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Saturday 24 March 2012

LLRC, USA resolution, reconciliation and sovereignty - I

The much awaited USA resolution on Sri Lanka was brought before the UNHRC on last Wednesday. It made the opponents of the government who propagated the lie that the latter has created a “gonibilla” to divert the attention of the people from fuel prices, bus fares, electricity bills etc., helpless. It exposed them to such an extent they now state that the USA and its allies in the west are against the government and not against the country. In Sinhala they say “kata boru kiwwath diva boru kiyanne nehe”, and this statement is an excellent example for the truth as revealed by the tongue. It is clear that the USA wants to topple the present government as the former is against the latter, and to install a UNP – TNA government if possible with Sarath Fonseka as the President. It should not be forgotten that Fonseka initiated the white flag story which commenced the war crime issue even before the last Presidential elections and that the TNA supported him at the elections. Now who should have the power to decide which government should rule the country? Is it the Sri Lankan people or the American state department? If the American state department can decide on the party or alliance that should rule the country, is it against the country or against only one of the alliances? The UNP and the TNA and their former leaders who supported the English against the Sinhala people especially the Sinhala Buddhists are now doing the same, supporting the USA and good old England, how much the latter has given us including some of our leaders, political as well as so called civil, with their education, and of course their wives who had the same English education, not necessarily in English medium. When some of these political leaders claim that it is the government that opened the gates for western hostilities they utter the truth. If the UNP government of 2002 with Ranil Wickremesinghe continued there would not have been charges of war crimes as there would not have been any war crimes real or imaginary without a war. The UNP would have signed a few more pacts with Prabhkaran and USA and UK would have facilitated the establishment of Eelam through Norway. When some of these leaders claim that this government is worse than even the colonial governments with respect to human rights, we know where we and they stand. It is becoming clearer and clearer that what we gained in 1948 was a limited independence.

In general those who want the government to implement the USA resolution if it is adopted by the UNHRC, are those who were against humanitarian operations and who claimed that the LTTE could not be defeated and that there was no other path to achieve peace than through negotiations that Norway “facilitated”. At Geneva those who are behind the USA resolution are generally the western countries good old England giving the leadership. Most of them are colonial countries that are noted for their track record on human rights. The USA wanted to bring a strong resolution but it is clear that the resolution is somewhat diluted than expected by many people who think that a resolution against Sri Lanka at an international forum, especially at the UNHRC is the end of the world. It is not so and it is clear as we have mentioned before the USA led west is acting very cautiously. They did not have much support for a strong resolution and now want to mislead the non European countries with a not so strong resolution. They were gradually building up pressure from white flags to Ban ki Moon, various statements by USA state department officials that include USA ambassadors and the nth secretaries in the embassy, threats, resolutions at various so called international fora and now USA at the UNHCR, after Canada failed last year. The west is very cautious simply because there is no case against Sri Lanka. If there was the slightest evidence that they could prove that Sri Lanka had violated human rights they would have already imposed economic sanctions and even attacked using NATO bombers without going through UN fora. The limited independence and the strength of the non aligned movement, Russia, China and other countries together with the fact there is no evidence of war crimes by the Sri Lankan armed forces prevent the USA from taking such action and they want to make their action as “legal” as possible. They will come out with many more Channel Four myths in time to come in order to convince the non European nations that Sri Lanka and its President, Secretary of Defense and some officers have to be punished for committing war crimes. As mentioned many a times it is time for a strong anti west movement, forget the non aligned name board as we have to be aligned against the west, at least because of their hegemonic education that has ruined the world together with the resources, after leaving counterfeit mannerisms among the western educated men and women in the Afro Asian countries. The USA resolution is not going to be their last attempt and the government should take all measures to defeat the resolution if the west presses for a vote. In any event there will be more resolutions in the future whether the USA resolution is adopted or not at the UNHRC. With the present resolution the west wants to monitor the so called reconciliation measures thereby to have a hold in our internal affairs. In this regard whatever the policies of the minister in the past Prof. G. L. Peiris has to be commended for the strong stand that he has taken against the west. Reconciliation is our business according to our traditions and not that of the westerners who have had no policy on reconciliation at all in their countries at any time of the history.

In the meantime the government appointed the LLRC to come out with a report in the good old traditions of commissions since Colebrook Cameron days, on lessons learnt and reconciliations. As in the case of almost commissions there were no members from Sanga, Veda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru in the LLRC. After all Colebrook and Cameron were not from Sanga Veda Guru Govi Kamkaru and the President from Medamulana could not change the tradition. The government gave the following mandate to the LLRC. "To inquire and report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21st February, 2002 and 19th May, 2009, namely:

The facts and circumstances which led to the failure of the ceasefire agreement operationalized on 21st February, 2002 and the sequence of events that followed thereafter up to the 19th of May, 2009, whether any person, group or institution directly or indirectly bear responsibility in this regard; the lessons we would learn from those events and their attendant concern, in order to ensure that there will be no recurrence; the methodology whereby restitution to any person affected by those events or their dependants or their heirs, can be affected; the institutional administrative and legislative measures which need to be taken in order or prevent any recurrence of such concerns in the future, and to promote further national unity and the reconciliation among all communities, and to make any such other recommendations with reference to any of the matters that have been inquired into under the terms of the Warrant."

It would have been better if the government did not appoint the LLRC. After all the Sinhala people have a history going back to more than two thousand five hundred years compared with a history of three to four hundred years of Americans and Europeans after the modernity was introduced towards the latter part of the fifteenth century. The west never respected human rights of the people lived in the colonies except perhaps of those who happened to have the “best of their education” and when people complain that the Europeans had a better record of human rights protection than this government it is clear whose human rights they are interested in. We have experience in nation building and we know how Yaksha, Naga, Deva and the groups who came from what I call Ardha Vedic Bharath were all united under one umbrella (eksesath) to form the Sinhala nation. Of course, it did not happen overnight and it took hundreds of years to finally reconcile all these groups, which we may call gothras not having the same meaning as tribes as used by the English. The tribe is translated wrongly as gothra by those who were educated by the English and we can only laugh when they claim that we follow the English when we use the term gothra. It was a reconciliation par excellence (vishistathama would have been better), if I may use an English expression, and we have that experience behind us. It is unfortunate that the LLRC does not mention of this reconciliation in our history.

Now who prevented the Vellalas who were brought by the Dutch reconciling with the existing Sinhala nation? It was the Dutch first and then the English who segregated the Tamils from the Sinhalas, first in Nagadeepa, then in Madakalapuwa, and finally in the coffee and tea estates. The English allowed only those who had their education to mingle with each other but they wanted the Tamils with the best of their education to become the leaders of the country over their Sinhala counterparts thus creating the present problem. The English had no respect for the other Tamils and they were left as a non entity under the yoke of the educated Vellalas until Prabhakaran came on the scene. It is this “non entity” that the government has to take care of without dancing to the tune of frustrated Tamil Vellalas with the best of English education and their masters in the west.(12/03/14)

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva