27 September, 2020

Blog

Sri Lanka: Looking Over My Shoulder

By Laura Davies –

Laura Davies - UK's Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

Laura Davies – UK’s Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka

A couple of weeks ago, I went on an official trip to the East.  Starting in Arugam Bay, we drove North all the way to Trincomalee, through Pottuvil, Oluvil, Kalmunai and Batticaloa.  I met with government and political interlocutors, humanitarian workers and civil society organisations, and visited temples, beaches and hospitals.

There was nothing controversial in this – it’s my job to understand what’s happening in Sri Lanka, so that I can advise my government as well as British nationals planning to travel to or invest in Sri Lanka.  Nor was it remotely secret: some of you may have read our press release, followed some of our 13 tweets on the visit or even seen my interviews.  I also blogged about a visit to a Child Action Lanka centre outside Batticaloa.

But it gradually became impossible to ignore the fact that I was being watched.  Worse, it was clear that the people I was meeting were having follow-up visits or phone calls, asking what I had done and said.  Some of this was almost comic: I met with one individual who had invited a large press corps to capture the moment of our meeting.

Towards the end of our discussions, he got a phone call asking him to report whether he knew who the foreigner was in town, despite the fact that his office had already released well-captioned pictures on social media.  But other instances were clearly frightening to individuals and their families.  I was saddened but not surprised that several people were too scared to meet me.

The five years since the end of the war have brought considerable progress and developments.  Sri Lanka has suffered many cycles of devastating violence, and my statement for World Peace Day welcomed the way more Sri Lankans can now enjoy their right to life, as well as new opportunities for economic growth and political participation. There has been a lot of research on the impact of surveillance on societies, and the challenge of balancing security with giving communities the space to live their lives as normally as possible.

Too little security puts everyone at risk.  But too much can alienate people from those who are supposed to be keeping them safe, making it harder to rebuild trust between local communities and government.  It can perpetuate stereotypes, damaging reconciliation.  It can deter people from engaging in perfectly legitimate activities because of their concern about what it might mean for them to come to the attention for the authorities.  It is so damaging to social capital, that it can even affect economic performance.

So I was taken aback by the level of interest that I generated.  Some newspapers have since speculated that I was seeking out testimony for the UN Human Rights Council investigation.  Of course the British Government is interested in the progress of that investigation, and it’s a matter of great regret to us that the Government of Sri Lanka is not cooperating more fully with a report which is intended to look at allegations against all sides involved in the conflict.  But we have absolute confidence in the investigation team’s ability to source and validate its own testimony: I’m not about to try to do their job for them.  And we’re equally interested in Sri Lanka’s domestic mechanisms for reconciliation and accountability.  In an ideal world, the two would be mutually supportive: it’s only by hearing and addressing the grievances of all of those affected by the conflict that Sri Lanka can achieve our common objective of long-lasting stability and prosperity.

*Laura Davies is the Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka and the Maldive. This article appeared in the Foreign & Commonwealth  Office blog today

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 15
    17

    London is one of the most surveilled cities in the world. Britain is actively monitoring possible terrorist threats. It is a trifle ripe for you to complain. Sri Lanka still has many thousands of unreformed unrepentant Tiger cadres. The military is still finding weapons caches. Considering that Sri Lanka went through far more than your nation ever did it is a bit of rubbish for you as a diplomat from a foreign nation to butt into local issues the way you sanctimonious white people do. Look at what you caused in Libya and Iraq. You created chaos. Do not try to destabilize Sri lanka. You guys are not being altruistic nor being consistent. None of you buggers cared tuppence during 1987-80 when there was Tiger terror and JVP terror and Govt terror which wiped out thousands of Sinhalese. Tigers are dangerous when dormant. Do not seek to cause trouble. Look at your track record in Libya first.

    • 4
      0

      Tapping of the mobile phone belonging to a head of state (a supposed ally!!) use of the Australian Embassy to spy on the Indonesians. That is the way to make and keep friends.

    • 4
      4

      Given the track record of British thuggery, deception and exploitation of conflicts to their advantage, the Deputy High Commissioner should not be surprised by the interest shown by security personell. The double talk of reconcilliation has no meaning when Britain has done nothing and shown no remorse for the atrocities committed in many parts of the world. Nowhere they have intervened in disputes with mass killings, bombings and thuggery have they made a positive contribution but, have made the situation worse. No country that was colonised by the British have asked for their return or wish them to return. I have English friends, but politically I don’t trust any of them given the track record of English duplicity. A reminder to the Deputy High Commissione, politically you British are like the PLAGUE and are desrving to be treated as such – keep a watch and keep them at a distance.

      • 3
        4

        Hey, Laaaaaaaaaaal; Pachabahu; Tinkiri; Rober; Other Patriots;

        WE HAVE A GREAT HISTORY of 2500 years of not begging to any Super powers or any F KING.
        So, Even we do not have Finger Nails, [because of our BRAINY POLITIKKAS].
        We must Show them STILL WE CAN SCRACH OUR ARSE.

        They, the Brits or Other western countries ambassadors or high commissioners should not advise their governments on sri lanka.

        Other westerners, as well as British nationals should not travel to or invest in Sri Lanka.
        BECAUSE NOW WE HAVE Chinese and North Korean tourists and investors. bringing Billions of YUANS to invest here,
        and they bring all the foods and technical know how and things to donate to Sri Lankans Like Our MARA F king donated millions of dollars to Rascal Palestinians.

        High commissioner, Ambassadors, PLEASE PLEASE!!!!
        Tell your governments to, Please take Back what ever your people have Given US!!!!!! .
        WE DO NOT WANT your apparel quota,We will sell apparels to China.

        WE DO NOT WANT your Educations No need of LAW, MEDICAL degrees.
        WE DO NOT WANT your Planted Tea, We will start Chinese tea plantations and Export to china. and African new friends.

        WE DO NOT WANT your Road and rail lines, Take back your Road net works , we are building Chinese roads here With 0% interest and 30% commissions.
        WE DO NOT WANT your Tourists or any westerner researchers here,
        instead We will get Indian RAW researchers, Chapaathy tourists and Chinese Noodles Tourists.

        WE DO NOT WANT your Reservoirs and DAMS in sri lanka,Please take them back or else we will dynamite them and destroy.
        WE DO NOT WANT POPE here, He is also a Westerner, We will bring MAO SEI DONG followers like our communist, Leftist Human rights crusader F king MARA.
        OH
        WE DO NOT WANT your F KING CRICKET TOO. And cricket money also.
        Even
        WE DO NOT WANT your ENGLISH language also, Please take back your ENGLISH language !!!!!!!.
        We have 199 % literacy and many are becoming over night LAWYERS, [ Fathers and Sons with Cheated Law degrees]
        WE are going to Speak CHINEESE AND HINDI very soon!!!!!!!!.
        WE DO NOT WANT your Western citizenships, even though we did pump gas in America.
        E
        WE DO NOT WANT Your TIME ALSO, IT IS GEENWICH????????????.
        WE DO NOT WANT your western attire, your Trousers, Shirts, Skirts Blouses!!!!!

        WE WILL GO NAKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

        • 3
          3

          Stupidity at its highest!

          • 3
            2

            Nuisance

            “Stupidity at its highest!”

            Certainly well below yours.

    • 7
      1

      Har! hear!!

      Despite what you say Roger, those neocon men and women (check the name Laura Davies, she is as neocon as Jacob Cohen)in the UK and US embassies expect complete freedom to undermine us in our land.

      Our embassy in London is surveilled 24 hrs a day, including any Sri Lankans who come and go there.

      But when our intelligence agencies do their job against these conspirators, they go to the media and complain!

      Good on you Sri Lankan intelligence services. Keep at it. gather evidence and expell them.

  • 13
    7

    I am the first to agree with you that all is not well in Sri Lanka. The expanding role of the military, the lack of a free press, lack of equal opportunity and many more as a direct result of the actions of this government.

    But I am not at all surprised at how you were watched and monitored because your country is leading a motion to investigate and punish unnamed war criminals (who everyone knows are Mahinda Rajapakse and his Brother Gotabhaya). Not that you beleive that all war criminals should be punished either. In fact British Soldiers commited far more gratuitous and horrific crimes against the Kikuyu in Kenya just in the 1960s (Let us not even talk about Afghanistan and Iraq). One of the perpertrators a Capt. Griffiths who ordered his men to stick a baynot in anyone who is Kikuyu and report them as Mau Mau is still living free in the UK. So we all know this is just a cynical step by the UK which more than anyone knows what happens in war, (as it has been at war with virtually every country in the world) to counter Chinese influence in Sri Lanka.

    War crimes were countenanced all over the world by the UK as long it was “our bastard” without anything being tabled at the UN. But your sudden interest in Sri Lankan war crimes where 60 odd surrendering LTTE top brass were sumarily executed is a bit suspect. The case where the NFZ was shelled to bisect it in two and drive the population outwards may or may not technically be a war crime. I guess it depends on the number of people actually killed but there seems to be an industry around getting as high an estimate for this as possible in the hope that International pressure would weigh in and grant Eelam to a few who want to secede, but only with a hugely disproportionate area of Sri Lanka’s territory.

    So basically the UK has played its hand and made its intentions clear at the UN. Can you then blame Gota’s military for being suspicious when you visit the East and try to gather information or encourage further dissent?

    My advise to you is to isolate this regime, dont play cricket, dont sell arms, impose travel bans (even to the UN) for the President, cabinet and its henchmen. Go after their assets stolen from Sri Lanka stached away in the West.

    Going around and fomenting trouble like what the US and NATO did just prior to the shenanigans in Ukraine and Syria might achieve regime change eventually. But it will also reduce the country to what is now Syria and Ukraine. This is our worry.

    • 4
      3

      Dingiri

      Very well said. Hats off to you .

      • 3
        5

        Dr.Goebells

        “Very well said. Hats off to you.”

        Dingiri talks Bull.

    • 3
      5

      dingiri

      What is your point if there is one?

      “But your sudden interest in Sri Lankan war crimes where 60 odd surrendering LTTE top brass were sumarily executed is a bit suspect.”

      So you want UK to actively support the SL Armed forces to cover up all their war crimes.

      Do you think most readers in this forum do not know as to what UK did/doing/ will do through out the world?

      From 1987 to 1990 British helped JR and Premadasa in their dirty war against JVP.

      So what is your problem?

      • 4
        2

        So Veddah, you read my post and concluded that I am arguing for
        “…UK to actively support the SL Armed forces to cover up all their war crimes..”?
        What a leap of inference that?

        I am sorry but the only thing Veddah about you is your logic and level of litteracy. :-)

        • 2
          5

          dingiri

          “I am sorry but the only thing Veddah about you is your logic and level of litteracy. :-)”

          Never mind my logic and level of litteracy. Its so happened all my teachers were either Sinhalese or Tamils.

          “What a leap of inference that?”

          So what is your point if there is one?

          By the way literacy is not spelled litteracy.

  • 5
    8

    OUR SL GOVERNMENT SHOULD STOP THESE STUPID ACTS. WE LIVE IN A MODERN AGE AND A MODERN WORLD!

    IF SOMEONE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT BRITAIN, THEY’D BETTER AVOID TALKING ABOUT BRITAIN FOR TRUTH’S SAKE PLEASE. I AM LIVING AND FULLY ENGAGED IN WITH THIS GORGEOUS, WONDERFUL COUNTRY WHICH IS A CREATION OF FULL OF MIRACLES BUILT OVER MANY A CENTURIES BY INTELLECTUALS, PHILOSOPHERS, LET ALONE THE ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS AND THE LIKE. FOR INSTANCE, THE VERY WAY OF THEIR THINKING STRUCTURE ITSELF IS OF VERY HIGH STANDARD ONE. IT EMBODIES: FREEDOM, INNOVATION, DIGNITY, PRIDE, HONOUR AND EVERYTHING NEEDED TO BUILD A COMPLETE PERSONALITY. SECONDLY, THE SENSE OF RESPECT FOR LAW IN EACH OF THE CITIZEN IS THE REASON WHY ITS HAPPENING THAT WAY. HM THE QUEEN (UNARGUABLY THE MOST POWERFUL SINGLE SOURCE OF POLITICAL POWER IN THE WORLD) HERSELF WON’T INTERFERE WITH THE JUDICIARY IN THIS COUNTRY.

    SURVEILLANCE AND OTHER SCREENING PROCESSES ARE IN PLACE NOT ONLY FOR ITS SECURITY PURPOSES. THIS COUNTRY, ESPECIALLY THE CITY OF LONDON, NEEDS SUCH A INTEGRAL FEATURE FOR THE PURPOSE OF SMOOTH HANDLING OF ITS AFFAIRS RELATED TO A CITY WHERE SOME 8-9 MILLION PEOPLE LIVE. IN THE EVENT OF NON-AVAILABILITY OF SUCH A SOPHISTICATED TOUCH IN EVERY APSECT OF LIFE ITS FUNCTIONALITY IN THIS TECH-SAVVY ERA WILL TAKE THE ENTIRE SYSTEM TO A TOTAL COLLAPSE IN SECONDS..

    BUT WHAT IT POTENTIALLY IMPLIES HERE BY THE DEPUTY H-C EFFORTS IN EXPLAINING HER DIFFICULTY FACED THROUGH THIS ARTICLE WOULD BE THE TYPICAL HARASSMENT THEY HAD TO EXPERIENCE WHEN THEY WERE TRYING TO DO SOME SERVICE TO SOME OF OUR OWN FELLOW CITIZENS SOMEWHERE IN OUR COUNTRY. WHAT WE NEED TO DO ACTUALLY NOT DISTURBING THEM BUT TO HELP THEM IN THEIR GOOD WORK. WE SHOULD NOT DISPLAY THAT WE ARE LIVING IN A WILD AGE. WE NEED TO INTERACT WITH THE REST OF THE WORD IN A MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE WAY. MUCH MORE OPEN WAY THAN THIS! AFTER ALL, THEY ARE DIPLOMATS. THEY SHOULD BE FREE FROM SUCH MISTREATMENT BY OUR GOVERNMENT. SUCH INTIMIDATING ACTS ARE NOT ONLY AGAINST THE ACCEPTED NORMS OF DIPLOMACY ALONE, THESE ARE AGAINST ANY FUNDAMENTAL ETHICS FOR A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT TO DO SUCH THINGS TO EMBARRASS ANY OFFICIAL FOR THAT MATTER.
    THANK YOU
    SENAKA (RATHGAMA KOLLA)

    • 13
      2

      stop writing in ALL CAPS !

    • 6
      4

      Stop screaming like an idiot.

      cheers

      Abhaya

      • 3
        2

        Now it is high time you to change your speaking end right?

        As born Rajapakshe cougher, it could take many more months to grasph the reality of the current situation.

        • 1
          2

          Sun@,
          he is a man who can never know what end to be used next.
          This man is even worst than previous leela.
          If Abhaya opens his mouth – it is all partial to brutal Rajapakshes. So, this kind of idiots are the majority in srilanka. But i wonder a man who has been living in the states to react in this way.

      • 4
        4

        Abaya “Stop screaming like an idiot.”

        Abaya you can’t stop screaming LIKE AN IDIOT.

        since you are AN IDIOT

  • 8
    3

    My advise to you is to isolate this regime, dont play cricket, dont sell arms, impose travel bans (even to the UN) for the President, cabinet and its henchmen. Go after their assets stolen from Sri Lanka stached away in the West.

    See how UK protected Agusto Pinoche.

    UK never care about any crimes as long as it serves them.

    Otherwise, hoe UK keeps so much looted stuff from asia in their museums. How do they they destroy Iraq, Afghanisgtan, Libya, Egypt and now eyeing siria. That is not the end of the list.

  • 4
    3

    We all know about the Ca morons dance , that is why you need to be watched . We need to watch our fake friends more than we do our enemies .

    Cheeers

    Abhaya

  • 3
    3

    What is controversial in Sri Lanka is exposing the lies of this government. The government trumpeted to the world that all the IDPs were settled in their homes. But, the Deputy HC, Laura Davies, didn’t your PM David Cameron visited one of the tin-huts in Jaffna where the IDPs whose homes were forcibly occupied the military are languishing under the hot sun.

    Sure, it is not your personal fault that your forefathers merged all three kingdoms into Ceylon and handed over to the ethnic majority without foreseeing the oppression and persecution. They divided India on religious basis. If they had set up a sort of Federal system for different communities to develop their cultures and languages without one encroaching on another we would have prevented bloodshed and loss of hundreds of thousands and would have progressed like other civilised nations.

  • 6
    9

    What are the duties of this Deputy High Commissioner? Why did this woman visit northern Sri lanka and talked to government and political interlocutors, humanitarian workers and civil society organisations? Is this part of her job? Has she visited the southern communities and visit their politicians interlocutors and civil society organizations and looked at their shortcomings?
    Does the UK Deputy High Commissioner in the US visit poverty stricken, discriminated and crime ridden areas of the US and talk to government and political interlocutors, humanitarian workers and civil society organisations?
    Why all these only in Sri Lanka? Why does everyone so concerned about Sri Lanka and wants SL to be a super country?

    • 3
      2

      Answer would be expelling her from Colombo , problem solved ! if it doesn’t work ,then expel John Rankin as well.

      • 5
        2

        Why expell? The government, the miltary and the whole world kbnows about British duplicity. Allow the woman to grin and to roam around and wear herself out. English are known for acting like your friend, and stabbing you in the back. They have done done that successfully in many parts of the world, act as friend and taking over the land and resources. Thugs, looters and thieves! They know that we know but cannot kick the habit. Beware of the smile (more a grin), there is an assassin about!

        • 2
          5

          Hey Sudda Haters,
          Expelling Sudda diplomats sounds good… go ahead ask your king to do that. By the way, do you know that EU buys 24% SL exports (mainly apparels, no high tech or high demanding stuff), US buys another 25%. Be brave and tell them that you DO NOT want any special tariffs from those barbarians (in your own universes)…
          Your king’s best friend, rich China buys only 1%. Ask China to give you special tariffs like Barbarian West has given to you..and sell your products to China, your princes need foreign dollars to buy their lamborghinis .. First, be brave, stop accepting any special tariffs or any grants or low interest loans from West. Demand them to treat you as equal..Aren’t you equals? Then start expelling those western diplomats… You guys with 2500 years of history can do it…
          One last thing, If British didn’t defeat last Tamil King (third consecutive Tamil King) ruling from Kandy, isn’t there possibility that you guys are still under Tamil King? Don’t you have any gratitude towards Sudda for that? I hate it though. if it was’t Sudda, Lanka should be governed by Tamil King/President now. It is like Obama leading white majority in USA.. How beautiful :-(
          Anura Vidiya Bandara

          • 3
            0

            avb,
            Who said that they should be expelled. They should not be allowed to interfere with internal affairs of the host country.

            Do you know who lend money to your favorite UK and US? Without that money what are they going to buy? Also, if they stop buying SL apparel their consumers will pay higher prices at home. Even Chinese apparel is getting expensive to them now. Most western govs. are basically run by big businesses. These businesses demand tax cuts, cheap labor and cheap imports for their customers from any country they want. Politicians who don’t abide by their requests are taken cared by their money at the elections. If your flawed theory is correct China would be the poorest country on earth. You need to learn how these countries operate!

            My other advice for you. Stop reminiscing the past. You can’t change what already happened. Think what you can change today and in the future.

            • 2
              4

              Nuisance

              If a country wants it to be treated well it should treat its people well.

              If your husband doesn’t treat your family well then stranger will find excuses to grope you, your daughters, your sisters, your mother, and your grandmas too.

              In the fullness of time all of you will begin to enjoy his company and long to have him at your home all the time.

              Tell your husband to behave himself so no stranger can grope you.

              • 6
                2

                vedda,
                What does your statement has to do with a foreigner who appears to create discomposure in a country where she is a visitor?

                Are you a sick man? Why do you bring up sexually laced nonsensical scenarios to explain your flawed low IQ ways of thinking?

        • 0
          1

          Lal,

          You haven’t come up with an answer for the issue , what is your solution ? i gave my mine !

    • 5
      5

      Nonsense,

      If there is nothing to hide – why are you worried????

      • 6
        1

        anpu,
        You need to grow up!
        You can’t allow other countries to violate our laws and diplomatic laws based on your alleged “hidings”.

    • 4
      4

      Eusense

      “Why all these only in Sri Lanka?”

      ‘Unthinkable sexual abuse and torture’: Sri Lankan asylum seekers say they have been victims of harrowing brutality after being sent home by Australia
      Dr David Corlett went undercover in Sri Lanka under the guise of a tourist for a week last month
      He spoke to asylum seekers who were sent back to their country by Australia and suffered horrendous brutality
      The abuse is alleged to have been by hands of Sri Lankan security forces
      Victims were abducted and not released until bribes were paid

      Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2773447/Relentless-sexual-abuse-torture-reports-harrowing-brutality-endured-Sri-Lankan-asylum-seekers-sent-home-Australia.html

    • 3
      3

      Eusense,

      You did not quote the Deputy High Commissioner’s statement in full, namely, ” it’s my job to understand what’s happening in Sri Lanka, so that I can advise my government as well as British nationals planning to travel to or invest in Sri Lanka”.

      Sri Lanka depends on the import by British and EU of manufactured, agricultural and sea products and their currency that is remitted by expatriates to balance her to balance the deficits. Sri Lanka also wants Britain to invest internally but all of them can only happen if the British High Commission sees the conditions are right. But US doesn’t depend on Britain’s investment or currency.

      • 5
        2

        saro,
        If it is her job to do what she did, how many areas in the south has she visited to understand what’s happening there to advise her government as well as British nationals planning to travel to or invest in Sri Lanka? Do the deputy HC in US do the same in the US?

        How many EU and British manufactured agriculture, sea products or for that matter anything do you get in Sri Lanka? How many things in your home are made in the EU or UK? EU and UK households are full of Chinese made products. Citizens of UK and EU can’t afford their own products because of the high cost of labor. How many British companies have investments in Sri Lanka? Can you name any? Compare that with other countries like China, Japan and India. You need to realize that these western countries are becoming poorer by the day.
        Yes, the expatriate send money to SL. So what are you trying to say?

    • 5
      0

      Too bad MOST dip-low-mats work beyond their territory… They should be restricted in interfering in the affairs of other countries… The WEST always have double standards… switch the side of the table… will a SL diplomat be EVER allowed to do what the Brit embassy staff does here? I bet not.. Moreover they decide on who to support and whom not to based on their needs…. They ARM REBELS in certain countries…and then they call elected govt as terrorists…how can they support Israel for all the murders and for turning a blind eye on how many laws are violated by Israel.. how ironic is that USA too arm the rebels against most elected govt BUT help the Bahraini govt to massacure the rebels in Bahrain? double standards always is their game…

      Not that I am a supporter of the current regime…. but hey DID the WEST assist SL govt to put down terrorism? Heck NO and now they come in to mess things here… Madame Diplomat… do what your govt pays u to do…and that IS NOT interfering in the politics of SL…

      • 0
        1

        Snowden Edward ,

        ” but hey DID the WEST assist SL govt to put down terrorism? Heck NO and now they come in to mess things here… “

        why don’t you read Wiki leaks for a change to find out who supported SL during the war !

  • 4
    4

    Laura, the lovely blokes from the comical presidential security division/CID/Spies are looking after you safety.

    Seriously, the locals simply disappear, but in your case they cannot touch you so they try to intimidate you so that you will leave.

  • 0
    0

    Laura Davies; how brave of you to venture into the interior. All in the line of duty. Of course you attracted attention; we have paid particularly attention to white skins ever since Lourenço de Almeida took a shine to our island delights and proceeded to make himself and his men at home in our maritime regions. The fact that our security bods established that you were a British government employee meant that they paid even closer attention than normal. You see, our more flamboyant politicians have developed a regular habit of reminding the populace that the Brits et al, are preparing for a comeback. Now, now, you mustn’t be flattered. They still tell stories of yore around the campfires of a cool night, of the dastardly deeds done by the Last Coloniser of Old Ceylon. The political exertions since independence have revolved around the Sinhala-Buddhist community who supply the core democratic majority. Other minorities are ‘tolerated’ though you might have got the impression over these last few years that many of the Sinhalese-Buddhist would rather not have this pollution of their island Buddhist haven. So everything you said (and what was said to you) during your bucolic perambulations would have been duly reported and analysed in a spacious, newly white-washed, office nearer the capital. You really should be flattered. The people you interacted with would have been all sweetness and light – we are like that. But rest assured that behind your back, they would have reminded themselves and each other of your history. You see our Sri Lankans (particularly our Sinhalese) take pride in befriending the Russians, Chinese, Japanese, Cubans, Venezuelans, Brazilians etc who are themselves no strangers to a bit of colonisation. Ah, but you see, they did not colonise Sri Lanka. So that’s all right, then.
    We simply cannot make up our minds as to how to relate to you British. Try as we might we cannot get away from your language, your games, and all those myriad things that have made us gravitate towards you. Many of our fighting men have been trained in your august institutions – Sandhurst, Wellington, Dartmouth – to name just a few. Count the innumerable Sri Lankans who have made a beeline for the schools and universities of your green and pleasant land. You must have met some of the many brown sahibs who still do their best to keep the flag flying in this dusty outpost. Still, you cannot get away from the fact that we are an ungrateful lot. Anything that the British would do for us will be rubbished and declared ‘we really didn’t need it’ or ‘we could have done without’. Ulterior motives will be read into your every move. We need the British tourist and the money they bring, we smile and indulge them, but behind their backs most of our Sinhalese community would rather they didn’t have to.
    By local consensus you have done enough damage. So why don’t the British retreat into the shadows, keep a low profile, take a back seat. Leave us to sort out our affairs. NO, we don’t need constructive criticism. We simply need NO interference. NO, we do not need ‘monitoring’. The constant Sri Lankan bleat is that you divided the communities and then made some your favourites. Please leave us in peace and let us work things out our way. Even if sometimes it will end up with us killing each other.

  • 3
    0

    Eusense has raised certain questions to which the answers are obvious. UK and other countries act as if they have a right to interfere.

    But on the other hand it must be obvious to them that there is something wrong in this country when the Presidents own brothers ( who say they are very patriotic)either live in the USA or have dual citizenships in those countries. The former president Chandrika Bandarnayake’s two children also have chosen to live in UK. I think JR Jayawardhanas grand children also live in america.Many sri lankans are desperately trying to get into UK ,USA ,Canada as economic refugees.

    Our President suddenly took off to USA on advice of astrologers one month ago.Most elite sri lankans have their money in european countries, singapore etc.All the ministers want to educate their children in UK or australia. ( what about free education ? only good for the jokers who are trapped in little sri lanka ?)

    Mind you none of these ministers are tax payers but do not explain how they fund these education extravagance.

    Even sri Lanakn muslims and bodu Bala types will give an arm or a leg to go to the west ! I have noticed that any sri lankan who goes abroad feel superior to those stuck here.

    Even this website(CT) is run from UK as the editors dont feel safe in their own country !The latest news is that sri lankan high commissioner in UK Chris Nonis was assaulted in new York by the minister monitoring foreign affairs ! The Minister is sri lankan educated while the high commissioner was educated in UK.

    So we cannot really blame any foreigner for wanting to investigate this interesting little place ! They will find some really good stuff !

  • 1
    1

    SL gover should use better surveillance methods like Brits do not the ones who get caught..otherwise i have no problem with surveillance

  • 0
    0

    “But too much can alienate people from those who are supposed to be keeping them safe, making it harder to rebuild trust between local communities and government…” Right on the ball, dear Lady.

    The regime, which has turned this country into a Police State suspects everyone – including its own shadow. The gulf between the people – the poor, middle class and the rich – has widened to unprecedented levels.
    Only the few dozens of cronies and drug-related businessmen who are with the regime. Despite all the skulduggery in the Uva Elections the Govt escaped by a whisker. Our Royal Highness has now got the fright of Moses into him. And the coming events in Geneve next March gives him the shivers – 24×7. Worse is that the Chief Prosecutor of the Int’l Court of Justice (Hague) admitted – in an interview with BBC’s Stephen Sachur in Hard Talk, that the ICJ has lent itself to the charge of partiality by going after African leaders only so far. Bringing in truant leaders like the Rajapakses will make the required difference apparently is the obvious hint. So it looks like the entire battalion of soothsayers and kattadiyas in the country cannot save our man from the fate that befell Mrs.B in 1977.

    Backlash

  • 0
    2

    Thank you for this dispatch Ms Laura Davies — giving us your unreserved view on the state of affairs in the East, especially relating to the ongoing (military and government) surveillance on people’s movements – quite revealing – you have only confirmed what we already know. Imagine how it must be for the people, and how frightening it is when you yourself with all your foreign office backing had to watch your step, while the authorities were watching your every step, in a country where the President exercises his right to speak to the UN General Assembly but denies access to UN investigators, denying thereby the people’s right to testify; whilst he addresses the UN with no fear, the people are scared to speak!

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.