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Is the west against Sri Lanka?

By Nalin de Silva

(August 26, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Until recently many people, especially the English speaking variety did not believe that the west would go against Sri Lanka. When the American ambassadors and the UK high commissioners not to mention the others who represent their respective countries in the west began openly to criticise the Sri Lanka government at first they could not believe that the westerners had turned against Sri Lanka. However, gradually they had no alternative but to believe what they were hearing, and assumed that the west is against Sri Lanka.

However is the west against Sri Lanka or is it against this government? If the President of the country was either Chandrika Kumaratunga or Ranil Wickremesinghe would the west behave the way they do now? It is very unlikely going by the records of what has happened during the period from 1995 to 2005. Those days the American ambassadors UK High Commissioners and special envoys from UK, USA, Norway and Sweden thought that Colombo was their backyard and the President of Sri Lanka was their housemaid and the leader of the UNP their houseboy. They, I mean the western boys behaved as if they were cowboys in the American west with no regard for the sovereignty of Sri Lanka.

It is now known that until the last moment the west had tried to "free" Prabhakaran and the other terrorist leaders and Prabhakaran also had had hopes the west would come to rescue the terrorists. Apparently KP, the international representative of the terrorists had come to know very late that there was no hope of a rescue team from the west coming to Killinochchiya or Medawacchciya according to Ravi Karunanayake, and informed Prabhakaran accordingly. Having assisted the terrorists and Tamil racists from the third decade of the nineteenth century the British and the rest of the west have now decided to hang on to the problem of "God sent" IDPs. For example Mr. Blake the former USA ambassador in Sri Lanka is busy trying to teach Sri Lanka a lesson or two on terrorism, American Law and IDPs. He is not guided by action against terrorism, though his government makes a big fuss over international terrorism, but is merely concerned with breaking American Law. For example Rudrakumaran has no difficulty in staying in USA as long as he abides the USA law. In other words anybody can be engaged in work to topple a foreign government using terror provided he does not break the American Law. After all America has a history of toppling democratically elected governments as recognised even by the western criteria and all those officers involved would not have broken the American Law. The American history is such that one wanders whether toppling governments that the American government does not like is in accordance with the American Law.

It is clear that given a half chance the west would send forces to Sri Lanka to liberate the IDPs from the so called interment camps. It is true that a few people are dying in these camps on a daily basis as they do in any American town with a population of nearly three hundred thousand people. If Blake or any other bloke could give an example of a town or downtown in North American parlance, where people are not dying in spite of very high medical standards we would give him or her a free air ticket to visit the IDP camps. The medical standards in the camps may not be up to American downtown standards but the Sri Lankan government has provided meals and health facilities in addition to educational facilities to the people in the camps that would keep them alive. In addition the Sri Lankan government has provided facilities for students to sit for the Grade Five Scholarship examination and the GCE (Advanced Level) examination in the camps. Has Blake heard of other such camps in the entire world? Incidentally why is USA silent on IDPs in Pakistan, Afghanistan and other countries?

The west may not be against Sri Lanka as such, but the westerners are against this government and would try to use any opportunity that comes in their way to get rid of the government if possible. Then we have to find out whether there is any reason for the west to be against the government. The relevant question as to why the west supports Tamil racism has also to be answered in the process. We have to remember that neither in 1971 nor in 1987 did the west speak against the government of Sri Lanka when the JVP was defeated by the then governments. In effect the west did not want to support the JVP then. Why did the west protect the governments against the JVP but not the present government against the LTTE. The present victory over the LTTE is in spite of the western countries supporting the LTTE and Tamil racism. As we have shown right throughout the British and then the rest of the west have continued to support Tamil racism from the third decade of the nineteenth century.

There are some Sinhala nationalists including professors who think that the west is doing all these to exploit us economically. These people think of the present western policy as neo colonialism and would believe that the west is only after the wealth of our countries. They stick to some old fashioned theories on colonialism and neo colonialism and would like to pontificate to "ignoramus" such as us that we should not ignore the economic background of the entire Tamil problem. In any event there is no so called cultural determinism in our theories unlike in the case of some western theorists who would try to reduce everything to economics. These people claiming to be anti neo colonialists are happy with western theories and still go behind western concepts that have been able to divert our attention from some of the main problems associated with colonialism. If these people think that by supporting the LTTE the west can exploit any oil that may be found in the northern areas of the country and other resources in the east coast then they are mistaken. Why did the British support the English speaking Tamils over the English speaking Sinhalas early in the twentieth century when their allegiance to the British was not different from that of the Sinhala counterparts? Even culturally these two groups were not different but the British never tolerated the Sinhalas especially the Sinhala Buddhists and always wanted the Tamil leaders to be the leaders of the entire country. One could say that this was the general policy of the British throughout the world and they had always supported the minority against the majority.

However, it is not a general theory that could be applied in the case of Sri Lanka as it was the Sinhala Buddhists who have challenged the British from 1817 continuously up to the present time. Though there may have been some Sinhala leaders who were willing to serve the British the Sinhala people in general have opposed the British unlike the ethnic communities. In this regard we should not forget the reports sent by the British governors to the colonial secretary complaining of the "undue" influence the Bhikkhus had over the Sinhala Buddhists. The British were scared of the Bhikkhus more than anybody else including the so called working class and it was not for economic reasons that the British did not like the Bhikkhus. The fact that our ancestors had more wisdom than some of the patriotic professors who have entered the nationalist struggle on the eve of their retirement from the university is shown by the clauses that the former had insisted to be included in the Sinhala British agreement of 1815. The then Sinhala leaders had wanted the British to promise that the latter undertook to protect and nourish what is referred to as Buddhagama and Devalegama. It should be clear even to a lately waken up patriotic professor that this clause had more cultural connotations than those economic. There are some anti colonialists who argue that the Sinhala leaders betrayed the nation by signing the agreement. However, it is propaganda of the British and British trained historians who wanted the Sinhala people to be leaderless other than those so called leaders trained by the British. Sinhala historians such as Prof. Tennakone Vimalananda had a different interpretation all together.

(To be continued)
-Sri Lanka Guardian

1 comment

Nihal said...

Mr. Blake trying to tell GOSL to settle IDPs as soon as possible.What has America done to IDPs after Hurricane Katrina.How many years ago this happened.people
are still in camps.Why doesn't he sort that problem as the saying goes the Charity bigins at home.And how white Americans treat Blacks.Don't think we Sri Lankans don't know what america is doing.So Mr Blake put your money where your mouth is. OK Buddy.

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