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Sri Lanka: Wrong direction in diplomacy

By Nilantha Ilangamuwa

(May 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Only after Sinhalese extremists went on their third violent demonstration against the foreign embassies in Colombo, the Government of Sri Lanka woke up and realized the need to deeply regret over the incident.

Sri Lanka cannot afford to compromise its foreign relations to celebrate the jubilation over victory against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Yesterday (May 27) morning, political henchmen of the government belonging to an extreme Sinhala party, held a violent demonstration in front of the Canadian High Commission in Colombo. They were holding the LTTE’s flags and the Sri Lankan national flags and were shouting and showing that the Canadian High Commission is the embassy of the LTTE, which granted had visas to the Tigers without following the immigration procedures or rules.

It appeared that demonstrators were none other than the disgruntled persons who had failed to qualify for visa to enter Canada. The latest attack took place after the previous two violent demonstrations against the Norwegian and British embassies in Colombo. The government too maintained lip tight silence on these two attacks.

According to the latest press statement released by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rohitha Bogollagama, he has called the attack on the Canadian Mission a "senseless and unlawful act of violence”, which he deplored in the strongest possible terms.

Attacking the embassies is violation of International law and it could only injure our diplomatic relations. The conduct of the Sinhala extremists is no different to what happened against Sri Lankan embassies abroad by the LTTE goons. It is no doubt these are tit for tat attacks for what LTTE men did against foreign embassies in Colombo.

There is no justification in the LTTE attacks against Sri Lankan embassies overseas. But the right thinking people cannot these transposed in the Sri Lankan soil. Any political party that believe in democracy and non-violence must not indulge in such violent conduct. Unfortunately those engaged in the violent conduct in front of Embassies cannot sit on moral high ground and claim that they are better stock than the violent LTTE goons in the diaspora.

Sri Lanka’s actions must be focussed on the Tamil diaspora now. It needs to change the Diaspora’s mentality and make them a powerful stock like the Jews all over the world to help Sri Lanka.

Tigers are not fully wiped out yet and the dream of Eelam is not vanished with the violent end to the LTTE in Sri Lanka. It has its strong support base amongst pro-LTTE Diaspora. Therefore, we must not make more new enemies against us after eliminating the common enemy in our grounds as we need the global support to finish off the LTTE dream.

With the defeat of the LTTE, it is new dawn for Sri Lanka. In the last 30 years, the Tamil militants dictated their terms for us in Sri Lanka. That threat is no more now. Only less than 200 Tamil Tigers are hiding and are trying to attack the military and this can be considered as a minor irritation. This does not warrant if we pool all our energy to concentrate on this small stock as they will wither away if the government could win over the hearts and minds of the Tamils with the due and justifiable political resolution process.

Now that Sri Lanka has come under one administration due to the highly motivated military by efforts reminiscent to the LTTE of yesteryears. Under this changed and changing circumstances, we must respect the diverse nature of our society and respect our pluralist nature to the optimum to make a successful country under our national flag. If this is not the outcome, our victory against the divisive LTTE, will be doomed again and we must see history will not repeat to cause further mayhem for Sri Lanka.

“Anger and violence can be displaced from real sources or problems to more available and vulnerable targets such as a convenient scapegoat.” (Quoted: Scared Mind: Psychological Cause of War- pp 108) These have happened in Sri Lanka in the past and it is important that root causes of the problems that gave birth to violence are dealt honestly and sincerely.

Attacking the foreign embassies in Colombo is unwelcome and only could cause further harm for us in the future. Our diplomatic efforts brought about the recent victory at the special session on Sri Lanka in United Nation Commission of Human Rights in Geneva. But these Sinhalese extremist goons will jeopardise our standing if they continue to behave like this.

We need to build a new peaceful Sri Lanka in the post- war period and not a violent one, the goons protesting in front of the embassies are projecting.
-Sri Lanka Guardian


ydes said...

The violence reported against some foriegn emgbassies in Colombo should be condemned as vehemently as we did those against SL embassies in some western capitals.I suspect people behind this must be bent on maligning the good name of the country.After the unbelievable patience and tolerance we have exhibited in the face of all the LTTE atrocities against civilians in Anuradhapura, Kandy,Aranthalawa,Akuressa,and Colombo suburbs along with the brutal killing of 600+ police surrendeesit is just impossible to believe that the ordinary public would have resorted to this dasterdly act.There must be some one behind ,who intended to bring disrepute to the GOSL and her citizens.The TRUTH. WILL OUT

Unknown said...

Its the duty of the state to provide security to all embassies in Colombo. The trend shown by some political parties of using hencmmen of their parties to attach embassies is truly deplorable.
Our beloved president him self should look in to this as we cannot afford to make more enemies in the IC. In fact the need of the hour is to make friends out of foes.
One of the biggest problems the country suffers is that the number of people who can think progressivley is very imited although our literacy rates are high, which is a creation of the short sighted eucational system and policies that do not allow the best of the best gain acccess to education through agitations by parties like the JVP who always protest against private education.

kahagalle said...

This may be orchestrated by some people to slander the government. However, none of these countries denounced violence against Norway when our Embassy was attacked by LTTE supporters. Then Britain and France was silent when our Embassies and Places of Worship were attacked in those countries. All these acts of violence against Embassies and its peoples should be condemned. The recent Human Rights Council vote is hilarious when Britain, France all ganged up against Sri Lanka. After all Sri Lanka has fought their war, to eliminate one major terrorist group from the world map. They all have identified the un-democratic terror tactics of LTTE. In fact in the dying days of LTTE they still managed to put up a show in the western capitals with tiger flags and disrupting the traffic. These are only first signs of ugly un-democratic behaviour of these militant groups. The Tamil Diaspora had become powerful with it political power and now can dictate terms to its master. Some of the MPs have become low grade stooges for these acts of barbarism. Because of votes, some MPs have scooped such low level. Anyway serving the Tamil Citizens is one thing, but encouraging them to break the law and seek cheap popularity is another thing.

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