1 October, 2020

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When Kadirgamar Set Out, The World Saw The LTTE As ‘Freedom Fighters’

By G.L  Peiris

Proff. G.L Peiris

Your excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Venerable members of the Maha Sanga, my colleagues in the Cabinet of Ministers, Your Excellency’s, Commanders of the three Forces, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Executive Director of the LKIIRSS, Ladies and Gentleman.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all here this morning for an event of unquestionable significance. A few moment ago His Excellency President Rajapaksaunveiled the statue of the Late Foreign Minister the Hon Lakshman Kadirgamar on the 8th anniversary of his death.

Lakshman Kadirgamar has many achievements to his credit, his was in every sense of the word a multifaceted career. But what he is most remembered for today is his singular achievement in turning round world opinion at a critical juncture in the contemporary history of our country.Today the terrorist organization which arrested Sri Lanka’s economic and social development for three whole decades has been banned by no fewer than 34 countries, but this is not something that can be taken for granted, could not have been taken for granted. At the time Kadirgamar began his work the extent and magnitude of his achievement has to be assessed in the context of the conditions, which prevailed at that time. The terrorist organization was endeavoring to create the impression in the world community that they were not terrorists, but freedom fighters and it fell to Kadirgamar’s lot to refute that contention with all the persuasive power at his command. He did so in a variety of ways.

Frist and foremost he got the message out loud and clear to the international community, that there cannot be an isolations approach to terrorism, Sri Lanka may be a country far, far away from the West, but what happens here undoubtedly has a very direct impact on situations n Western Europe and other parts of the world. Theses are interlocking, intertwining relationships and Kadirgamar succeeded in making the point with great conviction and emphasis that developments in this country were by no means irrelevant, they were part of the main stream and were therefore worthy of intense attention on the part of the international community.

He did this with great concurrence and one of the striking features of the strategy he employed for this purpose was to link the circumstances in Sri Lanka to situations to which there was a sharp focus at the international level.

I can think of no better example for that than the use that he made of the initiatives of Graca Machel, the wife of Nelson Mandela. Graca Machel, at the time carried out a great deal of work at the United Nations systemfocusing attention on the plight of child soldiers, and Kadirgamar was able to point out the harrowing ordeal of child soldiers in our own country and by doingso was able to rivet the attention of the world community to the unfolding scenario in our own country.

The terrorist organization was banned in the USA when Madeline Albright was Secretary of State. In the UK there was a debate as to whether in terms of the applicable laws of the UK this organization could be properly banned. Kadirgamar played a significant role in that debate. He pointed out that in terms of the applicable British legislation  the governing criterion was the method that was used by the organization in question, if they resorted to terror as opposed to persuasion no matter what objective they professed to try to achieve, the methods they used, the resort to  terrorism, the recourse to violence, was sufficient in terms of the British legislation to characterize the organization in question as a terrorist organization. So he made a very able and persuasive intervention , on behalf of Sri Lanka to bring about a result that the proscription of this organization took place in the UK as well. The proscription of this organization by the European Union meant that 27 countries barred this organization. So that was the extent of his activities in securely the banning of this organization all over the world.That is the most sticking, most prominent achievement that is remembered today, with gratitude and appreciation.

But that achievement sprang from a series of inner convictions on the part of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar. He was a Tamil, the only Tamil foreign minster this country has had, and he was convinced deeply , irrevocably, in his own mind that the Tamil culture was something worthy of esteem. He has profound respect for the traditions and culture of the Tamil people and he thought that those traditions were worthy of emulation and perpetration within the national fabric of Sri Lanka. He was very firmly committed to a unitary state, a state within which all communities would be able to live in harmony and in unison.  He saw absolutely no contradiction between the pride and the self esteem of the Tamil people on the one hand, and the cohesiveness of the Sri Lankan nation on the other. He believed these were mutually reinforcing and enriching rather than mutually exclusive.

He also realized that whatever solution is evolved to this issue in Sri Lanka would necessarily have to take into account the reality that the Tamil community is not exclusively resident in the Northern or Eastern provinces of the island. The majority of Tamil people live in amity as they have done for centuries with the other communities in other parts of the country, in Colombo, in Kandy, in Galle, respecting each others culture without strain or tension, that is the proud history to which we are heirs and Kadirgamar’s thinking was very strongly influenced by the awareness of that noble and salutary tradition. He believed the solution to problems must arise ideally from dialogue, but he also realized that there was inherent risk and danger in making compromise when there was no reasonable expectation of reciprocity. The basis of any productive dialogue is reciprocity, both sides have to commit themselves to the accomplishment of a goal. But Kadirgamar, towards the end of his life, realized full well that the LTTE had no serious commitment to a negotiating process for a fundamental reason – the reason was they were convinced of their military invincibility and therefore they saw no reason to engage in a serious dialogue.

Now it is this circumspection which was uppermost in the mind of the late Lakshman Kadirgamarthat made him strongly oppose the P-TOMS agreement. The P-TOMS agreement was something that attracted a great deal of attention at that time.  Kadirgamar was an implacable foe of the P-TOMS agreement because he was conscious of its implications and repercussions and he has no doubt in his mind that this agreement if implemented spelt great danger to  the unity and integrity  of our great mother land.

Another of the deepest convictions of the late Kadirgamar was that this problem has to be resolved within the shores of this island. It is simply not possible to arrive at a sustainable agreement which is evolved overseas, that would not work at all because one of the pre requisites of sustainability is that a solution must be evolved in keeping with the traditions, the cultural morays of the people and must have a homegrown, homespun quality.

So these were the cherished convictions of the Late Lakshman Kadirgamar which infused the whole of his thinking with regard to this issue. Reference was made in the introductory remarks a little while ago to Kadirgamar’s achievement  in having the UN system declare the Vesak Poya Day as an international holiday. I think this was reflective of another dimension to the character and thinking of the late Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. He was at great pains to point out that the world consist of more than one culture, that there is a whole reservoir of wisdom and worthwhile values entrenched in other cultures and he wanted the world and the UN system in particular to take notice on the impact of those cultural traditions on the resolution of problems that dominate the contemporary world. This was exceedingly successful , particularly during the time of Judge Owada, a Japanese judge as President of the International Court of Justice. For the first time international jurisprudence evolved by the ICJ, began to involve not only sources from Western Europe but the court began to take note of the Dhammapada, Tripitaka, Bhagavath Geetha, Quran and Haggith all of which enriched the collective experience of humanity.

The final comment I would like to make is that Kadirgamar, who was a distinguished alumnus of the University of Oxford, insisted that Oxford has contributed to the icing on the cake. In his own words Kadirgamar insisted that the cake was baked at home, and the University of Oxford contributed to the icing on the cake. I think that is an apt remark because everything he believed in, the values he held to be sacrosanct, evolved in the context of a national tradition, they derived from the soil of Sri Lanka and found inspiration in one of the most remarkable personalities of our time.

So these Your excellency, Your Excellency’s, ladies and gentleman are reasons why today Lakshman Kadirgamar is honored by the highest in our land. Hisstatue has justbeen unveiled by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa. It is one of our cherished values which we have nurtured over the centuries that we must honor those to which honor is deserved. That is very much a part of Buddhist tradition ‘poojacha poojaneeyana’, honor to whom honor is deserved, and in honoring Kadirgamar we honor ourselves, we pay tribute to a man who made a difference, he transformed life in this country in a variety of ways, he touched the life of a nation in many ways and left behind a legacy which is indelibly left in the conscious of the people he struck. That is why President Rajapaksa the highest in the land now honors the memory of the Late Lakshman Kadirgamar.

Thank you.

*Professor G.L  Peiris’s  – Welcome Address at at the event of the Unveiling of the Statue of the Late. Lakshman Kadirgamar by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies.

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    What he did the most sold his own people for his political gain and it back fired by his masters

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      That itself shows his human characters when other leaders from socalled own people were trying to fish in trobuled water. Great personality Mr. Kadiragamar..

    • 0
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      Pasel,

      Kadir served the people of Sri Lanka, who were his masters.

      His masters were never corrupt Rajapassa clan or any others.

      Kadir served his people, the Sri Lankans, regardless of ethnicity. He served Sri Lankans well. And fearlessly. He did not back down to the worst terrorist outfit world has ever seen. He was a brave man.

      Sri Lankans quickly recognized his superior qualities. And admired him.

      Kadir’s place in Sri Lanka’s history is eternal. No matter what.

      Cheers!

      • 0
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        These Portuguese Peiris Buggers GL, Mohan et al are a bunch of wankers, who know the art of slipper licking and misleading the masses to serve their Masters. They are Shameless as long as they achieve Position and Glory.

      • 0
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        nice name. the name says it all ben, uncle benny

      • 0
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        Ben Hurling, Fully agree with you. My sentiments exactly.

  • 0
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    And what does the world see us now as?

  • 0
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    Monkeys praising it’s own tail. Kadirgamar was not responsible for the banning of the LTTE. The Sinhala-racist- chauvinist-extremist and State Terrorist make such dubious claims.

    Who cares about Kadirgamar -8 years after his murder.
    Rajapakses and the MOD cannot release the investigations report nor find the murderers. What a bloody joke.

    The same GOSL has now acquired Kadirgamar’s own land in Jaffna. What a disgrace and are they so desperate for HSZ 4 years after the war ended using chemical weapons.

    Now there is nore trouble and headaches for the Rajapakses and GOSL without the LTTE for over 4 years. Rajapakses do not visit the US, despite being US citizens, UK, Canada and Europe. Why?
    Same with the army commander and former MP Fonseka despite his 27 months in jail by the Rajapakses. Fonseka does not even or allowed to visit the USA? lol.

    What and where are the foreign aid, grans and loans????
    Only commercial loans at very high interest rates and tender-less lucrative contracts to the Chinese. aka Fraud, Bribery and Commission.

    Isn’t that a disgrace and shame???

    • 0
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      Why it should be a disgrace not going to US, UK ar other EU conutries? Why should we worship the Western world? The antonym/pair of what you said Tamil-racist- chauvinist-extremist and diaspora Terrorists are worshiping them. Give respect to the people where due.

      • 0
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        “Why should we worship the Western world?” why do they need the green card then?

    • 0
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      Gnanakone,

      When was the last time you flew a kite?

    • 0
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      It is like ‘Donkey’ J Gnanakone praising it’s own ‘[Edited out]’

  • 0
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    For Tamils, Kathirkamar is a “Kakai Vannian” who sold his talent and his race for ministerial post and today his own property being grabed by the same regime he worked for. He is a disgrace for humanity because he was part and partial genocide of Tamils by a combined act of Sinhala and Hindi.

    • 0
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      Honourable Minister Kathiragamar did not Betrayed the Tamizar like your Sun god Pirapaharan.

      honourable Kathiragamar Did not give orders to kill, Fire on Fleeing refugee civilians Tamizars from somebody’s war At mullaai Vaaikal by the so called Saviour of tamizar nation or
      Protesting Sinhala Civilians At Waliveriya in Gampaha , Like Rajapassa Sibling Defence Secretary.

      He came to Sri Lanka not for power or Money, not Like Rajapassa and Pirapaharan,
      When compare to Hon Kadiragamar’s reputation education, and decency, are Nobody can get close to even to his feet ,

      G L PERIS IS nowhere close to this TAMIL NOBLE man.

      Always, We remember and have respect for this fallen hero,
      A TRUE SON OF MOTHERLANKA.

      But for the love of his Mother Country.
      As per my knowledge He had Sri Lankan Citizenship only.
      Not like other So called Patriots.

      • 0
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        no amount of praising black tamilians can white wash your blood stained hands….

    • 0
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      Ajith don’t judge everyone, by your standards. Sinhala Politicians are selling their Race for Ministerial Posts in the present Corrupt Government. People with the Honesty and Integrity of Kadirgamar are not Racist. They are the true Patriots of Sri Lanka, unlike Those servile sycophants who grovel to the Ruling party for their own Gains.

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      But Prabhakaran and all LTTE are worst “kakkai vanniyans” of Tamils because they killed thousands of Tamils. They robbed the Tamils and invested in Colombo and fed Gopalasamys and Simons in Tamil nadu.

      How can the LTTE morons better than Kathirgamar? Billions of rupees invested by LTTE in Colombo CONDO buildings.

      If the LTTE was fighting for EELAM, how could those morons build condos in Colombo? Now those condos are under the ministry of Gotabhaya.

      But the Tamil fools cried all over the world that the people of Vanni suffer without food!

      Kathirgamar really cornered the real traitors of Tamils!

  • 0
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    I heard that they have confiscated his properties in Jaffna for his service to The Singhalease,Is this Gratitude Buddhist style?

  • 0
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    THIS IS THE TARGET HAVE TO ACHIEVE BY BLOOD SUCKERS OF BUDDHIST IN SL

    **FIRST ——–>TAMILS ERADICATED FROM THE ISLAND

    **SECOND—–> MUSLIMS NOW ONGOING WAR UNDER THE SUPPORT OF DEFENSE SECRETARY

    **THIRD—–> MY DEAR CHRISTIAN BROTHERS YOU ARE THE NEXT TARGET FOR SURE

  • 0
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    Lakshman Kadirgamar was a distinguished diplomat, lawyer and politician and certainly did Sri Lanka proud. The speaker doesn’t really do justice to this legend; and how many in the distinguished audience stole forty winks during GL’s ramble?
    Happy Birthday GL…but don’t you think it’s time to go? Better late than never, do the right thing by your country.

  • 0
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    This is the same GL who did not speak to Lakshman Kadi. He was so jealous of Kadi. GL used to say that Kadi’s only job was getting the LTTE banned in other countries and that it did not help Sri Lanka. Of course, that was GL under his previous (or even earlier) incarnation.

    • 0
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      Remember, GLP is a turn-coat from UNP to SLFP? He knows which side of the bread is buttered!

      • 0
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        The only reason this ‘Turn Coat’ was asked to speak is because of his language capability and the ability to send people to sleep!
        He is also one of the people responsible for the present state of this country , by helping the ‘Raja Hitlers’ change the laws of this country to favour them!

  • 0
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    A -ai – Huna Mora wena -Mora -Huna wena?
    ohma thami. din oth ,huna Mora wena wa, paradunoth -mora Huna wai..

    how come a Gecko turns to a shark? and a shark turns to a gecko?

    when they win the gecko turns to a shark & when they loose the shark becomes a Gecko..

    his puffed up cheeks tells it all , gahapang sudrenlingum–

  • 0
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    A -ai – Huna Mora wena -Mora -Huna wena?
    ohma thami. din oth ,huna Mora wena wa, paradunoth -mora Huna wai..

    how come a Gecko turns to a shark? and a shark turns to a gecko?

    when they win the gecko turns to a shark & when they loose the shark becomes a Gecko..

    his puffed up cheeks tells it all ,

    I dont know why!!!!!!!!!!!

    http://youtu.be/C7mNZMire-0

  • 0
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    Kadirgamar was one statesman and intellectual from the Tamil community. There are many who go unrecognized due to discrimination and the lack of opportunity. We pray that the Tamil community once again regain their rightful position in Sri Lankan society and be able to contribute to the development of this nation.

    If youth, talent and merit are not given their due place we will not progress beyond the present state of mediocrity. Time for people like GLP to go home and give a chance to the younger generation.

  • 0
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    One of the best if not the best all rounder from a minority group to grace the landscape of our little Lanka.

    Shouldn’t the new selfclaiming Leaders of Mr Kadiragarmer’s Ethnic community , such as Messers Sambandan, Sumanathiran and the new kid on the block, the retired Jurist Mr Vigneswaran give these commomorative addresses?.

    Or are they still using the fear factor as an excuse?.

  • 0
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    You are giving a lecture re: Kadirgamar. What right you have GL? You are a Failed External Affairs Minister of a failed state. What right you have to talk about Kadirgamer? You cannot even wipe his shoes as you fell far below the standards set by him. He maintained the dignity of the Nation. You lied to the international bodies and play with words in international forums. You are a Failed External Affairs Minister, the worst Sri Lanka ever saw since independence.

  • 0
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    Dear gas Labu, how does it feel to have sold your soul to the devil?

  • 0
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    I happened to see Mr. Kadiragarmer’s interview with BBC … only then I realized how lucky we were to have him as our foreign minister..

    He was truely a Statesman and we truely need more like him

  • 0
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    As Periers has admitted; “By honouring you we are honouring OUR SELVES!

    That is the sad fact. You are honouring the Sinhalese by honouring such a cheap scate who first turned Christian and then so called Buddhist? so that he can have his own private pool.

  • 0
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    To express the nation`s gratitude towards this great man it is said that the Fuhrer has ~jilmarted~ a block his ancestral land in the north!

  • 0
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    Fine words indeed ! But Sinhala Buddhist Sri Lanka never considered making Kadirgamar a Sri Lankan ( Tamil) patriot Prime Minister. For all the rhetoric, that is the measure of the hypocricy and humbug of Sinhala Buddhist governance in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    Unlike the sycophant Peiris, Kadigama was a devout Buddhist. May he hold on to the Triple Gem. Bensen

  • 0
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    G.L Peiris, the master turn coat will turn against Kadiragama if and when he sees the other side is buttered!

  • 0
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    VP Betrayed Tamils and GoSL exterminated him and built a museum for him

    Kadirgamr betrayed Tamils and GOSL extermninated and unveiled a statue for him

    logic says GoSL is friend of Tamils

  • 0
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    the world always believed and now realises that they (LTTE) were indeed freedom fighters

  • 0
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    The much devalued Gamini Luxman bats for the regime again. Many know the warmth between him and LK while the latter was alive. GLP, at any rate, is a first class speaker, writer and brilliant academic. The US, Britain and EU may have blacklisted the LTTE – for various reasons. But it cannot be denied in the very soil of these countries those accused by GoSL as LTTE fellow-travelers (TGTE and others) have grown by leaps and bounds and now threaten the Rajapakses giving them sleepless nights.

    As to good Prof. Asoka Ekanayake’s comments on this deceptive rumor of LK being considered as PM, anyone with an iota of knowledge on the communally-based politics of the country know this idea can never see the light of day. Those Mahanayakes in Kandy and the Sinhala extremists will never allow this.

    By the way, was Bogols, that man who has no compunction to spend the money of the poor public in his private eating, drinking and haircuts etc. in the audience? The man did much to keep LK’s statue unpacked for years. Also, GLP cannot hide the fact LK did his best to sabotage the chance of Jayantha Dhanapala being the first Lankan to be UNSG. Jayantha is far too much of a gentleman even to discuss among close friends.

    RJdeS

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