25 June, 2022


Rajapakse Besieged In London, After Gota Denies Tamil Region

By Dushy Ranetunge –

Dushy Ranetunge

On the eve of the Presidents visit to the UK to attend the Queens Diamond Jubilee, Gotabaya in his usual finger wagging style told the BBC that the north cannot be recognised as a “Tamil” region.

In the run up to the first Presidential election, Mahinda Rajapakse told his Sinhala Buddhist electorate that he is from the “south”. Was he not indicating that he was from the Deep South, which is hard line Sinhalese?

By denying that the North is a Tamil region, the Rajapakse’s are denying to the Tamils, what the Sinhalese take for granted in their perceptions of the Deep South and elsewhere.

The “Tamil” identity of the North is no different to the Kandyan identity of the central highlands or the Rohona identity of the South. It is folly to deny them, as they are deep-rooted identities, which are embedded in the psyche of the different communities that inhabit this island. It was the Kandyans who first wanted federalism.

The response one could expect in denying the “Tamil” identity of the North is no different to the response the Rajapakse’s could expect, if they were to deny the “Kandyan” identity of the highlands.

On the eve of Mahinda Rajapakse’s visit to the United Kingdom to attend the Queens diamond Jubilee, one would have expected that the BBC interview would have been made use of to build bridges and to hold out the hand of reconciliation towards the Diaspora Tamils. It could have been a great strategic opportunity to demonstrate the administrations credibility in terms of reconciliation.

Instead, brother Gotabaya gave his finger-wagging lecture to deny the basic identities of our northern community, enraging and mobilising the Diaspora against the Sri Lankan state, which insists on exposing itself as a republic, which has been seized by the dominant tribe, and is administered to perpetuate majoritarian prejudices.

Denying Tamil citizens their legitimate rights based on the majoritarian fears of separatism is feudal, akin to denying a wife her rights based on the fear that she might run away. These are not acceptable democratic behaviour in the 21st century.

The BBC and other TV stations interview Gotabaya knowing very well that he will not fail to shoot himself and Sri Lanka in the foot and he obliges every time. The last BBC interview was no exception.

Sections of the Tamil Diaspora in London would have mobilised against Mahinda Rajapakse with or without Gotabaya’s BBC interview, but unfortunately what Gotabaya did was to enrage ordinary Tamils, in the same manner he would have enraged the Kandyans if he had denied the Kandyan identity of the Highlands.

Gotabaya’s comments indirectly assisted the more radical elements, in enraging ordinary Tamils towards their cause. There was no reconciliation here. He was adding fuel to the fire.

President Mahinda Rajapakse was at the receiving end even before he left for London as large numbers mobilised against the Sri Lankan state at Heathrow anticipating his arrival. His speech at the Commonwealth Business Council was cancelled on the morning of the 6th, as the British did not want any unpleasant incidences during the Queens Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

The British authorities obviously had prior intelligence of what was brewing later that afternoon. There was a massive lightening demonstration as thousands of Tamils marched on Marlborough House, where a luncheon was to be held attended by the Sri Lankan President. At 3.00pm my English neighbour complained to me that the Sri Lankan President was responsible for blocking the streets in central London where he had been held up.

By late afternoon, the Evening Standard Newspaper had screaming headlines “’Killing fields’ protest in central London hits Queen’s Diamond Jubilee lunch”. Channel 4 news at 7.00pm had a field day. The following day most major British newspapers carried the story.

Eggs and rotten tomatoes had been hurled as the beleaguered President fled from the Park Lane Hilton under heavy police escort to participate in various events and High Commissioner Nonis rode to the rescue with a photo opportunity with some British MP’s to save the day. Informal discussions were held between Prime Minister Cameron and President Mahinda Rajapakse on the sidelines at Marlborough House. Mahinda Rajapakse stood next to David Cameron during the Commonwealth group photograph, a thrilling prospect for a beleaguered President yearning for international recognition. There were meetings with the Maldivian President and the head of the Commonwealth.

Unfortunately Cuba, China, Russia and Iran are not members of the Commonwealth.

A small group in the hundreds loosely linked to the High Commission put up a counter demonstration, which was dwarfed by the demonstration by the Tamil Diaspora, which exceeded over a thousand. The pro-High Commission counter demonstration had sent e-mails out previously canvassing support but was unsuccessful in making any impact on the British press.

The Park Lane Hilton is unlikely to offer accommodation to the Sri Lankan President in the near future, considering the inconvenience caused to their clients.

All other heads of state attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in vehicles, which displayed their respective national flag. For security reasons Mahinda Rajapakse was sneaked around under high security in a Range Rover without the national flag. He was later seen smiling in the same vehicle being driven to the airport. The President left for Rome for an audience at the Vatican, perhaps yearning for solace.

The British as usual managed that fine balance between the right of the citizen to protest and the rights of a member nation of the Commonwealth with no violence in law enforcement. They have and continue to fine tune their law enforcement and policing strategies.

If High Commissioner Nonis’s strategy was to tread softly ignoring the war crimes issue and focusing on the positives of Sri Lanka, then the 6th of June was a massive embarrassment before the entire Commonwealth and the British public who had up to then enjoyed a peaceful Diamond Jubilee free of such incidents and unpleasantness. Her Majesty would not have been amused.

For Nonis who has no prior diplomatic exposure it would have been a baptism by fire. But thanks to his British public school education, he delivered with a stiff upper lip, where many would have failed.

Referring to the Tamil Diaspora as “terrorists” or “terrorist rump” is a failing outdated strategy, which only exposes the political bankruptcy of the Rajapakse administration, which seem increasingly incapable of guiding Sri Lanka strategically away from the present morass. Sri Lanka needs a paradigm shift in strategy to defeat the challenges that confronts her. The present tinkering is too little, too late.

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  • 1

    Sovereign states need to be governed by leaders and those leaders in the modern democracy are elected by the people. Everyone cannot be a leader. A political leader is a person who can focus the inspiration and aspirations of the Nation and take the people towards those goals to make the country a success for all it’s citizens. Since the arrival of Marco Polo the famous sea farer, Ceylon before and Sri Lanka now has seen only a very few leaders during it’s history who have shown real leadership in times of trials and tribulations of the Nation. From the Portuguese rule in 1517 to the Dutch rule in the early 1600’s and them British rule in 1796, the Nationalists of our country have with stood the various conspiracies of the Whiteman and the Imperialists.
    Ceylon, as it was known to the British then, officially became the first British crown colony in 1802. In 1833 the British began to govern the country under a single administration. Previously, the island had been governed under administrative divisions along ethnic and cultural lines. The British also created an economy based on plantation agriculture. The administration took over vast areas of land in the central highlands, sold them cheaply to British nationals, and encouraged the development of large plantations. Tea, rubber, and coconuts became the colony’s principal exports. When local Sinhalese refused to work in the plantations, the colonial administration brought in large numbers of Tamils from southern India to work as migrant labourers. Following several British military campaigns, the Kingdom of Kandy capitulated to British sovereignty in 1815. Although segments of the Sinhalese population rebelled in 1818 and 1848, the British used their superior military power to ruthlessly suppress the uprisings. The 1848 rebellion forced the colonial government to reassess some of its policies. Between WW I and WW II, political stirrings started to push Sri Lanka towards eventual independence from British rule. At the end of WW II, in February 1948 Sri Lanka, or Ceylon as it was still known, became an independent member of the British Commonwealth.
    Among the very few leaders the country has seen, it was HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s destiny to lead Sri Lanka since 2005 when he was voted to office democratically by the people of Sri Lanka. HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa was elected a second time in 2010 to lead the Nation again. Presidents have come and gone since the creation of this office in 1977, but HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa is the only president indigenously qualified, not educated in the UK or abroad, with a deep sense of nationalism and patriotism, still hailing from a political family down south with a rebellious background and philanthropy. It was his spirit of rebellion and political cuemanship that made him win over the world’s most ruthless Terrorist organization, the LTTE which was running a de-facto government in the Northern region of Sri Lanka which was supported, pampered and nourished by our former colonial rulers and so-called Western powers with arms, weapons, guerilla warfare techniques and a wild fire anti Sri Lanka Media campaign, supported by the so-called NGO agents of the those powers, for 30 long years. In the eyes of these anti-Sri Lankan elements, the LTTE was impossible to be defeated by the Sri Lankan Nation. The turning of political events in 2005 brought in a new team of government managers and changes in the security establishment. Among the changes was the appointment of Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the brother of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa. A very honest, straight forward and dedicated government senior official, he turned around the security establishments from a defending force to an attacking force and on May 17th., 2009, the victory National Flag of Sri Lanka was established(flown) in the North and the East including the South and West. The colonial influence of the British and the Whiteman was once and for all eliminated from the Sovereign state of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka and Sri Lanka is a Free nation now at last.
    To the British government and the Western world, including the US, Norway and those governments who were sympathetic to the LTTE, this was unbearable to accept. Yet the Leader who he was, HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa did not cow down to the so-called Western powers to surrender the serenity of the Freedom won from the ruthless LTTE terror outfit. HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa made the Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers and other minorities SRI LANKANS and a family of Mother Lanka. The conspiracies of the UN panel report, the UNHRC resolution in Geneva in March, the hooliganism of the Tamil diaspora in some of the capitals in the world protesting Sri Lankan VIP’s when visiting, the Scotland Yard informing the LTTE rumps of the confidential arrival time of the President to enable the protesters to be present at the airport to carry out the demonstrations as shown in the media/Youtube, the non allowing for the Head of State not to fly his flag in his vehicle when attending the Queen’s 60th., anniversary celebrations under false pretext of security threats, and for ordering the Commonwealth Business Council not to hold the event where HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa was billed to address, have been some of the methods used by these enemies of Sri Lanka to harass our Leader HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa. His Excellency’s behavior and patients displayed during his recent visits to UK and Rome are evident of the Leadership qualities and Statesmanship of our President.
    The whiteman who needed cheap labour to take care of his menial job needs that the lazy white youth were not willing to do, but were engulfed in drug addition, free sex, homosexuality, street gang formations and robbery, shop lifting and alcoholism ending up in the social welfare burdens of their so-called developed governmental administrations, imported the Tamils, specially the youth of Sri Lanka as asylum seekers, to out beat the international norms and covenants of migrations and immigrations, allowing these Sri Lankans to enter their domains, and then using them as cheap labour for their purposes. It is these Tamils who are labeled “The Tamil Diaspora” by the Western media who were howling and shouting to disgrace their President in London on the 6th., of June. Did they know what they were doing or was it that they did it in dire need to remain in the UK as refugees or asylum seekers or to continue to stay and live in the UK to serve their white masters as cheap low paid labourers/workforce on resident permits and other facilities.
    Most of them carry the Sri Lanka passport as the British Immigration does not issue citizenship the next month you land as a refugee. Some of them may have already booked their tickets to make a holiday visit to see the liberty of Jaffna and the North from the ruthless LTTE and meet their kith and kin. These are the Tamils who have survived the action of human shield they had been used for by the LTTE at Nandikadal this summer. The Sri Lankan authorities are compassionate and kind to allow all these howling Tamils living abroad and still holding Sri Lankan passports or emergency travel documents to enter the country without hassle. This is the price HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa had to pay in London when the Tamil diaspora protested at his arrival for the Queens 60th., anniversary in the throne. It is also the reason why freelance journalists like Dushy Ranetunge make mistakes in presenting an incorrect journalist image of the true situation of our Motherland – Sri Lanka and it’s able leader HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Defence Secretary Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the true defenders of our Mathruboomiya. There is much more for all to learn before shouting or writing.
    Professional Analyst.

    • 0

      Thank you.. Very well analyzed. We need to learn to stand by our Country. If Tamils can do so, why can’t we? We lack patriotism and love for our country. What we have in abundance is traitors. Thank you once again.

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