Main Logo

Wednesday 22 January 2014

Who is interested in human rights?

The “Irida Divaina” of 19th January announced with banner headlines that the mask worn by USA has dropped, and it is very likely that the good translators at the American Embassy in Sri Lanka would have brought it to the notice of the officials in the embassy who are “committed” to human rights. It may be that the embassy is not concerned of news items reported in the Sri Lankan press, especially of the “vernacular” Sinhala as these are mostly read by Sinhala Buddhists. Why should the super power be concerned of what the Sinhala Buddhists think of the American policy? The embassy it appears has ignored the news item, and no media has bothered to ask the spokesperson of the embassy to respond to it. However, it is an important news item for the Sinhala Buddhist human rights violators and the Sri Lankan government.

In essence what the “Irida Divaina” has said was that the American government would withdraw the resolution that is intended to be brought before the Geneva human rights council provided that the Sri Lankan government would implement the following among others. Devolution of all powers including land and police powers as per the thirteenth amendment to the Northern and Eastern Provinces, Release land in the Northern Province, Hold an independent investigation of all officers in the armed forces who have alleged “war crime” charges against them, To allow the NGOs and media to work without any obstacles within the country and To indict the tigers in custody or to release them.

I do not want to analyze these demands, and it is reported that the government has rejected all of them as they should have been. The demands are political and a threat to the national security as the Sri Lankan government has apparently realized. However, what is interesting is that according to the “Irida Divaina” the American government is prepared to drop the charges of human rights violations if the Sri Lankan government accedes to the American demands. These charges on human rights violations would naturally include those on so called war crimes, and what it implies is that the west especially England and USA are using human rights as a political weapon. This is not something unknown, and unlike the “pundits” and enlightened people of various fora we yakkos knew always that human rights are used by the western countries led by England and USA against countries in Asia and Africa, in order to maintain the hegemony of the Judaic Christian culture.

The England led west has been using the Tamils, previously the English educated Tamil Vellalas, at present the dispersed Tamils in the west against the Sinhala people, especially the Sinhala Buddhists.  The NGO pundits and the UNP, JVP opposition join the west in this exercise either directly or indirectly. What the west wants is an autonomous Eastern Province and a Northern Province controlled by the dispersed Tamils in the west, and as far as the former is concerned TNA is only a tool in this whole exercise. The TNA or their predecessors were only proxy of the LTTE in the parliament and the role that the west wants the TNA to play in the parliament and the provincial councils is similar. The TNA for all purposes is the proxy of the dispersed Tamils in the west, and the Samapnthan, Wigneswaran and Sumanthiran thrithva (trio) can hold on to the leadership of the party only if they carry out orders from the dispersed Tamils.
The moment that the west and the dispersed Tamils lose faith in the thrithva they will be replaced by another thrithva in the form of Ananthi, Premachandran and Sridharan. The NGO pundits in Sri Lanka have also gradually turning to politics from being good samaritans interested in peace and human rights. They probably know with the west that human rights is beginning to lose all the attractions with the government of Sri Lanka flatly refusing to be fooled by western strategies.

The pundits writing on behalf of NGOs, most of whom are non Sinhala Buddhists, are now agitating again for so called international pressure on the government of Sri Lanka to implement the thirteenth amendment and devolve more and more power to the Northern and Eastern Provinces. The government correctly appears to believe that there is no ethnic problem in the country. The President has said this, may be in different words but it is the general opinion among the Sinhala people, especially among the Sinhala Buddhists as well. It is not that the latter formed its opinion after the government, but a case of the government getting the cue from the public. As we have said often Sinhala nationalism is bottom up and the leaders and opinion leaders take the cue from the masses.

Strictly speaking there are no opinion leaders in the Sinhala society, as the latter are only the mouth pieces or the writing arms of the general public. This is something that the western educated NGO pundits among the Sinhalas, most of whom are non Buddhists fail to grasp. Bandaranaikes had to implement what the Sinhala people wanted and even in the case of Bhikkus they put down the essence of Sinhala Buddhist thinking into words. As far as the Sinhala majority are concerned there is no ethnic problem in the country and Sri Lanka is not a so called multi cultural society. The Sinhala majority consider Sri Lanka as a Sinhala Buddhist country where the others of different culture also live without losing their cultural identity. It is this opinion that the so called opinion leaders echo and not the other way around.

Of course the Sinhala majority may not know the intricacies of cultural domination but they understand it intuitively. Few months ago I had the opportunity to say in public that the western science is “pattapal boru” (blatant lies), and the response I got from the public was revealing. The middle class professionals who have been exposed to western “higher education”, whatever it means, criticized me for what I had to say and the way I said them. However, the so called common man whom I meet in my travels around the country,  was very appreciative of not only what I said but the way I said and somebody (an unknown person) told me I spoke for the “gama”. These people may not have heard of Newton and Einstein and would be considered as uneducated by the so called professionals, but in their hearts they know that western knowledge is oppressive. 

Similarly they know that there is no ethnic problem in the country and we have been a Sinhala Buddhist country for more than two thousand years whether that concept had been formulated or not long time ago. It is not something that Anagarika Dharmapala invented but an idea he borrowed from the Upasaka Upasika (untranslatable words peculiar to Sinhala Buddhist culture)  in the country. There are no multi cultural countries anywhere in the world, England being the supreme example for a Christian country. The English have been so successful in maintaining their Christian culture, not to be confused with the declining of Church attendance on Sundays, that the entire world education is now almost part of the English culture. It is those who are exposed to this education especially in the Advanced Level classes and in the universities who cannot understand that the education that they have received is English Christian and fortunately the ordinary Sinhala people have nothing to learn from them. What the NGO non Sinhala Buddhist pundits who clamor for “international pressure” is that the majority of Sinhala Buddhists, unlike the “educated” are not scared or threatened by such demands. The Sinhala people know their onions when it comes to culture and domination, and unlike the English they have not pushed their culture through the throats of people of other cultures and hence not bothered by the accusations against them by the England led west nor those in Sri Lanka dominated by the west.

Nalin De Silva