24 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka: A Beleaguered Republic

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

Article 2(4) of the UN Charter reads as follows. ‘All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations (UN). The accepted exceptions to this article are when the UN Security Council authorizes military action or when it is in self-defense under Article 51 of the charter.’

Nevertheless, the reality is different. Powerful nations act without remorse or shame, disregarding the UN Charter when it suits their interests.  

History is strewn with instances of powerful nations acting in contravention of article 2(4) with impunity. 

Such interventions are usually justified based on promoting democracy, upholding human rights, R2P, etc. On other occasions, both overt and covert interventions are justified simply as ‘geopolitical realities,’ a more polite form for muscle power, with little or no regard for the sovereign status of small and less powerful nations.     

It is worthwhile to examine three incidents that took place within the first 30 days of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa (GR) taking his oath of office. 

India       

Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s special envoy arrived in Colombo unannounced and uninvited on the day after GR took his oaths at Ruwanwelisaya. Whether a meeting was requested or demanded is not known. What can be fathomed is, a meeting with the Head of State sworn in a day earlier was taken for granted. He carried a personal invitation from Modi for GR to visit India. Jaishankar tweeted a “warm meeting” immediately afterward. He also unilaterally announced, GR would travel to India on November 29 on his first overseas visit. The accepted diplomatic practice of simultaneous announcements from both countries was ignored.

GR was greeted on arrival in Delhi with the usual fanfare, pomp, and pageantry. Lines of credit for USD 450 million for Infrastructure Development and dealing with terrorism-related issues were offered. That was the sweetener. 

The promised Resolution of the Tamil Nadu fishermen poachers’ issue in February 2015 was renewed once again. Meanwhile, northern waters will continue to be bottom trawled. It reflects India’s scant regard for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Periodic release of both arrested Tamil Nadu fishermen and fishing vessels has only encouraged the fishermen to continue their trade unabated and the Indian government to do nothing about it.  

Then came the démarche. Prime Minister Modi stated, “I am confident, the Government of Sri Lanka will carry forward the process of reconciliation to fulfill the aspirations of the Tamils for equality, justice, peace, and respect.” He also stated, “The process of reconciliation includes implementation of the 13th Amendment.” 

All this coming from the chief architect of Hindutva supremacy. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), is the single largest party represented in the Lok Sabha (Indian lower house). Out of 303 or 56% of the total MPs, it has only one Muslim MP, having fielded just six candidates. Just under a month earlier, the BPJ rammed through the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Reorganization Act of 2019, revoking the special status granted to J&K under Article 370 in the Indian Constitution.  Both regions became Union Territories of India from October 31, 2019.

Based on Modi’s own track record, does he have the right to take the moral high ground? His concerns for Sri Lanka’s Tamil citizens notwithstanding, the public expression of such sentiments rather than during a one on one meeting or bi-lateral discussions is a display of muscle power. 

GR, to his credit, did state publicly of his inability to implement some provisions of the 13th Amendment “against the wishes of the majority (Sinhala) community.” His remark, “No Sinhala will say, don’t develop the area, or don’t give jobs, but political issues are different” was forthright and factual. His advice to the Indians to “stop whining about the Chinese footprint and invest more in Sri Lanka” was unprecedented and brilliant.

Two State solution in British Conservative Party manifesto

The text on page 53 of the manifesto where Sri Lanka is mentioned is as follows. “We are proud of our peace-building and humanitarian efforts around the world, particularly in war-torn or divided societies, and of our record in helping to reduce global poverty. We will continue to support international initiatives to achieve reconciliation, stability, and justice across the world and in current or former conflict zones such as Cyprus, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East, where we maintain our support for a two-state solution.”   

Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London immediately sought clarification from the Conservative Party. Deputy Chairman Paul Scully provided a lame explanation. “The two-state line in that section was intended to refer only to the Israel-Palestine situation in the Middle East (as is stated policy). The commitment to Sri Lanka and Cyprus were simply about continuing existing efforts to support peace and reconciliation in divided societies.”

Some in the UK, including a group of persons in the Conservative party identifying themselves as friends of Sri Lanka, has gone to great pains to promote Deputy Chairman Scully’s explanation. A bizarre theory of the comma between the words Sri Lanka and the Middle East in the text making a distinction between Sri Lanka and the Middle East is being promoted, a tale fit for Chinese sporting ponytails. 

A manifesto is the Bible of any political party before an election. It is meant to be read, proofread and reread before publication and release. The fact, the two-state solution part was missed by different layers of proofreaders speaks volumes of the professionalism of those responsible. If not, it must be assumed, parties with vested interests managed to smuggle it in at the final stages.

The explanation notwithstanding, no apology has been made by the Conservative Party leadership to the Sri Lankan State nor to the thousands of British Sinhalese and Muslims in the UK. Some of them are party supporters. Bias for British Tamils was further established in Boris Johnson’s message on the eve of elections. Starting with ‘Vannakam,’ in the 1.20 minutes video clip, he thanked the British Tamil community for all they do for the country. He made promises for the future after he gets Brexit done, before concluding with ‘Nandri.’     

A similar propaganda 2.10 minutes video clip by the Labor Party Shadow Chancellor John McDonald spoke of an attempt at genocide against the Tamils and the brutal oppression against the Tamils.

With Boris Johnson’s electoral victory, Brexit is a foregone conclusion. The day is not too far away when the UK will have its own problems over a two-State or even three State solution.    

The Conservative and Labor parties and the British government have, for decades, strived to undermine the Sri Lankan state. The British government refused to disclose the contents of British Military Attaché Lt. Col. Anton Gash’s confidential reports. It would have enabled Sri Lanka to counter UNHRC allegations of 40,000 deaths in the closing stages of the Vanni campaign is a case in point.   

Former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s directive to the Foreign Ministry to abstain from voting during the United Nations’ non-binding Resolution on Chagos Island was unforgivable. Failure to vote with the Non-Aligned group and the African states responsible for sponsoring the Resolution could have consequences.

It would be prudent for the new government to undertake a complete review of Sri Lanka’s relations with the UK. A sizable volume of Sri Lankan exports is destined to the UK, thus eliminating the option of downgrading relations. In such a backdrop, different policy options must be explored with a view of changing Britain’s attitudes and countering the Tamil diaspora issue globally in general and the UK in particular.

The Swiss Affair

The bizarre case of a local recruit at the Swiss Embassy in Colombo being abducted by a group of men, interrogated, sexually abused, and then released has many strange twists and turns.

Local media has adequately reported the incident, and further narration of details is unnecessary. However, once again, a few instances when the Swiss have acted in a manner totally unacceptable in the conduct of diplomacy and Sri Lanka’s excessive indulgence need be highlighted.  

The abduction supposedly having taken place on November 25 was first reported after 48 hours not by the employee but by the Swiss Ambassador Hanspeter Mock to the Prime Minister and not the Foreign Relations Minister. The Swiss Embassy and, by extension, the Swiss government then obstructed the investigation by local authorities till December 8, a full 14 days after the abduction by harboring the abductee inside the Swiss Embassy. She was made available only after a court order. Meanwhile, the Swiss government had the temerity to demand permission to airlift its employee and her family to Switzerland without local immigration formalities due to her so-called serious medical condition. The gravity of her condition had been established by Swiss medical authorities after an examination via Skype! 

It now transpires the whole episode had not taken place. GR has said so during his meeting with Ambassador Mock on December 16. Having exonerated the Swiss Embassy, he advised Ambassador Mock to “distance itself from the Garnier’s allegations.” He has further stated, “we can not find fault with the initial reaction of the Swiss Embassy since it had a duty to stand by its employee.” 

The Ambassador arranged a Skype medical examination with Swiss doctors for the abductee. However, he failed to arrange for a competent Swiss Police official to speak to the abductee and verify her complaint before rushing off to lodge a complaint with the Prime Minister. He has shown extremely poor judgment for a Head of Mission.  

The government has failed to request an explanation from Ambassador Mock of discrepancies between several versions of the abduction given by the abductee to the CID and his complaint on November 27.

In a surprise move, GR received the Swiss Ambassador and even informed him, the Swiss were not under suspicion. It would have been appropriate for GR to decline to receive the Ambassador till the matter has been cleared up. He could have been directed to deal with the Foreign Secretary and Foreign Relations Minister. That is what any self-respecting country would do. 

The issue had been reported in the New York Times. The government, even at this late stage, must consider a response by way of the Right of Reply and place facts in the international domain. To remain silent would be a repetition of the pathetic media handling during the 30 years civil war when the LTTE clearly won the global publicity war.                     

Conclusion

Besides these three issues, the Foreign Relations Ministry is also currently grappling with several other issues. A decision is required whether to appeal Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s conviction in a British court? How is the forthcoming UNHRC review in March to be handled? Will Sri Lanka seek the abrogation of UNHRC Resolution 30/1 as claimed before Presidential elections or request a revision, a more doable proposition?

Meanwhile, A delegation led by Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha was in Egypt last week. The External Affairs Ministry initiative of reviving Bilateral Political Consultations after several decades is most commendable. Sri Lanka must reengage with the Non-Aligned group and African block. 

A fundamental requisite at this stage is the clear understanding of the role to be played by the Foreign Relations Ministry in the country’s foreign affairs. It must be the premier ministry responsible for conducting international relations and the epicenter of policy formulation based on directives from the Head of State.

The first contact point for foreign diplomats being the Foreign Relations Ministry, unfettered access to the Head of State and Prime Minister, is best avoided as in most other countries.

It is essential, the Minister for Foreign Relations, to be involved in all dealings with foreign governments and Colombo based foreign diplomats, unlike in the case of the Swiss fiasco.   

Advisors and actors in other ministries will only create multiple centers handling foreign relations. It is a weakness bound to be capitalized by Colombo based Ambassadors as observed in recent years. 

The golden rule in the conduct of any successful relationship is mutual respect. 

That said, others will respect Sri Lanka only if it conducts itself with self-respect.   

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Latest comments

  • 21
    8

    Dear Rajeewa, Sri Lanka governments since independence have violated the UN charter on rights of minorities. Discriminatory laws were passed, discriminatory actions executed and organised violence let loose on Tamils both by goon squads and security forces of the government. As an incorrigible racist you are not exposing this and keep on harping about interference in Sri Lankan affairs by foreign countries. First put your house in order before pointing finger to others. There is no doubt that Tamils were and are still being persecuted by Sinhala controlled government, which international community wants stopped, criminal acts accounted for, rights of Tamils to rule themselves installed and process of reconciliation initiated. For the last ten years this has not happened and the present government has categorically said no. Do you not think that it is perfectly justified for international community to intervene to save Tamils from this Sinhala racism and state terrorism like what they did in Bosnia, East Timor and South Sudan. Is it not double standard for bringing Myanmar before ICC for genocide when less than 500 Rohingyas were killed and less than 750,000 of them expelled, when not doing the same to Sri Lanka which killed more than 150,000 Tamils and expelled more than one million of them. There cannot be reconciliation without justice and there cannot be peace without reconciliation. This is what Modi and Boris Johnson have asked Sri Lanka to do, which for bigoted racists like you seems to be anathema. Swiss incident is another cover up by government of a botched operation by its agents gone horribly wrong. If you analyse it, it will be clear that this abduction is a reaction by the government in harassing an employee of Swiss embassy for their inability to stomach the role of Swiss government in helping the police officer to escape with files relating to investigation of crimes committed on Tamils and others by Rajapakse Brothers and their cronies.

    • 11
      12

      Tamils are opportunists who demanded a separate state BOTH in India and in Sri Lanka. They were so determined to get a separate state in Sri Lanka that they assassinated Rajiv Gandhi, even after India had provided training camps to Tiger terrorists, forcibly invaded Sri Lanka, and offered to mediate a political settlement along the lines of devolution. It is laughable to think India will ever again intervene on Tamil’s behalf. Now some Tamils like Wigneswaran are demanding a federal state. This will not happen either, for two reasons. Number one, it would destroy the economy of Sri Lanka. Number two, it is another attempt at separatism. Gotabaya is already aware of all this and has said no to devolution.

      • 14
        5

        Here comes the Sinhalese Goebbels , who lives the good life in London and enjoys all the opportunities and rights , even offered to immigrants like him in the west but preaches and encourages racism , genocide , war crimes and marginalisation of the island’s Tamil speakers back home , with all sorts of made up lies and twisted history. Disgusting creature . These racist hypocrites who have fled to the west for the good life , not because they were persecuted like the Tamils , should be deported back to enjoy their genocidal hell hole.

        • 6
          0

          I have seen this double standard from many ethnic migrants living in the UK.
          They benefit immensely from the pro-minority and pro-immigrant setup in the UK. But want racist dictatorships against minorities at home.
          I have seen Indian hindus here who condemn the conservative british government as ‘racist’ but love Modi and the BJP. They dont even hide their hatred of muslims who they want to see totally evicted from India.
          I have seen africans here who want their tribe to rule back home and oppress other tribes. African continent is rife with civil wars and genocide because of this communal racism that takes centre stage, like it does in Sri Lanka.
          I once spoke to a pakistani muslim who attends every protest in london on behalf of palestinians against israel. But he showed no sympathy when i told him about the mistreatment of shias and other minorities inside pakistan, saying ‘they deserve it’.

        • 1
          5

          What persecution are you talking about? Tamils have been using Thesalavami and various caste distinctions to discriminate among themselves for millenia. Prabhakaran was a pawn used by the Vellalars, who did not want blood on their own hands. Who controls the politics in TN? High-caste Brahmins. That is why TN never supported Eelam Tamils in their fight. You are a victim of your own discrimination, the only thing the Sinhalese did is to fight to preserve their ancestral homeland.

          • 5
            2

            Blah Blah . Keep on lying Goebbels. The only thing Sinhalese did is to fight to preserve their ancestral homeland. What ancestral homeland.? The NE Of the island is not Sinhalese homeland and the only thing you have been doing since independence is to commit genocide and war crimes on the island’s Tamils and steal their lands in the name of Sinhalese Buddhist Fascism and a fake history. The only thing you have done is run to the west for the good life and then preach lies /racism and encourage genocide back home. Tamil Nadu is not under control of Brahmins , they have lost control of it long ago. Not only in Tamil Nadu but also in all other southern states too.

            • 0
              1

              Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of TN from 1991 to 2016, was a Brahmin ( an Iyer). Because of her, the LTTE could do very little in TN, as she generally took a strong position against them. According to the “Hindu”, “During 1996-2001, Jayalalithaa accused the then DMK regime that the LTTE was being given support. She also demanded the dismissal of the DMK government for “supporting the formation of Tamil Eelam”. That is a very strong accusation. Anyway, Indian Tamil Brahmins are a highly accomplished people. Nobel Prize winners Chandrasekhars, Raman, and the famous mathematician Ramanujan were all Tamil Brahmins. They would never support the terrorist activities of a criminal outfit like LTTE. Back to my original point, it is cast politics that inspired Prabhakaran more than Sinhalese racism. After all, why did he care about “Sinhala-Only”, as education and civil service positions in Jaffna only went to the Vellalars? This caste politics began in India during Gandhi’s time. As you infer, culminating with the overthrow of the Brahmins in TN over a 60 year period.

    • 13
      4

      Rajeewa types:

      “A decision is required whether to appeal Brigadier Priyanka Fernando’s conviction in a British court?”

      Rajeewa along with English writing Navin Dissanayake and Champika Ranawaka, …. should write to their old colonial masters Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash and Michael Morris, Baron Naseby begging them to fix this problem without legal recourse.

      • 7
        2

        Native Vedda

        The dumb brigadier must have thought he was back on operations with the 59th and not at the London H C’s showpiece event. The chief magistrate, Emma Arbuthnot, said: “My view is that his actions were really rather disreputable. I gather he was recalled to Sri Lanka, one hopes in disgrace to some extent. His body language appeared to be arrogant and intimidating. He must have known it would be alarming at the very least.” Fat hope! The GOSL defended his actions and in the officers mess he was treated like a hero, who had gone into the lion’s den and returned ‘unscathed. Our government has once again made a dogs breakfast of the incident; trying to defend the indefensible. Not all the king’s horses nor all the king’s men (even helped by Baron Naseby) will put things back to the day before independence day.

        • 6
          1

          Spring Koha

          Thanks
          I am happy(?) to note Sri Lanka’s every successive government since 1956 and the state always maintained their proud position, with a kind of permanent gesture “UP YOURS”. It is no wonder as to why Priyankara did what he did at the doors of High Commission, probably he was letting loose his generations of bottled up colonial anger.

          Now Gota being the self proclaimed strong man of the country can’t he issue a forged passport another name to Priyankara and let him travel to UK in defyance of the court ruling? It would be another fine “UP YOURS” to the old colonial masters. Forging a passport isn’t new for Gota as you know he arranged one for his half soulmate Karuna to facilitate his travel to the UK.

  • 1
    1

    Why did not you write about Raajitha’s melodrama. He was paying money to criminals. Where did he get money. He was getting Labour jobs to criminals. Why an embassy would give employment to criminals. Lot of questions there ?
    Why Mangala is silent suddenly. His brother is a minister in the govt, even though Mangala is an enemy of Rajapakses. Am I correct ?

  • 8
    0

    ‘ . . . A similar propaganda 2.10 minutes video clip by the Labor Party Shadow Chancellor John McDonald spoke of an attempt at genocide . . .’

    Perhaps the proof-reading Rajeewa Jayawewa needs to be reminded that the person he is referring to is John McDonnell who is a member of the British (not American) LABOUR party.

    People who live in glass houses should not undress with the lights on.

    • 12
      2

      Spring Koha

      Rajeewa types:
      “Two State solution in British Conservative Party manifesto”

      You know Rajeewa is in the habit of “Making a mountain out of a molehill ” and he’s making it up as he goes along.
      Please bear with him if he didn’t get the name right in the first place. Now he is going to type as to why he was right, typing John McDonald instead of John McDonnell.

      Have you got spare time?

  • 9
    3

    anther load of bullshit. Idiot screams.

  • 7
    0

    Rajeewa

    Re the passage on page 53 of the British Conservative Party Manifesto, I am surprised that in spite of the clarifications from officials of the Conservative Party and local writers in both print and electronic media explaining why the clause “where we maintain our support for a two-state solution” applies only to the last mentioned of the list, viz. the Middle East (Israel-Palestine), you, with some others, still persist with the error that it modifies all the items in the list. If we had no other clues in the text to direct us to the right interpretation, it would be at worst an ambiguous text (i.e., the clause could apply to either “Cyprus, Sri Lanka, and the Middle East” or “the Middle East” only), but, as it is, it is not even that because the word “maintain” ensures which of the two was meant. Prior to the publication of the Manifesto, the U.K., as we know, did not have a two-state policy on either Cyprus or Sri Lanka, so how could a country “maintain” a policy which it did not have in the first place? (For your easy reference, a dictionary defines “maintain” as “continue to have, to keep in existence,” etc.) As a parallel to the text in the Manifesto, consider this example sentence: “During his trip to Sri Lanka, the British tourist stayed in Jaffna, Galle and Nuwara Eliya, where he had to wear warm clothes because of the cold climate.” Now does the adverbial relative clause modify all three or Nuwara Eliya only? If you are still not convinced, google similar sentences and see the results. You will see sentences of both types.

  • 2
    10

    An well timed eye opener

    • 6
      3

      S. C. Pasqual

      “An well timed eye opener”

      Please tell him to stop using can opener to open your eyes.

    • 5
      3

      S. C. Pasqual = a fart-catcher

  • 16
    4

    The writer concludes: “others will respect Sri Lanka only if it conducts itself with self-respect.” Quite right. That would then entail treating all its citizens equally and with dignity. Sri Lanka is in this sorry predicament today both internally and externally precisely because it has violated this fundamental norm of civilized conduct. The writer himself displays the same racist arrogance abundantly. If you don’t respect your own citizens, don’t expect the world to respect you. It is Sri Lanka’s abject failure in democratic nation-building that has allowed other countries to dominate, interfere, dictate terms and humiliate.

    • 5
      10

      Ajay,
      I’m sorry to ask this question that puzzles me all the time, specifically when I read some comments made by CT readers.
      What kind of fundamental norm of civilized conduct has been violated by Sri Lanka? Do you mean the rights of the people who got killed, mimed, disabled during the war against the Tiger (LTTE) terrorism that ravaged the entire country for over 26 years? Sri Lanka faced similar terror campaigns launched by the Ultra marxist JVP, not just once but twice within the same period. Innocent people got killed in great numbers on both occasions, but you guys never opened your mouth to criticize the government; you were worried about the Tamils only?
      If you take up arms to topple a democratically elected government, this is exactly what happens. It doesn’t matter if you are a Tamil, Sinhalese, or a Moor. You are deemed a terrorist and you will be dealt with accordingly. That’s how democratic governments protect the rights of the people who elect such governments. If the terrorists keep innocent people as hostages, still the governments have the prerogative to deal with such situations as they deem the best.

      • 8
        3

        Everyone and this includes the UN and the international community , knows that the biggest terrorist in the island are not the LTTE , the Tamils or Muslims but it is the Sri Lankan state, their armed forces and most Sinhalese , a brainwashed people racist to the core. Even their so called western educated elite , many living the good life in the west. Repeating the same lies that the Tamils and LTTE are the cause of everything is not going to work. It is the Sinhalese and all Sinhalese led Sri Lankan governments who are the cause of everything. Now this idiotic president going around stating to the world , just Tamil political rights and devolution to the Tamil NE cannot be given , as the Sinhalese majority do not want this. Only proves this. When did the rights of the Tamil people depend on the whims and fancies of a racist Sinhalese majority? What are the Tamil people slaves of the Sinhalese. Britain has a lot to answer for what they did to the island’s Tamils.

      • 4
        2

        Raj:
        Good question.
        The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
        .
        How many roads must a man walk down
        Before you call him a man?
        How many seas must a white dove sail
        Before she sleeps in the sand?
        How many times must the cannon balls fly
        Before they’re forever banned?
        The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
        The answer is blowin’ in the wind
        How many years can a mountain exist
        Before it’s washed to the sea?
        How many years must some people exist
        Before they’re allowed to be free?
        And how many times can a man turn his head
        And pretend that he just doesn’t see
        The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
        The answer is blowin’ in the wind
        How many times must a man look up
        Before he really sees the sky?
        How many ears must one person have
        Before he can hear people cry?
        And how many deaths will it take ’till he knows
        That too many people have died?
        The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
        The answer is blowin’ in the wind
        .
        BOB DYLAN, 1962

  • 5
    6

    This article could have been about apples and oranges and the Tamils here would have some how found a way to bring in their tale of woe and racist chant. Get a life you bunch of SOBS !

  • 7
    4

    After 70 years of independence, it is patently clear that Sri Lanka is not capable of solving the problems faced by minorities. President Gotabaya’s refusal to consider devolution of powers to the North and East and his rejection of the UNHCR resolution further reinforces the belief that Sri Lanka will never solve the pressing issues faced by the Tamil speaking communities. In this situation, the only remedy is for some external party to step in and solve these problems and do everyone a big favour!

  • 11
    3

    Rajeewa Jayaweera
    Once again, you have used poor selective choices to berate the Indian, British and Swiss governments to satisfy those pestering bees in your bonnet. You conveniently forget that it was the combined struggles of the long established communities of the Sinhalese, Tamils, Moors, Burghers, Malays and others that finally brought us early independence from the last colonial master. You conveniently forget that it was the highly divisive power hungry politicians that encouraged the rabid racist sections of the Sinhalese to push our Tamil community to breaking point. You conveniently forget all the heaped indignities that pushed the Young Turks of the Tamil community to say ‘enough is enough’ and chose to fight back even though the odds were heavily stacked against them. You conveniently forget that after May 2009 when the vastly numerically forces of the Sinhalese brought about the inevitable result, the subsequent turning of the blind eye of the various governments from 2009 to the provocative tactics of the BBS led by the obnoxious Gnanasara who tormented Muslim communities up and down the country – a case of déjà vu if ever I saw one. You have travelled widely and would, no doubt, have seen the dispossessed in the Diaspora. Most of them sought asylum and the host countries would have independently made up their minds of what caused their expulsion. Why do you think that foreigners are not rushing to believe the government of Sri Lanka? All that writers like yourself can do is muddy the waters of a national discourse that is needed to bring clarity to the challenges facing our country. Both WE the people and the governments we have elected need to honestly confront the ghosts that continue to haunt our beloved island paradise. The sooner we can do that, the better.

  • 10
    4

    Poor Rajeeva is trying to defend Buddhist Sinhala Fundamentalist mass scale murders of Tamil community as a right of the Sinhala Nation. Powerful nations violate human rights. Similarly Powerful communities violate human rights. You must first correct yourself before asking to correct others. you don’t have a proper judicial system, don’t have a proper law and order system and you talk about Srilanka’s right in the world. Murderers are released and innocents are jailed or murdered in your Buddhist Nation. Are you not ashamed of yourself?

  • 1
    1

    Why do people even bother to post comment in response to CT reporting about Sri Lanka . Totally biased, hell bet in drowning or masking the TRUE FACTS. Get a Life CT !

  • 4
    2

    Part 1

    Sri Lanka: A Beleaguered Republic

    Article 2(4) of the UN Charter reads as follows. ‘All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations (UN). The accepted exceptions to this article are when the UN Security Council authorizes military action or when it is in self-defense under Article 51 of the charter.’
    *** Sri Lanka is not only a Beleaguered Country but also a Country facing a Bleak future and let me explain.
    Soon after winning the War with Indias help China poured in Billions and 20% of it went into Mahinthas & Gothas coffers. In return Hambanthotta Port was Leased to China.
    A Lease has 2 clauses.
    1) Term
    2) Permitted use
    These are two important aspects of a Lease.
    But the problem for Sri Lanka is the following.
    a) By her proximity and Security India is the Superior Landlord. Make no mistake
    Sri Lanka should have got Superior Landlords permission before assigning the Lease to China using a Document called “LICENCE T ASSIGN” . If this was not obtained then the Lease is defective and Sri Lanka is in material breach. Superior Landlord can force entry and that is what India will do and doing.

  • 5
    2

    Part 2

    Gotha I am told that you are an Avid reader of Colombo Telegraph. So read the following .
    You are stuck for the following reasons.
    1) Permitted use allows China to dock Ships which can be Cargo or Military Vessels ( under the Guise of Cargo) and whatever assurance you give to India is worthless as Sri Lanka cannot monitor and bar Ships as China wont allow your Navy to board the Ships and you don’t have the technology to detect .
    2) If you ask China to vary use China can threaten to call the Loan ( running into Billions ) in plunging your economy into recession. But you yourself has said Terms will be not be renegotiated
    Finally every Country has the right to intervene ( Might is Right) if her Security and Survival is threatened. America threatening to start 3rd World War in Cuba , Russia annexing Crimea Britain intervening in the Falklands.
    If I am advising Mr.Modi I will advise him to insist on a Military Presence on Sri Lankan soil just like in the Maldives to check Chinese threat .
    So the next visitor to Sri Lanka will be the Indian Defence Minister. Sri Lanka is stuck between the Devil and the Deep Blue sea.

  • 0
    0

    How would one describe Rwanda, a few decades back, yet another beleaguered Republic? It is no secret that Paul Kagame has changed the landscape to become the Singapore of Africa. There was one standard solution that he applied, similar to that of Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore to make the turn around. Unlike Rwanda, both Singapore and Sri Lanka are places of attraction to the powers that may be. Yet again the late Lee set the tone as to how to handle the greedy eyes. As to what the Sri Lankan authorities would do to handle all this is a story by itself. The challenges that President GR has to face reminds me of “Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown”.

  • 5
    0

    Sri Lanka is a tiny little island almost touching India.
    You have the USA and China controlling other nations all across the world. But India is told it should not control even its smaller neighbours next door? What double standards. At the very least India has to control the lands and seas around its borders! If they dont the indian ocean will be renamed the chinese ocean.
    Chinese have already been seen illegally inside indian waters and fled to sri lanka when pursued. This clearly reveals what their intentions are in Sri Lanka. India has to take action on sri Lanka for its own safety.
    You cant create a situation like this and then flaunt your ‘we are a sovereign nation’ crap in front of India. Its even more ridiculous when you see the chinese taking ownership of chunks of Sri Lankan land. I believe some bhikkus went to protest when hambantota was handed over to china, and they got beaten and chased out by their own sinhala police officers.
    The LTTE paid the price for continously antagonising and defying India, and that too under a weaker congress government. Now with the BJP government and US alliance in the indian ocean, India is even less likely to tolerate any nonsense from Sri lanka.

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    Only a blind, can find rays of light, in pitch – darkness. Well done,keep it up Rajeewa. Less said the better about writing and its objectives.

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