Fearing Foreign Conspirators is Same as Favouring Them
Posted on July 23rd, 2015

Dilrook Kannangara

Working without fear or favour is a term that identifies the duel impact of fear and favour on decisions. If one favours another, the first person cannot work objectively. Similarly, if one fears another, the first person cannot work objectively. Volumes have been written about foreign conspirators and those who favour them. Attacking those who favour foreign conspirators is the main theme of the UPFA election campaign. However, how about those who fear foreign conspirators? They too are in the same boat.

13A Cannot Be Removed but Allows Various Middle Path Options

UNP finds that 13A cannot be removed because it favours foreign conspirators who instilled it. UPFA cannot remove 13A because it fears foreign conspirators trying to send their leaders to Hague. The end result is the same. This is well accepted and received by the electorate. People understand how fear and favour of foreign actors by UPFA and UNP respectively keeps 13A going.

It is unwise for Mahinda or UPFA to promise to abrogate 13A given their very heavy reliance on Tamil and Muslim mono ethnic parties to secure their intended majority in parliament. UNP has an electoral pact with SLMC and TNA while UPFA has an electoral pact with CWC and a section of the SLMC. As such it is suicidal to tear apart the 13A.

UNP has already promised to fully implement 13A and a few UNP MPs have called to remove all police stations in the north paving way for full police and land powers to the Northern Provincial Council. UPFA top leaders including Mahinda are silent on what they will do against it. Why?

There are many other options between full implementation of 13A and abrogating it. For instance UPFA can take a very firm stand against this UNP move and declare it will not go any further on 13A. UPFA can also demand the dissolution of the Northern Provincial Council that passed a resolution calling for foreign investigations into alleged war crimes. Why aren’t they taking these measures?

If it is fear of foreign conspirators, then there is no difference between them and those who favour foreign conspirators.

The China Factor

Elections in Taiwan, Bangladesh, South Korea and even Japan and USA are mostly about China. So is this election in Sri Lanka. People are presented a choice between a pro-China party and an anti-China party. While the UNP follows an openly anti-China policy due to its favouritism for foreign conspirators, UPFA leaders are silent out of fear of foreign, particularly Indian and US conspirators. UPFA leaders have complained the UNP government has stalled its development projects. However, the underlying reason for this is the China factor. Without reference to the China factor, development cannot be discussed in this country. If UPFA leaders fear openly discussing the China factor out of fear of India, people see no difference between UPFA and UNP. Fear and favour are the same.

In order to differentiate itself top UPFA leaders must come out openly defending Chinese projects and clarify its stand on China.

UNHRC Interim Report, the Elephant in the Room

Mid year report by UNHRC in October will have a section on Sri Lanka based on the investigation it carried out into alleged war crimes. UNP openly favours it since it was sanctioned by USA, India and the EU. The UNP leader and Fonseka always supported a foreign investigation. Although UPFA opposed it, the then government appointed a panel of foreigners in its domestic investigation. A domestic investigation by foreigners is hardly domestic! What is the UPFA stand on this? It cannot run with the hares and hunt with the dogs.

Will a UPFA government go against the UNHRC and defend war heroes no matter what? People need to hear it unambiguously. Although a few UPFA prominent speakers have vowed to defend war heroes, UPFA top leaders seem to avoid this issue during the election campaign. If UNP support for the UNHRC is driven by favour, UPFA inaction is driven by fear. Ultimately both are the same.

Public Sector and Debt Crisis, the Other Big One

Sri Lanka is in debt crisis. With close to $60 billion net debt to external parties and a large trade deficit, the debt crisis is biting. Comparing the debt level against the GDP makes little sense as our net trade terms are a negligible part of the GDP. Foreign currency is needed to pay off this debt which the nation lacks. USA on the other hand has debt close to $18 trillion. However, it also has foreign reserves close to $17.9 trillion. Therefore the net debt is very small, smaller than Sri Lanka at $39 billion.

However, both major parties are silent on this. UNP has turned to IMF for help. However, IMF wants drastic cuts to state spending, reduction of armed forces, a huge reduction in public sector employment and massive depreciation of the rupee. These will be put in place after the election. What is the approach UPFA is taking? Can UPFA leaders guarantee they will honour no cuts imposed by the IMF?

UNP’s historical favouritism of IMF is well known. UPFA’s fear of IMF is little known. Ultimately, both positions converge as fear and favour are the same.

Voters Admire Addressing Tricky Issues, Despise Avoiding Them

Historically voters have punished indecisive political leaders; and elevated decisive leaders. When both major parties are playing safe on key issues, voters are swayed by fairy tales. UNP is in a better position to tell long fairy tales and take the cake unless UPFA top leaders make their position on key issues known to voters.

People want the fearless Mahinda who gave an earful to Miliband and his fellow meddlers in 2009.

4 Responses to “Fearing Foreign Conspirators is Same as Favouring Them”

  1. vyasan Says:

    I completely agree with what has been pointed out in the above column. Favour and fear ultimately produce the same result. They are like barriers put in the track hindering or delaying the smooth running and the one who can overcome these barriers quickly enough succeed!

    Be sure and determined of what you are doing! Being indecisive not only causes failures, at times bring destruction for the people concerned.

  2. Independent Says:

    “UNP finds that 13A cannot be removed because it favours foreign conspirators who instilled it. UPFA cannot remove 13A because it fears foreign conspirators trying to send their leaders to Hague. The end result is the same.”
    “Sri Lanka is in debt crisis…….. However, both major parties are silent on this. ”

    Devolution of power could lead to separatism: JVP
    T. Ramakrishnan

    The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) is for the establishment of people’s assemblies and democratisation of the village administration in Sri Lanka instead of devolution of powers to provinces.

    Articulating the party’s position on a variety of issues on the sidelines of its special convention in Colombo on Wednesday, Vijitha Herath, JVP spokesperson, and Bimal Ratnayaka, national organiser, told The Hindu that the assemblies should be created on the basis of ethnicity, culture and the state of economic development. “We want the existing boundaries of the provinces to be redrawn totally,” Mr. Herath said.

    The spokesperson explained that the concept of devolution was not applicable to Sri Lanka, smaller in size compared to India. “Our stand is that it would lead to separatism,” he said.

    As for the reforms in the administration of rural areas, Mr. Ratnayaka said the Indian model of village panchayats would form the basis and under the existing system in Sri Lanka, village-level bodies were not as empowered as those in India.

    On the issue of housing in areas hit by the civil war, the national organiser said his party was for providing Rs. five lakh more to each family. “The original amount of Rs. five lakh was worked out on the basis of cost of living five years but with this amount, no one can build a pucca house now,” Mr. Ratnayaka said. With the amount given already, beneficiaries would have built some structure. To make the structure a complete house, the additional amount was required.

    To a query on investigation in alleged war crimes, the national organiser said his party was for inclusion of “independent, progressive international experts.” He added that “to get such intellectuals, you do not have to go to the West. They are available in countries such as India and Pakistan.”

    Earlier, addressing the convention, Anura Dissanayaka, party leader, emphasised that his party would strive for providing equal rights to all communities in matters concerning religion, culture and language.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Lets not change the GOAL POST. 13 amendment MUST GO.

    We MUST shed FEAR AND SUPERSTITION. Superstition is TOO STRONG causing many embarassing situations.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    MORE MUSCLE FLEXING by the Tiger Nominated Party (TNA) to MAXIMALLY EXPLOIT the General Election to achieve their DREAM of carving out a Tamil EELAM …. as BIG AS POSSIBLE …. from Sri Lanka!


    Sri Lanka Tamil party calls for power sharing, re-merger of North and East

    July 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka’s main Tamil party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) reiterated its demand for a power sharing arrangement in a unit of a re-merged Northern and Eastern provinces under a federal structure as it existed earlier.

    The TNA, in its manifesto released on Saturday said the Tamil People are entitled to the right to self-determination and the Tamil Speaking Northern and Eastern provinces are the historical habitation of the Tamil People and the Tamil Speaking Peoples.

    The coalition of four Tamil parties noted that the Tamil speaking Muslims in the two provinces will be entitled to be beneficiaries of all power-sharing arrangements in the North-East. “This will no way inflict any disability on any People,” the manifesto noted.

    TNA leader R. Sampanthan released the TNA election manifesto at a function held Saturday afternoon in Uduvil, Jaffna. The function has been organized by the TNA organizer for Jaffna and Vavuniya districts Mavai Senathirajah.

    The manifesto further called for devolution of power on the basis of shared sovereignty over land, law and order, enforcement of the law so as to ensure the safety and security of the Tamil People, socio-economic development including inter-alia health, education, higher and vocational education, agriculture, fisheries, industries, livestock development, cultural affairs, mustering of resources, both domestic and foreign and fiscal powers.

    The salient features of power sharing that are fundamental to achieving genuine reconciliation, lasting peace and development for all the Peoples of Sri Lanka also included the facilitation of direct foreign investment in the North-East resulting in new industries and employment opportunities being created for youth and setting up of avenues for tertiary education for those who cannot enter universities can pursue higher education in relevant fields.

    The TNA said it is firmly of the view that international auspices is inevitable to achieve permanent peace through genuine reconciliation.

    Emphasizing that accountability and reconciliation are fundamental to genuine and permanent peace in Sri Lanka, the manifesto sought fulfilment of the three resolutions adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and the release of the Report of the international investigation mandated by the March 2014 resolution in September 2015.

    The party said it is “strongly committed to the ascertainment of the truth which must be made public and known to all the peoples of this country, the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims and others.”

    In addition continuing to pursue a just and lasting political solution to the national ethnic question, the party said it will actively engage in addressing the immediate and current concerns of its People.

    The concerns the party would address include, among others, meaningful de-militarization, speedy resettlement of remaining displaced people in their original places, release of political prisoners held under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA), ascertaining the truth about the missing persons, and facilitating the return of over 100,000 Tamil refugees in South India.

    Furthermore, the TNA will undertake a comprehensive programme for the development of the North and the East including the creation of employment opportunities for the youth with the active support of the Sri Lankan State, the Tamil Diaspora and the International Community.

    The party will implement a comprehensive development programme in the North-East, including upgrading the Palali airport as an international airport, and developing sea ports and fisheries harbors.

    The party will also find solutions for the challenges faced by their fishermen in freely pursing their vocation and make every effort to improve their livelihood.

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