24 June, 2024

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The Israel-Palestine Conflict & The Height Of Hypocrisy

By M.A.Sumanthiran

M.A Sumanthiran PC

Thank you deputy speaker for the time allocated to speak on this very important issue that is shocking the conscience of the world. Let me at the outset express my solidarity with the people who are suffering as a result of violence, destruction, and wanton killing that’s taking place even as we debate tthis.

We have seen footages, we are hearing news of humanitarian crises of enormous proportion. And therefore even as a small country in the world, we cannot remain mute. We have to necessarily raise our voice on behalf of the suffering people. The crises in Palestine and Israel is a political crisis, is a complicated one, we all know that. I’m not going to discuss the rights and wrongs the claims and counterclaims of both sides to that political conflict. This is not the time to discuss that. Now is the time to condemn the violence to appeal to all sides that are indulging in violence that are Prosecuting the war to immediately bring a halt to that, and end the human suffering.

We speak – I speak today, also as a representative of the people who have suffered as a result of long, protracted violence. Now, when people suffer through violence, it is almost immaterial as to who is responsible for that. Well, it is important to identify the perpetrators, but the point that I’m making is, it it is important, it is urgent, first to bring that suffering to an end; to bring that fighting to an end; to call for a ceasefire. I’m saying this because how can we live in – as we claim – in a civilised world and look upon and wait when nations seek to settle their differences, through violence.

That may have happened centuries ago, but in today’s world, does that even have a place? Is it not possible to resolve, however complex the issue is, by means of dialogue; through intermediaries; through mediations, without resorting to violence; without resorting to killing each other. The answer seems obvious. But what we see in the world, it is not so obvious. Constantly there are fightings going on in many places in the world.  This is happening in Ukraine and now in the Middle East.

I cannot but say at this moment, how strikingly similar the events that are unfolding now in the Middle East are to what we experienced for three decades more than 15 years ago.

I heard President Maithripala Sirisena, who spoke before me condemn the attack on the hospital a few days ago. Well I too to condemned it. Irrespective of who was responsible for that. But there was a very important thing that happened: even as that hospital was attacked, the official Israeli response was that that hospital was being used as a human shield. And terrorists were firing from there. Now, different versions are emerging and perhaps the bombing was not done by Israel, we don’t know. But that is immaterial, the point that I’m making is when such a casualty happened, the Israeli State Machinery was ever ready to say that that happened because the hospital was being used as a human shield and we, we can’t escape but remember what happened with regard to the Puthukudiyiruppu hospital. That’s what the state said here. and I find it unacceptable that President Sirisena condemns the attack on a hospital a few days ago in the Middle East, but I never heard him condemn the attack on the Puthukkudiyiruppu hospital. He perhaps was that acting minister of Defence at that time.

We can see the height of hypocrisy even in this debate in this house. I will itemize those: People are speaking for two-state solution in the Middle East; 

But here that’s anathema to them, people are appealing to the UN. I’ve heard speaker after speaker today, referred to UN resolutions; but here – “no, UN has no role to play, you stay away”. State Terrorism is being condemned in this house. And I join my voice along with them. Yes that is State terrorism. But what happened here too was state terrorism as well. 

So that is the hypocrisy. Violence on people –  on civilians – by whoever must be condemned and I condemn it outright. Be it Hamas, be it the state of Israel. Anyone.

There is no right, even if you be the state, the nation state established and recognized, to impose air strikes, mass killing of civilians. No one gives you that right, merely because you have the ammunition for it. Merely because you are the state and you can procure arms, merely because other Nation states protect you. No country. Even a non-state actor. You know, may not be a state. It may be an organization. No one. Absolutely no one had the right to take away lives like this.

And this is where, the hypocrisy is exposed. You can’t condemn what happens thousands of miles away, but condone the same in your own country. How can you do that? Not just condone, you glorify it, you celebrate it. You exalt over it. You won’t be taken seriously.

This is double tongue, suffering of the people must end. The israeli-palestinian conflict is a political conflict. It must be politically settled. So many conflicts in the world. Those are political conflicts, political differences between peoples between nations. Those must be politically those differences, must be politically resolved.

So is the conflict in Sri Lanka. It is a political conflict. I heard President Mahinda Rajapaksa the other day, say, that a political conflict does not have a military solution. He is saying that now in respect of Palestine and Israel, but he was the president who prosecuted a military solution to a political conflict in our country.

I’m not only blaming the state for this. I’m saying very clearly violence and destruction has no place in the Civilized world and it must be outrightly condemned  by whoever is prosecuted. That must be condemned.

And today we stand in solidarity with the people who suffer. They might be on one side of the divide or the other.

The children who are being maimed, ordinary people who are being put to the sword, this is just not acceptable. And let’s raise our voice on behalf of the people who are suffering as a result of violence. Violence perpetrator by Hamas maybe, or even the state of Israel? Whoever it is, I raise my voice on behalf of the people who suffer ,violence to a proportion that is unimaginable. Let there be peace in the Middle East and indeed in the whole world. Thank you.

*Speech made by M.A.Sumanthiran M.P on 20th October 2023 in Parliament on the current Israel –  Palestine conflict

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Latest comments

  • 17
    0

    Many of our Ministers and Members of Parliament are strongly in favour of UN involvement and international mediation to solve the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But they are vehemently opposed to UN involvement and international mediation to solve the longstanding problems faced by the minorities in Sri Lanka. These hypocrites are good at preaching to others but they will never follow their own advice. This is simply gratuitous pontification. Before giving advice to others they must put their own house in order first.

  • 19
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    MS, thanks for exposing our hypocrite politicians / public / pseudos . . . . . . . . . so called righteous Silly Lankans.

  • 7
    25

    There is absolutely no similarity in the magnitude, scope and volume of the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people and the northern citizens of Sri Lanka. The savagery of the Israeli state, basing its assault on biblical (Old Testament) prophecies and margins with full complicity of the world’s super terrorist the USA which kills millions of poor as a matter of course every so often is unprecedented and abhorrent in the extreme and does in no way match the onslaught of state terror against the civilians of the north during the separatist SL war. While there is just grievance in being pushed to a corner to take up arms against majoritarian discrimination, the disparity and difference between the two conflicts is enormous. What is worse is that much of the political world, is looking on helplessly while Muslims’ demonstrations in major cities around the world are a pleasant sign of solidarity and assertiveness as citizens.

    • 5
      0

      Really! Why? Because you Sinhalese committed all these crimes on the island’s Tamils there should be no comparison but when others do it there is a comparison. The savagery of the Israeli state is based on the old testament, so what about the savagery of the Sinhalese and the Sri Lankan state based on the Mahavamsa fairy tale and fable that the entire island is the land of the Sinhalese Buddhist, when it never was and you only got control of the Tamil north and east thanks to the British. So when it happens to the Palestinians it is abhorrent but not when it happens to the Tamils, it nothing trivial. 1.5 million of them after living on the island for more than 150 years and earning most of the island’s foreign exchange were made stateless and many forcible deported to India a land foreign to them. Another 1.2 million native Eelam Tamils from the north and east chased out of their lands and country to seek refuge largely in the west. Around 300000 innocent Tamil civilians deliberately killed by the Sri Lankan state and armed forces on the pretext of fighting with the LTTE, 147000 in May 2009, that the UN is still investing.

      • 2
        0

        30% of the Tamil homeland, mainly in the east have now been ethnically cleansed and outside Sinhalese settled and the remaining 70% is in danger of going the same way. All these trivial for you? So far how many Palestinians killed by Israel? 300000? 147000? Tamil churches orphanages hospitals deliberately bombed by the Sri Lankan armed forces and in May 2009, just like now Tamil civilians in Vanni were asked to move to an area 1/10 of Gaza by the Sri Lankan state, calling it safe zone and then they were deliberately bombed from land, sea and air with even chemical weapons and other banned arsenal used.

        Now many ancient Hindu temples in the north and east deliberately destroyed and converted to Buddhist temples by the occupying Sinhalese armed forces and police with the help of the Sri Lankan state. Tamil from the time of independence up to now marginalized and denied higher education, government employment, language rights and everything else. All these all very trivial for you because you do not suffer and you belong to the oppressing community. You do not feel for the Tamil but feel a lot for the Palestinians and their suffering. So Tamil suffering is trivial and Palestinian suffering is great, when both are equally bad.

    • 16
      2

      Care to objectively qualify your statement?;
      “There is absolutely no similarity in the magnitude, scope and volume of the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people and the northern citizens of Sri Lanka.”

    • 19
      1

      “There is absolutely no similarity in the magnitude, scope and volume of the crimes against humanity committed against the Palestinian people and the northern citizens of Sri Lanka.” Oh really! Maybe for you as the victims were Tamils and not others, and the perpetrators of this violence, was the Sri Lankan state, therefore need to be minimized. It is the same, with the same intent, to kill marginalize dispossess and to commit structural genocide on the Tamils. Israel uses the Old Testament, and the Sri Lankan state and Sinhalese hardliners use the Mahavamsa. Tamil population from the time of independence has now been reduced from around 27% to 16%, by deliberately making over a million Indian origin Tamils who had lived on the island for 200 years stateless and forcibly deporting most of them to India and chasing around a million indigenous Tamil from the country to seek a life elsewhere.

      • 18
        1

        Around 300000 Tamil civilians have been killed largely at the hands of Sri Lankan state on the pretext of fighting with the LTTE, 147000 in May 2009, still investigated by the UN. 1/3 of the Tamil homeland has now been ethnically cleansed and colonized by outside Sinhalese, and yet all these are trivial. Maybe for you but not for us. Bombing of churches temples orphanages and hospitals in Tamil areas and killing hundreds there may be trivial for many here but not for us.

    • 2
      1

      “The savagery of the Israeli state, basing its assault on biblical (Old Testament) prophecies and margins with full complicity of the world’s super terrorist the USA which kills millions of poor as a matter of course every so often is unprecedented and abhorrent in the extreme and does in no way match the onslaught of state terror against the civilians of the north during the separatist SL war.

      DR. LP,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I too do it, but you may not want to use this type of lengthy sentence with complex, compound clauses. We can see the damage the structural architecture did to the meaning, while it is perfectly holding the grammar. Anyway, where is our English Teacher, Sinhala_Buddhist_Man to recuse it from the unexpected downfall, because of the readers’ hastiness to consume more than their throat diameter allows.

    • 2
      1

      “The savagery of the Israeli state, basing its assault on biblical (Old Testament) prophecies and margins with full complicity of the world’s super terrorist the USA which kills millions of poor as a matter of course every so often is unprecedented and abhorrent in the extreme and does in no way match the onslaught of state terror against the civilians of the north during the separatist SL war.

      DR. LP,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I too do it, but you may not want to use this type of lengthy sentence with complex, compound clauses. We can see the damage the structural architecture did to the meaning, while it is perfectly holding the grammar. Anyway, where is our English Teacher, Sinhala_Buddhist_Man to recuse it from the unexpected downfall, because of the readers’ hastiness to consume more than their throat diameter allows.

      Again, I too do it and I am not commenting on its presence here, i.e., “Comparing two suffering with one another and upholding one’s legitimacy to receive priority.” Every soul on this earth, when experiencing pain, appeals for help even from its enemies. Our decision of priority must be assigned to the present suffering, than to the expired, past one (I do not mean the earlier one). So, I would appeal to the audience to take care of Palestinians now, though the Tamils one was mountainous compared with the current one. Consolation for Tamils’ is to keep fighting hard with peaceful methods until you win your rights.

  • 11
    2

    Those who gave cookies and soda a child and killed him, talking about humanity in American war. Old rowdy claimed that there is only one race in Langkang and he said he will use Tamils (the paramilitary) to destroy Tamils.

    A much better statement than those claimed “what happened in Tamil Eelam is happening in Palestine”.

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