Upul Joseph Fernando, Chinese aid and General Fonseka
Posted on January 13th, 2010

Herold Leelawardena.

The contents of the article that Upul Joseph Fernando wrote to daily Mirror that published on 23rd December is untrue. He has been writing a lot of fallacy to Lankadeepa for some time. Pamphlets that he wrote to promote RanilW at the last Presidential election were of no different. Fortunately they bore no fruit because people realize they are nothing but canard.

Today, like Joseph, there are many others that say evil things about Chinese and their aid to Sri Lanka. These Josephs are paid by Westerners, RanilW and parties that are on the same wave length. They wanted to put as much obstacles as they could to Chinese “”…” Sri Lanka friendship.

Westerners and their club called the International Community are jealous of China. They are jealous not just for its economic development but for winning friends the world over. It does not barge in and force friendships like the Colonialists of the yesteryear. It does not force its religion or culture or religion on others. They do not interfere in internal matters of other countries. In short, China is no modern day colonialist.

Long before the so called explorers of Europe or the Portuguese bandits washed in to our shores, we had good relations with China for over thousand years. So, all Sri Lankan Buddhists consider China as a friend. Christian evangelists that anchored here since Portuguese, however look upon China as their enemy. For them anything from the West is good and all other is bad. No wonder Josephs spin around that opinion.

Ever since China started to build our harbour at Hambantota these detractors did everything they could to distort our relationship with China. Such acts have multiplied when they started the coal power station at norochchole, and numerous other projects. To understand the mentality, the vengeance and the prejudices that Westerners and their henchmen carry, please visit (http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/showcase-91/? ) to see Chinese in Africa in western eyes. That writer photographer saw all wrongs and damage Chinese did to Africa during the last few years, but he saw no wrong what Europeans had done for the last five hundred years.

In Sri Lanka, we had power blackouts since 1996. Coal power plants were considered essential to come out of that gloom. Yet, no government could start building them. Not because of lack of funds, but the Bishop in the area was against it. Whether he has been a LTTE sympathiser; we do not know. For one thing similar lacklustre attitudes withheld coming up of the harbour at Hambantota as well. It must be said RanilW started no project whatsoever when he clinched power in 2001 for three years.

However, as soon as Mahinda Rajapakse became President, he started not just the said projects but many others with aid from other countries as well. Now, all those countries that gave us aid are anti evangelists and anti West. That is the crux of the matter for Joseph.

Anyway since, president Mahinda started to develop this country with Chinese aid, suckers of the West have started their crusade. They started foretelling that China is building a naval base in Hambantota. Some other cock-teasers have gone so far as to present a China bogy to Indians.

For Joseph of cause, Westerners are Samaritans and all others are loan sharks. Joseph wrote; Westerners dish out money for our projects as grants and expect nothing in return, but wily Chinese always lend us to make maximum. He also harked; aid from Sweden, Germany and Britain attach no conditions. What a blatant lie.

ISGA is known to be a euphemism for Eelam. Had Joseph forgotten that Westerners offered a loan of Rs 4.5 billion in 2002 to RanilW as a carrot to get ISGA of LTTE implemented? Has he forgotten that westerners put their loan in to a backburner because Ranil couldn’t put ISGA into operation? It couldn’t be implemented because President ChandrikaK and the whole country were against ISGA. No conditions to loans from westerners; my foot.

Joseph talks about Chinese labourers being employed in their projects here are sending money back to China. Did Westerners not repatriate part of the money that they gave us as loans for Mahaweli projects? Does he not know Westerners brought in hoards of white men their families to do lucrative jobs that our engineers could have easily done.

 

Joseph may be a fool; but not the people in this country. Nobody gives anything for nothing these days. Only the naive would believe Western Countries give aid, grants, or loans without strings attached. As far as we know; Westerners attach enormous ropes while Chinese attach tiny string. What’s wrong if an investor take a share of profits from a project; particularly, if it makes profits? Hambantota harbour is a profitable venture.

I suggest Joseph dig in to the past and see what the Dutch company, Balast Needam BV did while they built Ruhunu University in the early 1980s. On flimsy excuses, they have dragged it on and on for years to inflate costs. And the cost had overrun to the tune of four times the original estimate in the end. They did all that cost escalation not for an expert job; but to build a few simple three story buildings and landscaping. Nawaloka mudalali would have done a better job much cheaper.

Actually, Joseph’s real aim is not just to criticize Chinese projects or Chinese aid; but also to bring about a winning image for General Fonseka. By showing that Chinese are concerned about a Fonseka victory, Joseph tries to portray Fonseka could be a winner. He had been trying this sort of magic for RanilW and his UNP for a long time but always without success.

Let there be no doubt what so ever that president Rajapakse is a grand politician and General Fonseka is an outstanding commander. They both have been great patriots and did their parts with equal fervour in the war against LTTE. At least that is what we ordinary people were thinking all this time. Needless to say then; the General had won the admiration of all the patriots of this country, not because he said he eradicated LTTE but said he killed all its leaders, en-masse.

In a speech that broadcasted over a radio channel few months back; General Fonseka said; “when we (he) wiped out LTTE and its leaders we have not left out even their guts and bowels.” Such was his bombastic account of the decimation of LTTE.

Anyway, we were happy for no bombs are being exploded anywhere in this country, since. If so, do we need to know who killed the terrorists that drove suicide bombers on us? Do we need to know whether they carried white flags or bombs? Do we need to know who ordered the terrorists be killed? NO. All we care is; whether we look after those that killed the killers.

When the General entered the fray to be the President, vast majority of people in this country were open-minded. But they were apprehensive about his motives. They were concerned because the General is thick in to politics with those that criticized him while he was the commander. They were concerned because he is with those that said any fool could fight a war and those that said Fonseka is not suitable to be the commander of the Salvation Army. What an irony, all the degraders have become best of his friends and all his friends have become the degraders. Where will it all end is the unanswerable question.

Leave it as it may; on 13th Dec 2009, “ƒ”¹…”the Sunday Leader’ reported in its lead story as General Fonseka said; on the orders of the Secretary for Defence, Brigadier Shavendra Silva had killed LTTE leaders and their families that came to surrender with white flags.

That is nothing but trying to implicate Rajapakse brothers with war crimes. Whether the General act on some ones advice or acted on his own; no doubt, it is a stupid move. Trying to put the noose round Major General Shavendra Silva’ neck is worse than that. If Fonseka had one percent chance to win the race to the Presidency before that statement he has no chance whatsoever now. Fonseka should have known that being the army commander at the time, he cannot absolve his complicity to crimes that he spake.

At the end of the war, people like DBS Jayaraj had written about a scene of a kind and tried to make uproar. Many a LTTE sympathiser tried their very best to make an issue out of some terrorists that claimed to have carried white flags. They failed because there was no hard evidence. Now the General had made an unwarranted outburst; and one wonders whether the evidence has come from the horse’s mouth itself. Without doubt the General has put his foot in his big mouth.

The same Sunday that the said lead story was published, the General had a media briefing at Jaic Hilton with Somawansa and Mangala. If “ƒ”¹…”the leader’ had misquoted him or distorted what he had said, the General could have said so at that media briefing. But the General choose not to utter a word about the lead story of the day that quoted him in person.

It took one complete day for the General to realise his folly. The General said “ƒ”¹…”the leader’ had misquoted him and denied saying anything like what was in it. What’s the point retracting to a lead story a day later when he kept a stoic silence at a press briefing on that fateful day itself? Worst, the editor of “ƒ”¹…”The Sunday Leader’ reacted to the contrary. She said she has a recording of the interview and she would stand by what she published.

If the General wanted to prove his integrity, he should have done the same thing what Mahinda Rajapakse did in 2005, when he was accused of misusing a tsunami funds. Fonseka should have filed a court action and seek damages from “ƒ”¹…”the leader’ for misquoting him. Nothing of the sort is taking place puts a lot of doubt in the mind of the public at large.

Now, the flood gates stand wide open. In spite of his retract of his statement, the UN has sent in a query. So, where do we stand now? The JVP point man, Wijitha Herath says; everything is closed now because the general has denied it and therefore there should be nothing more to it. Herath also alleges that the whole episode is a conspiracy concocted by the government and the UN. And some other JVP men challenged the government to come out with the tape if it could. What a way to take things in to account!

So, why did the General put his foot in his big mouth in the first place? Some say the General is childish; others say he got in to a cheap stunt to run down Gotabhaya. Whatever it is; the General has put his patriotism in to question. And, there is no doubt what so; he had severely damaged his reputation and thereby his election campaign.

If the General wanted to eat into President’s patriotic vote bank, he should have controlled his tong. He should have not mixed his personal animosities against Rajapakse brothers with his local politics and his international business. If the General had a one percent chance of eating into patriot vote bank before this incident, he now has no chance whatsoever. But, most international papers portray that nationalist vote is divided 50-50 and therefore Fonseka could win the Presidency. But that’s not the picture I see here in the village that I live.

International Community, NGOs, INGOs, and the Christian Evangelists are sharks. UNP and RanilW in particular is a part and parcel of those sharks. They may have cajoled Fonseka to do what they want; but they should know that they will lose this time as well. They can only take the General for a bite after he loses the elections.

In the meantime, Somawansa; Fonseka, RanilW, Mangala, Mano Ganeshan, Hakeem, and other big and small wigs may have been paid big cheques by IC. But it looks as if none are spending it. They seemed to be hanging on to most of it without spending. True, why waste what they got when they know they lose. Not a bad motto.

I am yet to find someone who had voted for Rajapakse’s party at the last PC election that had abandoned it since. True, hard-core UNPers that were in recluse have come out from their dens and are on the beat with all the scum. These are the type that would vote Piripaharan if he contest with UNP tag. That is their mentality. But the average UNPers and the patriotic UNPers are dead silent or have moved in with the President. I have been looking among the UNPers in my village to place a bet against Fonseka winning the Presidency. But there were no takers. And that had been my experience, which means, Fonseka is already lost.

Herold Leelawardena,

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