15 October, 2019

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Rajapaksa Missed A Golden Historic Opportunity To Reboot Sri Lanka

By Niranjan Canagasooryam

Niranjan Canagasooryam

Niranjan Canagasooryam

Hijacking war victory success 

The Rajapaksa‘s are widely credited with winning the civil war that had plagued this nation for over three decades. Yet, there are many unsung heroes who have played crucial roles in winning the war both directly and indirectly. The obvious is Sarath Fonseka and the honorable forces that were not given the due recognition they rightfully deserved. Amongst the other silent players, Ranil Wickremesinghe is widely believed to be the mastermind architect in splitting the LTTE with the defection of Karuna, who had supposedly delivered vital intelligence on LTTE’s modus operandi. Another unsung hero is Lakshman Kadirgamar, who under the leadership of Chandrika Kumaratunga worked tirelessly to ensure ban on the LTTE by many global powers and as a result made it difficult for the LTTE to raise funds and operate its activities. The list goes on and on and in this context, Ranil Wickremesinghe’ s recent TV interview drew parallel between the war victory and a cricket match, whereby winning is ascribed to the performance of the entire team with Mahinda Rajapaksa merely taking the last wicket.

Mahinda airportHurting the reconciliation process by claiming zero civilian casualties 

Any war brings with it, bloodshed and civilian casualties. Rightly or wrongly to moral consciousness, the majority of Sri Lankans agree that the war had to be ended despite this civilian loss. Nonetheless, the Rajapaksa‘s deceitful claim of zero civilian casualty questions their credibility and has inadvertently trapped them into an irreversible position. Importantly, this deceitful claim has resulted in missing a golden prospect of sincere reconciliation of a battered society who had to suffer both the brunt of terrorism and had to face the horror of the sheer death numbers of their loved ones and community brought upon them during the final stages of the war. The first step towards any sincere reconciliation is to deliver the truth and use the strong roots of democracy to reach out to the marginalized society by acknowledging such tragedy. Assuming in the remotest scenario that by acknowledging the truth, the Rajapaksa’ s are tried to war crimes, they would have been hailed as martyrs that great leaders are willing to die for. In this context, it is arguable in the truest essence whether the Rajapaksa ‘s actually won the battle and lost the war as it was a successful military defeat but lacked winning the hearts and minds of all communities to elude recurrence.

Alienating Sri Lanka from global powers 

There remains no secret that co-chair countries unanimously agreed that LTTE had to be militarily defeated and to this effect had supposedly assisted the Sri Lankan Government in bringing this war to an end. Instead of garnering this international support and working closely with these global powers, the Rajapaksa’ chose isolating themselves not merely for the fear of consequences, but also for the benefit of their local popularity. Historic examples across the globe showcase humility and success differently, following the nuclear attack on Hiroshima, the United States Government reached out to the Japanese with colossal aid and Japan recovered from being a war-torn nation to becoming one of the leading economies of the world. Germany post-World War II received enormous international aid and progressed to become the number four economy of the globe. In comparison, ensuing the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia failed to garner international support and faces the consequences of its economy being in doldrums even today. Lacking wisdom and learning’s from historic global experiences, the Rajapaksa ‘s have branded countries as friends or foes namely western powers, imperialism, colonizers, bullying by the big brother, help from China, etc. and turning down the opportunity for receiving billions of dollars of aid and opting instead to financial borrowing that our future generations would have to pay.

Conclusion 

After the finale of the war in 2009, Mahinda Rajapaksa enjoyed unprecedented popularity and absolute power and could have rebooted Sri Lanka. Instead, for the sheer greed of power and family rule, six years later the country is facing rising levels of authoritarianism, denigration of the rule of law, alarming levels of nepotism, cronyism, politically motivated religious violence and disturbing levels of human and financial corruption. With Mahinda Rajapaksa taking 100% credit for war victory, claiming zero civilian casualties and alienating Sri Lanka from global powers, he chose personal victory and popularity and missed the golden opportunity of leaving behind a legacy of a revitalized, united Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 16
    0

    Doesn’t this all point to the fact that winning the war was not for the sake of the country or its people, but a well planned and executed plot to gain power using all resources available, for the benefit of one man and his family?
    Could this be the reason why every action after winning the war has been so illogical and insincere?
    Could this be why all the boot licking scum bags, known thugs, drug dealers, etc have surrounded the first family for a bite of the national cake?
    I really wonder!!!

    • 8
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      Niranjan Canagasooryam –

      RE: Rajapaksa Missed A Golden Historic Opportunity To Reboot Sri Lanka

      Rajapaksa Rebooted The Medamulana Mahinda Rajapaksa Family Dynasty and Family Dictatorship Sri Lanka and collected several billion in dollars… Now they have millions dollar house in USA and several other places and stashed a lot of funds at several other places…

  • 5
    1

    Niranjan:

    “Any war brings with it, bloodshed and civilian casualties. Rightly or wrongly to moral consciousness, the majority of Sri Lankans agree that the war had to be ended despite this civilian loss”

    To expect zero casualties during a war, particularly of the propensity as that of the last war, is foolhardy but who would have expected the greatest fool of all would be the Rajapakse regime that tried to hammer home the notion of zero casualties. Having said that, there are two issues in your masked argument that holds no water. While “reasonable” casualties may be expected and tolerated, the extent of casualties, the modus, particularly asking civilians to move into the regime’s designated no-fire zones but then bomb them recklessly and with vengeance, the colossal loss of limb and life is against every norm and your attempt to justify it to end a war, even if protracted, is deceitful and the answer to that has been the UNHRC investigation, not for finishing the war but how it all ended. The second issue is your attempt to, just like poltical goons will have it, that the majority Sr Lankans were supportive. It will be more appropriate that it was the Sinhala majority, driven by the hatred and empathy towards the Tamils, who supported the regime to the extent that to this day they are dumb and deaf to actually what happened during the last days of the war. Yes, thanks to politicians this country is on a slippery slope to ever live as one nation. Long before the war even started, the Sinhalese had already laid claim to be masters. The Sinhala Only Act, the 1983 riots, the burning of the Jaffna Library, the sadistic way Tamil girls and women were raped were but a few examples.

    The global community was indeed on its edge and had wanted to get over with it. What it did not know is that the SL regime is as ruthless, or even more ruthless than the LTTE. The passport given to the regime by these nations to end the war was cunningly used by the regime to its advantage, as these nations belatedly found out. While these nations were fed up with the antics of the LTTE, the consistent demand by the global community was to minimise casualties. When UNSG Ban Ki Moon flew over the final war arena, he exressed horror and disgust that he had never seen such devastation in his entire life. It has now dawned that the regime had a plan to reduce the numbers of Tamils to tilt the balance of the population in the North and perfectly executed that plan that bespeaks of the horror that gradually emerged.

    All the examples of wars you have cited bear no similarity with that of the SL last phase of war. One, the nations that waged the war were on the opposite sides. That citizens were bombed indiscriminately from the air and on the ground. It is grossly shameful for a country to heavily bomb its own citizens, and particularly civilians, your foolish attempt to draw a parallel is absurd and defies logic.

    Just as MR lied to the whole world on his way to win the war, he is a typical chauvinistic, racist and vengeful Sinhalese who had always had an axe to grind against the Tamils. Expecting him to think otherwise is to endlessly try to straighten a dog’s tail. He is a murderer, a mass murderer, dressed in ceremonial attire. The inevitable way that many people have come to understand him for what he really is rings loud and clear. For all his adventures, or misadventures rather, that Mahinda will not survive in a world that has stripped him of his disguise. In the years to come, he may have to dig deep into himself to find the resource to heal himself if there is any good left at all in that deep well, something he never gave those civilians who faced gruesome murders in his bloody and tainted hands.

    • 3
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      Targeted innocent civilian killings by anyone is unacceptable. My article is solely focused on a post war Sri Lanka, hence, i do not want to be drawn into a pre war era discussion. The examples cited in this article, is to illustrate the power and benefits of a genuine post war reconciliation. My strongest condemnation of the Rajapaksa regime is the lack of a genuine reconciliation process of a battered, beaten and traumatized society in a post war Sri Lanka

      • 0
        0

        Niranjan:

        If you had cared to look at what you have written thus: “Any war brings with it, bloodshed and civilian casualties. Rightly or wrongly to moral consciousness, the majority of Sri Lankans agree that the war had to be ended despite this civilian loss”, the literal meaning is clear, and to which I took exception. Your statement explicitly dismisses the extent of civilian casualties, so long the end desire is to finish the war, no matter what the civilian casualties are.

        I do concur with you on the failure by the Rajapaksas to seize the moment to embark on a sincere and genuine reconciliation.

        • 1
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          Since the first communal riots broke out in Kandy in 1915 between the Sinhala & Muslim community, there have my been many atrocities, injustices & discrimination done by both state and non state actors. My firm belief is that, through every citizens democratic right, we must constantly keep on rejecting of any govt that does not not follow the rule of law, equality, promotes politically motivated religious & ethnic violence, etc, etc.

          No where in the world, be it for freedom, racial discrimination, gender inequality, etc, has come in a relatively short period. People such as Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi has fought for years and years to bring about changes. No change will be served on a platter. Change only happens through continuous struggle of rejection of such norms and hopefully, overtime it will reduce to tolerable levels.

  • 6
    0

    MaRa will get the boot on the 8th,Good luck My3 definitely you can reboot and have a clean hard drive ,Please make sure to clean several times to get all the Mara currupted virus.

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