2 October, 2020

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The Allure Of One-Upmanship

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Last Thursday, Minister of Information Keheliya Rambukwella claimed that ‘friendly nations’ will move a counter-resolution to the one the US is to table at the UNHRC which, among other things, it is reported, would call for an international probe on alleged war crimes.  Now if there are friendly nations whose friendship is so strong as to and who are powerful enough to take on the USA and its allies in Europe on behalf of Sri Lanka, then this country is fortunate indeed.  On the other hand, one cannot but expect such nations to be sober in the expression of friendship.

First of all, they would take into consideration the fact that a country doesn’t exactly need to send warships to the Indian Ocean to show friendship and thereby readiness to counter-punch if necessary.  Secondly, the US is a declining power and the upping of belligerence on the part of Washington would be recognized for what it is: the angst of a nation that has lost its way and is losing its sway.  Thirdly, the US can bark but it cannot bite; a nibble or two is possible but Washington appears to be operating on the premise that a threat is more effective than its execution.

Simply put there’s only so much that the kinds of moves the USA is making against Sri Lanka can do, especially if the friends we are talking about are China and Russia, subject to the caveat that ‘friendship’ is diplo-speak for ‘agreement on furthering interests’ and that a price has to be paid in tangible and apparent form without pussy-footing and shy-making.  In other words Sri Lanka cannot play ‘placate’ with all and sundry; she must play pick and choose, and be cognizant of the fact that in the past she has chosen poorly.

Just the other day India’s ‘Economic Times’ announced that China has offered to finance a large portion of India’s infrastructure development via loans.  India is a big market and China knows this.  The flip side is that India knows that China calls the shots; we are yet to read of India offering China ‘investment that amounts of the latter’s infrastructure spending through 2017’.

A counter-punch in Geneva, when such matters are considered with due recognition of power realities and complexities, would only massage some egos without even a guarantee of success.  The year 2009 was a different century, almost, and while the victory of the pro-Sri Lanka resolution yielded tons of ‘Feel-Good’, it did little else.  One may argue that the Government did not build upon it, but then again it seems (especially after that ‘victory’) that nothing the Government does add up to ‘enough’.

If Sri Lanka does not understand that the UN is skewed in favor of the US and that there’s a lot of truth in the claim that it is but a creature of that country, never mind one-off ‘victories’ courtesy fortuitous configurations of membership and mood (context that does not exist at this moment), Sri Lanka would not just lose but would have to pay for losing.  No, there won’t be any knock-out punches thrown but endless pinching by a bully is hardly something to cheer either, especially since no God Father Nation can have the time and kindness of heart to swat the bully’s hand each time it reaches out.

Geneva being met ‘head on’ is about being honest, communicating effectively, saying ‘this is what we have done and can do, period’.  It is about erring on the side of sobriety, which means recognizing the fact that the US initiative is likely to win and yet canvassing support to defeat it.  It means, also, that what should be done locally is not what the US and its cheering squad in Colombo made of NGO personalities and (quack) academics wants Sri Lanka to do (open doors to subterfuge) but doing what it takes to keep the people on the side of the Government (which, whether we like it or not is and is likely to remain the principal bulwark against moves to destabilize and invite anarchy).

And that’s about democracy.  It is about development that is people-focused not in rhetoric but practice.  It is ultimately about the humility to admit error and redress wrongs.  It is therefore about mechanism to insulate citizens against brash, belligerent, deceitful and thieving politicians. Now that would make for more effective one-upmanship in Geneva and elsewhere.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 7
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    .

    Our Chief Editor, using his free Mahinda Laptop says, “the US is a declining power”….

    Are you suggesting to Gota and Basil to renounce their US citizenships?

    :-)

    • 1
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      No because the Laptop was designed by Americans and manufactured in China. I am just adopting the laptop Malinda boot licking logic.

      • 5
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        Malinda Seneviratne will tuck his tail between his legs after Geneva 2014, or will he go on barking afterwards too?

        • 0
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          To earn his keep Geneva or Geneva Malinda will continue as usual

    • 1
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      Malinda says….

      “Thirdly, the US can bark but it cannot bite; a nibble or two is possible but Washington appears to be operating on the premise that a threat is more effective than its execution.”

      ha. ha. ha.
      that’s what Saddam, Gadaffi thought as well.

      I don’t knbow what Malinda is smoking. -:)

  • 5
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    In a Parallel Universe, Friendly and like minded Nations, Zimbabwe, North Korea, Myanmar, Egypt sponsor a resolution praising the Sri Lankan Regime for bumping of Unpatriotic Journalists, Troublesome Minorities and ask for extra aid to continue the good work! The world according to Keheliya (thousand apologies to Garp)???

  • 4
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    Regardless of speculated agenda it would be unwise to assume the resolution is moved by Americans who aren’t genuinely motivated to help the situation.

    Conversely, it would be silly to think Rajapaske is resisting laws on FOI etc recommended by LLRC out of patriotism for SL.

    The UNHRC is a peer review system. There are no judges and executioners. The stupid joke Tamil diaspora is fueling the Rajapaske orchestrated campaign.

    Rajapaske is milking the opportunity to bolster popularity at home. Machiavelli++ Rajapakse is taking everyone including the Americans for a ride.

  • 8
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    Sorry to burst your bubble Malinda; As much as we all would like to wish away reality for a few moments of bliss, the US is not on the decline and China or Russia will only do things that help their goals. Sri Lanka being the beggars we are on the world-stage, can’t be choosers.

    Case in point – Look at the list of countries that have TOLERATED our President in the last two years. I think you will agree they are a bunch of Pariah states with a sprinkling off ‘tolerable cousins’ type of places. Ever seen an Honor guard waiting at the White House for our man, or the Queen waiting at the entrance of BH. Not a chance. He does not even get the full-works at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan! So much for our standing in the world.

    The UNHRC is not trying to teach Sri Lankans a lesson.Rather they want to teach the SL govt a lesson that the rest of the miscreants they have not managed to bring to heel, will manage to remember for a while to come. Our DPL morons think they can get create enough confusion and cause some countries to abstain, thereby causing the vote to go down in flames. May be it will, may be it will not.

    That is not the point. It is about getting the govt of Sri Lanka to provide a semblance of law and order throughout the country with respect to all members of society with regards to civil and human rights. That is the ultimate goal and the UNHRC is simply a means to an end. You should know – We have had peace, but very little else.

    Oops I forgot. We have a lot of highways we can’t afford to drive on, and an airport no one wants to land in, and a massive harbor with a huge rock in the middle as the decoration!

    • 1
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      Upul,
      You seem to be appreciative of “Honor guard waiting at the White House for our man, or the Queen waiting at the entrance of BH.” etc. sorry, that is childish! Those “Pariah states” you are talking about, are the ones that don’t listen or care for the West. Do you really think that the US and UK have warming hearts for the Tamils? If you think so, why?? Why do you think they bypass human rights of the Iraqis, Afghans, N. Koreans and Saudi Arabians for the Tamils?? Let us get real, UNHRC can’t do anything worth while. Let us say they pass a resolution against Sri Lanka and SL does not abide by the resolution. Only thing the West can do is sanctions by themselves. Nothing beyond that. Getting MR to ICC is impossible as long as China and Russia is in the security council. Let us assume MR is taken to the ICC and punished. Is that what the Tamils want? Will that solve the so called “problems” Tamils have? Never!
      My advice for the Tamils is work with the GOSL, get back the trust of all Sri Lankans and live as Sri Lankans not Tamils. Hostility and terrorism won’t solve any problem. Blacks in the US won all their right not by violence but with patience, hard work and education to better themselves.

      • 1
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        “Blacks in the US won all their right not by violence but with patience, hard work and education to better themselves.”

        Nonsense,you are missing the most important point here.The Us did not have a black nation and a white nation.If in a specific part of the US,only the blacks had been living for centuries then their would have been a separate black nation.Then the blacks would have had a referendum and converted the nation into a country recognised by the UN if they were not treated right by the whites and powers not devolved to them to manage their own affairs.

        In srilanka the tamil history and geography is different.A tamil nation and sinhalese nation existed and the colonial powers mainly the british amalgamated the two into one.When srilanka attained independence the modaya sinhalese politicians and bhuddhist monks and other racists should have realised this and when chelva offered the olive branch to banda and dudley implemented those pacts.Then the country could have continued as one country with two nations like canada and belgium for example or switzerland with 3 nations namely german,french and italian.Even at this late stage after the war was over 13th amendment could have been implemented as promised to the International community and india during the war,but mahinda decided to be too smart and just like prabha take on the whole world and tell everyone to piss off.

        Just like prabha did he will have to face the consequences.

        So nonsense,your advice is good but too little too late has been given to the tamils.BTW what about your knickers,that another commentator said is in knots in another article?Sorted out?

    • 0
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      Upul, your so called non-Pariah states will applause SL president, if he did not trash the LTTE menace. Or if he welcomed the last minute saviors of LTTE, Miliband and his French counter-part, non of your ‘balanced states’ utter a single word against Sri Lanka.

  • 4
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    At the bottom of this article is the statement that *Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation.’ That says it all in the business of who he barks for, doesn’t it?
    He is now flailing around, trying to earn his pay LITERALLY from the Rajapaksas.
    And in the matter of the Western nations being toothless why does he not comment about what has happened in Ukraine which is next door and whose President, Yanukovych, was actively supported by Mr. Putin of Russia until crunch-time?
    Someone said that it is better to keep your mouth shut and let people think that you are a fool rather than open it and prove them right. MS should, even at this late stage, consider that advice.

  • 2
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    HE HAS A TAMIL FACE!

    • 1
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      Hambantota Rajapakse’s have Javanese faces :-(

      • 1
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        “Hambantota Rajapakse’s have Javanese faces :-(“

        easier for the eelamists among tamils to achieve their objectives with bull in a china shop empty headed javanese than dealing with the brainy tamils/malayalee converts to bhuddhism.

        See how close the javanese have brought it to a referendum.

    • 1
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      Most Sri Lankans look similar!!!

      • 1
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        “Most Sri Lankans look similar!!!”

        Like ranil and premedasa.Or banda and sirimavo.Or JRJ and DSS.

        Or prabha and mahinda. The bushy moustache buffalo herdsmen.ideal faces to control and put fear into srilankan buffaloes.

    • 0
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      “HE HAS A TAMIL FACE!”

      and tamil/malayalee brains and dravidian skin colour too.

    • 0
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      “HE HAS A TAMIL FACE!”

      Whatever it is tamil,sinhala or muslim the most important thing is to watch his face,sorry wash his face more often.My next door neighbours little girl who comes visiting us and ran out screaming when seeing gota’s face when i was reading the wanathamulla article,asked me when i was reading this article why this man is not washing his face.I kept the srilankan flag flying saying that sometimes in srilanka there is water cuts and it has got nothing to do with srilankans being unclean.

  • 4
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    To say UN is skewed in favour of the US must be the the mother of all understatements.

    It can only change when Ms Pillai’s pension is in Renminbi.

    US wouldn’t stop until they succeed in Regime change.

    Chances of doing it peacefully by popular vote is becoming less and less likely thanks to Ms Pillai and her crusade against Srilanka.

    Instead of offering better infrastructure, better living standards, more jobs, better health and aged care. what do the Opposition do in the soon to be held PC elections in the most important two provinces of the Nation?.

    Nothing but stage shows to defend Ms Pillai and the Diaspora agenda lead by Cameron Harper and the Lady Ambassador in Colombo.

    Can it win votes for the US ally?

    The only alternative the US has is to do a Ukraine as Libya, or a Syria wouldn’t be allowed by China, Russia and even India, unless miss Jayalalitha becomes the next PM there.

  • 2
    2

    Malinda,

    The USA is yet the richest and powerful country in the world, despite its manifold problems. Unlike many like ours, it is also a country with the capacity to overcome its problems. It knows how to wield and project power. It knows everyone has a price and has the capacity and capability to pay it. Our President practices this concept quite well within this island, but cannot do so on a world scale. You have failed to note, how the USA managed to get oil-rich Iran in its grip and is dividing and controlling the Middle- East.

    Please do not misdirect this government and our fellow citizens with rhetorical, superficial and fanciful concepts.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • 1
    1

    MALINDAAAAAAA;

    It is a good point that you raised After your Usual BLAH BLHA BLAH.

    “It is therefore about mechanism to insulate citizens against brash, belligerent, deceitful and thieving politicians”.

    “””””” {brash, belligerent, deceitful and thieving politicians}”””””””.

    To WHOM YOU ARE REFFERING That???????????,

    Your Official MASTERS Of Present Governance???????.

  • 2
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    Well said Upul. But then what more could we expect of this guy who never tires of inundating us with his bullshit in the guise of reason?

    And to cap it all off, he ends with this gem:
    “And that’s about democracy. It is about development that is people-focused not in rhetoric but practice. It is ultimately about the humility to admit error and redress wrongs. It is therefore about mechanism to insulate citizens against brash, belligerent, deceitful and thieving politicians. Now that would make for more effective one-upmanship in Geneva and elsewhere.”

    Let him tell that to his bosses – if he dares to…

  • 0
    1

    As per comments, this man cuts a sorry figure here. He is just another parasite who survives owing to his unparalled subservience to his masters. By now, the public is aware of his ways and they expect some imaginative content from him. This bloke is struggling.

  • 1
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    Why did Rajapaksa defeat LTTE brutal Tamil terrorists?…They are angels…TNA and most Tamils are [Edited out] of whites…Thats why you have enormous problems….CT can change your ruiling style…remember it well…

  • 0
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    The statement ” Secondly, the US is a declining power and the upping of belligerence on the part of Washington would be recognized for what it is: the angst of a nation that has lost its way and is losing its sway. Thirdly, the US can bark but it cannot bite; a nibble or two is possible but Washington appears to be operating on the premise that a threat is more effective than its execution” – is the most stupid remark that Malinda Seneviratne has made so far. He has forgotten what happened in Iraq, Afganistan, Syria, now in Ukrain etc. This guy is a paid servant of the regime and is singing for his next “Buriyani”!

  • 0
    0

    Deyyo saakkee !! How did John Kerry find out?

    Releasing the Annual Country Report on Human Rights 2013, US Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We will do it in Sri Lanka, where the government still has not answered basic demands for accountability and reconciliation, where attacks on civil society activists, journalists, and religious minorities, sadly, still continue.”

    “Our concern about this ongoing situation has led the United States to support another UN Human Rights Council resolution at the March session. We will do so because we know countries that deny human rights and human dignity challenge our interests as well as human interests. But we also know countries that advance those values, those countries that embrace these rights are countries that actually create opportunities,” he said.

    According to the report, “Ongoing serious human rights problems include disappearances and a lack of accountability for thousands who disappeared in previous years, as well as widespread impunity for a broad range of human rights abuses, such as torture by police and attacks on media institutions and the judiciary”.

    The report also stated that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s family dominates the government.

    “Two of the president’s brothers hold key executive branch posts, as defense secretary and economic development minister, and a third brother is the speaker of Parliament. A large number of the president’s other relatives, including his son, also serve in important political and diplomatic positions. Independent observers generally characterized the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections as problematic.”

    It also stated that there was a climate of fear and self-censorship in Sri Lanka. “…attacks, harassment, and threats by progovernment loyalists against critics of the government were prevalent, contributed to widespread self-censorship by journalists, and diminished democratic activity due to the general failure to prosecute perpetrators.”

    The people of Sri Lanka know exactly what the US State Dept. knows. They just can’t say it in the same way..lest they disappear.

    Those like Malinda can talk with two tongues..get the perks, act dumb and live to breathe another day!!!

  • 0
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    malinda says that the US is a declining power.Then he should advice his master to start directing the garment exports away from the US into a ascending power like china.Why is he not doing that.is he waiting for the US to take away our garment quotas on the basis of human rights abuses and see all the garment factories close up and our women out of their livelihoods.very skillful women too with nimble fingers who dutifully take their pay packets to feed their children without drinking and gambling it up in smoke.Hope they get the same profit margins in China.

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