| by Dr.Sripali Vaiamon
( November 27, 2013, Ontario, Sri Lanka Guardian) Views expressed herein are not altogether by the contributor but imaginations and insights of others exposed relevant to diversified topics have been meticulously embodied.
Prince Charles, on behalf of Queen Elizabeth 11, at the colorful opening of the conference said “Each of us here because of the hope and trust we place in the Commonwealth to bring that ‘touch of healing’ to our troubles and deliver the very best future for our people. This view could be highly appreciated.
But quite contrary to the expectation of the British Prince, the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, involved in a turmoil by personally and privately meeting with Tamil people affected by the Civil War where they have lost their husbands and school going children who were grabbed to the Tigers’ cadres and now they are no more. They wanted him to find them out by hook or crook. He had to give some solace to them. He is being a politically prominent figure with a prestige should have first met the Chief Minister of the Provincial Council who was elected by a large majority of Tamil people to look after their affairs. That would have been the protocol. Chief Minister of the NORTH is an ex-judge, an eminent and charismatic person who was educated and bread in Colombo. He is a man who could balance the situation through his upbringing and education unlike most of the backward inhabitants in the North and the East. He has no animosity with Sinhalese or Muslims. His two daughters were married to Sinhalese. So he has no conflict with Sinhalese in the country. Neither has any clash with Muslims but a broad minded figure. One of his daughters is married to a Cabinet Minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara.Nearly 90% of the population in the North are really backward and Chief Minister has to uplift their standard and educate them. He is in a position to bring about an unification and integration among Tamils and all the other communities in the Island.
Instead of knowingly or not knowingly Cameron’s BBC Chanel 4 team has gone earlier than Prime Minister to the North. May be to collect material to produce another controversial documentary. Widows and old women who met British PM with pouring tears related their harrowing stories. He was using this visit most probably, as correctly commented by the UK Guardian to win the favor of the pro-LTTE Tamil community in England. At the conference he came out with their pathetic stories, repeating the tunes of human rights and ordered Sri Lanka Government to present their solutions by March 2014 on the presumption that Sri Lanka is still under their boots. May be in response to this One of the Cabinet Ministers Mr.Nimal Sripala de Silva emphasized that his country is a sovereign state and therefore will resist attempt for an international investigation .He further insisted that the Sri Lanka Government would appeal to other members of the United Nation .The Commonwealth will not be used as another global policeman.
The General Secretary of Hela Urumaya, the Minister Pattali Champika remembered the people in the country who know the history, it was British who created an ethnic conflict in the Island during their administration. It is because of that situation previous governments had discrimination against Tamils in the North. JHU Secretary further emphasized that British government should pay compensation to Sri Lanka for creating a Tamil issue that has resulted many lives.
As UK Guardian correctly comment, British PM was using this visit to win the favor of the Tamil community of UK. On the same basis Canadian PM boycott the CHOGM to please the Pro-LTTE Tamil community in his country. Manmohan Singh got terribly scared to Tamil Nadu Jayalalitha as Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in her territory. But it is very strange the Human right issue that they are talking about came up only at the thirty year war of Sri Lanka. But in India the human right issue engulfed not only in Kashmir but several centuries in the whole country on the age -old Dalit concept. It is degrading and desecration. Worse in Tamil Nadu where beating, hacking, cutting and, raping and other harassments on Dalits are daily publishing in their News papers. But the Chief Minister seems to be dumb and deaf. She has sympathy on Sri Lankan Tamils who are in the North. But do not utter a word on upcountry Tamils although both were came from South India. From her region. Recently Economic Development Minister, Basil Rajapaksa urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha to stop mourning about Sri Lankan Tamils who enjoy better living conditions than those living in her State. Even President Rajapaksa has not deliberates on them all these days. It was only on the Sept 8th that he promised to uplift their standard of living by constructing schools, hospitals and roads etc.
Manmohan Singh is quite incapable of handling the human rights issue of Dalit where there are several millions, although a strong lady like Sonia Gandhi who had absolutely no tint of caste issue is behind him. Cameron and Harper perhaps may not know anything about this issue in the Republic of India. Dr.Ambedcar, the Minister of Law who drafted the Constitution of the Republic of India brought out so many suggestions to curb the human right issue. But was not successful totally.
President of Sri Lanka at the opening of the CHOGM ,I must recollect what he says ,if the Commonwealth was to remain relevant to its members-nations it must respond In sensitively to the needs of their peoples and not let it down into a punitive or judgmental. In one occasion he said, those who are in glass houses should not throw stones at others. To whom he referred I exactly don’t know. May be because David Cameron’s govt. had refused to publish the Chilcot Report on Iraqi war where innocent millions were killed. In this situation Tony Blair should be charged with violation of human rights. In subsequent wars in Libya and Egypt human rights law have been completely ignored by big nations who were directly responsible. This is amount to nothing but hypocrisy. However at the end of the conference David Cameron had realized that brutal Tigers had buried in the North deadly mines aiming their enemies but those were really affected their own Tamils. May be because of that he has decided to grant 2.1 million pounds to clear the remaining mines in the North which are still likely to be a danger to battered Tamils. Incidentally in one of the periodical of Rotary Club had made a reference that their club member 3220, that is Sri Lanka, had their opponents buried mines during the quarter century civil war, which have injured tens of thousands of people and they are planning to conduct camps to provide training on prosthetic limbs, gait training and counseling .Bigger percentage of victims may have been naturally innocent Tamil people, who were living in the region.
British Prime Minister has revealed at the British Parliament that he was badly misled by the false propaganda by the pro-LTTE rump in the West but he met the ace spinner Mutthaia Muralitheran who has revealed the correct picture of the country. That he has enlightened him to say a huge amount of progress has been made in terms of peace, stability and economic progress, and his charity organization has brought Tamils, Sinhalese and others to help forge the country together.
It is commendable Murali to enlighten him to that extent.
Outgoing President, Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott defended Sri Lanka’s human rights issue saying the Rajapaksa government was committed to uphold democratic charter of the Commonwealth but that sometimes in difficult circumstances difficult things happen. There are examples in the countries in South Africa and Ireland ,where intractable problems have friendly responded to the better angles of our nature. Sri Lanka willingness to host the Commonwealth show its commitment to democratic pluralism and freedom based on law. So we are here to praise as much as to judge. Acknowledged Sri Lanka is emerging from a troubled past. Keniya’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister has said that no country could import stability from outside and there will be nothing better than homegrown solutions to a country’s own problem. Mr.Lee Hsien long, the PM of Singapore had expressed that countries cannot force reconciliation on Sri Lanka ,now it is their business to intervene. Afgan President Hamid Karzal congratulated SL President for the assumption of the Commonwealth Chair and further praised Sri Lanka’s ability in improving many social indicators and achieving such rapid development. Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulated SL President on the assumption of Commonwealth Chair. On behalf of the President Secretary of Defense and Urban Development has invited Pope to visit Sri Lanka.
The following views also should be taken into consideration while reading my article. The UNP the main opposition party in Sri Lanka categorically affirmed the party will not support any international inquiry against the country. Further says the party will stand oppose the warning by the British PM of an international inquiry. Foreign Residents’ Association of Sri Lanka mainly consists of British nationals said SL is the only country that has comprehensively overcome the spectrum of terrorism and should be supported and encouraged in its reconciliation efforts. China says that international community should offer constructive help to improve human rights in SL through their own efforts.
On the Commonwealth people’s Forum that held at Chaya Tranza Hotel at Hikkaduwa where Sri Lanka recommends gender equality and empowering women. In this Forum, one of the recommendations was, call for the Heads of Governments of the Commonwealth to declare alone goal of gender equality of empowering girls and women to achieve their full potential prevent and eliminate violence against women and integrate woman’s empowerment into all relevant goals including specific themes such as economic political and social environment including sexual and reproductive health.
With the additional powers and position the Chair of the Commonwealth now possessed President can initiate a revival of religious domains in Sri Lanka by giving substantial status to all major religions in the Island. Without that the envisaged UNITY cannot be materialized. He also must initiate a revival of Buddhism minus Brhaminism and Hindu rituals mixed up during the Kandy period while Dravidian kings were on the throne. Even the Bikkuni Sasana now could be recognized and reestablished. Tamil people in the Island who had the discriminations during the past governments now could be unified with the other communities and could be given a dignified place. All the communities in the Island could be brought under one banner and one legal system. Similar to Vatican a Sanga Nayaka, an erudite scholar could be appointed within a limited time frame for the entire Island despite of traditional Asgiriya and Malwatta. Along with it Nikaya system should be reorganized to be par with the Buddha’s principles advocated in Pharad Sutta despite of Brahamins’ caste conglomeration. Let us see how successful would be the President in his vision and mission!