Illusionary Justice: Threats to the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka
Posted on November 20th, 2009

Ira de Silva London, Ontario

Professor C. Kananganayakam
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario
Dear Sir:
Panel Discussion at Munk Centre for International Studies on Monday Nov. 16,2009 titled
Illusionary Justice: Threats to the Rule of Law and Human Rights in Sri Lanka

I am writing to you because I was informed of your association with the Munk Centre and the University of Toronto. If this panel discussion was not in your area of control, please forward it to the relevant authorities.
The announcement stated that the panel discussion would include Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, the Executive Director of Centre for Policy Alternatives, said to be an independent and non-partisan public policy institute focussing on issues of democratic governance, human rights and peace. Anyone who is familiar with this non-governmental organization in Sri Lanka is well aware that it is not independent – it is funded by international agencies with a vested interest in contributing to dissension and turmoil in Sri Lanka.  That it is “foreign funded” is clearly stated on it’s website. Dr. Saravanamuttu is paid to carry out the programmes of his paymasters.
Although formed in 1996 to supposedly provide “conflict resolution”, it has not provided any valid or constructive contributions because up to May 2009 it concentrated on being critical of the Government of Sri Lanka and had no answer to or critique of the LTTE that was terrorising the country. There was no attempt at engaging the LTTE so it is difficult to understand how it could claim to provide conflict resolution in the Sri Lankan context.
It is interesting that Dr. Saravanamuttu is in Canada at the present time when news reports indicate that the Tamil diaspora that supported the LTTE and were the driving force of the LTTE as evidenced by the thousands that were demonstrating on the streets of Canada in April 2009, are attempting to re-group and use Canada as a base. Having heard a brief statement he made in the news media, it appears that he is repeating the same empty, meaningless phrases that he does all the time and that he has no new initiatives, ideas or programme.
As for the others on the “panel” such as Amnesty International, they are the usual culprits who concentrate on criticising governments while ignoring terrorists because when their mandate was established in the 1960’s it was a world that did not have the terrorism of today and they have not progressed to dealing with the realities of current conflicts.
Of note is the fact that there were only “anti-Sri Lanka” panellists. For it to have been meaningful, there should have been other points of view. I understand that the sponsor of the discussion was the Centre for Asian Studies at the University of Toronto. It is to be hoped that any future events, discussions, conducted by this Centre, will have a more balanced representation. 
Yours truly,
Ira de Silva
London, Ontario

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