Main Logo

Sunday 15 July 2012

Foreign intervention – II

In the western countries the concept of so called human rights was created when modernity was being established. The modernity fought against the Pope and the individual rights were made important in contrast to the rights of the European medieval feudal states that were ruled by the Pope or his agents. The pope represented the state and the individual was given prominence over the society or the state in contrast to the powers the state had over the individual in the feudal states within the dichotomy between the state and the society. However, the bourgeoisie that was a product of modernity, which took over the political power after sometime was not interested in the human rights, and again established the superiority of the state over the individual, this time the state being the capitalist state. The theoretical “ideals” as formulated by the intellectuals of the French Revolution were discarded in no time and the state became prominent again.

The capitalist state paid only lip service to human rights until it was firmly established in the respective countries. Once the capitalist state was decisively established the individuals were given an apparent freedom in the choice of consumables and the members of Parliament. The so called freedom of expression has been given to individuals, especially in the Hyde Park in London, and an individual may criticize a minister in the press if the editor is prepared to take the responsibility. However, the Marxist parties that preached revolution, overthrowing the entire state, did not have the freedom of expression they wished. It was the sate that determined how much individual rights that each individual had. The judiciary was never independent of the state as the laws were enacted by the Parliament and anybody who wanted to overthrow the state was not given the freedom of expression or the freedom of organization though the constitution written or unwritten would have enshrined these freedoms in bold letters. It has to be understood that though judiciary separated theoretically from the legislature and executive they act in unison when it comes to the protection of the state.

Even today there is no freedom of expression or organization to individuals who want to have a different form of state Marxist, non Christian or any other in Western Europe. Thus though theoretically the individual is more prominent over the state, it is the state that demarcates the limits of freedom. The freedom of the individual is restricted in many other ways as well. In Western Europe the media do not have the freedom that those in Sri Lanka have as far as individuals are concerned. Though it is the editor that finally decides whether an article by an individual is published or not it is much easier for an individual to express his/her ideas through the press in Sri Lanka. As we mentioned last week even those who have fled the country for want of freedom of expression can publish only in Sri Lankan newspapers. How many people contribute to the papers on overthrowing the state in Sri Lanka in some form or other? In Sri Lanka we have a unitary state but some want either to establish a separate state in the Northern and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka or a Federal state against the wish of the majority (not necessarily the Sinhalas), of course backed by the west and India in contrast to change of state in the western countries. These people have not being prohibited from uttering their wishes but are free to organize political parties with that intention. There are members of TNA who openly claim that they want an Eelam thus expressing their wish to overthrow the State.

In Sri Lanka as well as in many countries in Asia and Africa, we are still in the process of establishing a modern state. In Sri Lanka we have had our own Eksesath Rajya which may be considered as a form of a unitary state in the past, but after we gained a limited independence we have still not established a modern state that is strong and powerful. I am not advocating the establishment of a modern state in Sri Lanka, which is a state of modernity, but it is what many who have been brain washed by the western education want. The main reason that we have not been able to establish a strong modern state is the intervention by the western countries and by India. The westerners who dominate the world do not want strong states in the other countries and India day dreaming of becoming the regional power will do everything to see that no strong states are established in the region. It is in order that no strong state is established in Sri Lanka that the west and India back the separatist movements of Tamil racism. This is not something peculiar to Sri Lanka as this policy is practiced by the west in all non western countries, and by India in the SAARC region. One of the reasons why SAARC has not been able to take off is the dominant attitude of India.

The difference between a strong modern state and a weak modern state is that the weak states do not have the same “freedom” that the strong states had when they were weak. The western modern states in their making had only the medieval feudal states that were being challenged by the incipient modern states against them. They had the freedom to organize against the feudal states except for the obstructions by the feudal states. In the case of modern states that are being established in the non western countries, they do not have the same freedom. They are not fully independent and their struggle to establish a modern state is tied down to gaining full independence from the western countries. However, the western countries deny them the freedom that they themselves had in their inception. There were not much human rights as such for the individuals over the states, though the individual freedom had been emphasized over the freedom of the state as part of modernity. In the west some form of freedom of expression was given after the modern western Christian states were established together with the modern judiciary that looked after the interests of the modern state. Thus in the twentieth century Bertrand Russell could write on why he did not believe in God and so called rationalists could talk against the so called myths though the so called scientific knowledge was no different from myths, Newtonian Gravitation being the best example for such myths. In any event Russells and so called rationalists were not very influential as far as the ordinary English were concerned, just as much Chomsky is not influential among the ordinary Americans today. The western states having firmly established do not mind a Russell or a Chomsky as the political influence of the latter is minimal.

However, the western states demand the same individual freedom and pseudo human rights situation but exaggerated into a “real” human rights situation from the incipient modern states in non western countries. The west interferes in the affairs of the weak modern states in the countries outside their region and demands that the individual rights that are “enjoyed” in their countries at present be given in the weak modern states in the non western countries. What has to be emphasized is that the western countries have emerged with strong states by curtailing the rights of the individuals to organize to establish other forms of states. In the non western countries, on the contrary the west wants the individuals to have the freedom to fight for other forms of states including separate states interpreting that freedom as a human right. In fact the west very often encourages, aid and abet such movements to see that the non western modern states do not grow into strong modern states.

The western approach to the human rights conditions is being backed by the so called intellectuals who have been produced by western education, and they would be up in arms if the weak modern states in the non western counties try to crush separatist movements. In Sri Lanka the present discussion on human rights is based on this attitude of the west. They do not want the weak modern state of Sri Lanka to become a strong modern Christian state, let alone a Buddhist state, and would come up with pseudo academic reasoning with pseudo academics backing them when we crush the Tamil terrorist movement and in our attempt to defeat Tamil racism which is nothing but the creation of the west. The west ignoring the fact that they have established Christian states would come up with slogans such as Sinhala Buddhist supremacy and violation of human rights when their agents in Sri Lanka such as NGO and INGO vendors and Tamil racists find no credible substance to defend them.

Copyright Prof. Nalin De Silva