Tamils can cause more damage to UNHRC outcome and media can make or break government
| by Pearl Thevanayagam
( March 25, 2014- Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lanka has every reason to be jittery this week. UK has said in no uncertain terms that it will settle for nothing less than international investigators deployed to probe into war crimes.
UK has a coalition government of Tory and Liberal parties and its international obligations do not preclude the ground reality in that it needs to close its borders to immigrants who do not deserve refuge in UK. By exercising their influence in the UN with EU countries and its ally US it would be prudent on the part of UK to bring a settlement to the conundrum of fleeing Sri Lankan asylum seekers be they Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims. Ditto for Australia which has asylum seekers not just from SL but other Asian countries converging on its shores in vast numbers.
While the war is raging in the Middle East, Africa, turmoil in East Europe and far-flung Asia, it needs to curb its borders if it were to limit its foreign aid and concentrate on its own populace who are agitating for their rights economically and politically what with the recent recession which struggles to stretch its resources.
There is one last saving grace for the government. This may seem bizarre but a coalition leadership of TNA and Upcountry Tamil party which seems to favour Mano Ganeshan, Muslim Congress and Sinhala winning party in Saturday’s elections could thwart international intervention including the UN.
This tripartite leadership could satisfy the different ethnic groups which are part and parcel of the fabric in this island and work together to contain international interference.
We have two eminent conspiracy theorists. One is Rohan Gunaratne, the ‘terrorism expert’ who should be awarded the prize for best fiction and the other is D.B.S Jeyaraj who is now past his sell-by-date going by his protruding belly and spider naeve face which spells he is a goner with imbibing too much. His latest theory is that the LTTE are re-grouping and he spares no punches in castigating that eminent chief minister of the Northern Provincial Council who won his position with an overwhelming majority; a former Supreme Court Judge C.V.Wigneswaran.
He even casts aspersions on Balendran Jeyakumari and her daughter, the 13 year old Vibushika who have undergone untold miseries all because the government believes they succoured a wanted LTTE man. Jeyakumari and Vibushika have relentlessly been fighting for the war victims in their demonstrations and UNHRC High Commissioner Ms Navi Pillay was enamoured by their persistence in bringing justice to war victims.
While Ms Ananthi Sasithran managed to tell with conviction and forthrightness the UNHRC with her first hand testimony what went on during the last stages of the war, DBS pooh poohs her as someone who has many a skeleton in the cupboard. While her husband Elilan was indeed an LTTE cadre, the fact remains he went missing as he surrendered to the army. The rule of any offensive and the rule of the ICRC is that those who surrender should not be punished as a matter of principle under humanitarian law.
The LTTE found DBS of dubious nature and sought to punish him. He is a maverick who hunts with the hounds while playing with the foxes. In short he is an opportunist and his trump card is he can give you some first names of people who matter with a dash of background history. He writes as though he is privy to the deepest dark secrets of those who matter. For weeks on end his website talks about his journey to Jaffna as though nobody else had suffered from being away.
DBS has some pet sycophants and his website is forever asking for donations which hardly gives news except some age-old cinema review and pictures from his bete noir Dushyanthi Kanagasabapathipillai. Ms DK seems to be where the action is as and when DBS requires with her camera. Her revelations are not earth-shattering breaking news; rather they are of festivals and celebrations of Hindu Kovils.
Websites do not need newsprint and contributors do not demand fees. So why the hell does he need donations?
He reminds me of Paul Sathianesan who springs up whenever the Tamil refugee subject crops up in Britain. He never lets go of the fact he came to UK with one suitcase notwithstanding the fact that thousands of other refugees came with only the clothes on their back. PS is a freeloader from hard-working Tamils who run restaurants with their hard-earned money all because he managed to get elected as councillor in Newham.
Why should we say the Sinhalese are out to get us? We have Tamils like DBS who would attempt to portray those who demand justice as terrorists. Just when there is a dire need to support the cause of Tamils at the UNHRC, DBS is up to his old tricks; castigating the TNA and inflaming the fire of hatred towards his own race.
R.Sampanthan, C.M. Wigneswaran, MP Sumanthiran, Mavai Senathirajah et al are working in close co-operation towards a solution to the ethnic problem and it is incumbent on responsible media to support their efforts and bring an end to Tamil sufferings. TNA now consists of very enlightened individuals who are not ego-centric or selfish. Young and aspiring firebrand Sumanthiran can be contained by seasoned Sampanthan and he has young blood bursting to bring justice to Tamils and he spares no punches.
Splitting hairs like DBS and his invective cannot damage TNA or war crimes probe at international level but his fictional writings and irrational conjecture must cease.
(The writer has been a journalist for 25 years and worked in national newspapers as sub-editor, news reporter and news editor. She was Colombo Correspondent for Times of India and has contributed to Wall Street Journal where she was on work experience from The Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley, California. Currently residing in UK she is also co-founder of EJN (Exiled Journalists Network) UK in 2005 the membership of which is 200 from 40 countries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)