Posted on August 7th, 2014

Courtesy The Daily News

Our front page story today reproduces an External Affairs Ministry Press Release which states that personnel in foreign diplomatic missions should be mindful of local sensitivities when participating in certain types of events.

This is certainly true — and in some cases impinges on what can loosely be called diplomatic license.

Diplomatic missions by virtue of their existence alone are not entitled to intervene in anything and everything that happens in a host country.

There is no freedom of the wild ass to do that!

This is particularly true when there are issues that the people of the country care deeply about.

The people of this country care for instance that the so called non governmental organizations that work to the agenda of foreign funding agencies hijack certain issues in order to pursue their own narrow and partisan ends.

There is a Disappearances Commission that is now in session in this country, but yet there are issues on which emotions are running high which are being transparently appropriated by various so called non governmental outfits for what appears to be maximum fund raising and nuisance-value advantage.

Be that as it may, it is clear that when emotive issues are being raised, there is, in a free country, the possibility and the space for dissent.

Representatives of diplomatic missions who get involved in such situations are probably straddling the thin line under the circumstances between exceeding their remit, and being legitimately engaged. Indeed, that is to put it charitably.

Missions issuing statements when they have in the first place exposed themselves to situations that to say the least are delicate, is rather odd if not hilarious.

Matters also turn on the principal of reciprocity which continues to be a cardinal tenet that animates good relations between countries.

Sri Lankan diplomats do not get themselves involved in issues that are palpably sensitive to host countries.

They most certainly do not participate in events that concern vexed issues in countries in which they are stationed — and neither do they issue statements on matters that are essentially domestic concerns in their very nature…

At this moment in time when the people of this country are heavily sensitized about the campaigns of hate that have been carried out by non governmental organizations against the people of this country — very often polarizing communities — any NGO sponsored event that concerns an emotive issue that deals with hangovers from conflict, is bound to be a highly charged affair.

Issuing statements at the drop of a hat when such issues are being looked into by legitimate appointed bodies is certainly not going to lend to any clarity on these matters.

On the contrary the issues in the crosshairs are bound to get more complicated than they already are.

If diplomatic missions do not forget the first principles of friendly engagement, which is that one does not intrude in the internal affairs of friendly nations, a good deal of the misunderstandings between foreign missions and the host country could be averted.

Diplomatic missions also should respect the legitimate right of people to assemble, and to engage in reasonable dissent or protest.

This is exactly what did not happen for instance when there were protests against some recently organized events — behind which some notorious non governmental organizations were the prime movers. Some missions dived in and decried the protests!

When JC Weliamuna organizes a journalism training workshop, it is as if the people of this country are put on notice. The man has such a markedly bad reputation of going around the world poisoning people abroad and also communities in this country, with his divisive brand of hate.

In Sri Lanka people are not about to become cannon fodder to folk who specialize in ruining countries with hate.

Being aware of subversion is now almost a necessary life skill that a great many people have acquired in this region. Frontline magazine in India for instance, a reputed publication recently carried a cover article titled ‘How to ruin a country’ which was a detailed account about how regime change operations ruined nations in various parts of the world. NGO hate or anything else is not going to do that kind of grievous damage to the people of Sri Lanka. 


  1. Lorenzo Says:

    The fools who blame Buddhist monks should realize it was their INTERFERENCE in SL that caused the chaos in the first place!!

    When there is a commission to look into disappearences, why do these NGOs use it to create hate?

    A good punishment for these NGO losers and their local supporters. I say well done!

    Sometimes the dirt we have to deal with must be dealt with in their own dirty manner.

    e.g. DDT is a foul smelling spray which is still used in some countries against mosquitos. If only mosquitos understood more subtle ways to keep away from blood sucking!

  2. Nanda Says:

    Problem is lack of punishment to cheaters and criminals.

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