18 January, 2018

Blog

Sri Lanka’s Vote On Jerusalem Resolution; Wisdom Or Folly?

By Rajeewa Jayaweera

Rajeewa Jayaweera

Sri Lanka, together with 127 other UN member states including crucial EU members, UK, France, and Germany, on December 21, voted in favor of the ‘Status of Jerusalem’ resolution submitted by Turkey and Yemen at the tenth emergency special session of UNGA. 9 nations including US and Israel voted against. 35 countries including Australia, Canada, Mexico and the Philippines abstained.

The Emergency session, as provided in Resolution 377 came about due to the US exercising its veto power in the Security Council against the resolution. It can be invoked in instances when lack of agreement among the five permanent members enjoying the power to veto any resolution threatens international peace and security.

It is indeed a pity Resolution 377 option was not considered in 2003 when US and UK unilaterally invaded Iraq without UN sanction, causing immeasurable damage to world peace and security. Neither did member states, now proclaiming a conscience and principles even consider penalties against the offenders. After expressing their displeasure to varying degrees, it was ‘business as usual’ for the international community.

A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Colombo stated, “The vote in favor of the resolution was on the basis of Sri Lanka’s long-held traditional and principled position, which is keeping with the international understanding that Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through negotiations between two parties on the basis of the relevant UN resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both parties – Palestinians and Israelis and that Jerusalem should be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian States”.    

The stand taken by Sri Lanka from a perspective of principles cannot is faultless. It has stood by Palestine for decades and shunned Israel except when the latter’s expertise was required to fight LTTE terrorism and then to be unceremoniously booted out to appease a local community representing a valuable voter base.   

That said, since the advent of the Yahapalana government in January 2009, we the people have continuously been hearing of ‘economic diplomacy.’ Principles were thrown to the winds when Sri Lanka co-sponsored UNHRC Resolution 30/1 with all its intrusive elements.  It resulted in the temporary suspension of the threat of economic sanctions, restoration of GSP + and lifting of the ban on Fish imports from Sri Lanka. It also resulted in an unending stream of busybodies visiting Colombo. The President, Prime Minister, cabinet Ministers and Leader of Opposition among others rarely if ever, fail to spare time meet them.

It must be stated, President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine, despite its almost total dependence on foreign aid for survival took a principled stand and refused to meet US Vice President Mike Pence after the US President’s announcement.    

The Yahapalana government has taken pride in having taken a ‘principled position’ on the Jerusalem Resolution.  It owes an explanation to the people of Sri Lanka for its ‘unprincipled position’ in ignoring LLRC and Paranagama Commission Reports and co-sponsoring UNHRC 30/1, besides not even discussing the recent Naseby revelations in the cabinet, let alone making use of it to call for the re-evaluation of 30/1. 

Needless to state, the main elements of the Geneva Resolution are necessary for any civilized and progressive nation. However, force-feeding of such ideals and principles on a sovereign nation under threat of sanctions is another matter. These are measures Sri Lanka need to recognize and implement as a responsible member of the global community and because it is the right thing to do and not due to threats of sanctions.

President Trump’s threat of economic retaliation against nations voting in favor of the resolution is no different to threats faced by Sri Lanka in Geneva in 2015 and those communicated by the likes of Ben Emmerson and Pablo de Greiff.    

On the issue of Palestine, Sri Lanka need be mindful of its nationals currently working in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman, nations who voted in favor of the Palestine Resolution employ most of our expatriate workers. They added USD 7.2 billion to our economy in 2016 by way of foreign remittances. 

Similarly, Sri Lanka cannot be blind to the fact; the US is the single largest export destination for Sri Lankan products with over 20% of its exports. Exports to the US amounted to US $ 2.81 billion in 2016. Total Imports to Sri Lanka in 2016 was US $ 540 million, while total trade turnover between Sri Lanka and the US remained at an all-time high of US $ 3.35 billion. The balance of trade is in Sri Lanka’s favor amounting to US $ 2.2 billion.

Notwithstanding their Yes vote, it is believed, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and several other Arab states, currently in secret liaison with Israel in their fight against Iran, is suspect of having given their tacit concurrence to President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

Mexico and Canada, despite their differences with the Trump administration, abstained from voting. They are currently involved in the delicate renegotiation of NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) considered extremely unfavorable to US by President Trump. 1.1 mil Filipino Overseas Contract Workers (OCW) employed in West Asia in 2016 amounted to 1.1 million. Their cash remittances amounted to USD 26.9 billion, a 5% YoY increase. Nevertheless, the Philippines abstained from voting.   

Ukraine voted in favor of the resolution in the vote taken at the Security Council. However, its Representative was one of the 21 who developed the urge for a call of nature at voting time during the UNGA session, commonly known as ‘Toilet Syndrome’. Shortly after that, according to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump has approved plans to send Javelin anti-tank missile systems to Ukraine to help fight Russian-allied forces.

The foreign policy of small nations must necessarily be an extension of its key domestic policies and shaped in a manner best suited to safeguard and promote its short and long-term interests. Towards this end, visionary leaders are a prerequisite.

The US President is on record stating; “Let them vote against us. We’ll save a lot. We don’t care. But this isn’t like it used to be where they could vote against you, and then you pay them hundreds of millions of dollars. We’re not going to be taken advantage of any longer.” President Trump cannot retaliate against all 128 nations who voted in favor of the resolution. However, the most powerful country in the world will not and cannot remain impervious to nations who voted against its interests.

A hit list of nations is bound to contain small, aid dependent nations such Sri Lanka. They will not be in the same league as India who voted in favor but probably, will escape retaliation in view of the new Indo-Pacific security arrangements being mooted by US to contain Chinese expansionism in the IOR.

It will not be too long before Sri Lanka learns if its ‘Yes’ vote based on a ‘traditional and principled position’ would have repercussions. The next session of U.S.-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council scheduled in Washington is but a few months away. US could also take an even more aggressive stance against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva. 

Did Sri Lanka err in not abstaining from voting in the ‘Status of Jerusalem’ resolution?

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 2
    1

    Rajeewa Jayaweera
    Your final question is “Did SL err in not abstaining from voting in the “Status of Jerusalem” resolution?”
    There was another option: Absented from the assembly like what Myanmar did – and you know why Myanmar was on ‘nivadu’.
    To cut a long story short “Why did you not raise whatever is in the article before the voting?

  • 4
    1

    Rajeewa Jayaweera types:

    “Did Sri Lanka err in not abstaining from voting in the ‘Status of Jerusalem’ resolution?”

    I suggest you campaign Sri Lankan state to leave/resign from all UN institutions if you/functionaries are confused with tired of unable/ill-equipped , ……….. to deal with international affairs.

    In the world of diplomacy, some things are better left unsaid.
    -Lincoln Chafee

    In Diplomacy and International relation it is essential to remember what Theodore Roosevelt’s ( 26th President of the United States) advice was
    “If you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.”
    J R learned it painfully and Mahinda paid a price for it.

    • 4
      2

      Dear Rajeewa, you are cleverly dodging the issue. As a political commentator living in Srilanka, you should have obtained the view of a large cross section of Sinhalese and placed it for others. I am sure if you conduct a secret opinion among Sinhalese you will find that most of them are not interested in this matter, while of those who have, majority of them would say that Srilanka should have voted against it. It is common knowledge that Jews are committed to make Jerusalem the sole capital of Israel and will take every measure to achieve it. How is the world going to prevent it. happening. Do you sincerely believe that all 124 states that voted in favour of the motion have any clout to confront Israel. Though UK voted in favour, majority of British people have the contrary opinion and due to this UK will not commit any troops against Israel if a war breaks out. At present we hear of war mongering only by Turkey due to its fanatical President, and it may be joined by few other Islamic states like Iran supported by Russia on the back line. If there are any signs of defeat Russia will back off letting down its allies, as what USA did in Syria. Remember it was Russia which wanted to Shift its embassy to West Jerusalem first and not USA. Also remember that Putin is a friend of Trump and it is he who said “Muslims want us and we do not want Muslims”, in response to terrorist attacks on Moscow.

  • 4
    1

    Rajeeva Jayaweera,

    RE: Is it Wisdom or Folly?

    Sri Lankans do made stupid mistakes, quite often.

    However this is Wisdom, not a folly.

    Just look the mean IQ of all those 127 members of the UN who voted for the resolution, and those who voted against it. Remember, those abstained, in fact voted for the resolution.

    Do you want to sell tea to China, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Europe etc?

    Would you agree that the intelligent generally make wise choices, and the stupid make not so wise choices?

    Why not tabulate the IQ;s, GDP, GDP and obesity per person of those 127 countries vs. the 9 that voted against it and those who abstained?

    Remember, the recent new tax law by Trumph and the Republicans was passed 52-48 in the Senate WITHOUT a SINGLE Democratic vote.

    So it was wise for Sri Lanka to vote with the vast majority.

    Sri Lanka should not make the Stupid choices of JR that catalyzed the 30-year civil war.

    National IQ Scores – Country Rankings

    https://photius.com/rankings/national_iq_scores_country_ranks.html

    The intelligence scores came from work carried out earlier this decade by Richard Lynn, a British psychologist, and Tatu Vanhanen, a Finnish political scientist, who analysed IQ studies from 113 countries, and from subsequent work by Jelte Wicherts, a Dutch psychologist.

    Countries are ranked highest to lowest national IQ score.

    • 4
      3

      Amarsiri
      Could you share with those of us in the forum, your own IQ in case it has been tested? Is it below, at par or above Sri Lanka’s average of 79 that you claim?

      • 3
        3

        John,

        Your IQ is not high enough to comprehend what has been written by Amarasiri and many others, and that is the core problem, a core IQ problem.

        Do you still have the 48 Chromosomes from you ancestors? May be, your Chromosome # 2 has not fully formed yet. Is it true for many Paras?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zi8FfMBYCkk

        Dr. Ken Miller talks about the relationship between Homo sapiens and the other primates. He discusses a recent finding of the Human Genome Project which identifies the exact point of fusion of two primate chromosomes that resulted in human chromosome #2.

  • 2
    0

    Sri Lanka never had an independent and pro-people foreign policy. What we did was often bandwagoning with powerful nations. We look for friends when we are in trouble. However, my understanding is that Foreign Ministry has not consulted the cabinet or even PM before voting. This matter is currently being under investigation together with certain other misconducts at the Foreign Ministry.

  • 5
    1

    The era of Jewish American hegemony is over. This the emergence of China. On the other hand, Sri Lanka, like all other civilised states has the moral obligation to stop the Nazi style Israeli occupation of Palestine who welcomed them with open armed when they liquated by Hitler.

    • 2
      5

      This is exactly happening in eastern province. Tamils who welcomed Muslims with open arms who were fleeing persecution by Portuguese, are now committing murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils and appropriating their lands. Similarly all civilised states have the moral obligation to stop this Nazi style Islamic occupation of eastern province. Yes China is emerging both by their effort and by unscrupulous means of bribing corrupt heads of states and infiltrating, like what is happening in Srilanka. China is still not ready to fight a war far away from its borders and what happened to the humiliation suffered by China at the recent stand off with India, shows that China is not all that powerful to confront. No one can predict what will happen in the future, but to dismiss Jewish American hegemony is utter foolish.

      • 4
        1

        Dr. G.S. Are you Really serious? Read your 2nd sentence according to which the Tamils are committing murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils and appropriating their lands!

        If what you actually wanted to say that the Muslims are doing so, and your English expression let you down, then provide the evidence for your totally Wild Allegation.

        Fact is, it is the Muslims, not only in the East, but also in the North, who suffered.severely at the hands of the LTTE during the war. Do you know how many Muslims were killed inside the Mosques in Kattankudy and Eravur while praying and the Haj pilgrims killed while returning after Haj? Have you any idea of the Muslim owned agricultural lands in the East which were confiscated by the LTTE and which have still not been returned to the Muslims 8 years after the end of the War and 10 years after the East was liberated from the LTTE?

        Surely, you can’t be so ignorant of the ethnic cleansing of the entire Muslim population of the North by the LTTE in 1990, the vast majority of whom have still not been allowed to return to their homes and lands.

        Dr. G.S., please make sense of what you write.

        • 1
          4

          Muhandiram, it is a mistake, but to whitewash crime committed by Muslims on Tamils citing crime committed by LTTE on Muslims is not acceptable. This is not wild allegation. Crimes committed by Muslims on Tamils have been documented by JTHR and NESOHAR two well known human rights organisation. You either do not know the truth or do not want to know the truth. Those in LTTE who had committed crimes have either been killed in combat or killed after surrendering, while Muslims who committed crime are walking free. Unfortunately Karuna who has the command responsibility for Katankudy massacre is the darling of Sinhalese and you can do nothing about it. There were several such massacres committed by Muslim home guards. Killing was first started by Muslims in 1985 while killing by LTTE was only in 1990 after pleading and several warning not to do it. All lands vacated by Muslims in north were never appropriated by Tamils and are available for re-settlement. There is nothing to prevent Muslims from returning and northern provincial council have issued a statement welcoming them. Some of the displaced Muslims are happy in their new environment and do not want to return. Problem has cropped up due to interference by Rishard Badurdeen who wants to take credit for re-settling of Muslims in north. So your statement that they have not been allowed to return to their homes and lands in north is false. Rishard Badurdeen has settled Muslims from other provinces in Mullaitivu with Qatar funds to alter demographic pattern. Did you hear that in Valaichenai Muslims trespassed into a Tamil school land and have built homes, which is in courts. Muslims even obstructed the construction of a bus stand in Valaichenai by the council which was settled in courts. There are several such cases in courts for determination. If you say that Muslims are aggrieved and Tamils say they are aggrieved, the correct thing is to appoint a committee of fair minded people to settle the problem.

          • 2
            1

            Dr.G.S.

            What you alleged was that the “Muslims are committing Murder and ethnic cleansing of Tamils and appropriating their lands.”

            That is a very, very serious allegation for which you have NOT provided any evidence. You have NOT cited proof for even a single murder, Nor have you given a single instance of “ethnic cleansing”. Neither have you given any clear incidence of Muslims “appropriating lands” of Tamils. If the two incidents you cited in Valaichenai, which are in any case before the courts, are your idea of “appropriating lands” of Tamils, you have an unbelievably strange idea of “appropriating lands”.

            How come the Murder and Mayhem unleashed by the LTTE against the Muslims don’t count? Wasn’t the LTTE the sole representative of the Tamils until they were totally eliminated in 2009?

            For the benefit of those who care to read your comments, why don’t you quote from the JTHR and NESOHAR, the so-called “Crimes committed by Muslims on Tamils”?

            The Crimes, nay Atrocities, committed by the Tamils against the Muslims are too well known except to people like you who simply Refuse to accept the truth. But the so-called crimes committed by the Muslims on Tamils seems to be a well guarded secret known only to you and perhaps some others of your mind-set. Get Real Dr. G.S.

            • 2
              1

              This Dr G.S. is a Humbug, don’t take him seriously. Muslims would have never visited his clinic knowing he is a Dr. Idiot, so now he have so much hate for Muslims.

              • 1
                3

                Mohomad the stupid mad fellow. You need not get angry if truth is told. What is justice for Palestinians has to be the same for Tamils. You cannot say that Jews are appropriating lands of Palestinians while at the same time go on appropriating lands of Tamils. There is evidence in black and white that Muslims were settled as refugees in eastern province. On what basis of justice refugees can claim land over legitimate owners. Please shun your hatred and do not stand in the way for justice to Tamils. I do not need any infidel like you.

                • 0
                  0

                  Dr. G.S., Jews grabbing Palestinians lands were the truth known to UN and published in media with proof. In Sri Lanka from north to east there are millions of acres of crown land. Not only Muslims but Tamils and Sinhalese were settle on those lands and also Muslims and Sinhalese dislodged from their lands during the war were allowed to go back to their lands. Tamil owners of land will have their deeds or other documents to prove their ownership. They can take legal actions if outsiders occupy their lands. You are just writing here your hatred dreams without atom of a proof. So no problem calling you a Dr. Idiot.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Mohomathu

                    “In Sri Lanka from north to east there are millions of acres of crown land.”

                    Is Sri Lanka being ruled by another kingdom?
                    I do understand it is not easy for descendants of kallthonies to remember who lived, toiled and collectively took care of this land before the arrival of your ancestors.

                    Now we do not have habitat as such hence the loss of our livelihood.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Who took care of the land? Native Veddas? I do not know any computer literate Native Veddas. You too belongs to one of those kallathoni clique.

              • 1
                1

                Mohomad

                “Muslims would have never visited his clinic knowing he is a Dr.”

                I understand Dr G.S has been in the UK for more than 30 years. Why would any Sri Lankan Muslims visit him in the UK? It is too expensive to travel there and it is not easy to obtain a visa.

                What are you talking about.

                “Idiot, so now he have so much hate for Muslims.”

                Did he have much love for Muslims earlier?

                • 1
                  0

                  NV, I associate only with fair minded Muslims and Sinhalese. I should say that Srilankan Muslims living in UK are overwhelmingly Peaceful. It is only Muslims mainly from Pakistan and Middle east and to some extent Somali, Bangladeshi and Algeria are fanatics want to destroy non Muslims and takeover their lands. Prior to NY twin tower attack, Pakistanis were openly campaigning distributing literature about an Islamic caliphate encompassing the whole world. After that they have gone underground, which does not mean that they have given up that idea. Have you seen a map put out by Pakistanis claiming north-western parts of India including Delhi and Bombay as belonging to greater Pakistan with rest of India, Nepal and Srilanka as disputed territory. A Muslim friend is being hounded by Srilankans in UK and only Myself and another Tamil are standing up for him, as we feel that the treatment given to him is unfair.

                • 0
                  0

                  This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

            • 0
              1

              Muhandiram

              There is no denying of the fact that LTTE committed atrocities against Muslims in North & East.

              Are you saying those Muslims who were part of the Muslim home guards aligned to Sri Lankan security forces have nothing to do with some of the murders committed especially in East and aiding and abetting or being accessories to rape and other crimes?

              Any chance you were being part of Home Guard?

            • 1
              2

              Muhandiram I pity your ignorance. These reports are in the internet and if you have any iota of intelligence you can read them. There is no secrecy in these allegations which will be corroborated by Tamils of eastern province as well as fair minded Sinhalese. Athaulla was responsible for burning Tamil houses and shops in Valaichenai. Hisbullah an outright racist has built a shopping complex on a demolished Hindu temple in Valaichenai and given them to Muslim traders. All atrocities committed by Muslims on Tamils are well documented and you are trying to deny it. I have always condemned in these columns atrocities committed by LTTE on non combatants be they Muslims, Sinhalese or Tamils. If you are unaware of that it is your problem. Several Tamil politicians have accepted the atrocities committed by LTTE on Muslims and Sinhalese and have apologised for it openly. While few Sinhala politicians have accepted and apologised for the crimes committed on Tamils, so for no Muslim politician has neither accepted nor apologised for the crime committed by Muslims on Tamils. Please do not distort the truth and say that Tamils have refused to accept the truth. It is common all over the world that no Muslim will ever accept wrong doing on non Muslims and you are not an exception. The problem is your mind set arising out of Koran which says to kill non believers and destroy their places of worship. Can you deny this. One Sinhala doctor told me that Muslims had appropriated his land in Valaichenai and he got it back with great difficulty using influence. If this is the case for a Sinhalese imagine the plight of poor Tamils. Appoint a committee to hear the grievances of all and settle it amicably in a just manner. Recently Rajan Hoole serialised in CT about atrocities committed by Muslims on Tamils in eastern province and do you say that he is lying.

              • 1
                0

                Muhandiram do not display your hatred by making unwarranted accusation against me. I never make statements which I cannot substantiate.
                Here are some of the atrocities committed by Muslims on Tamils in east :
                1. Veeramunai- This is the village that suffered most due to Muslim atrocity. Muslim home guards together with STF had been attacking the village several times killing Tamils and burning their houses. The worst episode took place on 12/08/90 when armed Muslim civilians entered the village and massacred 147 Tamils and destroyed their properties. They went into Hindu temples and killed 20 more Tamils who were sheltering there. This killing inside a temple took place 79 days before Katankudy mosque killing by LTTE. Altogether this village suffered over 200 deaths and destruction of 600 houses. Further when injured people were taken to Sammanthurai hospital the employees refused to accept them. Subsequently when they were taken to Amparai hospital STF assaulted them and took some into custody who have since disappeared. If you google “Veeramuni Massacres” you will find the names of persons killed.
                2. Meeravodai – Muslims attacked this village twice in 1985 & 1990. After driving some Tamils out by force they are occupying half the village.
                3. Thiyavaddan – Attacked twice in 1985 & 1990 by Muslims and STF. Ethnic cleansing of Tamils took place and is now a Muslim Village. The govt. Tamil mixed school is now named Arafat Muslim school.
                4. Oddumavadi – Attacked twice in 1985 & 1990. Tamils were driven out and Hindu temple destroyed which is now a market built by Hisbullah from government funds and given to Muslim traders.
                5. Tiralkerny – This village was attacked by Muslims on 06/08/90 killing several Tamils including one infant and some children, houses burnt and Hindu temple destroyed. It was attacked previously in 1985 by Muslims.
                6. Eravur – It was attacked three times by Muslims with complete ethnic cleansing and now two Muslim villages Jinna Nagar and Mitch Nagar have been set up by these illegal occupants.
                7. Meenodaikkadu – Tamils were killed and their houses destroyed by Muslims and the Tamil mixed school is now a Muslim school.
                I will continue later in order not to surpass 300 words.
                .

                • 1
                  0

                  Dr.G.S.
                  You have listed some so-called attacks by Muslims on Tamils in the East without citing any sources. I doubt whether you have any idea of where these towns are. I checked with a friend from the East, a Medical Doctor, who categorically dismissed your claims as totally False. Let me deal briefly with his comments on just a few.

                  1. Veeramunai. According to him, this Tamil village was controlled by the so-called “Boys” who used it as one of their outposts to monitor the movements of the Military and Police to and from Amparai along the Amparai – Kalmunai Road. In fact, Sammanthurai, which was the adjoining Muslim village, has come under constant attacks from Veeramunai. So, there is NO question of the sort of “attacks” and “massacres” being carried out by the Muslims as WRONGLY alleged by you.

                  2. Meeravodai. Another Fabrication as this village is surrounded by Tamil villages from where the so-called “Boys” operated. The Only Muslim village close by is Kattankudy which suffered a lot from regular raids by the “Boys”

                  3. (item 5 in ur list) Tiralkerny. This village adjoining the Muslim village, Palamunai, had a few dozen Tamil families. They felt quite unsafe after Palamunai was attacked by the “Boys” and they vacated the village on their own. There was NO attack on this village.

                  I didn’t want to waste my time asking about other villages as he dismissed your stories as pure Nonsense

                  FYI, Eravur (item 6) is a predominantly a Muslim village. So there is NO question of Muslims attacking this village. Whatever attacks that took place in Eravur were, without doubt, the work of your “Boys”.

                  • 0
                    0

                    Muhandiram you are a bigoted sycophantic Muslim. These are documented in Wikipedia and other human rights organisations. Problem with Muslims like you is that you never admit guilt. Are you prepared to hold a fair inquiry on these. I do not want to waste time with you as God will look after Muslim perpetrators of violence on Tamils, as what is happening in middle east.

                    • 0
                      0

                      G.S. you are describing yourself perfectly by accusing me. I am NOT going to waste time on a wild goose chase looking for the documentation you are referring to. Why don’t you give the Relevant Links for all to see ?

                    • 0
                      0

                      Muhandiram, do not waste your time with this Dr. Buffoon. He seems to be an expert on writing fabricated stories like writing in a novel. The killers were their Boys the LTTE and the victims were Muslims and Sinhalese.

  • 1
    2

    Dear Rajeeva,

    This is an excellent , well informed analysis of the issue.
    Thanks. I enjoyed this.You should be in our Foreign Service….!!!

    • 2
      2

      Rajeeva will have to fight with Dayan for the post of permanent representative in UN.

  • 0
    0

    There are three issues re the UN vote that SL Govt has to deliberate on. Firstly, if voted for, then, the loss of US support to SL in terms of financial aids and loss of exports to US. Secondly, if voted against, then, the getting into bad books of Arab nations in the Middle East where 1.2 million SL expatriates are employed and loss of a substantial portion of the No 1 source of FX.

    May be these two can even out.

    But then the third and deciding factor for any SL government, whether present, past or future, is the vote from the Moslem community in SL in Parliamentaly elections. Therefore the government decision is understandable. Long live Parliamentaly democracy!!

    • 0
      0

      NimP
      You missed out the third option – To Abstain, which is what I consider the most appropriate in this instance.

  • 0
    0

    Mr. Jayaweera, Bibi aka Netanyahu is going on a 4 day official tour of India soon and will be welcomed as a VVIP in New Delhi. This is an important fact to comment on. Israel protested about India’s vote for the Resolution against US moves but India is too powerful and too important a partner for either US or Israel to shun. Sri Lanka, on the other hand as you pointed out and I have said it too, exports over $2Billion dollars worth of goods to the USA annually.

    It is a small nation, and under the new Ranil-Sirisena coalition it has become politically very close to the USA; but Trump is a vindictive man and might decide to impose tariffs on Lankan exports. Perhaps not. So this is one of those “on one hand and on the other hand” situations. US seeks an increased military presence in the Region. So it might overlook these minor insults to Trump’s Government. Also still despite attrition, resignations etc the US State Department still has a lot of career professionals who can understand issues unlike Trump’ s personal advisors like the racist Stephen Miller etc who hate non whites. Who knows? All I can share is (as I shudder) that Trump will win a second term too in the absence of any concrete evidence of him colluding with the Russians in the 2016 election. He is like a dictator who takes everything personally and wants a personality cult revolving around “I I I” unlike any other former President. But his base keeps adoring him unreservedly. And with the evangelical fanatics and the Biblical crowd solidly behind him, he made this move for political reasons; it deflects the Russia investigation. Like I said the law has existed since 1995 for the US to move its embassy, but only Trump made the move for other reasons. But some say, perhaps it will move Arab nations out of their indifference to help Palestinians sincerely rather than just playing lip service.

    • 0
      0

      Mr Ratwatte
      Comparing India’s ‘YES’ vote with Sri Lanka’s ‘Yes’ vote may not necessarily provide a realistic picture due to several factors.

      India, as per PM Modi, having played a ‘balancing role’ in global affairs now aspires to play a ‘deciding role’. Sri Lanka has never been and never will play neither a balancing nor deciding role in global affairs and will need to act accordingly.

      Israeli arms exports to India has grown by 41% between 2012 and 2016 and has topped the USD 1 billion mark. If the Spike anti-tank missile deal goes through, Israel will become India’s largest arms supplier surpassing Russia. In 2017, Indian Air Force fighters joined Israeli and 5 NATO air forces in the Blue Flag joint air exercises, the first time Indian and Israeli forces have undertaken joint exercises.

      Israel’s past conduct indicates it will not allow a single vote in the UNGA to upset it’s otherwise excellent relations with a nation as powerful and useful as India.

      However, I do not believe, neither Israel nor US will view Sri Lanka’s vote in the same light as India’s vote and in fact, would be an ideal target for Trump’s threat of “We are not going to be taken advantage of any longer.”

      On the other hand, absentation from voting with emissaries dispatched to explain Sri Lanka’s reasons (its own self-interests) to leaders in US, Israel and the Arab world may have been an alternative.

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.