The Sri Lanka Government's two-tongued response to the UN and the West

" There were allegations that Hospitals were shelled. Such occurrences cannot be ruled out in the exigent circumstances of a war. But, as a civilized Govt. what it should have done was conducted an inquiry into it and remedied or acknowledged the mistake." -  Photo:- Minister Gamini Luxman
by Sandaruwan Senadeera

(April 23, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) In the wake of Moon’s report (not against Sri Lanka and its people but only against the war criminals on both sides), the Rajapakse regime’s cardboard patriots and ‘Sinhalese heroes’ have also woken up and started wearing their hypocritical masks. Meanwhile those aspiring to be the opposition’s future leaders are also making a din, opening their mouths which remained ‘closed shut’ so long. In this critical situation and climate, we think it is best we make an evaluation in the right perspective so that these traitors and foes in the guise of patriots and friends of the nation do not once again lead us and the nation up the garden path.

Let us first consider the first charge made by this group against the UN.

Whether the claim that the Rajapakses defeated the conspiracy of the UN and the western powers jointly with the Tigers to divide Sri Lanka (SL) and rescued the country is a truth or an absolute falsehood?

No Western country ever went beyond the requirements of India and sought to establish an Eelam State in SL. (Even Prabhakaran had told expressly to his favourite journalist Anita Pratap in the eighties that India will never permit an Eelam which divides SL). No leader of any Western country promoted division. All of them openly said all along , they recognize the sovereignty and territorial integrity of SL.

Both the Sinhalese and the Tamils faced hardships similarly under the administrations, while the Tamils had to suffer more. Hence, they thought they because they are Tamils they are being treated this way. The Tigers used this Tamil issue to create an Eelam dream for them, and this reasonable struggle snowballed into a terrorism, whereby the issues got befouled into a pickle. It was the reasonable demand of the Tamils which was used as fuel by Prabhakaran in his fascist war.

India and the Western countries always insisted on the SL Govts. to formulate a just and fair solution to the ethnic issue which has been the underlying cause for the LTTE suicide squad struggle; they never said give half of the country to them. They even warned Prabhakaran to resolve the issue internally within an undivided country. During the period of the peace process the world was focused on this.

On the final day when Prabhakaran withdrew from the peace negotiations, what did the Norway peace facilitators say? If the two parties to the peace process lose interest in resolving their issue, the world will discard this and take leave of them. It is very evident from this what their objectives were and how honest they were. This warning did not turn detrimental to a legally elected Govt., but, it certainly turned against Prabahakaran who did not understand this warning. Ultimately he went for the final battle. In the end, it was Prabhakaran and not the SL Govt. which the world left in the lurch.

After the war began , the US State Secretary for Asian region, Robert Blake who was the US Ambassador for SL during that period met Gen. Fonseka who was the then SL Army Commander and asked , whether you can win this war ? When Fonseka answered the affirmative. Blake asked him how many civilians may be casualties as a result , and when Fonseka had answered that question , Blake advised him to do the best to keep the civilian casualties to the minimum , and towards that America is ready to extend the maximum support.

What did the Ambassador of a European country, Iceland in SL who was a representative of the monitoring group during the peace period after the commencement of the war, before he left after completing his term as Ambassador in SL say at a media discussion? This war is not as you imagine. We are aware of the efforts made by the SL Govt. to avert the war. This is an inevitable war for SL.

When lakhs and lakhs of Tamils went on protest marches for months in London and staged fasts, did the Labor Govt. of UK at that time order the SL Govt. to stop the war because of those protests? No.

It is now common knowledge that three LTTE ships loaded with weapons about 1500 miles away from the SL Navy were destroyed not by the use of the Rajapakse’s satellite technology.

Today, after prohibiting air space use, Libya is being severely attacked aerially because Libyan Leader Gadaffi is aerially bombing his own people. Gadaffi had only bombed his people aerially less than fifty times. But, during the Eelam war, the SL Air force bombed over 7000 times aerially. Yet, did the Western countries or the UN impose sanctions on SL against those bombings? Never.

If the Western bloc and UN had the need to stop the war against Prabhakaran, they had no necessity to wait for three years as it took only less than two months for them to take a decision pertaining to Libya.

In the circumstances, isn’t the accusation by these nincompoops and nitwits that Western countries and UN were conspiring to divide SL the biggest falsehood uttered anywhere in the world? Where can this stench of lies be buried which is emanating from the stinking mouths of monstrous individuals possessed of the most sinister motives?

Be that as it may. What is aching the Western countries and the UN, 2 years after the war has ended to start it afresh? Why should they harbor hatred against SL Govt.? If it is not the previous wrongs of the Govt., then what are its subsequent wrongs?

What are the subsequent wrongs of the Rajapakse regime?

It began with the inhuman treatment meted out by the Rajapakse regime to the three lakhs or so refugees who escaped from the LTTE. The Lankan officials could not provide the basic facilities for these suffering refugees. They had no experience and no training. When the Western countries came forward honestly to render assistance, the Rajapakses did not permit it.

Over a thousand refugees flow into every western country every day. All of them are provided with food, shelter and legal aid. Those countries have staffs who are experienced in that sphere of activity. If such staff wished to come to SL and help the refugees, and if they are refused, doesn’t the Rajapakse regime which was carrying out the humanitarian operations view them as barbarians, and not as an asset?

Perhaps the Rajapakse regime may have rejected their assistance on the belief that they may hinder the arrests of the LTTE cadres who may be mingling with the refugees. But, instead as a responsible Govt. if it had taken measures legally and duly to identify the terrorists and instituted legal action, no country could have opposed. Such legal action would have precluded the abduction and disappearances of people in the camps suspected as LTTE in the cover of darkness. That would have precluded the refugees from being held in places of unknown destinations. That would have precluded the refugees from being made to escape to foreign countries after paying colossal sums of bribes and commissions or via extortions committed on them.

Even today, the opposition parties and the relatives of those thousands who were abducted and disappeared are asking the whereabouts of those who went missing. At least they want the Govt. to reveal the list of the names of those who were captured and those held in camps. There are over 850 persons who have been detained as LTTE suspects for over ten years without any charges filed even after the war is over.

Either legal action should be filed against them or they must be duly released. Ten years means a substantial part of a life of an individual, isn’t it ? The Rajapakse regime is dead silent on these. Are these actions in protection of human rights or protection of Rajapakse regime’s inhuman rights?

After a war, there can be captives. There can be those who surrendered. There can be those who would have asked forgiveness. There can be those who accepted their wrongs. The laws of the country should operate on all of them. If in this country such legal response is not there and arbitrary actions are taken, what is the difference between a Terrorist Organization and a legal Govt.? Can a world following traditional legal norms and practices react to this favourably or approve them? How many were harassed when they returned home from abroad merely because protests were staged abroad against Rajapaksha ? The regime must be of the conviction that it can be the sole ‘chandiya’ (tough guy) of the Island permanently.

Let us turn towards the South and have look at it after the war...

The conduct of the Rajapakse regime after the war victory is like that of villainous heroes who have won in a battle between two groups of IRC criminals. The victory pride and inferior thinking do not allow even a crow to fly over their heads. Even if they are looked at with affection, their reaction is ‘you don’t dare look at me. We are the greatest’. Is this not the way the Rajapakse regime conducting itself after the war ? Need we elaborate further?

The first action endorsing this conduct was: following the first Presidential election decided to be held by the Govt. itself after the war, Gen. Fonseka who was a rival Presidential candidate to the President and who was extolled and celebrated as the world’s greatest war hero by the Govt. a few months prior, and who polled as many as 42 lakhs voters being taken into custody forcibly while he was at his home and jailed while filing countless legal suits against him according to the Govt.’s whims and fancies. Those who supported him are still in jail. They are forced to face cases or they have to go into hiding. On top of this , the worst part is the Govt. moving heaven and earth to justify all these atrocious actions. This is the first time in Sri Lanka's history such unjust, unlawful , anti Democratic and violent actions have been resorted to. Were these actions geared for the protection of people’s human rights or inhuman rights of Rajapakse regime?

In the Kesbewa murder case even when there were eye witnesses for this crime, the Attorney General (AG) withdrew all the charges against the murderer and released him within a matter of an hour simply because the criminal changed political affiliation from the Chandrika faction to the President Rajapakse side. Cader the
opposition M P who defrauded large sums of public funds was freed by the AG within an hour , after he shifted allegiance and joined Raja -pakse . However the AG’s (il)legal arms have turned disdainfully and most nefariously effeminate and crippled before the terrorist leader of the World’s No. one terrorist outfit who supplied weapons to it for 30 years. Indeed he is now better known as ‘Ata-ney’ (seedless) General rather than as Attorney General.

The list of illegal actions of the ‘Atta-ney’ General is too long to note here. Are these protection of human rights or inhuman rights of Rajapakse regime?

Without any sense of shame, media Institutions are torched and set on fire. Media personnel are murdered and /or disappear. They are assaulted. They are jailed unlawfully. After all these villainous acts, as though nothing had happened; breakfast is enjoyed with a group of his special media fawning sycophants in the usual way.

Let it be pointed out that there had never been a more fascist regime than the Rajapakses in SL’s media history instilling such monumental fear and intimidation in respect of the media.

The Rajapakse regime must be hoping that how it had duped the Prabha Ganeshan (Party changed MP) it can take India too for a ride. Saying that ‘we won the war for India’ it assumes it can procrastinate the SL’s national issue by making announcements that it will be resolved by going even beyond the 13th amendment. Promising that devolution will be granted today, then tomorrow and then the day after, India is fooled. India, the ‘big brother’ is also now at the end of its tether of patience. India in this disgruntled mood, has after promising to build 50,000 houses in the North have so far not laid a foundation even for a single unit. This is because India has realized that the SL Govt. is not one that is civilized enough to honor its word.

The Rajapakse regime thinks that like the opposition parties in SL is remaining blind every day even while clearly seeing all what is happening in its midst, it can blindfold the world too. It is this prevailing environment that was conducive to the UN to give an adverse report against the dastardly and duplicitous activities of the Govt.

What had made the greatest impact on the report is not the previous wrongs of the Govt. rather it is the subsequent wrongs.

As far as we are made to understand while an accusing finger is pointed against the Govt. on five wrongs, the report is pointing against the LTTE on six wrongs.

Despite this clear picture, the Rajapakses still claim it is a one sided report and not impartial. The six wrongs pointed at the LTTE are being played down in order that the Govt. can once again wear its pseudo patriotic attire.

As pointed out in an earlier report of ours , if war crimes had truly been committed , if an investigation had been mandatorily conducted and punishment meted out to the perpetrators then the image of the forces and the country could have been saved. Like how there is a right to fight a war , and if it is a war where those crimes cannot be averted , they should have been in accordance with the Universally accepted rules and regulations. Of course there may have been violations. What a civilized Govt. will do in that case is remedy those wrongs. File legal action against them. Such actions are not running counter to the patriotic fervor . It does no harm to one’s patriotism.

There were allegations that Hospitals were shelled. Such occurrences cannot be ruled out in the exigent circumstances of a war. But, as a civilized Govt. what it should have done was conducted an inquiry into it and remedied or acknowledged the mistake.

Instead of speaking straight and acting straight in keeping with the responsibilities of a State Head, just screaming after jeopardizing the entire country ‘Moon is going to push me into the electric chair’ is not going to serve any purpose to anyone or the country. Neither is it going to win the sympathy of the people and make him a patriot.

A true patriot must not be frightened even to go to jail fighting for others’ rights. Patriots are those who are prepared to sacrifice their lives championing the cause of others and their rights. Patriot is not one who puts in jail his close ally who made supreme sacrifices all for his sake and the country and cuts cake with the enemy and fills his

When the UN requests to create an environment of peace and harmony with the other faction after the war, what this regime says to them is ‘there you are, these are the conspirators’. In that case Lord Buddha who said, show compassion to all is a conspirator, and so is Lord Jesus who told love thy neighbour.

When the day arrives for such a regime to crawl in jail or collapse after losing its evil cruel unjust and Unlawful rule, those who are clinging to the cloak of these sinister patriots and those wearing the name board of opposition will all stand exposed. Some day when these groups come to power and attack us again , the Sinhalese and the Tamils who have suffered in the past will all be exhausted.

It is in such situations when no relief can be obtained from anyone, it is the practice to go to the Temple break coconuts and plead for relief from the deities. Hence, if no relief can be obtained from the Govt. or the opposition, and if the UN, the Westerners or even the devil’s grandmother offers relief and speaks on behalf of the people’s freedom, the people will not think twice to make them a Temple in those circumstances.

A true patriot is one who loves the freedom of the people. Can anybody else take that place?

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