The Rajapaksa government is holding demonstrations throughout the island against an ‘invasion’ by imperialists. The immediate cause for this rumpus is the government’s call to oppose the resolution, the United States said it would present against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions being held in Geneva. According to the government the US sponsored resolution is to establish a joint mechanism within the Human Rights Council to implement the recommendations presented in the Report by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
If so, the background for the resolution to be presented has been created by none other than the government itself. All that the Western Bloc did was to make use of the opportunity that was handed to them. The JVP has time and again pointed out that the arbitrary and idiotic behaviour of the government, would create an environment to bring about such foreign interventions. However, the government surrounded by pseudo pundits and advisors, either on their instructions or due to its own arrogance, bragged that everything was under control and the whole world was on its side. The government propaganda machine also carried out a campaign claiming that other countries had asked for assistance and advice to overcome terrorism in their countries.
The government does not have a history of conflicts with international powers. The government did not act before western imperialism as well as neighbouring India in a manner that protected the dignity of the country, as an independent sovereign state. Instead it acted like an infant that likes to please everybody and be everyone’s pet. The Rajapaksa government promised to establish “an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law” when Ban Ki-moon visited the island. However, the government began whining when the Secretary General appointed the ‘Darusman’ panel as the government delayed fulfilling its promise. When the government knew the report of this ‘panel’ would be unfavourable to Sri Lanka the LLRC was appointed and the world was told that it had its own programme.
Later in December the LLRC report was released simultaneously with the Sessions of the Human Rights Council, which indicated its readiness to comply with the longing of the international community. As such, the government was aware that it had to present answers at the sessions in February. However, the government, instead of getting prepared for this, held ‘pageants’ in the country to ‘pass the day.’ The government may have expected to wriggle through the issue using such a ‘pageant’ before the international community as well.
Now, a resolution that is unfavourable to the government is before the Human Rights Council. However, the leaders of the government will not be dragged to a war crimes tribunal, using this resolution as claimed by the government. Imperialists will think a hundred times before they take any adverse actions, regarding leaders of an administration that serves it so adequately and is willing to offer it the resources of the country. What they have done is to remind the government of what it had promised but not fulfilled. This is another way of inviting the government to work according to the promises made. As the government is aware of those agreements it need not be irritated.
However, the government shows the country an entirely different picture—there is a reason for this. It is only a few days ago that the government devalued the rupee and allowed it to float. It slashed the fuel subsidy and decided to attain massive profits by increasing the prices of fuel so that it could balance its wasteful spending. Bus fares and electricity bills went sky high. The government did not hesitate to take the life of Anthony Fernando, a fisherman, who took part in agitations against the fuel price hike. Agitations spread throughout the island and the government was at the receiving end. The organizers of the government grumbled to the President claiming that the masses are abusing the government and therefore they wouldn’t be able to face their constituents. Hence, the government needed a strong shield to confront the mass indignation that was building up against it. This is how the government adorns its haggard patriotic garbs. The government hoped that the masses which took part in anti-government agitations could be attracted to the demonstrations organized by the government.
As such, the government media is appealing to the people to launch agitations against the Sessions of the Human Rights Council. Politicians of the government are seen wearing red and tying red bands on their heads shouting slogans against imperialism. Although very recently the government media ridiculed agitating against decisions by the Parliament or the Judiciary. Isn’t it a political mockery when the same media is now calling masses to come to the junction or the shopping center to agitate to get Geneva decisions changed? The government, more than any other, knows that such agitations would not have any effect on decisions taken in Geneva.
However, the government wants the people to forget their hunger for a few days, and focus their energy on these “pageants” of the government. This is what the government needs. The government needs to turn the people’s attention towards a ‘demon’ when they feel the impact of the increase in prices of fuel, electricity tariff, bus fares and all other commodities. In the same manner that parents get their children to eat their food by inciting fear of the “bogeyman” the government displays an imperialist demon, in order to force the IMF economic formula down the throat of the masses. When the masses comprehend this and reject it the pro-imperialists rulers will be definitely at the receiving end.
The US resolution is to compel the Sri Lankan government to implement the LLRC recommendations. Why is the government getting jittery, when they have after all said that it would be done. This is a sure sign that there is no willingness to implement. Bad tidings for the country.
Calistus Jayatilleke Wednesday, 29 February 2012 07:46 AM
Splendid article: of course, it is obvious that the Government has created this artificial Bogeyman or Billa to scare the people and to get their minds off the ever increasing hardships due to skyrocketing cost of living. The government and its cohorts know exactly the nature of the Resolution coming up at the UNHRC which is to propose a mechanism to ensure the recommendations of the LLRC appointed by the President himself. But, the government is now trying to cleverly manipulate this as hostile action by the US and EU against Sri Lanka in order to bring people to the streets to hoodwink them and draw a red herring. Patriotism is their trump card and one wonders for how long people will sing the patriotic songs when their stomach worms stop dancing. As they say, "Patriotism is the last resort of the Scoundrel" and there are plenty of such scoundrels in this government.
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