14 November, 2018

Blog

The Brigadier Intervention

By Chamindra Weerawardhana

Dr. Chamindra Weerawardhana

The conduct of [now suspended] Brigadier Priyanka Fernando, Defence Attaché of the High Commission of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka to the United Kingdom has already made viral headlines not only in the UK and Sri Lanka, but also across the world. The Brigadier’s throat-slitting’ intervention, intended at Tamil nationalist/secessionist protesters who were protesting on the National Day of Sri Lanka, has resulted in many a debate on social media and beyond. While what happened was unfortunate, this incident sheds light upon crucial issues of relevance to post-war Sri Lanka, which are equally important to the worldwide Sri Lankan community. This article is intended at making sense, albeit parsimoniously, of the Brigadier’s intervention and the wider issues it sheds light upon.

Context and Pretext

This incident took place in London, once the capital of the British Empire, a monstrous structure built on murder, destruction, confiscation of land, waterways and bodies. The imperial project was one of creating division where there was none, aggravating division where there was some, and in ensuring a regular flow of profit and plenty to the coloniser’s hands. This historical backdrop needs to be constantly kept in mind when reflecting upon what happened at the doorstep of Sri Lanka House, formerly Ceylon House, at Hyde Park Gardens on National Day 2018. In the present-day context, the stealth of the imperial prowess continues to be felt in many places across the ex-Empire, through neocolonial and neoliberal politics and diplomacy. Why, for instance, should a British company be given the multi-million-pound contract to print biometric Sri Lankan passports? This decision was taken at the highest levels of power in Colombo, at the behest and persuasion of British authorities. Despite reports from within relevant government departments in Colombo that an upgrade to state-owned facilities would suffice to print biometric passports, [at a cost much lesser than that that incurred by the deal with the British company], Sri Lanka’s top leaders decided to look away and do as they were asked and pressured. By the British. The point I wish to make here is that when it is of advantage to British interests, Britain continues to wield tremendous power over Sri Lanka, to the level of influencing cabinet decisions and more.

In other words, Sri Lanka’s present-day relationship with Britain has many problematic aspects, which successive Sri Lankan governments have silently and somewhat sheepishly tolerated.

It is very important to contextualise the Brigadier’s intervention in this backdrop of highly questionable UK-Sri Lanka relations, which are essentially exploitative, thoroughly asymmetrical and from the point of view of a Sri Lankan, outright ‘humiliating’. The fault here is not only with the British, but a significant amount of it falls upon the government of Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan armed forces, originally a creation of the British to protect British interests in the island and in the region, have extremely close ties to Britain. Many senior officers have been trained at Sandhurst and at other British military bases. Specific structures such as the now defunct Royal Ulster Constabulary and its successor, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, have long had very close ties and exchanges with Sri Lankan forces and law enforcement bodies. It is therefore relatively justifiable to claim that much of the training structures, approaches and practices in military formations in Sri Lanka are influenced by British military training, approaches, and practices. The military uniforms of Sri Lanka may today bear the Sri Lankan national flag, but we should never lose sight of the fact that the military is a structure originally created by the coloniser, for the coloniser. As we gained dominion status and kept the Queen’s official photograph on the wall and put up the photos of our anglicised oligarchy right below the Queen’s photo, and as we subsequently removed the Queen’s photo altogether and replaced it with photos of our own oligarchical brown ‘queens’ and ‘kings’, the armed forces have been evolving to respond to national security needs. Today, and despite their British roots, our armed forces have become a central institution at the heart of national identity for the large majority of Sri Lankans. Armed forces equal patriotism. This leads to the following equation:

Pro-armed forces at all times = patriotic

Critical of armed forces, regularly or occasionally = unpatriotic

During the thirty-year civil war and in the post-war years, this equation has come to define how Sri Lankans talk about the Sri Lankan armed forces. To many, the armed forces and servicewo/men are absolute heroines and heroes. The fact that the military in itself was a colonial construct, and therefore inherently carries oppressive dimensions that should be discussed, challenged and reformed, if not preferably ‘de-colonised’ in accordance with Sri Lanka’s present-day needs, is a conversation that is near-completely eclipsed. 

To a minority of others [at the far end of Tamil nationalism], the armed forces are composed of criminals.

It is these two perspectives that we come across, time and again, when Sri Lankans discuss the behaviour of the Brigadier on National Day 2018 (It is important to reiterate at this point that this article focuses only on how Sri Lankans – and not non-nationals who interpret the incident to suit their own institutional, political and financial agendas – view the Brigadier’s intervention).

To some commentators, the Brigadier represents an absolute national hero. To others, the Brigadier represents a shame, an embarrassment, and his behaviour is indicative of the behaviour of our armed forces.

In the following, I will attempt at engaging in a reading that does not fit into this explanatory binary. In so doing, I will try to address a number of aspects of this incident that have received comparatively less attention.

Diplomatic Dimensions: Many Questions Unanswered

The incident took place on National Day, in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission at Hyde Park Gardens. At this point, I would request readers to watch and re-watch the many video clips of the protest and the incident in question, which are freely available right across social media. You would notice that the buildings on Hyde Park Gardens are not detached. This means that there is no enclosed front yard or security gates in front of Sri Lanka House. The Met Police is more than aware of the fact that Tamil demonstrations would be held on Sri Lanka’s National Day. Given the precedents of such protests [such as protests during President Rajapaksa’s visits to London while in office], there is absolutely no doubt that all relevant British authorities were perfectly aware of the nature and magnitude of Tamil nationalist, or to be precise, pro-LTTE anti-Sri Lanka protests.

When permitting the protest at Hyde Park Gardens, it appears that a major error has been committed by British authorities, which could well amount to a substantive breach of diplomatic protocol and basic diplomatic courtesy. After all, Sri Lanka is not some third state. It is a place the British forcibly entered, violating the protocols of local kingdoms and protectorates, plundering, looting, raping and exploiting. It is a place that was a Crown Colony and then a Dominion State. Sri Lanka is a member state of the Commonwealth, and currently has an extremely and unquestioningly [or to go by the book this writer has read, ‘dangerously’] pro-UK government in power. Sri Lanka is a place with multiple ties to Britain at so many levels.

On the National Day of such a country, and knowing full well that the protests can be intense, the British authorities allowed the protestors to come very close to the doorsteps of the High Commission. The protest was taking place literally right in front of the High Commission. Had it been a small-scale protest over a specific issue, that may have been permissible. However, knowing that the this would be a sizeable protest on Sri Lanka’s National Day, British law enforcement still allowed the protesters to come very close to the entrance of the High Commission. The videos also quite clearly demonstrate that there was very little uniformed police presence at the protest and in front of the High Commission.

In Colombo, if a mass demonstration of hundreds of people against British colonisation were to be held, it is very likely that Sri Lankan authorities would ensure that the protesters do not get anywhere near the compound of the British High Commission.

Reports stated that the British High Commissioner to Colombo had lodged a strong protest (over the Brigadier’s intervention) to the Sri Lankan Ministry of External Affairs.

When addressing this diplomatic protest from the UK High Commissioner, it is important that all Sri Lankans be promptly informed whether our Ministry raised the issue of the proximity of the protest to the High Commission.

Further Questions

It is important for all Sri Lankans to know whether our High Commissioner in London and all relevant staff at Sri Lanka House approached British authorities promptly prior to National Day, and requested that the protest be moved to one end of Hyde Park Gardens, either to the Brooke Street end or to the Clarendon Place end. One of these two sides should have been made out-of-bounds to protesters, in order to ensure the circulation of vehicles to and from the High Commission, to ensure the safety of diplomatic and all other High Commission staff, and as an act of basic courtesy to the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, on her National day.

Prior to the swift decision to suspend the Brigadier, it would have been necessary raise the following question: what steps were taken by our High Commissioner in London, and officials in charge of protocol in preparation for National Day, to approach all relevant British authorities, discuss the Tamil nationalist protest, and call for preventive measures such as a substantive security distance between the protesters and the High Commission premises?

In answering this question:

a) If the relevant officials had not taken adequate action prior to National Day to request necessary support from British authorities – it is those officials, and not the Brigadier, who should be suspended and recalled with immediate effect.

b) If all of the above-mentioned measures and more were taken, but the British authorities were not forthcoming in their cooperation with the High Commission – Colombo has no obligation to be in a hurry to take action on the British High Commissioner’s ‘strong protest’ over the Brigadier’s intervention. On the contrary, it would be an opportunity for Colombo to trigger a frank diplomatic dialogue with the UK on the unhealthily asymmetric and imbalanced nature of the UK-Sri Lanka relationship.

Beyond a binary discourse

That the Brigadier’s behaviour per se is unacceptable is a given.

The Defence Attaché, a senior diplomatic official of the rank of Minister-Councillor, should not have remained in front of the protest in the first place. The Brigadier is a combat veteran, and putting him on the frontline on a day of this nature also risks jeopardising his own security. Who took that decision? Why was a top-level diplomat out on the street? are questions that need answers.

Suspending and recalling the Brigadier can be interpreted as a damage control, if not containment strategy. It could help counter the negative publicity and to contain the pressure on Sri Lankan authorities from British politicians and other lobbies. It also prevents British authorities from taking any coercive and undiplomatic steps targeting the Brigadier. President Sirisena’s decision to revoke the suspension is, very simply, all but an election gimmick. It is extremely doubtful if this decision was motivated by a genuine focus on addressing asymmetric UK-Sri Lanka relations, or in rationally extrapolating the incident based on a national sovereignty/security-cum-foreign policy perspective. It would be myopic to expect an informed policy position of that nature from a national leader whose servile disposition towards British royalty and authorities is well-known.

Putting the blame for this incident solely on the Brigadier, and perceiving the Brigadier with contempt are the worst mistakes Sri Lankans could collectively commit.

Shift towards a post-war outlook: essential

Post-war, Sri Lanka has national security needs that are somewhat different from war-time national security needs. In the present scenario, there is a necessity for Sri Lankans to openly discuss – with no pressure, financing, or underhand of any foreign power – the oppressive dimensions of institutions, ideologies and power structures. A pertinent place to start off with is the armed forces. The ethnonational divide in the composition of the forces is more than substantial. Gender justice within the forces is a topic that continues to be insufficiently addressed. The same goes for any discussion of the colonial roots of the forces, and the question of ‘to whose benefit’ the forces were created and maintained. Discussions into this question could help constructively address many outstanding issues, such as problems in the treatment of ex-servicewo/men and in redefining the role of the armed forces in post-war Sri Lanka.

In terms of national-level conversations, it is necessary to begin a new post-war reflection on national security, ethnonationalism/s and patriotism. During the war, the LTTE was the quintessential enemy. Post war, it is crucial to constantly remember the fact that in the final reading, Tamil secessionism, its symbolism and insignia were the creation of successive Sri Lankan governments. Patriotic Sri Lankans condemning Tiger flag-holding Sri Lankans protesting in Western cities on National Day ought to remember the erroneous political decisions that created fertile ground for Tamil secessionism flourish. Policymakers should be particularly conscious of this reality, because it is precisely in a reflection along these lines that we can find effective ways of containing Tamil secessionist tendencies inside and outside Sri Lanka in the post-war phase. Until the root causes that continue to give reason to some people to protest hoisting Tiger flags are adequately assessed and understood, a path to reconciliation will remain all but a mirage.

It is also necessary to acknowledge the fact that some Sri Lankans, or citizens of other countries of Sri Lankan descent, are Tamil nationalists, and that some of them continue to uphold a secessionist line. What matters is how the re-emergence of such secessionism can be contained. Through carefully managed policy decisions, Sri Lankan authorities can work towards effectively reducing and nullifying the number of arguments Tamil secessionists can hold against the Sri Lankan government. 

Dynamic, ‘Independent’ and national interest-focused foreign policy: an absolute priority

The Brigadier’s intervention and the circumstances surrounding it, the reaction of the UK government and Colombo’s response are all clearly suggestive of the fact that Sri Lanka is in dire need of rethinking its foreign policy. As one commentator rightly notes, there is a need for a proactive foreign policy agenda. Instead, what we have today is a foreign policy that somewhat passively tolerates external transgressions, adopts a servile approach towards big powers, and is therefore stuck in a policy ethos of compliance to external coercion. This needs to change, in favour of a foreign policy based on national interest, mutually beneficial cooperation and challenging asymmetries.

Our relationship with Britain requires substantive re-visiting. Our positions, in terms of national security issues, military cooperation, immigration and entry requirements, trade cooperation and all other fronts require robust negotiating focused on the national interest. In terms of decision-making and bureaucratic cultures within the foreign policy apparatus, there is a need for increased dynamism, and especially in developing a foreign policy ethos that is well and truly grounded in Sri Lanka, but effectively deals with the world in the most cosmopolitan manner.

The bottom line is that a sentiment of eurocentrism, of viewing ‘the west as best’, persists right throughout governmental bodies, from the Office of the President to the foreign policy apparatus, the military and other government bodies. The day on which we collectively begin a conversation on addressing this issue (one of the most disturbing manifestations of the colonial hangover that hovers over us), we can begin to move towards a truly Sri Lankan foreign policy agenda that sets a precedent to other states in the global South. 

*Dr Chamindra Weerawardhana (@fremancourt) is a political analyst and gender justice activist, and Network Chair of Sibéal, the Irish Feminist and Gender Studies Network.

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Latest comments

  • 12
    21

    A finely balanced, thoughtful piece. Congratulations.

    • 22
      8

      Dayan – what do you know about balanced view?….

      • 6
        7

        A case one Sinhalised descendant of low caste Tamil Nadu immigrant praising another person of his clan. “British Empire a monstrous structure built on murder, destruction, confiscation of land, waterways and bodies”. This is exactly what Kallathonies Vijaya and his 700 criminal gang did to build monstrous structure called Sinhala empire by murdering Kuveni and her people, destroying their civilisation that existed for more than 10,000 years, confiscating their land, waterways and bodies. However British criminals have left the country while Sinhala criminals are still there committing more crimes to the descendants of legitimate owners of the Dravidian homeland. Very soon there will be divine intervention to correct this historic injustice.

        • 3
          4

          Dr. Gnana,

          Divine intervention through Vishunu’s ass perhaps?

          • 2
            3

            Shenali

            “Divine intervention through Vishunu’s ass perhaps?”

            Vishnu’s Vahana (vehicle) is not you but Garuda, a eagle-like bird.

            • 2
              2

              Native Veddha,

              Oh when did you become the Vishunu’s spokesperson?

              • 1
                1

                Shenali the Sinhalised carpenter clan from Tamil Nadu immigrant, please stop insulting Hinduism and take part in discussion in a civilised way. You are sadly mistaken if you think that CT is a crap website like Lankaweb and Spur (Aust), where your verbal ramble is applauded by bigoted sycophants.

          • 0
            2

            Shenal Chap,
            I suggest you check S-Buddha’s ass too, S-Buddha ass has a bigger hole..
            AA

          • 1
            1

            Shenal/Shenali/Waduge

            How vulgar can you, as a woman, get? Reading you here and elsewhere it is clear you have a poison pen, mind and culture.
            But this, girl, is the ultimate limit. You are an absolute disgrace
            mistaking you for some sort of a nationalist scholar.

            Vanangamudi

    • 12
      7

      Dayan has always counted on his bigoted supporters. He is now on the lookout outside his circle.
      Difficult to find one as confused as he is.

    • 10
      12

      It appears that everyone has misunderstood the Brigadier’s sign language.
      The Brigadier was indicating to the Tamil Tiger demonstrators that they were trying to “cut the throats” of the decent Tamils citizens in Sri Lanka by waving Terrorist Tamil Tiger Flags hence jeopardizing the negotiations to implement the proposed Constitutional changes.
      This incident indicates that the LTTE Terrorist movement is still alive and therefore the Sri Lankan Government MUST maintain the military presence in the North and East for a foreseeable future.
      It is a shame that the British Govt. is allowing these demonstrators to display the Terrorist Flags in public demonstrations.
      The question to be asked is that whether the British Govt. will allow the Muslim demonstrators to wave Terrorist ISIS flags in London.
      Peace loving decent people from all over the world condemn the waving of Terrorist Flags (Tigers, ISIS, etc.) in public places.

      • 6
        7

        This Brigadier is suffering from “Hori” caused by the bite of “Balu Makka” and he was scratching his neck several times. He showed his upper arm where they gave him an injection to control the itch. He should be immediately quarantined preferably in the pound in Battersea with his kinsfolk to prevent him spreading this disease among British public and packed back home. It is a shame on the part of a beggar nation like Srilanka to send this “Hori” case to a civilised country like UK.

      • 7
        2

        An Observer

        “The question to be asked is that whether the British Govt. will allow the Muslim demonstrators to wave Terrorist ISIS flags in London.”

        The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
        Why don’t you take Terrorist ISIS flags, hold them high and wave them standing near the Parliament?

        • 4
          1

          Native Vedda,

          You got it all wrong.

          I am an Observer and I do not participate in demonstrations carrying terrorist flags.

          As you are an experienced demonstrator you should carry the ISIS flag and wave it standing near the British Parliament to experience the consequences.

          • 2
            2

            A Lazy Observer
            You asked earlier:

            “The question to be asked is that whether the British Govt. will allow the Muslim demonstrators to wave Terrorist ISIS flags in London.”

            My answer to your important question is as follows:
            The proof of the pudding is in the eating.
            Why don’t you take Terrorist ISIS flags, hold them high and wave them standing near the Parliament?

            • 5
              1

              Native Vadda,
              Sorry, I am unable to cure your hatred and ignorance.
              May you be well and Happy!!

    • 18
      6

      Oh Dayan,

      Really – “a finely balanced, thoughtful piece”, just because blaming the once colonial masters provide the only cover for continued barbarianism in Sri Lanka, despite 70 years of independence?

      And that assessment coming from a well known kalu-sudda who cherished and is now yearning for a wine & roses colonial life style back in Europe, even if one has to prostitute for that?

      Get a life!

    • 5
      2

      DJ cheer-leader for Chamindra W is about right.

      As for Chamindra W, all this is surely a bit rich, coming from someone who earns her daily crust in the den of the Old White Master, dabbles in the politics of the old master, and props up their (UK) economy by teaching the local wannabees.

      CW is old enough to have purged the old whinge about the colonial master out of her system a long long time ago. SWRD got that shit out by his Sinhala only Act. The politicians that followed may have clung on to some antediluvian colonial remnant for convenience. We have had the power to wipe the slate clean for 70 years so it is high time we stopped the perennial whinge.

    • 1
      4

      Yes you are correct Mr Jayatilleka.

      But we need to find out more information.

      1. This demonstration was organised by which group ? because LTTE has so many breakaway groups.
      2. How come that there were so many protestors of Indian origin ?
      3. Are there any other government or intelligence agencies behind this protest apart from LTTE sympathisers, who does not like Colombo improving relationship with London?

  • 14
    1

    It’s really shocking to see how the Tamil and Sinhalese friends react to the military officer’s action, looks that reconciliation is impossible!. we are mentally far apart, separated forever.

    Someone provoked to the extreme, may swear to kill other one. I would not have surprised, being a military officer, if he have shown the same two fingers pointed towards the provoker and expressed as he would shoot and kill the provoker. But the expression is cutting the throat! (showing the two fingers to express shoot and cut the throat would take same effort).

    First time, I heard about cutting the throat, when beheaded heads were kept at Peradeniya Junctions, Kandy during the late 1980’s. Almost three decades passed, but it seems that we continue to internally enjoy cruelty!

  • 18
    4

    Dayan – you are definitely not the man to pass that judgement ,because your writing clearly shows that you are an unbalanced, top heavy pundit!

  • 10
    4

    You write Dr. In front of your nzame. It looks you are unemployed nd write these crap articles. Otherwise, don’t you see how silly is just taking simple gesture a big deal. I heard, when phoned to the both LAbour party and conservative party MPs, they had told we just protested and nothing else.
    Anyway, do you know Chndradasa from Manamperi case ? I heard the whole story. Do you still think bout him ?

    • 7
      1

      Jimbo, learn to write in a coherent manner. Nothing you write here makes any sense.

      • 3
        1

        Tamil from the north

        Please bear with him as he types with his little willi, he does not have control over what is being typed.

        • 0
          1

          NV, good one.

  • 10
    1

    In all aspects Priyanka Fernando should have demonstrated the Buddhist culture of love and compassion, even to criminals. Even Emperor Asoka began to forgive after listening to the preaching of the Buddhist monk, soon after the Kalinga war. After forgiveness should run in his blood. He should have demonstrated his calmness and call all Sri Lankans irrespective of race, religion, etc to live as co-partners in Sri Lanka. This is what Emperor Asoka wanted everyone to live as co-partners in this world. His gesture of slitting the throat signals that he is still with a blood-stained hand and a challenge to the concept of forgiveness which is the nucleus of Buddhism. I have my suspicion as to how he is going to carry a pinnacle should there be event to participate Buddhist religious ceremonies.

    • 1
      4

      It is tamils who set up guidelines and say this is how Sinhala everything should be. Some how Tamils are reallyhurt just for the gesture. Just think, a multibarrel was shown or how about cluster bombs.

  • 6
    6

    Reconciliation,is impossible unless the mindset of the sinhalese are changed.If the lands taken by the soldiers are not given back,how can you expect reconciliation?.Recently in Jaffna president said that he can’t find out the people who were handed to the army,where are those thousands of people?If they are killed bythe soldiers,by cutting the throat( demonstration by brigadier Priyanka Fernando),the goverment must openly accept the truth.

  • 5
    1

    Instead of Chaminda wrongly thinking that he is writing Binary Discourses and finding forceful faults on victim to balance with the thief he should stay in his core area.
    “A pertinent place to start off with is the armed forces. The ethnonational divide in the composition of the forces is more than substantial. Gender justice within the forces is a topic that continues to be insufficiently addressed.” But staying in his core field any and everyone will honor him well.
    By getting into low grade Thero De Silva class essays, Chaminda staining his important activism towards LGBQT.

    Chamida’s preamble area is extremely flawed as his only intention of attacking the Colonist, who had left 70 years ago past, but not attacking the fault of Ehelepola or Don Juan who invited and gave out the land, an action just line with the current traitors of Ranil, Old King and New King who gave out Colombo Pong Cing, Hangbangtota, Maduro Oya, …. Here is one example of how Britain, under its colonial time, accommodating and upgrading Lankawe: Recently New King prevented women working in restaurants by reversing Mangala’s allowing law. Britain introduced Women suffrage in 1918. But in 1931, it had introduced Universal Franchise in Lankawe. If a new consumer gadget is introduced in Japan or UK or America, it is not reaching Lankawe in 13 years. But 100 years ago, Britain offered cultural challenge to orthodox Buddhist- Hindu colony by introducing women voting in1931. After White Majority Canada, New Zealand, Australia, SA & US (US had out grown UK by those time) Britain respected Lankawe beyond India, Africa and Middle East.

    • 1
      0

      Mallaiyuran

      Chaminda? Surely you mean Chamindra. As far as I know Chamindra has not had the operation yet.

  • 3
    3

    Chaminda is not a military analyst to write like this
    Here we go:
    ”Why, for instance, should a British company be given the multi-million-pound contract to print biometric Sri Lankan passports?”
    It would have been better if Chaminda had noted down his reason right underneath the above question that why Lankawe had allowed China to have construction works in the first place, before the cost and interest over ran and Lankawe ended up selling them, including the sovereignty attached to the land to China.
    1).Mahampura Hangbangtota Port contract.
    2). Matala Mahinda Bachan Naked International Air Port.
    3). sooriyawewa cricket ground

    ” It is therefore relatively justifiable to claim that much of the training structures, approaches and practices in military formations in Sri Lanka are influenced by British military training, approaches, and practices. …………Many senior officers have been trained at Sand Hurst and at other British military bases.”
    Can Chaminda point out any war crimes of military, right after freedom, in days like under the command of Anton Mutukumaru, on the Lankawe military? So what was wrong Lankawe to continue the military culture wherevers Britain left?

  • 4
    3

    Can Chaminda connect any of these names to British Christian or protestant names instead of Lankawe, Sinhala Buddhist extremism? “Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment, Gemunu Watch, Gajaba Regiment, Vijayabahu Infantry Regiment, President’s Guard”
    Can Chaminda bring here a UK political party’s pledging in its election campaign “No leader, No Commander, No Soldier will be investigated” after Iraq war? Why is he tracing Dutugamunu army’s violence to British Military? Lankawe Military is sole brought up of Kandy Ayatollahism & Colombo Sinhala Buddhist Intellectualism. It is unlike UK’s one, highly discriminatory, one single race, Sinhala Buddhist Military. Britain at this time does not have any war crimes accused on it, even by China, Russia or Cuba who are its political enemies. Any military crime is always investigated in Britain, unlike the White Flag boss is doing in Lankawe.
    In Colombo, if a mass demonstration of hundreds of people against British colonization were to be held, it is very likely that Sri Lankan authorities would ensure that the protesters do not get anywhere near the compound of the British High Commission.” This is not true. Many times foreign properties were damaged in Lankawe Protests. Very fist condemnation was UN officials, at the time of war, have accused Lankawe purposefully setting them under stress. Mary Colvin was shelled by army, after approving her to travel. Army loaded many diplomats, including US ambassador Robert Blake, and sent them to Batticaloa Air field. From there it shelled LTTE position. UN had to urgently get in touch with LTTE to save prominent figures like Robert Blake. Appe Aanduwa sent Kandy Ayatollahs’ acolytes to attach Bangladeshi Embassy. Wimal and Muslim coolies have been repeatedly blocking UN Colombo office to black mail UNHRC and desist from passing resolutions against Lankawe.

  • 1
    2

    But it is true, in the latter part of the essay, he had delivered his promised Binary Opinions.

  • 10
    1

    Do we need this behaviour now ..
    We need to heal wounds…not add oil to fire..
    People have right to protect and let them do and go home.
    Nothing will happen ..
    Give them space to breath

  • 5
    1

    its brilliant …all these Sinhala centric commentators come out of their hibernation…to vomit on CT their dosa masal vadda tTamil blood they enjoyed the night before

  • 0
    2

    Dr. Chaminda Weerawrdane: It is important to get every supply from overseas. that givees commis to the politicians and his/her business amn collegue who will give plitical donations resources during the elections. Generally what you are suggesting is superficial solutions and cures for the rotten system. I heard Army is saying people are with us. that is all what we want and we do not need any other politics. That si why some Army top brass is good as the top politicians because they know how to keep the respect for them as well as the their institution.

  • 2
    1

    Some of the protesters, although they are Sri Lankan born, could have been British Citizens now. This creates a different issue to the British Government. The action of the Brigadier signaling the slitting of
    the throat would be taken as a sign that was towards the British Citizens. Further the Tamil Citizens in UK are block voters, which means they command certain amount of vote pressure on their MPs. The Brigadier should have known how to act as a Diplomat and the FM should have given adequate training to him as well.

    The Brigadier is an Army Officer and he was functioning as a Diplomat at the High Commission. Hence its the duty of the Army and the Foreign Ministry to conduct at least two separate inquiries. What Foreign Ministry did was the correct decision to recall back the Brigadier from his diplomatic post to conduct an inquiry. After an inquiry the FM could have either returned him back to his position or sent him back to the Army. Unfortunately, without proper advice the President has acted wrongfully by reversing the recall. This act will signal to the British Government SL has an undisciplined Army cum diplomat and they are being protected by the Head of the Government. This again falls in line with the International view that the Sri Lankan Army is not a disciplined army, a label which the Yahapalana Govt is trying hard to erase.

    The best action would have been to recall the Brigadier back to Colombo for an inquiry and then made a decision either to send him back to his original post or back to the barracks. President is getting wrong advice, he is being driven by the so called “Nationalist Advisers”. He should have discussed this with the Prime Minister or at least the Attorney General. Acting to the media broadcasts and telecasts is not the proper way to run a country, especially a country which is in turmoil.

    • 2
      3

      Park,

      British citizens have no right to meddle with Sri Lankan issues. Moreover, those so called British citizens were flying the banned terra orgnization of LTTE’s flag. How would that help the bilateral relationship of both England and Sri Lanka.

      Sri Lankan foreign ministry should lodge a strong complaint against flying LTTE flag by British citizens infront of Sri Lanka embassy. Sri Lanka should ask England from handing over the terrorist sympathizers to Sri Lankan authorities for questioning.

      • 3
        2

        Shenal,

        You are right

        Can you tell Old Brother Princes(two of them) to shut up their back and front & go back to America? What the hell those American Imperialist are doing in the Communist Land Buddha Created for Marx, Lenin and for him for another 2500 years?

        • 3
          3

          Mallaiyuran,

          Two of the brother princes have not renounced their citizenship for Sri Lanka nor have they represented a banned Terra outfit.

          Can the same be said against the British citizens who had protested in front of the Sri Lankan High Commission in London?

          • 2
            2

            Shenal,
            Have you ever taken an oath in America for their citizenship?

            “I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” That is the story of American Citizenship. Rest of the story dual citizenship is about embassy staffs’ “Santhosam” which obligation most of the the protesters have duly completed as they too are human being have families back in Lanakwe.

            Many time many other commentators have pointed out the Well-Frog intellectualism, but no idea to fix it! Isn’t it?

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            Oath for American citizenship is not worded like in UNHRC Resolution 30/1 with Lanakwe “Foreign and Commonwealth Lawyers and Judges” to interpret it in your own way. Duplicitous, fraudulent oath would be punished in America. Sinhala Jury Only verdict is not available in US.
            Further a Lanakwe dual citizen have no legal ground to represent a Lankawe original Citizen in the Appe Aanduwa parliament. Practically that means no dual citizen can meddle in Lanakwe affairs.

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              Mallaiyuran,

              When the time is due we shall see what will happen. Till then just hang on to something my dear friend.

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                Shenali

                Have you had time to find out why the bad boy brigadier was scratching his throat.
                Please let me know.

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                We heard the that story many times in CT. Nothing New!

                (A humble advice: If you like to share your opinion with CT mates, just don’t convulse to go in with you hooligans mates to Hotel Hospital)

                Anyway thanks for reminding with another foolish joke of yours.

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    This issue should not be allowed to be politicized but allowed to be diplomatically handled by the authorities concerned. The President’s action too was unwarranted, he too must make decision after consulting line ministry and HC London. I feel this is the better option

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    When fighting a war, kill or get killed. We should have not spared any of the hateful LTTE. I am fully in support of the difence attaché, he did what he knows best. In our army we do it need those who compromise, that’s for the politicians.

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      Athacolla

      “When fighting a war, kill or get killed.”

      “We should have not spared any of the hateful LTTE.”

      You haven’t, except Karuna, KP, Pillayan, …. Why have you spared them while killing the innocent?

      ” I am fully in support of the difence attaché, he did what he knows best.”

      I agree, mass slaughter, silting throat? By the way would you like to have him as your neighbour, in law, ….. live in tenant, ….?

      “In our army we do it need those who compromise, that’s for the politicians”

      You have 300,000 of them.
      How come you chose to dodge war while the stupid village boys went to war, fought, and died for no reason? How come politicians ‘ children haven’ t fought and died in the Vanni jungle?

      Do you consider yourself brave, patriotic, lucky, clever or simply a coward?

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    Brevity please. And also clarity. Learn to use simple English so I can understand. Otherwise it’s a waste of your and my time.

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    I notice all the tigers have come out of their dens to show their two cents worth of intelligence.

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      Chitra

      May be true.
      However I thank you for being an ultra nationalist who has taken the time to type here to support the irrational behaviour of a Millitary man who is supposed to represent the state outside his usual ghetto.

      Don’t mention you are a enlightened Sri Lankan.

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    Mallaiyuran

    Chaminda? Surely you mean Chamindra. As far as I know Chamindra has not had the operation yet.

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    This is nothing to do with British Empire of Sri Lanka UK relationships .
    This is a show of blatant arrogance by the brigadier.
    He could have shown two fingers to indicate f…off…or a get lost gesture.
    He did not wave finger around his neck in air….
    but he literally buried his finger in to his throat …you can see it in slow motion
    this is replaying an act that he actually carried out.
    the video should be analysed by a forensic detective or psychologist/Psychiatrist to get an insight in to his state of mind

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    I work in the hotel industry and I still remember all those years ago, working as a trainee waiter back in the early eighties my supervisor drumming into our heads the ‘qualities of a waiter’ one of which was” Under any circumstances, one shouldn’t lose one’s composure”

    Now that’s for mere waiters! I am pretty certain the bar would be much much higher for career diplomats and officers and gentlemen. So anybody giving excuses for the unbecoming behavior of the Brigadier should take a good hard look at themselves in the mirror first.
    To me, he has not only brought shame and disgrace to both himself and his country but also to his fellow soldiers back in Sri Lanka
    Letting him go scot free will only give a licence to others to emulate his abhorrent behavior .

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    Dears!

    Para – 8.150 of the LLRC Report says: “The Commission takes the view that the Root Cause of the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka lies in the failure of the successive Governments to address the genuine grievances of the Tamil people.

    The country may not have been confronted with a violent separatist agenda, if the political consensus at the time of Independence had been sustained ……

    Therefore the Tamils have the right to protest the so called National Day of Sri Lanka!

    Further, Brigadier was pointing at the present National flag of Sri lanka.

    But the present national flag of Sri Lanka is actually a Symbol of Ignorance! It disgraces Lord Buddha and Buddhism! It contradicts the Constitution of Sri lanka that gives the foremost place to Buddhism!

    The male lion carrying a raised sword placed at the centre of a rectangle with four pinnacles or Boa leaves at the corners symbolizes Lord Buddha and Buddhism!

    In ancient time Buddha had been symbolized with the four animals lion, elephant, horse and bull. The Tamil word “வாள்” ( sword) means light or enlightenment.Therefore. the lion carrying sword symbolizes Enlightened Lion, Lord Buddha. The Rectangle with four pinnacles or Boa leaves at the corners symbolizes the Four Noble Truths. The Lion placed at the centre of such a rectangle symbolizes a person who adheres to the Middle Path determined by the Four Noble Truths.

    Dear friends!

    Brigadier and you all must conduct a scientific study on Symbolization of Buddha and Buddhism. It is a new field for the Theeravaada Buddhists.

    There are thousands of archaeological finds discovered in Lanka! Spend some time and conduct this useful research!

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    Chamindra
    The throat slitting gesticulation of Brigadier Pryiankara Fernando was a reaction in an unguarded moment from his black heart. The Lankan Army Commander has indicated that he will not pursue the matter any further. All this shows the culture obtaining in the mono-lingual Army.
    You call this ‘the Brigadier intervention’, qualified as you put it ‘making sense albeit parsimoniously’. Parsimonious indeed!
    The good old bashing of aspects of colonialism you use here is out of context.
    Dayan calls the article ” A balanced thoughtful piece’. Do you take him seriously?

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    This is what happens when you place uneducated gamaya rascals in positions like this one here, give him a uniform and a rank he thinks he is above all.

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    tigers are terrorist search for the definitions of the word terrorist, tigers were the ones who started a cicil war uncountable lives were taken from fathers mothers sisters and brothers, till the day where a great leader stranded upagaint allot was a heroic act of the major to stand as well again the Tamil England is also doing a wrong foul thing letting terrorist protest

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    The fact the paper pleases Dayan is in itself am indictment on the paper.Bensen

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    The article is finely balanced with regard to how we have been driven to this state by “design” by geo politics as the rest of the developing world also going through the same predicament to date. It is time we take responsibility for our own actions including the Soldier thinking of his “action and the consequences” for the country he represents too. He is in no way exempted from this responsibilty specially under oath. Everyone else can fail but we should not fail ourself is the message in the article too. If I do not want to harm my fellow being no one can force me to do so correct ??……once we remove the language and religious tags and look at what took place in Sri Lanka for the past 70 years is very clear what we are capable of with raged to savagery amongst ourselves. We need to take ownership for all what happened in our country ever since independence irrespective of the past be it pre colonisation or post colonial times? One other issue is about our reference making to historical kingdoms and kings (our uncles and antis kind of loving atachemnts and a sense of personal knowledge we feel we have to those lived several hundreds of years ago if not thousands of years ago) as though we lived under their rules and amongst the respective communities at that time. This fantasy need to be removed from the masses/historical discussions making a romanticised version of the historical kingdoms. According to Darwinians principle per se, if we are an evolving species and what we demonstrated for the past 70 years is where we are then we need to go a long way to catch up with the rest of the world and her civilisations.

    cont..

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      Part 2
      Looking at it from a different angle that if we could not even manage knowledge/prioritise national interest/information on who does what in the country/economical development/taking care of self interest in a united way for the past 70 years as an “independent nation” celebrating the “great inheritance” that we always make reference” to so proudly then the future looks bleak indeed. There are parts of the world with the British Colonial heritage has done better things/delivered justice and dignity to their people than we have…how?….infighting is not limited to Sri Lanka alone we have great partners in the whole of India continent blaming the British for all their failings too…..a recent interview by a British Journalist of Indian heritage interviewed the director of a film that focuses on education the Indian masses to use toilets………the journalist asked why it took so long to make films so educational and addressing such a fundamental importance for human wellbeing etc….the directors answer was it was the British who did not take care of the affair then has compounded the problem we have currently…….point is we own the country and we collectively take ownership for the future……if we can be manipulated to taking up causes/revolutions/riots and looting/uprisings/separatists movements/security service injustices dealing with all this miserable events then we should know it was not the foreign forces physically did this but we the parents/uncles/antis/friends stood around and watched whilst our children killed each other correct……..time for change is within ourselves. It is us living with the colonial mentality and abusing each other for the past 70 years. Others in the world has moved on doing better things not just for themselves but also taking care of multi national children too as we are all one at the end of the day. Humanity……all our “religious and cultural heritage” we are so proud need to be applied to “all” locally & globally too.

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    Dr. Chamindra,

    Let’s take a break from regular craps; been reading your posts for sometime now, I wanted to say that you’re getting prettier & sexier.

    Thanks

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