Are We Cooking Our Own Goose To Feed the Hostile?
Posted on September 12th, 2011

By Gomin Dayasiri

Are we laying Sri Lanka as a tasty dish before the humanitarian lobby to devour? While we sleep soundly without attending to basic necessities, those faulting us for eliminating terrorism, are manufacturing overtime- lies, lies and more lies to discredit.

Postponing the day of reckoning is in the grip of our national past-time of procrastination. Add to it: wistful thinking that problems with time will blow away to the realm of the forgotten and fresh issues hopefully arise elsewhere to distract attention. Little realizing, time and space is provided for more hostile propaganda to target the public domain. Time has meant more damage to the national image.

While we day dream, more of a kind of Channel 4 presentations are duplicated in the public realm, in competing channels. It is their traditional game practiced in the playing fields of Kosovo and Timor. Mobilize public opinion worldwide by flooding the market inclusive of manufactured horror stories. Public in the aired countries drive their eager politicians to punish Sri Lanka on what they witness on their home TV. We continue to globe trot, cozily airborne in classy cabins, to fool ourselves that a few handshakes and four course dinners to foreign dignitaries will do the trick.

Track I -Had we initially, when the allegations were made, called for complaints and established a credible panel to hold inquiry in a transparent manner: much of the muck we hear would not have surfaced. The low calorie diet sheet Americans helpfully churned out was to hold a domestic inquiry, failed to register in the foreign office. It would have acted as an underlined full stop to much of the rot we are subjected to. We passed a stage that should not have been by-passed.

There is no cause to fear as we know our strength. Why play hide and seek when we can go for a countdown with a knock out punch? Problem lies on our reluctance to enter the ring to meet any challenge with the many pluses in the pocket.

Having missed out on Track I, the President treaded the proper path by establishing a truth commission in a post conflict society to move along the avenue of reconciliation and peace. It is no doubt a time consuming process but for sake of transitional justice, a necessity. The Government has placed all its eggs in one basket and are heavily dependent on Lessons Learnt and Rehabilitation Commission (LLRC). An inbuilt advantage is the Commissioners appointed to it, has gained respect unlike the doubtful appointments made to the Commissions nominated under the 18th Amendment.

The recommendations made by the LLRC will have a bearing on the responses of the International Community, Human Rights Council and International Media. Synchronizing these two strands is vital. Longer the LLRC takes over its deliberations more trouble we face. The crunch issue is whether a domestic mechanism should be established to inquire into the humanitarian aspects? Surely, LLRC could have resolved it in an interim report and absolved us of much blame If it is in the affirmative much of the poisoned darts from foreign quarters could have been avoided without allowing it to reach a crescendo.

If it is in the negative, LLRC will provide the considered reasons for the decision which could be placed in the forefront of our defences. Instead we remain too long in no-man’s land while hostile elements are sharpening their knives. Track II – A strategic time frame should have been set for the Lessons Learnt and Rehabilitation Commission (LLRC) to make their recommendations. It should have been issued long before mid-November 2011, extended on the warrant issued by the Government. Are we pushing back the date to avoid the September sittings of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Irrespective of the merits of the recommendations the ground realities have to be considered in acting upon it. Under no circumstance could we barter our sovereignty to foreign interferences in a judicial process situated outside the shores.

Since Government is talking of the LLRC as the cure for all its ailments, it may have to turn into a steroid like prednisolone to respond to the many requests. If the report has traces of sycophancy, Government might have to gulp its own medicine.Failure to implement the sensible recommendations in the LLRC’s interim report, does not reflect well and raises issue on Government’s good faith to get its act right?

 Track III – Elements of good governance in required spheres are sadly lacking due to the woeful performance of the Human Rights Commission and the other Commissions appointed under the 18th Amendment. Now, several months into the appointment, they have not restored faith in being adequate watchdogs. It is the Human Rights Commission that has to take the rap primarily as it could restore the damage done to the national image by being ?ercely independent and aggressively investigative. It deserves condemnation due to its ineffectiveness to counter the criticism pouring on the human rights front. Blame lies squarely on the elderly Commissioners, enjoying of?ce and its perks- doing virtually nothing noticeable and showing no results at a time the country’s pride is seriously wounded. Success of a Commission revolves around a chairman – is he independent or a planted servile sycophant of the government ?

Track IV – There is no doubt West has its own agenda ?exibly tailored for its spin-offs on human rights, synchronized with their NGOs’ acting in tandem. Yet Democracy, Human Rights and Good Governance are high on the priority list of the international agenda. We cannot wear dark glasses in watching the queer spectacle.

In conducting the war we maintained exemplary standards higher than West could reach on humanitarian efforts especially on providing facilities to the civilians in LTTE controlled areas and on minimizing civilian casualties, considering the short duration of 22 months taken to eradicate terrorism. More so we freed a captive population and brought them into the mainstream of democracy. With the many pluses of restoring law and order, the rule of law and democracy to a territory held by terrorists, suf?cient mileage has not been extracted to exploit the advantages. Or is a West deaf to give a hearing?

Now is not the time to quarrel with the West; to bring the desired results. Instead convince them of the manner in which we dismantled terrorism while observing the rules of proportionality, methodology that limited civilian casualties without incurring excesses and humanitarian considerations undertaken to provide relief to the civilians. Terrorism has left us but remains a scourge of the west and has not left them. That’s the message that needs delivery.

Government must attend to the legitimate grievances of the Tamils and maintain good governance. The Government is grappling with etiquette issues of the present than of the past- war record is more easily defendable against the background of ruthless terrorism than in times of peace when good governance is a thorny issue in the absence of a credible opposition. Strange, a government that comes alive when pushed against the wall but keeps begging for trouble otherwise.

10 Responses to “Are We Cooking Our Own Goose To Feed the Hostile?”

  1. AnuD Says:

    How North america has handled new immigrants. they all need to speak english in order to get a job. How do they have treated Native americans ?. What languages new British (australia and Canada) colonies speak.

    UK is an old kingdom. What language the immigrants in that country speak.

    What Sri Lanka has banned Tamils to do. Has Sri lanka banned tamilization of Sri lanka, tamils expanding even into deep south, or some tamils killing hundreds of animals in the name of religion.

    It is simply disorder and the govt is in slumber.

    Why we have a different set of rules.

    US goes every where to kill their enemies. Israel kills their enemies any where in the world and they don’t forgive.

    How does the world interpret human rights ?

    What was the established method of war strategy when terrorists – particularly suicide bombers were the enemy ? Are there established guidelines.

    West tried to save LTTE and India wanted to use LTTE and to tame LTTE. Sri Lanka was a pawn. The west and India are not achieving what they wanted so, they harass Sri Lanka.

    When will Sri Lankan thinks as people with a backbone ?

  2. hela puwath Says:

    Gomin,
    What are the “LEGITIMATE GRIEVANCES” of Tamils? Please explain, the way you understand – coming from a Sinhelese. This is not a question to undermine or embarrass you, but a genuine attempt to understand the issue, to the best of our knowledge, Tamils have not, and do not explain. In addition, what are “TAMIL ASPIRATIONS”?

    Can somebody explain?

  3. ranjith Says:

    Mr Gomin,

    Could you please elaborate tamil’s aspirations, so we can discuss frankly?

  4. AnuD Says:

    I also thought about it. What these very vague term of “legitimate Grievances” are ?

    that is particularly, interesting, I suppose, when some one in the discipline of LAW states vague words and he came not from Tamils but from Sinhala.

    Secondly, Behinds Tamils are so many forces and that includes international both political and religious groups. Tamils use this exploiting game for some time. then Tamilnadu openly says they use national politics fir their advantage.

    Under such conditions Sinhala people talk about hara kiri.

  5. gomin dayasri Says:

    Thank you for asking the qustion in a most courteous manner.I have written extensively on this matter published on most webs as the answer to issues troubling Sri Lanka where the several grounds have been listed by me with elaboration.

    I am toatally against extending the 13th amendment but also mindful that outstanding issues must be settled so that never again will future generations face the agony of terrorism.To avoid we must not go any further with the 13th amendment which is the need of Tamil politicians to reach elaam through devolved federalism.

    Yet there are a few outstanding problems that Tamil people face both due to terrorism and the neglect of our governments.This was looked by the Experts Committee appointed by the President consisting of all communities.As you know the Experts committe broke into two groups and submitted two reports.I along with H.L. de Silva,Prof Gerry Pieris and Manohara de Silva submiited a report for a unitary structure while other group favored a federal based solution and consisted of the majority though it included many Sinhalese who favored a federal solution.

    But both group agreed on one count- the identification of legitimate reasonable grievances of the Tamils namely
    1]Giving effect to the present legislation relating to the Tamil language laws passed by Parliament. [Here we found that 1958 legislation giving effect to the Reasonable Use of Tamil Language Act of 1958 has still not been given its due effect which is a grave lapse.This we felt must be given effect as it would settle much of the language issues outstanding on the language question .
    2]Security concerns of Tamils like detentions be subject to provisons of law{excluding any reductions of HSZ until security concerns are satisfied}
    3]Multi ethnic Police and Defence Services. Tamils and Muslims to be recruited as this will give civilians confidence.It is LTTE that prevented such recruitment.
    4] Alienation of land issues
    5]Distribution of water for cultivation {4 & 5 could be assuaged by an appointment of a permanent land/water/forest Commission under the constitution.
    6]employment on a merit structure
    7]Development of North/east[ Government has made much progress but the money has fallen more into the hands of contracting companies in the south than for labor from the districts]
    8]child welfare {this is because after 30 years war the youth and children have undergone many disadvantages in educational and social activity and needs elevation and care.
    9]Cultural upliftment of tamils/Indian tamils/muslims according to their customs and traditions
    10]payment of compensation for lands acquired for HSZ to those( with title documents
    in support) on the same terms as in land acquitsion matters with interest

    In fact the tamil civil population is not interested in constitutional changes or 13th amendment.That is the concern of those that have the TNA interest at heart.They are not interested in police powers but to have their problems sorted out in poilce stations in a language they can understand.{I find speaking Sinhala i cannot make the police interested any problem i have in my local area.The actual problem is more with police}

    I think further the two other issues we must address is that from Grade I Sinhala/Tamil mus be taught to all children.Today primarliy Muslim schools children can speak all three languages.Sinhalese and Tamils students must also acquire this knowledge.We must also have Grameeya sabha system where powers can be devolved to people instead of politicians as step to eliminate corruption.Where money is given to a village it functions better in most cases as there are internal checks and balances.This has made a great impact in the gampaha district where it is a success.Devolving to grass roots is the best remedy of giving power to the people in the correct democratic tradition.

    I hope this is adequete for the queries posed.Again I thank you for making the request.I am afraid i cannot make personal answers please.Thank you.

    Gomin

  6. Kit Athul Says:

    Gomin, I always thank you for your insight. A north Indian state (I do’t have the name right now) mandated that elementry schools in that state teach CHINES! May be I am asking too much. Sinhala must learn to walk before they can run. Did you know that large corporations in USA gives funds to senior executives have their family vacations in China? May be we should be talking about THUN RATA KARAMAY.

  7. Lorenzo Says:

    Mr Gomin,

    I have respect for your work but your list of “Tamil grievances” is simply hilarious.

    The following are not Tamil grievances but grievances of all. These must be addressed within a broader framework WITHOUT regard to Tamil/Tamils.

    3]Multi ethnic Police and Defence Services.
    4] Alienation of land issues
    5]Distribution of water for cultivation
    6]employment on a merit structure
    7]Development of North/east
    8]child welfare
    9]Cultural upliftment
    10]payment of compensation for lands acquired for HSZ to those(with title documents
    in support) on the same terms as in land acquitsion matters with interest

    That leaves only the top 2 as “Tamil grievances”.

    1. Already the state sector has close to 20% Tamil speaking public servants and that is more than sufficient to cater to a Tamil speaking population of around 20%. Reasonable use.

    2. Security concerns of Tamils like detentions be subject to provisons of law

    This has always happened. Apart from a very few exceptions, LEGITIMATE security concerns of Tamils and others have been always looked after. Of course LTTE terrorists just because they are Tamil cannot be treated as civilians. They must be treated as terrorists according to the law. PTA is law of the country and ERs were laws too. ANYTHING done pursuant to those are legitimate and valid. Sinhalese also suffered from ERs during JVP violence but that didn’t create a Sinhala grievance!

    Re: TNA

    Contrary to your assertion, TNA is the most popular political party among north-east Tamils!!

    TNA didn’t land here from the sky. They were voted to power by the majority Tamil voters in the north and east. TNA speaks for their voters. Not just TNA, since 1947 at most elections these people voted for racist Tamil only political parties.

    Re: language

    Teach both groups English and the problem is solved. Anyway language has little or nothing to do with Tamil Nationalism. Tamil, Sinhala, English, French, German, Norwegian or whatever, Tamil Nationalism will continue.

    The only “genuine” Tamil grievance is a Tamil Nation.

    But that is an unattainable thing.

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Mr Gomin,

    I have respect for your work but your list of “Tamil grievances” is simply hilarious.

    The following are not Tamil grievances but grievances of all. These must be addressed within a broader framework WITHOUT regard to Tamil/Tamils.

    3]Multi ethnic Police and Defence Services.
    4] Alienation of land issues
    5]Distribution of water for cultivation
    6]employment on a merit structure
    7]Development of North/east
    8]child welfare
    9]Cultural upliftment
    10]payment of compensation for lands acquired for HSZ to those(with title documents
    in support) on the same terms as in land acquitsion matters with interest

    That leaves only the top 2 as “Tamil grievances”.

    1. Already the state sector has close to 20% Tamil speaking public servants and that is more than sufficient to cater to a Tamil speaking population of around 20%. Reasonable use.

    2. Security concerns of Tamils like detentions be subject to provisons of law

    This has always happened. Apart from a very few exceptions, LEGITIMATE security concerns of Tamils and others have been always looked after. Of course LTTE terrorists just because they are Tamil cannot be treated as civilians. They must be treated as terrorists according to the law. PTA is law of the country and ERs were laws too. ANYTHING done pursuant to those are legitimate and valid. Sinhalese also suffered from ERs during JVP violence but that didn’t create a Sinhala grievance!

    Re: TNA

    Contrary to your assertion, TNA is the most popular political party among north-east Tamils!!

    TNA didn’t land here from the sky. They were voted to power by the majority Tamil voters in the north and east. TNA speaks for their voters. Not just TNA, since 1947 at most elections these people voted for racist Tamil only political parties.

    Re: language

    Teach both groups English and the problem is solved. Anyway language has little or nothing to do with Tamil Nationalism. Tamil, Sinhala, English, French, German, Norwegian or whatever, Tamil Nationalism will continue.

    The only “genuine” Tamil grievance is a Tamil Nation.

    But that is an unattainable thing.

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    The BUSINESS of “Tamil grievances” is this.

    1. The only “genuine” Tamil grievance is a Tamil Nation.
    2. But that is an unattainable thing.
    3. So create a long NEVER ENDING list of extortion items instead!
    4. You can NEVER satiate “Tamil grievances”.
    5. They keep multiplying as we give into them.
    6. Every district has more than 10,000 Tamils but not true for Sinhalas and Muslims.

    Sinhalese and Muslims have no grievances??

    They do but they have not turned them into a BUSINESS.

    May be it is time Sinhalas and Muslims turn their grievances also into an extortion business. Then it is fair for all.

  10. ranjith Says:

    Tamil’s grievances and TNA cockroaches’ arrogant demands are,

    1. Sinhala Security Forces should be moved from N & E. (They don’t call Sri Lankan Security Forces)
    2. All the Police in N & E should be Tamils
    3. They need Police Force in order to continue Jungle law
    4. Through Police Force, they can easily chase Sinhalese and Muslims
    5. They need land power in order to grab the lands of Sinhalese and Muslims
    6. Elite Tamils i.e. so called upper caste should dominate N & E
    7. Sinhala language should not be taught in N & E
    8. Destroy all the Buddhist temples
    9. Sinhalese shouldn’t be roamed freely in N & E
    10. Sinhalese should not be given properties to buy in N & E
    11. Tamils should be given properties to buy in Wellawatte, Kotahena or anywhere in the island
    12. All the government high posts, tamils should be given priority
    13. and and

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