21 November, 2019

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Shameful Day

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

“You serve them well
I’m not surprised
You’re of their kin
You’re of their kind

Never mind
Never mind
The story’s told
With facts and lies
You own the world
So never mind”
–Leonard Cohen, ‘Never Mind’

It is difficult to predict how things will look in the rearview mirror, but it is perfectly possible that when I look back I shall regard October 1st 2015 as the most shameful day in Sri Lankan history in my lifetime. That was the day that Sri Lanka co-sponsored the Geneva resolution.

As the UK Permanent Representative explicitly stated when addressing the Human Rights Council on Oct 1st, the US-UK resolution is firmly founded upon Zeid al Hussein’s report. As Zeid al Hussein made amply clear in his video statement to the Council a day earlier, Sept 30th, his report contains at its core, the conclusion that war crimes, system crimes, of such magnitude and extent, were committed during our war that our judicial mechanism does not have the capacity to deal with them! Thus Zeid’s Report damns our Just War of self-defense, territorial reunification and liberation from terrorism. This Report is the foundation of the US resolution which Sri Lanka embraced. No decent edifice can be erected upon such a warped foundation. Nothing good can come from such poisoned fruit.

The US resolution is based on the need to implement the recommendations of Zeid’s Report and to report back to the council on the progress of implementation. The Government of Sri Lanka has actually joined in welcoming Zeid’s dishonest, dangerous text and has promised to implement it. Sri Lanka has placed a noose around its neck as if it were a garland of flowers!

To adapt Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent adaptation of an old joke (“if it walks like a terrorist, if it talks like a terrorist, if it squawks like a terrorist, it is a terrorist”), if it talks like a hybrid court, if it walks like a hybrid court, it is a hybrid court. The resolution affirms the need for Commonwealth and foreign judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys and investigators in the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism, including the new Office of the Special Counsel (read ‘Special prosecutor’) promised by Foreign Minister Samaraweera. That’s not a Sri Lankan mechanism; that’s a joint mechanism.

This special court is a Trojan horse and if we make the mistake the Trojans did, which was to open a breach in their city walls and roll the strange looking contraption in, the foreigners – judges, prosecutors, defense counsel and investigators–will drop out of its underbelly at night and overrun our system.

In other words, those who went through untold hardship and made untold sacrifices to rid this country from the dragon of terrorism will be investigated, prosecuted and judged for their pains—and by foreigners together with collaborationist Sri Lankans. Those who rid the nation and the region of “the Pol Pot of South Asia” to use the words of Pulitzer prize winning New York Times journalist John F Burns, are going to be given the joint special tribunal treatment that the UN and Kampuchea have given Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge!

Our government has agreed to non-retention i.e. the purging of all those in the military who may be “credibly implicated” through “an independent administrative mechanism”, of serious violations of human rights. That means that they do not have to be proven guilty in a court of law. That also doesn’t mean only the human rights of innocent, non-combatant civilians. That means that if a member of the military is credibly implicated by an independent administrative mechanism of the serious violation of the human rights of a Black Tiger, he will no longer be retained in the armed forces!

This is the model the US adopted in Iraq after they invaded and occupied it: the disastrous de-Baathification of the Iraqi armed forces. Sri Lanka, a nation that triumphed over terrorism and preserved its sovereignty, and the Sri Lankan military that defeated one of the toughest irregular fighting forces on the planet, are now voluntarily submitting to the treatment that a defeated, invaded, occupied nation and military receive at the hands of its conquerors. We won a war, but we are being treated, are letting ourselves be treated, and are actually welcoming our treatment as if we lost the war. Today, the Tigers in France and Germany and those who march with tiger flags in London and Toronto must feel as if they won and we lost. What a moral inversion! What treason!

Morally and ethically, that’s the lowest point that the Sri Lankan state has descended to in my lifetime. It is certainly the lowest point that any Sri Lankan government has descended to.

None of this was inevitable. The Government had other options. If it says this abject surrender was the best deal it could have got for this country despite its political capital as a newly elected pro-western administration, then it does not deserve to stand.

This government could have easily refrained from embracing Zeid al Hussein’s dastardly, toxic report. Instead it could have presented the final report of the International advisory committee to the Paranagama Commission, authored by Sir Desmond de Silva. It could have asked the Council for time to study the Zeid report and requested the Council to study the Sri Lankan counter-report.

It could have leveraged the anti-terrorist global atmosphere currently prevalent due to the ISIS threat, and pointed out that we should not be punished for having defeated a dangerous threat, and that the consequences of terrorism are visible before our very eyes in the Middle East today, and that the only thing that prevented Sri Lankan from being another Syria, Libya or Iraq is that we defeated terrorism.

The Sri Lankan government could have “kicked the can down the road” till the next session and used that time to undertake a credible purely domestic process as recommended by the LLRC as well as the Paranagama-Desmond de Silva Report.

The Government chose not to do so and chose instead to embrace the Zeid Report and the US-UK resolution which is based upon it. As the philosophers remind us, choice is the expression of character. The Govt. didn’t even try to negotiate the best possible deal for Sri Lanka. What the Wickremesinghe Government has done is enact in Geneva the diplomatic equivalent of the outrageous CFA and Chandrika’s ghastly PTOMS.

The adoption of the US resolution with the enthusiastic co-sponsorship of Sri Lanka means that the American eagle will now have its talons gouging deep in the entrails of the Sri Lankan state, its institutions and institutional processes and its society. We have agreed to be turned into a “banana republic”.

Of course the Government, while being primarily responsible for the treacherous sellout in Geneva, is not the only player that is culpable. The ghastly, disgraceful October 1st 2015 outcome at the UNHRC was not inevitable.

It was not inevitable, firstly, because, as stated above, the new government had plenty of other options.

It was not inevitable, secondly, because as the Oct 1st 2015 US Resolution clearly states in its preambular paragraph 3, it is based upon the UNHRC resolutions of 2012, 2013 and 2014, while it also states that the OISL report flowed directly from the resolution of 2014. This is accurate.

There is no mention whatsoever of the UNHRC Resolution of May 2009 because that was a clear cut victory for Sri Lanka and gave no purchase or traction for the US moves against us. In short the US resolution and the Zeid Report were in no way traceable to 2009 but were on a continuum with and were made possible by, the serial defeats incurred by the Rajapaksa administration in Geneva in 2012-2014. The Rajapaksa administration need not have dismantled the victory of May 26-27, 2009 in Geneva, which was a Great Wall in defense of this country, its sovereignty, its military, and the historical and international verdict of the just character of our war of liberation.

Therefore, while the Wickremesinghe government is primarily responsible for the Geneva 2015 disaster, secondarily responsible is the Rajapaksa administration which managed through a March of Folly in foreign policy and diplomacy in the post war years (especially its second term), to throw away the near two thirds majority in the Council which we obtained in May 2009, representing the massive global coalition we had built there, a mere six years ago.

Morally however, the Rajapaksa administration is far less culpable than the Wickremesinghe one, because there is a world of difference between, one the one hand, folly based on the weaknesses of arrogant ignorance and sheer incompetence, and on the other, conscious capitulation, witting collaborationism and cold-blooded treason.

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Latest comments

  • 35
    4

    Why cant we bow our heads like the German people did after incontrovertible ev8idence came to light.

    Yes people did wrong in my name.

    My politicians who I voted for completely let me down.

    !948 was only 13 years after the second world war, yet we started treating the Tamils like the Nazis did the the Jews. Scapegoating a people due their ethnicity or religion, shows the the lack of sophistication of the indigenous people.

    We the Sinhalese are an incredibly sad race.

    We should welcome a foreign investigation. Because we are incapable of investigating ourselves.

    We are an incredibly very very sad race of people !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 12
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      Dear curtis hellfire,

      Thanks for putting it so succinctly!

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        DJ- “kicked the can down the road” till the next session and used that time to undertake a credible purely domestic process as recommended by the LLRC-“
        Why MR did not do it for 06 years after 2009 May ? they had ample time, now you are asking Ranil to do ? DJ was also part of MR regime.

        Second thing is our economy is in very bad shape because of dozens of billions US$ waste by MR regime, needless to say motive, from borrowed funds from China at commercial interest rates.

        So we need West support desperately to put economy right, not only as an export market but loans on concessionary terms, FDI etc.
        Since time is running out for economy ( of course damn foreign policy guys can wait decades or more), Ranil had to finish this Geneva drama ASAP, perhaps that’s what he did

    • 3
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      You are a Tamil, just a pathetic tamil, who is ashamed to be a Tamil.

      You write your own mentality.

      You don’t know anything about sinhala people.

      It is very evident in what you wrote.

    • 5
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      curtis hellfire

      “Scapegoating a people due their ethnicity or religion, shows the the lack of sophistication of the indigenous people. We the Sinhalese are an incredibly sad race.”

      Correction:

      The Sinhalese are NOT the indigenous people. Thee Sinhalese are Paradeshis, Paras, who came from India, DNA in their bodies is proof.

      The indigenous people are the Native Veddah Aethho.

      Mitochondrial DNA history of Sri Lankan ethnic people: their relations within the island and with the Indian subcontinental populations

      Journal of Human Genetics (2014) 59, 28–36; doi:10.1038/jhg.2013.112; published online 7 November 2013

      http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v59/n1/full/jhg2013112a.html

      Both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.

      • 0
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        Amarasiri,

        Read the more recent genetic study by Ranawana et. al (2014), which was highlughted in CT several times.

        Dr.RN

    • 5
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      Nice but have you not realised that the Sri Lankan Tamils are also indigenous to the land? and in fact the vast majority of the so called Sinhalese a largely descended from recently migrated Indian Tamils. [Edited out]

    • 8
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      I agree with you almost completely.

      Let me tell about a recent experience of mine. We had an ant infestation in the kitchen and I poured boiling water on the killing them all without mercy. A friend (a Sinhala Buddhist like me) was aghast and gave me a sermon on Panchaseela.

      A few days later we happened to talk about the HR issue during the war and I said, I do not feel comfortable with the way that non combatants (I do not how many, but even one would be too many) were killed. The same friend got very angry and said that Tamils are a menace and it is a good thing that they were killed.

      Motto: Ants have a right to live but not Tamils.

    • 1
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      There was a saying SRILANKA – Gona kiyala marannaya – knowing that it is a the bull, we dont need to kill him. So, we are not compelled to read this man stuff again again… I just overread and get hurt. Alone, his relatives are said to hold distance from him since Nugegoda meeting that brought all insult to the educated community of the country. As predicted by the masses, thanks god, everything worked supporting to MY3-Ranil-CBK. So let alone today, this self proclaimed (mama thamai ugatha- senior diplomat, ) analyst with all abusive records should grasp the ground reality of the nation.

      Whenever I read Dayan ‘s verbal diarrhea, I feel why on the earth this bugger makes every effort to continously pain it otherway around with all evidences becoming clear today. HIs kind of pvt agendas will have short live effect.

    • 0
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      “yet we started treating the Tamils like the Nazis did the the Jews” is the ridiculous most statement I have heard in my lifetime. However I bet both Ranil and Mangala will agree with the writer.

  • 2
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    May be he is a recently converted Sinhalese and he wants to prove he is an ardent supporter of extremist Sinhalese!

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

  • 2
    5

    US is pi$$ed off that Mahinda Rajapakse did not allow LTTE leaders to be shaved to be used in indian ocean affairs and also did not give forces to involve in afghan war.

    they have bombed an Afghan Hospital very recently.

    What kind of war crime is that.

    Keep of destroying a very weak country. How many decades now.

  • 2
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    Shameful Day written [Edited out]

  • 2
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    All you commentators who are now having a gala time doing “Yahapalana” replies to Dayan, you had better hope he is wrong. If he is right, pretty soon the whole of Sri Lanka will bending over and spreading for Prince Zaid et al.

    Perhaps you will enjoy that as well !!

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    [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

  • 3
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    Poor Dayan, his babble shows what a sorry state he is in. He is still harping on a resolution (2009) of a “bygone era”. The elation he derived now appears to have been trenched in the sea of lies and deceit. The Commissioner never even considered that resolution in his speech. The subsequent resolutions that pinned down SL ripped off the veneer off that resolution and now Dayan, too, stands discredited and shamed.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise the sort of mind-set that the then leaders and their reps had. Dayan should have heard what his once pal, Mahinda Samarasinghe, had told, that the promises made then through that resolution were never honoured. How can one expect them to be honoured when there was never the intention to honour them. What then this makes out Dayan to be.

    That he was dumped by the Rajapakse regime soon after that resolution has not enlightened Dayan. While Dayan may continue to boast of his ability to bring a resolution and get it passed, it is on that day and that resolution that activated a passionate community to redress the excesses and had to reverse the ill-effects of Dayan’s resolution.

  • 2
    0

    In the grand plan, Tamils will be pawns again and victimized if the Sri lankan politicians work intelligent. but, diaspora uses Tamils living in Sri lanka. that is how Tamils are always. They kill and use their own.

    Probably the way of handling things by Ranil Rajapakse is humiliation and dangerous.

    On the other hand, the way, Mahinda rajapakse handled things were mostly stupid, not intelligent at all and were very self serving.

    The best point is Dayan Jayathilake had experience in these matters. MR did not know how to get your help in order to achieve what he wanted (but I don’t know what you did behind the door, for example working for India while employed as a Sri lankan diplomat). Any way he lost it.

    Even now, Politicians have to give leadership to accommodate all the political and non-political views have national policy in this regard, at least in their mind and do it. but they don’t do it.

    One simple reason is, Sri lankan parliament is exactly the same as that of the Last king in sinhale That is Rajasinghe was behind wives of ministers, ministers did not trust the king and vise versa.

    Sri lanka doe snot have any harakiri type very courageous politicians who can handle this.

    Because they all follow their dreams of what their fathers could not be, obedient children carry the legacy.

  • 3
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    If Dr. Dayan Jayatileke was a member of the EPRLF, what was he advocating then? What does the letter ‘E’ stand for in EPRLF? What does he speak now? Dayan Jayatileke is [Edited out]

  • 3
    1

    Pity this guy. This egocentric eel is still smarting under his ouster from Geneva by Rajapakse govt. He calls UNHRC Chief Zeid al Hussain dishonest. His friends called Hussain’s predecessor Navi Pillay dishonest – called her predecessor Louse Arbour dishonest. Why? Because, they refused to exculpate Rajapakses and their marauding troops of racists, rapists, murderers, looters, abductors and other criminals. Devil’s Advocate Dayan is still around, on Rajapakse payroll, singing for his supper. Pity him!

  • 1
    1

    Dayan Jayathilake it is a blessing in disguise that Sri lanka has a political party that can be a strong opposition if things go wrong at any time.

    But, we should not allow them, including you, to exploit things for their benefit just to take the reign over so they can start swindling the country again..

  • 5
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    DJ,

    Your last Para., said it all. This is exactly what the Sinhala people have been reduced to – Sinhala leaders a reflection and representation of the people.

    [Morally however, the Rajapaksa administration is far less culpable than the Wickremesinghe one, because there is a world of difference between, one the one hand, folly based on the weaknesses of arrogant ignorance and sheer incompetence, and on the other, conscious capitulation, witting collaborationism and cold-blooded treason.]

    Sinhala people belong to either one or the other group. Hardly is there a maturity and dignity of patriotism, but with correct realization, this can be amended.

    The first group is of “folly based on the weaknesses of arrogant ignorance and sheer incompetence.”

    The second group is of “conscious capitulation, witting collaborationism and cold-blooded treason.”

    Here are some possible scenarios to keep up the Sinhala spirit in the one and only land they have called their home for millennia:

    1. Let’s hope this hybrid court, on our very own land, are doing this as a formality to merely placate their hard working Tamil refugees who donate mightily to their election campaigns, but are yet committed to the global realism of counter forces towards their stability.

    2. Let’s hope the Patriotic front of Sri Lankan justice will come up with an honorable package to show the actual sufferings of the Sinhala people over the atrocities the Tamil Eelamists, and the general arrogance of the Northern mindset.

    3. It must never be mentioned in case it invokes a possibility of grave injustice, but based on the first two scenarios of greatest truth, it might be a healing factor: If things come to an unfair head, let’s hope that Gotabaya , Shavendra Silva et al., will go like sheep, such that the world will look on them with respect, and know even more, the evils of the global empire. They will be the ultimate saviours of Sri Lanka and the rights of the Sinhala race – Buddhism included……. Mahinda to be exonerated on all counts, of course.

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]

  • 3
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    “1948 was only 13 years after the second world war…”

    There seems to be a typographical mistake here: Curtis Hellfire’s response should read 3, and not 13 since the War ended in 1945.

    • 1
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      @Sarvan

      You are wrong too dear and dead wrong at that. World War 2 drew to a close only in 1946 with the surrender of Japan, in what was referred to as the war in the Pacific theatre.It is the European theatre of the war that ended in 1945.Check your facts please, or are you trying to distort history?DJ

      • 2
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        DJ

        “World War 2 drew to a close only in 1946 with the surrender of Japan, in what was referred to as the war in the Pacific theatre.”

        Japan signed unconditional surrender on 2 September 1945 although the allied forces celebrated victory over Japan on 15 August 1945.

  • 1
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    Yesterday Afghan hospital bombed by US, “obviously” it is collateral damage and

    “UN rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called for a full and transparent probe, noting that, “if established as deliberate in a court of law, an air strike on a hospital may amount to a war crime.”

    “This event is utterly tragic, inexcusable and possibly even criminal,” he said.”

    But doesn’t the prince of darkness know the laws of duplicity when applied to the west

  • 0
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    [Edited out]

  • 0
    2

    A sensible article from DJ after a long time. I agree that eradicating terrorism is not a crime and nobody could be put under the hammer for that. The issue is more than eradicating terrorism. Here we are talking about loads of innocent people who lost their lives in the act of eradicating terrorism. What the Tamil community wants to know is what happened during the last stages of the war and Is the government intently massacred those people? If we find the answers to these questions through an unbiased investigation, may be, it might help the other world states fighting terrorism to avoid such massacres.If the result of the investigation proves someone guilty let him or them be punished for their crimes.Nobody is bigger than the law.

  • 2
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    I love watching Dayan squirm. I now really enjoy his little diatribes. Oh if only he had been left in charge of foreign policy, Sri Lanka would have sanctions by now and China would not save his ass.

  • 0
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    To my unschooled mind, co-sponsoring was unnessary. It is like co-sponsoring an insult against your own mother – Lanka.

  • 0
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    DJ

    Shameful days began when the likes of you and others were patronizing the Thosai Kadays the cheapest spot for a meal thosai, masala vadai and plain tea which will not even amount to Cents =/50 in the fifties and sixties when a thosai is only five cents then when the waiter submits the bill you refuse paying, then hammer the cashier threatening with vulgar language (the language where you have mastered) and walk away without paying.

  • 0
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    meanwhile real war criminals will escape the nooze after committing their crimes in broad daylight…
    [Edited out]

  • 0
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    “folly based on the weaknesses of arrogant ignorance and sheer incompetence”

    At last you have admitted it!

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