Bob Rae denied entry to Sri Lanka -Ottawa decries Rae’s unacceptable treatment (CTV News)
Posted on June 12th, 2009

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario. Canada

June 11, 2009

Hon. Lawrence Cannon, MP., PC
Minister of Foreign Affairs
House of Commons, Ottawa

Dear Minister Cannon:

 Re: Ottawa decries Rae’s unacceptable treatment (CTV News)

This news item says, “Canada’s Foreign Affairs department has signalled its “dismay and displeasure” with the Sri Lankan government’s decision to bar Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae from entering the country.”   I am quite surprised that you feel so dismayed?  How come?

Sri Lanka is a sovereign country that has the discretion as any other sovereign nation to decide who should enter their country, as much as we denied the British Member of Parliament George Galloway’s entry into Canada on the basis that “ƒ”¹…”he poses a threat to national security.’  So why shouldn’t Sri Lanka deny entry to Bob Rae for the very same reason, “a threat to national security.”  There may have been a good reason for that assumption, as much as we had a reason to deny Galloway’s entry.

You forgot how our Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson exerted his rights to kick out of Canada France’s General De Gaulle who was on an official state visit to Canada in July 1967, for interfering with Canadian politics having declared before a crowd of 100,000 Quebecers in Montreal: “Vive le Quebec libre!”

Rae in a statement reported in the Toronto Star (June 10, 2009) said, “Sri Lanka is afraid of dialogue, afraid of discussion, afraid of engagement.” You know as much as I do, it was good diplomatic etiquette that stopped the Sri Lankan Government to ask Rae, “Who the hell do you think you are to expect us to have a dialogue, a discussion and an engagement with you?”  This is where the white-man’s arrogance comes into play.  “We know it all.  We are Holier than Thou”, attitude.  That is rubbish Mr. Minister.

You might think that statement by me has racial undertones.  Well”¦Minister figure this one out.   When it came to a vote at the UN’s Human Rights Council’s eleventh Special Session on the Situation of Human Rights in Sri Lanka, with the specific intention of producing the Sri Lankan Government at the International War Crimes Court, 12 countries voted for it, and they were Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.  They all happened to be “White-man’s” countries, and almost all the 29 countries that voted against it, were countries with peoples with different shades of brown and black.   That is how the dice rolled and Sri Lanka took to heart which countries were their real friends.

In the bigger picture of geo-politics, busy bodies like Bob Rae from Canada hasn’t got it as yet, as some bigger countries like China and Russia will not allow little Sri Lanka to be bullied. They will ensure that the “international community” cannot and will not torment Colombo.  They have invited Sri Lanka to come close to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization as a “dialogue partner”.   And I wish they will.  That is the ground reality, and if I were Bob Rae I would hold back wanting a dialogue with the Sri Lankan Government, as he might find that he has nothing to offer to the present political culture of Sri Lanka, as they are striving for a home-made solution for their woes.

That impressive win at the UNHRC by Sri Lanka on a hostile terrain in Geneva of diplomatic terrorism left these 12 countries reeling with anger and embarrassment and Canada happened to be one of them.

Here’s is one of the crimes that Bob Rae committed which the Sri Lankan Government is cognizant of.  After the UNHRC had that vote on 28 May and Canada lost, Bob Rae get’s up in parliament on June 2 and says in French:

“Mr. Speaker, I have a question for the Minister of Foreign Affairs.  It is clear that it is now necessary that there should be a public enquiry into the events that have taken place in Sri Lanka.  There is a humanitarian situation that is grave and severe.  At the same time, we know very well that almost 20,000 people have recently been killed.  What will the Minister do to ensure that an International enquiry is carried out with regard to this question?” And no doubt Sri Lanka made a note of it.

Sri Lanka is absolutely right to suspect every Liberal Party Member of Parliament as they know that each one of them is a clone of Muhammad Ali and try to cheat the Sri Lankan High Commission diplomats in Ottawa by sweet talking as moderates saying, I am a friend of your country and “I float like a butterfly and“¦”, but the Sri Lankan Government recognizes that  each one of them would “”¦sting like a bee,” as they are supporters of the Eelam cause to garner the 100,000  GTA Tamil votes.

Sri Lankans are no fools, Mr. Minister, as they realize that these Liberals, a clan who Bob Rae belongs to, are the politicians who refused to ban their enemy the Tamil Tiger terrorists for 13 long years while the other western countries were banning them, and let the Tamil Diaspora collect two million dollars a month to stuff the Tamil Tiger war chest to help them buy sophisticated weapons to kill and maim the innocent Sri Lankan people in the thousands.  

Consequently, when Bob Rae landed on Colombo’s International Airport tarmac, the Sri Lankan Immigration personnel for whatever “ƒ”¹…”intelligence’ reasons were suspect of him. I am sure they couldn’t reconcile the fact that Bob Rae representing the Liberal clan of Tamil Tiger supporters and a referee in this feud who was constantly awarding penalties to the Sri Lankan Government and now pretending to have changed sides to  be a playing coach.  Nonsense.  He and the other Liberals better not try to fool Sri Lankans here in Canada as well as in Sri Lanka as it will just not wash well.

The Sri Lankan Government is cognizant that Bob Rae was inimical of their efforts of trying hard to establish good governance while engaging in this horrible terrorist war which Canada supported indirectly, by promoting the international policy of R2P on Sri Lanka.  Bob Rae said during the debate on February 4th,

 “I know my colleague, the member for Mount Royal (Irwin Cotler), is one of the experts on this question of our responsibility to protect (R2P).  At what point does the condition of a civilian population give the United Nations the right and ability to intervene?”

Little wonder why the Sri Lankan Government requested Bob Rae to get on the next flight and return to where he belonged.  I know that his ego may have been shattered somewhat, but then Mr. Minister, this is how the cookie crumbles when you try to act as a tin-God over  the peoples of a puny island nation, especially when you are not welcome.

The Sri Lankan Government knows that it was his clan of Liberals who on February 4th Emergency Debate on Sri Lanka charged the Sri Lankan Government of “Genocide”, as there were no such things happening.  Five of them, in fact.  The member for Scarborough-Agincourt said,

“Mr. Speaker, last week I held a round table with my constituents on the issue of Sri Lanka.  These are some of the actions they want the Government of Canada to undertake: condemn immediately the slaughter and genocide of innocent Tamil civilians in the northern part of Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Army.”  Sri Lanka, no doubt made a note of that unfair charge too.

The Sri Lankan Government knows that it was Bob Rae’s clan of Liberals that on November 6, 2007, stood vigil for S.P. Thamil Chelvam with 10,000 Tamil constituents at the Markham Recreation Grounds and christened the Tamil Tigers, their enemy, as “Doves of Peace”.

The Sri Lankan Government knows that it was one of Bob Rae’s clan of Liberals, the member for Scarborough-Agincourt who got up in parliament during the February 4th debate and had the audacity and arrogance, to say:  “When is the Government going to rise and say that if Sri Lanka does not change its ways, it is going to be kicked out of the Commonwealth?” Well, Sri Lanka most definitely chalked that comment as another white-man’s arrogance towards Sri Lanka.

The Sri Lankan Government is cognizant that it was one of Bob Rae’s clan members, the member for Mississauga-Cooksville, who during the February 4th  debate charged  the Sri Lankan Government of cluster-bombing by saying: “The government makes it blatantly clear by its repeated use of cluster bombs against a civilian hospital that it is not worried about accusations of war crimes.” , when Sri Lanka had signed the Treaty not to use cluster bombs and had no military capability to use cluster bombs either.  And no doubt the Sri Lankan government had made a note of that unsubstantiated charge too.

The Sri Lankan Government is cognizant of the fact that Bob Rae had publicly described Sri Lanka as a “Failed Society”.  Unfortunately, to take him seriously, he did not tell the public the index that he had used to arrive at his educated conclusion.  And that is where the rub is, Mr. Minister.

Mr. Minister, considering all these factors where Bob Rae had implied negatively on Sri Lanka’s internal affairs, surely you didn’t expect him to be given a red carpet treatment, did you?

What is good for the goose (Galloway & De Gaulle) surely should be good for the gander (Rae).  Bob Rae certainly called for it and let’s not make a big hue and cry over his obnoxious follies.

But I can tell you one thing.  I can bet my last dollar, his exercise to go to Sri Lanka was to crawl himself to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the north, interview a few Tamil refugees, come back and complaint, how horrible the IDP camps were.  That there were no food to eat, no air to breathe, no medicine for the sick, and our Government should do every thing to process the applications of  thousands of relatives of Tamil-Canadians for family reunification.  Having spent a couple of thousand dollars for the plane-ticket, do you know what; he would have locked every Tamil vote in the 13 ridings of the GTA for the next election for the Liberals.

I believe it is time that Bob Rae comes down from his high horse of pretence that he knows all the woes of Sri Lanka and answers too, just because he had visited Sri Lanka a few times.  I don’t buy it, and I am sure all of Sri Lanka won’t buy it either.

And it is time that the Canadian government decide not to poke its fingers into Sri Lanka’s  internal affairs and let the island focus on the process of reconciliation, healing and settling the 280,000 Tamil civilians that the Government Armed Forces liberated from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers, and along the way sacrificed 6,300 of their colleagues lives.


Asoka Weerasinghe

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