Seeking Justice After Sri Lanka’s Elections – Jan.27,2010
Posted on January 28th, 2010

Ira de Silva London, Canada

Mr. James Ross
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th Floor
Human Rights Watch
New York,N.Y. 10118-3299
U.S.A.
 
Dear Sir:
 
Reference your article on Sri Lanka, your contempt of the electors (the people of Sri Lanka) and democracy which you tout, is evident because they have voted for a mandate that it is different to yours. Human Rights Watch which has on many occasions become the mouthpiece of the Tamil terrorist organization the LTTE  is once again interpreting the result as “anti-Tamil”. You keep repeating the manthra of Tamil grievances which need to be addressed but even the Tamils supporting the LTTE have over the decades being unable to define these grievances. The LTTE had only one goal, to divide Sri Lanka based on these undefined grievances of the Tamils and organizations such as yours keep trotting out this LTTE propaganda without analysis.
 
Regarding the just concluded election, those who were eligible were able to vote regardless of ethnicity. If the Tamils do not elect to vote, as they did under the LTTE, it is their choice and can not be blamed on any other communuity, organization or on the government.  The LTTE did not subscribe to democracy,  theirs was a fascist dictatorship. The LTTE represented by the Tamil National Alliance supported General Fonseka hence the vote in the north and east reflects the LTTE position which is division of the country which has been rejected by the majority of the population including the Tamils, the majority of whom live outside the north and east  in all parts of the country. To claim that the Tamils are not counted is therefore completely false and reflects your bias towards the LTTE which was militarily defeated in May 2009 and now by the electorate in 2010. You choose to ignore the fact that democracy is one person one vote. Because the majority has once again defeated the LTTE and their representatives it is incorrect to claim that the Tamils are disenfranchised. LTTE supporters  will consider themselves “franchised” only when they get what they want which is the “disenfranchisement” on all of Sri Lanka’s non LTTE supporting population and the division of the country.
 
Regarding local governance in the north and east, which was denied to the people under the under the LTTE, you are ignoring the fact that it is gradually being restored. The fact that an election has been held in the entire country after thirty years of terrorism is evidence. The time frame may not suit you but the fact is that it is taking place. To claim that the low turnout by the Tamils is due to their “grievances” is your fanciful opinion. Most of the Tamils in the north who were deprived of their right to vote by the LTTE, by their own statements made it clear that they were not interested in voting.  They are trying to establish themselves in their homes from which the LTTE drove them out from the west coast to the east coast using them as a human shield. Human Rights Watch did nothing to protect these people from been herded across the country by the LTTE but are ever ready to criticise the legal, elected government because it is not keeping to your time-table. To state that social and economic policies are designed largely to benefit the Sinhalese majority is blatantly false. There is continued effort being made to develop the north but it has only been eight months since the defeat of the terrorist LTTE. The western countries and NGO’s such as Human Rights Watch who did their very best to protect the hierarchy of the LTTE from being eliminated have since May 2009 done their very best to obstruct Sri Lanka’s development. A case in point was their objection to the loan from the IMF at a time when Sri Lanka was as affected as any other country by the global recession to which was added the destruction to the economy of the country by thirty years of extreme terrorism funded by the Tamil diaspora and supported by many NGO’s including Human Rights Watch.
 
You keep referring to the 7000 killed completely ignoring the statement from the UN that it was not verified and not the official position of the UN. Again it appears that you are selective and use information that suits your purpose. If you are concerned about “indiscriminate government air strikes and shelling of civilians” you should pay attention to the daily occurrences in Afghanistan and even in Pakistan by those who claim to be the defenders of democracy in the world and take action to stop the thousands of killings taking place. In Sri Lanka the legitimate government was fighting terrorists in the country, not making excuses to kill people in other countries claiming that it is to defeat terrorism and stop it from coming into their own countries. Rather than focus on Sri Lanka there should be international investigations of atrocities taking place regularly in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 
As for the “wrongfully imprisoned journalist”, he was convicted in a court of law because by his own admission (to that court) he was paid by the LTTE to propagate their propaganda. He had access to his own counsel, taken to court and found guilty according to the laws of Sri Lanka. To say he was “wrongfully imprisoned” is again a blatant falsehood. Also please note that he is out on bail now pending his appeal again according to the decision of the Sri Lankan courts.
 
Sri Lanka’s long term future depends on serious minded recognition of basic rights for all the country’s communities equally, not based on ethnicity or regional divisions and it has to be home grown rather than dictated by those in the west who merely claim to be democratic.
 
Yours truly,
 
Ira de Silva
London, Canada

One Response to “Seeking Justice After Sri Lanka’s Elections – Jan.27,2010”

  1. fazlunharis Says:

    Well spoke Ira, I agree with you wholeheartedly. The hipocrisy of the self proclained “do gooders” is disgusting. The Sri Lankan people have spoken loud and clear. But the democratic choice is not what the hipocrites want so they start their dirty games. If these hipocrites really care why don’t they start working with the elected government and work to improve their stock.

    I am sure there will some elements within the government that may not act in the national interest much similar to many among the minorities who wish to improve the nation, be it Tamils, Muslims or Christians. I don’t beleive that any true Sri Lankan will work to harm our beloved nation. Disagreement to policies of government or oppostion does not mean unpatriotic. But when you support people who do not understand the troubles we have suffered for the past 30 years start expressing opinion and pass judgements based on unsubstantiated claims it means you don’t care about your country.

    If HRW wants a true view of the mood of the nation let them go meet Sri Lankans in the south and central Sri Lanka, people of all ethnicities, and then lets hear their views.

    Keep up the good work Ira.

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