24 October, 2017

I Do Not Fear The Bullets Said Kadirgamar

By Rauff Hakeem

Rauff Hakeem

Rauff Hakeem

Ladies and Gentleman:

I am privileged to introduce a distinguished international lawyer and scholar Dr Francis Gurry to deliver the Lakshman Kadirgamar memorial lecture. Dr Gurry is Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The author of numerous publications on intellectual property rights, he was formerly a practicing attorney in Australia with a law degree from the University of Melbourne and a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

In this occasion, we recall and rekindle the memories of Lakshman Kadirgamar- a man who appealed to the consciences of the world that had forgotten that freedom from fear was the most fundamental of all human rights. Today, we celebrate his life’s work in the afterglow of the defeat of terrorism, not quite certain as to what he would think of how we are winning the peace. The absence of Lakshman Kadirgamar in post-war, politics of our island is a tragedy for the majority and a disaster for the minorities. I say so in the most emphatic terms because he is on record as to why he who belonged to a minority community entered politics in that most tortuous period of our history.

In 1996, he told parliament why he entered politics.  “I am here only to do one thing, and that is to help my country as best as I can to solve the gravest problem of our time and if I can make a miniscule contribution towards that effort, that will be enough for me till the end of my days. I seek nothing else.”  Having said that, he went further: “Our approach to our national problem must surely be bipartisan because the task ahead of us is one of immense magnitude and of utmost gravity and under those circumstances, you will never find that I will run away under fire”.

We owe it to the memory of Lakshman Kadirgamar to acknowledge that he was a leader who saw the national problem and (quote unquote) “the evil scourge of terrorism” in contextual clarity. We need that clarity today more than ever.

In 1997, he described his vision for the future. “A durable solution to this problem will not come from force of arms alone. It will not come from conquest or our vanquishing the LTTE. It has to come by the acceptance of the people in their entirety, by the Sinhala and the Tamil people. That is a political settlement, and a political settlement that is perceived by the communities, by the majority and minorities, to be fair and just. It must be a settlement enshrined in law, and it must be enshrined in the hearts of people.”

Lakshman Kadirgamar was a visionary who redefined the international conversation on Terrorism. When he set out on that courageous journey, ‘to persuade the world that his motherland was in a fierce struggle to combat that most pernicious form of politics – that of using unbridled terror as a form of negotiation,’ his, was indeed a lonely voice.  That was a time when 9/11 and the warped logic of terrorism was yet to reach New York, the host city of the United Nations. Lakshman Kadirgamar was disarmingly candid when he described himself as the International face of an island-nation that was then known for its Tea, Tourism and Terrorism. It is Lakshman Kadirgamar who initiated the international alliance of democratic states to combat terrorism  so that in his own words ‘there will be no succor, no solace , no safe haven, no place to hide, no place to run for the terrorists of the world because all of us, the democratic states, will stand together and fight together.”

In the book Democracy, Sovereignty and Terror, a volume with the life work of Lakshman Kadirgamar, so aptly captured on its sub title on the front cover, are the words, “Lakshman Kadirgamar on the Foundation of International Order”. He despaired at the predicament of democratic states that were challenged by internal conflicts that encouraged a ruthless few to hold a tolerant majority hostage to their commitment to traditions of tolerance, openness and dissent.

As Sri Lanka’s Minister for Foreign Affairs he made the world realize, I use here his own words, that ‘An internal armed challenge to any state anywhere is a challenge to all states everywhere’.

The book edited by Sir Adam Roberts, President of the British Academy, is the most enduring tribute to the man whose life work is celebrated today with an oration by Dr Francis Gurry who will no doubt enlighten us more about Lakshman the Scholar-Jurist who spent a good part of his professional career in promoting human creativity and innovation through an international protocol on intellectual property.

When he set out on that courageous journey ‘to persuade the world that the country he represented as Minister of Foreign Affairs was in a fierce struggle to combat that most pernicious form of politics – that of using unbridled terror as a form of negotiation,’ he was fully aware of the enormity of the task ahead and the fate that awaited him.

I recall his almost prophetic words in one of his dazzling parliamentary performances in 1996, almost a decade before he was slain by the assassin’s bullet. Speaking in the now famous Tawakkal debate he said ‘I do not fear the bullets and the bombs aimed at me. I will have to carry this burden to the end of my days, long after I cease to hold office. That does not frighten me, does not bother me.”

I am reminded of the poignant words of Dag Hammarskjold another great International figure who paid the supreme price for his beliefs. “In the last analysis, it is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us.” This is what placed Lakshman apart from mere mortals like us. In defining death in his own terms he defined the purpose of his life.

Thank you.

*Speech delivered by Rauff Hakeem, Minister of Justice in Sri Lanka for the “Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Oration 2013” held on the 6th November, 2013 at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    I am Kathirgamar from some where ….
    I do not fear the bullets, because I cheated my tamil wife. Again married to stupid Sinhala Buddhist women. SOrry to say I am tamil by name, Too intelligent becos my gene is brilliant tamil, but never know the stupid language, but I let Sinhala modayas to use my tamil name….

    • 0
      0

      J.Muthu,

      Take your medication more seriously. Take your pills as prescribed.

      By attacking an essentially decent Tamil Sri Lankan Lakshman Kadirgamar’s stature, below the belt, you make yourelf look far worse than the average, openly racist, yet a little funny, idiotic bigot you are.

      Coz’ the public does not know about your medical condition Muthu.

      Besides, your campaign to become Sri Lanka’s first Tamil President will be jeapordized.

      Cheers!

      PS: J.Muthu for President!

      • 0
        0

        Ben,

        I do not know who has to take medication more seriously. LK went as far as to say that the JVP were a nice set of Boys and were very considerate. What more to say?

        • 0
          0

          Gamini,

          WOW nan, haven’t you mastered Art of The Unscrupulous! What a miserable spin!

          True. Kadirgamar praised in public some aspects of the JVP. Punctuality, non-corruptness, love of the country etc.

          That was no endorsement of JVP’s violent past or its dogmatic Marxist theories. You could say Kadirgamar attempted to nudge the JVP towards a more moderate, flexible path. He used the little influence he had over JVP. Rooted in obivious respect JVP had for Kadirgamar.

          What more to say? Never thought you could be so creepy!

          Let the brutally assasinated national hero rest in peace.

          Cheers!

      • 0
        0

        Ben Hurling,

        I think you have gone over the top in singing the song of praise for Kathirgamar. He may have been decent in your eyes but he was not a Tamil in our book. He was trapped in a Tamil body but his soul was Sinhalese which was evident from his speech during the Long March and you have to be a Tamil to understand the insensitivity of his speech and we will never forgive him.

    • 0
      0

      J MUTtU;

      Are you a Tamil? [A Tamizar by name Only].
      there is nothing in your Tamilness,
      only extremism like Killer Thambi Pirpahran.
      Why wants to take private, personal matters to discuss ,
      if he married an American or Canadian woman as his second wife, what can you say?,
      That is not my or your’s concern.
      that is their own concern.

      Better, First you think as a Human,
      Not as cyanide capsule clad Podian of LTTE.
      you know there are many Tamils, only who got Tamil names,
      but do not speak the so called Thaimoli and their Children also.
      But as a Sinhalese,
      I have Much respect for the Gentlemen like L K and many Tamizars,
      BUT not for the extremist and opportunistic like you, V P, K P, V Muralitharan, Dou glass of EPDP and list goes on.

      One more point,
      Sinhala MODAYAS????.
      Or LTTE MODAYAS???.
      WHO JUMPED IN TO the NANTHIKADAAL?????. SINHALAYA OR got CHEATED Tamizar???.

    • 0
      0

      small correction his first wife ws not Tamil but an Eurasian or something to that effect,maybe someone can correct me

      also i dont think its right to drag his personal life into it,critize the man on his decisions but leave aside his personal life in my view

  • 0
    0

    Mr Hakhim
    You remember what laxman Kadirgamar said in 1997 “In 1997, he described his vision for the future. “A durable solution to this problem will not come from force of arms alone. It will not come from conquest or our vanquishing the LTTE. It has to come by the acceptance of the people in their entirety, by the Sinhala and the Tamil people. That is a political settlement, and a political settlement that is perceived by the communities, by the majority and minorities, to be fair and just. It must be a settlement enshrined in law, and it must be enshrined in the hearts of people.”
    What have you done to fulfill his vision? You contested on SLMC ticket but joined rajapakse just to be a minister. You are an unscrupulous MORON It is a shame you are invited to speak in the memorial oration.Shame hang yourself.

    • 0
      0

      demon silva,
      Hakeem joined Sarath Fonseka in opposing MR at the presidential election,and was present when MR sent soldiers who dragged Fonseka out of his hotel room,down the stairs & outside.
      There were photos in the media.
      Fonseka was sent to jail by a military court – which was said “to be like any other court” by the supreme court.
      MR then enticed Hakim and made him Minister of Justice.
      He has now become the Minister of Injustice – which is what prevails in the Dharmadwipa.

      • 0
        0

        Hakeem, I am surprised you were invited at all to this function as your character is completely opposite to that of Kadiragama. You are a selfish rat that sold the muslims and their birthright in the east for your personal gain. You have made the SLMC a non-entity after the death of its founder. You have deprived the people of this country ‘justice’ through the legal channels as you have allowed your balls to be removed by MR, and watch all the injustices carried out by the AG and CJ without taking a stand. May ALLAH punish you and your descendents for many generations for your wicked selfish acts.

      • 0
        0

        HAVING HAKEEM AS MINISTER OF JUSTICE, IS “INJUSTICE IN PRACTICE”

        FROM THE TIME HE ENTERED POLITICS,THIS BUGGER IS A JUMPER LIKE A FROG.

        • 0
          0

          Hakeem is good for Sri Lanka. When we get LankaStan we will have to change?

    • 0
      0

      Agree with you fully.
      This man did not even utter a single word at the time Rathupaswala or Deraniyagala people were gunned down or murdered. That kind of Minister of Justice says bla bla today – these are just for his PR issues because IC would raise the question whether the country has a minister of justice at all :(

  • 0
    0

    .
    Why Kadirgamar was popular among Sinhalese (politicians):
    – he was totally against LTTE
    – he was against separation of the island
    – he never talked about anti-tamil riots (from 1956 – to 1983)
    – he never thought he is a tamil (or sinhalese) first, instead lankan first
    – he did not have a political party of his own.
    ++++++++
    But there were many who doesn’t want him to be PM (LTTE, MaRa, GoRa,….).

    :-)

    • 0
      0

      Because he was equal to everyone though miunderstood by some tamils and tamil rebells

    • 0
      0

      Agree,
      But there is/ was a point and Question also???.

      who wanted most and gave the contract/ Bribe to the [ LTTE / killers] to Assassinate Honourable Lakshman Kadiragamar????.

  • 0
    0

    Rauff Hakeem,

    Why don’t you talk about Muslim Mosques being destroyed or damaged and Muslim businesses boycotted/damaged in Sri Lanka?

    What is the point of talking about a fellow who is dead and gone – good riddance of the greedy Tamil traitor?

    Are you not a hypocrite for putting up with all the injustices on Muslims while getting fat salary and perks from the government as a minister?

    Shame on you, poor Muslims who voted you fellows to hang on to the government like leeches and forget about your people.

    Lastly, isn’t it a shame for you to continue as minister of justice, when as you said somewhere that, rule of law has broken down in Sri Lanka?

    Rajapakse has got scores of unprincipled people surrounding him – no wonder he can perpetuate the authoritarian rule.

    • 0
      0

      Thiru, as long as the “Kumari File” is under the constructive control of Rajapassa, this bugger Hakeem dare not talk about the problems facing his community.

      • 0
        0

        And while we’re on the subject of ‘X’files’ guess who has the pics taken in a Hong Kong hotel room of a gay old green leader in the nude with a couple[ not just one] of his playmates?

        That was circa 1986/7 if my recollection is right. The pics first appeared in a weekend Sinhala rag who’s editor wAs finally bought over by CBK.[to no avail, he kept plugging away]

        WHICH IS PRECISELY WHY THIS BOYO’S SILENCE AT THIS SPECIFIC JUNCTURE IS SO DEAFENING.

        THANKS TO HIM EVEN UNP MEMBERS LAUGHINGLY REFER TO SIRI KOTHA AS THE SLFP KOTTE HEADQUARTERS.

        AS FOR RAUF FHAKHEEM, IT’S AMAZING THAT THE OPPOSITION HAS NOT BROUGHT A ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ MOTION AGAINST THIS SICKENINGLY SERVILE MORON.

    • 0
      0

      Thiru,

      “What is the point of talking about a fellow who is dead and gone – good riddance of the greedy Tamil traitor?”

      Ooops! How will you characterise VP then?

      Sun God? Saviour of Tamils??????

      Serial killing, child solidiering, racist, facist psychopath?

      Cheers!

  • 0
    0

    COME OFF IT HAKEEM.YOU’RE AN INVETERATE MEN-PLEASER. WHY GET TANGLED UP WITH THE DEAD WHEN YOUR CONTRIBUTION TO THE NATION AS JUSTICE MINISTER IS A HELLUVA BIG ZERO. YOU CAME OUT WITH THE SAME HOT AIR WHEN YOU DELIVERED THE LALITH ATHULATHMUDALI MEMORIAL LECTURE SEVERAL YEARS AGO. I WAS IN SRI LANKA AT THAT TIME AND ATTENDED THE EVENT PURELY BECAUSE SOMEONE AT THE FREDERICK EBERT STIFTUNG FOUNDATION ASKED ME TO.

    IN YOUR ORATION YOU FAIRLY SPAT OUT A STATEMENT THAT YOU’D RATHER QUIT POLITICS THAN REMAIN IN DOCILE SERVILITY UNDER A REPRESSIVE STATE.

    WHERE ARE YOU NOW ?

    PART OF THAT REPRESSIVE STATE OF ITS REPRESSION AND CRIMES.
    AND THEREFORE A PARTAKER IN ALL OF ITS EVIL.

    A CRIMINAL MINISTER OF JUSTICE.YOU’E WHAT THEY PITHILY CALL AN ” AWASTHAWADIKAARAYA.

    YOU UNSCRUPULOUSLY LED A LONELY WOMAN ON TO SATE YOUR BASER ‘NEEDS’ AND SO HEARTLESSLY FLICKED HER OFF YOUR SLEEVE THAT SHE SELF=IMMOLATED OUTSIDE YOUR “CORONATION” CAFE RESIDENCE IN KOLLUPITIYA.IT’S UNFAIR TO BRING OUT THINGS ABOUT THE DEAD, BUT WHEN SHE DIED WASN’T THERE A BABY IN HER WOMB THAT DIED ALSO ?

    AND YET YOU SPEW OUT CRAP ABOUT VISIONARIES AND MORAL COMMITMENTS TO SOCIETY AND SING EMPTY HALLELUJAHS TO THE DEAD. HOW ABOUT SOME HALLELUJAHS TO THAT JILTED GIRL WHO WA THE DAUGHTER OF ONE OF YOUR PARLIAMENTARY COLLEAGUES? [ALSO NOW DEAD]

    IT’S A JOKE THAT YOU GET INVITES TO ALWAYS SPEAK ON BEHALF OF THE DEAD.

    YOU SHOULD BE BEHIND BARS WITH YOUR RECORD.
    IT WOULD BE AN INSULT TO LASANTHA OR ELSE I WOULD INVITE YOU TO ALSO SHARE A FEW THOUGHTS WITH US ABOUT LASANTHA AND HIS KILLERS ?

    YOUR EVERY WAKING MOMENT IS A LIE. GOD ALONE KNOWS WHAT YOU ARE IN YOUR SLEEP.I LEAVE THAT TO SALMAN RUSHDIE WHO’DD CHEW YOU UP SO MUCH THAT THERE WILL BE NOTHING LEFT FOR THE THE FORTUNATE WORMS .

    YOU’RE A STINKING JOKE.

    YOU SAY THAT. QUOTE UNQUOTE [KADIRGAMAR] ” AS MINISTER of Foreign Affairs was in a fierce struggle to combat that most pernicious form of politics – that of using unbridled terror as a form of negotiation”

    WITH YOUR GOVERNMENT THERE ISN’T EVEN A HOPE IN HELL OF NEGOTIATION BEFORE THE WHITE VAN OR MOTORCYCLE KILLERS COME FOR YOU.IN OTHER COUNTRIES PEOPLE ARETAKEN INTO CUSTODY FOR PROTECTION. HERE THE DISSENTERS ARE ARRESTED TO BE BUMPED OFF AND GOVERNMENT’S BACKERS GET PLUM PARLIAMENTARY POSITIONS AN DIPLOMATIC POSTS.

    MR. JUSTICE MINISTER, YOU’RE COUNTED AMONG THE SLIME AND SLUGS, THE RATS AND KILLERS, THE VULTURES AND CARRION OF THIS GOVERNMENT.WHAT AMAZING CREDENTIALS WITH WHICH TO STAND UP SHAMELESSLY AND DELIVER HOSANNAS TO THE DEAD.

    WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO COMBAT ALL THIS EVIL, FORGET ABOUT COMBATING IT IN OTHER COUNTRIES…WHAT ARE DOING ABOUT IT AT LEAST IN SRI LANKA ?

    NOT ONE BLOODY THING . TO THE CONTRARY YOU LIVEE OF THE LARGESSE OF STATE SPONSORED AND ACTIVATE CRIME.

    JUSTICE MINISTER ? WHAT A RIBALD JOKE !

  • 0
    0

    Is there any comparable candidates in the cabinet today in the current regime ?

  • 0
    0

    I have not read any articles or statements made by this VERY PARTICULAR personality in the country, until today. We had issues that should have promptly been addressed by the man, as the minister of Justice for the current cabinet, but he was deaf as no powers on him to react. Today, for some explainable reasons he seems to have come with the current article.
    He is a solely a caricature controlled by current president.

    At the time Rathupaswala, or Deraniyagala people’ losses were reported, this man did not even come forward to make any statements.
    How many times, I myself raised the question, whether we have an appointed minister for JUSTICE in the current cabinet … :(

  • 0
    0

    The question still remain how he could have been killed in a HSZ in the heart of colombo without the connivance of peoplw in the higher authority

  • 0
    0

    There is no point finding fault with Minister Hakeem. He is right when he states in the last line of his speech:

    ”This is what placed Lakshman apart from mere mortals like us. In defining death in his own terms he defined the purpose of his life.”

    As a lawyer by profession, he has made a good contribution; a confession, made of his own free will, in the open court of the public – the oration ceremony.

    In short, we need to celebrate the life of the ‘dead’ like that great Kadirgamar more deservedly than mourn the ‘death’ of the living, like Hakim & his ilk!

  • 0
    0

    A Pillar collapsed under the fragile peace Bridge

    I was shocked of hearing the sad demise of our foreign minister.
    Who was shot dead by some unidentified gunmen?
    Oh! These human sinners, when they realize the reality, value of human lives?
    ‘Blood is thicker than water’
    Please do not forget my dear comrades
    We all breathe in Oxygen and breathe out Carbon dioxide.
    Also the Elephants are Vegetarians. Isn’t it?
    We should fight hand-in-hand against poverty, hunger and et cetera;
    But it should be a harmless with words and deeds.
    When we shall be true friends?
    Perhaps it could be either on this planet or somewhere else?

    To my poet friend Roy.Storey
    nimal p. dunuhinga

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Hakeem (respectfully addressing you this way since you do not deserve to be addressed “Hon.”),
    You have let down your brethren Muslims, your voters and now you talk like you are on par with the credibility of even a dead Hon. Kadirgamar! You are an insult to us, the whole nation!

  • 0
    0

    He made more than a miniscule congtribution. He will for ever be known as the “Bindunuwewa Boy”.

  • 0
    0

    Great man LK.

    Modaya Tamils killed the only hope they had! :)

    Only good thing is LK’s killing was retaliated with the killing of TNA Parayajasingham. Very good. Nice x-mas that was.

  • 0
    0

    The educated , articulate , trilingual Hakeem could have contributed a great deal to this little island. Sadly , he has chosen a different path – one which is centred around himself and his happiness only .

    • 0
      0

      He has gone on records being very dead silent in his tenure than fulfilling his duties as people expect him to master. Actually, as far as my knowledge is concerned, when people^s issues arise, the first man from the ruling govt comes forward is the minister of Justice. But so long this particular Hakeem is in the position, I have no seen any single issues where he has reacted promptly. Nor has he quickly taken any step to avoid any crimes regardless of being the magnitude of them. So, I raise it not once several hundreds times, MR has appointed a minister of justice for his rule or, he himself is the minister for that portfolio.

  • 0
    0

    Hakeem,

    It is commendable that you had the honour of re living the past and re kindle the memories of Kathirgarmar.

    I just want to pick up on a few of your thoughts.

    1) Lakshman Kadirgamar- a man who appealed to the consciences of the world that had forgotten that freedom from fear was the most fundamental of all human rights.

    *** I am a appalled at the above observation and even allowing for your admiration for Kathirgamar I have to take issue with you. When he was a live he never cared about the fear under which the Tamils were living which is no different today and if anything worse than before.

    2) Today, we celebrate his life’s work in the afterglow of the defeat of terrorism, not quite certain as to what he would think of how we are winning the peace.

    *** The above makes me even more angry and the truth is one form of Terrorisms( which we call fight for freedom) has been replaced with State Terrorism which has blighted the lives of so many Tamils.

    3)The absence of Lakshman Kadirgamar in post-war, politics of our island is a tragedy for the majority.

    *** I have no opinion on the above.

    4)And a disaster for the minorities. I say so in the most emphatic terms because he is on record as to why he who belonged to a minority community entered politics in that most tortuous period of our history.

    *** I totally and utterly disagree with you on the above as he never did anything for the Tamils and as I said before he was trapped in a Tamil Body but his soul was Sinhalese which was evident from the speech he made during the Long March.

    5) In 1996, he told parliament why he entered politics. “I am here only to do one thing, and that is to help my country as best as I can to solve the gravest problem of our time.

    *** I don’t think that he was the biggest problem solver as he should have known the biggest problem facing the Country was the Ethnic Problem which he failed to identify and look where that has landed us. To put it mildly in a Holocaust.

    6)We owe it to the memory of Lakshman Kadirgamar to acknowledge that he was a leader who saw the national problem and (quote unquote) “the evil scourge of terrorism” in contextual clarity. We need that clarity today more than ever.

    *** The only Terrorism that I see is the State Terrorism under MR which is sweeping the Country so please don’t bullshit.

    7) In 1997, he described his vision for the future. “A durable solution to this problem will not come from force of arms alone. It will not come from conquest or our vanquishing the LTTE. It has to come by the acceptance of the people in their entirety, by the Sinhala and the Tamil people. That is a political settlement, and a political settlement that is perceived by the communities, by the majority and minorities, to be fair and just. It must be a settlement enshrined in law, and it must be enshrined in the hearts of people.”

    *** There you have it in a nut shell. The overwhelming Racist Majority will never give the Tamils their equal rights willingly so what you are saying is a distant dream.

    Sweet dreams.

  • 0
    0

    Tamils, if you have better country to live than SL please go and live there. Being utterly racist and killing other people for land you are not deserve to live here. You must recall that you are from south India. Wherever Tamils go there is problems. It is evident by Maladia, Norway , Canada and Sri Lanka. Problem is not others, it is you Tamils. You can not come out from you Tamil (toilet) culture and inter grate with civilised cultures. So, what you do is consistently blame others for not treating and respect you. We will not listen to your bulshit anymore. Live or die , your call.

    • 0
      0

      Sam you Mron from Australia,

      We have the luxury of having two Homes . One is Eelam and the other one hoilday and second Home in Tamil Nadu.
      You came from India and that is why you have the Mahabodi in India where the Criminal MR goes to cleanse his sins.

      There are 7.9 million Buddhists in India and why dont you go back to where you came from.

      There are direct flights from Autralia to India. Have a safe Journey.

    • 0
      0

      Sam you Moron,

      By the way I am sure you know you are half animal. The animal normally shit in the bush. ( I mean Bushshit )

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.