Malcolm Fraser would find no Nazis in Sri Lanka
Posted on July 10th, 2014

by: DINOO KELLEGHAN  Courtesy:  The Australian

IT is a crying shame that a country that has dragged itself up by the bootstraps from twin ruthless Marxist and ethnic insurgencies that devastated its economy and killed almost 200,000 people during the past 45 years should become a pawn in the game to bash the Australian government over its anti people-smuggling strategy.

Those who demonise Sri Lanka are acting on misinformation fed to them by a manipulative pro-Tamil Tiger terrorist lobby that makes political gain by painting the country as a sinkhole for rule of law and human rights, specifically for the Tamil minority.

The country is by no means perfect: there is corruption, political thuggery, a parliament unhealthily weighted because the main opposition party, once mighty, has shrivelled to a peanut, splintered and unelectable.

But it’s not Nazi Germany.

And the Tamil minority has the same rights as anyone else.

The street signs are in English, Sinhalese and Tamil. There are Tamil television stations, and government documents mostly come in Sinhalese and Tamil. Tamil children study in Tamil, there are Hindu temples celebrating extravagantly colourful festivals wherever there is a sizeable Tamil community in the Sinhalese-dominated south as well as the Tamil-dominated north. The armed forces, once wild and acting with scant regard for human life, have been transformed into a tightly disciplined force whose members receive regular human rights training overseas and routinely act in UN peacekeeping efforts around the world.

Nazis?

Those who fling the allegation around should be held to account. Malcolm Fraser will look in vain for Tamils scrubbing pavements with toothbrushes if he ever has a first-hand look at Sri Lanka — the country, he tweeted to the world, that treated its Tamils the way the Third Reich treated its doomed Jews.

Mr Fraser won’t see death camps or a fascist state. He’ll see Tamils and Sinhalese rejoicing in being able to work together without being bombed or blown up.

Genocide? The population of the capital, Colombo, was 30 per cent Tamil in 2001 at the height of the civil war, and now Tamils and Muslims outnumber Sinhalese. Many of those Tamils fled the fighting in the north but choose to stay in the Sinhala-dominated south even though the war is over.

Of course, the jobs are in the south, but would that keep them there if they feared persecution?

Will Mr Fraser look for rule of law? He’ll find it, faulty though it is with corruption and inadequate resources.

Is there anything in The Australian’s reporting of the humdrum court process of the returned boatload of 41 asylum-seekers and ­people-smugglers to suggest evil?

Presidential, parliamentary and provincial and local council elections have been held all over the country since the end of the civil war in 2009. Tamils have exercised their right to vote freely, choosing the Tamil Nationalist Alliance for representing their interests in the north but leaving intact the thumping majority of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s United People’s Freedom Alliance for national government.

The TNA, which reflects the agenda of the Tamil Tigers, travels freely overseas to lobby foreign governments to impose sanctions against Sri Lanka and successfully lobbied the EU to handicap exports on human rights” grounds.

There is no decree sequestering Tamil property: two of the six richest Sri Lankans listed by Forbes magazine last year are Tamils, Hari and Mano Selvanathan.

Kristallnacht? Muslim-owned shops, not Tamil, are being targeted in scattered attacks by radical Sinhala monks whose Buddhist Theravada brothers in Myanmar have been slaughtering Muslims with an impunity not tolerated in Sri Lanka.

Perhaps the telling rejoinder to Fraser’s assertion of a Gestapo state in Sri Lanka comes from the Tamil heartland in Jaffna, where the Chief Minister is a Tamil former Supreme Court justice, the TNA’s CV Wigneswaran.

Two media reports illustrate why the asylum-seeker lobby here should keep its heart warm but take with a grain of salt the information fed by Tiger lobbyists.

Last month, Mr Wigneswaran told India’s The Hindu newspaper he lived with an occupying military force which systematically seeks to subjugate the populace, change the demography, destabilise the economy, impose an alien culture and stultify legitimate democratic aspirations”. Hot stuff, and at odds with his assertion the previous month that he had summarily rejected the army’s application to buy 20 blocks of land in Jaffna. People no longer fear the army,” he added in The Hindu article. He praised the self-confidence that has dawned on our people … we have still been able to usher in a sense of purpose and confidence among our people.”

Persecution? Genocide? Let the buyer of propaganda beware.

(Dinoo Kelleghan is a Sri Lankan-born Australian with part-Tamil ancestry who was foreign news editor of this paper when Sri Lanka’s civil war broke out in 1983. She was a member of the Refugee Review Tribunal for seven years and was assisted by DFAT to make a fact-finding visit to Sri Lanka to aid refugee determination. She lived in Sri Lanka for much of last year and visited Jaffna interviewing students, academics and returned asylum-seekers who all but one acknowledged having left for economic gain. She found Sri Lanka to be safe and thriving.)

 

5 Responses to “Malcolm Fraser would find no Nazis in Sri Lanka”

  1. Lorenzo Says:

    Good.

    You cannot fool everyone all the time.

    Tamil BS coming out. Now Tamils will try another July 1983 SELF INFLICTED HARM to get sympathy and escape to rich countries.

    ONLY Nazis in SL are TAMIL NAZI ALLIANCE (TNA).

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    The Nazi regime is horrible for it included the whole scale genocide of not only Jews but also Christians which in sum total surpassed the Jews in deaths. From Russians, Poles, Slaves, to the civilians of German and England and the soldiers on both sides were all Christian.

    If Nazi Germany did not invade Poland thereby forcing England to engage Germany in war due to a binding treaty Nazi Germany would not have gained the ugly reputation it did. In the early years foreign tourists reported of a vibrant economy and a happy populace. Hitler loved Germany though his policies were misplaced. He put the values of the German people above every thing else. In that sense Nazi Germany was an incredible story of a broken down nation under the Wiemar Republic that rose to great economic and military power in a very short period of time. Germans came first.

    That cannot be said of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s economic recovery is phenomenal but her leaders do not put the Sinhalese Buddhist first. In their effort to lead the nation and bring tolerance they have in fact facilitated the alien faith and divisive ideologies to take root in Sri Lanka.
    Colombo has bent backwards in accommodating her minorities.

    Take the recent attacks on the Muslims. what were the results. The Muslims effectively were able to bring Colombo and some other cities to a complete standstill. Every shop was closed, not due to government decree but due to minority protests.

    Secondly now the government is using tax money to rebuild the damage done against the Muslim properties. They have also got the unanimous support of the UN and the Western nations. The Buddhist backlash then was a complete wash out. Now the BBS are portrayed as “Buddhist Hardliners”, intolerant to the extreme and a danger to the nation.
    My only recommendation is a long and arduous process of slowly getting pro Buddhist laws passed through the parliament with the ultimate objective of a Buddhist state. Laws that limit loud speakers from blaring the call to prayers from every Mosque. Already new laws restrict noise pollution by cars who toot their horns too much.
    The Call to prayer is a symbolic act and not meant to be screamed five times a day to people who already know it is time to pray.

    Laws that demand an allocation of funds to rebuild destroyed Buddhist temples, especially in the LTTE controlled areas. Any act that is used to destroy an established holy building to build another building from another faith is an act of destruction and not an act of veneration. If it was an act of veneration then Buddhist Temples would remain unmolested while Hindu Temples rise nearby. All LTTE constructed Hindu Temples should be demolished for they are symbolic representations of the LTTE and in many cases used as an excuse to destroy Buddhist sites.

    Same can be applied to Christian churches which were build on the ruins of Buddhist Temples. Either dismantle them and reconstruct historic Churches elsewhere or demolish them and reclaim the destroyed Buddhist temple.

    Further construction of Hindu Temples, Mosques and Churches should only be allowed if there is a need for it. Even if there is a need for it that cannot happen at the expense of a sacred Buddhist site or an existing Buddhist temple.

    Any practice to convert Buddhist to other faiths should be banned. Buddhism should receive a high priority in being taught to all citizens of Sri Lanka even if Buddhism is not a state faith.

    Pro Buddhist laws that follow the Dhamapada and the eight fold path should be passed. any laws that undermine them should be removed. Buddhism was a missionary faith. It should assume that role starting with the population of Sri Lanka. the Dalits of the Sri Lankan Hindus should be taught the values of Buddhism and the rewards that go with becoming a Buddhist.

    If Colombo is going to allow the expansion of Islam, Christianity and Hinduism in Sri Lanka then the missionary aspects of Buddhism should also be allowed at least within Sri Lanka. If not then abroad till there are sufficient number of Theravada Buddhists of the Sri Lankan variety across the globe, who in turn would become the new voice for the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sanga.

    The Tamil Diaspora are working overtime in demonizing the Sri Lankan Buddhist Sanga and now so are the Muslim and Christian world. If the Buddhist Sanga does not rise to the occasion using the legal route then they win and the Sri Lankan Buddhists will continue to lose.

  3. Nanda Says:

    “The country is by no means perfect: there is corruption, political thuggery, a parliament unhealthily weighted because the main opposition party, once mighty, has shrivelled to a peanut, splintered and unelectable.”

    1. After 26000 lives have been sacrificed ( leaving his children to play rugby, play night clubs and drive race cars through Kandy), isn’t MR responsible for bringing honour to the country ?

    2. After 26000 lives have been sacrificed, isn’t MR responsible in getting rid of Eelaam Council he helped to set up and the Shoora Council his Justice Minister set up ?

    3. If 1 and 2 is not happening isn’t it the people of all races responsibility to kick the “pragmatic leader” out ?

  4. Sarath W Says:

    Wonder how much aid Malcolm Fraser got to his charity where his family is employed from the Tamil tigers? What percentage of the charity’s wagers go to his family members?

  5. Sooriarachi Says:

    I love Lorenzo’s interpretation of the acronym TNA as “Tamil Nazi Alliance”
    I pity Nanda for still living in an imaginary world of “urban mythology” seeing only the Rajapaksa’s he hates so much.
    As for Mr Fraser, I feel sorry for this once respected man, now acting like a monkeys would if a “razer” is given to them – cutting all over with his “Twitter”. Anyway Mr Fraser owes an apology to the Jewish community for belittling their plight by comparing them to Tamils in Sri Lanka, who could be categorised as the most privileged minority in the World. Though only 10% of the population, they control most of the big businesses, they get a free education in their mother tongue from grade one to University degree, they get free medical treatment and most of all, they could own property anywhere in Sri Lanka, which even the majority Sinhalese are not enjoying in the North. Mr Fraser also owes an apology to Sri Lanka one of the oldest democracies in the world, with equal rights to everybody and adult franchise for both men and women since 1920 and with Buddhist Temples, Christian Churches, Hindu Kovils and Muslim mosques commonly found on the same street and respected by all citizens, even though Buddhist make up approx. 75% of the population.

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