India’s Union Minister of Shipping, living in glass house, should not throw stones at Sri Lanka and its diplomats!
Posted on October 27th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

A Union Minister of India has apparently said, as reported in the media on 26 October, that Sri Lanka-â„¢s High Commissioner to India has overstepped his boundaries, when the latter allegedly said, -those who did not participate in the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) would face isolation-. One does not know whether one should laugh or cry as regards the attitude of the Indian Union Minister.

‚ Sri Lanka is bombarded day in and day out with statements, advice, guidelines, pontifications, warnings, threats, etc. from every Tom, Dick and Harry in India, and more specifically in Tamil Nadu, as to how Sri Lanka should manage its affairs. The 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka-â„¢s constitution, which was rammed down the throat of a former president of the Island nation by Rajiv Gandhi, is being bandied about as manna from heaven: it is professed by India and its lackeys in Sri Lanka as the panacea for all ills of Sri Lanka-â„¢s Tamils, and by extrapolation, of all Sri Lankan nationals.

‚ Starting with the Prime Minister of India, through his Minister of External Affairs and ending up with the vociferous anti-Sri Lanka politicians of Tamil Nadu -” those in power as well as others long past their -Ëœsell by date-â„¢ -” obviously have no problems in India or Tamil Nadu on which they should spend their energies: all their working hours are spent on the desire for improving the welfare of Sri Lanka-â„¢s Tamils. In contrast, it obviously is in order for Indian politicians and their diplomats -” Dixit, the onetime Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka would be the best example -” to overstep their remit interfering in Sri Lanka-â„¢s affairs.

‚ There is clearly nothing inappropriate or incorrect in what the Sri Lanka-â„¢s High Commissioner to India has said. Out of the 53 Heads of State in the Commonwealth countries it is only the Prime Minister of Canada who wants to give the CHOGM a miss. Even a kindergarten kid knows that the move has nothing do with human rights issues or how Sri Lanka managed to get rid of the most ruthless terrorists in the world in May 2009: the PM of Canada would be salivating like one of Pavlov-â„¢s dogs when he thinks of the block vote of Sri Lanka Tamils now settled in the Greater Toronto area that he would receive with his much publicised anti-Sri Lanka action. As opposed to that stance, those of the calibre of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and other level-headed statesmen have indicated that they will be pleased to be in Sri Lanka in November at the summit in Colombo.

2 Responses to “India’s Union Minister of Shipping, living in glass house, should not throw stones at Sri Lanka and its diplomats!”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    You tell them, Peter! Politicos are Driven by the need to garner Tamil votes, just as Man Mohan Singh is held prisoner by Tamil Nadu votes on the eve of Indian Lok Sabha elections!

    As a Journalist, Peter Heap of the Guardian has no need to pander to vote banks … that is the essential difference!
    Douglas Alexander is wrong: Sri Lanka does not deserve to be boycotted

    The country has been through horrors but has made huge progress. Britain should attend the Commonwealth summit in Colombo

    By Peter Heap
    The Guardian
    October 27, 2013

    Douglas Alexander, the shadow foreign secretary, urges the prime minister and foreign secretary not to attend next month’s Commonwealth heads of government meeting (CHOGM) in Sri Lanka (David Cameron should boycott the Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka, 21 October). His premises and his conclusion bear challenge.

    He refers to “two decades of civil war that have seen 40,000 civilians lose their lives”. There is no accurate figure, but this is at the top end of credible estimates. During most of the conflict most casualties came from the reign of terror of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers), who destroyed trains, buses and buildings. Assassination victims included President Premadasa, India’s Rajiv Gandhi, and three Tamil mayors. At the war’s end civilian casualties were high principally because the LTTE callously used them as a human shield between themselves and advancing government forces. Sri Lanka’s critics seem to have scant understanding of what the country has gone through.

    Alexander suggests Sri Lanka’s “bleak human rights record” is reason to boycott the Commonwealth summit, and even hints that Sri Lanka might be expelled: where the Commonwealth’s “basic values” (“of democracy and human rights”) “are challenged from within, it is right that members be prepared to act, as was demonstrated when the Mugabe government was suspended from the Commonwealth’s ranks”.

    This view is surely unjustified. Sri Lanka has been a fully functioning democracy since independence. On human rights it is not an unblemished picture but a Royal Commonwealth Society report, Commonwealth Compared 2013, which measured 168 countries on human rights criteria such as press freedom, democracy and inequality, ranked Sri Lanka 68th in the world and 14th in the Commonwealth – comfortably in the top half of each. Would we hear similar calls to boycott a summit in the countries listed below Sri Lanka?

    Alexander suggests “the remaining weeks before the summit should rightly focus our attention on the Sri Lankan government’s conduct”. Might that focus then include the considerable progress that has been made since the end of hostilities: clearing around a million landmines laid by the LTTE; massive rebuilding of infrastructure, housing and schools in wartorn areas; the acceptance of Tamil as an equal official language; the holding of elections in the north and east, giving people there their first chance to vote in 30 years; and the substantial reduction in the military presence in the north. Sri Lanka surely deserves some recognition of this progress.

    Britain needs a proper presence at the coming CHOGM. The meeting is not about Sri Lanka. It uniquely brings together around 50 heads of governments. For Britain to stay away would do huge damage to the Commonwealth and to the prospects for future summits. When on the horizon lies the possibility of Britain leaving the EU, is this the time to snub the Commonwealth? Such an extreme step is surely not justified.

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    The Northern Province now acts like a Parallel Autonomous Government to the GOSL, taking upon itself to send a Northern Province Minister to mediate International Issues with Tamil Nadu in India.

    The GOSL should STOP this IMMEDIATELY NOW, prohibiting international diplomacy as OUTSIDE THE SCOPE of Powers of the Provincial Councils, or this will become a DE-FACTO precedent setting up a standard practice that will DILUTE the AUTHORITY of Sri Lanka’s National Government.

    The GOSL should issue a CEASE & DESIST order to the Northern Provincial Council, identifying the PENALTIES for engaging in such activities, before TOO MANY ministerial COOKS SPOIL Sri Lanka’s international security SOUP!

    Sri Lanka Northern Province minister to visit Tamil Nadu to address fishermen’s issues
    Sun, Oct 27, 2013, 01:21 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Oct 27, Colombo: A minister of the Northern Provincial Council in Sri Lanka is to visit Tamil Nadu in order to address issues faced by the Sri Lankan fishermen in the North.

    The Northern Province Minister of Fisheries, Transport and Rural Development P. Deniswaran is considering to visit Tamil Nadu to resolve the issue of massive-scale poaching by Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters.

    Deniswaran told the local media that he hoped to hold discussions with the Tamil Nadu authorities about the issue.

    Pointing out that local fishermen are badly affected by the large scale poaching by Indian fishermen and the use of illegal fishing methods by them, the provincial minister said that Indian fishermen are also destroying coral and marine life in Sri Lankan waters while engaging in poaching.

    According to Deniswaran, the Sri Lankan and Indian governments need to find a diplomatic solution to address the issue of illegal poaching in Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen.

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