21 January, 2021

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The Post’s View: Sri Lanka’s Squandered Opportunities

By Editorial Brord |  The Washington Post –

Almost four years ago, the Sri Lankan government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa won a decisive victory in a 26-year-long civil war with rebels from the island’s minority Tamil community. The cost was horrific: A United Nations investigation subsequently found that up to 40,000 civilians may have died in the government’s final offensive. But the triumph made Mr. Rajapaksa a hero among the majority Sinhalese community and gave him an opportunity to modernize his country while healing its ethnic rift.

Unfortunately, the president and his family — two brothers hold cabinet positions — have pursued just the opposite course. Having acquired a two-thirds parliamentary majority by inducing the defection of opposition representatives, the ruling party rewrote the constitution to eliminate a two-term limit on the president. Government critics in the press, civil society organizations and the judiciary have been threatened and sometimes attacked by pro-government thugs. According to Human Rights Watch, several thousand people are detained without charge, and state security forces have continued to abuse Tamil activists, including through torture and sexual assault.

The regime has meanwhile brushed off demands by the U.N. Human Rights Council that it conduct a serious investigation into crimes that may have been committed in the final months of the war. Last week the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said that no mechanism had been established to trace people who went missing and that investigations of disappearances had not led to arrests or prosecutions.

This year Mr. Rajapaksa has taken two more big steps in the wrong direction. Last month he ratified the impeachment of the chief justice of the supreme court and installed a close follower in her place, neutering the judiciary’s independence. The president’s legislative majority initiated the impeachment after the court ruled against an economic development initiative by one of the Rajapaksa brothers; the plan ignored constitutionally guaranteed rights for local governments.

Mr. Rajapaksa had promised to expand that local autonomy as a way of addressing the legitimate interests of Tamils, who form a majority in parts of the north and east. But this month he celebrated Sri Lanka’s independence day by delivering a speech that reneged on the pledge. The government is now signaling that it may repeal the constitutional provision on local rights.

The United States and other Western governments have repeatedly and publicly protested Mr. Rajapaksa’s retrograde measures, but their words have fallen on deaf ears. Human Rights Watch points out that the Commonwealth community of nations may have some leverage, because Sri Lanka is due to host the bloc’s summit in November — a high-prestige event for a small country. By threatening to move or boycott the summit and Sri Lanka’s assumption of the Commonwealth chairmanship, governments such as Britain, Canada and Australia could send a clear message to Mr. Rajapaksa that his policies are unacceptable to democratic nations.

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Latest comments

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    Sri Lankans are at the mercy of the crooked and murderous Rajapakse clan. The only hope for salvation are sanctions by the UN and other countries.

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    Total boycott of President Mahinda Rajapakse Government by the International community with Travel ban, and curbing GSP, Investment,IMF and world bank Funding, Economic and Trade sanctions are the only way to put Rajapakse government back on good governance track record.

    The UN, CW and International community ban that was held on Myanmar subsequently made it to fall in line with International norms.

    A similar ban on Sri Lanka will make Rajapakse Government to bow down to UN and International norms and follow human rights and good governance ethics.

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    Diplomacy works in ways we lesser mortals cannot comprehend. So some of the resolutions that are agreed upon may not make sense to us, as they are very soft on Countries so as not to publicly proscribe them, but they will nevertheless get the message that things are not what they seem.

    All this time Sri Lanka’s rulers have actually been deaf to these strictures. They now appear less hard of hearing these days, and therefore this is the moment to impose some standard norms of practice if they wish to belong to these clubs like the UNHRC or CHOGM etc. If they do not wish to belong to them the most face saving is to leave them and face the consequences. You cannot have your cake and eat it , so the saying goes!

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    The Rajapakse brothers hunt like a pack of wolves. Any country deserves the leader it elects. If he turns out to be n dishonest and an unjust leader he becomes a curse to the country, and could evoke the wrath of God and its citizens. People have intelligence to judge and decipher the motives of crimes committed against its own people. Those who have the means will emigrate to cozier climes and watch the debacle from afar. Those left behind will have to put up with what is being dished out. Taxed and charges with compounding interest levied on everything possible, with no real benefit passing down to the poor tax payers. A lot of desperate people who have lost their homes and livelihood to brutal grabbing of their lands by those in power. What a shame this beautiful country going to become a haven for sex tourism, casinos, nude bars and night club discotheques, raising up a new breed of peddlers, pushers, pimps and comfort or call girls. Does this country deserve this?

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    Now that the people of country, including RW, cannot move against the regime, it is only left to approach or encourage the IC to “interfere” as it should,in the name of Democracy. The subjects will have to face the
    flake, despite Keheliyas weekly boast.
    The backers of the regime who live off it – be it Rajiva, Wimal or Vasu
    must make a decision sooner than later.

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    This is all nonsense.
    Come to Colombo and see.
    Fine dining restaurants open every night. Labbagini cars on the roads.
    When our President travels 7 helicopters fly.
    Your Obama is a beggar compared to our great Leader.

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      YOU FORGET TO MENTION TO THE WORLD THAT,
      OPENING OF CASINO CLUBS WITH HOVERING THUGS AND MURDERERS, AND AVAILABILITY OF HEROINE WITH PATRONAGE OF PARLIAMENTARY KUDU DEALERS,ABDUCTION FOR RANSOM ECT,

      EVERY DAY MORE THAN 5 RAPE INCIDENTS TOO.

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      YOU FORGET TO MENTION TO THE WORLD THAT,
      OPENING OF CASINO CLUBS WITH HOVERING THUGS AND MURDERERS, AND AVAILABILITY OF HEROIN WITH PATRONAGE OF PARLIAMENTARY KUDU DEALERS,ABDUCTION FOR RANSOM ECT,

      EVERY DAY MORE THAN 5 RAPE INCIDENTS TOO.

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    I agree with Sarath and Mahela. Sanctions worked against South Africa when they were pursuing Apartheid policies against the black majority of the country. For that to happen, the international community needs the support of India. At the moment, India has a spineless prime minister who lets MR thumb his nose at India. But things will definitely change if the congress party loses the elections in 2014.

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    RAJAPASSAS STOLE TSUNAMI MONEY DONT FORGET THAT.

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      How Sarath Silva turned Sri Lankas destination can be read here:
      http://www.thesundayleader.lk/20050703/spotlight.htm

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      Another rogue Sarath Silva gave a Clean c(s)hit to him. First we must hang the latter

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    RAJAPASSAS ARE BUNH OF THIEVES.

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    Washington Post is read by the serious and those who shape US and its global Policy. Elsewhere Bloomberg news, that has a multi-million
    readership of the more initiated, was stridently critical of the Rajapakse form of governance and its abysmal honouring of pledges.
    These coming, only days before Geneva, are dangerous signs which the regime must take note of and take appropriate action to deflect.

    Senguttuvan

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    By Editorial Brord | The Washington Post – is this a typo or what ?

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    James Packer, the son of late king maker Kerry Packer is in Srilanka to plan a USD350 million Casino in Kurunduwatta.

    Wouldn’t he have accessed intelligence from ASIO and International Trade Desk, before ploughing in so much Aussie in to our Motherland?.

    Is that an indication, the Aussie Govt is going to listen to a Tory PM who has rented out the British Parliament Building to Fr Emmanuel, who was deported from Madras by the Indian PM Dr Singh?.

    Wouldn’t it be possible that the Tory PM, has worries that the decent Commonwealth member countries may ask why the he rented out the BP to the GFT financial Members who had direct links with Mr Prabakaran?.

    Is it the British Parliamentary tradition to rent the Parliament to entertain and indoctrinate UNHRC Members before they hold their annual lynch conferences on developing nations?.

    Do they do the same about UNHRC conferences on abuses by the US, EU and UK in recent liberation wars?.

    Would it be possible that the Commonwealth member states may ask, why the Tory PM allowed the GFT Emmanuels to threaten with violence a Sovereign Head of a fellow Member Country and stopped him coming to address British Citizens on reconciliation?.

    How can the Editoirial Board of such a prestige publication not know about facts , other than make unsubstantiated allegations about sexual assaults , rapes and toture when none has been reported since Nanthikadal?.

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