Mangala Samaraweera’s kisses have gone with the wind
Posted on September 22nd, 2015

H. L. D. Mahindapala

With great fanfare and  ballyhoo the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe (Siri-Wicky) government promised that they alone could conquer the international community” (meaning  the big power brokers of the West) which the previous regime of Mahinda Rajapakse had alienated.  This promise to conquer the world and restore Sri Lanka’s position in the world stage was based on several factors:  1. Siri-Wicky regime is pro-West committed with a foreign policy aligned to the American axis; 2. the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is the Asian  Vice President of International Democratic Union – a leading political front of the West claiming to promote democracy; 3. it is acknowledged, though not officially, that the Siri-Wicky government was brought into power with the blessings” of  the American-Indian operatives; 4. in the new policy of pivot to Asia” the Siri-Wicky government was expected to provide a safe haven to counter increasing Chinese presence  in the Indian Ocean 5. Siri-Wicky regime has already appeased the West by absorbing their hired agents in the NGOs as a part of the administration, and , of course, 6. the promise of  good governance” with its emphasis on democratic norms that were supposed to warm the cockles of the Western decision-makers whose foreign policy was to export democracy” to the rest of the world

Not since J. R. Jayewardene, the Yankee Dicky”, went all the way with the Americans, including Margaret Thatcher’s war in the Falklands, has any government gone this far to appease the West. With these pro-West inter-personal and international relations the Siri-Wicky regime was quite confident that it could overcome  the disadvantages faced by the anti-West Mahinda Rajapakse regime.

It was with these credentials that President Maithripala Sirisena led the first foreign  mission to UK.  He came back crowing that he shook the ungloved hand of Queen. Shaking the ungloved hand of the Queen was presented as conquest of great magnitude. He was also overjoyed that Prime Minister Cameron walked all the way from his residence at No. 10, Downing Street to open the car door for him and escort him inside.  Obviously, President Sirisena returned home believing that he had won over just not Cameron but even the Queen. Now we are told that UK is one of the European  countries rejecting the domestic inquiry and insisting on the  hybrid court.

While the President junketed in the West the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe parachuted into India to conquer the Big Brother. He has returned from Delhi giving the  distinct impression  that he has divorced the kahi gani (woman with a cough) from China and married the hotu gani (woman with snot) from India. On the issue  of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) report, it is possible  that India will be opposed to the hybrid court of foreign judges because it has serious consequences to India. Supporting a hybrid court in Sri Lanka could be a precedent for UN to step in to investigate human rights violations of Indian forces in Kashmir. So with or without Wickremesinghe India can be expected to back Sri Lanka’s moves for a domestic  inquiry.

In between, Mangala Samaraweera, who fancies himself as the kokatath-thailaya (all cure) to Sri Lanka’s foreign problems, went to America and wooed John Kerry. After extolling the level of excellent and close relations” with America he assured Kerry that America is not a threat but an opportunity”. To underscore the lovey-dovey relationship Managala went all out, with the gallantry of a knight in democratic armour,  to kiss Nisha Desai Biswal, American Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs. In the video she seemed to have been somewhat abashed  by the unexpected show of diplomatic affection.  Samaraweera, however, was acting  on the assumption that his oscular thrust was a great diplomatic coup to convince Uncle Sam of his effusive personal affection as great, if not  greater, than  that of Yankee Dicky”. He was also out to impress the Sri Lankan public that he was not only on kissing terms with America but had also succeeded in mending the fences that were broken by Mahinda Rajapakse.

All this was a prelude to soften America’s attitude towards Sri Lanka. Mangala Samaraweera was operating on the premise  that the pro-West policy, plus the special quality of his personal diplomacy,  would give  him the leverage to manipulate America to go soft on Sri Lanka. He made his personal appearance at the UNHRC hoping his diplomacy had that magic quality to get a favourable results from  the international community. He was initially buoyed by the postponement of the UNHRC report which was held back to help the Siri-Wicky government to get over any political embarrassment at the elections.  In fact, the Siri-Wicky regime boasted that it was able to get the report postponed in March implying that it has already won the international community” to its side.  But when the report finally landed on Samaraweera’s desk it proved to be a negation of all his expectations.  There was nothing to crow about it at all. His  diplomacy had come  to nought.  The West was insisting on a hybrid court with international judges, prosecutors and investigators.

Unable to find anything positive he spun the yarn that there were no names of Sri Lankan forces mentioned in the report, accusing them of war crimes. The stunned Siri-Wicky government hastily summoned a press conference to say that the report would  have been worse if Mahinda Rajapakse was in power.  That is all they could say to save their faces. But the shocking report in the Ceylon Telegraph reveals that the UNHRC report had initially named President Sirisena who was the Acting  Minister of Defence in the last days of the war. This has sent shivers down the spine of the Siri-Wicky government. To divert attention away from President Sirisena Wickremesinghe has given a spin to this episode. He claims that his government saved Mahinda Rajapakse from the electric chair, hiding the fact that President Sirisena too was among the walking dead in the UNHRC list, as revealed in the Ceylon Telegraph.

The grim reality is that the recommended hybrid court is still hanging over their heads like the Damocles’ Sword. Though not named in the UNHRC report there is nothing  to prevent the proposed hybrid court from pursuing both President Mahinda Rajapakse and President Sirisena until they are sent to the electric chair. This is where Mangala Samaraweera has failed. He failed to convince the  international community that Sri Lanka could successfully handle its own problems with its own mechanisms. He failed to establish that Sri Lanka is willing and capable of handling its own affairs.  His kissing America has taken him nowhere. Fortunately, he has the nation willing, able and ready to resist any attempt to foist the hybrid court on Sri Lanka. Ultimately, he and the Siri-Wicky government will have to save the nation not by kissing Biswas but by mobilising the grass root forces to  defeat the bogus human rights champions out to get the defenders of the nation.

The UNHRC report is a bludgeon waiting to come down on the heads of both Sirisena and Rajapakse. It is a victory for the Tamil lobby and blunt vote of no-confidence in the Siri-Wicky regime. Just a week or so before Samaraweera took the floor at the UNHRC and gave a detailed account of how the Siri-Wicky regime had bent over backwards to appease the Tamils. His self-laudatory speech was to convince the Tamil lobby as well as the international community” that they could trust the Siri-Wicky regime to deliver whatever is required  to satisfy/appease them. He was all out to impress that the Siri-Wicky government had reversed the anti-West policies and was ever willing to go along with his new allies in London-Paris-and Washington.  With the appeasement of the Tamil lobby – President even had a meal (not egg hoppers!) with the GTF in London – and the West Samaraweera was  hoping to shine as the saviour  of Sri Lanka. But the big  show put by the Siri-Wicky-Samaraweera trio ended like the drama of  the 100-days” – no action, talk only (NATO). To use the apt and pithy Sinhala saying, it was a case of low-keta pra-kasay, geddetta mara-gathey! (Great big  show to the  outside  world but it is utter disaster at  home.)

The UNHRC report is a virtual confirmation of the position  taken by the  Tamil lobby abroad and at home. R. Sampanathan too has expressed his  lack of confidence in the domestic mechanism and he now wants a domestic and the hybrid courts, trying to have it both ways. The Tamil Diaspora  is out to get the hybrid court. After sharing a meal with the President they turned round and accused him of war crimes because he was the Acting Head of the forces in the last two weeks of the war on the banks of Nandikadal. Both the Tamil lobby and the West have left Samaraweera whistling in the wind. With friends like the Tamil Diaspora and the West does Samaraweera need any additional enemies?

The main thrust of the Samaraweera mission at the UNHRC was to get the approval for the local judicial mechanism to investigate allegations mentioned in the UNHRC report. It would have been a great diplomatic coup for him  if  he won that. But neither the pumping of John Kerry’s hand nor the kissing  of Biswal gave Samaraweera the trophy he needed to crow that he is the Mohammed Ali of the Sri Lankan External Ministry. He, in fact, has fallen flat on his face. The biggest blow to him has come from the UNHRC report. It welcomes, recognises, approves, etc., the work done by the Siri-Wicky government and then turns round and says the government cannot be trusted to deliver justice. It is insisting on a hybrid court consisting mainly of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators etc. So what has Samaraweera achieved to enhance his reputation as the foreign minister who rescued the nation from a foreign invasion of imported judges, prosecutors and investigators? Or save the necks of the national heroes? In the UNHRC report they are seen as war criminals. Clearly, Samaraweera has been releasing bags of hot air at the UNHRC because the upshot of all his rhetoric at the UNHRC was a thundering slap in his face. The statement that he delivered to the international community from the floor of the UNHRC was not worth the paper on which he wrote it. Even his own kissing friends have rejected it out of  hand.

It is pretty clear that the boomerang he threw at the Sri Lankan judges has returned with a vengeance and knocked him down. He and his regime went round the world condemning the judiciary and now the international community” is saying that they can’t trust the judiciary which he and his  government has condemned. As if that is not enough,  the Chief Minister of the North, C. V. Wigneswaran, a former judge of the Supreme Court, too has endorsed the view that the Tamils can’t expect justice from the courts.  He must  be speaking from his own experience as a judge for him  to speak with such authority on the role of the bench of  which he was apart until recently. He thinks he is smart in condemning the judiciary of which he was an integral  part. But in doing so he is condemning his  own integrity for  having sat in a judiciary which he says now cannot be trusted to deliver fair judgement.  Doesn’t that mean that  he too was one of them?   If he was not and if he was a man of integrity  why didn’t he speak out  then and expose the judiciary?  Why didn’t he resign?  Why is he condemning the judiciary now, now that it is politically expedient for him to gain political mileage? Judging by his latest statement, it seems that he was also a bird of the same feather that sat together on the same bench?

That apart,  there seems to be  no takers for the hybrid court recommended by the UNHRC? Not even Wickremesinghe can go for it knowing that President Sirisena’s head is also at stake.  If the Siri-Wicky regime was hoping to use it as threat to keep Mahinda Rajapakse in line it has backfired on them because because President Sirisena is also in the same boat. As the distinguished lawyer, Gomin Dayasiri, told Paki” Saravanamuttu and Jehan (Pacha) Perera in reply to their backing of the UNHRC report in the MTV debate, the hybrid court is putrid.” Lawyer Dayasiri pooh-poohed the idea of Paki” and Pacha” Perera who were insisting  on focusing only on the victims”, meaning the Tamils who were caught in the last days of the war. After the deadly blows dealt by Dayasiri the two hired  hacks of the NGOs backtracked.  Genuine reconciliation has to go beyond the Tamil victims”. It has to be a universal approach including all victims of the needless war declared by the Tamil leadership in the Vadukoddai Resolution of May 1976.

One of the fundamental flaws of the UNHRC report is also to focus on the victims” of the last stages of the war.  This is the political line of the Tamil lobby. The credibility and the competence of  the UNHRC  report is  on the line when  it concludes that a 33 year-old war ( 1976 May – 2009 May)  can produce only Tamil victims.  Isn’t the Minister for Housing, Sajith Premadasa, a victim of the war crimes committed by the LTTE? Isn’t Navin Dissanayake, another Minister a victim of the war crimes committed by the LTTE? Of all the southern political parties aren’t the UNPers the leading  victims of the Vadukoddai war initiated, directed, financed, propagated, militarized, and brutalized by the Tamil leadership both at home and abroad?

Besides, the failure  of the UNHRC to come to grips with the ground situation comprehensively, in all its historical, socio-political and international dimensions, makes them a part of the problem instead of their putative role of  being problem-solvers. Successive heads of  the UNHRC – from Louise  Arbour, to Navi  Pillay to  Prince Zeid – have failed to grasp the multi-dimensional realities and continued to exacerbate the situation with their one-eyed view of the longest running war in Asia. Sadly, they have been serving the vested interests  of selected lobbies and  not  the victims of the latest Pol Pot of Asia”. (New York Times).

The UNPers in particular and the Parliamentarians as a whole must reject the partisan and unfair UNHRC report in toto and insist that Sri Lanka should go it alone and develop its  own mechanism to deal with its own problems. If Sri Lanka could end the unwinnable war with its own initiatives there is no reason why it can’t win peace and reconciliation with its collective efforts.

This, of course, may require a more vigorous campaign of kissing at the international level. Perhaps, Samaraweera should start new courses in kissing  for all our diplomats before they are posted to foreign missions. But those  planning  the course in osculation should take extra care to limit kissing only to the cheeks above the neck and not go down to the nether regions in the posterior of the anatomy.

10 Responses to “Mangala Samaraweera’s kisses have gone with the wind”

  1. Indrajith Says:

    Please see Mahinda’s full statement on the UN report copies from Helabima.com.

    http://www.helabima.lk/read.php?as=9564&locationid=1442931072

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    I LIKE THE LAST TWO LINES. TO ADD A LITTLE PUNCH !!??

    ” and not go down to the nether regions in the Anterior Rain Forests, and to the Posterior Volcanic Lava erupting regions.”

    In Sri Lankan Lingo…..PUZZY and ARZ HOLE

  3. Fran Diaz Says:

    Great review of events here, HLD ! Thanks. You have made the ‘gooey mess’ palatable ….

    —————

    Siri-Wicky duo, or the all inclusive Sicko Trio, seem unable to solve the problems that beset poor Lanka. It started with some 500 yrs of Colonisation, trade / ports, a million and a half Tamil Dalit folk brought in as indentured labor by the Brits & the Dutch, marginalising of the Sinhala/Buddhists, the Cold War politics, and tens of thousands of Tamil Dalit illegal migrants, training of the LTTE in Tamil Nadu, the Vaddukoddai Resolution (1976), etc. with only the MR govt giving some short term relief to the near history mess.

    The Siri-Wicky duo are certainly one eyed – we must add cock eyed too …..

    Unless the Law of Land is properly carried out, not much hope S-W duo efforts ! Charm School for Diplomats should be in the offing too !

  4. Lorenzo Says:

    SW,

    LOL!

    That what Sama-Wicki duo did to win the election.

    Now they try it with the international community.

  5. Christie Says:

    Indian Empire, its colonial parasites and vermin are behind this nonviolent attack on the Sinhalese and their leaders, Indian Empire will never sleep until the Sinhala leaders who wiped out the Indian trained, armed, financed, managed and branded Tamil Tigers by the Indian Empire. Some Indians outside India leading this nonviolent attack are Yasmin Sooka and Nanathum Pillai from South Africa, From the US comes Nisha and other Indian Imperialists and others like Meenakshi from HRW.

  6. Fran Diaz Says:

    All the chaos, hysterical religious Conversions, and civil war in Sri Lanka about Tamil Separatism is due to creating a Homeland for Tamils of DALIT origin. That is the reason why Tamil leaders in Lanka from way back to 1940s demanded a Separate Homeland for Tamils of Sri Lanka. By then the numbers of Tamils of Dalit origin coming from Tamil Nadu had risen to more than One and a Half Million, due to British and Dutch bringing them over to work as Indentured Labor to the plantations sector.

    The DALIT CASTE FACTOR IS WRITTEN INTO THE BIRTH CERTIFICATES OF TAMIL DALITS OF TAMIL NADU. IT IS THE BIRTH CERTIFICATES THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED. REPEAT : IT IS THE BIRTH CERTIFICATES ISSUES IN TAMIL NADU THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED AS THAT IS WHAT BRANDS A PERSON AS A TAMIL DALIT.

    Splitting up Lanka, bringing in foreign rule, and dividing and ruling the Sinhala people will NOT solve the problem !! So long as Tamil Nadu issues Brith Certificates with Caste (Dalits especially) stamped on, all the areas near Tamil Nadu are at risk. Thre are over 15 MILLION Tamils of DALIT origin in Tamil Nadu.

    The Tamil Nadu Dalit problem must be solved once and for all in TN itself.

    Now the problem is in the UNHRC offices.

    * For a sensible solution to the problem, we suggest that new Birth Certificates SANS CASTE be issued by the UNHRC office to any Tamil Dalits who wants it so. The UN has the clout and authority to do that. Sri Lanka govt has no jurisdiction over Tamil Nadu local govt. Kachativu island can be the HQ of the UNHRC. Lanka can lease out the Kach island to the UNHRC.

    * Alternately, Delhi govt can instruct the TN govt to issue new Birth Certificates in TN, sans Dalit Caste, or any Caste.

    Other solutions and Comments welcome.

  7. SA Kumar Says:

    IT IS THE BIRTH CERTIFICATES ISSUES IN TAMIL NADU THAT HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED AS THAT IS WHAT BRANDS A PERSON AS A TAMIL DALIT.-

    British left 1947 (India)/1948 (mother Lanka) that is 68 years ago , How many left with this certificate alive in Mother Lanka or in India ???

    So who ever living in Estate now are born in Mother Lanka & have Social Republic of Sri Lanka Birth certificate !!!

    Dalit problem is not We Mother Lanka problem !!!

    Live & Let’s live in United Mother Lanka forever ( fully implementation of 13A & 6A) until Eelam war V !!!!

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    I am writing about the present times, not Brit times in Lanka and Tamil Nadu. I know already that Tamils of Sri Lanka do not carry Caste in their Birth Certificates.

    What I am saying over and over again is that the Birth Certificates issued in Tamil Nadu has the CASTE of the Tamil infant born there, even now. If the infant’s father is DALIT, it will be so stated in the child’s Birth Certificate. This is true even today.

    On the contrary, the Birth Certificates issued in Sri Lanka DO NOT state any Caste matters at all for anyone, Tamil or otherwise. Hence NO CASTE is attached to any Tamil child born in Lanka. However, CASTE is stated to children born in Tamil Nadu, even today.

    We presume that is why Lanka is supposed to give Tamil Eelam, to erase CASTE mainly for Tamils of Dalit origin who are now in Tamil Nadu ? The proposed Bridge between TN & Mannar will bring in many thousands or even millions (!) of Tamil Nadu Dalit folk who will get fresh Birth Certificates in Lanka and then they and their children will be without Caste too ?

    Otherwise, what is the main purpose of the Bridge ? What is the main purpose of Tamil Eelam ? No one in the UNHRC is asking why it is that the Tamil leaders of Lanka have consistently asked for a Separate state even during the time of British Colonial rule, and the same demand going on today.

    There are other reasons too, such as over bowing to foreign sources ?

  9. SA Kumar Says:

    Sorry Fran Diaz you are mixing two problem
    1) Why We-Hela Demil ask TE Tamil leaders of Lanka have consistently asked for a Separate state even during the time of British Colonial rule, and the same demand going on today.
    You know & I know why ? Festival of : 1956 to 1983 .

    2) If the infant’s father is DALIT, it will be so stated in the child’s Birth Certificate. This is true even today.- agreed that is Indian problem BUT that is their system for them that is working because they say they never had any un natural dead like we had since 1948 to today so their system is working ( their argument )

    Modi’s Bridge – We all mother Lankan are kaput.
    We Tamil Mother Lanka do not like it BUT If We do not get our solution in United Mother Lanka We would not have any other alternative YOU left for us to support Modi’s Great Hindustan Dream !!! As You know are also Saivar(Hindhus) . All in our Sinhala Heads ( MS/RW/CBK) of states hand now.

    United Mother Lanka for all of us ( Fully implemendation of 13A & 6A) !!!!

  10. Fran Diaz Says:

    Kumar,

    Please write to the point.

    (1) Festival of 1956 to 1983 : What do you mean by that ? All anti-Tamil actions from ordinary people of Lanka came about because of the DEMAND for Tamil Language to be made National/Official as well as Demand for a Separate State
    (from 1930s onwards to date).

    (2) Tamil Nadu problems HAS become Lanka problems because of Tamil Leaders unreasonable demands in Lanka. That the birth certificates carry Caste in Tamil Nadu has everything to do with Lanka – it is because of this that Tamil Dalits have come in tens of thousands as illegal migrants to Lanka. What happens in TN for 3,000 yrs certainly affects Lanka !

    (3) It’s not Mr Modi’ Bridge. It is a Tamil Leaders Bridge. No one in Lanka wants it except Tamil Separatists. Majority vote wins in all issues.

    If you want to live in peace with the rest of of Lanka, please go for peaceful solutions.

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