( The following article based on the letter written by the author to the Minister of External Affairs in Sri Lanka)
| by Vasantha Senanayake
(October 23. 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The recent reports on the vicious physical and verbal assault against High Commissioner Nonis are sad, and at an international level absolutely disgraceful!
As intimated to me when I called him, this incident happened in The United States on the Eve of the President’s address to the United Nations. The prolonged silence of the High Commissioner (now former high commissioner) was most commendable and only reflects that gentleman’s upbringing.
It was reported that the President had asked for an inquiry into the incident. It was interesting to note that Kshenuka Seneviratne who was the subject of the dispute and physically present when the battery occurred and could possibly be the instigator, has now submitted a report transferring blame upon the victim. This is not surprising when one considers the latest trends in Sri Lankan justice!
1)You will recall an instance when a government servant was tied to a tree, who later admitted or was induced to admit that he tied himself to the tree.
2)You may also remember an instance of policy makers attempting to regulate the horrendous crime of rape by suggesting that the victim be married off to the rapist and thereby nullifying the offence!
3)Similarly according to emerging statements may be the general public is being asked to accept that Dr. Nonis slapped and punched himself and thereafter resigned.
With reverse logic such as this can right-minded people ever expect justice? Is it also not blatantly unfair that so much weight is attached to a report on the incident made probably by the inciter! This can be likened to the classic Sinhala saying ‘horage ammagen pena balanawa’ (trying to ascertain whereabouts of the stolen goods from the mother of the thief)
I reliably learn that the secretary to your ministry Mrs. Seneviratne has been responsible for many disastrous incidents. These allegations ought to be looked into.
a)Did she undermine Indo-Lanka relations by conveying falsehoods to the President about Mrs. Sushma Swaraj who headed the Indian Parliamentary delegation that came to Sri Lanka in 2012 and is now Minister of External Affairs? I learnt that it was the Secretary to the President who intervened to change the President’s inclination not to meet the delegation based on blatant untruths expressed by her. Is this true?
b)That there exists an unanswered audit report alleging misconduct and abuse of funds in relation to the residence of the PR in Geneva which also allegedly involved awarding a contract to an agency with links to the LTTE. Is this at all true? If so, what does the good lady do to continue justifying being employed by the Government?
c)Did she not give the appalling advice to the President regarding a visit to Britain in November 2010 to address the Oxford Union despite written advice from the High Commissioner in London at the time to the contrary?
d)I have also learnt from sources that an attempt was made to force Hon. Douglas Devananda to quit the Geneva sessions in 2012 based on untrue information that the President wanted him to leave, while conveying to the President that the Minister was too nervous to stay. Is this true?
I write to you knowing that you may have the answers to these allegations or at least access to the answers. An investigation if any ought to be conducted fairly and not with a predetermined conclusion as I see in the so-called investigation on the assault on Dr. Nonis. It is not only the conduct of hon. Sajin Vaas Gunawardena and Dr. Nonis that requires investigation but also that of Mrs. Seneviratne.
I am reminded of the Sinhala proverb ‘Rilavata deli pihiya dunna wage’ (giving a chimpanzee a razor blade). It is one thing if the chimpanzee discovered the blade himself, and caused the devastation. It is a totally different scenario if a more dangerous animal calculated the damage to be caused and provoked the chimp and watched delightedly as the grand plan unfolded!
I anticipate an early response
( The writer is a member of Parliament, Sri Lanka )