By Vijitha Herath
The month of May has given several important days not only for us Sri Lankans but also to the whole world. The first is May 1st, the International Workers’ Day. The next is the Vesak Day which is the day accepted by Buddhists all over the world as the day in which the Buddha’s Birth, Enlightenment and Nirvana took place.The third is 14th May, 1965, the day the JVP, the political party of the downtrodden masses of Sri Lanka, was founded. There is another event that is important to the people in Sri Lanka, may be to the whole world that took place in the month of May. On 18th May, 2009 the military front of separatism in Sri Lanka was defeated. The termination of the thirty year war that tortured and distressed the Sri Lankan sociopolitical body could have marked a decisive juncture of the history of this country. However, the importance of this victory of the society has been relatively devalued due to the attempt by the government to pocket it for their political agendas. A giant step of blending Sinhalese,
Tamil, Muslim, Malay, Burgher ethnic groups into one Sri Lankan Nation was lost due to this idiocy. Also, the government regime paved the way for international interventions as a result of casting away immediate measures that should have been taken proposed by the JVP and other intellectual organisations. Three years have passed since this decisive event. The bitter reality is that not only the government but the whole country have to suffer the consequences of this idiocy. It is no secret that the intensification in international interventions regarding the national question and the adoption of the resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva is the logical end result of the undiplomatic sloppy politics of the government. However, it is all too evident that falling into this abyss has not been a lesson for the government. A letter written by Ms. Tamara Kunanayakam, Sri L a n k a ’s Pe r m a n e n t Representative to the UN in Geneva to Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris states Sri Lanka has paid a heavy price for the lack of cohesion as it was essential to project an image of unity rather than that of discord. She also talks about “Sri Lanka’s instability in diplomacy and an ad hoc character, when, in a multilateral Mission, it is essential to display cohesion, unity and stability.” Exposing the utter chaos in Geneva during the sessions of UNHCR Ms.
Kunanayakam states “those responsible for compromising on principles, creating divisions, and undermining unity were rewarded. Imperialist countries have warned the government to implement recommendations of the LLRC that was hurriedly formed just before the commencement of the 18th summit of the UNHRC held in December, 2011 which the government without foresightedness readily embraced. It seems that imperialists believe these recommendations would push Sri Lanka towards their separatist objectives. The government, in an attempt to save its neck by showing its compliance with imperialist agenda, has already compiled an ‘action plan.’ This ‘imperialist desire’ put into words by Minister G.L. Peiris has been presented to leaders of political parties of the government for their ‘information.’ The government has told them it is to get their views. However, later these leaders will whimper saying their views were not entertained and their amendments were not entered in the document.
On the 18th when the government holds the commemoration of the military victory at Galle Face with all pomp and pageantry for the enjoyment of masses fatigued by economic issues in the country Minister G.L. Peiris, Parliamentarians Namal Rajapaksa and Sajin Vaas Gunawardene would take wings from KIA with the ‘action plan’ that would overturn the military victory. It is the ‘Dr Jekyll and Mister Hyde’ act the government has been practising that would be performed on the 18th May as well. What is special here is the coincidence of two such incidents on this day which is indeed a mockery of history. The second resolution adopted at the UNHRC in Geneva asked the government to present expeditiously a comprehensive action plan detailing the steps to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).
This would make anyone think that Minister G.L. Peiris is taking this plan to Geneva. It is not so. He is not taking this ‘action plan’ to the UNHRC but to the USA which presented the resolution against Sri Lanka; to meet the United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. This is the USA that was torn to pieces by the people who were urged to take to the streets against it by the government. Some ministers shrieked that good from the USA should be banned and wanted people to stop using its services. The government wrote that ‘Obama is mad’ on the walls. Now, the government is presenting its ‘action plan’ to this country; want to ask Ms Clinton whether what they have ‘planned’ is correct. While challenging the USA in Sinhalese they want to display their obedience to the USA. This is how they act their version of ‘Dr. Jekyll and Mister Hyde.’ The diplomatic mission of the government against international human rights accusations has been unproductive. Several African and Asian countries that supported Sri Lanka in 2009 have not voted for Sri Lanka this time. At the end, the resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted. The government thinks by displaying how far it would bow down before imperialism it could slip through accusations before the 22nd session of the UNHRC next year. GL is attempting to find a way out through the back door. Whether they occur through the back door the result of these deals would not be secret ones.
Their effects are not only for the government. The separatist objectives that were militarily defeated come up in a diplomatic trait with the support of imperialism. Isn’t government’s accord for this taking wings on 18th May, the same day people would rock to view patriotic fireworks, a mockery of history?