Despite the uproar made by some of the leaders of the government, the recent expansion of the scope of the Commission on Disappearances the Rajapaksa regime has given the message that not only has it capitulated to international pressure, but that it will be forced to act only when there is international pressure, the Editorial of today’s Sunday Times – a prominent weekly English newspaper in Sri Lanka – remarks.
Today’s editorial titled ‘Losing the Diplomatic War’ it has been pointed out that the Rajapksa regime misled by its foreign policy pundits, has ignored the good old saying ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ in responding to mounting allegations of human rights and International Humanitarian Law violations during the final phases of the war.
Recalling the foreign policy blunders, the Editorial notes
– The first court martial of the former Army Commander
– The deceptive inquiry by the military on allegations of ‘war crimes’
– Prolonged delay in setting up the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)
– Delay in implementing its recommendations despite the mechanism giving the Government an early window of opportunity have not boded well with Sri Lanka’s image.
The Editorial further notes that there is much to do in mending fences with the West – an area that has been completely abandoned by the External Affairs Ministry under the Rajapaksa regime, pointing out that even through back channel initiatives, it would take steadfast efforts for a long period for mend relations with the White House and Capitol Hill.
“The Government will have to set its priorities right in the first place. For instance, the insane ‘Look Africa’ foreign policy must be just thrown into the WPB and a more useful ‘Look West’ approach adopted, surely,” the piece notes pointing out Sri Lanka and its people have much more in common with the West than with Africa.
Furthermore, it asserts that if Sri Lanka is to succeed in this modern world, it cannot afford to shun the West or be shunned by it.