It is hard to imagine how with the other war criminals and their henchmen, the members of the Rajapaksa family could look straight into the eyes of their distinguished guests in welcoming them and also tell them that the brutal war against the Tamils militants where nearly 40,000 civilians including children perished without feeling any pain, became a humanitarian operation, and those who survived were held within barbed wired camps that became welfare villages and now the victims of a scorched earth policy.
( July 23, 2013, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) With the Sri Lankan society at the cross roads in all respects of their life and the governing familial faction of the Rajapaksa regime bewildered as to whether they are coming or going, India in the matter of the holding of the Provincial Council elections in the North has scored a moral victory of sorts in getting the Rajapaksa family to cowing down to their request to the holding of the elections in northern Sri Lanka in terms of the 13th amendment. However, political observers are not holding their breath.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who has been getting away with the notion that he could fool all the people all the time has apparently to now succumb to the holding of the provincial elections in September with no changes to the original version of the 13th Amendment envisaged to devolve power to the Tamil-speaking peoples. Rajapaksa's tactic in agreeing to India's "advice" to go through the elections in September with the 13th amendment in its original form is to ensure an unfettered programme of holding the conference of the Commonwealth as envisaged being his topmost priority. We feel that in this instance he will not resort to the strategy of playing one power against the other, at least until he gets over the impasse of the perceived problems of holding of the CHOGM. Rajapaksa has not only to be mindful of the fact that India proposed Sri Lanka as the venue for the impending CHOGM meeting, he has also to play for time until the next meeting of the UN Human Rights Council for fear of India voting against Sri Lanka in support of the US resolution and to ensure India's attendance at the Commonwealth conference. Besides the enthusiasts for the CHOGM within Sri Lanka namely his sycophants like the foreign minister, and without is indeed the Secretary General of the of the Commonwealth, Kamalesh Sharma for reasons best known to himself.

In an interesting letter dated 05 July 2013, captioned "Sharma, you are granting the Commonwealth to an emerging dictatorship in Asia", a former a Foreign Minister in Mangala Samaraweera, also published in the Lanka News Web states:....." Sri Lanka continues to violate with impunity all 16 values of the Commonwealth Charter in varying degrees and we in Sri Lanka experience firsthand the present Sri Lankan government's contempt for democratic values, the rule of law and the sanctity of life....." Most readers will remember that the commonwealth games, held New Delhi in 2010 under the stewardship of Sharma and the leadership of a woman called Sheila Dikshit the Delhi chief minister, was riddled with corruption with many foreign contractors going back home empty handed with millions of dollars owing to them.

As part of the window dressing for the holding of the CHOGM, the trial on the execution style murder of the five Tamil university students in Trincomalee in the east of Sri Lanka by the Special Task Force in the year 2005 has been resuscitated. It is worth recalling the disgraceful conduct of a former attorney general at the original conduct of the fa├žade of a presidential inquiry into this matter leading to the anticipated failure, subsequently rewarded in being appointed to head the LLRC. This matter being taken up at this stage at the instance of external pressure is clear evidence of the laws delay and the complete breakdown of the rule of law, impunity and the clear absence of even an iota of accountability. The murder of the human rights activist, Ketheesh Loganathan who in his outrage had raised this matter had a direct bearing on this and for which the LTTE was conveniently blamed.

Strangely enough we are told that arrangements are being made for the holding of the provincial council elections at a very much greater pace than anticipated to make way for the CHOGM. Given the opposition from some chauvinist quarters of the ruling coalition opposing not only the holding of the elections but also the conferring of land and police powers to the provincial council the arrangements for the holding of the elections could at any time be derailed for the slightest excuse. We are made to understand that the chief justice has given the undertaking to Mahinda Rajapaksa that he could count on him for any such action. Further, in a forum recently afforded by the Daily Mirror to the secretary for defence the President's brother, for a comprehensive interview, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa a US citizen shedding crocodile tears for his motherland to rationalize his racism, genocide, xenophobia, his criminal actions it is evidently clear that he would be opposed to some of the powers being conferred on the provincial council. His ridiculous logic that if 75% of the population in Sri Lanka comprises the Sinhalese then even in traditionally Tamil speaking provinces this proportion should be maintained is reflection of the vacuity of his political wisdom a familial malaise. He states in no uncertain terms that he is against devolution but for the repeal of the 13th amendment. He says: "We should not listen to India" prompting one to ask whether India's "moral" victory, as perceived over Chinese influence regarding the 13th Amendment, temporary though, is but an illusion. There is also the question of the nuclear deal with Pakistan the epicenter of Islamic extremism. As for the skeletons in Matale, in keeping with his esteemed public office, he is judiciously cautious in proffering an opinion at this stage while the matter is being examined by the Rajapaksa brand of justice.

President Rajapaksa, quite understandably, to ensure full attendance at the CHOGM has gone around to a few countries in Africa canvassing their Heads though not of the calibre of the Kaundas and the Nyreres but those of the Mugabes and the Idi Amins and others lacking the knowledge of the happenings in Sri Lanka and preoccupied with their own problems within their own States. He will also have to contend with problem of keeping his powerful brother and the rabble rousing Buddhist monks contained.

It is hard to imagine how with the other war criminals and their henchmen, the members of the Rajapaksa family could look straight into the eyes of their distinguished guests in welcoming them and also tell them that the brutal war against the Tamils militants where nearly 40,000 civilians including children perished without feeling any pain, became a humanitarian operation, and those who survived were held within barbed wired camps that became welfare villages and now the victims of a scorched earth policy.

Prince Charles who is extremely sensitive to any abuse of human rights and the environment is expected to preside at the CHOGM on behalf of his mother the Queen and will be meeting another Idi Amin incarnate in the President of Sri Lanka and brothers. 

( The writer is the editor of the Eelam Nation, an online journal) 


ARCHIVES FROM AUGUST 2007 TO JANUARY 2015