Govt.’s Duty Is To Stand By Our War Heroes
Posted on October 4th, 2015

Mahinda Rajapakse

Though the passage of the US sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka in the UNHRC without a vote last Thursday is being hailed as a diplomatic victory for Sri Lanka, I am unable to share that view. Operative paragraph 6 of the resolution affirms the importance of the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators in the Sri Lankan judicial mechanism to be set up to investigate alleged human rights abuses during the war. Operative paragraph 8 encourages the Sri Lankan government to remove individuals in the armed forces suspected of human rights violations through an administrative vetting process even if there is insufficient evidence to charge them in a court of law. Operative paragraph 4 welcomes the government’s willingness to allow the various judicial and other mechanisms it intends to establish to deal with the past, to obtain financial assistance from overseas, which means that these supposedly Sri Lankan mechanisms will be paid for and maintained by foreign powers.

Those are just a few of the objectionable operative paragraphs in that resolution. After its passage, the Prime Minister said that Sri Lanka has now been ‘taken off the agenda in the UNHRC’.  Posters of the UPFA have appeared on the streets hailing the government for delivering the country from the ‘imperialist death trap’ in Geneva. Such statements sit oddly beside the operative paragraphs of the resolution mentioned above. The mismatch between the provisions of the resolution that was passed and the government’s present mixed signals and rhetoric may be due to a belated realisation that nothing has been gained by Sri Lanka joining the USA as a co-sponsor of this resolution except to commit the government to a course of action which runs contrary to the interests of this country and is therefore politically unfeasible.

I acknowledge that there are times when foreign powers try to foist their way of thinking upon other nations and the country at the receiving end has to find ways of dealing with the situation.  The first duty of the Sri Lankan government is to see to it that the interests of our war heroes are looked after.  Operative paragraphs 6 & 8 of the resolution run directly contrary to that sacred duty. I regret to note that there is an attempt to whitewash the unfavourable resolution in Geneva by claiming that this was the best that could be achieved and that things could have been far worse with the near certainty of economic sanctions if my government had been still in power. The withdrawal of the GSP+ trade concession in 2010 and the ban on Sri Lankan fish imports to the EU in January 2015 were mentioned as the forerunners of the sanctions that were to be imposed on Sri Lanka.

The public should be made aware that the ban on fish imports to the EU this year was due to issues relating to ‘illegal, unreported and unregulated’ fishing in the Indian Ocean in contravention of the rules of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and had nothing at all to do with politics or human rights.  As for GSP+, this is a special trade concession of doubtful utility which gives the EU a political handle over the recipient country. In 2010 when GSP+ came up for its quinquennial review and this was being used to impose the EU’s will on Sri Lanka, my government made a conscious decision not to reapply for GSP+. Even after this trade concession was withdrawn, my government ensured that apparel exports to the EU kept growing at more than 6% a year. It should be noted that no major exporting country in Asia has applied for GSP+ due to the political strings attached to it.

It was also said that I had antagonised the Western nations by being photographed with my arm around Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. It is actually Gaddafi who has his arm on my shoulder in that much publicised photograph. In the last months of the war in 2009 when Sri Lanka was fast losing foreign reserves due to the severe global economic recession that year and the IMF under pressure from the Western nations was delaying the standby facility that we were entitled to, Muammar Gaddafi agreed to lend 500 million USD to Sri Lanka in response to a single phone call from me. If not for that pledge, the economy would have collapsed before the war could be won.

It was also said that when foreign dignitaries came to Sri Lanka to persuade us to stop the war, I had deliberately insulted them by taking them to Embilipitiya and giving them manioc to eat, and that that resentment was motivating the Western countries to pass resolutions against us. I have no recollection what was on the menu when the British and French foreign ministers met me in the final days of the war demanding that I halt hostilities. But it is certainly true that I refused point blank to halt the war. It is because I did not buckle under foreign pressure that this country is free of terrorism today.  Governments are elected by the people of Sri Lanka to do what is best for the country and not to agree to everything said by foreign powers. That applies to the resolution that has just been passed in Geneva as well.

*Mahinda Rajapaksa (MP) and Former President

11 Responses to “Govt.’s Duty Is To Stand By Our War Heroes”

  1. Fran Diaz Says:

    Such a clear and truthful statement – like a breath of fresh air from Pres MR ! With you all the way, our trustworthy President. Many thanks to you for your continued caring to present the truth of matters to the public of Lanka.

    This short article must be translated into both Sinhala & Tamil and published widely.

    We are truly tired of the silly statements comiing from the Yahap govt. They sound odd and childish …. overdoing their act …..

  2. Independent Says:

    “The public should be made aware that the ban on fish imports to the EU this year was due to issues relating to ‘illegal, unreported and unregulated’ fishing in the Indian Ocean in contravention of the rules of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and had nothing at all to do with politics or human rights. ”

    – This is the first time I heard this even though I suspected. You, scared of India, never stated this as the President. Had you exposed TRUTH like this and also exposed INDIA CREATED LTTE , then that could have proven your true self beyond doubt. Instead you have been repeatedly saying INDIA IS OUR RELATIVE.

    EVEN now you must boldly say liar is a liar directly. No one can persecute you for that.

    We eagerly await your fight in the parliament with all these facts, also please ask the RUNIL bugger to SIT DOWN if he disturbs you.

  3. asoka2468 Says:

    Sir we as Sri Lankkans are eternally grateful to you, your brother Gotabaya and the brave soldiers of the three services for saving the country from the ruthless LTTE. we still cannot understand the mentality of the people who voted this present idiots into power.
    We strongly believe that you will get another chance to rule the country and you will take it to great heights like how you did prior to Jan 2015.
    May you have a good healthy long life because we need strong courages leaders like you.

  4. Sampath Says:

    යුධ විරුවන් දන්ගෙඩියට, ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්ට මේ යුධ විරුවන් ලවා සැලුට් ගහන වැඩ මේ අය කරවන්නේ. අනේ වාසේ

  5. ranjit Says:

    The words are from a great Gentleman rather than from a novice who shit on that seat by giving childish statements.

    We salute you Sir for standing bravely against all odds and wish you a very bright future and hope before long you will take the lead again same as before and rule my homeland with a clear vision and a clean Govt.

    May the triple Gem be upon you and your family and the Sri Lankan nation.

  6. nilwala Says:

    Thank you President Rajapakse for that clarifying statement so well articulated as to the position taken by you and your government during the difficult times that Sri Lanka experienced in the painful years of terrorism and war.
    We admire and respect the stand you took to preserve the nation’s dignity and protect the armed forces who fought to defend the country in the face of terror as well as pressure by external forces.
    May you be protected and guided by the Triple Gem in your continuing efforts to shield and steer Sri Lanka in the right direction so that it will not abandon its unique heritage of Buddhism in the face of modernization and materialism.
    Theruwan Saranai.

  7. Senevirath Says:

    මේ විදිහට දිගටම කෙලින් කතා කර රටට කරුණු පහදා දෙන්න චන්දෙට කලින් ඔබ වෙත මම ලිපියක් එව්වා ඔබකළ වැරදි බොහොමයක් පෙන්වා ඒවා නිවැරදි කර ගෙන අපේ උරුමය රකින්නට ඉදිරියට එන්න චන්ද්‍රිකාගේ පක්ෂය ඇත හැර එක දැන් පක්ෂයක් නොවෙය ”’ගොන් පස්සක් ” ලිපියේ ඔබට දොස් කිව්වේ තරහකට නොවෙය ඔබ තවදුරටත් අවශ්ෂ්‍ය නිසය්

  8. Fran Diaz Says:

    Some people tend to blame Pres MR for not revealing the whole case re the GSP and the fish ban. MR wisely avoided CONFRONTATIONAL POLITICS with the EU in an already complicated situation he was caught up in after the war with the LTTE.

    I know a few people who even blamed MR for the Golden Key fiasco ! They did not blame Mr Kotalawela (Golden Key Chairman) who planned the whole thing and who was a person injured in the LTTE blast of the Central Bank during the times of the UNP with Pres Premadasa in power ! Any investor who thought that a return of 32% as promised by Mr Kotalawela, is very naive to say the least !! Those who do not know that it is ‘Buyer Beware’ in the Capitalist system of the Freemarket ought not to dabble in such schemes.

    Strange that these people did not blame Mr Kotalawela or the LTTE that probably injured his capacity to think rationally after the bomb blast. I am told that Mr K had even changed his religion to attune to the west. What a price to pay !

    There is another person who lost her eye to a LTTE suicide bomber. Do we get Rational Thinking from her ?

  9. Lorenzo Says:

    I very rarely agree with Dham aka Nanda aka Independent. But I agree with him this time.

    “The public should be made aware that the ban on fish imports to the EU this year was due to issues relating to ‘illegal, unreported and unregulated’ fishing in the Indian Ocean in contravention of the rules of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission and had nothing at all to do with politics or human rights.”

    Who did illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in the Indian Ocean in SL waters? TAMIL MADU fishermen!! And they EXPORTED them to the EU!!

    Who paid for it? SL. EU banned SL fish exports to EU from SL because the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing happened IN SL WATERS!!

    Shame!

    ONE telephone call from FAT JAYA or MODA MODI, all TN illegal fishermen released even now.

    ONLY GOTA had the backbone to blame TN kallathoni fishermen for the PLUNDER!! And what did we do? SEPERATE the NAVY from the COAST GUARD who let the TAMILS fish and SL pay.

    Have you guys heard the school story of a Singhala farmer and a Tamil trader sharing a COW? The Tamil got the milk and cowdung and the calf while the farmer paid for it. When the COW tresspassed into a neighbor’s garden and ate vegitables, the stupid farmer had to PAY for it too!!

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Senevirath,

    Thanks for reminding that GON story. PERFECT FIT.

  11. SA Kumar Says:

    TAMIL MADU fishermen!! And they EXPORTED them to the EU!!- If TN exported than EU would have banned Indian export not Sri Lankan export ?

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