CANADIAN FRIENDS OF SRI LANKA – OTTAWA – MEETING 7 Feb 2012- Open Letter to Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Posted on February 17th, 2012

Rohan Basnayake Ottawa, Ontario Canada

To
Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu
Executive Director,
Centre for Policy Alternatives,
Sri Lanka.
 
Dear Dr. Saravanamuttu:
 
Pls take some time to read the article below. It will certainly help you understand the reasons as to why these so-called western super powers are so interested in Sri Lanka.
 
I attended the meeting organized by Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka at Amnesty International in Ottawa on 7 February 2012. You were the guest speaker at that meeting and you spoke about the post-conflict situation in Sri Lanka. 
 
Dr. Saravanamuttu, I was really taken aback by the unsubstantiated details that you gave at that meeting.  I believe, it was a tailor-made speech for the Canadian-born audience. As for us, Sri Lankan-born Canadians, it was sort of a “cover up” and it was quite obvious to the Canadians, who are well-versed with the actual situation in Sri Lanka (pre- or post- conflict), that you were playing the cards to suit the donors to your NGO, The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA).    
 
Dr. Saravanmuttu, why are you doing this disservice to the country of your birth?  You know very well, Sri Lanka has come a long way after a 30-year battle with the most ruthless terrorist group (Liberation Tigers of Tami Eelam a.k.a. Tamil Tigers), and the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) has resettled almost all of the 300,000 IDPs within a matter of 2-1/2 years.  Furthermore, GoSL provided 3 complete meals a day to those 300,000 IDPs (that amounts to about 900,000 meals a day).
 
Dr. Saravanmuttu, do you know that U.S., which is considered an industrialised nation in the western world, has yet to resettle people who were affected by Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana?  And Sri Lanka took a mere 2-1/2 years to resettle nearly 300,000 of her people in war ravaged areas of the North.  Don’t forget those areas were covered with land mines planted by the Tamil Tiger terrorists as they retreated to the East coast. The GoSL has sucessfully cleared them and the people have gone back to their respective lands and are leading very happy lives. What do you say to that? 
 
I don’t need to tell you, Dr. Saravanamuttu, that it was the Tamil Tigers who forcibly took those IDPs from the West coast to the East coast of Sri Lanka as human shields. As you would have seen on t.v. at the tail end of the war, the IDPs who were crossing over to the GoSL safe zones were indiscriminately shot at by the terrorists. Some of the IDPs, the young, infirm and old, were carried by the GoSL soldiers.  And you had the audacity to say that they were ill-treated? How could you say such a thing to these Canadians?  Do you think they believed what you told them as Gospel truth?  No, Dr. Saravanamuttu, they didn’t believe you. The educated Canadians can judge for themselves who is telling the truth and who is not. So I believe, you wasted your time. Come to think of it.  How many of the Canadian-borns who were there asked you questions?  Yes, only 3 people out of the 35 who were there. Why?  I have given you the reason above. You cannot fool people all of the time.  We, Sri Lankan-born Canadians were restricted from asking questions (1 question per person with no follow-up questions) by the Chair, Dr. Elliot Tepper, who incidentally was my Political Science Professor at Carleton University, Ottawa. I will be conveying to Dr. Tepper my displeasure about the way he handled the meeting.
 
You touched on the question of Militarization of the North.  As you very well know, Sri Lanka is a sovereign state and it has the duty to protect the citizens, whether they live in the North, South, East or West, of the country. Do you know, Canada has stationed an armed contingent in the North (Arctic Circle). Why?  To guard her people and her territory. By the way, Israel has stationed her Armed Forces right along the border of Palestine.  So what is wrong with GoSL guarding her territory in the North?
 
You spoke of “colonization” of the North. Surely, people of any democratic country is free to live in any area of their choice.  As you know, 41% of the population of Colombo consists of Tamils and, like you, they live peacefully there. They own large businesses and houses + condominiums in the city. So what is wrong with the Sinhala and Muslim people moving to the North of a sovereign county?  Are you saying that only Tamils should live in the North?  You must be out of your mind if you think so.
 
You mentioned that Tamil population is not allowed to sing the national anthem of Sri Lanka in Tamil.  That is not correct.  Copies of the Tamil lyrics are freely available to the Tamil people and they have the choice to sing the anthem in the language of their choice. Therefore, I would advice you to give the true picture of the situation in Sri Lanka when you are speaking to people abroad.  
 
You shared your dissatisfaction of some of the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).  You admitted that no one from CPA appeared before the LLRC. Why, Dr. Saravanamuttu?  I believe, CPA did not do so because it did not want to displease the donors to your NGO? You gave some flimsy excuses…one of which was getting “death threats” if you had appeared before the LLRC. Were these death threats coming from the Tamil Tigers abroad?  Many eminent persons in Sri Lanka and abroad spent their own funds and appeared before the LLRC and their lives were not threatened.  For your information, Amnesty International (AI) and other Human Rights Gurus were invited by LLRC to give evidence, but all of those Organizations declined. They all got their chance to say their piece, and now they are all ganging up on Sri Lanka and criticising the findings of LLRC.  Don’t you think that it would have helped the people of Sri Lanka greatly if CPA and the other Human Rights Gurus had shared their knowledge with the Commission to solve this so-called “post-war problem?
 
Dr. Saravanamuttu, if you have the best interests of the people and the country, pls remember, it is not too late to help in the development projects which have been started by the GoSL. Pls put the country of your birth first and you will have no regrets. Take it from a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin, who is truly dedicated in exposing the people who are actively engaged in denigrating the country of their birth for their own gain.  
 
You spoke about accountability.  LLRC report was released in mid-December 2011 and do you expect the GoSL to act on the recommendations within a matter of 60 days? Come on, Dr. Saravanmuttu, what do you say about the Goldman Report on Israel? To-date, Israel has not acted in good faith on those recommendations and no one is needling that country. Why?  Is it because of Israel’s close ties with the western nations?  Why hasn’t the UN Secretary General or UNHRC taken action? You know the answer, so I will not waste my time on this point.  
 
Dr. Saravanamuttu, it is not too late to tell the truth to the people of the world.  Think and act wisely.
 
Yours truly,
 
Rohan Basnayake
 
Ottawa, Ontario Canada
 

 

Copy:
Dr. E. Tepper, Chair, Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka
Sir Charles Gunning, Secretary, Canadian Friends of Sri Lanka
Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesy International, Ottawa, Canada
John Argue, Country Director (Sri Lanka), Amnesty International, Canada 

UN Human Rights Council strictures: Sri Lanka continues to suffer as a pawn in regional geopolitics

Wed, 2012-02-15 03:06 “”‚ editor
By Raj Gonsalkorale
 
If Sri Lanka was an island hidden away from the geographical proximity and spotlight of super powers or those aspiring to be super powers (and others who would do anything moral or immoral to prevent that from happening), the resplendent island would have been truly tranquil, and at peace.
 
This is not to be so unless tectonic plates move and the island floats away somewhere inconsequential where no will take notice of anything that happens in the country, as is the case in more than 80% of countries in the world.
 
Sri Lanka as a collective is at times regarded by some as a pawn of India, China, the USA, and at times as having been of the USSR as well. This situation has prevailed for a long time. Today, it appears it is a high stakes pawn of India and the USA because of China’s interest in Sri Lanka. If it was China of some three decades earlier, there would not have been this high stakes game as China then was not considered a rising super power.
 
Sri Lanka is accused regularly of war crimes, human rights violations and undemocratic rule. It is made out as if the rest of the world has no such problems and Sri Lanka is unique in being the odd country out.
 
While no one should condoned human rights violations, but surely, is Sri Lanka alone in human rights violations; if indeed there have been violations of the magnitude the country is being accused of? What about violations in the countries who are accusing Sri Lanka of violations?
 
Inter community conflicts; again, is Sri Lanka alone with such conflicts? Is Sri Lanka also alone with some communities pushing for independent Statehood? Why are some countries pre occupied with these and other issues that are and have been festering in some countries for decades if not centuries?
 
Sri Lanka is also accused of having an undemocratic, one man (or family) rule. Again, even if it were so, is Sri Lanka the only country where this might be the case? Contrary to what might be happening in other countries, Sri Lanka has had several elections at all levels, and has not acted in violation of its constitution.
 
Despite this, it has had the misfortune of being shunned by some Western countries, which ironically have the dubious record, not long ago, of partnering with dictators and despots in their “national” interest.
 
So, why is Sri Lanka special for all these do gooders? It cannot be because they are fighting for what is good, because they have chosen to ignore what is bad in a majority of countries in the world at some point or another.
 
It cannot be because they are concerned about Tamils in Sri Lanka, because they have not supported minorities in a majority of countries in the world, who might in fact envy the position of minorities in Sri Lanka compared to their lot in their countries.
 
It cannot be because of human rights violations because they have ignored violations in a majority of other countries and had them as their friends. It cannot be because of family rule or lack of democracy because some of their best chums have been dictators and despots.
 
So why are they so concerned about Sri Lanka?
 
They are concerned, and increasingly getting even more concerned, because of regional geopolitics. China’s rise as a global super power house has got everything to do with this micro interest in Sri Lanka.
 
The West, directly and through India, is laying down the terms for a rapprochement and an undertaking to lift the bear off Sri Lanka’s back at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in February/March, and beyond. What is the reason for this deal? Again, China because for India, anyone who is an enemy of their enemy is their friend.
 
Why is the west hell bent on having Sarath Fonseka released from prison?
Whatever the politics of his detention, it cannot be denied that he has been tried and convicted by the legal system in the country, not by any Kangaroo court. So, why is this interest in him? Again, it’s because of China. The West wants instability in Sri Lanka with Fonseka becoming the anti Rajapaksa pivotal point, and as that could, in their opinion, lead to a regime change and install a more pro western government in the country.
 
Why has Myanmar, till recently a pariah State, has become America’s newest friend? Again because of China, and the recently announced US policy shift to the Asia Pacific. Myanmar is strategically placed in the region, and till the recent thawing of the relationship, a good friend of China.
 
Why has the USA decided to set up a military base in Darwin, in North Australia? Again, because of China. Reportedly, 2500 Marines are going to be stationed in Darwin, at close proximity to Indonesia, and within the Asia Pacific region.
 
If the Tamils thought the West was their friend, and if human rights activists thought the West was concerned about any human rights violations in Sri Lanka, give that another thought. While no one is holding a candle to prop the Rajapaksa regime, as they basically do not need any propping considering they are there because the people wanted them and elected them on several occasions, Tamils, human rights activists, Fonseka supporters should all look inwards towards Sri Lanka and try to find solutions for their issues from within Sri Lanka, and not by exporting their problems overseas and selling them to merchants of doom who are interested in Sri Lanka for just one reason, China.
 
This is all the more reason why the LTTE proxy, the TNA, should think of the desperate situation of some Tamils in the North and the East, and consider food in the stomach of their brethren in the North, and the East, a roof over their heads, means of a livelihood, schools for their children, health services for the children and the elderly, and general economic upliftment, before they go overseas to canvass for land and police powers and devolution.
 
This is why human rights activists must sit down with the government in a cooperative manner to address any shortcomings, and possible violations, rather than run overseas to campaign for redress and provide fuel for these overseas elements that have their own agenda on Sri Lanka.
 
This is why Fonseka supporters should sit down with the government and find a mutually acceptable political outcome being mindful that Sarath Fonseka has been convicted by the Sri Lankan judiciary system, and his release can only be through a Presidential pardon, as that is the only recourse available as per the law of the land.
 
In conclusion, if the West and India were of the opinion that their tactics were destabilizing the Rajapaksa regime, the opposite has happened. If the West thought they can wean Sri Lanka away from China’s influence, the opposite has happened. A majority of countries in the West are dependent on borrowings from the one source in the world that has money to lend, China. Yet, they are intent on attacking China through various proxies and on various pretexts.
 
The old sayings “clean suit, empty pocket”, “empty vessels make the biggest noise“ comes to mind. Most Western countries are in this position after the global financial crisis. If they were genuinely interested in human rights, they must set an example before censuring others about violations. If they are genuinely interested in minority rights, they must again practice what they preach, and also consider such rights from the context of equal rights within the reality of the sovereignty of countries.
 
They must also admire and support a country that has managed to do what they are desperately trying to do, defeat terrorism. They must also stop the charade about fighting clean wars, as they themselves know there is nothing called a clean war. They have fought and still area fighting some of the dirtiest wars known to mankind, and therefore cannot afford to pontificate about clean wars.
 
Sri Lankans are not fools, at least not all of them. Sri Lankan politicians, especially the more socialist oriented SLFP has been more visionary with their foreign policy than the capitalist oriented UNP. SWRD Bandaranaike set the foundations stone for the non aligned policy of Sri Lanka by being a friend of the so called “South” and the “North” of global political power at the time. Sirimavo Badaranaike took this policy to new heights, and managed to be the friend of both Pakistan and India, when they fought each other. Sri Lanka remained a friend of both India and China when they fought each other.
 
Today, under Mahinda Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka is still on course with this policy. They are friends with India, China, Russia, Pakistan and many other countries in the region who are either considered friends or the enemies of the West. Sri Lanka is also the friend of many western countries, although it would like some of them to be friendlier and not view Sri Lanka as a pawn of any country, which it is not.
 
Sri Lanka is nonaligned, and wishes to remain nonaligned, if only they are allowed to do so and the constant interference in its internal affairs is stopped. Constructive engagement and not destructive disengagement will help to address whatever shortcomings Sri Lanka has.
 
– Asian Tribune “”…”

2 Responses to “CANADIAN FRIENDS OF SRI LANKA – OTTAWA – MEETING 7 Feb 2012- Open Letter to Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu”

  1. Christie Says:

    What happened to his appendage, a Sinhala lawyer? He used to travel with this Indian colnial parasite.

    I have spokent to this parasite about one and a half years ago about where he gets his funding from. He said it is from the Western countries. After a much of exchane he agreed he gets most of his money from India and from Indian colonial parasites in Sri Lanka.

    You have to remeber most of the countries who support this parasite has a large population of Indian colonial parasites and other Indians.

    On top of that India buys a lot of military hardware and technology from the West. Bolfor affair is a good example.

  2. Christie Says:

    “UN Human Rights Council strictures: Sri Lanka continues to suffer as a pawn in regional geopolitics”

    The roots of the problems in most of the former dominions of the British-Indian Empire, now the Indian Empire lies with India and Indian colonial parasites.

    The so called “British Empire” was built by Indians. How did the British get a foothold in China; with Indian sepoys.

    Sri Lanka being close to the South of Indian sub continent most of the colonial parsites were Tamils.

    India gets billions of dollars from its colonial parasites. Take Srl lanka more than half the weath ends up in India.

    Did SWRD and the Socialist nationalise any belongings of Indian colonial parasites. Did any of these Indian colonial parasites bring any wealth of know how to the country.

    These cunning and sly parasites brought misery to the locals who were there when they arrived on the back of British guns.

    SWRD was funded by India and its coloial parasites.

    SF was funded by India.

    A friend of mine from Melbourne told me this.

    When Pakiyasoothy Sarawanamuttu and a Sinhala lawyer gave a presentation in Melbourne on Media and Lasantha a concerened Tamil ask ‘What are we going to do now”

    One of the godfathers of Tamils said” Wait tll the dust settles”.

    And there was a replacement for Indian violent puppet Parabakaran, a non-violent SF.

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