An open letter to The Canadian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Eric Walsh
Posted on July 31st, 2023

Dr Sudath Gunasekara

I reproduce here your statement as it appeared in the Lankaweb, for my readers to see what you have really said and where you have said that.

Mr. Walsh told a media conference organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress to announce its assistance to Sri Lanka.

 There was genocide in Canada: Canadian envoy

Posted on July 29th, 2023

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Canadian High Commissioner Eric Walsh yesterday said that there was genocide in Canada and its now trying to bring about reconciliation with its indigenous people, and Sri Lanka also has potential for the same.

Sri Lanka can achieve much like Canada, which has presented itself as a bilingual nation both domestically and internationally. Canadian life is in bilingual nature with English and French and Tamil to some extent. This is how Canada has presented itself domestically and internationally. this is what we are focusing on when it comes to our relationship with Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka can also do it with its positive aspects and advantages,”

Mr. Walsh told a media conference organized by the Canadian Tamil Congress to announce its assistance to Sri Lanka.

Canada is trying to bring about reconciliation with its indigenous people. It has been acknowledged that there has been genocide in Canada. It is a long process and dif­ficult, ” he added.

Mr. Walsh praised the Sri Lankan Tamils in Canada stating that they have played a great contribution to the well-being of that nation. We have a large number of Canadian professionals such as doctors and others. There are also two Tamil origin Cabinet members in Canada, ” he said in this regard.

He said there were a number of Canadian organizations working in Sri Lanka undertaking many projects such as setting up a Thalassemia Centre in Kurunegala. He also praised the Canadian Tamil Congress, which has raised Rs 250 million through the recent project Canadian Tamil Walk.

said Canada has been a long-standing friend of Sri Lanka. He recalled that Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayake had gained recognition as an international airport with Canadian was Canada which assisted Sri Lanka to construct a 11,000 feet runway at the Katunayake Airport during the 1960s,” he said. (Yohan Perera)

Yes Mr. High Commissioner, the whole world knows that there was large-scale genocide done by your ancestors of Europe during the period 1400 -1850, not only in Canada but all over the world in continents like NA, SA, and Australia where your ancestors have annihilated the natives and concord those lands in the process of those dark Western colonial invasions in world history and also committed large scale genocide in Islands like Sri Lanka and other Asian countries like India but failed to annihilate the natives in those countries completely, unlike in the other continents, due to their bravery and deep rooted  civilizations.

 Coming back to your meeting with the the Canadian Tamil Congress” in Colombo. First of all, Mr. Ambassador I must point out to you that you have violated the basic ethics of your appointment as Ambassador to the sovereign Government of Sri Lanka by patronizing a meeting held within its sovereign territory by an antigovernment organization called the Canadian Tamil Congress”. Even if you had made a similar statement in Canada in your capacity as Ambassador to Sri Lanka that amounts to a gross violation of diplomatic ethics. The situation is made worse when that gathering was attended by the leader of the Tamil Progressive Alliance and Member of Parliament Mano Ganesan who represents a vocal Tamil leader of an antigovernment ethic group who fight for a separate state within this country. This action on your part, I think is a gross violation as the representative of the Government of Canada in Sri Lanka. Because it amounts to directly getting involved with local politics, which is highly unbecoming of a diplomatic officer.

I am sorry that I had to address this note to you, as the Government has failed in its duty by the country and the people of a sovereign state. I suggest, though late, the government at least now summon the Ambassador to the foreign Ministry and seek an explanation from him.

However, I am thankful to you for honestly admitting the fact that your ancestors had committed genocide long before in history you before you preach us not to repeat, what your ancestors did. Also, for your information, I must tell you that we Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka had never committed genocide from the inception of history, as you know it in known history, besides reconquering others’ lands like your European ancestors who had devastated vast continents throughout the world with impunity by way of massive genocidal operations.

 It is true that our Kings have chased out all invaders and killed some of them in war from South India starting from the 2nd Century BC up to 12th century AD and all your barbaric colonial ancestors from 1505-1948 in defense of our motherland, following the first duty of a ruler as laid down by Kautilya, that is Raksha. Of course, in the process, many people have died. But that is not genocide. Even in recent history, many have died when the LTTE Tamil terrorists waged a war against the democratically elected government in the country. But that is also not genocide as you people interpret and see it for political convenience at home in your own countries.  

Mr Ambassador,

Could you please read the following article by Nandita Roy on Bangladesh case: And learn the ABCD of Diplomatic ethics if you don’t know it. before you go on your next assignment at least. Also, you should be dam happy to be fortunate to be an ambassador here in Sri Lanka, where there is not a single patriotic stateman who has the guts to tell you this, starting from the President and Foreign Minister down to a Pradhesiya Sabaha member in the village, thanks to the clever brain washing done by your colonial invader ancestors of the Catholic Church from 1505 up to date.

As a patriotic Sinhala Buddhist Ratavesiya of this country, I strongly protest against your colonial approach and mentality and condemn your Master -dependent approach towards Mother Lanka. Meanwhile I would like to suggest that all future Ambassadors designate to Sri Lanka be given a copy of the Mahawamsa to be conversant with the true history of this Island nation. The government of Sri Lanka also have a system of screening the Ambassadors so designated before accepting them to as ambassadors to ascertain their acceptability to this country.

I now give the Statement made by the Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Allam of Bangladesh to the Foreign diplomats in Dakka.

I raise my hat to congratulate the Bangladesh State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Allam for the bravery and patriotism he displayed.

What is the need for diplomatic channels if ambassadors become critical in the media or in public on all minor matters?

Posted on July 28th, 2023

Nandita Roy

Foreign diplomats poking their noses at the country’s internal affairs does not fall within the Vienna Convention. Although the government has repeatedly expressed its enthusiasm on this matter, the foreign ambassadors are not stopping talking. The government warned the ambassadors and heads of missions of 13 countries including the United States for talking about the internal affairs of Bangladesh. The ambassadors of the countries have been called and informed about the displeasure of the government regarding a joint statement centered on Ashraful Alam, an independent candidate for Dhaka-17 seat. Foreign diplomats are becoming active day by day about the upcoming parliamentary elections. Elections are internal affairs of the country. The interference of foreign envoys in the internal affairs of our country is unfortunate.

State Minister for Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam held a meeting with the diplomats of 13 countries of the European Union including the United States at the Rashtriya Guest House Padma on Wednesday and expressed the government’s displeasure. He says that the joint statement given by them has been prepared very quickly. It did not mention the steps taken by the government. So there are questions about its objectivity and objectivity. Diplomats present at the meeting were urged to follow the Geneva Conventions and refrain from unethical conduct. The election commission and the government have taken legal measures as soon as they learned about the untoward incident. But the two were arrested long before the diplomats gave their statements on July 19. On July 18, it was also published in the media. But even after taking legal action, these diplomats have called for taking legal action, which is unwarranted. We are also in favor of fair and peaceful polls. A new independent and impartial Election Commission has already been formed. Everyone needs to have confidence in that impartial Election Commission. There is no opportunity to bother with foreign envoys’ comments in advance. Foreign interference in the politics of Bangladesh is an old phenomenon, especially after the assassination of Bangabandhu, when the military forces started participating in the politics of this country, what to do and how to do Bangladesh, all the instructions kept coming from abroad. Even though money was provided for politics from Pakistan and the Middle East countries, politics was controlled mainly on the basis of the United States and its intelligence activities. Although the picture of such interventions has changed somewhat, it cannot be said to be decreasing. It appears that the foreign ambassadors are commenting on the election management, fairness and neutrality of the elections ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. According to political analysts, we are responsible for such a situation. We are giving opportunities to foreigners to speak. Whenever the politicians of this country are out of government, they appear to foreigners with ‘complaints’. This is the political reality here. Interference in internal politics by ambassadors is unethical. But just as diplomats are responsible for conducting unethical activities, the lack of coexistence between the conflicting political parties in Bangladesh is equally responsible. Bangladesh has progressed a lot now, there has been a lot of progress in economic and social fields. So we need to respect ourselves. There will be problems and they have to be solved through discussion and protest among themselves. All political parties and groups need to get out of the political system of defaming or complaining about the internal affairs of the country. So that foreigners cannot interfere in our internal affairs. Several foreign diplomatic missions in Bangladesh have repeatedly provided fodder for discussions. They are giving many speeches on political issues. The Government of Bangladesh and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are in close contact with friendly countries. Development and commercial partners may need to know or communicate different things. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the competent authority to issue those messages. Not so, the foreign minister and deputy foreign minister of Bangladesh are not friends. But if the ambassadors become critical in the media or in the public sphere, what is the need for diplomatic channels?

  In November last year, Japanese ambassador to Dhaka Ito Naoki drew public attention and criticized the government and related parties by commenting on the voting process in the 2018 elections. This year it is seen that some diplomatic missions could not learn any lesson from that incident.

  This incident reminds us of the limits of foreign diplomatic activity in an independent-sovereign country. Etiquette was the main theme of the discussion about the diplomats’ speeches. Being a foreigner, the native country cannot be admonished or reprimanded. In this regard we may remind them of the principles of the Vienna Convention of 1961. In that convention, states agree on the principles of diplomacy. Article 41 of the agreement states that all persons who enjoy the status and privileges of diplomats in another country shall be bound to abide by the laws and policies of that country. After this, it is said that the urgent instruction is that they cannot interfere in any internal affairs of that country. If this is the limit of diplomacy, then the diplomats of the 13 countries have already crossed it.

Bangladesh is a country of flexible foreign policy and has not yet behaved in any unpleasant way. In consideration of mutual trust, diplomats should reciprocate this behavior with good behavior.

  All the foreign officials, including the United States, who have visited Bangladesh, are doing and will do, have said what they have to say to the government. They did not embarrass the government or themselves by making speeches or statements.

Diplomats in talks are urged to remember the Vienna Convention’s milestones.

The activities of political parties in carrying out election programs are increasing in view of the National Parliament elections. The parties are giving counter programs to increase public participation. At the same time, as the elections are approaching, the activities of foreign diplomats are also increasing. They are making various comments about the election. Not only elections, foreign diplomats are seen to be active whenever there is any political crisis in Bangladesh.

Although the government party sometimes ignores the various comments of the diplomats, the opposition parties always support their comments with ‘importance’. In such a situation, the section of the Vienna Convention that is spoken about by the government is the section 41 of the agreement. It is stated in subsection 1 of this article – Those who enjoy the status and privileges of diplomats in any other country shall be bound to comply with the laws and policies of that country.” Apart from this, they cannot interfere in any internal affairs of that country.” Nevertheless, diplomats are seen to act on various issues of the country, which is practically a violation of the Vienna Convention. Finally, on July 17, independent candidate Ashraful Alam alias Hero Alam was attacked at a center in Banani of the capital during the by-election polling for Dhaka-17 constituencies. The statement called for a full investigation into the attack on independent candidate Hero Alam and accountability of the culprits. The joint statement was signed by the embassies and high commissions of Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the European Union (EU).

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has warned the ambassadors and heads of missions of those 13 countries for talking about the internal issues of Bangladesh. Ambassadors were called to the Foreign Service Academy for a briefing on Wednesday (July 26). Later, the State Minister of Foreign Affairs spoke to the journalists. Shahriar Alam. He said, I called the embassies of Dhaka which broke diplomatic norms and gave a joint statement to the media in the context of an unwanted incident centered on Ashraful Hossain alias Hero Alam, an independent candidate of Dhaka-17 constituency, on Wednesday. We expressed our displeasure at their undiplomatic behavior. We have said, this is an isolated incident, which cannot be used to judge the peaceful, fair and free elections of the whole day.’

One or two minor isolated incidents can and do happen in any election center. It happens even in developing countries. The entire electoral system cannot be questioned for that. Just a few days ago, there was widespread violence during the municipal elections in West Bengal, India. There were many casualties. No one was seen to make a statement about those incidents. We think that Bangladesh has the power to take any decision on its own internal matters. We do not think there is any need for foreign intervention here. We would like, in the future, such an undesirable situation will not be created. It’s better for everyone not to be.

Mr. Ambassador,

Also please remember that Sri Lanka is not Canada. We are two different countries with entirely two different Histories and two different cultures which are poles apart from yours.

Also, we shall be thankful to you people if you confine your duties to your jobs as Ambassadors representing your countries only in terms of the Geneva Convention without unnecessarily trying to meddle with our domestic affairs at least in the future. Also please remember that our civilizations are much older than yours. Hope you know that your Canadian dominion was founded only on July 1, 1867, whereas ours goes back at least to the 6th Century BC, long before some of your European ancestors knew what civilization is. As such I don’t think I need further elaborations, apart from saying that this   article  should be an eye opener not only to you but to all others with similar attitudes, including particularly to those like the Ambassadors of the USA, UK, and India to correct and control their mistakes both in their arrogant actions and their words at least in future, in the event of any breach, we the patriotic countrymen of this country  command the government to take appropriate and immediate action without hiding their heads under sand like an Australian Ostrich

Please note that I am addressing this note to you as a vocal diplomat on behalf of the entire Diplomatic community, as a duty-bound countryman of Mother Lanka as there is no politician who has the guts to say so, unfortunately.

I hope at least now, the Foreign Ministry will call the Canadian Ambassador and ask for his explanation.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.



Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress