19 October, 2017

The American Contribution To The Current Crisis

By Rajiva Wijesinha –

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

The request to write an article on US Policy towards Sri Lanka in 2008/2009 came at a timely moment, for I had been reflecting in some anguish on the crisis that the Sri Lankan government is now facing. I believe that this crisis is of the government’s own creation, but at the same time I believe that its root causes lie in US policy towards us during the period noted.

Nishan de Mel of Verite Research, one of the organizations now favoured by the Americans to promote change, accused me recently of being too indulgent to the Sri Lankan government. I can understand his criticism, though there is a difference between understanding some phenomenon and seeking to justify it. My point is that, without understanding what is going on, the reasons for what a perceptive Indian journalist has described as the ‘collective feeling that the Sri Lankan State and Government are either unable or unwilling’ to protect Muslims from the current spate of attacks, we will not be able to find solutions.

Nishan might have felt however that I was working on the principle that to understand everything is to forgive everything. But that only makes sense if corrective action has been taken, ie if the perpetrator of wrongs has made it clear that these will be stopped and atoned for. Sadly, after the recent incidents at Aluthgama, I fear the time and space for changing course are running out. But even if we can do nothing but watch the current government moving on a course of self-destruction, it is worth looking at the causes and hoping that history will not repeat itself at some future stage

My contention is that the appalling behavior of the government at present springs from insecurity. That insecurity has led it to believe that it can rely only on extremist votes and extremist politicians. Thus the unhappiness of the vast majority of the senior SLFP leadership, and their willingness to engage in political reform that promotes pluralism, are ignored in the belief that victory at elections can only be secured if what is perceived as a fundamentalist and fundamental Sinhala Buddhist base is appeased.

The problem is exacerbated by the adulation these forces offer the Secretary of Defence. Though the international elements that believe they need to interfere in Sri Lanka see the Rajapaksa family as a monolith (and are right to the extent that internal divisions will not interfere with united action against outsiders), the recent aggressive critiques of the government’s economic policies are a clear challenge to the Minister for Economic Development. These critiques will have no effect since he is seen as the genius behind electoral strategy. But they indicate what will follow a government electoral victory, since there is no doubt the President would prefer his son to be his successor, and the Secretary of Defence is more likely to fall in with such an agenda than his younger brother. What the President does not realize is that the extremists are as little enamoured of the son, with his penchant for Western modes of entertainment, as of the current economic dispensation.

Internal rivalries then play their part in the current crisis. More serious is the complete neglect of the real power base of the government, namely the old SLFP. But the President has no confidence in that section of his support base, and will not take the first step required to shore up his popularity, namely appointing a serious Prime Minister from their ranks. If only the leading contenders would get together and agree on a name, perhaps the most senior being the least contentious, they could help resolve the problem. But this seems unlikely, and so resentments will continue, with all sorts of elements opposed to the President fishing in the troubled waters, which in turn only increases his sense of insecurity.

But I do not blame them for the crisis. The depth of the forces ranged against them became clear to me when I was told in 2012 about the efforts made by the head of the kitchen element in our Foreign Policy trying to convince the President that the Indian Paarliamentary delegation, led by its present Foreign Minister, Sushma Swaraj, had connived with the Leader of the House to criticize him. Fortunately the Secretary to the President had been able to convince him otherwise, but the readiness of the President to believe the worst about the principal elements that would combat extremist influences on him shows how brilliantly the insecurity has been orchestrated.

With friends like that, then, who needs enemies? But I think to understand the sense of siege that has overtaken the government, we need to go back to the violent shock to the mindset that occurred in 2009. I refer to the range of forces that supported Sarath Fonseka for the Presidency when he ran against the incumbent President.

In 2009 I believe the President was willing to move forward on necessary reforms. Unless it is assumed that he is an inveterate liar, his commitments to both the Indian government and to the UN Secretary General indicate a positive mindset. And in all fairness to the Minister of Economic Development, in his previous incarnation he was absolutely sincere about resettling the displaced as swiftly as possible. It was then Sarath Fonseka who stood in his way, as for instance when the Commanders on the ground were told to recheck those who had been sent back to the various districts. But in those days the ground leadership, led by enlightened active generals such as Kamal Guneratne and Brindley Mark, only paid lip service to the instructions and sent the displaced swiftly to their original places of residence

But two months later, it was that same Sarath Fonseka who had become the darling of the West, or rather the Anglo-Saxons (a couple of European ambassadors told me they could not understand what was going on), and also of the Tamil National Alliance as well as the politically inclined NGO community, one of which actively endorsed Fonseka (though the more aggressively anti-government ones were more circumspect, understanding that Fonseka was only being used as a tool).

What had happened? The key, to be indulgent to the Americans, lies in what former Ambassador Robert Blake is supposed to have told a senior Indian politician, namely that they had discovered the perfect weapon to pressurize Mahinda Rajapaksa. In all fairness to Bob Blake, who I think had been a good friend to Sri Lanka when he was Ambassador, he was now serving a different administration, and was perhaps under pressure himself to correct what was seen as the triumphalism that accompanied the end of the war. I would like to think then that perhaps his idea, while playing along with his superiors at the State Department who were negative about us, was to keep our President on the straight and narrow by splitting him off from his hardline supporters.

But unfortunately the chosen instrument of the new policy was a new Ambassador, who was not as nuanced as Bob Blake. Though I can understand why one of the more sensitive American diplomats in Colombo at the time told me that he thought our best friends were Blake and his successor Patricia Butenis, that was after Patricia understood more about the country. In her first few months however, she saw things in black and white, and in her usual gung-ho fashion went straight into trying to ensure that Mahinda Rajapaksa lost the election.

I was present at what I think was a salient moment, at the house of her Political Affairs Officer, Paul Carter. He was by no means subtle, and later came into conflict with Butenis when he thought she was not being hard enough on us. The occasion was his Boxing Day Party, when I think I was the only government representative present. Present also was Mr Sambandan and, when I went to speak to him, I found him deep in conversation with Patricia and the then head of the EU Mission, who was also one of those deeply critical of the government at the time. Patricia, who always wore her heart on her sleeve, looked very shifty, and would not talk to me, and it was left to the EU to make polite conversation until I took myself away.

Sambandan ended up endorsing Sarath Fonseka, which was disastrous. I think the TNA now realizes how foolish it had been. Though I can accept their argument that they did not want to support the President, following the war, they could easily have kept neutral. By following the American line, they sent a message to the President that they would prefer anyone to him. Given that they well knew Fonseka’s much more nationalistic outlook, the argument that he had promised to give them what they wanted was no justification for spurning the President’s efforts at the time to reach a widely acceptable solution.

The American strategy was to unite all the forces opposed to the President, and perhaps hope that, if Fonseka won, he would live up to his initial promises and make Ranil Wickremesinghe Prime Minister and allow him to take all important decisions. That was an absurd supposition, and would not have been made by Bob Blake had he been on the ground. Indeed I suspect that Blake would have realized the absurdity of the strategy when Ranil dropped out of the race. Before that the hope would have been, given the simplistic interpretation of Mahinda Rajapaksa as a hardliner, that he and Fonseka would have split the extremist vote, allowing Ranil somehow to be elected.

But Ranil sensibly enough withdrew – which perhaps contributed to Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu’s claim, being now obliged to support Fonseka, that it was Ranil who had ruined everything. Saravanamuttu, it should be noted, clung to the old strategy even on election day, trying to create doubts about the results, in pursuit of the strategy the West has pursued with regard to elections where the result is not to their liking, of crying foul and encouraging civil unrest. Fortunately the margin was decisive enough in 2010 for that strategy to prove impossible, though there is little doubt that it will certainly come into play in 2015.

Contrary to what I believe the Americans initially wanted, though ultimately playing into their hands, was that the extremists rallied to the President. Indeed, when Sarath Fonseka emerged as the common candidate, those able to deal with Fonseka on his own terms became the leading lights in the election campaign. Symptomatic of the strategy was the way in which Fonseka’s insinuation that the Secretary of Defence was responsible for the killing of LTTE leaders who surrendered was tackled. Instead of calling the man a liar, and citing his previous claim that he was responsible (which indeed the Americans had helpfully brought to our attention), government summarily dismissed Mahinda Samarasinghe who had been asked to take the lead at a press conference, and instead entrusted the job to Wimal Weerawansa and his like.

The result may have seemed effective electorally to the government, but it was disastrous for the Secretary of Defence. It created the impression that he had indeed done what he was charged with, and Fonseka’s crime was revealing this, not that he had made up the story. And it also made it difficult for him to do what any army should have done when credible evidence of possible abuses was placed before it, as the LLRC indicated had occurred in a limited number of cases. Whereas he should have conducted an investigation transparently and taken disciplinary action if required, he had laid himself open to the charge of being called a traitor himself.

So the very simple way to have avoided an international inquiry, laid out so systematically by the LLRC, was blocked. Interestingly enough, whereas all other reactions to the LLRC were predominantly positive, it was only the Americans, the TNA and Saravanamuttu’s CPA who were deeply critical. But again government, instead of responding to this sensibly by promptly implementing the LLRC in full, instead allowed Weerawansa and the Secretary of Defence, through the Defence Ministry website, to attack it.

I can understand then why Patricia Butenis, in the last constructive conversation I had with her, said that the government was ambiguous about the LLRC. I did point out that the Americans were largely responsible about this since, when government had unambiguous embraced the LLRC, tabling its report and asking for an Action Plan on the recommendations, it was the Americans (not Butenis but Patricia Nuland in Washington) who had been harsh. Typically the government had then reacted by in effect saying, if you want more, we have people who want less. But I told her she should listen not to individuals but to the accredited spokesmen of government.

Who were these, she asked, which was understandable given their lack of apparent authority. G L and Mohan Pieris, I said, to which her response was that both now lacked credibility. This startled me, though I have since realized that her point was totally valid. But in a context in which the President has failed to discipline contrary views, indeed seems to use them to highlight difficulties he could easily overcome, and with both G L and Mohan tailoring their advice to what they believe the Secretary of Defence wants, it is no wonder that we have lurched from crisis to crisis.

Certainly there is no doubt that we have failed absolutely to try to understand the Americans and work together positively with them in areas where we should. Thus we lost a great opportunity way back in 2009, even while some elements in their ranks were hatching the Fonseka plot, in failing to respond to the Kerry Report. That had raised some questions about the war, but in some cases had even provided us with answers to allegations. The most serious allegation related to Sarath Fonseka’s alleged assertion about responsibility for the White Flag incident, and I pointed out how we should immediately respond to this. Lalith Weeratunge agreed, but a committee was appointed that never met. And Mohan who agreed that he and I could easily draw up answers did not push, so the opportunity passed.

There may however have been a conceptual problem here, because Dayan Jayatilleka, who also pointed out to the President the need for a response (and was reassured by Lalith that a committee was looking into the matter, though typically no one bothered to ensure that the committee met), told me that there was a school of thought in Sri Lanka that claimed the Report showed the Americans had softened towards us, and understood the importance of our achievement, and would soon cease to persecute us. I was told that this view was prevalent even in the Foreign Ministry, and G L Pieris cannot be blamed for this since he was not Minister at the time – which perhaps suggests that my criticisms of him, if not misplaced, should be more general.

Meanwhile the Americans were not resting. The conversation I mentioned with Patricia, who had been the most enthusiastic of foreign envoys in supporting my efforts, through the Council for Liberal Democracy, to bring politicians of different parties together to discuss reconciliation, took place in the Ministry of Defence. I think it was on the occasion, reported in Gota’s War when she had gone to explain away Paul Carter’s attempt to suborn the former Defence Spokesman, General Prasad Samarasinghe. That story was told me by the same NGO official, a friend of Bob Blake as well as generally supportive of government, who had told me about Kshenuka Seneviratne trying to create bad blood between the President and Sushma Swaraj and Nimal Siripala de Silva, and again I have no reason to doubt its accuracy.

Government as usual responded in a hamfisted fashion, allowing Patricia to offer her own explanation informally, instead of summoning her to the Ministry of External Affairs and making a formal complain, with a request for a written explanation. Thus, when I exposed the incident, Patricia was deeply upset, and turned in what struck me at the time was a Marlene Dietrich style performance, with a superbly suppressed sob, to express her sense of hurt. I too was sorry, because I had grown fond of her, and I continue to believe that, though she was driven by extremists, including Paul Carter, she was genuinely anxious for progress.

By then though our meetings had stopped, because after an adverse newspaper report in which Wimal Weerawansa had attacked her for something said at one of them, she had taken against Dilan Perera and insisted that I not invite him. I was not prepared to do this and I think this was seen as a test case of my commitment finally to a Sri Lankan agenda rather than an American one. But even so it is possible that, given the sterling commitment of Jeff Anderson, who had overseen the programme – and whose laconic comment on the Carter incident was that there were some very strange people in the Embassy – we would have continued had Carter not contributed to raising the stakes so aggressively.

Given all this, I think we must understand and sympathize with the anguish felt by the Secretary of Defence. Having received solid cooperation from the American government under George Bush, having I believe done his best to fight a clean war, he did not know what hit him when he became the target of criticism, with his own senior generals offered virtual asylum if they provided testimony against him – while Sarath Fonseka, who he knew had to be restrained on occasion, had turned into the darling of those members of the international community determined to criticize us.

But understanding his bewilderment does not excuse the dogmatic response he has engaged in. Following an extremist agenda because he believes these are the only people he can rely on had resulted in polarization that will destroy the country economically as well as socially. And sadly he does this whilst feeling immeasurably superior to other politicians, on the grounds that he is efficient and they are not.

I have some sympathy with this position, having seen how ineffective my colleagues in Parliament are. But we have also to recognize that he has highly trained professionals to work for him, whereas in other areas our administrators have been hamstrung and rendered ineffective by both the educational and the administrative systems; he has unlimited funds, a position only enjoyed also by his younger brother in the Cabinet, whereas other Ministers have to beg for funds and have no mechanisms to ensure coordinated action; and above all he knows he can do what he wants, whereas others are in danger of having their decisions flouted, with few able – as Karu Jayasuriya did – to say enough is enough and leave when he was not able to be an effective Minister.

So it should not be a matter for adulation that the Ministry of Defence works well. And it should certainly not be a reason for allowing the Secretary to dictate policies in other areas too. The recent tragedy of broken promises with regard to the Northern Province is symptomatic of the incapacity to understand the wider dimensions of the situation. We simply cannot alienate everyone, nationally and internationally, who does not share our mindset. And while I firmly believe we must continue our excellent relations with China, we must also follow Chinese advice and not believe that this can be done to the exclusion of others.

So, though I believe American machinations are to blame for engendering the current exclusivist mindset, the responsibility for the disasters that are piling up are our own. I believe the President is a capable politician and could change course if he really understood the position. But if he is lulled into complacence, as has happened year after year, if distrust of potential allies except for the family and the kitchen cabinet is inculcated in him, if he is not aware of the economic and educational problems that are mounting, then it seems we have only further suffering in store.

Whether the Americans will be happy with this I do not know. I would like to think not, but if we are not able to talk to them sensibly, then I suspect they will go into Mark Antony mode, as they have done in so many places lately, and with what they convince themselves are the best of motives, let slip the dogs of war.

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Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    Rather than write about the Yankees contribution to the current crisis I wish someone will write

    ‘Home Grown Solution – K A Sumanasekeras (Leelas) and Jim Softlys solution to diffuse the current crisis’

    im sure it can be used as referance for many a thesis in the Universities of Banana Republics around the world!

    • 8
      2

      ”The request to write an article on US Policy towards Sri Lanka in 2008/2009 came at a timely moment, for I had been reflecting in some anguish on the crisis that the Sri Lankan government is now facing. I believe that this crisis is of the government’s own creation, but at the same time I believe that its root causes lie in US policy towards us during the period noted”:

      This man is in a muddle – trying to protect this dictatorship.

      • 2
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        1.”My contention is that the appalling behavior of the government at present springs from insecurity”:
        – because the convictions are NOT strong.
        ”Thus the unhappiness of the vast majority of the senior SLFP leadership, and their willingness to engage in political reform that promotes pluralism, are ignored”:
        – becuse the convictions are NOT strong.

        2. ”the belief that victory at elections can only be secured if what is perceived as a fundamentalist and fundamental Sinhala Buddhist base is appeased”:
        So, the aim is victory at any cost and not the welfare of the citizens.

        3.Ethirveerasingam(Olympic medallist) reported(in Groundviews) his interviews with two politicians:
        L. Athulathmudali (former Minister and Presidential Hopeful), Interview with Ethirveerasingam, 4 Feb 1985: ‘’Proposing a federal constitution will be political suicide.”
        R.Wickremasinghe, 13 May 1997: “We are a political party. Like any other political party, we will not do anything that will not get us into power, nor would we do anything when we are in power to lose power.”

        4.” …In each, the party previously in opposition gained decisive power on a platform that promised fundamental change. After each election, there were missed opportunities for initiatives that could have addressed many concerns of Tamil community members, while simultaneously respecting the concerns of all but the most radical Sinhalese nationalists. In each instance, however, Sri Lanka’s political leaders chose not to expend their political capital in this way but instead, to accede to demands of the radicals. … it will be useful to seek lessons from periods when Sri Lankan political leaders, like President Mahinda Rajapaksa, had such overwhelming political support that they were in a position, if they chose, to expend political capital by taking concrete steps toward communal reconciliation. …” – Prospects For Post Conflict Reconciliation And Development In Sri Lanka: Can Singapore Be Used As A Model? Prof John Richardson, Text of a presentation at Global Asia Institute Speaker Series (2010), National University of Singapore, Prof John Richardson

    • 1
      1

      Yes, why want to blame yankees, why dont you blame yourself for contributing Rajapakse regime to come this stage of mess.

      you cant use medumulane thuggary to yankees.
      Oneday Rajapakses will end up similar to the fate of as Myanmar junta or Sudanese junta.

  • 3
    3

    Anything but us to blame for the Black Christian/Buddhist apologist! He is again fighting imperialism with his black English coat! wow what a fight!

    • 0
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      Profesor is fighting his conscience.

    • 0
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      Readers must be aware that our Rajiva’s dominant brown-sahib gene runs rampant when the moon is high. He sways and swings, ducks and dives like a Mattakuliya drunkard on payday. He writes now for our entertainment – nothing he writes matters a fat fig when it comes to present and future government policy. As an ex-used-mouthpiece for the government, his credibility has been shot. The lies that men utter live long after they’re gone.

  • 19
    4

    Rajiva Wijesinha,

    “Having received solid cooperation from the American government under George Bush, having I believe done his best to fight a clean war, he did not know what hit him when he became the target of criticism, with his own senior generals offered virtual asylum if they provided testimony against him –…”

    A clean war? What a lie you can utter! Why all the fuss about UNHRC war crimes investigation?

    Why all these convoluted thinking and arguments? Because the Sinhala state and the regimes don’t want to do anything beneficial to Tamils. Muslims are finding out now.

    Why is this cruelty to Tamils? Because they have the Mahavamsa mind set, which is dinned in and reinforced by the clergy time and again.

    Why can’t you brush aside the clergy and do the right and just thing to all communities? They cannot because it is the tradition set by Sinhalese leaders since independence to follow? And, if they break the tradition, the hordes of Sinhala voters are ready to throw you out.

    So the racist drama goes on ad infinitum, until broken by force.

    This is the tragedy of Sri Lanka for 66 years, and may be more to come.

    In the meantime Tamils, Muslims and Christians must struggle for their democratic rights.

    • 1
      2

      Here are some relevant excerpts from an article:
      The South Asia Channel
      Sri Lanka’s Downward Spiral
      by Taylor Dibbert,
      http://southasia.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/07/14/sri_lanka_s_downward_spiral

      “As Sri Lanka’s prospects for genuine reconciliation continue to worsen, now is the time for the international community to redouble its efforts and look beyond resolutions passed and statements made at the Human Rights Council. The Rajapaksa regime’s ruthless end-of-war tactics, like its postwar governance scorecard, are models that shouldn’t be overlooked or even tolerated. For all of these reasons, the way things play out in Sri Lanka has ramifications that extend well beyond a small island nation.

      Sometimes it takes time, but the truth has a way of finding people. Let’s hope it finds Rajapaksa — sooner rather than later.”

      Yes I agree, over to you Right honorable MP Rajiva Wijesinha

  • 9
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    Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha MP

    “The request to write an article on US Policy towards Sri Lanka in 2008/2009 came at a timely moment, for I had been reflecting in some anguish on the crisis that the Sri Lankan government is now facing. I believe that this crisis is of the government’s own creation, but at the same time I believe that its root causes lie in US policy towards us during the period noted.:

    It is very convenient to blame the Americans for the Current Crisis, brought about because of the Para-Sinhalese Buddhist racism and Chauvinism along with the Family and Monk hegemony on the Americans.

    Then, there are Sinhalese modayas, Sinhala Foots who will believe this, but their fraction is declining.

    The Alutgama incident shows that the there are a few sufficient True Sinhala Buddhists out there who have Buddhist Values. This of course excludes the Sinhala Buddhist Politicians and the so-called Maha-nayakas , aka pus-nayakas.

    Are you trying to whitewash the Para-Sinhala Buddhist Racist State? Is this the the so-called Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka?

  • 7
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    Prof. it seems that you are saying again and again that your team is made of bungling fools. Wonder why they have not bothered so far to throw you out ?

    • 1
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      He is protecting them by a liberal use of ”feeling insecurity” instead of saying lack of firm principles.

    • 3
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      Kirri Yakka ,

      Rajiva Wijesinha gets away because the other fools are bigger fools than him, so they don’t throw him out.

      In the valley of the fools, the lesser fool with a doctorate is the king!

    • 1
      1

      Kirri Yakka

      Where do you think Rajiva, Dayan, Weerwansa, Gnanasara, Champika, ………… would go after the regime change?

  • 5
    1

    These old stories are good for academics – things are changing and have changed. Lets write/discuss how one “zero” President can be made a “hero”
    Statesman in his declining stages,if this is ever possible for the sake
    of all Sri Lankans.

  • 2
    1

    ”So it should not be a matter for adulation that the Ministry of Defence works well. And it should certainly not be a reason for allowing the Secretary to dictate policies in other areas too”:
    Defence Secretary is getting better and better:
    Trainees in Basic Media Course Awarded Certificates in Grand Ceremony, 27 May 2014, http://www.army.lk/detailed.php?NewsId=7926

  • 4
    7

    This is a really excellent article cogently explaining the dilemmas and faults of our leaders but I wouldn’t expect many to appreciate it.

  • 5
    3

    This [Edited out] says “Nishan de Mel of Verite Research, one of the organizations now favoured by the Americans to promote change, accused me recently of being too indulgent to the Sri Lankan government”
    To say a stooge of the Rajapssas like you is “indulgent” towards SL’s current fascist regime must be the understatement of the decade!

  • 7
    3

    Rajiva, what a consummate liar and sycophant you are. Still trying to make out that you are an intellectual colossus when we see you as a mental lightweight sucking up for some benefits from the king.
    Stop writing this crap with no one takes seriously -you are displaying your lack of scruples and hypocrisy under the guise of trying to show your self as a decent human being- my are dumb skull!!

  • 6
    3

    So it is the Americans now. Is your metadata alright this time.

    • 4
      3

      Of course the Americans are involved. They are pushing the UN resolution arent they? You are giving the impression that the writer is blaming an American conspiracy for all the trouble. He is not.

  • 5
    3

    With all the “mumbo jumbo” written by Rajiva, what he is saying is that:
    Gotha is inefficient and he is the cause of all the problems we are facing now as he cannot understand global political perspective (although he holds on to his US Citizenship). On the other hand President Rajapakse has no backbone and he is unable to think for himself and make suitable changes to bring Sri Lanka out of all the troubles we are now facing and what we are gong to face in the future. So President Rajapakse is not a capable leader.

  • 1
    2

    Current crisis is not a creation of anyone …it is our own creation.
    Imagine your own self …IF corrupted..then do not blame on someone else.
    Because no one can influence you unless you invite or entertain them…
    therefore it is more honourable to own it. That alone reflects your Leadership qualities.

    We have not just a President….but an Executive President.. !!!
    The power / Authority of this position ..it is said .only cannot change the gender
    hik…hik..hik…but what do we see..? a fearful …due to insecurity..spineless weak man.
    the position & power attached is being used ONLY to perpetuate his glory and to
    achieve his personal objectives..this daily routine suppress …oppress the weak helpless
    In the Society…
    Classic example ; the putrid way the CJ 43 …the woman.. ( she has more guts to stand up)
    was removed…struggle to own military …it’s achievements speaks volumes of his weaknesses.

    As a result ..the Executive has lost the sight on the bigger picture…he has proven that incapabilty
    to resolve issues affecting…forget about Tamils & Muslims…his own race that he proudly claim
    have voted him in…to understand this one has ONLY to visit villages…the whole Sinhala Society
    is rotting …..So the creation of BBS to incite hatred against Muslims is part of the strategy of an
    utterly WEAK Regime….the whole country is aware of the owners of the Saffron robed team…

    Therefore do not blame any country in this Technologically advanced world…besides the world do
    not depend on Sri Lanka….but it is the other way….so if the house..the administration is not in order
    in this interdependent world …they naturally interfere…

    .WILL A BANK CONTINUE TO LEND ON INSTITUTIONS THAT ARE MISMANAGED…OR…NOT
    ADHERING TO THE TE RULES SET…AND BORROW FROM MONEY LENDERS FOR SURVIVAL?
    THEY WILL NOT INVEST ANY FUTHER AND IMMIDATELY MOVE IN TO SAFEGUARD THEIR INTERESTS.

  • 1
    1

    I understand that one needs to correctly identify the issue before issuing judgements. In that attempt I laud you.

    However leaving the responsibility for Sri Lanka’s woes at the feet of the US is ludicrous. Yes, the US, being the sole global super power, has a stake in what happens in SL and South Asia, and as it does around the world, is engaged in trying to shape our politics through any means possible. This is a fact and freely admitted to by US secretaries of state like Hillary Clinton.

    The problems in Sri Lanka in 2009 and hence forth are of our own making. Politicians catering to the fringe extremists (both in the Sinhala and TNA communities) IS the reason for the crisis. Taking credible action on war crimes accusations, and the devolution of power to Tamil-majority areas is the RIGHT thing to do. If SL politicians wanted to do such for the love of the country, they would have beat the UN and India to the punchline and speedily implemented the recommendations of the LLRC, as a locally-grown solution to the locally-nurtured problems.

    However the politicians do not do things for the love of the country, rather they choose the easiest path to wealth and power for themselves and their relatives. Regardless of which community one belongs to all SL politicians are guilty of such abuse of political power.

    I wonder whether a buddhist monk (without children, and hopefully having denounced all allegiance to family) would be a better politician who works for the love of the country and nothing and no one else?

  • 5
    1

    Which one is this appalling behaviour of the Govt?,

    Is it providing security, jobs, economic growth , and increasing standard of living to inhabitants since Nanthikadal?.

    Is it the stopping of the Grim Reapers from the West who are now the champions of HR of the World and curtailing the actions of their stooges and paid NGOs who try to destabilize the Nation?.

    The great majority of the inhabitant population would have no sweat if it is the latter.

    • 0
      2

      is this the Sumanasekera school of thought?

  • 1
    2

    ‘having I believe done his best to fight a clean war,’

    Well well well Rajiva, no war can be fought clean. Nothing can be far away from the truth. In addition you are saying this about Gota.

    Rajiva wake up. The war that ended in 2009 was a dirty war as all wars go. What is more, the Sinhalese have proven to be a heartless tribe time and time again. Even in peace time they engage in horrible acts of barbarity. Remember 1983. And again the other day in Aluthgama the awful barbarity of the Sinhala mindset was amply exhibited. The Sinhalese who are capable of such horrible acts in peace time are certainly capable of committing all the 2009 war crimes they are accused of. And Gota was the architect of that triumphant war.

    Therein lies the sickness of your statement about Gota’s clean war.

  • 1
    0

    Dear Prof. We thank you first for reporting on the crisis and for pointing out thst it is made in the U.S.A. The weatern world and most cerainly Australia is keen to recieve boat loads of crisis fleeing refugees.

    just a quick question for you proffessor. Is not your own contribution to the crisis greater than the US contribution?

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    Very simply put, what Rajiva is trying to tell us all is:

    1. Gotha is the cause of all the trouble we are facing today, and he is manipulating the President Rajapakse.
    2. What he has not said is that Gotha is a US Citizen, who is against US Government and trying to go behind China. Gotha is creating Sri Lanka as the cold war-war site between China and USA.
    3. President Rajapakse is not smart enough to identify the game played by Gotha.
    4. President Rajapakse is a puppet of Gotha and has become a rubber stamp.
    5. President Rajapakse is not a leader but a follower.

    But at the same time Rajiva is trying to suck up to the President.
    Rajiva brings shame on every educated intelligent Sri Lankan.

    p.s: Sri Lanka is full of stupid bum sucking educated fools.

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    An excellent article sir, well articulated.

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    Dear Prof Rajiva Wijesinha MP

    Re “Certainly there is no doubt that we have failed absolutely to try to understand the Americans and work together positively with them in areas where we should”

    Appreciate the insight provided about the inner workings of govt but notes with sadness the shameless jostling for positions taking place with the devil knocking on the door.

    One month before the war ended the American President held the following view on counter action against terrorism. We failed to use it to our advantage.

    “it is our intention to assure those who carried out their duties relying in good faith upon legal advice from the Department of Justice that they will not be subject to prosecution. The men and women of our intelligence community serve courageously on the front lines of a dangerous world. Their accomplishments are unsung and their names unknown, but because of their sacrifices, every single American is safer. We must protect their identities as vigilantly as they protect our security, and we must provide them with the confidence that they can do their jobs.

    I will always do whatever is necessary to protect the national security of the United States.

    This is a time for reflection, not retribution. I respect the strong views and emotions that these issues evoke. We have been through a dark and painful chapter in our history. But at a time of great challenges and disturbing disunity, nothing will be gained by spending our time and energy laying blame for the past. Our national greatness is embedded in America’s ability to right its course in concert with our core values, and to move forward with confidence. That is why we must resist the forces that divide us, and instead come together on behalf of our common future”

    April 16, 2009, Statement of President Barack Obama on Release of OLC Memos.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Statement-of-President-Barack-Obama-on-Release-of-OLC-Memos

    Human Rights has always been subordinate to American and Western interests even when their own countries were not threatened.

    This BBC and Guardian Films Documentary about American involvement in Torture and HR violations in Iraq (51 mnts) amply demonstrates that fact.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxHEI603bF4

    Belgium even brought retroactive laws to shut down War Crimes charges that were pending in Belgium Courts against The Bush administration, when Bush threatened to move NATO headquarters out of Belgium.

    (AP) Belgium’s highest court dismissed war crimes complaints Wednesday against former President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, ruling the country no longer has a legal basis to charge them. The decision cannot be appealed in Belgian courts.

    The decision was expected to improve Belgium’s diplomatic relations with the United States and Israel, which hit their lowest points in decades over the complaints.

    The cases were based on a Belgian universal jurisdiction law allowing for foreigners to file genocide and war crimes complaints against foreign leaders.

    The issue centers on the Feb. 13, 1991, bombing of the al-Amiriya shelter in Baghdad, which killed 403 people, including 261 women and 52 children. American aircraft attacked the shelter believing it was a command center.

    The complaints alleging war crimes against Bush, Powell, and Cheney, who was U.S. defense secretary in the early 1990s, were filed on behalf of the families of seven Iraqis killed or injured during the 1991 Gulf War.

    Under international pressure, Parliament amended the 1993 law in August to require that human rights complaints could only be filed if the victim or suspect was a Belgian citizen or long-term resident at the time of the alleged crime. Parliament also guaranteed diplomatic immunity for world leaders and other government officials visiting the country.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/2003/09/25/belgium-nixes-war-crimes-charges-against-bush-powell-cheney-sharon/

    Kind Regards,
    OTC

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    2009/10 is NOT the timeline.

    Since his election in late 2005,Rajapakse and his family and crew have been engaged in lies,deception,robbery and total mismanagement of any given entity/situation,alienated countries that matter economically.

    Style of governance snce 2005? PS Chairman comes to mind.

    He asked the people to elect him as election date back in 2005 was set on his birthday and Lanka gave him a present.What do you do with a present? Keep it.Enjoy it.At our cost.

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    Very sad rajiva very sad.

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    It is interesting that Bush was supportive, along with Blake while he was in Sri Lanka, but he did change his tune when recalled to the State Dept. Butenis and Sisson have been disasters, and Carter was no extremist, but the norm.

    I was surprised that Nuland had a finger in the Sri Lankan pie too, though it was involvement in Ukraine that brought her her notoriety. It is when Slaughter gets involved, (as her name suggests) that one has to recalibrate. Thank you for an interesting article.

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