| by Pearl Thevanayagam
(June 30, 2014, Bradford UK, Sri Lanka Guardian) As UNHRC intensifies its probe into war crimes it is pertinent to note Sri Lanka is adding more ammo through its stubborn stance of militarising the whole nation. Just as it fortified North and East post-war and empowered its military towards re-constructing and repairing damaged properties thereby side-lining Tamils into providing them with employment in the process, it is doing the same in the South where Muslim properties were vandalised by dark elements of extremist Buddhist forces.
Two hundred million rupees are allocated to the military to repair the damage and destruction done to Muslims in the South which is half of the actual loss which is Rs 400 million according MP Azath Sally.
It is only fair that Muslims are entrusted with rebuilding their damaged properties and compensate for business losses and not the security forces. It is the security forces who remained silent throughout the mayhem caused by BBS.
As Muslims begin the fast in this Holy month leading to Ramadan the government would do very well to at least show some compassion as Lord Buddha preached and give hope to rebuild their lives. By entrusting the funds provided to give employment for Muslims the government might regain its lost confidence among the Muslims albeit too late.
The demonstration by diaspora Muslims in front of UN compound in Geneva will not go un-noticed. Rather it will strengthen evidence already available to pressurise the government into accounting for tis war crimes and injustice to minorities.
If Muslims do not want to go the same route as war –ravaged Tamils then it is incumbent on Muslim parliamentarians to immediately put a stop to military intervention in rebuilding the damaged Muslim South enclaves. Muslim nations have been alerted to the government’s strategy of enslaving minorities through recent anti-Muslim activities directly orchestrated by Gotabhaya, the Defence Secretary who is also entrusted with Urban Development Authority.
All signs out there show Sri Lanka is descending into a military state such as Myanmar and Pakistan under Musharaff.
Mainstream media and social blogs which earlier applauded the President for his victory over LTTE terrorism are now disgruntled with the government as is seen in the changing attitude of editorials. The government is bent on committing social suicide before the UNHRC probe begins in final investigations as is shown in recent upsurge of extremist Sinhala forces agitating and inciting hatred towards minorities.
Senior ministers within the government are showing discontent with the President’s increasing reliance on his empowering the family and the military to his own detriment.
The ministers Mahinda surrounds himself with have a history of bed-hopping. Forgetting the opposition, the enemies are his best mates at the moment. Before the blink of an eye the three armed forces can unseat the government as history in Myanmar and Pakistan proved.
The government will have nowhere to turn to when this happens.
If Tamil parties including upcountry Tamils and Muslim political groups join forces as is portended then this wold be the death-knell for the government and which is eagerly awaited by most Sri Lankans including the majority Sinhalese. Sri Lankans have had enough of the North Korean style of governance which is extravagant motor races in the close proximity of sacred places, granting license to operate Vegas style casinos and looking the other way when foreign prostitutes descend here as artistes and hostesses of gambling dens.
Even the government’s denial of providing visas to UNHRC team would not deter it from taking it before the International Criminal Court and its fate would not be different from those of Yugoslavia’s Slobodan Milosovic and several African and South East Asian leaders.
In its 2014 report US states The Fragile States Index ranks Sri Lanka in 30th place among 178 countries. This too will be added to the piles of evidence so far gathered against Sri Lanka.
(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)