The Grund Norm of the Victory at War -The Activism of Rohitha Bogollagama – Convincing the International Community
Posted on May 27th, 2009

Dr.Levins T.C.Rajaratnam*

Everywhere there were sounds of victory, celebrations, cheering and congratulatory messages from one end to another. Everyone acknowledged our Leader His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse which was very important, the Army that too was important, the Defence Secretary that too was very important and others who deserve recognition, but in the confusion one more important figure was forgotten. That person is Rohitha Bogollagama who fought with the International Community justifying the position of Sri Lanka as an independent country with the right to protect its territorial integrity and paved way for Sri Lanka to be victorious. It was the President who handpicked him to be the Foreign Minister as he was confident that Minister Bogollagama would fulfill his obligations and complete the task entrusted to him.

Rohitha Bogollagama had to convince the International community from interfering lest we would not have been able to proceed with the was against terrorism. It was no easy task. His skills of advocacy was put to task together with the strength and determination of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapakse. So, President Mahinda Rajapakse, Hon.Basil Rajapakse M.P., Snr Advisor to the President, the dynamic Defence Secretary Mr.Gotabaya Rajapakse and Rohitha Bogollagama are the front liners to the Victory.

I have watched over a couple of months, with awe, the unique style of Minister Bogollagama’s positive activism with sharp and carefully chosen words that hit back diplomatically the members of the international community thus enabling the Army to go ahead with their assertive, offensive and defensive action which led to the victory over the terrorists.

Minister Bogollagama has great humility and dignity but his stature and words expressed by him invites respect.

Rohitha Bogollagama has been acknowledged both in Sri Lanka and overseas as the most dynamic charismatic, talented, eloquent Minister of Foreign Affairs in the history of Sri Lanka. He has been acknowledged as one of the best Minister of Foreign Affairs in the world. Rohitha Bogollagama, possessed with a dynamic personality is a kind gentleman with a humane disposition, polite and well mannered. He has been a strong supporter of President Mahinda Rajapakse both overseas and in Sri Lanka. Coupled with his rare combination of talents in advocacy, internal and international politics, he stands tall in the Cabinet and has been a loyal friend the President. Rohitha Bogollagama stands tall literally too – handsome and has a charming personality. He is admired for his unique style and choice of words which is very carefully and cleverly monitored by him before he utters them. Due to this charisma, Minister Bogollagama has often been an envy to other legislators around him which unfairly caught the attention of some sectors of the media.

He is never disturbed by criticism as he is confident of himself, the President is confident of him and most of all the Nation has implicit trust in him, To add to his credibility the international community has acknowledged him as the most efficient and effective Minister of Foreign Affairs that Sri Lanka has ever had and that he is a diplomat himself. But clarity and professionalism is what Rohitha Bogollagama demands. He is meticulous in his work and expects total work performance from those within his purview. Rohitha Bogollagama has been a Member of Parliament since 2000. He is a member of Several Parliamentary Committees. I have heard the dynamic speeches made by Rohitha Bogollagama in Parliament. He has the finesse, class and eloquence to convey the message to the listener.

As the legitimate representative of the Government overseas, he has engaged in defending the Government of Sri Lanka and convinced the international community of the present situation in the country which is in the best interests of the Nation.

Recently, Rohitha Bogollagama addressed the members of the European Parliament. Minister Bogollagama stressed on the present Military Operations and political settlement. He stated that the military efforts in the North of Sri Lanka now reaching its final phase. The military success against the Terrorists is a result of the clear sighted strategy embarked upon by President Mahinda Rajapakse in August 2006, which while seeking to address the political issues relating to the current conflict through negotiations, sought to defeat the terrorism militarily.

Recently, he stressed that Many Governments including those of EU member countries, international organizations and INGOs are involved in post-conflict development work in the East, but the EU is a noticeable absentee. The fearless outspoken Rohitha Bogollagama stated “I urge that this be corrected, and that the EU joins in the development efforts, because it is crucial that economic development take place to strengthen the restoration of democracy.

We must take effective measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing nations and work towards a new international political and economic order that is fair and rational. First, it is imperative to promote democracy in international relations. To respect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of all countries and resolve internal conflicts. The affairs of each and every country should be left to its own people to decide. Global challenges should be tackled through international cooperation and coordination.

All countries should foster a new security concept featuring mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation and fully respect the diversity of world civilizations, and should seek consensus through dialogue, cooperation through consultation and development through exchanges.

It is imperative to work towards stability and development of the developing nations. World peace hinges on stability of the developing nations, and global prosperity rests on growth of the developing nations. Complicated as they are, many of the issues today may have their roots found in development. Development should be the top priority of governments of all developing nations in their efforts to govern and build up their countries. It is imperative to ensure a full play of the UN’s important role in international affairs. As the most important inter-governmental organisation in the world today, which represents the fundamental interests of all member countries and the aspirations of all peoples in the world, the United Nations has a lot to do and accomplish under the new situation. Therefore, it is our common responsibility and is in everyone’s vital interests to strengthen its role, safeguard its authority, increase its efficiency and promote its reform.

History tells us that solidarity means strength, progress and success. Peace, cooperation, development and progress are what the entire international community is hoping and striving for. The developing nations must continue to work closely together in the spirit of solidarity and cooperation and raise their voice and strengthen their position in international affairs if they are to secure their fundamental interests.
A Minister for Foreign Affairs or Foreign Minister is a Cabinet Minister who helps form the foreign policy of a sovereign nation. The ministry for foreign affairs is often regarded as the most senior ministerial position below that of the head of government (Prime minister or President);

I had the good fortune of meeting his spouse Mdme.Deepthi Bogollagama who is well conversant in local and international politics. I at once realized that the proverb “Behind every successful man there is a woman”. She has the charm of Royalty and elegance of diplomacy, a Lawyer by profession, absolutely analytical in her speech and I wonder why she was not yet in Parliament.

Minister Bogollagama is on record making a statement not long ago that “Even as GOSL continues its military operations to defeat LTTE terrorism, it is acutely conscious of the need to cause minimal discomfort to the civilian population of this area. It is due to this reason that when launching the present operations in mid- 2008, the Ministry of Defence took swift measures to establish a “Safe Corridor” so that civilians in uncleared areas can escape to safe ground…..The GoSL, having ensured food security during the past two and a half years, is fully committed to provide safety and relief assistance to the IDPs irrespective of any challenges that may occur in the years to come. It is a fallacy that there are no independent bodies operating in the Wanni. The ICRC continues to remain in the operational areas to facilitate humanitarian assistance, while UN agencies, the WFP and INGOs accompany relief convoys.”

Accordingly, Minister Bogollagama confidently fulfilled the task entrusted to him. He is a Patriot.
(Dr. Levins T.C.Rajaratnam LL.B(SL).,LL.M(Lond).,Ph.D(Lond)., has practiced in the United Kingdom as a Solicitor of England & Wales, in Australia as Barrister and Solicitor, in US and Sri Lanka as Attorney at Law; He is the author of several publications, poems and has been a Lecturer in various Universities in Colombo and overseas. He was the Co-Ordinating Secretary to the Chief Government Whip of Parliament, the Late Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. He is the author of “Selected Essays on President Mahinda Rajapakse”(Sarvodaya Viswa Lekha Publication May 2009). He is a member of the World Lawyers & Poets Society, USA; Chief Editor of Sri Lanka Patriot -online newline(www.srilankapatriot.org)

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