Gun point reconciliation in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is now a testing case for the international community to prove that UN has matured to handle issues of war crimes and genocides in a responsible and accountable manner. Let Sri Lanka become a test case for other tin-pot countries to honour their international commitments in a responsible manner.

by Rajasingham Jayadevan

(May 16, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) In the recent weeks, I met some media personalities and politicians in the UK. One reporter asked me ‘the government (Government of Sri Lanka) is talking lot about post war reconciliation process, is it really happening?’

Having committed horrendous crimes against humanity of genocidal proportion on its national minority, the Government of Sri Lanka is progressing as a diabolical predator to cover up its misdeeds by talking about post war development and reconciliation in the north and east of the country.

The reconciliation that the government boast about is progressed with the help of its massive investment in the military and intelligence enterprise. Its hero worshiping Tamil paramilitary groups too are doing their subservient service for the government to promote the government’s so-called deceptive reconciliation process. They are part of the marketing tool for the lopsided government.

Having caused so much harm, the government is vociferously propagating its disingenuous agenda backed by its heavy military involved mission to appease the international community that its own mechanisms are working well to humanize its brutal conduct against the nation’s national minority. The UN advisory panel report aptly, but not adequately reflected the gravity of the inhuman war and the deception practiced by the state.

The External Affairs Minister Prof G L Pieris is time and again proving that he is unable to cope with the pressures of the international outcry. His confused and meaningless confrontational comments at various forums are so inconsistent and reflect his troubled and twisting state of his mind.

In his recent statement he claimed: ‘The wounds are now healing. We do not want to exacerbate tensions. Unfortunately the report (UN advisory panel report) accentuates the dividing lines between the Sinhala and the Tamil communities. It revisits certain incidents in a spirit of rancour and acrimony. It does not help the healing process. This is a time of rapprochement. Regrettably, the report sets about its task in a manner that is detrimental to this sensitive reconciliation process that is now underway in our country with a dawn of stable peace”

This is what Hitler would have said if he had survived the final onslaught of the Second World War and remained as leader of Germany after having massacred millions of Jews. Prof Pieris has to be educated on the very basics of the formation of the United Nation and why his country subscribed to the international protocols to maintain standards during conflicts and confrontations.

The Minister who spends most of his time on the sky has become the messiah, forgetting the very purpose of the formation of the UN. He has become the spokesperson for the war victims who have been dehumanised in the inhuman war carried out behind the closed doors not allowing any independent inquiries and opinions to be made by anyone. The Professor Minister who does not have the guts to meet even the victims of the war, living around the world has become a confused gimmickier to give his professorial clean bill of health about the deep rooted wounds of the Tamils to the international community.

I received an interesting email from a source about the rebuilding work taking place at the reputable Mahajana College in Jaffna. The news and photographs attached therein is the typical reconciliation work the government is promoting at present. The news praised the army for accomplishing 60% of the rebuilding work. Is this, what reconciliation process Sri Lanka wish to proceed to heal the wounds of the Tamils is any ones guess?

Since the end of the war, the government has not taken the path of political reconciliation sincerely. Its talks with the Tamil National Alliance are showing signs of deception to the extent of mutilating the TNA with political manoeuvrings. Talks held so far have not reached a meaningful stage and the government wants the TNA to toe its dictates to abide to its meagre terms. TNA supporting the UN advisory report has created further controversy and is causing further problems in the talks.

Following the TNA’s stance, the government has started its deceptive game of incorporating its paramilitary criminal outfit EPDP of the Minister Douglas Devananda to engage in par with the TNA in talks. Paramilitary leader who is considered a persona nongrata in many countries is providing cheap boot licking service to the government and has been incorporated as a party to the negotiations. His belly dancing to the tune of the government on the formation of a second chamber is the boogie that is expected from the government backed Tamil negotiators to be involved progressively.

The government’s gun point reconciliation process has its wider hidden agenda. State backed Sinhala colonization, maintaining the paramilitary rule, incrementing its jumbo sized military and the intelligence service to extend its writ over the wounded Tamils and barring any international investigations on its war crimes are deep rooted issues that has to be dealt in a fair manner. These are the mechanisms of the government to promote its wonky peace and reconciliation propaganda.

The government has not made any sincere efforts to liberalise the media. It only wants its own persons in the media to act as its messengers. Very vibrant and down to earth journalists have run away from the country in fear of deaths in the hands of the goons of the government. Liberalisation of the media and establishing rule of law are not the intent of the government. So long as these critical journalists are kept out of the country, the government knows it can play its music according to its own tune.

Another aspect of the reconciliation effort of the government is to hold the deeply hurt Tamils under its military dictates. The government is progressively bringing in controls to curtail the Diaspora Tamils to visit their lands in the north and east. Controls are systematically planned and progressively implemented. Duel nationality applications remain suspended and about 35,000 duel nationality holders are currently being reviewed.

The government is intending to bring in visa controls for foreign passport holders. The victims will be mainly the Tamils as the application process is expected to be complex as extensive personal details are to be extracted before granting visas.

The government has also brought in controls not to issue passports for those who claimed asylum in third countries. All these immigration policies are brought about to control the inflow of Tamils into Sri Lanka and also prevent further incriminating war crimes evidence being leaked out of the country.

The government is not been truthful in its conduct. Everything it did was to prop up the Sinhala nationalist feelings. To achieve this, it went out of the way to produce a political reform package under the leadership of the Minister Prof. Tissa Vitharane. He was used to produce an interim report when international pressure mounted on Sri Lanka for political resolution whist embarking on the war. Having deceptively broken the north and east merger achieved under the Indo-Lanka agreement with the help of the former Chief Justice, the President put up a show by holding the Eastern Provincial election with much razzmatazz.

Prof Tissa Vitharane too was made lame duck after the defeat of the LTTE. With his 80th birthday cake cutting cabinet party, he has been sent to exile and his final report on political resolution is archived without any publicity.

The international contact group of ten countries that helped Sri Lanka to proscribe the LTTE in their countries and gave a hammer blow to the LTTE’s international operations were deceived by Mahinda Rajapakse when he side stepped them and started his ping pong game with China.

Sri Lanka is now a testing case for the international community to prove that UN has matured to handle issues of war crimes and genocides in a responsible and accountable manner. Let Sri Lanka become a test case for other tin-pot countries to honour their international commitments in a responsible manner. Until the doors of the International Court of Justice in The Hague are open for Sri Lanka, the international community will be seen complicit in the crimes against humanity in the Island nation.

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