The Lankaweb Weekly Editorial



Whither Goest Sri Lanka Now In The Absence Of One Of Her Greatest Peers ? The Answer Rests With Her Leadership!

The Hon. Dr.Lakshman Kadirgamar is no more, felled by LTTE assassins' and their carefully pre-meditated gunfire, there apparently has also been an abominable backup plan in case the first one failed as revealed by latest intelligence reports.

Many Sri Lankans tend to ask the question "Whither goest Sri Lanka in the absence of this great peer and visionary? Will his aspirations be maintained towards posterity and will Sri Lanka embroiled in such political uncertainty at the present ever recover substantially from the loss of this great leader, enough to compensate his untimely demise? pick up the pieces of shattered Sri Lankan resolve and continue gamely towards success.One which will see the last of the terrorist menace in Sri lanka!

The onus towards the continuity of the Kadirgamar Principles of non-alignment with terrorists and the non-recognition of a particular plurality which harbours the incongruity of a democratic state hand in glove with a fascist dictatorship now rests with President Chandrika Kumaratunga, duty bound towards the task of carrying the objectives of her confidante and mentor who had served her loyally in every capacity he was expected to as a political ally as well as trusted friend.

There is also a moral obligation on her part to stand firm and astute towards denying any further leniencies , tolerances and conciliations within a legitimate constitusionalised framework for the LTTE to continue being an impure and illegal dictatorial threat to all the citizens of Sri Lanka whether in the North, East or any other part of the country with particular emphasis to the two former areas, as the LTTE have beyond any acceptable norm of any democratic society relinquished their right to recognition.

A reality which the President and her entourage will have to come to terms with ere the memory of the fallen Foreign Minister and what he stood for fades away into oblivion and her priorities get buried in a more mundane perspective!

Her urgent communication to the Norwegian Prime Minister requesting a review of the Cease Fire Aggreement as quoted states that “in order to devise ways and means of ending the political killings that had been taking place recently, in contravention of the Cease Fire Agreement.” is certainly a step in the right direction albeit of a soft pedalling nature given the timing where some believe the means towards approaching the LTTE should br more stringent, where the turnaround of a favourable LTTE response is possibly no more than speculative and impractical given the track record of the LTTE.

Their usual rhetoric of defiance and arrogance are more than likely to take pride of place rather than one of contrite relenting for their crimes! These are hardened criminals who stop at nothing towards acheiving their objectives and a soft approach hardly the key towards the well being of Sri Lanka where the only means the LTTE would respond to seem draconian and possibly spearheaded by a military leader who would spare no pains towards hounding and eliminating the LTTE threat.

A task perhaps accomplishable if the World Leaders committed to eliminating global terrorism put their monies where their mouths are in Sri Lanka without exception and a certain former military leader once the scourge of the LTTE and nominated Sotto Voce for President despite whether or not he acheives the pinnacle at least joins the bandwagon towards a substantial mooting of the resources towards the cause.

Next comes the question of whether or not Norway's presence in all of Sri Lanka's future moves towards her well being in hindsight towards the terrorist problem.

Given the reality that Norway appears to have failed miserably towards upholding viably the Oslo Accord through the inability to implement agreements signed by both parties involved with the mediation of Norway, monitor the CFA violations to keep the peace process in track beyond rendering it to the status of a farce where the Government Forces have been handcuffed while the LTTE continued attrocities whenever and wherever possible.

Norwegian bi-partisanship towards the LTTE alarmingly visible! That these facts and figures point undeniable accusations at the Norwegians who always respond that they are merely intermediaries between the two sides suggests consequently that there was great wisdom when Dr.Kadirgamar suggested that Norway should stand aside and permit sources better equipped, unbiased and more equitable to the task towards taking over the responsibilities of peace intermediary and the reality of his words now echoing in retropsect towards the responses of any future leadership pitted against the LTTE!

That the late Dr.Lakshman Kadirgamar vehemently refused to accept the lame excuses of the Norwwegian Monitors that they were mere helpless “facilitators” whereas to the contrary they were playing an active role as interventionists siding openly with the LTTE is now surely academic.

A visionary's quote towards attesting to the reality of this accusation suggests that " Norway's biased interventionist role on behalf of the LTTE was demonstrated unambiguously when their emmissary assigned to the task triumphantly rushed copies of the interim Cease Fire Agreement outlined by the Ranil Wickremasinghe Administration to the Wanni for the perusal of Velupillai Prabhakaran by-passing the President, Parliament and the people causing a huge uproar and a build up of contempt towards the Wickremasinghe manouvre demonstrated against by a vast majority of discerning Sri Lankans .

Norway was consequently labelled a part of the conspiracy to thrust unwittingly on the people of Sri Lanka a secret agreement that was favorable to the LTTE.

Interesting footnote courtesy of the Asian Tribune's Mr.H.L.D. Mahindapala relevant to the topic under review is as follows:

The Asian Tribune (March 20, 2005) posed a question on these lines to Prof. Thomas Fleiner, head of the Institute of Federalism of the University of Fribourg (IFF) -- a worldwide known centre of competence for issues on federalism, decentralization, constitution making, democracy, rule of law and multiculturality.

He was asked: “In your paper on “The Dynamic Approach” to federalism you state the following: “The federal of a state is only sustainable in a democratic environment which accepts the basic principles of the rule of law and separation of powers.” -- (p.2. Introduction).

Based on this cardinal principle do you think federalism is workable if one part adheres to the democratic norm and if the other part in the federal is entrenched in a one-man fascist rule denying “the basic principles of the rule of law and separation of powers”?
Prof. Thomas Fleiner: No.

No speculation is needed that Dr.Kadirgamar would have endorsed this “No” unreservedly. For a man committed to democratic values and principles of rule of law it would have been repugnant to Kadirgamar to even contemplate handing over powers to the one-man rule of Prabhakaran.

There is a rising ground-swell on these lines among the Tamils, both at home and abroad. Kadirgamar, Anandasangaree and other Tamils in the democratic stream who are appalled by the inhuman brutalities of the “sole representative of the Tamils” represent this ground-swell. Any further moves by Sri Lankan Government to extend the powers of Prabhakaran would be an insult to the memory of its most respected and brilliant defender of the democratic rights of all communities.

Any move by Norway or the international community to hand over power in any form to the LTTE would not only be a futile exercise for peace but also a betrayal of these principles cherished by the Tamil liberals who have first hand experience of living in democratic regimes and the nightmares of “the sole representative of the Tamils.”

In what may come to be recognized as some of Dr.Kadirgamar's memorable perceptions he has been reverently described further in the Asian Tribune by Mr.H.L.D.Mahindapala quote
" As an apostle of liberalism, democracy, peace and multiculturalism (as opposed to the mono-ethnic extremism of the LTTE) he told the Norwegians forthrightly: ''If the Government of Norway is unable to plead his cause of democracy with the conviction and determination it deserves,they should stand aside and yield to other parties who could carry the flag of democracy into areas where darkness presently prevails,'' end quote, summing up much of the great man's convictions and what he stood for sadly vacuumed in a somewhat circumspect environment presently in Sri Lanka about "Whither She Now Goest?" now that a foremost bastion of succour, strength and resolve within her fair confines has been removed irreplaceably !

The answer rests with her leadership!



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