17 October, 2021

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Human Rights Come First

By Kumar David

Prof. Kumar David

There are all sorts of rights that must be cherished such as democracy and cultural rights and mores. By “cultural” I mean religious freedoms, language rights and the opportunity for ethnic communities (Lenin’s “Nations”) to administer their affairs. Basic human rights (definition well known) trump them all. No crude and odious religious edict should prohibit women from schooling, working and dressing as they wish; no religious opium should prevent other opium smokers from sniffing a powder of their choice; no race should be allowed to lord it over others in matters of state, and governments must encourage and foster all national languages. To this extent we must stand shoulder to shoulder with enlightenment values, liberalisms genuflection to the bourgeoisie notwithstanding. Despite liberal’s piety to capitalist economics we must make common cause with liberal activists who campaign on these issues.

What triggered this column is that liberal democratic institutions like the UN and EU and the world’s capitalist governments have got the Taliban government on its knees; they should keep it there until it is compelled to give Afghan women their rights, form an inclusive government that with other ethnic groups and Shia Muslims and terminate the lunacy of Sharia law. I know I am hoping for too much; power flows out of the barrel of a gun, the Taliban after 20 years won the war against the Americans and now hold a near monopoly of armed power. To win human and democratic rights by internal struggle alone will involve the people of Afghanistan in protracted, bloody struggle. True women’s movements are simmering and there have been sporadic outbursts in minority dominated regions, but international pressure will help grind-down these mad mullahs.

There are counterbalancing reactionary forces at work internationally; China will cheer any scoundrel useful in its own foreign policy objectives and the Russians seem quite dopey but these two are outliers in terms of influence in helping the Taliban even to crawl. I do not need to repeat what’s all over the news; 18 million near starvation, 9 million children destitute, gun-wielding Taliban thugs unpaid for two months and hospitals sans medicines. This is why plane loads of unwashed and bearded mullahs have been flocking to Qatar beseeching anybody they run into on the way to rescue their regime before there is a general uprising in the country. The UN’s António Guterres and the EU’s Ursula von der Leyen have struck the right note: “Ok there will be money for the desperate population; it will be channelled through and administered by humanitarian agencies of our choosing. You Taliban buggers keep out, you will not be allowed to touch it”. Taliban leaders can if they chooses quite easily get on the inside track of this equation by conceding ethnic-community and women’s rights, jettisoning crazy Islamic excesses and – this optional – taking a shower with plenty of soap and cold water.

Of course you have seen through me. This column in not only about a bleeding heart for the miserable people of Afghanistan, it is also to encourage the international community (meaning to be perfectly frank, liberals everywhere and capitalist states) to increase pressure on the Gotabaya Regime to cut back its attacks on human rights and democratic rights in Sri Lanka. I will not make a list; the pages of Colombo Telegraph are replete with new examples every day and most recently Gota seems to be preening the military for some dangerous move. My point in this column today is that not enough pressure, and not decisive pressure is being exerted to penetrate thick militarised skulls and Vistas of Splendour quacks. Let’s hope that success in Afghanistan will embolden the UNHRC, UN and EU to redouble pressure on the Lankan regime.

And the fight against dictators, authoritarian regimes and presidents who subvert elections must be globalised. Trump is the example from which such lice may take encouragement. If this is the state of Congress, one of two of America’s big political duopoly and about 60 million voters, the future of mankind on planet earth looks grim. These trends must be fought to the ground wherever possible, not an inch must be given. The Taliban and Gotabaya must be forced to lower their pugnacity.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    5

    In paper only.

    In reality in comes down the list of priorities of every country.
    SL is no exception.

  • 15
    2

    The blatant abuse of tax payer funds by corrupt politicians , the appointment of unqualified political stooges to key government positions , arbitrarily selling off national assets – these are all a violation of our human rights.

    • 4
      0

      Agree. Those do not happen in other countries. Only in Sorry Lanka. But I don’t think that’s what the writer is talking about.

  • 10
    1

    Gatam: Sri Lanka Government’s List of Priorities is completely lopsided and gives weightage to all the wrong things. Like setting aside so much of resources to fight mostly an imaginary enemy. (See Harsha Gunasena’s article).

  • 2
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

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  • 7
    1

    Here is another Local Human Rights Violation that must be “GLOBAL ISED”. Please watch the link:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYu5mK8f6pg

    The last hope for “JUSTICE” has been totally “RUINED” by the very “Custodian” of Law Enforcement for the People. Will we have any more chances of “Re-Building” It is time for “GLOBALIZATION” this particular case of “Human Right Violation”. Shouldn’t we first clear our “Closet” before we go to clear others’ closets?

    • 8
      2

      SIMON,
      .
      Please come back to us, after talking the topic properly with KADAMANDIYA people. I ll bet you. .. not a single man or woman among them would not know ” what human rights are”.

      If the majority would not care about HUMAN RIGHTs… how can we expect them to stand against the HRviolations ?

      Sadhu kiyanna pinwathuni…. also heading to take part in next contract killing… that is the motive of being a SINHALA buddhist. … or not ? I am focusing on the majority of the people … in the country..
      .
      But they would keep wearing LANU sized PIRITH nools around the body parts.
      :
      Did you also know that MaRa would not go out without wearing over 40 or more of those talishmans and bands , almost all over his body ( Sumanadasa Abeywickrama was revealing to Sannasgala in an interview).

      • 6
        0

        LM: Thank you. The above link was about the case against 14 “Accused” of the “Abduction & Disappearance” of the ’11 Students”. That “14th Accused” was Admiral Wasantha Karannagoda. The case is being heard. In the midst, our “AG” appears and informs the court that charges against Adm. Karannagoda will be withdrawn.

        You are absolutely correct. That “Kadamandiya” crowd is “Clue Less”. To make them aware, I showed another video clip of two mothers of the “11 students” addressing the media. Then only, these “Kadamandiya” (B..P.. in your terminology) opened their eyes and mouths and realized what those (H…P in my voculabary) whom they voted are doing. This is the sorry state of affairs at the moment. But our “Pandits” talk of the Human Rights of people in Afghanistan. Ohoma Yang….

    • 3
      0

      Simon Man

      Here is another incident:

      http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/news-features/human-rights/1041-tamils-and-muslims-come-under-brutal-police-attack-in-sri-lanka
      Tamils and Muslims come under brutal Police attack in Sri Lanka

      What a disciplined country, disciplined police, what a disciplined armed forces, honest politicians, …… honest functionaries, ……

      Congratulations soman, Eagle Eye, N Perarass, ….

      What does Gota mean or why does he utter this is a Sinhala/Buddhist country.?

      • 0
        0

        NV: “Why does Gota mean or why does he utter this is a Sinhala/Buddhist Country”

        A: Is it only Gota who means and utters that? This “DIRTY” politics of “Ethno/Religious” is being used practically by every politician to come to power. It is the “TRUTH” of the political culture of S/L. We have to find what is “REAL” in politics, but unfortunately, such a movement devoid of “Ethno/Religious” politics still cannot find a fertile ground to grow. That is our “REALITY”

  • 7
    2

    While women’s groups and others are fighting for their rights in Afghanistan, we in Sri Lanka, do not care even when our basic rights to religious worship and justice for murder and consequently the right to life is being blatantly violated.
    We boast and pride ourselves about a high literacy rate. But when freedom of speech is violated by arrests of journalists who write about the problems faced by our people there isn’t any protests by our people.
    The conscience of our people has to be awoken. The soul of the nation has to be stirred.
    A united front of right thinking people, cutting across all borders of race and religion must be formed to enlighten the polity, the people who are being fed with lies and false information from certain media outlets.
    We must be made to understand that only a united nation with respect for the life of every citizen of all cultures, races, beliefs and values, living in this country, can take us to vistas of peace and prosperity.

  • 1
    3

    ” The Taliban and Gotabaya must be forced to lower their pugnacity. “ What can we say other than the usual words:”Wishing is easy”. My hope for Lankawe is in a chaos planet, now. It was a certain negative, until I saw a few guys stood in front of UN with placards opposing the Hitler. Yet, it seems to be “Threading fiber out of boulder rock”. But somebody need to turn out to be Hercules and has to do it for innocent civilians. But those will not help for Tamils because it may take from 20 to 50 years mature & materialize even for Sinhalese.

  • 2
    14

    Everything is a human right.

    But safety and security come first.

    • 3
      1

      “Safety”-don’t worry too much even the MPs (don’t know who else)given pistols to roam around traumatised and terrorised prisoners even this orchestrated by our head in Welikada,A’pura may made it impressed……..
      “Security”only for big thick thaddias only.

    • 3
      0

      Gotabaya led govt never cared enough for the security of the people.. just imagine 13000 died by Covid without proper care. How would those Families face the life ? Not a single man related to Rajapakshes died yet. People are kept in dark about their Covid care. Nothing is transparent today. Media is under threat. 😡😡😡🐃😡🐃🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕🐕

    • 0
      1

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    • 4
      0

      a14455@
      Mental rehab would be the therapy u guys to see it right- please wake up🐕🐃🐕🐃🐕🐃🐕

    • 4
      2

      If all citizens are treated equally regardless of whether or not they are Sinhala Buddhists, there won’t be any need for an army bigger than the UK .
      The fact is, only SB’s are equal.

  • 1
    0

    Gazzet govnt should declare firewood as essentials and bring back the steam engines…..

  • 0
    1

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  • 7
    1

    Most Sri Lankans don’t think like the small minority of us at CT (for example) think. They are easily fooled when, say a bomb is discovered in a toilet, or a suicide vest is “discovered” by the army on the cusp of doubling the price of a basic commodity. They also believe that most (if not all) the ills of present-day economics in Sri Lanka are due to the covid pandemic. They may feel desperate with lack of nutrition for their children, too little money to buy basic essentials that are now very expensive etc. But human rights? No, they don’t have any idea. For example, if an ordinary Baiya on the road is abused by a policeman in the process of an encounter, that is accepted as “normal” and not a violation of his right to be treated as a decent human being. They still worship the military and praise retired “generals” who are put in charge of civil entities as they feel they are thus protected by the heroes who won against a “despicable, barbaric” set of “terrorists”, not understanding that before they became “evil terrorists” they were a diligent people who worked the land with much ardour and developed themselves as a progressive minority in the northern parts.

    • 3
      0

      Lasantha Pethiyagoda

      Irrespective of their ethnicity people are either paranoid or racists.

      Leaders knows this for fact.
      If the psychopaths are determined to hurt people on opposite sides they are capable of manufacturing sufficient propaganda materials and circulating among their people. It needs only a small spark.

      There are tried and tested methods.

  • 0
    0

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  • 1
    0

    Thanks, Kumar, for speaking out loud and clear, and telling us all what out duty is.
    .
    This country is the currant mess because too any people wait until others do the dirty wok for us. It was out duty to oppose the steady erosion of our liberties. We didn’t, in our wildest dreams, imagine that things would come to this pass so quickly.
    .
    CORONA has not been the primary cause of this situation; the sheer ineptitude of Gota has been the reason. Had it been Mahinda really governing, it wouldn’t have got so bad. Gota may have known enough to defeat the outnumbered LTTE (and a good thing it was that he defeated them) but he hasn’t got a clue about how to run a country.

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