17 October, 2017

Sri Lanka Slanders And Vilifies VVIPS

By S. V. Kirubaharan

S. V. Kirubaharan

During our 1st standard, we were taught about fairy tales. One interesting story was about “The fox and the grapes”. A fox was very anxious to eat grapes. To achieve its goal, it was jumping up to a bunch of grapes that was hanging from a vine-tree. When the fox became tired of reaching for that bunch of grapes, he eventually said: “Those grapes are very sour”. I see a similar situation between the Sri Lankan government – SLG and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights – HCHR.

It is a long story about every successive Sri Lanka government. They cordially invite VVIPs; entertain them with anything and everything – free air passage, free food and lodging in 5-star hotels, helicopter tours to mountainous cities and beaches. During their stay, they will be brain-washed and made to feel obliged to Sri Lanka. Then they will meet a few high-profile persons – President, Defence Secretary, Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and others. At the end of their tour, they will be given the most precious gifts including Gems. This is how every Sri Lankan government has successfully cheated and fooled – or tried to – those who speak about the worsening Sri Lankan human rights record. A few who have already benefited from and enjoyed this interesting offer by the SLG, have told us about it subsequently. Of course some duty-minded persons have rejected this corrupt business.

Those who are not caught in this elegant trap will be slandered and vilified systematically – a fate, which both the present and the previous HCHR, met when they visited Sri Lanka. The SLG panicked, highly disappointed about their honest and dedicated approach to the problem of the country’s deteriorating human rights situation and war crimes. The very same slander and vilification were metered out to Indian leaders and diplomats when they were supportive towards the Tamils up until 1987.

During their mission to any country, the HCHR and their staff never depend on the host country for any logistical support. This is the starting point where the Sri Lankan government found it difficult to offer their usual corrupt hospitality.

When the present HCHR, Mrs Navi pillay was appointed, Sri Lankan representatives met her within a week of her assignment, in September 2008. Also every time when Sri Lankan Ministers visited Geneva, they meet the HCHR. I presume that every Sri Lankan Representative in Geneva including Tamara Kulanayagam must have met and briefed the HCHR and her staff.

In other words, for at least the last five years, the SLG has been doing business with the HCHR and her office, the OHCHR. So now what!

Why is it, that now the OHCHR’s ethnicity has been raised by racists in Sri Lanka?  If their logic proved to be right, then none of the cases of the Tamils can be brought before a Singhalese Judge!

No-one has forgotten what happened to the members of the Eminent Persons group, nor Canadian Ambassador Allan Rock, who undertook a UN mission to Sri Lanka; Norwegian main mediator Erik Solheim; World Bank, Chief Peter Harrold and Heads of Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission – SLMM, Major General (retired) Trond Furuhovde, Major General (Retd.) Tryggve Tellefsen, Mr Hagrup Haukland, Major General Ulf Henricsson, Major General Lars Johan Solvberg, other members of the SLMM and many others.

The visit by the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under Secretary General of Humanitarian Affairs, Sir John Holmes in August 2007, created a necessarily tense dynamic, some would say, between the UN and the government of Sri Lanka.

This is not the first time that a controversy like this has arisen between SLG and the UN or other international institutions and VVIPs. There is a habitual pattern.

Soon after Sir John Holmes report was published, then Sri Lankan Prime Minister Mr. Ratnasiri Wickremanayake told Parliament, “The government of Sri Lanka, in no uncertain terms, rejects John Holmes’ assertion that Sri Lanka is not safe for humanitarian workers…  The government cannot but feel that Sir John has contributed to those who seek to discredit the government and tarnish its international image.” (BBC-South Asia, 10 August 2007) 

That was followed by similar statements from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government Defence spokesman and the clown of the political circle, Keheliya Rambukwella and a few others.

When Kofi Annan visited Sri Lanka in January 2005, he wanted to see the Tsunami-devastated area in the LTTE – Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam administrated areas. This was to assess tsunami damage and speak to the people where tens of thousands of Tamils were killed and many more lost their homes and livelihoods.  But Sri Lankan government blocked his visit to those Tamil areas and started the usual slander offensive on Kofi Annan. This is similar to what is happening presently to the HCHR. Kofi Annan was accused of planning to meet the LTTE Leader Pirapaharan.

Before we go into the latest visit of the HCHR, let us see what happened in October 2007 to the visit of her predecessor, Canadian Supreme court Judge Louis Arbour. As a part of propaganda, Sri Lanka invited Louis Arbour and then allowed only limited access. At the time there was much turmoil between the Louis Arbour and the government. On the last day, Louis Arbour was forced to have her Press conference jointly with then Minister of Human Rights. In the press conference Louis Arbour could not say much independently. This fits the Sri Lankan pattern perfectly. If the visitor refuses to agree to their term and conditions, they antagonise, bully and then discredit them.

Prior to Louis Arbour’s visit to Sri Lanka, TCHR – Tamil Centre for Human Rights said on 21 August 2007, “……. we would like to state that, whoever wishes to visit Sri Lanka should be prepared to release only statements ignoring the government’s horrendous human rights record. If anyone happens to make an independent comment about the realities in Sri Lanka, they will be branded as a “Terrorist” or as “helping the terrorists”. Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who intends to visit Sri Lanka in October should be prepared either to go along with the government or to face condemnation.” (Excerpt  – Tamil Centre for Human Rights – TCHR, 21 August 2007) 

It is the same situation now, for the HCHR. They met, they discussed, they took photographs for their publicity and propaganda and they tried to brain-wash her! As all their attempts have failed, now they are trying to discredit her and tarnish her image.

If the HCHR’s ethnicity is a problem, why did the SLG never object at the beginning? Why did they meet her within five days of her assignment starting? Why did they invite her to Sri Lanka?

Prof G.L. Peiris is telling utter lies just for his bread and butter. It seems surprising for a Cambridge-educated person to behave in this manner. He misinterprets and twists even those things which are clearly black and white. So how can one possibly deal with him!

Rajapaksa’s regime said that the UN Secretary General wanted to meet LTTE Leader Pirapaharan and the HCHR wanted to give a floral tribute to the same. In time to come no-one knows what else the SLG may say! Will they say that the HCHR visited Vanni to meet the LTTE leader?!

“If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man.” – James Byron Dean, an American actor (1931 –1955) 

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Latest comments

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    /*
    Tamil Centre for Human Rights
    */

    A bit of an oxymoron isn’t it?

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      @ Vibushana
      You are a Guinness book of world record moron. Did you even read what the man has written?

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        Not everyone can read. Even if they read not everyone can understand. Please consider them. Your comments may hurt them

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      Vibhushana

      “Tamil Centre for Human Rights”

      Yes it is similar to Sinhala/Buddhism, Democracy in this island,……

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    SV Kirubahsran asking “….Why is it, that now the OHCHR’s ethnicity has been raised by racists in Sri Lanka? …”

    Why? Because she is very very biased in Srilankan affairs siding with one ethinic group … One writer explains it in the island like this ..

    . “…..When Pillay raised the question of the Buddhist flag and the statue of D. S. Senanayke at the Independence Square she exhibited naïve Tamil racism like a child who does things to satisfy the elders. After all she should have known that Sri Lanka is a Sinhala Buddhist country, as much as US and South Africa are Christian countries in spite of what their constitutions may say, though perhaps she may not know that the Brownrigg who rigged the Sinhala English accord aka the Kandyan convention of 1815 had promised to protect Buddhism in the said accord. She would definitely not ask Obama why he took the oath with his hand on the Bible and not on the Dhammapada or Bhagavad Gita not to mention Quran. The naïve Tamil racist in Pillay probably wants to remove the Senanayaka statue from the Independence Square as DS Senanayaka was a Sinhala politician. I do not agree that D. S. Senanayaka and the Congress fought for independence of the country and when compared to Keppitipola, Puran Appu, Gongalegoda Banda, Anagarika Dharmapala and numerous Bhikkus and lay people who fought for independence after 1815, the Congress leaders were nowhere near. However, to question the President on the statue of Senanayaka merely because the latter was a Sinhala, Pillay behaved like an arrogant girl in spite of her age. I am not at all surprised by the lukewarm response of the UNP on this matter as the party has always been an agent of the non nationalist forces. Would Pillay suggest the removal of the statue of Washington or Lincoln or some other President of the USA merely because they were Anglo Saxon Americans?…”

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      This Love and Hate game has been quite common to the SLG. When the Americans and the Indians had laid the plan to annihilate VP and the LTTE by removing all witnesses including the UN, after paying and promising the Tamil Nadu Politicians both Karunanindhi and Jayalalitha, that Devolution will be granted to the Tamils in the North and the East in addition to a way out for VP as well, They all cooperated by keeping quiet when the MR govt. was drumming for the whole world to hear that the LTTE had been holed up in Kilinochchi and would be wiped. Both Karunanindhi and Jayalalitha were supportive of MR and the Chinthanites here were of full praise to them. For that matter Karunanindhi’s daughter visited the North here and was of high praise to MR in the manner how he was handling the Misplaced in the North. Then suddenly things turned sour when the Tamil Nadu Politicians realized that they had been taken for a ride by the Americans and the Indian Central govt as far as the Tamils in Sri Lanka was concerned and that many of them had been killed. Today Loves labour is lost between the Tamil Nadu Politicians and the MR Chinthanites and the Chinthanites hate and berate the Tamil Nadu Politicians every turn.

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      Which idiot said, we fought for our independence.
      Neither D. S. Senanayaka and the Congress nor Keppitipola, Puran Appu, Gongalegoda Banda, Anagarika Dharmapala and numerous Bhikkus and lay people fought for the independence? The Sri Lankans did not fight with British as a nation would fight against a colonial power for independence. Puran Appu and/or Gongalegoda Banda did not fight a national struggle (a brief uprising limited for few days, as a direct response to the introduction of new tax by the then Governor Torrington), Keppetipola fought for personal reasons and so were the others.

      Unlike the Indians (Mahatma Gandhi, Jawalhal Nehru, Mohd Ali Ginna, Subash Chandra Bose, and others) who suffered for their Independence, the Sinhalese whom Anagarika Dhammapala termed as ‘Kalu Suddho’ collaborated with the British, who gave us Independence on a platter (without shedding a single drop of tears, sweat or blood) and made them leaders to rule the entire country.

      The Indian leaders Mohandas Gandhi along with Jawaharlal Nehru and Mohamad Ali Jinna fought for it peacefully, Subash Chandra Bose fought for it violently, and Sri Lanka got it free along with the Indians without spilling any blood, sweat or tears.

      Monarawila Keppetipola in 1818, Puran Appu in 1848, Mayadunne, Gongalegoda Banda, Kudapola Rahula thero, Wariyapola Sumangala and a few others were rebels who fought at different periods (long before independence) for different issues/reasons, it had nothing to do with the Independence. They were easily crushed and were executed very long before Sri Lanka obtained independence.

      Did anybody fight and succeed in sending the Brits out of the country?
      None of their struggle contributed to the Independence of Sri Lanka, it was granted in 1948, only after the British were forced to leave the region due to Gandhi’s struggle in India. When the British gave independence to India, they found that it is time to leave this region and it is pointless keeping a tiny country like Sri Lanka. In 1948, we got it free on a platter, thanks to Gandhi and the Indians. Go and listen to Nanda Malini’s song ‘Nidahas baila’, it is very well composed with the facts.

      Very similar to some of the Sinhala rebellion against the British rule even the Tamils have rebelled. Pandara Vanniyan (Kulasegaram Vairamuthu Pandaravanniyan) was known as one of last native Tamil chiefs to challenge British rule.

      We should not forget the service rendered by Sir Ponnampalam Ramanathan at that time and the Sinhalese including Anagarika Dharmapala called him a hero.

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        Anagarika Somapala, you put your finger right on the lie that Sri Lanka fought for its independence. The truth remains that inspite of the few notable exceptions who raised their voices, SL was granted independence when the mandarins in Whitehall convinced their british political masters that the years of colonial subservience were coming to an end. Sri Lanka had a history of colonial acquiescence whereby notable grandees of the Sinhalese and Tamils entered into tacit understanding with the colonial adventurers to deliver their communities and to keep any hotheads in check. This was amply rewarded by some very lucrative patronage and mutual admiration. Consider the last great manifestation: Solomon West Ridgeway…Anglican…Oxford. Nice work if you can get it! And the Banda’s never looked back. But even after independence the show goes on; the brown sahibs who inherited control of our island paradise will take swipes at the ‘evil west’ for home consumption but cannot resist sending their sprogs to the west to be educated in English (the proles can go to Lumumba University etc).
        Aiyoo! Aiyoo!

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      Obama is free to choose any book when he took the oath. He is not required by law to talk the bible. It is his religion and tradition. It is a tradition like the Sinhalease culture – “start your day with a lie”.

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    Kiru baby, keep reading those fairy tales……… the story of an eelam was never published.
    !

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    Bruno- we are waiting for Navi Pillay’s reply to Ranil’s letter clarifying these 2 issues published in a SL daily.
    They simply lowered her standard of intelligence and expertise on HR.
    This will not work.

    At the rate things are happening in the north – lets wait.

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    So now DS is at fault. Dudes and Dudettes, address the issues that are currently plaguing the country and figure out ways of preventing further disasters. Removing statues can be reversed, illegal agreements can be cancelled, bribes taken and given can be traced, if the will is there to do so.
    The tragedy of Sri Lanka is that EVERYONE is playing for themselves and NO ONE is thinking of the nation including the luminaries who enlighten us on CT. Until we find a few selfless leaders, we will suffer.

    Look up the backgrounds of some of the contributors. Some directly benefited from the circumstances they find offensive today. Others benefited through their families or are still benefiting through their families. All the while, expecting the innocent ‘common man’ (a very 70’s era term) to bear the brunt of them feeding at the trough!

    Has any of the 140 plus ministers justified their existence? Let alone all their relatives on state payroll.

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    A very good article on the shameful pattern of behaviour of this government towards the UN and its agencies and staff whenever a critical report is made against it.

    The regime is composed of uneducated, uncouth, corrupt and criminal thugs and what else could one expect from it other than uncivilised language and behaviour.

    The front-man for the regime, the educated but utterly shameless, J L Peiris insults and tells untruths about those people who criticise the Sri Lankan regime’s atrocities against its own people. How he manages to keep a straight face during his meetings with foreign dignitaries and at public platforms is a mystery.

    The writer of this piece had enumerated the various devious tactics employed by the regime in demonising and insulting those who dare to question the regime is illuminating.

    The regime may have wrong footed the Holmes and the Arbours but Ms Pillay is a different kettle of fish. The regime will pay very dearly for its folly of insulting and demeaning the highly educated and respected Ms Pillay who is a courageous and determined lady.

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    Tamils are very loyal and Subservient People where ever they live except in Sri Lanka.

    See how Tamils live in every country in all over the world. they have learned majority language and are employed in what ever the employment they get. See how, Two billionaire politicians exploit Tamils in Tamilnadu.

    See, how this Tamil-NAtionalist shows him in a European suit and write in English.

    Why that did not happen only In Sri Lanka. SHOULD BE THE SRI LANKAN GOVT’S FAULT. Don’t take India as Example. India is a collection of different nations and they all together Screw up India for the sake of each State.

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      Jim,

      You are correct when you say the Tamils are loyal but wrong when you say they are subservient. What they are, and be fair, is hardworking, persevering and resourceful. What they demand is fairplay and justice and an even playing field. This is what successive governments of SL, of all hues since independence, neglected to give them in order to pander to a baser core of the 70% Sinhala-Buddhist vote. What the Tamils have done in the sorrow of their forced ejection from a land they loved is to adapt and thrive and earn the respect and admiration of their new communities, while our Sinhalese are increasingly looked upon as devious, vengeful, underhand and scheming. Our latest treatment of the estimable Commisioner Pillay is the just the latest in a long line of official and diplomatic cock-ups that started with the outburst of the volatile Gotabaya who thought he would impress the world with his ‘handling’ of ministers Kouchner and Milliband. Ofcourse, the GOSL had a right to end the, long overdue, indiscriminate terrorism of the odious LTTE; but governments, like Ceasar’s wife, need to be above reproach if nothing else. The longer our present execrable crop of uncouth and incompetent ministers and diplomats continue with farcical mouthings at home and abroad, the harder it will be to remove the abhorent stain against our Sinhalese government.

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    VVIP’s are expected behave in a manner that does not offend the host.If there are issues that needs to be discussed with the host without becoming a bull in a china shop with selected press agents.

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    Kiruba, I beg to disagree a bit with you on Prof G L Pieris, who you say “is telling utter lies just for his bread and butter..”, not for bread and butter but for perks and power.

    Sri Lanka’s Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva called Arbour’s comments gratuitous and biased. “The high commissioner has once again proven one point – how unqualified the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) is in monitoring and reporting human rights in Sri Lanka as an independent actor,” it said on 17 January. – See more at: http://www.irinnews.org/report/76398/sri-lanka-un-human-rights-commissioner-in-the-firing-line#sthash.vo7aJ7PG.dpuf.

    In June 2008 Rajiva Wijesinha accused Louise Arbour of “wicked witch of the West” and went on to say; “In Arbour’s case I continued to believe that she was a woman more sinned against than sinning, since she also avoided the press conference that the anti-Sri Lankan elements in her office had had tried to set up in contravention of a previous commitment (the same technique had been used previously with Sir John Holmes, who had had an excellent and productive visit, but was then led into an unfortunate comment at an unscheduled press conference, which caused some problems).

    “But reading through the relentless assault by Louise Arbour after she had left the UN, with criticism of the Human Rights Council and the Security Council too, one senses a more vicious agenda, to try to undermine democratic elected governments in the interests of a world order in which her perspective is dominant..”

    There are many other criticisms and tagging of LTTE on those who did their duties to highlight the facts on Sri Lanka.

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