Human Rights and President Mahinda Rajapaksa - Sri Lanka Guardian


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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Human Rights and President Mahinda Rajapaksa

by Malinga H. Gunaratne

(August 02, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Paid lobbyists are performing over time to paint the Government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the violater of all human rights. It is ironical that this cacophony is rising to a shrill crescendo just at the time that the LTTE is about to be militarily subdued.

It is time that the true position of Sri Lanka is presented to these detractors in the clearest possible manner and this whole issue of the so called violation of human rights be viewed dispassionately and objectively.

To make it very clear right at the inception I hold the view that this government has done more for the human rights of her citizens than any previous administration and most governments in the world including the Governments of the USA and some countries of the European Union.

Today the Eastern Province has been liberated from the clutches of the LTTE. It is the LTTE that violated not only the human rights but all the rights of the people of the East.

By gaining control of the East and having a democratically elected Government in place, the people of this troubled region are now enjoying the same privileges of the other parts of the island.

The LTTE did not allow cultivation of the land. They prevented children from going to school. They extorted money from the citizens in the most brazen and cruel manner just for the right to live.

Children of Tamil families were forcibly conscripted to wage a useless war. Tamils Opposing the LTTE were liquidated. This includes any Tamil holding a different view.

The catalogue of killings is long. When the LTTE killed Tamils opposing them, the world was silent. The launching of members of the baby brigade as suicide bombers was ignored. The LTTE battened on the bludgeon. They exported terrorism to the world.

Land was distributed only to LTTE loyalists. This has now ceased. The violation of the human rights of almost three million people of this country living in the East is no more.

Kangaroo courts which ordered summary justice without the right of a trial are all events of the past. Does not the credit for this achievement go to the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa. How did he achieve this? Omelettes can never be made without breaking eggs. LTTE spies, activists, supporters, militants were dealt with severely.

President Rajapaksa may have learned one of the cardinal lessons taught to princes by the 17th century political analyst Niccolo Machiavelli. ‘It is far better to be feared than to be loved, as men being fickle are more apt to break the bonds of love than those of fear. The enemies of the State fear him!

Is it about the violation of the so called human rights of these criminals that the international lobby is talking about? If the government did not deal aggressively with the LTTE, and heeded the bleatings of the of the human rights lobby, the terrorists would be walking freely while the rights of three million people in the East were in complete peril.

Mahinda Rajapaksa chose to take the path of the lesser evil. A few were dealt with in the interests of the many. The lobbyists never raised the cry of violations when the Tigers were calling the shots. They almost seem to say ‘Let the Tigers do anything, you cannot liberate the people form their clutches’.

There can seldom be actionable evidence that can be proved in a court of law against suspected terrorists. What recourse does a government fighting terrorism have ? Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib are some examples of Al Queda terrorists held without charges or evidence for years. They even accused the US of desecrating the Koran.

If we committed these sacrilegious acts on the Bible or the Bhagvad Gita, the European Union would be spinning on their tails! ‘Buddhists Barbarians’ they would have cried for all the world to hear.

Indeed President Mahinda Rajapaksa must be considered seriously for the title of Peace Maker of the Decade. ‘Blessed be the peace makers for they shall inherit the Earth.’ He has liberated three million Tamil people from the LTTE.

No mention on human rights will be complete without paying tribute to the Defence Secretary - Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and our fighting Forces who have not only acted with great restraint, but could not have liberated the East, and now the North, without the goodwill and support of the Tamil people.

Indeed, even the Indians consider the Sri Lankan Army one of the best fighting armies in the world. The Indians are being trained in Counter terrorism in our Army establishments!

Gotabhaya exploded the myth of an invincible LTTE, by devoted and single minded leadership. With General Sarath Fonseka leading from the front this conflict may soon end. This is the fate that the European Union is doing their best to prevent. They want to bail the LTTE out.

The Sri Lankan operations against the LTTE can well be described as the most successful such effort in the world. George Bush, Pervez Musharaff, Manmohan Singh are still grappling with this problem with no end in sight. The Forces are at the gates of the Wanni. We may lose a few battles, suffer a few reversals in the days to come.

The Tigers may cause some mayhem in the capital city but it is quite evident that the Wanni and the people of the North will soon be free of this scourge of the LTTE.

‘Money is being frittered away on the war’ the Opposition claims. They react with undisguised glee when a bomb explodes in Colombo or when there is a reversal in a theatre of battle. ‘There is no development’ they say.

Thousands of acres of land in the rice bowl of the country that was lying fallow in the East are now under the plough.

Is this not development that affects the livelihood of the people directly? Is unimpeded education in Jaffna not development?

Today India is being rocked by acts of violence and bomb explosions in some major centres. There are no travel advisories against India. Sri Lanka is being painted to the world almost like a country where fighting is going on at every street corner. ‘Truth is the first casualty of war.’

The European Union and the Western world and the paid lobbyists of the Tigers Will be grappling with terrorism long after peace descends on the island.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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