14 December, 2017

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Indian Decision On Attending CHOGM Will Affect Its Moral

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Doubts are being cast on Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s willingness to participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting to be held in November in Sri Lanka.   Indian spokespersons have been very circumspect on the issue.  Without committing themselves or giving an indication of whether the answer will be in the affirmative or negative, they merely say that the level of Indian representation has yet to be decided on.  Indian politics is always full of issues that require the full time attention of its government leadership.  Later this year, and coinciding with CHOGM there will be several important Indian states that will be going to the polls for state level elections.  However, the most likely cause of the Indian Prime Minister’s indecision to visiting Sri Lanka is the opposition to Indian participation that has been emanating from the state of Tamil Nadu.

During the last phase of the war which ended in 2009, emotions in Tamil Nadu escalated to fever pitch over India’s support to Sri Lanka to militarily defeat the LTTE at a very high human cost.  This led the Indian government to seek out and obtain pledges from its Sri Lankan counterparts that priority would be given to ensuring the safety of the civilian population trapped in the war zones.  In addition, India sought and obtained pledges from the Sri Lankan government that it would implement a political solution after the war that would satisfy the aspirations of the Tamil people.   Not only did the Sri Lankan government agree to implement a political solution, it also assured India that it would go beyond the existing framework of devolution of power to an undefined 13 Amendment Plus.

What makes the situation difficult for the Indian government in dealing with the demands emanating from Tamil Nadu is that the Sri Lankan government’s implementation of its promises has been like the proverbial Curate’s Egg, which was good and bad in parts. Sri Lanka continues to be condemned by the international human rights community and by some Western governments on its treatment of the civilian population during the war, and even after the war.  The Canadian government’s decision to downgrade its representation at the Commonwealth Summit is on account of human rights issues, including the failure to investigate war crimes, and the larger failure to observe “Commonwealth Values”.  These are also issues that continue to agitate activists in Tamil Nadu and human rights activists the world over.

Impossible Achievement

On the other hand, by holding provincial council elections for the Northern Province and establishing the Northern Provincial Council last month, the Sri Lankan government took a step forward that no previous Sri Lankan government for the past 26 years had the capacity or ability to do.  As recently as the middle of the year, none of what is currently transpiring in the North would have seemed possible.  At that time Sinhalese nationalist groups aligned themselves with hardliners within the government itself to call for the abolishing of the provincial councils system.  At that time relations with India could be seen to be sharply deteriorating and India sent an emissary forthwith.  The Indian Prime Minister publicly expressed his dismay at the developments taking place within Sri Lanka.

It can be surmised that the shift in the Sri Lankan government’s approach to the issue of Northern elections and the provincial council system came with the nearing of the Commonwealth Summit in November 2013.  The government’s decision to hold those elections and to establish the Northern Provincial Council can only be attributed to the strong international pressure that emanated, in part from India in the form of a warning that it might downgrade its presence at CHOGM, and this might have a domino effect on other wavering countries.  In addition the promises made by government leaders to leaders of other concerned human rights respecting countries, such as Japan, could not be glossed over without the possibility of adverse repercussions.  It is this sense of being coerced that leads to doubts as to whether the devolution process will be sustained by the government in the longer term after the Commonwealth meeting is over and the level of international scrutiny is reduced.

For the Sri Lankan government which is desperately seeking to redeem itself as a respected government in the eyes of the world, the hosting of the Commonwealth meeting in Sri Lanka would be the pinnacle of the government’s success in foreign relations.  Since the war ended in 2009, the government has been on the back foot internationally on issues of governance and human rights.  It is in this context that the government has been sparing no effort to put its best foot forward for the occasion of the Commonwealth Summit.  This is certainly evident in terms of physical changes in the massive effort being taken to beautify Colombo and prepare the country for the occasion.  However, the biggest challenge for the government has not been the logistical ones, formidable though they are, but rather to ensure that all the countries of the Commonwealth send their heads of government to attend the meeting in Colombo.

Longer Term Perspective

There is a powerful campaign against Sri Lanka being made the host of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which the government has been struggling to withstand.  Concerns within some Commonwealth countries about human rights violations perpetrated by Sri Lankan government forces during the fighting prompted Commonwealth leaders in 2009 to defer a decision on Sri Lanka’s candidacy to host the summit. However, Commonwealth leaders in 2011 agreed to allow Sri Lanka to host the 2013 summit.   But this decision has been challenged by human rights organizations.  The Sri Lankan government continues to be under pressure from international human rights groups and by the Tamil Diaspora on the issue of war crimes and violations of Commonwealth values, most notably the sacking of the Chief Justice for political reasons.

However, many countries have said that they will attend CHOGM despite the problems they see in Sri Lanka.  They have said that engaging with the Sri Lankan government is the better way to influence it for the better.  The UK, Australia and New Zealand have taken this position. The Indian government would have to weigh the consequences in terms of its own priorities where its relationship with Sri Lanka is concerned.  Whereas Canada’s focus was human rights and war crimes issues, India’s focus has been on the 13th Amendment and the maintenance of the provincial council system.  Sri Lanka has shown that it is on the path of delivering on its most important commitment to India which is the devolution of power and achieving a sustainable political solution.   The establishment of a provincial council for the Northern Province is the best possible advance in a long while in the direction of a just political solution.

Now that the Northern Provincial Council has been established the challenge will be to ensure that it is not undermined in its infancy and that it will take root. Among the root causes of the ethnic conflict, the issue of discrimination meted out to the Tamil people took a primary place.  To the extent that the people of the North will enjoy the same devolved power that the people in the rest of the country enjoy, there will be less discrimination.  In the future the challenge will be to deepen and widen this sharing of power.  The desire to make sure that the Indian Prime Minister comes to Sri Lanka may already have induced the Sri Lankan government to go further along the path of devolution of power than it intended, by establishing the Northern Provincial Council.   The Sri Lankan government is investing a great deal in the success of the Commonwealth Summit, and India’s continuing moral influence on Sri Lanka and its government is likely to be greater if it helps in its success rather than its failure.  Continued international pressure that is in the spirit of constructive engagement with the Sri Lankan government is necessary to ensure that the devolution process continues after CHOGM.

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Latest comments

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    This is fertile ground for opportunists like jehan perera to make speculations. What is the real big deal any way. India will lose its opportunity to have and influence on the sri Lankan government if they are stupid enough not to attend. The had to deal with the lunatic fringe of Tamil nadu that is why the circumspection

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      It is not the “constructive engagement with the Sri Lankan government” the Tamils are concerned about:

      They are distressed by the genocide continuing in its structural form; land grabs, sterilization of Tamil women, sexual abuse of women, colonization of Sinhalese in their homeland, complete militarization of their daily lives and many more atrocities going on.

      It’s not the devolution stupid, it’s the freedom from the Sinhala yoke that Tamils are yearning for.

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        sterilization of tamil women , lmao I doubt it its just their husbands not sleeping with them cus of bad hygiene . and yes the Sinhalese are colonizing their own homeland as they should !

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          “I doubt it its just their husbands not sleeping with them cus of bad hygiene”

          Abe the Amude
          It looks like you got 4 stubs of drumsticks up your nose that makes you keep on picking.

          Well the children are crying because they want the rest of their lunch back.

          • 0
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            Javi the lingam v
            Worshipper some body wants theirs

            • 0
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              Abe the Amude
              Phew! King Pong

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            There is a clear division of labour a carrot and stick approach that is necessary to goad Rajapassa criminals to do the right thing.
            Jehan Perera, the point is that Donor dependent civil society organizations need to take a PRINCIPLED stand to educate the people and BOYCOTT and PROTEST the CHOGM show which will boost the Rajapakse Military dictatorship and DEEP STATE. ALso, CHOGM which is a huge waste of funds of the people – while bus and train fares go up, and is not a development priority for the people of Sri Lanka and it needs to be protested by the locals.
            SO stop writing these silly articles about the IC and start doing what you are paid to do – educate people on the waste of funds on CHOGM and the fact that it is meant to boost a dictatorship and then organize a protest outside CHOGM to tell the world the truth about the regime. If you claim to be a civil society activist this is what you should be doing..

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              Yes, JP needs to put his money where his mouth is, and get a BRAIN!

              This is all a lot of tosh and eyewash – a pathetic excuse for NPC to avoid doing the job that an activist civil society organization that is worth its salt should do – BOYCOTT the CHOGM show on PRINCIPLES..

              But am afraid JP has no principles and is in the same category as the dead leftists- sucking up to the Rajapassa military dictatorship to ensure that he can run his peace business and milk gullible donors from the international community!

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          Stupid goon how can you colonize your own homeland

      • 0
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        Thiru,
        “They are distressed by the genocide continuing in its structural form; land grabs, sterilization of Tamil women, sexual abuse of women, colonization of Sinhalese in their homeland, complete militarization of their daily lives and many more atrocities going on.” – Srilankan way of practicing BUDDHISM

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          In any war its women and children who suffer the most. I had the opportunity of seeing the features of the East Germans the day the wall was broken down- a bit of mongoloid, Russian and German. Don’t count your stars if we are to learn from history. War is nothing but blood and gore. War shreds people into bloody little pieces, it tears them limb from limb, or it burns them alive. War is the ultimate horror that man inflicts upon man. Perhaps you may be aware that VP the village jackal is the “mother of all stepfathers” like any other idealist.

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          Sure at least we don’t worship a dick

          • 0
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            Biscuit Boofer going Going Ape-Shit

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            abhaya you worship Gota”s arse. [Edited out]

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        Thiru,
        You have stated the pros & cons correctly.
        People like JP purposely ignore the human rights violations even now going on in the north.
        Yesterday a mentally unsound woman’s putrified corpse has been found in Jaffna.
        All know who the sex starved murderous predaters are.
        The new army commander promises to ‘behead’ anyone who mentions the word ‘separation’.
        Already the supreme court has pronounced that NPC cannot use state land for development,while the army still occupies homes of citizens and maintains unnecessary “high security zones” – such zones do not exist in the south or east – and plants citizens from the south,in the north.

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      Goth- abhaya,

      India doesn’t just have influence on Sinhala Lanka and whether you like it or not ( from Detroit) it has Total Jurisdiction. The only reason that hasn’t been displayed is because of the get rich quick attitude of the corrupt Indian Politicians like Menon. Krishna, Susma and Loony Swami.
      But when Mr.Clean and Iron Lady take over MR will realise that he has wasted Billions.

  • 0
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    At the End, This country will be Seperated…. then BBS / GOTA / MR can fly a kite.

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      BBS / GOTA / MR and any do they care about the country only care about their pockets

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      They’ve been saying that for over sixty years. Jeyaratnam Wilson even wrote a book about the break-up of Sri Lanka. It will never happen.

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      Takaran kite ? . can you get us one ?

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        “can you get us one ?”

        Ape shit King Kong has a Styscraper for your ilk.

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    As you said or accept “India’s support to Sri Lanka to militarily defeat the LTTE at a very high human cost”
    Neither one of them didn’t think twice about the high innocent civilians death then why don’t you accept it was a Genocide by Government of sri lanka with the help of india

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    Who cares whether the Indian PM will come or not?As a matter of fact these heads of state will come here,make a few speeches,wine & dine and that’s it. CHOGM is a waste of time and money.As for India any moment it can break in to pieces.

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    India may attend but maybe not the PM. To choose between TN and Sri Lanka, the choice of the latter would be suicidal for the Congress with elections in 2014. Narendra Modi has already made his stand very clear.

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    Jehan….
    Neither the CHOGM nor the Indian participation will uplift the lives of the 99.% of the average Sri Lankans ..and their pathetic lives will never be changed.. Just look at the de facto CJ judgement on Nimalaruban’ death…whether he is a Tamil or a tertorist he too is entitle to a fair hearing in a Court of Law…who judge people on preconceived assumptions….?….How would you feel if you or your son is denied justice and brand him as a terrorist ..? You think the Law will change…!!!! THE WHOLE COUNTRY IS DEMORALIZED..

    Under such circumstances whose moral are you talking about that could get affected.. The Boss’ s Moral..

  • 0
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    Tiru
    “t’s not the devolution stupid, it’s the freedom from the Sinhala yoke that Tamils are yearning for.”

    Go back to Tamil Nadu and you will get it there

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      Ravi perera

      People like you have no idea what you all talking about
      Tell your stupid president and his brother to deport all the tamils to India then you can have your Pee Lanka
      Still you are begging from India even China is right hand to Peelanka because china is a business country and china always looking for return of interest ,if it fail yes it fail your masters worrying filling their pocket and legacy not the development of the country
      Build airport in president back yard and the habor as a white elephant
      You ever heard about frog ? You are the frog making noice and die

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      Yes when you bums get back to bihar along with saffron clad skin heads ,Tamils will annex the sinking islan d with Tamil nadu.
      Hence we dont need to leave, BUT develop the submerging island.

  • 0
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    ‘BBS / GOTA / MR and any do they care about the country only care about their pockets.” Please add Jehan – the so called human rights activist’s,another wolf in sheep’s clothing name, to the list as well.

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    Jehan Perera:

    [Edited out]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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      You are a reincarnation of ela kolla

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    JP is another variant of DJ,both compete with each other for Presidential recognition thinking that what they write will be noticed by India to come rushing scared of the Chinese dragon getting a foothold on the island and breath fire towards it at any time in the future.
    What they both forget is that China and India are adjacent neighbors despite border issues with mutually expanding trade and investment between themselves.Much more than Sri Lanka.
    Whereas Pakistan is a rogue theocratic state with the army and extremist mullahs holding sway.
    Pakistan cannot afford to mess with India, with bitter lessons learned over Bangaladesh in 1971 and the recent Kargil experience despite it’s nuclear bomb.

    CHOGM is a non issue for India, and if the Indian PM decides to miss it for urgent domestic and electoral reasons he cannot be faulted for that.
    If the Lankan regime now back tracks on devolution issues despite what the the recent NPC elections results have indicated to the IC, why would India be concerned, as it is the Lankan regime under MR that has to deal with the consequences of that.

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    We dont care if Indian are coming or not. Jehan Perera Baked allways for LTTE. He earned lot of money for that. He is a chritian. He hate Budhist.

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    Mr. Perera,

    I am sorry, as much as I hate the Rajapakse’s and everything bad they represent, the Northern province is still a part of Sri Lanka the last time I checked and therefore if I chose to move there, it is my right.

    The fact that no one cared to go live there in the last 100 years does not mean we gave up our rights. Colonising, my foot!

    Very White man terminology from a very brown pukka sahib.

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    Jehan Perera should understand that the most of the recent actions that had been taken by the MARA’s regime were due to international pressure but not because of the progressive policy of MARA.This includes the NPC elections speeding up of some of the murder cases in which his military forces involved. It was proved that unless the intervention and the pressure of international community Mara will never do any good things for Tamils or the citizens of the rest of the country.All development project are there for MARA’s family to make huge commissions.

    MARA’s family is there to look after themselves and rob the country resources for their own benefit.Hundreds and thousands of Mara’s family members and friends are being holding higher positions in the Government establishments and sharing a major potion of the national wealth. People like Jehan Perera suppress and willfully forget all the dirty things done by the MARAs regime(Family)and suggest people to further trust them and expect that they would do good things for Tamils and all other citizens.

    The key reason of this gossip by jehan perera may be lack capacity of political thinking.It is easy for people like him to sit on the wall and jump to the side in which they get food.He says that the Japan is a country which concerns HR.I thing that he is laying a foundation to obtain another “Peace (CASH) Award”from them.Japanese are passive when HR violations are being taking place. MR.Akashi who was moving up and down during the war period never utter a word about HR violations. He Visited Sri Lanka and enjoyed the “hospitality” of the Govt.stayed in five star hotels like Hilton and vanished.He was a very good friend of MR. Jehan Perera who recommend him to get the previous award.The other referee who recommended Jehan Perera for the Award was EPDP leader Duglas Devananda(A well known murderer who still follows the same policy of killing opponents)

    Most of the Common wealth countries are supportive to Mara because he destroyed the “Most Dangerous Terrorist group” as branded by western countries. Almost all the western countries had/have banned the ” Tamil liberation Movement LTTE and launched a powerful propaganda campaign against it at a global level.Now Mara is enjoying the fullest benefit out of it including power and wealth.

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    Jehan,

    MR was never going to hold elections to the Northern Assembly as he has an unfinished business of ethnic cleansing and Colonising the North devoid of Tamils. He was aided and abetted by his coolies from the corrupt Indian Government who are on MRs payroll. People like Shiv Shankar Menon and the Freelance loony Swami.
    A combination of the factors the forthcoming CHOGM and the Indian General Elections have produced some results but that is only a temporary relief and the real change will only come when we have a change at the top in the only Nation that can dictate and enforce policies in Sinhala Lanka.
    We have to wait until March 2014 for the Tamil fortune to change and quite frankly the holding of the CHOGM in a Genocidal state is a farce. It is like having an Economic Summit in Hitlers Germany when he was in power during the Holocaust. It amounts to appeasement and that is what all the Commonwealth Head of States are subscribing to and sadly MR has been rewarded for his Crimes which sends the wrong signal to future despots.

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    I have message for Upul,Tissa Withana JimSofty, Ravi Perera Max Silva.

    If you want to survive as a Nation just pray for the next six months that BJP doesn’t win otherwise you are doomed. FRIGHTENING isn’t it.

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