20 October, 2021

Blog

The Quote Of The Year 2020 & The Geneva Portal 2021

By Dayan Jayatilleka 

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

A campaign for democracy has little chance of success against long-established authoritarian systems, but the odds are considerably better when the task is to interrupt the transition, or degeneration through subversion from above, by a regime, of a long-established democracy such as Sri Lanka. 

Under President Gotabaya, militarization is eating through the long-established civilian public administration like the armyworm eating through crops.

To understand how this works and what its impact is on public health and welfare, check out my choice of The Sri Lankan Quote of the Year 2020, from what I would select as the Sri Lankan interview of the year:

“…We have experts in the field, but none of them has been called for discussions. On the other hand, this is a virus, but as far as I know, there were no virologists in the committees that were set up. When you’re trained in a particular discipline you get to know all aspects of it and be able to adapt it to suit the problem.  We should have made use of the trained personnel we have, but the idea that it should be done by people with connections is the kind of thinking we have. (Daily Mirror – “There were no virologists in the committees set up” – Prof Vitarana)

Instead of “training” and experience in “a particular discipline”, the guiding principle is that even in this great emergency of a pandemic, things “should be done by people with connections”, says Prof Tissa Vitarana. 

What sort of connections? Those of a military ‘old boys network’ and the regimental tie? The new Deputy Chairman of the Ceylon Electricity Board is a retired military officer who is not from the Engineering Corps (it would have made sense if he were) and is Chairman of a business group. 

Prof. Vitarana reveals more: 

“The Government also wanted to take credit and said we have controlled the situation…From there it flared up again and that led to the so-called second wave.” 

“…There should have been a much bigger allocation for COVID-19 and its consequences…The bulk of the budget should have been for that. I would have put long-term ventures on hold and given priority to the immediate needs of the people…” (Ibid)

The ultranationalist Buddhist clergy has commenced a two-pronged campaign: (a) against burials and for cremation of Covid-19 victims, a policy that is mandatory only in a handful of the UN’s 193 countries, and (b) against Provincial Councils and the holding of Provincial Council elections before the promulgation of a new Constitution. They have won the second campaign. They are fighting back against the medical experts’ committee and the SLMA on the first issue. 

These formations of the Buddhist clergy have long been part of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s support base, by their own public admission and easy public (facial) recognition. They are also close to radical-nationalist Cabinet Ministers.

It is one thing to dog-whistle racism and religious chauvinism when you are an Opposition personality (JR against the B-C Pact 1957) or are in the Establishment, with extra-systemic religio-racist fans whose campaigns are amplified by the local Fox News while someone else is the Presidential human shield taking the electoral rap. 

It is another thing, as President Jayewardene realized (1983-’87) having indulged racist Minister Cyril Mathew, when Sinhala-Buddhist racism unchecked by you rears up and lashes out violently at minorities, on your watch. Whoever you may try to pin the rap on after the conflagration (JRJ pinned it on the JVP), the frame-up lacks credibility and ricochets as rebellion. 

The Gotabaya regime is mimicking Trump/Netanyahu: boosting the hardcore chauvinist base by pandering to its worst prejudices and maintaining rigidly hawkish policies. Colombo is still living on Trump time. In the New Year the global clock will reset to Biden-Harris time. 

For Sri Lanka, 2021 will be the Geneva Year. “By oneself is one defiled” as the Buddha said. So far, the Gotabaya regime has done much to damage its case in Geneva and continues to do so.

Geneva is the portal to the global “lawfare” battlespace. A post-20th Amendment presidency may think itself unaccountable, but domestic impunity and immunity don’t hold globally. The previous UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zaid al-Hussein left a timebomb ticking in his report: the conclusion that the Sri Lankan justice system is not independent enough to secure accountability and the recommendation that therefore the 193 member states of the United Nations should initiate prosecutions under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. 

Courts and legislatures throughout the world cannot be deterred by domestic claims of the absolute sovereignty of the nation-state.

Furthermore, the incoming US administration’s stated determination to revive democracy globally may focus also on Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is the place where the two trends that the Biden-Harris administration opposes actually converge: Trump-type ultranationalist/racist authoritarianism and China’s perceived new propensity to ideologically export its domestic model of governance.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 9
    9

    Hell has no fury like Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka denied a diplomatic posting.

    Soma

    • 2
      5

      Cremation is a non issue. Just read an article on http://www.unz.com, a white
      supremst website about crematoriums around the world being overburdened with bodies. New York, El Paso, Los Angeles, Waco, Fresno are all having problems. So, is Mexico city, Wuhan, China and ziitau, Germany.

      • 6
        0

        Do you think you are a white supremacist? To be one you have to be white. Are you white? If so what the hell are you doing posting absolute garbage about what appeared on a white supremacist web site on a Sri Lankan web site run for Sir Lankan people who are dark skinned Dravidians with a pinch of Aryan thrown in due to a bunch of nasty Aryan thugs who ran berserk on the island many hundreds of years ago..

    • 5
      2

      soman

      What happened to the “COVID – 19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund” amounting to
      1,688,600,985.38 LKR when I last checked?
      Do you know who got the largest share of the fund?

      • 1
        0

        Forget it. It was not for sharing.

        Soma

      • 1
        0

        Vedda may be right but what is the use of an allusive and disparaging hint? Give us the sources. https://www.presidentsoffice.gov.lk/index.php/2020/11/10/disbursement-report-of-covid-19-healthcare-and-social-security-fund/

        • 2
          1

          Stanley

          Please bear with me for I am bit thick.

          The total accumulated fund as of 31.10.2020 was Rs. 1,668,379,121.74.
          Total allocated/spent as of 10.11.2020 was Rs. 402,190.701

          I am curious, what happened to the balance (approximately) Rs 1,266,000,000, can you vouch it is still kept in the original bank account and not in personal accounts of the crooks, within or outside the country?

          I am also curious there is large difference in amounts allocated and actually spent. When are the crooks planning to transfer these balances to their own private/business account?

          Lab Facilities of Batticaloa Teaching Hospital, Allocated (Rs.) 112,140,000 but not yet spent and Upgrade of Rapid Test Kit estimated Rs 3,522,000 but not yet spent. When will we know these expenditure indeed occurred and needed to be paid?

          Hope you will be in a position to vouch for these expenditures.
          By the way Defense Ministry says one of it’s Academy conducts Financial Studies courses.

          Does the Academy of Financial Studies teach very useful subjects such as Creative Accounting, Tax Planing, in essence cooking the books, …?

  • 3
    1

    There were no virologists in the committees that were set up. How did the doctors who said that the virus could spread by buring overpowring the approval of World Health Orgnization commitee.
    The non approval for burial covid patients are the virus movemants are understood as surface crawleres like the worm but the viruses are transmitted across the mucosal substance cannot pass the sand layers the layers iself is screening process for clean end products.

  • 4
    2

    Most of those who have had important postings in the government , when denied similar postings subsequently, come out with good information, hitherto unknown to the public.

  • 4
    4

    Dr Vitharana has no vote base. His political ideology of communism has died. So don’t worry too much about what he says. No one cares.

  • 3
    1

    Thero’s loss, Somu, it seems to be your gain. A Hero in UNHRC in May 2009, one time your boy affectionate friend Thero, is now a zero for you. An amazing growth from your part Somu. Congratulation, and wishes for New Year. !

  • 2
    3

    Resolution 40/1 is expiring in March. Resolution 40/1 was blamed on TNA as it had its longing for Secret Solution; they pressured IC to wait rather than pressing them for act. For Long time Sumanthiran PC’s position was 1990 eviction of Muslims were a Ethnic cleansing from Tamils’ part, but the Mullai Thivu havoc was not a Genocide and he put forward his own interpretation of what a Genocide is. At start Tamils had two options: 1). International Investigation on the War Crime/ Genocide as there was no hope to get any investigation against Rapist army and War Heroes, at locally; & 2) International Sanctions to make Lankawe to offer a solution for Tamils. Eventually, all Tamils agreed International Investigation is the only way that can make International Community understand Tamils’ plight and thus they can work for a solution for Tamils. But TNA’s Sampanthan Aiyya and Sumanthiran pawned the First one to free Ranil’s government from the second one so that they can negotiate their Secret Solution with Ranil for ever after. Thus Sinhala Buddhists Yahapalanaya very tactfully used TNA to defeat three main resolutions 30/1, 34/1 & 40/1. Sumanthiran challenged that he would resign politics if there no Secret Solution coming.

    • 1
      0

      You are too funny!

      Tamils had no say in any of these!! War winners decided this. Not war losers!

      Summathiran is right. He is a lawyer and he knows what he is doing.

      “At start Tamils had two options: 1). International Investigation on the War Crime/ Genocide as there was no hope to get any investigation against Rapist army and War Heroes, at locally; &

      2) International Sanctions to make Lankawe to offer a solution for Tamils. Eventually, all Tamils agreed International Investigation is the only way that can make International Community understand Tamils’ plight and thus they can work for a solution for Tamils.”

      LOL!

  • 2
    3

    Then, after trying lot to seat back Ranil during the coup, Sumanthiran informed that the Secret Solution wouldn’t be coming but he would not resign because it would come after the 2019 EP election. TNA’s current position is on a slippery slope. Jaffna and Nallur Municipality Chairman (Mayor) elections have shown that there is no confidence in TNA even to the extent EPDP has. (TNA & TPNF debilitated by internal fights). In those elections TNA lost both important localities in Jaffna Peninsula. In a new change of his mood, interestingly Sampanthan Ayya said he could not believe in the constitution making of Royals government. But Sumanthiran wants again pawn the International Investigation to Secret Solution staring from the beginning with Royals government. Sumanthiran PC is said to be tried to influence International Diplomats in his way instead of Tamils way. It is said Sumanthiran is not any more real rep of Tamils as he did not win in the last election, it was only Mrs. Raviraj. There are similar tactic being practice by TGTE in diaspora world. The original Motto of TGTE was from the old Eelam liberation war time, i.e. “Tamils’ Thirst is Tamils’ Home country”. Now TGTE switched over to a new one “Tamils fate is only on Tamils Hand”

  • 2
    3

    This motto sounding like TGTE is opposing International Community involving or using their influence to work for Tamils. That is very seriously damaging to Tamils and supporting Aanduwa’s anti-West Programs. TNA was insisting IC on Secret Solution; Some other local and diaspora community insisting of working with government for development, while TGTE was taking a completely isolated path, a referendum. No international body can enforce an election or referendum in a country unless a proven problem exists. There are countries where the problems were proven and UN conducted referendum for a solution. The people like Catalonia & Kurt failed in their effort to win IC acceptance on the referendum took place. Catalonia politicians called for unrecognized referendum for them but were not willing to recommend one like that for Tamils as Tamils are under the world most notorious Rapist Army control. TGTE is no longer really trying to gain actual representation of diaspora Tamils, for which it formed. It was asking some International lawyers to support the 6A removed, a fruitless effort, explaining that they are not talk about Tamil Eelam and then go back to Lankawe. Chanakiyan, too was advocating isolating Tamils from International Community. The organizations that have no real representation from Tamils are trying to influence or chase away the IC on its effort to help Tamils.

  • 2
    2

    There are Media reports saying that America has placed conditions to Lankawe government for receive any help. Amazingly those almost resemble what Tamils were asking and what TNA put as its election manifesto, in January 2015. They are roughly, 1). Missing relatives issue be solved, 2) War time deployment of Rapist army reduced, 3).Falsely accused under PTA and arrested political prisoners be released 4). A political solution can accepted by Tamils and Sinhalese be formulated. 5). An inquiry into the excess in the war time. I don’t think that any Tamils organization or parties can find fault with America’s conditions other than on the 5th one, where it is not clear if it is a local investigation or as mentioned in Resolution 30/1, a hybrid investigation. ICC inquiry is the one needed. Strangely, I have not seen any Tamil organizations expressing any opinion on the conditions or asking America to give them for a chance to clarify the loopholes in the conditions, or willing to support America on its economic, political and defense endeavors, in the event America is willing to solve Tamils problem. All what I saw from these Tamil groups is they already raising their demand of they be crowned as Jaffna Royals of Tamils, before America enforce any conditions on misbehaving governments like Appe Aanduwa.

  • 3
    2

    Long live the personal greed within Tamil community, instead of unifying for Tamils’ betterment!

    • 0
      1

      Mallaiyuran
      All Tamil speaking people scattered across the island should give up their differences in religion, caste or date of arrival and unite to demand for a separate Homeland.

      Soma

  • 2
    0

    An interesting observation and reference by the writer:

    “The previous UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zaid al-Hussein left a timebomb ticking in his report: the conclusion that the Sri Lankan justice system is not independent enough to secure accountability and the recommendation that therefore the 193 member states of the United Nations should initiate prosecutions under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction. “

    This would appear as an understatement considering the ad hoc release of convicted super criminals by successive leaders with an increasing level of impunity through the years, while incarcerating “suspects” indefinitely under unpleasant laws without charging them.

    If not for geopolitical strategic objectives, the international jurisdictions on Sri Lankan cases especially with regard to human rights would be a blessing.

    • 0
      1

      L.P.
      “If not for geopolitical strategic objectives, the international jurisdictions on Sri Lankan cases especially with regard to human rights would be a blessing.”
      Wrong.
      Accountability is the very antithesis of reconciliation.
      30 years is a long period. Further ten years have passed since. Wars are not fought between saints.
      Only a process of investigation decidedly free from any accountability will lead to uncovering of the truth which in the end is the only legacy we can leave behind for the posterity.

      Soma

      • 0
        0

        “Only a process of investigation decidedly free from any accountability will lead to uncovering of the truth “

        Somu Somu

        Don’t be such a naive man. If have heroes, they just can’t mass murder innocents, but should have shame feeling for fearing to face the justice.

        I give you an offer; if you a man, take it.Send the Tamils North East, we take them, but send the war criminals to Hague. Can you ?

        • 0
          0

          Mallaiyuran
          “I give you an offer; if you a man, take it.Send the Tamils North East, we take them, but send the war criminals to Hague. Can you ?”
          .
          My problem of sending Tamils to North is having lived in Sinhala majority provinces they are conditioned to think that Sinhala Buddhist society is superior to their own. Nothing terrifies a Tamil than the thought of living in a Tamil only enclave. That is why no amount of anti Sinhala propaganda of discrimination, violence, rape, murder or even mass genocide has no effect on them WHATSOEVER.
          The day you are successful in convincing them of those charges and persuade a SINGLE TAMIL FAMILY to move out I will most certainly join you at Geneva.

          Soma

          • 0
            0

            Mallaiyuran
            In the words of another CT reader:
            /
            Thiagarajah Venugopal 10dec20
            “Only country in the world a bunch of MP’s lived amongst their enemies, studied with their enemies, owned businesses amongst their enemies, ask living spaces for some other foreigners in even my lands, conducted war and killed their enemies whilst they lived amongst the enemies, went around the world and told pokies about their enemies (I’m agentry) to by western life style too, during the war lived amongst the enemies and after the war refused to go home too their territories, and some some retire and come to Tamil territories and talk through their back side whilst I am washing toilets somewhere else????”
            /
            Admit as a good Tamil that the only ambition of a Tamil mother when Thalaivar was ruling Jaffna was to pawn her jewlery and land and send her children to Colombo.
            Can you blame me for that?

            Soma

            .

            • 0
              0

              Mallaiyuran
              When arrangements were made for the estate Tamils to relocate themselves to India so that then can live as equal citizens among their own kith and kin in an environment of their own language, religion and culture they protested and demanded to continue that pathetic life in Sri Lanka. To this day they are happy here than going back to super power India.
              .
              Why?
              Nothing terrifies a Tamil than the thought of living in a Tamil only enclave.

              Soma

  • 4
    0

    The UN is a toothless organization. It finds it self at the mercy of the donor countries quite often. It is also rubbished by all right wing know nothings who have been brain washed into thinking that somehow the UN is trying to take their rights away. Ditto to our thug clergy. I like what Dayan is trying to do. I wish Geneva will actually get off its backside and do something productive for a change. In order for this movement to work we need a good leader with brains and no skeletons in the closet with which the Rajapakshes can easily manipulate. Sajith is not fit for the job. Please find an alternative. I have no horses in this race but Mr Ranaweka sounds like a good choice if he is willing to jettison his Sinhela Urumaya credentials and be more amenable to a multicultural society.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.