But US has launched ‘operation monsoon’ against SL
Minister of Power and Energy,
Patali Champika Ranawaka, spoke to the Daily Mirror on Sri Lanka’s
chances in Geneva and the issues
regarding the implementation of the
Q: The latest reports indicate that Sri Lanka and the United States are in for a head-on clash in Geneva. In your view, what hopes are there for a credible compromise?
It is very strange and sad to see Sri Lanka and the United States in a collision course in the UNHRC over Sri Lanka’s fight against terrorism. The USA promoted the idea of eradicating global terrorism. The world regarded the LTTE as the most equipped, best trained and most ruthless terrorist organization on this planet. The USA clearly knew that the LTTE was harbouring Al-Qaeda in Philippines.
When Abu Yusuf first tried to bomb the World Trade Centre in 1992, then the exchange of techniques related to suicide attack caused the sinking of USS Cole in 1998. The USA banned the LTTE and infiltrated into its international networks as exposed in Raj Rajaratnam case. Then we successfully eradicated that terrorist group inflicting devastating effect on global terrorism technically, financially and morally. This demonstrated that democratically elected governments cannot be defeated using terror tactics.
More importantly, we defeated the LTTE with minimum civilian casualties. This stands in stark contrast to the colossal damage inflicted on Afghanistan and Iraq by the US-led operations. We also successfully rescued approximately 300,000 civilians in the world's biggest hostage operation where most of the superpowers had given in or resulted in much destruction in similar occasions. So, the USA should learn from us as a friendly country because we waged this war on behalf of them as well.
It is also a well-known fact that the US military does not follow the Geneva Convention or the Red Cross guidelines in a war situation. They have a different reading, suitable to carry out their own operations. We should not compromise the hard-earned peace, and all that our military personnel have sacrificed, to any power in the world.
Q: What is your opinion about the size and composition of the Sri Lankan delegation, and do you think there are unforgivable omissions?
Anyone can accuse that the composition of the delegation is too large, involving heavy costs. But there must be reasons for it. One of the reasons is that a few Ministers were selected to liaise with 47 committee members of the UNHRC. They should be there for the final showdown as well. My personal opinion is that Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke and Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha should have been included because, both of them have different capabilities and knowledge and had proved themselves in June 2009 on their successful mission in Geneva.
Q: There are allegations by some quarters that the strong anti-West slogans by parties like JHU, finally led Sri Lanka to a guillotine. What's your defense?
The US is going against Sri Lanka not because of the JHU. They are now engaged in discussions with Talibans as well. We the JHU or any Sri Lankan has never harmed any US citizen. Our fight is non-violent. However, I could see a few reasons as to why the USA is going against us. Firstly, the people like Robert Blake may have personal grudges against our leaders and people.
Second, during the final days of the humanitarian operations, the US tried to rescue Vellupillai Prabhakaran and the 47 of its top leaders unsuccessfully. They may consider this as humiliation at the hands of a small nation.
Third, the USA has always taken the LTTE as a cat's paw in this region. They may have thought that it should be pruned, but not destroyed. There is enough evidence to show that US agencies had used the LTTE for their own operational work. One such incident was Contra operation in Nicaragua.
Fourth, the USA was humiliated when the world realized that we won the war having refused to adhere to the US agenda and the guidelines. Then they wanted to teach a lesson to a small nation like us, preventing others from following suite and scuttling their global hegemony.
Fifth, they may feel jealous towards us, because we had won, defeating terrorists with minimum human and financial losses while they keep dragging their wars into an ocean of blood and creating huge financial burdens to their prevailing debt ridden economy.
Sixth, the separatist and racist segment of the migrated Tamil community has funded and used their numbers to elected representatives who are supporting their separatist cause. This pressure may have been exerted on national level, politically as well.Finally, there is a hidden fact as well. I term this campaign against Sri Lanka "Operation Monsoon". The US strategist Robert Kaplan identified the Indian Ocean, where the monsoon determines the seasons, to be the most important ocean as far as trade, demography and military balance are concerned in the 21st century. It is like the Atlantic Ocean of 19th century and Pacific of 20th century. The US wants to dominate Indian Ocean nations from Iran to Indonesia where the future of shipping and future of this globe is determined. That's why they are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand, Maldives, Iran and Sri Lanka.
Q: Are you satisfied with the pace at which the LLRC recommendations are being implemented and do you think the United States should have waited till around September for an evaluation?
We have already stated that the LLRC had overstepped its mandate. As per the mandate given to it by the Presidential decree, it should not have talked on issues like devolution, good governance or right to information. On the other hand, they have been biased when they talk about civilian casualties. How can one talk about 7,934 Tamil deaths (according to our Censes Department) without talking about 9,798 civilian deaths caused by the LTTE activists? How can they suggest disciplinary actions against our military personal without reprimanding Rudra Kumaran (USA), Nediyavan (Norway), Vinayagam (France), Fr. Emmanuel (UK) on equal basis?
We urge both Sri Lankan government and the foreign governments to take punitive actions against the LTTE, living in Sri Lanka and other countries who are still engaged in undemocratic activities, defending the LTTE atrocities and ideology.
We forgave 10,300 LTTE carders and released them. But if anyone tries to penalize our security personnel, beyond our own mechanizations it could be the biggest blow for the ongoing reconciliation process and peaceful activities in Sri Lanka.
We should have our own mechanism and timeframe, rather than accepting conditions from the West to address "constructive" LLRC recommendations.
Q: What are your views about the Right to Information legislation, a key recommendation of the LLRC?
In principle, we are for the Right to Information Legislation. But not in the present form which has been submitted by Karu Jayasuriya. We have to be very careful about disclosing national security matters, sensitive financial and energy security matters because these may be used to destabilize the country and its economy.
On the other hand, we need to have high-powered national planning commission under the President and all the line Ministries should implement the action plans based on national policies and planes. We also urge the establishment of a national technical aditing mechanism and management auditing mechanism on top of the financial auditing system. The people should know about our national plan and mega projects under this plan as there is a chance that economic hit men and white-collar criminals may dominate the technical committees and evaluation committees at the highest level of development. A new Information Act should be useful in that context. Otherwise, it would not serve the purpose, it is intended for.
Q: It should be noted that EU has never harboured strong antipathy towards Sri Lanka as United States does. Everyone knows you are strongly anti US. How anti EU you are?
I am neither anti-US nor anti-EU. But I believe that EU is more diverse, more open and more plural (ideologically) than the US. Their common problem is their tradition of believing in Euro-centrism. Philosophically, they believe in supernatural forces, absolute categories, reductionism as "a priori" truths envisaged by Kant and above things enveloped in their "episteme" envisaged by Derrida. With these countries I love to see how they evolve scientific outlook, industrialization, market phenomena, counter culture and green movement to occupy Wall Street movements. When this modern development paradigm which they developed doom to collapse, I hope most of the US and EU people would change their life patterns, thinking patterns and great traditions good for future generations.
Q: Other than going for a complete overhaul of the UN, what else according to your opinion should be done to ensure protection of nation interventionism?
The UN should be changed. When it was established in 1945, the US and Europe dominated the global economy and the politics comprehensively. Now they are diminishing and a receding force. China, India, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Indonesia, Korea, Japan will determine the future of this world. So, China, India and other countries should play a greater political role like Russia to balance the power play. Further, more Asian countries should form a union to take the challenges posed by unrealistic western powers, like the USA.
Jacques COULARDEAU Wednesday, 29 February 2012 08:18 AM
That victory or defeat, that historical turning point has been a landmark in this early 21st century: terrorism can be defeated, eradicated not because it is anything you may think with a good heart, but because terrorism goes against history. Today's history is enabling democracy, free elections as the only path and tool to improve the lot of humanity. All other policies, particularly terrorism, are doomed but they will be defeated only if we fight against them the proper fight, the fight of the heart, of unity, of relentless refusal to compromise, and a fight to the finish. Civilians and manipulated individuals have to be set aside and reformed into democracy, but there should be no pity for the leaders and top military cadres of these terrorist organizations.
Nimal Wednesday, 29 February 2012 11:58 AM
Well said Mr Champika.It is Very logical, educated Talk. We are tired of kinder-garden talked by UNP people.
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.