AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SHOULD LEARN TO KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT ON SRI LANKAN ISSUES.
Posted on February 10th, 2010

By Noor Nizam, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada “”…” February 10th., 2010.

Amnesty International has once again stooped to cheap publicity stunts to draw attention to their scheming international activities of undermining the sovereignty and integrity of the office of the democratically and duly elected President of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan Nation as a whole. HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa was re-elected to the office of Executive President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the presidential elections that was held on the 26th., of January 2010. The overwhelming majority was 1.8 million votes above his opponent opposition common candidate General (retired) Sarath Fonseka. The president received 57.88% of the total polled votes to his victory. The Elections Commissioner Mr. Chandrananda de Silva declared the elections as free and fair. On February 9th., at a press conference, the Elections Commissioner further refuted allegations of malpractices during the course of Presidential polls. He also added that there were no incidents to nullify any results as claimed by the opposition candidate.

 The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, the former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, whose party, the UNP, supported the main opposition Presidential candidate, at a press conference, held on January 29th., stated that he believed the Presidential Elections were conducted in a largely free and fair manner and that he accepted the final result.  The Centre for Monitoring Election Violence (CMEV), a leading NGO engaged in election monitoring concluded in a public statement that in comparison with the violence recorded during previous Presidential Elections that the 2010 Presidential Election was less violent and that the poll was conducted in a peaceful environment. The Presidential Elections in Sri Lanka were observed by 41 international observers from 13 countries who were located in 22 districts to monitor the whole process since their arrival in the country on 20th January.  The observers have since publicly pronounced that they did not witness any significant deviation from the procedure as mentioned in the Election Laws and stated in a press conference that the Elections Commissioner had acted with objectivity and impartiality. The US Govt., the European Union and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan and Australia have issued statements congratulating President Rajapaksa on his re-election and expressing satisfaction at the successful conclusion of the poll.  Congratulatory messages from the President of India, President of the Russian Federation and several other world leaders have also been received.

 When Sri Lanka has just concluded such a clean and democratic presidential polls commended and acknowledged by world leaders and nations, how dare Amnesty International criticize the government of Sri Lanka’s legitimate right to apply the rule-of-law when a citizen is guilty of a criminal act or military disobedience slamming it as “post-election repression” and come out with media statements that do not fall within the “Code of International journalism and ethics”. Added to this, Erik Solheim, Norway’s environment and international development minister, made a press statement to the news agency NTB – Norsk TelegrambyrƒÆ’†’¥ AS (Norwegian Telegraphic Bureau) from Oslo as follows:

 “There is no doubt that this arrest is a cause for major concerns,” “The arrest will have consequences on the possibility to progress towards lasting political stability” in Sri Lanka, he said, adding “many other events since the election justify being worried”

Since the January 26th.,. to February 8th., 2010, during a span of  13 days, the Rajapaksa regime had steered the victorious spirit of the nations patriots, be they Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, Burghers or others, free from violence and intimidation of the opponent’s supporters and opposition party supporters. Peace and harmony had been made to prevail and the President in is victory speech on the 27th February 2010, stated:

 “”¦”¦You did it because you understand the enormity of the task that lies ahead. We defeated terrorism and separatism, which at one time was thought and told by the whole world to be impossible. Now we want to lead our children and our nation to a brighter future as stakeholders of a truly free motherland.

 “”¦”¦To all of you who believed in me and voted to re-elect me as your President, I want to thank you for your support. I also want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign. We couldn’t have done it without you. And to those whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices. I need your help. And I am your President, too.

 This spirit of nationhood was well respected and adhered to by all, including the Security Forces, until an  event attended by the defeated candidate General (retired) Sarath Fonseka held in the morning of February 8th., where the General (retired) Sarath Fonseka made this public statement:

 “I challenge President Mahinda Rajapaksa to take me into custody if he can.”

 While Sarath Fonseka knew what all Sri Lankan’s had know that he as the most highest ranking army retired personnel was guilty of at least one “military code of conduct” violation, which was habouring army deserters and engaging army deserters as members of his security team, the loud mouth (retired) General who let go words without thinking twice as he did in his political campaign and press conferences, blurted out the above challenge. Moreover it is in record and quoted by a leading national newspaper that he addressed HE the President  as “The Gorilla” too, when he made the challenge.

 The President, as humble as he is “”…” did not mind Sarath Fonseka calling the President “names” during the campaign trail. Yet never did HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa ever be disrespectful of General (retired) Sarath Fonseka during the election campaign or even after HE’s victory.

 Allegations of conspiracy against the sovereign state, a re-elected president and the government have been gaining ground during the campaign trail and the episode that happened on the night of January 26th., /dawn 27th., 2010, at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel was the culmination of decisions to be taken by the security establishment according to the rule-of-law. The presence of selected opposition party leaders along with Army deserters and retired military top brass who had a grudge with HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa and Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the presidents brother, occupying 74 rooms, with the security camera monitoring devices switched off, fully endorses the government’s stance that was to surround this hotel. The cache of arms found in a nearby temple and later confirmed to have been arranged by 2 Tamil LTTE sympathizers made it clear that there was something more that campaign matters that were in progress going on inside the Hotel. Thus the security establishment had to move in as was done, but giving credit to the government, the security forces carried out their duties with respect and honour.

 It was later revealed by the state security establishment that there was a coup d‘ƒÆ’†’©tat, in the planning and that the Army deserters and the retired officers were to launch a siege on Temple Trees by dawn the 27th., January 2010 and take into custody the President and his staff, including his family and brothers, assassinate all of them if necessary and take over power by swearing in General (retired) Fonseka by 8 am in the morning of the 27th. With all the evidence of corruption from arms deals, violations of the army code and habouring army deserters without handing them in to the security establishment as the law of the country demands, National Defence Spokesman Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said that  Mr. Sarath Fonseka was arrested last night by Military Police under provisions of 57(1) of the Army Act. Accordingly, his activities as a member of the National Security Council while holding the positions as Army Commander or Army Chief of Staff will be investigated.

 More to this is evidence uncovering of the presence of a group of international conspirators who have been aiding and abetting the General (retired) Sarath Fonseka both in his campaign planning strategies and actions to conspire to overthrow an elected president of the country.

Highly regarded Australian Federal Liberal deputy director James McGrath has been working in Colombo since December 2009 on the opposition’s campaign and has been staying at the Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel when General (retired) Sarath Fonseka moved in with his gang on the 26th., night. James McGrath formerly worked for London’s mayor Boris Johnson and is seen as being an astute and aggressive campaign strategist who played a major role in General (retired) Sarath Fonseka’s campaign. He was also instrumental in bringing together the TNA and put through the 10 point MOU which made a difference in the Tamil votes swinging to the UNF. It is still a secret as to how he vanished from the hotel and left the country without being questioned about his nefarious activities in supporting General (retired) Sarath Fonseka in his activities to over throw a democratically re-elected president. It was therefore no secret that General (retired) Sarath Fonseka and his group of conspirators were in line to be arrested at the appropriate moment which happened on the night of February 8th., around 9 pm. The rule-of-law will be supreme above all and everyone, notwithstanding the fact whether the person was the Commander of the Army or and a retired General in a democratically elected government and the head of the State being an elected President of the Nation.

International organizations should learn to understand this reality and respect the norms of democracy and the rule-of-law which applies to the respective sovereign states.

It is time up therefore that Amnesty International should learn to keep their mouth shut on Sri Lankan issues


The writer Mr. Noor Nizam is a Sri Lankan Peace Activist, Freelance Journalist and a Communication Studies teaching personality and engaged in Political Communication Research, attached to McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada who was a team member of the Media and Propaganda Unit of HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidential Elections campaign 2010.

3 Responses to “AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL SHOULD LEARN TO KEEP THEIR MOUTH SHUT ON SRI LANKAN ISSUES.”

  1. aravinda Says:

    I don’t know when he lived, but I know he was a slave who lived in Greece. His name was Aesop.
    Following is one of his fables.

    One winter’s day a farm hand found a snake frozen stiff with the cold, and moved by compassion he picked it up and put it in his bosom. but with the warmth its natural instinct returned, and it gave its benefactor a fatel bite. As he died he said: ” I have got what I deserve for taking pity on an evil creature.”.

    Similar thing happened in Sri Lanka in 2009/10. But this time the farm hand had wisdom to throw away the snake before it bit him.

  2. gemgem Says:

    You call yourself a Peace Activist but yet support this President who is trying to destory democracy. How can you say the election was democratic when there was absolute misuse of the state’s resources and media, holding the Election Commissioner to ransom , blacking out all internet sites, intimidation of election officials and voters (especially in the North). We have never witnessed such ill treatment of opposition party supporters. Why have an election when the opposition is treated this way? To cap it all, the peaceful protesters at the Supreme Court were stoned by govt goons wih the police protecting them. Ammnesty International and other HR agencies are quite right in their actions. Out international reputation is ruined and the consequences will be felt in time to come

  3. Priyantha Abeywickrama Says:

    Dear gemgem, are you born after 1983 referendum? I had the fun of being an opposition polling agent during pot and lamp fight in one of the few places in Lanka nothing of sort described by you happened. I was not an active member of politics at that time, but enjoyed the challenge as there was none to stand up against terror unleashed by your saviours. Obviously, you may not be able to re-collect how some people drank holy water during Mulkirigala by-election before that (Sorry I did not read the article content as I lost my bearings on Lanka Web. Anyone can be a SF any day unless they are driven by principles and facts.)

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