27 November, 2020

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In Other Words

By Sandra Fernando

Sandra Fernando

Sandra Fernando

The British Prime Minister has made his views on Sri Lanka and the interim government clear in an exclusive for the Daily Mirror published recently. It is an unpleasant, biased and positively negative little bit of rhetoric.

And that’s the important point: it is a bit of rhetoric. It’s not something that one needs to take seriously except as a statement of intent. His purpose is to further criticise the man who lost the elections two months ago and to issue a veiled threat to anyone who is paying attention.

The criticism:

  • “a new President who . . . is fully committed to reconciliation and reform”
  • “by fairly and transparently addressing the issues of the past”
  • “a dramatic contrast to . . . his predecessor Mr Rajapaksa”
  • “we want to see genuine reconciliation in Sri Lanka”
  • “Strengthening respect for human rights, eradicating corruption, improving political accountability and ensuring the freedom of the press. These are all essential elements of a democratic, fair and functioning state”

I wonder

  • Why is he still harping on their perception of contrast between Mr. Sirisena (as he wishes to be called) and President Rajapaksa? Does he feel that Mr. Sirisena is still in need of his validation?
  • What does he mean by “reconciliation”? When the mandate of the LLRC was made public, no one murmured. After the report came out, they howled. Isn’t that a bit late in the process? Why didn’t they question the mandate before the process began if they thought it was limited? There have been about two dozen such exercises over the decades around the world, not just the Truth and Reconciliation process in South Africa alone. The international community has stood by and supported the other efforts. Some of the mandates were quite limited and one wonders why there were no comments about them?
  • Why was “the past” a block and tackle used to hamper President Rajapaksa but Mr. Sirisena, who was also closely associated with the same “past”, is set free?

David C Maithri 2015 March

Anyone would think that there was an agenda here.

And this brings us to the last few points extracted from Cameron’s oped above:

  • “Strengthening respect for human rights” – Whose human rights? Everyone’s or those of just a few? The strides we have made in this area have benefitted the whole population. There’s lots more to be done here in lots of areas: youth, elders, the handicapped, women’s rights . . . and so on. So kind of him to care. Except that I don’t think he means that.
  • “eradicating corruption” – we need to establish the evidence of corruption before we can eradicate it. Where’s the evidence? Allegations of corruption are not evidence. Not even in Britain.
  • “improving political accountability” – President Rajapaksa’s manifestos from his election bids of 2005 and 2010 are still available on the internet. He never hid them. Anyone who wants to hold him accountable for his promises is entirely at liberty to do so. He made himself accountable to the people of this land a whole decade before it became fashionable.
  • “ensuring the freedom of the press” – Is he talking about the press that blossomed over the last few decades? The press that increased in number so much that we now have local newspapers? There are so many new papers, radio stations, tv stations and electronic news outlets now. How is it possible for news outlets to proliferate where there is no freedom of the press? Since Chandrika became president, we have not obliged the newspapers to forward issues to the censor so the censor could order entire articles removed, leaving blank spaces with the word “censored” stamped across them. Remember that?!

But the most serious comment made by Cameron is this one: “These are all essential elements of a democratic, fair and functioning state.” He implies that, minus the list of features itemised above, it is possible to call Sri Lanka a failed state. Cheers, chump!

It is necessary, now, to consider one particular strategy of international relations: calling the shots to meet specific agendas. Theoretically speaking, the Cold War is over and Cold War politics is over. Except that Cold War interests never went away. We still have super powers (the US because of their military and China because of her financial and military strength), regional powers (India) and ordinary countries (Sri Lanka). That means that we still have some countries that want their way for their reasons and other countries that are being managed, manipulated or simply bullied. While President Rajapaksa was in office, Sri Lanka was bullied. Now Sri Lanka is simply being manipulated. That’s really all the difference.

One way to manipulate a given nation is to make statements about their internal affairs using specific terms designed to meet a given agenda. If country A, for example, is too independent, country B can fall back on human rights rhetoric or good governance rhetoric or some such. If this sounds familiar, it’s because that is exactly what has happened to us: President Rajapaksa was intent on developing Sri Lanka as an independent nation and Britain and the US wanted to be able to control and manage us for their purposes. India was hopping about in the background as well for their own reasons, so Britain and the US were happy to let them have a piece of the action in manipulating things here. What suits India for one set of reasons also suits Britain and the US for another set of reasons.

Mr. Sirisena is a breath of fresh air for the controllers that be. He is amenable to their designs. But it is necessary to ensure that he doesn’t get ideas, now that he is in power, and become independent. History is full of people who were placed in hot seats as puppets and then discovered that they had spines. Britain and the US can’t afford to deal with another independent leader here. So Cameron’s kindness to Mr. Sirisena has to be qualified: if Sri Lanka does A, B, C, and D, she will qualify as a functioning state. In other words, he has left the back door open for further vilification.

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Latest comments

  • 8
    34

    What is this woman on about? Two UN resolutions were contingent on the LLRC proposals! If GOSL had acted honourably there would have been no room for foreign leaders to interfear. Cameron gave voice to voiceless! I do hope powerful leaders speak out more often about injustices around the world.

    • 4
      23

      What this women repeat here is One of mostly used bullSxxt theory in SL. In 1990s , what is China, just a poor country with large human military, next to it was second biggest economic power, Japan. If this woman’s theory has any base, then how come China become super power and very respected country in 20 years..China build 80% of all well respected and expensive Apple IT products in the world. China had Tiananmen Student protest/suppress in 1989, have we heard any issues in that calibre after that.
      In SL, Gov killed many civilians/rebels in 71, civilians and Gov killed/burned much more own civilians in 77 & 83. Gov killed civilians/rebels in 88-90, this number was much more than all previous occasions. 2009 was worse than all other historical killings. Do you see the pattern…. West, British PM, believe in SL people and they believe we can do better, so they press us to try harder be better humans. Because, if we continue in the same path, they get effected too, more refugees is just one reason.

      • 5
        0

        A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
        Vladimir Lenin

      • 4
        24

        In Other Words,

        Sandra Fernando is also a Sinhala majoritarian.

      • 3
        9

        ” so they press us to try harder be better humans. “

        We are better humans.

        Our war was to eradicate a barbaric group of internal terrorists who were manipulated at times by outsiders. Our lives were put at great risk, but we did manage to control them and the people can now go about their business without fear. The West choses it’s ‘enemies’ under various pretexts, calculates what it could gain materially by it’s wars, which are always abroad, killing millions of the locals, destroying their economies, and in the end blaming the victims.

        I am sure you’d rather be a Cameron/Blair/Bush than a Rajapakse/Fonseka.

    • 22
      2

      ….but powerful leaders do not speak about injustices in their own countries. The lad (Ms Fernando)y has clearly articulated her points of view of British/US interference in the affairs of smaller countries. UNHRC has failed to act impartially or effectively w.r.t accountability of murderous (millions of civilians)s acts of US/British in Afghanistan, Iraq, thus is a political tool of the West. Sri Lanka correctly took no notice of those resolutions. Sadly, the resolutions, BI does not understand that they were not UN resolutions but US lead UNHRC resolutions. Cameron gave voice not to voiceless but, caved into thuggish, loudmouth diaspora hooligans hoping to corner some votes.

  • 3
    30

    Looks like you are holding past Sri Lankan leaders with great regards.Britsh hitorians record a great colony civilised by the ruined by sucessive native leadership and are they not right?

  • 8
    29

    Sandra Fernando, well said! I wish the so called Elites (mostly of ex Col 3,5,7) who cruise this parallel universe of the Colombo Telegraph get into their shriveling brain cells once and for all that allegations are just that, allegations..they are manufactured to manipulate the citizenry of ordinary countries like Sri Lanka which may become extraordinary and independent and powerful enough to manipulate the manipulators (what the ex President MR tried to do).

    • 17
      3

      Rajapassa man is going to win again to keep the nation steady in troubled waters- he’s got the discipline- come what may. :-))))

      Hoiya & Oi colombo 357- holman???

      Cola>Colamba > 7.Curundu Watten for donkeys years because we think-

      Neither a borrower nor a lender be for a loan oft’ loses both friend and thee.
      The BBS knows the knot which spring the del and leaves weren’t they there before like Madonna the first before all on video to proclaim woman’s being in this funny world of ours???
      Je ne pas!!
      Your scratch of reinforced underwear is due to the abattoir owners goo in the soup from 68 when Parangia lost the fascist regime at Goa with the Carnation Revolution – then with fear M/s B handed over Diego Garcia for future protection from the unknown US to UK ( Bombay was gifted 1661 to Charles 2 as dowry) It’s a Spanish name like Buro (Buruva) Gibralter was handed over to England to keep the mainland Africa Islamist from entering Europe via back door like of Italy even today.

      Modi’s agreement says he has Russian defence treaty which has proved strong from Nehru’s death onwards. China won’t attack don’t create war because China does not fight anothers war as in Sudan where the CIA Oil goes to Ethopia and they have 50k soilders there to protect it- where is sudan and where is China.??

      NaMo is other backward class woe him and the world is yours with out Pan_Arab pilau because it is Bangaladeshi style selling your mother to medival- lagga neth dee kollo kello kakula ussande??(spread your legs?)

      (*O*)

    • 15
      5

      You sound just like me!

      • 8
        1

        KASumanasekera,
        One has to test the soil – its like black cotton soil- sticky with a lot of glue from commentators who have neither seen but just belch and fart thinking is Govi Vella home is lanka because of the islamist after the 69 sirimavo marriage to postman’s son Nasser of Egypt..
        Having met and observed the sihala Buddhist monks living in recluse in Buddhist villages from Babasheb point to Lumbini I learnt-
        Govi menas maracakala ambude thiyagena pol ganneva. (high class sihala means like JR or Preme have the muslim in their undies for abattoir special.
        This I see at old Mughal locations on the same long trip of more than 10 years.
        Good luck at the future elections- ranil kalle rail line going to limbo state.

  • 18
    1

    NaMo would learn to trust this old fellow than the new coup!
    Raja learnt from the latthi and the moruu she had at jail.

    “I give the truths of to-morrow. – my stupid three.

    “I prefer the mistakes of to-day,” – Raja the Hero.

    This man is going to win again to keep the nation steady in troubled waters- he’s got the discipline-
    come what may. :-))))

    Consider Cmoron the unsung hero of the past.

    Jai iHind

    bTW what poison was the muslim congress with out the language but stolen english medium from 70 selling to Modi??
    Modi is the man of need he gave Nepal $1 billion none to Lanka because he needs the
    man who can perform Daharam proved. Dorje.

  • 2
    16

    Cameron, and other foreign leaders, voice their opinions mainly for local consumption. The only foreign leader/government we need to care about is immediately to the north, and the sooner we restore good working relations with them, the better we all would be. As for Cameron, the sooner we stop giving him oxygen at home the better. We will do our own thing regardless.

  • 4
    19

    We must bear in mind that the principal factor behind anything that David Cameron says now is to try to prevent a humiliating defeat in the UK general election this year. To do that he has to try to balance many factors and one of those factors is that most British people have little knowledge of Sri Lanka beyond its cricketing prowess, its beautiful beaches and its tea!

    So he makes remarks broadly encouraging of the new administration and critical of the old one as he hopes to hang on to the UK ethnic Tamil votes that 2 or 3 MPs in his party have been able to gain. At the same time he is trying not to antagonise the large bulk of British people who are fed up with UK politics being determined by various minorities while their own views as native Britons are ignored.

    Being David Cameron, he naturally does this in the only way he seems to know – talking like a headmaster to a brown skinned schoolboy from the colonies as if he was a bright but naughty youngster who needs some strong but encouraging words to keep him on the right track.

    People in Sri Lanka should not take anything that David Cameron says too seriously, for most British people don’t believe anything he says either!

    • 13
      1

      Never can anyone say that of the classic master non anglo saxon chinese pin up guy
      the man who stuck red ken to oblivion back to his pigsty- The bombastic Boris Johnson mayor of London.

      BTW `we` expect a grand coalition and a few greens because we too are concerned of the laxity in student visas to flog & clog the market for cheep heep scum to even end up as supervisors when its the favourite post low down of the locals.

      We never know who would be PM – if it’s nasal coup or Cmoron because the economy is performing- the cash never went in flames its in a very few hands as during WW1 when England was informed that it had lost the war- Goldman Sac’s, Rothschild.

      We have the fixed date unlike lanka for the result soon; counting.

  • 3
    23

    The Rajapaksa’s rein was an absolute tyranny. He was responsible for the massacre of 40,000 Tamils after urging them to qmove to a so called safe zone. The UN called his actions a genoside and he must be made accountable by international law that we have as a country signed up to. Political opponents were abducted and have disappeared. There are umpteen number of innocent people in prisons without any legal scutuniy. Journalists were imprisoned and disappeared. Political opponents have gone missing without any trace. The law of the land was soon becoming the law of the jungle. The Muslim community who live by the side of the rest were threatened by the Rajapakse’s BBS thugs while the state was idle and looked on. Rajapaksa and his cronies was responsible for acts of enormous levels of state corruption. Evidence is developing that he used special forces as his private army to threaten political opponents. The treasury was being used as his private bank. His son was given a franchise to televise a sport channel and was exempted from taxation and without competition. His minister has been arrested for fraud last week. There is evidence developing that arms have been imported by the state for the use of a private security company and could have reached the hands of terrorist like ISIS. He lied to the international community by saying that he will provide maximum devolution to the tamils through the 13th amendment and ratted on the promise. The Srilankan foreign minister only said yesterday that they are beginning to recover stolen money hidden in international banking institutions by the Rajapakses. Your love of Rajapakses lacks any logic and can only be described as delusional. We saved SriLanka at the nick of time or else he would have ended up as a ruthless dictator like Pinochot.

    • 2
      0

      Dear Kumar Sandirasegaram, I am no fan of the Rajapakses but please do not keep repeating the fabricated propaganda that 40,000 Tamils were killed in the last stages of the conflict. There’s no evidence whatsoever and how does one hide so many bodies in a small area?

  • 10
    10

    This lady is telling the truth. All anti-Sri lankans are talking against it.

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    1

    Very sensible analysis by the lady.

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