?

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    Dayan,

    when you are cornered you return to Marxism!

    OK!

    Dayan,

    Are you a Marxist?or national socialist?or Sinhala socialist?

    you coin the phrase very proudly,”We Sinhalease……….”

    where do you stand?

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