7 July, 2022

Blog

Sri Lanka: 2013 And Beyond

By Alistair Burt –

Alistair Burt

Thank you for this opportunity to speak to you today.

I am delighted to be back in Sri Lanka, two years on from my last visit, and in particular to be speaking here at the Kadirgamar Institute.

Lakshman Kadirgamar brought great distinction to his many roles: as President of the Oxford Union, as a lawyer and as a Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.  He was a great friend of the UK, and the deep respect and admiration was mutual.  His assassination by the LTTE in 2005 was both an appalling act and a tragedy.

The values for which he stood: democracy, individual rights and the rule of law, his belief in the importance of international institutions, are as important now as they have ever been.

Since my visit to Sri Lanka in 2011, I have indeed been struck by the development that has taken place here.  The absence of conflict has brought greater security and opened up opportunities throughout Sri Lanka.

During uncertain economic times your economy has continued to experience high levels of growth – which is something we are seeing across the country.  On my visit to the North yesterday I saw firsthand the changes that are taking place there, with much-needed economic development.

Your infrastructure has developed rapidly, with new roads and bridges opening up the North and East.  This is making it easier for businesses to expand throughout the island, and helping to reconnect communities.

But it is much more than new roads and bridges.  You only have to look around Colombo to see quite how much things are changing here – construction work is everywhere you look.  There are new homes, offices, hotels, hospitals.  The Colombo Lotus Tower, whose foundation stone was laid just over a year ago, will be among the tallest structures in the world when it is completed.

A strong bilateral relationship

I am pleased that the UK continues to play a strong role in supporting Sri Lanka’s development.

One crucial element of this is helping Sri Lanka to recover from decades of conflict.  The Department for International Development has contributed £3 million for demining work, much of which has been carried out by British charities.  The UK has also provided extensive funding through the European Union for the re-housing of those displaced by war, and for the reintegration of former combatants.

But, of course, our relationship goes still deeper.

There are over 100 British companies operating in Sri Lanka, including familiar names such as HSBC, Unilever and Standard Chartered.  I understand that British Airways is returning later this year, reflecting the fact that British tourists continue to visit Sri Lanka in large numbers.

Indeed, over 100,000 UK citizens visited last year, accounting for more than 10 percent of the total number of tourists visiting your country, and they are making a significant contribution to the Sri Lankan economy.

The UK is your second-largest trading partner after India.

Our links on education are strong too.  Each year, around 8,000 young Sri Lankans choose to study in the UK.  In addition, 27 UK colleges and universities offer British-accredited education here in Sri Lanka.  And we are excited by plans for one British university to open up the first in-country foreign campus next year.

Our British Council also plays a key role in ensuring current and future workforces continue to have excellent English language skills.  I am delighted that they are planning to open a third branch in Jaffna later this year, to complement those in Colombo and Kandy.

Building the Sri Lanka of the future

So Britain and Sri Lanka continue to enjoy a close and mutually-beneficial relationship covering a whole range of areas and built on our long history and mutual interest.

But today I want to focus my remarks on your country’s future; to talk about how Sri Lanka can fulfil its tremendous potential: economically, socially and politically.

Our Prime Minister, David Cameron, is currently co-chair of the panel reviewing the UN Millennium Development Goals.  He has talked about a “golden thread” of development.

This is an idea that applies not just to countries struggling to rise out of poverty, but also to those like Sri Lanka who have recently achieved middle income status, and which aspire to make the transition to high growth and high per capita wealth.

The golden thread describes the underlying conditions that provide the foundation for sustainable prosperity and development.

Among these, first and foremost in a world of conflict is an absence of war.  It is clear that the end of the conflict in 2009 has underpinned your country’s recent growth.  The end of the scourge of terrorism has opened a new chapter.

But an absence of war alone is not enough.  As David Cameron has said, we believe that true prosperity is not possible without good governance, property rights and the rule of law, effective public services and strong civil institutions, free and fair trade, and open markets.

It is for these reasons – our determination to promote not just our own, but global prosperity – that the UK will be promoting greater transparency through its G8 chairmanship later this year.

These are also reasons why I have welcomed the LLRC report;

Why we continue to encourage  the Sri Lankan government to take concrete action to implement its constructive recommendations;

And it is why the UK speaks frankly to the Sri Lankan government about what more we believe it needs to do to ensure peace and prosperity in your country.

Tackling the challenges ahead

These issues have been an important component of my discussions during this visit.

I have encouraged the Sri Lankan government to cut red tape, to address corruption and to set up an effective co-ordinating mechanism for investment – each of which would make Sri Lanka a more attractive market for investors.

I have again welcomed the end of the war, and the end of horrific LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka.  But I have also called on all parties to uphold civil and political freedoms, and for the government to set an example.

We believe in maintaining independent institutions, in encouraging individuals to speak out and engage constructively in debate.  The rule of law is crucial to long-term prosperity.

Respect for our legal systems is part of the cultural heritage of both the UK and Sri Lanka.  As a lawyer myself it is a principle I feel particularly strongly about.

For businesses, as well as individuals, knowing that there are fair, transparent and independent mechanisms for resolving disputes is essential.  And the concepts found within our legal systems – certainty of contract, non-retroactivity and the equal application of laws – are the foundation for business and growth.

This is why judicial independence is a core principle in free countries; why justice must not only be done, but also be seen to be done.  It is why we and others, such as the International Commission of Jurists and the UN, have expressed deep concern at the recent impeachment and dismissal of Sri Lanka’s Chief Justice.  And it is why we are so concerned to make sure individuals are brought to justice.  In particular in cases of violent attack, it simply cannot be right for the accused to be walking free.  As the LLRC said, the rule of law must prevail regardless of the political links of alleged wrongdoers.

But the golden thread is not about individual cases or issues; it is about institutions, about embedding cultures of transparency and consistency and fairness into the very way in which we operate.

And we can all improve on this.  Sri Lanka, coming out of 30 years of conflict, has a particularly difficult, and particularly important, job.  Re-embedding a culture of peaceful settlement of differences and adherence to due process will strengthen your institutions and your economy for future generations.

I am frequently reminded – by the government here, by victims of the conflict and independent observers – that war only ended in Sri Lanka in 2009.  Less than four years ago this country was in the throes of a hugely violent conflict that claimed thousands of lives on all sides.

We are, without question, happy to see the end of LTTE terrorism, and the end of war, in Sri Lanka.

The UK has also suffered at the hands of terrorists.  In 1973 alone, over 30 bombs exploded in London as a result of the Irish Republican Army’s campaign of terrorism.

So we know that dealing with the results of conflict takes time.  And we know that Sri Lanka has done much already – not least resettling internally displaced persons, demining huge areas and committing to reforms that allow all citizens to communicate in their preferred language.

But our experience in Northern Ireland tells us that long-term peace can only be achieved through an inclusive political settlement that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict.  We learnt hard lessons from Northern Ireland.  Because of the time it took to reach a political settlement, more lives were lost than should have been.

As I made clear to ministers here earlier today, more work is needed to deliver the path to reconciliation that the President has frequently and sincerely advocated.  The Government must ensure that all citizens can benefit more fully from the peace dividend and that peace is embedded for the long term.

And as I have said before, the LLRC report contains many constructive recommendations for action on post-conflict reconciliation and a political settlement. If the report is implemented in full, we believe it would go a long way to achieving lasting peace. Economic development is a necessary, but not exclusive, answer to these challenges.

The actions suggested by the LLRC include a national day of remembrance for all victims of the conflict, closure for the families of missing persons through access to detainee lists, returning IDPs back to their homes, a political settlement which protects minority rights. These are sensible recommendations, coming from Sri Lanka’s own reconciliation commission, which will accelerate Sri Lanka’s recovery from conflict.

The LLRC rightly pointed to the need for political institutions which give all communities a voice, and the need for steps to recognise, remember and reconcile the divisions of war.  Part of this must also include accountability before the law for those on all sides accused of human rights abuses during the conflict. And that applies equally to investigating and prosecuting disappearances and abductions that have happened since 2009, as well as answering allegations of crimes committed during the war.

We applaud the establishment of the Commission. Now is the time for implementation.

Looking towards the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting

I have been asked a number of times over the last three years why the UK cares about Sri Lanka.

It is because our links are deep.  We have an important partnership, we have history and we want to see a secure, prosperous and stable country for all Sri Lankans.  This is in both of our interests.

I do not need to tell you either that Sri Lanka has come under intense international attention on these issues in recent years.  That scrutiny will return at the UN Human Rights Council in March, which will review progress on the implementation of the LLRC recommendations. This is an opportunity for Sri Lanka to set out its achievements and challenges, and work with the international community to advance our shared objectives.

Greater openness should lead to greater understanding on all sides. We very much welcome the invitation for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, to visit Sri Lanka; and we look forward to and her taking this up.  But we also want to see the same invitation extended to UN Special Rapporteurs.

And I think it is clear that scrutiny from the international community will be even more intense in 2013 – the year that Sri Lanka is due to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.  CHOGM is a time to recall the values uniting the Commonwealth – values to which we have all freely agreed.  As the UK has repeatedly stated we have not yet decided on the level of any attendance at CHOGM, but we will be looking to Sri Lanka, as we would any host, to demonstrate its commitment to upholding the Commonwealth values of good governance and democratic principles, adherence to the rule of law and respect for human rights.  This will help ensure a well-attended and successful meeting.

And I hope too that it can be a helpful reminder of the golden thread.  A way for countries to ensure that the necessary conditions for long term stability are in place.  A chance to showcase Sri Lanka’s development and opportunities to the world.  An occasion for the rest of the world to invest in Sri Lanka’s economic and political future.

It is the responsibility of states to protect the rights and freedoms of every citizen, and it is the responsibility of Commonwealth members to remind each other of our declared Commonwealth values.  So the Meeting will also be an opportunity for the Commonwealth and the wider world to see the situation for ourselves, and indeed, the Prime Minister made very clear it is the best way to understand any situation in any country.

Four years after the war, Sri Lanka has an opportunity to demonstrate that it is doing everything possible to make peace here sustainable, and that it is upholding the rights of all its citizens.  This is the time for Sri Lanka to create a peaceful, free, democratic and prosperous future.

We will do all we can to help you achieve these goals. But ultimately it is, of course, up to the Sri Lankan government and people to shape the country’s future.

It is a future that can and should be bright, for 2013 and beyond.

Thank you.

*Visiting UK Minister Alistair Burt delivered a guest lecture today on “Sri Lanka: 2013 and beyond” at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies.

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Latest comments

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    Mr. Burt,

    Please. Give us a break. We have had enough of British hypocrisy.

    Look. Commonwealth values are great. I want them implemented in my country, Sri Lanka. I too am tired of the Rajapassa clan. Can’t wait to get rid of them.

    However, Mr. Burt you really do not have much credibility here in Sri Lanka. I will tell you why.

    UK provided sanctuary for LTTE terrorists for 30 years. And still does. Sri Lankans know this well.

    Further, how many resolutions have you brought so far against your allies such as Saudi Arabia or Bahrain? None. Why was the barbaric King of Saudi Arabia welcomed in London like Mandela? While our silly President Rajapassa was chased away by the LTTE rump in the UK. So much for freedom expression.

    FYI, BBC still refers to LTTE as rebels. While Al Qaeda are called terrorists. There you have UK’s biggest problem with Sri Lanka.

    Have a pleasant trip back to UK. Thanks for coming anyway.

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    The Srilankan government and the Sinhalese will never change. All these advise and praise will not change the Mahinda Chinthinaya [getting rid of all non Budddhist and non Sinhalese and Sri Lanka a land for only Buddhist Sinhalese].
    LLRC or any recommendations by UN, UK, US is nothing. China will be the darling of Sri Lanka and soon Sri Lanka become a colony of Chinese.
    It is too late for UK to cry foul.

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    State terrorism is
    i.stopping investigation into murders:
    http://www.sundaytimes.lk/090621/News/sundaytimesnews_16.html
    ii.not releasing the reports on murders, abductions, disappearances and Corruption at high levels of govt institutions:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/85007346/A-List-of-Commissions-of-Inquiry-and-Committees-Appointed-by-the-Government-of-Sri-Lanka-2006-%E2%80%93-2012
    iii. preventing IDPs from returning homes and dumping them in cleared jungles and selling their livelihood coastal areas for foreign tourists(mostly British) to play
    iv. preventing willing aid agents from helping the oppressed people:
    ”Sri Lanka: Very restricted humanitarian space. Following a govt order issued in 2010 to close the ICRC’s remaining sub-delegations in the north and curtail planned assistance, several proposed programmes to assist resettling or returning populations did not take place’’ – ICRC Annual Report 2011, Issued in July 2012
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/assets/files/annual-report/current/icrc-annual-report-asia-and-pacific.pdf

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8142550.stm
    Sri Lanka orders cuts in aid work, 9 July 2009: ‘’The Sri Lankan government has told international relief agencies to cut back their activities in the country. … But it(ICRC) says an estimated 300,000 displaced people still need food, medicine and help to return home’’ –

    To be contd

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    When was the court case on Kadirgamar concluded, Hon Minister and lawyer, please?

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    ”The absence of conflict has brought greater security and opened up opportunities throughout Sri Lanka”

    Tut, tut, tut, …

    ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012 (*a Sinhalese Buddhist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University), http://www.scribd.com/doc/82525102/Biased-and-Prejudiced-Collection-on-Sri-Lanka

  • 0
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    Mmmhhhh…..

    Should we discard these:

    Memorandum from Commission of Peace and Justice of the Jaffna Diocese to CBCSL, Jan 2013, http://www.scribd.com/doc/120435972/To-Catholic-Bishops-Conference-of-Sri-Lanka

    ”Conflict-affected areas remain highly militarised, which has made progress towards achieving durable solutions more difficult. The military has become an important economic player and a key competitor of local people including returnees in the areas of agriculture, fishing, trade, and tourism. It has also been involved in areas that would normally come under civilian administration. It continues to occupy private land, thereby impeding IDPs’ return. The government has failed to make durable solutions a priority, and humanitarian organisations have faced funding shortages and restrictions on programming and access” – Sri Lanka: A hidden displacement crisis, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 October 2012, http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Full%20Report_1116.pdf

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    I hope Mr Burt or his advisors read The Colombo Telegraph columns and blogs to gauge the feelings of average citizens, and not the showcased bits and bobs that Prez and his advisors will use to bamboozle the Commonwealth Heads. One thing that Prez knows well is this: he can measure everybody by the capacity of their stomachs, of both home grown ones and foreigners. He is a master expert in that.

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    In less than 48 hrs of seeing Kilinochchi and Colombo the Hon Minister has disproved Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, Minority Rights Group, International Commission of Jurists, International Bar Association, Asian Human Rights Commission, Asia Forum, International Bar Association, numerous foreign and national journalists, BBC journalist in Sri Lanka, …….:

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    ”The end of the scourge of terrorism has opened a new chapter”

    Mmmmhhhhhh….

    ‘’My own set of immediate demands as a citizen are as follows—roll back the Eighteenth Amendment; restore the Seventeenth Amendment and the Constitutional Council with improvements; guarantee judicial independence and independence of all oversight bodies; stop political interference in and politicization of public institutions; take strong measures to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, language and religion; let law enforcement (meaning the ordinary law–not exceptional laws) take its own course, do not provide protection to erring political favourites; respect and protect free expression, association and assembly– adopt a policy of ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’; adopt a zero tolerance policy on torture, abductions and involuntary disappearances; permit free and fair elections and respect the people’s will’’ – An Ideology of Reconciliation Cannot be Built Without Basic Ingredients of Democracy and Rule of Law, Dr. Deepika Udagama (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), 15 August 2012, http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/9627#more-9627

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      Davidson,
      Agreed.
      I would add – abolish the executive presidency which confers immunity and unlimited powers on one man.This is a disaster for democracy.

  • 0
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    Dear Minister

    For decades successive Sri Lankan governments have been successfully tripping up the international community:
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA37/005/2009/en

    You have amply fulfilled the request of the Sri Lankan government in this speech and proved Prof Johnson:

    Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil Wars(2005), Prof John Richardson, American University’s School of International Service:
    ”’Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understanding linkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, from 1948 through 1988 … …….
    How could we have come to this? What could we have done to prevent the conflict that has killed our family members and friends, devastated our lives, destroyed what was being so painstakingly developed? What can we learn and share from our experiences that may help others to avoid following a similar path? How can we share what we have learned most powerfully and effectively?
    The ‘we’ of these questions are, principally, political leaders and citizens of the nations, from Angola to Zaire , that have been victimised by civil war.
    There is another group of individuals, too, who must continue to pose questions about the causes and prevention of civil wars. Foreign political leaders, multilateral and non-governmental organisation leaders, leaders in the private sector and development practitioners share in the responsibility for causing civil wars, though they bear few of the costs. …… …….. My vision is of a day when no citizens in today’s developing nations will have to ask ‘how did we come to this?’ Paradise Poisoned will have achieved its purpose when that day comes.”

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    A stern message delivered with a tender touch. Hope the govt will discern and heed the advise and warnings implied.

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    State Terrorism in Sri Lanka:

    1.http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/August2010/Mangala%20Moonasinghe.pdf
    Mr. Mangala Moonasinghe to LLRC, 17 August 2010: ‘’…so, who started terrorism – it was we – and then gradually naturally the youth, Tamil youth, went into terrorism in the north. … So terrorism did not come on its own. We created them sir, we created them.’’ (Moonasinghe is a former Sri Lankan diplomat and MP)

    2. http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/August2010/LLRC-JD-Transcript.pdf
    Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘The lessons we have to learn go back to the past – certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948. Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality.
    Our inability to manage our affairs has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens. We need to rectify this bad governance and the first and foremost task before us is to undertake constitutional reform in order to ensure that we have adequate devolution of power. We need to have State reform; we need to have rule of law established; we need to ensure non discrimination amongst our citizens; we need to have devolution of power and a tolerance of dissent and a strengthening of
    democratic institutions. (Dhanapala is a Sinhalese and was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament)

    3. http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/Chandra_Jayaratne_Speech.pdf
    Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne, 23 September 2010: ‘’…… Years of inequitable allocation of national resources and consequential disparities in regional economic development, infrastructure development and public service delivery have sown the seeds of discontent and disillusionment leading to conflict, insurrections of the South and the North and even the armed struggle towards a separate administration … ….. …….

    4. http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Prof.%20Priyan%20Dias.pdf
    Prof Priyan Dias addresses LLRC, 07 October 2010:
    ‘’If we do not feel guilty for the Northern military uprising we cannot go anywhere in the future as a country.’’

    4.

  • 0
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    Mr Blair all that glitters is not gold. We have growth that is defined by a governor who knows only elementary economics. And fraud is his middle name.

  • 0
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    Every sensible word is lost in the wilderness in Sri Lanka.

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    Mr Burt reckons 30 bombs exploded in his homeland in 1973 and it is appaling.

    How many bombs were exploded in our Motherland from 1973 to 2009?.

    And who financed them and who coordinated them?.

    He reckons Srilanka is doing well .

    How much has his Boss , who he thinks is so caring contributed to this development?.

    UK registered companies do business to make a buck.

    And Burt reckons that and 3 Million bucks to clear Jonny Mines is a big deal.

    One thing he deserves some credit is to remind the Diaspora mates and their supporters here that it is the LTTE that killed Kadira.

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      bombs didn’t explode for no reason. can you tell me why you lot killed thousands of innocent tamil people during numerous race riots since independence. if you lot can kill tamil people, can you tell me why it’s wrong to kill sinhala people. prabhakaran simply avenged the death of tamil people in the hands of sinhala people. in my opinion what prabhakaran did wasn’t enough. hopefully there will be someone who will carry on where prabha left.

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        Why don’t you come and carry on where fatass left off instead of hoping someone else does it while you whine, cower and hide like a little bitch?

        • 0
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          adey bogus hiphop, if black fat slob monkeys can do it , why not fatass.

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    Mr. Alistair Burt has given some very good advice, but he should step back to consider whether all this would be necessary in the first place, if the Sri Lankan Govt. has an ounce of sincerity. Thank you very much, but you are only pouring water on a ducks back. 2013 can only get worse, not better.

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    According to latest information received the governmental has begun a campaign to drown out our voices on the internet as well. An International Media Division has been set up at MARA’s office. This unit is supposed to have established a new online media propaganda team to spearhead operations that will fully embrace the disinformation and misinformation capabilities of new media, to help the government discredit and dismiss criticism, as well as through sheer volume, drown out critical content and voices.

    Critics of MARA and the government are expected to face new challenges through the following-

    Silence with Volume of pro-government written content

    Shaming and Threatening to Shame

    Hacking & Outright Blocks of Websites

    Personal, Institutional and Family Secrets to be used to blackmail prominent voices to retract earlier stories or cower into silence

    Physical threats to content writers and journalists

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    ”The end of the scourge of terrorism has opened a new chapter”

    Mmmmhhhhhh….

    ‘’My own set of immediate demands as a citizen are as follows—roll back the Eighteenth Amendment; restore the Seventeenth Amendment and the Constitutional Council with improvements; guarantee judicial independence and independence of all oversight bodies; stop political interference in and politicization of public institutions; take strong measures to prevent discrimination based on ethnicity, gender, language and religion; let law enforcement (meaning the ordinary law–not exceptional laws) take its own course, do not provide protection to erring political favourites; respect and protect free expression, association and assembly– adopt a policy of ‘let a thousand flowers bloom’; adopt a zero tolerance policy on torture, abductions and involuntary disappearances; permit free and fair elections and respect the people’s will’’ – An Ideology of Reconciliation Cannot be Built Without Basic Ingredients of Democracy and Rule of Law, Dr. Deepika Udagama (Head, Department of Law, University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), 15 August 2012

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    For decades successive Sri Lankan governments have been successfully tripping up the international community:
    Sri Lanka: Twenty years of make-believe. Sri Lanka’s Commissions of Inquiry, Amnesty International, 11 June 2009

    You have amply fulfilled the request of the Sri Lankan government in this speech and proved Prof Johnson:

    Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil Wars(2005), Prof John Richardson, American University’s School of International Service:
    ”’Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understanding linkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, from 1948 through 1988 … …….
    How could we have come to this? What could we have done to prevent the conflict that has killed our family members and friends, devastated our lives, destroyed what was being so painstakingly developed? What can we learn and share from our experiences that may help others to avoid following a similar path? How can we share what we have learned most powerfully and effectively?
    The ‘we’ of these questions are, principally, political leaders and citizens of the nations, from Angola to Zaire , that have been victimised by civil war.
    There is another group of individuals, too, who must continue to pose questions about the causes and prevention of civil wars. Foreign political leaders, multilateral and non-governmental organisation leaders, leaders in the private sector and development practitioners share in the responsibility for causing civil wars, though they bear few of the costs. …… …….. My vision is of a day when no citizens in today’s developing nations will have to ask ‘how did we come to this?’ Paradise Poisoned will have achieved its purpose when that day comes.”

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    How did LTTE terrorism come about, Sir??

    State Terrorism in Sri Lanka:

    1.Mr. Mangala Moonasinghe to LLRC, 17 August 2010: ‘’…so, who started terrorism – it was we – and then gradually naturally the youth, Tamil youth, went into terrorism in the north. … So terrorism did not come on its own. We created them sir, we created them.’’ (Moonasinghe is a former Sri Lankan diplomat and MP)

    2. Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘The lessons we have to learn go back to the past – certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948. Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality.
    Our inability to manage our affairs has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens. We need to rectify this bad governance and the first and foremost task before us is to undertake constitutional reform in order to ensure that we have adequate devolution of power. We need to have State reform; we need to have rule of law established; we need to ensure non discrimination amongst our citizens; we need to have devolution of power and a tolerance of dissent and a strengthening of
    democratic institutions. (Dhanapala is a Sinhalese and was formerly UN Under-Secretary General for Disarmament)

    3. Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee (LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne, 23 September 2010: ‘’…… Years of inequitable allocation of national resources and consequential disparities in regional economic development, infrastructure development and public service delivery have sown the seeds of discontent and disillusionment leading to conflict, insurrections of the South and the North and even the armed struggle towards a separate administration … ….. …….

    4. Prof Priyan Dias addresses LLRC, 07 October 2010:
    ‘’If we do not feel guilty for the Northern military uprising we cannot go anywhere in the future as a country.’’

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    Mmmhhhh…..

    Should we discard these:

    Memorandum from Commission of Peace and Justice of the Jaffna Diocese to CBCSL, Jan 2013

    ”Conflict-affected areas remain highly militarised, which has made progress towards achieving durable solutions more difficult. The military has become an important economic player and a key competitor of local people including returnees in the areas of agriculture, fishing, trade, and tourism. It has also been involved in areas that would normally come under civilian administration. It continues to occupy private land, thereby impeding IDPs’ return. The government has failed to make durable solutions a priority, and humanitarian organisations have faced funding shortages and restrictions on programming and access” – Sri Lanka: A hidden displacement crisis, Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 October 2012

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    ”It is the responsibility of states to protect the rights and freedoms of every citizen”

    This responsibility has been violated for 65 yrs and the socio-economic-cultural-environmental fabric of the ethnic minorities has been destroyed severely. How long more should they wait for R2P, dear Minister?

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    LTTE terrorism is reaction to State terrorism.

    Recent examples of state terrorism:

    i.stopping investigation into murders: Judge Udalagama interviewd on 16 July 2009 by SundayTimes

    ii.not releasing the reports on murders, abductions, disappearances and Corruption at high levels of govt institutions by the 15 commissions appointed by the President in the last 7yrs

    iii. preventing IDPs from returning homes and dumping them in cleared jungles and selling their livelihood coastal areas for foreign tourists(mostly British) to play

    iv. preventing willing aid agents from helping the oppressed people:
    ”Sri Lanka: Very restricted humanitarian space. Following a govt order issued in 2010 to close the ICRC’s remaining sub-delegations in the north and curtail planned assistance, several proposed programmes to assist resettling or returning populations did not take place’’ – ICRC Annual Report 2011, Issued in July 2012

    v.Sri Lanka orders cuts in aid work, 9 July 2009, BBC: ‘’The Sri Lankan government has told international relief agencies to cut back their activities in the country. … But it(ICRC) says an estimated 300,000 displaced people still need food, medicine and help to return home’’ –

    To be contd

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    ”The absence of conflict has brought greater security and opened up opportunities throughout Sri Lanka”

    Dear Minister,

    ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012 (*a Sinhalese Buddhist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University),

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    Mr Burt, You advocate an inclusive political settlement that addresses the underlying causes of the conflict. The official language issue has disappeared long ago with both Sinhala and Tamil being declared as official languages. The three language policy with English being declared as a link language and the trend towards English being used as the primary medium of higher education has further corrected the problem of communication between the young people.

    There are about 800,000 Tamil people in the Northern Province, accounting for about 4.4% of the population. Over 2.5 million Tamil people live happily in other parts of the island. Do you want Sri Lanka to create another Israel in the Northern Province and suffer the same fate as the Palestinians? The path to reconciliation is through integration and not through disintegration.

    We commend UK for introducing English language tests in a bid to re-integrate the British society. Please respect our right to follow the same path through our slow and steady three language policy, without your trying to get the votes of the extremist Tamil community in UK.

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    I attended this lecture yesterday. It was a well nuanced presentation, delivered with savvy. It touched issues of concern to a wide spectrum of Sri Lankans. Praise was bestowed where due and faults pointed out within bounds of diplomatic courtesy , but without mincing words. It was indeed an objective and honest presentation,

    Prof. G.L. Pieris, who chose to both chair and deliver the vote of thanks, was pathetic in contrast. He appeared to be a man administered a dose of caster oil by force to evacuate constipated bowels. He was seen gulping glasses of water, whenever the unpalatable truth was told. His attempt to refer to proposed flights of Turkish Airlines and the BA into Colombo as great milestones in the development of the tourist industry in the context of Mr.Alstair’s speech was also pathetic. His attempt to claim a unique status for Sri Lanka, as a culture and as a country to evolve its own political and governance norms was utter tripe coming from a person of his learning. His attempt to point out the faults of other countries to justify Sri Lanka’s own malfeasance was a pathetic attempt at justifying the unjustifiable. It was uncultured and quite Un-Buddhistic. It was a shameful and idiotic performance in front of a sophisticated audience. It was a performance of a thick skinned man who has meandered far from the criteria that define a learned. It was a performance of a cheap lawyer in a remote magistrates court.

    The loud clapping that arose from sections of the audience, following GL’ s vote of thanks was obviously contrived through plants .

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

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    Mr. Burt,

    Given the economic problems in Britain, we can understand that you have no funds for investment in other countries and that you would like to have those programmes postponed until your economic problems are solved. We also understand that you use all these so called HR violations as a tactic to cover up your failures.

    Pl remember that SL (Ceylon) was the first country among the countries under British Colonial Rule, to get Universal Adult Franchise in 1931 because your forebears were convinced that Ceylonese had reached the level of maturity to elect their own representatives to govern the country. Now the people of Sri Lanka are matured enough to elect political parties to govern and only problem we have is that political parties do not have educated, practical and charismatic members.

    Hope you enjoyed your stay here and we wish you safe journey. We also kindly request you to mind your own business back at home.

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    Mr Burt,

    Sorry to put in this way but if IC incl. UK could have been honest with their so call care with countries like SRILANKA that have a greater potential to rise out from the misery, you could help the nation, country more useful.

    Today, the nation is caught by all abuses that have brutally been performed by the President and his clans of this country.

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    Alistair Burt ‘oluva athagala tokkak dunna’.

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    Our new friend Burt says Lankan inhabitants are now on middle income tier.

    So us peasants must be at least lower Mid Income.

    How sweet?.

    He goes further to acknowledge that the govt is doing a terrific job building infrastructure and moving the country forward.

    He must have been truely impressed to utter these words,which seem utterly unpalatable to some of his audience.

    How can Burt , who is an educated person ,not notice the progress of Lanka in just 3 years after Nanthikadal, when his own powerful land is in recession with negative growth for one and a half years.

    And his leader is trying to wriggle his way out of the EU which is in dire starits too.

    He is also happy about the 10% British making up the 1 Million foreigners who came to visit us last year.

    And this is all money to the Economy even at a micro level.

    Who are beneficiaries of this development?.

    It is of course the great majority of inhabitants, who uld have never thought of getting this Mid Income title when Solheims Millibands were the shots to give Prabakaran his Interim Administration.

    Now who are against this development.

    Reading the comments here it is mostly the same people who were on the side of Solheims and Millibands.

    Now they don’t care about the Mid Incomes or Infrastruture or Development.

    Why?.

    Because CJ couldn’t keep the day job and the part time job at the same time.

    Govt didn’t give top priority to Mr Obama’s “Resolution”.

    The Govt does not listen to GTF, TNGTE and give their members dual passports.

    TNA and Sambandan can’t do their politicking, because the Soldiers are watching.

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