By Rajpal Abeynayake – The state run Daily News Editorial – Thursday, September 5, 2013
The cacophonous song and dance that’s made about the alleged governance issues, the human rights deficit and the democracy deficit so-called of the government, is marked by the fact that people have forgotten the antecedents of this issue that once more gained some momentary play during the visit of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillai.
Consider Pillai’s visit itself. She has to be thanked for her unqualified acceptance of the fact that there has been tremendous infrastructure development in the North and the East, of a very impressive order. This fact of course is now so absolutely clear that there is no argument about it. From the Julie Bishops to the French senators to the British parliamentarians, they have all said it.
What’s forgotten is the fact that this is not how it all started. Post 2009 and after the Nadikadal defeat of the LTTE, the Sri Lankan government was accused of maintaining mass internment camps that were also dubbed ‘barbed-wire concentration camps’ by interested parties that sorely wanted to carve out that first kink in a calculatedly false narrative.
Today there is nothing said about barbed wire and refugees. The dominant contrary narrative is one of achievements in resettlement, and getting the physical infrastructure in place to an extent that amazes all — detractor and neutral observer alike.
Commentators and others that salivate for regime change may now gloss over this change in narrative and pretend that there is no great achievement in the story not going the way that ghouls expected it to. But the change in narrative is significant and by it the entire media culture behind the post-war propaganda war can be defined. By the manner in which Ms. Pillai was unable to criticize in any way the excellent physical facilities and resettlement programs in Jaffna and the North, and by the way she on the contrary made a hands down concession on that point, it seems rather clear that since the original narrative had to be abandoned, the naysayers are stuck with nothing but cooked up stories and peripheral narratives, short stories and novellas really — that rely on the flimsiest support for credibility.
In different words, the plain truth is that as far as the eye can see and the senses can discern, everything is a story book success in the former theatre of war. That being the case, all that can be done is to create a new creative narrative from scratch, but then this effort obviously lacks so much in substance and credibility that not even the most gullible are fooled.
Spurious charges utterly unsubstantiated have become the stock in trade of the lobbyists and NGO cabals that feed persons such as Pillai and such gaping holes have begun to show in their trumped up charges, that the entire spurious narrative is now becoming such a risible comic script. All the talk about 30 journalists being killed since 2005, about urging zero tolerance for sexual abuse when there are no sexual abuse cases that the finger pointers can list out — all of this seems to be placing the Sri Lankan side on a pedestal compared to the moral low ground that these narrative creators are coveting with their novellas and their other uninspired works of fiction.
No doubt these people have been able to hoodwink Pillai or to get her to willingly dance to their music, and probably they will be able to get some traction for their narrative-creation through the agency of the OHCHR, and by extension the UNHRC. But that on the long run palpably cannot go the distance to cause major convulsions in Sri Lanka that the perpetrators of these stories obviously desire. Such an outcome in particular is impossible when the backdrop in Jaffna gives the lie to the entire thrust of the arguments against this country in the post war phase.