Uncle Sam and Aunty Pillay will not halt in Geneva in their quest to disembark in Sri Lanka. The password is Accountability, the username is Human Rights with Civilian Casualties as the web page but the untold hidden agenda is to punish for winning a war that was disapproved- against a banned terrorist outfit! To greet Uncle/Aunty and their litter in the arrival lounge with intent to intervene and interfere must be avoided like the plague but treated with care as passing passengers from a diplomatic distance.
Their criteria on civilian casualties are selective, in practice discriminatory: was there any cry for accountability when the LTTE killed thousands of civilians over 30 years? Did the West desire to intervene when the LTTE eliminated their Tamil political adversaries and killed Tamil civilians whom the terrorist felt could not be crushed under their jackboots in the North and East? This needs retelling often.
Offered western prescription was to blow peace pipes with the terrorists and reach a settlement conceding demands, adding more strength to the terrorists. Their guidance was followed foolishly for years, engaging in a futile on-off dialogue. If continued, durable peace would have been forever a distant dream and civilian atrocities a common occurrence. Hard talk is necessary to blow human rights bluff of the West with a reciprocal requirement to listen and learn from any useful source on our infirmities; west is a market relied strongly to keep the economy buoyant: needs safeguarding in difficult times.
The national priorities should take precedent at this historical pace-setting moment: unfolding decisions will have an impact on the future more than the present. Gratifying is the response of a nation willing to shove economic hardships to the background and rise above petty differences to stand up for the country against foreign interventions. Sri Lankans come out best when pinned against a rock wall.
Rising cost of living is a crushing body blow that needs strenuous protest but the patriotic people did not forget the need to rise to the defence of the country when in peril, remembering the elimination of terrorism is not incomparable to price escalations.
The opposition and critical private media outfits placed the country ahead of petty differences with the government. It was shameful of the TNA to invite members of the Human Rights Council to sanction foreign judicial intervention to Sri Lanka. [“For these reasons we have urged the international community to take steps to institute an international investigation into the credible allegations of war crimes committed by both sides during the last stages of the war”- extract from the TNA statement]. TNA deserves just treatment for its treachery! Country is paying dearly for a monumental lapse of the LLRC in failing to create a vehicle for the implementation of its recommendations - leaving it to a Government that ordinarily needs a whipping to wake up from slumber. LLRC knew their interim recommendations remain mostly unattended.
The price paid for being laid back was felt in Geneva-though it is a mere three months from the release of the report. It’s no reason to bow to a western timetable with their bewildering double standards.
None will stand strong against the thrust of the West with iron determination to defeat it as much as President Rajapaksa, notwithstanding other infirmities. West seeks a limited ‘regime change’ to eliminate two principal characters of the war.
The need of the hour is for the government to priories the pressing issues, mindful of creating a stable future, balancing it to satisfy national interest while minimizing international pressures. The following are the prime issues of equal importance-
(1) Accountability- Establish military tribunals in the first instance on allegations of crimes levelled against servicemen under statute law. Inquiries must be held in a credible manner after giving notice calling for public information. This closes the door to foreign judicial intervention.
(2) Grievances- LLRC has identified grievances affecting the various communities but since the North/East suffered most under the LTTE regime, immediate attention be directed to Tamil grievances to wean them away from extreme elements and to create amity. This is the path to tread towards reconciliation.
(3) Police and Land Powers and Merger of the North & East- Police & Land powers are the remaining props vested in the peripheral units that can lead to secession in the future. Constitution should be revisited and Police and Land powers re-vested in the central government. Any trace of merger remaining in the Constitution is not in the interest of national security as shown in the efforts of the previous North/East provincial council that declared an independent state. No room should be left in furthering secession.
(4) Good Governance- A prime need where the government has to improve its record drastically by setting up credible watchdog institutions without appointing servile sycophants to overlook.
(5) Tri-Lingual Language Policy - To be made effective on a compulsory basis in the public and private sectors with attractive financial incentives in passing examination bars and to be made mandatory in schools.
(6) Devolution-As recommended by the LLRC devolve to grass root level by giving power to the people and not to the politicians by setting Grameeya Sabhas and eliminating the Pradeshiya Sabhas. A unit larger than the previous village councils should be provided with financial support. This is the best antidote for corruption and to avoid secession.
(7) Tri-lingual Policy- Implemented on a compulsory terms in the public and private sectors with financial incentives offered and made mandatory in schools. A necessary bridge building operation.
The paramount twin objectives should be to make Sri Lanka secure and stable and successfully establish amity among its people.
Govt should hold the Northern Provincal Council elections to find out if the people are satisfied with developmental projects and if not devolve all such projects through their nominated members of the provincial council and parliamentarians. People are very sensitive to the manner state jobs are to be offered in the Railway stations,Workshops,Permanent ways etc. and revolt has to be avoided in closing all loop holes for corruption and bribery at all levels
Mary Thursday, 08 March 2012 03:35 AM
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.