Sri Lanka after Geneva

9 April 2012 08:50 pm - 2     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


According to him (and his Leninist mathematics) Geneva 2012 is a “defeat”.  If, as he says, this is a “defeat” then what happened to his “victory” in 2009? His victory was supposed to have been an outstanding "victory" that saved Sri Lanka. Besides, Sri Lanka also won in 2011. But his Leninist mathematics applies only to "defeats" and not to the two earlier "victories". The fluctuations of "defeats" and "victories" can only lead to the conclusion that both impostors at the UNHRC are relative terms dependent not necessarily on winning or losing “moral high grounds”, as he claims in relation to Sri Lanka, but on the sheer power play of the Big Brothers, or on the prevailing international dynamics concerning the issues on the table at the UNHRC.
 Clearly, "defeats" and "victories" are relative terms depending on who is backing whom. For instance, Israel has been defeated on 36 resolutions out of 91 presented at the UNHRC. In the case of Israel "defeats" have been "victories" because the more she loses the stronger she becomes in the eyes of USA and consequently in the internal arena. So what's a defeat and what's victory at the UNHRC? It can also be argued that Sri Lanka has been put on the UN agenda. So what? India and Israel have been on the UN agenda since day one of the UN. Besides, this is not the end of the world for Sri Lanka. Nor is this going to be the last attack on Sri Lanka. Many more are in the offing. Defeat or victory will depend on whether Sri Lanka will surrender or not to the Big Brothers. Ultimately, despite temporary set-backs as seen in Geneva, defeat or victory will be determined by the people.
 Dayan goes on to state that the difference between his “victory” in 2009 and 2012 is a “vertical drop from the moral high ground”. In the eyes of the West Sri Lanka never occupied the moral high ground from the day we won the war and even before. Dayan knows this because he had to wage a huge battle to beat the accusations of not fighting a just war on fair terms. 
In the end he cites Myanmar as the model for Sri Lanka too imitate. He claims that Myanmar had crafted “a brilliant strategic surprise” to regain the moral high ground through rapid reform. This is a staggering statement coming from Dayan who should know his onions. First there is nothing brilliant. Second, Myanmar too faced a resolution similar to that of Sri Lanka in the last session of UNHRC as Sri Lanka. So what is brilliant and how has it escaped the wrath of the West? They are doing to Myanmar what they are doing to Sri Lanka -- putting maximum international pressure to divide resource rich, pro-Chinese Myanmar into ethnic enclaves. Aung San-sui Kyi is a well-meaning but naïve political novice who  will be a pawn  in the hands of the West if she comes into power. It is the not the Myanmaris who will win but the West because they will have their puppet in Myanmar to  push it against China and exploit  it sresources. Of course, all this will be done in  the name of  human rights – the religion  of the day. . 
His conclusion is that if Sri Lanka refuses to give in then it would lead to international intervention.
All this can be summarized in one word: surrender -- surrender to the agenda dictated by the West and India and the road will lead to paradise.  “Rapid reform” (a la Myanmar) is used as a euphemism for surrender. Even with not-so-subtle variations in their approaches, the underlying theme of the coalition of forces that opposes the GOSL on this issue – TNA, UNP, Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Jehan Perera and Dayan Jayatilleka  – is also surrender. Give in to the imported theories and formulas and everything will be tickety-boo, is the message repeated ad nauseam by this political coalition. 
There are some negligible shades of differences in this coalition. For instance, “Paki” Saravanamuttu” attacks the centre from the right to erode and weaken the powers of the centre. Dayan does it from the left. But both converge on attacking the centre from the right and left demanding surrender with, of course, varying degree of surrender.  Even India and US say the same thing arguing that “surrender to their agenda/formula” is for the good of the durable peace and reconciliation. Any resistance is dismissed as chauvinism. 
Dayan is right in saying that the current thrust, after failure of the military offensive, is “through the leveraging of powerful external forces against Sri Lanka.” In 2009, just a few months after winning the war, “the powerful external forces against Sri Lanka” did not have the Darusman report or the LLRC report to attack Sri Lanka in Geneva. They began their offensive without any rhyme or reason, without giving even breathing space for GOSL to recover from the reeling assaults of  33 years, starting from the 1976 Vadukoddai Resolution when the Jaffna Tamil declared war on the rest.  Second, these forces used the flimsy excuse of the Darusman Report in 2011.. In 2012 it used the LLRC report. Clearly, it is quite apparent that the forces ganging up against Sri Lanka will continue to attack and undermine Sri Lanka with or without any excuse to do so. Their objective is political not human rights or morality though the drama is played out dressed in the Emperor’s clothes of morally righteous human rights activists.
Since 2009 Sri Lanka has shown a convincing capacity and a willingness to remedy some of the greatest challenges they faced in the post-Prabhakaran years. With its limited resources Sri Lanka has gone out of the way to resolve, resettle, rehabilitate and reconcile at a people-to-people level with commendable speed. It should be noted that even Hilary Clinton has acknowledged the good work done so far. This is not to say that all issues pertaining to the northern Tamils have been resolved. Much more needs to be done, no doubt. But the expectation of the antagonists and moralists for the GOSL to wave a magic wand and resolve issues overnight is as good as asking Lenin why he failed to establish his utopia when he had all the power to do so.
The myth of believing that a Tamil enclave run by Tamil apparatchiks is going to guarantee dignity, equality and liberty for the Jaffna Tamils has been disproved by livid historical experiences of the Tamils from Sankilli (he massacred 600 Catholics for not accepting his rule) to Velupillai Prabhakaran. In fact, as seen in the case of the Tamil MPs who enjoyed the best of both worlds, they had better protection, security, freedom and dignity under “the Sinhala governments” than under the Tamil quasi-state of Prabhakaran.
Chanting mantras of “surrender" was the familiar theme of pundits throughout the war waged by the Tamil Tiger terrorists. The CFA of 2002 gave in to practically all the Eelamists’ demands bar a separate state. What good did it do to peace, reconciliation and dignity, liberty and equality of the Tamils?  The same theme of surrender is revived and repeated by the same pundits now. The government has set up the best mechanism through a Parliamentary Committee to collectively work out a home-grown formula. It is up to the TNA MPs to work together.  Blaming the “Sinhala governments” forever is not going to solve their problems because they like the Sinhalese are destined to live together.
Understanding the theoretical failures of the past is more important to build a new future. As Dayan says this understanding “requires knowledge and reflection” , “thinking  and  thinking through”…”not for academic disquisition,  but as an imperative precisely for survival itself”. I agree with Dayan that there should be a change. But we differ on the road we should take – and this makes all the difference. 
 A return to the past – particularly the failed past of the 13th Amendment – is not the way out. The 13th Amendment has been the mother of all ills. That is the never ending road of 13+ where the pluses will run into  infinity. That is also the road to surrender. Changes must come in a holistic approach to the current phase. First, the provincial system imposed by the Indians for the political convenience of Indians must be scrapped because they have become centres for corruption, mismanagement and bureaucratic nightmares. It may serve India's agenda but not that of the people of Sri Lanka, GOSL must go for a referendum and, depending on the outcome, ditch the 13th Amendment.
 This must be replaced by a regime of human rights. GOSL biggest failure has been on the human rights front. All communities are trapped in this failure. The basic argument of India and the East is to ensure the dignity, equality and the rights of the Tamils. Sri Lankan experience has established beyond doubt that the creation of ethnic enclaves has failed to ensure these ideals. Besides, there are more Tamils outside the proposed ethnic enclaves and by their own logic they will not enjoy the dignity, equality and liberty that the ethnic enclaves are supposed to guarantee. Establishment of an independent police force, judiciary and de-poltiicizing of the bureaucracy can ensure the dignity, equality nad liberty of all communities in all regions. This is the ideal alternative to creating political enclaves.
 The 13th Amendment was meant primarily for the Jaffna Tamils. Human rights is for all communities.

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  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka Monday, 09 April 2012 09:38 PM

    Dear Mahinda, Here's an observation about 2009, made by the international award-winning journalist and author Nirupama Subramanian:

    "As Sri Lanka mulls over last month’s United Nations Human Rights Council resolution, it may look back with nostalgia at its 2009 triumph at Geneva. Then, barely a week after its victory over the LTTE, a group of western countries wanted a resolution passed against Sri Lanka for the civilian deaths and other alleged rights violations by the army during the last stages of the operation. With the blood on the battlefield not still dry, Sri Lanka managed to snatch victory from the jaws of diplomatic defeat, with a resolution that praised the government for its humane handling of civilians and asserted faith in its abilities to bring about reconciliation." ( The Hindu)

    There WAS NEVER A VOTE in 2011!

    Trevor Jayetileke Tuesday, 10 April 2012 09:31 PM

    In my humble opinion the Tamil people should be able to have their self-determination within the Unitary State of Sri Lanka.
    Today after the end of LTTE Terrorism in 2009 the entire country is Ealam for our Tamil Bretheren., and we are all living in PEACE as one big happy family. The East and North should be never be put together again for the Common Good of Sri Lanka.
    Its time also for the Tamils Community ( the silent majority of Tamils ) to show their HAND in peaceful co-existence.

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