Rathnapriya Bandu and Lord Naseby
Posted on July 20th, 2018

N.A.de S. Amaratunga

What is common between the otherwise poles-apart Lord Naseby and Lieutenant Colonel Rathnapriya Bandu is that both had contributed immensely to the process of reconciliation among communities in this country and debunked the nasty accusation that our armed forces have committed atrocities against Tamil civilians. Both have been ignored by the government and Tamil separatists. Lord Naseby has proved beyond doubt that our armed forces had not caused the death of 40000 civilians and other war crimes. Lt.Colonel Rathnapriya while serving in the Civil Security Division had won the hearts and minds of Tamils including LTTE cadres who gave him an emotional, tearful and endearing farewell. Ironically the Government whose duty is to safeguard the image of the country and its armed forces has chosen to ignore the efforts of both these people and the opportunity they provide to try and mitigate the damage caused by the UNHRC Resolution. Further the Government doesn’t seem to be interested in making use of these opportunities in its reconciliation project. The TNA and Tamil separatists too do not want to have anything to do with Lord Naseby’s findings or Rathnapriya’s achievements.

TNA’s attitude is understandable, they don’t want any reconciliation between Sinhalese and Tamils for that would ruin their political battle cry; discrimination, genocide, war crimes and their final goal of a separate state. They have taken up the position that a new constitution is required to achieve reconciliation. On the other hand what kind of reconciliation the people want was shown by the people of Vishwamadu in the Killinochi District which was the main bastion of the LTTE. Many ex-LTTE cadres were in tears and they carried Rathnapriya on their shoulders. Chief Minister Vigneshwaran I am sure would not get such an emotion filled farewell if and when he vacates the Northern PC for he has not done anything for the Tamils in the Northern Province except sowed the seeds of communalism, separatism and hatred.

The Northern Tamils are intelligent, they know what is good and bad, what is fair and foul. If they believe that the armed forces committed war crimes against their people they would not shed tears and react the way they did when they bid farewell to one of the leading figures in the Civil Security Division and the armed forces. They would not have cooperated with Lt. Colonel Rathnapriya  enabling him to achieve what he did. They know how the armed forces sacrificed much to save them from the clutches of the LTTE, how the armed forces received them and tended to them when they crossed the Nandikadal Lagoon to escape from the LTTE. They don’t believe the lies spread by political opportunists like Vigneshwaran, Sivajilingam et al. They see the difference between their Chief Minister and Lt.Colonel Rathnapriya, political manipulation and genuine concern, false reconciliation and lasting peace.

The Northern Tamils are intelligent, they know what Lord Naseby has found is true, they know the armed forces could not have killed so many civilians without their knowledge, got rid of the bodies without their knowledge and that all allegations of war crimes against the armed forces are fabrications of separatist politicians who work in collaboration with western powers and their local agents. They are beginning to realize that they could trust the Sinhalese, and it is to their benefit to live in peace with them. All this was made possible due to the activities of Lord Naseby and Lt. Colonel Rathnapriya and many others in the armed forces.  Lord Naseby gave them the facts and figures about civilian deaths and other war crime allegations. Lt.Colonel Rathnapriya helped them to start developing trust in the Sinhala armed forces and thereby the Sinhalese people.

What is baffling is the attitude and the deafening silence of the government towards those two good things that happened to this besieged, besmirched, hopeless country in recent times. Those two good things give us some hope and trust in human nature in a world run by deceitful treacherous leaders. Any other country in similar predicament would have made national heroes out of Lord Naseby and Lt.Colonel Rathnapriya Bandu. They would have grabbed the opportunity to tell the world that our armed forces have not committed war crimes and that Tamils and Sinhalese could live in peace and we do not need their interference to develop amity among communities. But the government lacks the courage to do that. What is worse is it does the opposite. Lord Naseby was treated shabbily by the Foreign Office and Lt.Colonel Rathnapriya’s achievements go unnoticed and unrecognized except a few good comments by Minister Mano Ganeshan.

How could a government that is so servile to the west and to the Tamil separatists develop any trust among the Sinhalese majority? Even the intelligent Tamils would soon realize the folly of supporting this dithering government. They would realize that these policies of the government authored abroad for the benefit of the geopolitical agenda of the west and separatist ambitions would not bring peace or development to the North. They would realize the truth of Lord Naseby’s findings and even be grateful to him for discovering the truth for them, a truth that is far more believable than the truth that may be uncovered” by a Truth Commission appointed according to the dictate of the west. They would realize the falsehood of the UNHRC Resolution which was cosponsored by the government for reasons best known to them.

The Tamils would realize the reality of peace that Rathnapriya Bandu developed for them which could be considered a model for reconciliation for the conflict ridden world. Only hindrance to the Tamil psyche undergoing such desirable changes is the Tamil separatist political leadership and the opportunist Sinhalese political leadership. Tamils and Sinhalese must jettison such leaders and get together for the greater benefit. The day that happens this country would make a new beginning in a journey towards peace, harmony and prosperity.

N.A.de S. Amaratunga

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