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The Scope of Sri Lankan Conscience & Responsibility

Full text of the letter from a Canadian to Sri Lankan Consul General Bandula Jayasekara follows;

by Roy Ratnavel

(August 11, Toronto, Sri Lanka Guardian) One is entitled to their opinion, but not to change the facts. It is not worth my time to dispute the poisonous, libellous and convulsive content of your letter [National Post, July 11, 2008]. I’m not surprised that The National Post published a letter so studded with factual inaccuracies, but I am surprised that the slanderous contribution was actually made it to print without being checked for quality.

You know you're not a world class author when your work is accepted by the usual gang of idiots. I had wrongly assumed that the letter page is a forum for those who have something constructive to add, not an outlet for derision and snarky behaviour. Nevertheless, you should be congratulated for exposing yourself for your ability to employ despicable tactics, and your penchant for sophomoric rhetoric to score points in the war against Tamils.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointing you as Consul General to Canada brought to mind the quote from 16th-century Dutch humanist Erasmus - In regione caecorum rex est luscus: In the country of blind, the one-eyed man is king. The cold and awkward letter is yet another sign of your unyielding dorkiness and robotic tendencies. Contrary to your claim, you are the paid iconoclast who regularly skewers phonies of the left and right, in order to confuse the Western politicians who’ve wrapped themselves in rhetoric since September 11th.

Your letters really gone downhill and have, basically, turned into a hypocritical, nebulous, flaw riddled dung-pile. I am sure that's the best compliment your have received in years! Your letter is not germane to the central issue and achieved little or nothing of note, but I am sure greatly enjoyed an orgy of self-congratulation inside your cozy camp. The letter is most dishonest, and highly selective in its outrage with most egregious errors. Against this backdrop, I figured I would be remiss if I didn't write you a hard-hitting rebuttal. It would be a good start, at least.

I am always amazed by the blurred lines, or put another way, incestuous relationship, that exists between a foreign surreptitious government like Sri Lanka, and a private media in Canada. I'm not sure how free a society is when political affiliations are treated as an "essential qualification" in determining who gets to lead the story of the day. But I digress.

It is sad to see you have been reduced to publishing in some of the intellectually weakest of the right-wing propaganda publications. It is even sadder to see this grotesque, almost baroque, letter carom from one extravagant argument to another, miring itself in a series of gross fallacies and elementary errors in logic. The trouble with this sort of bunkum is that unless it is refuted, after awhile people will become acquiesce in carrying out unjust commands and abetting evil designs of Sri Lanka. That’s already started; with columnists bearing IQ’s no higher than their body temperature expressing “outrage” and passing obtuse comments at Tamil freedom struggle, to which you are no exception.

First of all, let us all agree that, with the possible exceptions of Christ and the Buddha, all humans, even your current thug President, are made of mortal flesh, hence fallible. To contend or suggest otherwise is, at best, poor history. The problem with your letter is that it presents a Jackson Pollock portrait: lots of paint but no clear picture. As always your contemptuous words, positively reeks of falsehood. Your lies are so palpable to take one's breath away.
Left without protection or a recognized status, the Tamils assembled, organized and resisted, first peacefully, then by armed insurrection. In the post 9/11 era, freedom struggle of such minorities has become the favourite whipping-boy for both politicians and the thug regimes around the world. In this regard, collectively the Tamils are the scapegoat of choice for the nefarious regime of Sri Lanka.

Twenty-five years after the grim July of 1983, your country’s racial politics and policy contributed to substantial mistrust – apart from many Sri Lankan Consul Generals bileful rhetoric and similar ‘straw dog’ arguments over this same period have served to destroy Tamils collective trust toward Sri Lanka.

In continuing to make such arguments, you are practising what libertarian philosopher Robert Nozick referred to as the “time-slice” theory of justice. That is, you are applying principles of justice only to the current state of affairs and not to history, and doing a disservice to those principles your country claims to profess. You are like a child who concludes that his father is in error because he doesn't understand his reasoning.

Your diatribe against ‘everything Tamil’ is shockingly myopic. In your letter you offer self-contradictory depiction as a legitimate cause for war and castigate the Tamils in Canada of lacking grace and claim that they will carry AK-47 tomorrow. It is not ironic to see comments such as this coming from representative of a country which is both a rogue and a failed state. It behooves you to know that Sri Lanka, which was positioned 25th among the most failed states during the last two years, ranked this year as the 20th in the Failed States Index (FSI) – a marvellous achievement indeed.

If they gave out Olympic medals for poor governance, Sri Lanka would take the gold, silver and bronze. Even though your country is falling apart, and has rollerbladed into chaos with no elbow-pads and helmet you'd never have known it from your posh office in Toronto. If it weren't so serious and tragic, it might be amusing that since the beginning of its independence from the British in 1948, the hawkish leaders of Sri Lanka made a disastrous mess from which no easy escape beckons.

Situation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka is a gruesome tragedy. In this regard, from Tamils’ prospective Sri Lanka is neither a country nor a regime that can be trusted. Your country's record is one of unblemished brutality and carnage. Your offer of sarong and a shirt for pinstriped suit to rebuild Sri Lanka is not that enticing for most Tamils until you put an end to the horrible human tragedy that has engulfed this once peaceful nation.

The suffering of Tamils is in line with millions of other persecuted minorities who fear for their lives worldwide. Sri Lanka’s strategy is to literally terrorize the Tamil society in Sri Lanka and abroad, and its leaders into a fearful and subordinate state of mind. One cannot ever forget Sri Lanka’s painful, inhumane and terroristic practise of dispatching thugs and criminal mobs to kill scores of innocent Tamil women, men and children in July of 1983. I must admit that in all my years, I had never come across anyone like you. I feel as though I have encountered evil incarnate. The fact that you are knowingly presiding over the death and destruction of innocent Tamils matters to you not one whit.

Finally, freedom struggle of Tamils is a unique case. Any people who have suffered oppression as the Kosovars did deserve to be free. The recent independence of Kosovo is, an injustice redressed and a victory for the free world. Tamil’s freedom, therefore, is long overdue. Persecution the Tamils endure Sri Lanka concern us Canadians. For, as the historical record makes clear, while the Tamils are utterly hopeless at any form of ethnic cleansing, it is something at which the Sri Lankan government, alas, has always excelled. The splattered blood from the Tamil victims will stain our proud Canadian flag forever if our government has any part in logistic or tacit support of Sri Lankan tyranny.

General Douglas MacArthur once lamented "Moral courage is the courage of one's convictions, the courage to see things through. The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It's the age-old struggle – the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other." What one ought to do is to live up to broadly defined human ‘conscience and responsibility.’ Through this law, guides all of human life and activities which immeasurably differs from all animals. As we witnessed in Sri Lanka, the threat to human survival comes from lack of both – ‘conscience and responsibility.’ It appears from your letter the concepts of such basic human traits are foreign to you. However, to us Canadians it is at the bottom of our tradition of democracy. Our ‘conscience’ tells us that we are ‘responsible’ to one another to ensure that the democratic process works; if it does not work, that means that not enough of us are involved. To that end, we will not rest.
- Sri Lanka Guardian

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