25 June, 2019

Blog

Sri Lanka: Beware Of A Quasi-Military Rule!

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The Rajapaksa regime increasingly appears to consist of twin forces within it, one civilian and the other military. The so-called UPFA government or the Cabinet is only a façade for the regime which is based mainly on the military and the bureaucracy. The UPFA even with the old left parties within it only have a decreasing influence on the civilian part of the regime. The Parliament with a feeble opposition appears to supply humour and entertainment to the cynical public these days. These are the culminating results of the presidential system and the recent subjugation of the independence of the judiciary as part of that same culmination. Just recollect how the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) behaved on the question of the impeachment of the Chief Justice. It was farcical and demeaning to the hilt.

The most alarming immediate development is the deployment of military troops in quelling a civilian protest in Weliweriya on 1 August without any justification or the backing of even emergency regulations. In a protest of villagers, asking for clean water, the military intervention has killed 1 civilian and injuring 15 others. The question has been rightly asked who gave the orders. There is no point in asking even the person responsible to resign because that will not happen in current Sri Lanka. A participant in the protest explained the brutal behaviour of the troops equating it to the LTTE attack on the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy in 1988, reminiscent still in the public mind.

The military intervention in civilian life is reported to be a daily occurrence in the Jaffna peninsula very much pervasive and brutal. As the civilians have been so much subdued without much room to engage in peaceful protests like the Weliweriya villagers there has been no much opportunity so far for the military to use its fire power at least openly. One occasion to the contrary was when the university students peacefully engaged in remembrance or heroes day celebrations in December 2012. The harassments and brutality were quite extensive.

What has to be realized in the current context is that the people in the North or in the South are facing the same common enemy and that is the emerging danger of a military or a quasi-military rule in the country destroying all norms of human rights and democracy.
These are developments particularly aftermath of the end of the war and hopefully there would still be possibilities of turning the situation around peacefully and resurrecting democracy with the international good will and even assistance. After all, Sri Lanka is a member of the international community and the United Nations with obligations on human rights, democracy and rule of law. No one should shy away of working towards international solidarity on the Sri Lankan question.

It was understandable when the military strategy dominated the civilian affairs prior to the end of the war in May 2009 and after the LTTE completely broke away from the peace process in July 2006. The country was fighting against a ruthless menace of terrorism. However, as a democratic country, even during the war there were certain international norms that the government and the military should have observed. If the declared ‘zero civilian casualty’ was a genuine proclamation, then after the war that should have been accounted for through independent and reliable investigations of the alleged and obvious deviations from the international humanitarian law. That was not done.

It is a known fact that during the period between 2006 and 2009, the military in the country became doubled in numbers and equipped with high-tech equipment and training. What was obviously neglected was the education or training on human rights and humanitarian law. After the war there was no effort to demobilize the military. Instead it appears that the ordinary soldiers are being politicized and used for other missions. Although in the past the military in Sri Lanka has been a professional army with high professional standards, it is obvious that these have deteriorated especially among the middle and the lower ranks thereafter.

If the government wanted to maintain a disciplined and a professional army after the war, the first thing should have been done to investigate the slighted allegation against any wrong doing during the war particularly between 2006 and 2009 and punish or discipline the perpetrators accordingly. That is the period that matters most for the discipline and the calibre of the military at present. It is also a well-known fact that although the President gave promises to the UN Secretary General on the subject of accountability in May 2009 that promise was not fulfilled for some reason and this reason can be identified as the influence of the military wing of the regime over the civilian leaders.

Weliweriya is not the first occasion that the defence establishment unleashed its strong arm tactics against the civilians in the South not to speak of the much concealed military oppression in the North. In February 2012, the STF was deployed against the protest of fisher folks in Chilaw and killed one, seriously injuring 8 others. The most alarming was the military deployment for the prison riot at Welikada in November 2012 killing 27 and seriously injuring 40 others. It was a gruesome operation violating all international norms on the treatment of prisoners.

There are arguments that the regime or its security establishment is intervening in this manner to maintain and establish law and order in the country. This is not at all a reliable argument. If that is the case, then at least the police should have been intervened in preventing over 75 well- orchestrated goon attacks on religious places of the Muslim and Christian communities in the country during the last three years. At least the perpetrators should have been punished. The newest attack was on 19 July in Mahiyangana. There are all indications that there is close association between the defence establishment and the Sinhala extremist forces that are unleashed against the religious minorities.

These are also the two sectors that have been agitating against the holding of the elections to the Northern Provincial Council. Although the civilian political wisdom has prevailed on the question of holding of the NPC elections for the time being it is not clear in what ways that the attempt would be scuttled by the military wing of the same regime in the future. The most bizarre phenomenon in the current situation in Sri Lanka is that both the civilian and the military wings of the regime are led by the same family! It is most unlikely to perceive a serious split within this family given its past and its kinship cohesiveness.

Therefore, while the regime and with it the ruling politics will oscillate between civilian and military directions from time to time, the general course until the regime is democratically changed would be more and more towards a quasi-military rule in the country.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    What I find is that the UPFA is winning the provincial council elections in recent times. Are the people really supporting the UPFA due to winning the war or are the votes rigged?

    I mean, for example if 55% of the votes are against the UPFA, will the results show it or will it be rigged?

    • 0
      0

      The buggers in the UPFA camp are here to stay! Hitlerpaksha & Brothers will rule for ever with computer jilmart. For these bastards it will always be a win-win situation, coupled with murder, thuggery, rape etc. until a Gaddafi-style revolution takes place??

    • 0
      0

      Can you please add any references about 55%, I am really interested what the bahutharaya – majority of the country feel towards the brutal
      regime ? We regularly add our own views to this and other threads, but may still be NOT significant masses are well aware of the situation in the country. Those who support them are for just one single reason – that the war is no more there. But the very same people seem to be not considering how the rulers handling issues since 2009.

  • 0
    0

    Pleae DON’T forget Sri Lanka has water problem – environmental problem:

    ‘’Large hotels are being built contaminating ground water and serving liquor near schools. When a Tamil industrialist (RAMCO) refused to restart KKS Cement saying the ecology cannot bear it, a Nepalese was brought in to tear our landscape apart. The police beat signs of Tamil aspirations into silence and do price controls to take bribes. Our institutions are mismanaged by political stooges” – S.Ratnajeevan H. Hoole, 30 June 2013, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/tamil-university-part-i-fr-xs-thani-nayagam-and-the-mannar-university/

  • 0
    0

    Given the taste of Governance, as below, who will not keep his post
    AT ANY COST – be it killing Tamils or Sinhalese subjects:
    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    THIS SRILANKAN GOVERNMENT IS NOT A TOO REAL DEMOCRATIC ARE IT TOO!!!!…AND TOO HARD CRUEL AND TOO BAD CRIMINAL ATTITUDE ARE IT TOO AND TO KEEP IT IN THE COUNTRY ALL BIG POWER ARE IN ONLY ONE FAMILY TO GOT IT AND TO DO IT ALL ARE IN THE COUNTRY!!!!…THIS IS TO LIKE IT ONE OF THE TOO BIG AND TOO BAD DICTATOR RULED ARE IN THIS SRILANKAN COUNTRY ARE IT TOO!!!…ANYONE CAN`T ASKED ANY RIGHT WITH THIS GOVERNMENT AND THIS POWERFUL ONE FAMILY ARE ALSO TOO!!!…THEN SO IT HOW CAN IT TO ASKED IT THE MINORITY TAMILS PEOPLES THEIR ALL RIGHT ARE TOO!!!…AND TO WHY IT TO GO TO THE PARLIAMENT ARE TOO!!!.. SO THIS GOVERNMENT TO GIVE A MESSAGE YOU MUST GO TO SEPARATE ARE IT TOO AND LEAVE IT FROM THIS COUNTRY!!!!…AND THIS GOVERNMENT TO GIVE TO POWER IN THE COUNTRY ALL FORCES ARE TOO AND BEFORE TO RULE IT ALL THE TAMILS PEOPLES UNDER THE FACES ARE IT TOO!!!!.. AND NOW THEY ARE TO TRY IT TO RULE THIS COUNTRY ALL OTHERS PLACES ARE IT TOO!!!!….

    • 0
      0

      What are you trying to say??????????????????????

  • 0
    0

    Our inhahitants are safe because the Armed Forces who rescued them from terrorism are backing them.

    Poor Morosi supporters, who are the rural and urban poor and the majority for that matter got done and the same fate would have fallen on us, if we had Brown Sahibs running our forces.

    • 0
      0

      Sumanasekera,

      There is no Parity to justify shooting live bullets at unarmed protesting civilians unless Gota has gone crazy.

      The pig eating shit essentric, crazy and lunatic defense secretary has no right to call in security forces to curb public, when IGP Anura Senanayake said he will take care of these Protesters issue.

      This crazy Bast…d should be sent to Mulleriyawa to check his brains.

      He is a war criminal who massacared over 40,000 innocent tamil civilians in Nanthikandal.

      He should be sent to Hague to face international criminal court.

      Listen to following BBC interview and see what the IGP say about him.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/multimedia/2013/08/130802_weliweriya_audio.shtml
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/multimedia/2013/08/130802_weliweriya_video.shtml

      This crazy mad ass has truly gone crazy and need Psychological treatment.

      He should be closely watched before doing another Genocide Massacre.

      Somebody from opposition or a concern Citizen should inform President and the Internationl community to Pack him abroad for a psychological evaluation and treatment.

      He needs Psychatric treatment before going mad and crazy and will bring another genocide among citizen.

      Please tell your Big Boss Rajapakse to pack him abroad for Psychological treatment before it’s too late and before he bring another total distruction.

      I guarantee that Gota has gone crazy and need help. He looks like gone crazy and some doctors have confirmed it.

      Please tell your president about this.

      Await your reply.

    • 0
      0

      KAS,
      You might either be utterly stupid Rajapaksha koolaid
      customer or one who practice sadomasochism with Rajapakshas
      just like kudu Duminda. Which one are you?

    • 0
      0

      “Our inhahitants are safe because the Armed Forces who rescued them from terrorism are backing them”

      tell that to the people who lost a son in the latest attack.

  • 0
    0

    This is why I hope the people of Sri Lanka will consider supporting M.A. Sumanthiran and his efforts to preserve the rule of law and democracy in Sri Lanka. I believe that he is the best hope for restoring Sri Lankan greatness. He is Tamil, but represents Sri Lankans of all races, religions and backgrounds for the common purpose of preserving democratic institutions. Please consider giving him support whether you are Sinhalese, Buddhist or Muslim. He is one of the few bright spots in Sri Lanka today.

    • 0
      0

      “He is Tamil”.

      Irrelevant, my dear fellow. He’s a decent Lankan politician. Rare as hell to find these days.

  • 0
    0

    This is what happens when the Executive is above the law as well as he is the Commander in Chief of the armed forces.

    18A effectively destroyed any vestiges of democracy left in the country. The sovereignity and rights of the people are a dead letter.

  • 0
    0

    Basil Rajapaksa Convenes All Party Meet to Find Short and Long Term Solutions to Weliweriya Water Crisis, 2 August 2013, http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/23590

    What about:
    Water crisis of the North = low water table
    Unsustainable development = ”development” promoted by Governor (retired military official appointed by President) without elected council = tourism perniciously promoted when people don’t have sustainable socio-economic development
    Sand scooped from seashores recklessly without a policy/plan based on SD but based on on military and paramilitary corruption

    • 0
      0

      lol you think Basil and thie govt. does this kind of inquiry only for the south and not for the north? the only reason they’re even bothering to do this for this particular incident in the south is because the whole country now knows and is pissed off about it.

      The difference between the treatment to north and south is now slowly becoming the same.

  • 0
    0

    there is no balance of power+ velupillai pirabahana or any other, including UNP, now what we have is a kind of military rule, whether we like it not.
    it will take another revolution to chase away this goons, mainly due to, two major factors, we have coconuts and Jackfruit.
    money sent by one million overseas workers , house maids. will be barely enough to keep people going. until there will be a natural disaster like severe drought for few years, nothings gonna change, this is sri lanka, if you recall even after Two internal insurrections in 1971 and 1987 government at that time prevailed.

  • 0
    0

    The people who voted for Rajapaksas should revolt against him. There should be a regime change sooner rather than later. The Army has taken control. I have never heard of any country which engaged the army against civilian unarmed protests. Where is the police? The Army has taken over 70,000 acres of land in Vali North forcibly and the government is not worried about the people who owned and lived in those lands for hundreds of years.They have not been resettled. It is a crime against humanity. Rajapaksa is going to chair the CHOGM where 54 heads of nations are going to handshake with him and wish hm well on his Birthday. Those 54 heads of nations are not concerned as to what is happening in Sri Lanka. They want to enjoy with their spouses in Sri lanka. What Rajapaksa has promissed the International Community have not been fulfilled. Yet these heads of Governments say that they are going to meet Rajapaksa at the CHOGM and tell him to fulfill his promises. What a hypocracy.

  • 0
    0

    Dr. Laksiri Fernando: In my opinion your choice of the words for the caption of the article is very thought provoking. It states:”SRI LANKA:BEWARE OF A QUASI -MILITARY RULE”.

    I presume the word “Military” is used as an adjective, meaning “relating to or characteristic of soldiers,arms or war and “Quasi” meaning some degree, partly or seemingly. And it is combined with “Beware” meaning to be wary of something. In short you caution of some “Military type to come”

    There is nothing to “forecast”. It is in operation, since winning the war against LTTE. After the war, we had the Provincial Council elections. Don’t you see how that was conducted and who have been put into administer those institutions and what they are doing as at date. A prominent Presidential Adviser was gunned down in a “big show of gun power” and one of the accused in that case is a Parliamentarian who is also the “Monitoring Minister” of the Ministry of Defense. Look at how many Provincial Chairmen and Councillors are armed with guns and how they conduct themselves in public. One even went to the extent of murdering a foreign tourist and raping his girl friend. Look at the large number of drug dealers, underworld gangs, criminals who roam around the country with the “blessings and close contacts” with the Politicians in high and low positions. Look at the behavior and activities of the sons and other siblings of the Ministers and Politicians. Then look at the involvement of the “Top Brass” of the Police Force who are involved in abductions, murders on contracts and their relations with the criminals. In the latest case even a son of a “big brass” of the Police is wanted for the murders. Next see who this “behavior and activities” have drained down to the village levels.

    The above is briefly to show what a situation has already come about and set in motion. So there is nothing to be “BEWARE”. It has already come and we are “AWARE” and experiencing it.

  • 0
    0

    There is no Emergency prevailing in the country, but Gota and the GOSL are using the Army to control the civilians whenever there is a problem. The law and order has to be maintained by the Police not by the Army. They have no right to shoot at people demonstrating, since there is no Emergency in existence now. The UNHCR & CHOGAM will have to consider this and take the involved to task. The Rajapakses have taken the law into their hands

  • 0
    0

    We are fast becoming a Hosni Mubarak lead Egypt

  • 0
    0

    Notorious family rule should be abolished in the near future.

    Aiya; Chamal;Speaker ( Passing unacceptable laws in Parliament)POLICEKARAYA

    Mallie;Mahinda; President (Destroying the Opposition by buying capable guys)HORA LAWyER

    Other Mallie;Basil;Minister of Economy (making Money for the family)NIKAMA

    Yet another Mallie: Gota : Taking the revange from the poor voters for embarassing the Goverment of Mahinda Aiya. More Powerful than Mahinda
    Aiya. 2ND Luitinent in the Army

    DONT WE HAVE EDUCATED PEOPLE TO CHASE THEM AWAY

    How long are we going to tolerate these uneducated fools as rulers of our beloved motherland

    • 0
      0

      Athauda:- The educated people have long since departed, to take up posts in countries that respect education! GOSL as you point out above, is left with the results of their Education System which aims at creating a Voting base uneducated enough to vote them in AGAIN! Development as the GOSL sees it, without concern for the Environment will lead to creating a desert, where they can bring Arabs and Camels to build up the Economy!

  • 0
    0

    Dear Dr,

    The ruling camp is full of the following.

    1) THUGS
    2) CRIMINALS
    3) LOOTERS
    4) THIEVES

  • 0
    0

    Laksiri Fernando wastes everyone’s time and the space in CT with his pseudo-intellectual ramblings about a regime that he supported not so long ago (and probably still does)
    These were corrupt and violent people from the very inception and you had to be deaf, dumb and blind not to realise that fact.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.