The Sunday Leader

Saving Sovereignty Or Shaming Sri Lanka?

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Cartoons by: Shamanthi Rajasingham

Sri Lanka is a sovereign state which belongs to the international system.  It must safeguard its sovereignty as well as its membership of that system. Sri Lanka’s enemies have a main objective – a separate state – and two subsidiary objectives which are a prelude to the main objective.
Those subsidiary objectives are the encroachment on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and the isolation of Sri Lanka from the international system. Sri Lanka must defend its sovereignty and its membership of the international order (while we join our friends and allies in seeking to reform that order).  We must neither default on defending sovereignty nor must we strive to defend sovereignty in so unintelligent and uniformed a manner that Sri Lanka begins to jeopardise its acceptability as a member of the international system.
Sri Lanka has enemies. There are those Sri Lankans who think that we do not have enemies, and there are those who think that everyone, especially every outsider, everyone who is different or dissentient, is an enemy. While the former are in denial, the latter are paranoid. The former adopt the posture of the ostrich, the latter of the hedgehog. Both are pathological states of mind.
Sri Lanka’s enemies are those who are conspiring, campaigning and lobbying for the creation of a separate state of Tamil Eelam. They are mainly, almost overwhelmingly, located offshore, overseas. This time the struggle for secessionism is externally driven and will be fought out in the external arena. This time we are in danger of losing that war.
Sri Lankan opinion is polarised between those who are willing to compromise sovereignty in the interests of conformity to arbitrary external dictates, and those who are attempting to defend sovereignty by means and methods that jeopardise Sri Lanka’s international acceptability as a civilised state. This polarisation is symptomatic of the polarisations and the consequent absence of a broad politico-paradigmatic centre space and middle ground, that have been at the root of Sri Lanka’s continuing tragedy; a tragedy that clouds our triumphs. More explicitly, there are those who wonder what is really wrong with acceptance of an international war crimes probe, and those others who wonder what is really wrong with Wimal Weerawansa’s protest against UN S-G Ban’s panel.
The pity is that the answer to both questions should be self-evident.  Any international probe violates Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, and is hypocritical in its selectivity. Given the unequal nature of the international system and its mechanisms and the actual history of inquiries — prosecutions were dropped against Croatian fascists while Serbian war criminals died in custody; Hans Blix’s WMD panel was never allowed to present its final report on Iraq to the UN — Sri Lanka must not be hustled into budging an inch in the safeguarding of its sovereignty.
For those who seem to intellectually ingest more than they can digest (i.e. read more than they think), I would recommend an excellent scholarly book on the subject, From Kosovo To Kabul: Human Rights And International Interventions by David Chandler, Professor of International Relations at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster.
During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Fidel was dealing with an earlier UN Secretary General from the East Asian region, Burma’s U. Thant, who was far more sympathetic to small countries than the current incumbent.  And yet, Fidel refused to permit UN inspections on Cuban soil, of the removal of Soviet missiles. It is not that Fidel had control over the missiles: those were under Soviet command and were evacuated, subject to US inspections of Soviet ships. In refusing UN inspections, Fidel was reiterating a principle: sovereignty; state, national and popular.
Decades later, even after the collapse of his Soviet ally, Fidel cautioned about concessions on issues of sovereignty: “you let them have your finger, they take your hand; you give them your hand, they take your arm; you give them your arm, they take your whole body!” A year or two ago, relations between the EU and Cuba were deadlocked precisely on this principle. Even though it is widely accepted that Cuba is one of the few third world and Latin American states in which there have never been ‘disappeared’, or extra judicial executions, shooting of demonstrators, or torture, it was not willing to allow external inspection, because that would violate the principle of state sovereignty.
The very notion that submission to an external inquiry or the conduct of an internal one is essential to post-war inter-ethnic reconciliation in Sri Lanka is absurd when it is not outrageous. How is one to guarantee fair-play? Is even-handedness possible and desirable as between legitimate state and fanatical terrorist? Where does one make the chronological cut and on what basis: 2002? 1958? 1956? 1983? How does one know whether the mutual recrimination and laceration will not push back the process of ethnic reconciliation and perhaps even catalyse a majoritarian militaristic blowback? Why does democratic Spain, an EU member, prosecute its own judicial superstar, Judge Baltazar Garzon for attempting to open the ‘accountability’ books on the Spanish Civil War?
There must be zero-tolerance by Sri Lanka of that which violates its sovereignty. There must be a total defence of sovereignty. That defence must not be stupid. Weerawansa’s is. While a state’s external relations must take public opinion into account, foreign policy cannot be made in the street. Diplomacy – including public diplomacy — cannot be conducted on the street or sidewalk, by mobs.
Firstly, the Weerawansa-led demonstration is against Sri Lanka’s national interest because it brings us enormously adverse global publicity and puts us on a collision course with the United Nations and the international system itself.
Secondly, this flouts the norms of civilised behaviour observed by the world community, because one should not demonstrate against the local office of the United Nations which is the premier intergovernmental body, which had no hand whatsoever in setting up the panel on Sri Lanka, which was an initiative of the Secretary-General and his secretariat.
Thirdly, the doctrine of collective cabinet responsibility, dictates that the government should not let the militant tail wag the moderate dog since the government is overwhelmingly that of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party, which is a moderate party with considerable international prestige.
Fourthly, Weerawansa and his followers should not be allowed to trespass into the realm of international affairs which is totally outside the purview of his portfolio and, it must be added, his sphere of knowledge and comprehension.
A popular demonstration passing outside the UN office is one thing. A demonstration that crashes the barriers surrounding the compound and constitutes an incursion, is another. Fidel Castro says proudly that never once, in the thousands of anti-US demonstrations held in Cuba, has the US flag been burnt! In the first place, a cabinet minister had no place in a demonstration against the UN office, especially a demonstration such as it was.
In the second place, this was the worst sort of demonstration possible. In full view of the world’s TV cameras, Weerawansa’s demonstration vilified the UN Secretary-General in terms so ugly that no child should have seen those banners and posters. It also had a totally gratuitous and provocative portrait of US President Barack Obama. A dignified and large demonstration which stopped at the gates and handed a petition with the authentic signatures of internationally distinguished Sri Lankans, or even of a million average Sri Lankan citizens, would have been in order, but not this exercise in crass mob agitation.
What did his demonstration demonstrate? It has enabled Sri Lanka’s enemies to widen the rift between Sri Lanka and the international system and permitted Sri Lanka’s enemies to portray Sri Lanka’s administration almost as a rogue regime (not quite a ‘rogue state’) which has deviated from or permits drastic departures from, the norms of conduct – the ethos of civility – which prevails in the international order. Minister Weerawansa’s delinquency shames Sri Lanka. This is not an intelligent way to defend Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, but a way to undermine it.
Sri Lanka’s sovereignty must be defended by the broadest possible mobilisation of forces in the international arena. As an ex-practitioner who succeeded in doing just that on his watch, I know that it can be done and I also know that this is not the way to do it. Far more impressive demonstrations than Weerawansa’s besieged the United Nations in Geneva and a young Tamil man immolated himself outside the gates of the Palais Des Nations as the diplomatic battle was firing up. Did these demonstrations confer a single extra vote on the side opposed to Sri Lanka or deprive us of a single vote?
On the contrary, most member states were determined not to give in to blackmail by mobs! Weerawansa’s antics will only make most member states rally round the United Nations and its Secretary-General, because the sense of identification will be instinctively with the established institution and its norms of civilised conduct rather than with misdirected mobs. Weerawansa’s actions may be deemed legal, but they endanger Sri Lanka’s international legitimacy and his piece of theatre with the mobile phone only makes the Sri Lankan administration complicit and results in an unhappy situation of implausible deniability.
In the choice between ‘hegemony’ and ‘resistance’, the intellectuals, peoples, and states of the global South have options other than supine capitulation or xenophobic fanaticism. The manner and mode of resistance must not undermine the aim and objectives of that resistance. Low tactics cannot serve high ideals. Ban Ki-moon occupies the 38th floor of the United Nations building in New York and the Sri Lankan demonstrators, the area adjacent to the UN office in Colombo. But neither occupies the most important real estate of all: the moral high ground.
(Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka was Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Geneva during the war years 2007-9 including the May 2009 Special Session of the Human Rights Council).

59 Comments for “Saving Sovereignty Or Shaming Sri Lanka?”

  1. Suharto

    As always, well thought out and beautifully put by Sir Dayan. We should be ashamed of people like Bogollagama who made us lose one of our prime academics. I hope one day Singapore will let you go and let you once again instill some sense into the politics students at Colombo University.

    • mahen

      It looks like Suharto is none other than D Jayatilleka himself who is keen to get a job at Colombo University. I am a Singaporean and can tell him that people like him are not welcome here in Singapore and certainly no one would prevent him from going away, unless he is in jail. If he is in Singapore he should get hold of books written by Lee Kwan Yew in which he had written about Sri Lanka.

      All the Sinhala racisits like him talk about sovereignity to cover up the Sinhala Govt’s discrimination of Tamils. If Tamils in Sri Lanka were treated like how Singapore Govt treats the different ethnic communitires no one would be asking for separate state within Sri Lanka. Then all these nonsense about sovereignity would not arise.

      • adil

        I dont think Dr Dayan will stoop so low as to praise himself masquerading as someone else. He is not one who seeks self-glory. he is a cut above other diplomats and servicemen who not only avoid paying their rent but also pilfer the landlords household items. That was his downfall – being forthright and honest. So please dont try to fool us, readers, About Lee kwan Yew, the least said the better. He may have achieved progress. But at what cost to basic freedoms? Ask the victims of his clean-up campaign in the 1960s and ye shall know. beneath the shimmer of Singapore are the shivers. Claiming to be a Singaporean, you should better than to twist the truth.

        • adil

          By the way, now I realize you seem to be an ex- Sri Lankan, who has gained Singaporean citizenship. Why not try fighting for a separate state there? Dont worry about Lee. he is too old now to be a threat to you or put you behind shackles. So go ahead with your demands. Good luck.

        • mahen

          You talk of basic freedom! sic. Ask the people in the North of your country.

      • Manjula

        “Sovereignity” is a better word than tamil racists’s word “genocide” to cover their nakedness. The world knows how Singapore’s Lee Quan Yew treated people inside Singapore when he was the ruler. He did not allow elections and was a dictator. Anyone who talk or write aginst Lee was put in jail. Singaporian jails wete full during his time. However, this way he developed Singapore to the current level. If he allowed people like Mahen to talk freely and studidly and democratically, Singapore would still be a poor country.

        Therefore Mahen, it looks like you know nothing about Singapore and therefore don’t try to boast. If you like Lee’s method, then let Mahinda to rule the country the Lee way and he will make it better than Singapore.

        • sali

          america is developed.. do u think all the president put people in jail to achieve this? there r many countries for example so developed with equal rights and freedom given to people,, why a bad example to justify another mistake????

        • gunda

          After reading your note about democracy and freedom in Sri Lanka many Singaporeans have decided to migrate to Sri Lanka.

        • Lanka here we come

          There was a large queue since morning, outside the small Srilankan Embassy office in Singapore. The chaps in there, most of them having the same name as the Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa (relatives?) are unable to cope with this large number of Singaporeans wanting to apply to emigrate to Sri Lanka after reading about the freedom, democracy and the economic growth etc., in that country. The Singapore Government is wondering how to stall this brain drain.

      • Suharto

        Thanks for your accusations, as I wish I were as eloquent or knowledgeable on many matters as Dayan, but I am not in fact him. Evidently, masquerading as someone else to praise yourself is probably something you do, since that’s the first thing you could think of to say. Mr. “I wannabe Singaporean” Mahen.

        • T. Ramanathan- PASYALA

          கடந்த வருடத்தின் வசந்த காலத்தில் வன்னியில் மேற்கொண்ட படுகொலைகள் தொடர்பில் மேற்கொள்ளப்படும் விசாரணைகளை தவிர்ப்பதற்கு சிறிலங்கா அரசு முயற்சிகளை மேற்கொண்டு வருகின்றது. 1995 ஆம் ஆண்டு ஸ்ரேபிரனிகா கொல்லப்பட்ட மக்களை விட மிக அதிகமான மக்கள் வன்னியில் கொல்லப்பட்டதை நாம் மனதில் கொள்ள வேண்டும் என யு.என் டிஸ்பாட்ச்(UN Dispatch) என்ற ஊடகம் தெரிவித்துள்ளது

      • Brian Vittachi

        Mahen, if Tamils in Singapore took up arms against the government they would have met the same fate as the LTTE only much quicker. Are you one of those who ran away from SL to a nice safe place to live and work while at the same time helping to perpetuate the war by donating to “the cause”? I am of Sinhalese descent but Singapore born and bred. I believe in my country’s concept of “meritocracy” and equal rights “regardless of race, language or religion”. As much as I sympathize with the Tamil people of Sri Lanka I disagree with the methods used by the LTTE. Let’s learn something from this unfortunate episode and move on.

      • Major Dushan Wijewickrama

        100% True

  2. maalu miris

    Suharto,
    How EVER can you compare a , half-educated lout like Bogols with a class gent like Dr Dayan? Be realistic. They bare worlds apart.

  3. DeMel

    The foreign policy strategy of Sri Lanka should be prepared by a professional team, preferably headed by an intellectual like Dayan. All our dreams of becoming the wonder of Asia will be shattered, if we manage foreign relations without a clear strategy and without the best team to face the ever growing opposition.

  4. Ameen

    Lanka should indeed be lucky to have intellects of the calibre of Dr Dayan. However, instead of making use of their talent, we expose them to abuse and maltreatment at the hands of people such as Bogollagama who have nothing but jealousy and selfish personal agendas to safeguard. Everything seems to be wrong in the state of Denmark.

  5. Saro

    The author is against any international probe of abuses or human rights, internal law and war crimes because it infringes the ‘sovereignty’. The victims of starvation, bombing, internships behind razor wires, abductions, shooting, torture must be ignored and the perpetrators guaranteed impunity because of sovereignty. The sovereignty is for the leaders and not for the oppressed people.

    • gamay miniya

      Over the past decade, there were reports by Philip Alston, Manfred Novak, Louise Arbour, John Holmes, Alan Rock & Robert Evans – all empowered by UN to investigate what was happening in sri lanka. All their reports confirm human rights violations and absence of the Rule of Law in sri lanka.
      Dayan Jayatilleke says in effect that sri lanka should be allowed to continue to carry on in the same way, unchecked, because any comment infringes on our sovereignty.Even now, reports by international human rights organisations confirm what is happening. WHAT PRICE SOVEREIGNTY? ? ?

  6. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    Thanks lot Dr.Dayan.Jayathilleke for your valuable article.

  7. muzammil

    your article clearly explains that those who are screaming in the highest
    possible volume, to the village folks,about sovereignty,do not know nothing
    about it ! Can you believe it, a minister, a popular one,one among the closest
    to the president, ON A SUICIDE MISSION IN THE NAME OF SOVEREIGNTY
    AND AGAINST UNSG? You see mr,jayathilaka,this is what they are best at and
    they made the world to see it. MORE INVESTMENTS ON ITS WAY.

  8. Perry

    Of course its ‘Shaming SL’ not ‘Saving Sovereignty’. These morans bringing disgrace to the island with these kind cheap mentality for their own publicity. As many people expected it ended up with ‘Baappa’ giving the ‘wairawansa baby’ some water to drink.

  9. Leon

    Excellent article. I hope this article will be read by the thick headed morons in the Govt of SL

  10. mura

    Box office hit……..

  11. mura

    Sinhalese brought Shame to Sri lanka.

    2000 YEARS ON…..brain is still missing in action.

    • T. Ramanathan

      OVER 40,000 INNOCENT TAMILS BEEN KILLED IN THE LAST DAYS OF WAR IN SRI LANKA IN MAY 2009 BY CHEMICAL BOMBS SUPPLIED BY INDIA , PAKISTAN AND CHINA AND THAT’S HOW SRI LANKA WON THE WAR.

  12. VINTAGE VOTER

    DAYAN IS PLAYING A DIFFERENT TUNE

    TIME WILL TELL

  13. TRuth

    no country is sovereign as long as it is runned by a Dictator

  14. P.L.J.B.Palipana

    A matured and well experienced person like K.Godage or Manel Aberathne be appointed as Our Foreign Minister of SL.

  15. KandyGuru

    Dayan cant do which Buddhism has failed to do, I mean educating the Sinhalese.

  16. Vince

    Dayan whilst condemning the action of the elected member, tongue in cheek is defending all norm of HR violations of the current government. Perhaps, I believe he has not given up attempting to impress the president to get his job back, else he needs to stay five more years. I am a Sinhalese, a Buddhist I do endorse the UN attempt to investigate the violation of HR, if unchecked this shall create a scenario for other nations having similar situation to follow Sri Lanka’s example. Does having this opinion make me a traitor, NGO funded conspirator or whatever other name!

    • YOU ARE CORRECT DAILY BODIES ARE BEING TAKEN OUT FROM PITS..TOILETS..AND JUNGLES…IN KILINOCHI.BUT AYATULLAHS ARE PREACHING BANA AND PIRITH THERE…WHAT A BEAUITFUL BUDDHISM..

      • T. Ramanathan

        BUDDHA PREACHED NON VIOLENCE BUT KILLING OF TAMILS IS NOT A SIN ACCORDING TO MAHINDA CHINTANAYA BECAUSE TO ATTAIN NIBBANA U HAVE TO KILL.

  17. correct

    Who is Allaah?

    Very often one will here the Arabic word “Allaah” being used in regards to Islaam. The word “Allaah” is simply the Arabic word for Almighty God, and is the same word used by Arabic speaking Christians and Jews. If one were to pick up an Arabic translation of the Bible, one would see the word “Allaah” being use where the word “God” is used in English. Actually, the Arabic word for Almighty God, “Allaah”, is quite similar to the word for God in other Semitic languages – for example, the Hebrew word for God is “Elah”. For various reasons, some non-Muslims mistakenly believe that Muslims worship a different God than the God of Moses and Abraham and Jesus. This is certainly not the case, since the Pure Monotheism of Islaam calls all people to the worship of the God of Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus and all of the other prophets.

  18. …AT LAST THIS DAYAN HAS GOT NIRVANA UNDER BO TREE…BUT READERS ARE NOT FOOLS TILL RECENTLY YOU HAVE PRAISED THIS SYSTEM AND SCARCHED THE BACKS OF THE SAME GUYS FOR YOUR SO CALLED AMBASSADOR POST….WHEN THIS WAS TAKEN AWAY BY A SIMPLE FAX YOU ARE CRYING….BY THE WAY WHAT IS YOUR DIPLOMATIC EXPERIENCE BEFORE YOUR TEMPORARY APPOINTMENTS..???…DID YOU EVER HAD GUTS TO FACE REPORTERS IN GENEVE…???? YOU GO TO MEETINGS 30 MINUTES LATE READ THE FAX FROM COLOMBO AND LEFT THE HALL IMMEDIATELY….THIS IS YOUR DIPLOMATIC ADVENTURE..

  19. Gundappa

    There are people who are living overseas who now want to relocate to SL, the thrice blessed land (?) where freedom blossoms, and milk and honey flows.

    they all want to see the pack of jokers in parliament, notably Dr. Silva and the fast master WW

  20. Janatha Vihilu Peramuna

    Dr.Dayan Jayathilake, please join our party as a consultant and we pay you double. We want to learn how to go in public without clothes on. You are the best as you have practical experience.

  21. ….POVERTY INDIA IS ALREADY LIKE A PAKIR WITH LOIN CLOTH….NOW SL PARADIES S HAS BECOME A PAKIR WITHOUT LOIN CLOTH…….MODAYA LAND DIPLOMATIC SERVICE HAS BECOME A JOKE ALL OVER WESTERN CAPITALS..

  22. Samanth

    What I dont understand is why these educated people who glorify themselves as ‘Gods’ in universities dont have the backbone to protest waht is wrong? I mean so frustrated they are the ones who holds the education system and wonder where this is hedding? Credit is for government and Military for the triamph but thats not all we have just cum out of mud we need to build a nation is this the way? What I would like to see is accountability of these Dr. and Proffessors than liking the boot….if not possible leave the country… you have better life abroad….why fear?

  23. Justitia omnibus

    Here goes one of the few literate and sophisticated apologists for the current Sri Lankan kleptocracy! Nevertheless, a consistent apologist for his Great Leader.

    • gamay miniya

      Justitia omnibus, you are entirely correct. This guy bleats about ‘sovereignty’ while human rights violations are ongoing in the ‘militarised republic’ run for the benefit of his master and family. Abductions are ongoing as revealed recently by another website. More atrocities are documented on :-
      http://nesohr.org/hrr/?show=all

  24. GABO

    Well Dr DJ you do have a lot of salient points , but i fail to understand why u are so reluctant to call a spade a spade.Surely u can’t fail to realise that poor Wimal alone is not to blame for this episode? It does not need an Einstein to realise that all that he did had the full blessings of Mahinda Rajapakse & Gotabaya Rajapakse. Either MR egged him on in order to ruin him politically or this was MR’s idea of being smart in keeping with the Mahinda chinthanaya which is mainly playing to the gallery in the guise of soveriegnity.
    So it’s jolly unfair to make Wimal the scapegoat & absolve the Rajapakse clan of their responsibility towards this fauz pas. As this regime has zero tolerence rating for dissent anyone who chooses to ignore the guilt of the Rajapakse clan in this disgrace to the country in either mad or brainwashed .So which are u ? Or is it that
    you are crucifying Wimal & absolving the dear leader in order to get yr old job back?

  25. AML

    Sri Lanka’s foreign policy team needs intellectuals like DayanJ. His analyses are of a quality that is a match for the best minds in the West that have been recruited into the anti-Sri Lanka side. He has displayed the critical and incisive intellect that is needed especially in this difficult area of foreign policy issues. He is not fully acceptable to many, largely because of his advocacy of Devolution for the North and East, which he sees as a diffusionary factor, but many see as definite baby steps towards the separate state of Eelam. This, coupled with some intellectual arrogance have not worked well. Perhaps Dayan too should think of some ideological compromise in this area (just as he suggests) so that he can get back to the Foreign Ministry and give of his fullest, while the country can also benefit more fully.

  26. Tony

    Sorry, but this “defend our sovereignty” argument is nonsense. If the Sri Lankan government agrees to allow and cooperate with the proposed U N Commission, there would be no breach of anyone’s sovereignty. Rogue states who have something to hide (Zimbabwe, Gambia, Israel) are the ones who refuse to permit objective inquiries. Sri Lanka has now joined their ranks, and by so doing it is in grave danger of becoming a pariah. A small country cannot afford to disregard both the EC and the UN. The price of refusing to allow anyone to know about the carnage which ended the war will be high indeed.

  27. sensmey

    http://www.spur.asn.au/ltteatrp.htm

    Sri Lanka must unite and bring charges against LTTE for their human rights violations and bring attention and closure to this matter. LTTE supporters worldwide maybe brainwashed and even gotten misinformation or they are the master minds to keep war going to please weapons manufacturers and political oppressors. Is it advantageous for Tamil Nadu if they want to separate from northern india to have SL ? Hell Yes!

    pay attention. Curious as to why Sri Lanka has not charged or brought charges to LTTE? Also why is SL loosing unity? financial pressures?

    We must not relax now the war is over, it is time to reform, savor the freedom, restructure, & put the truth out there. we cannot be lax & think that the world knows everything. They do not know. People still do not know much about LTTE atrocities against all civilians. They only know what LTTE propaganda machine put out there. Even now that mia (is claming genocide and praising ltte but no one is doing anything) And Lanka has lost focus by dividing against itself. The vision was for strength and unity. We must forge ahead and make Lanka Better for all my children. For I am your king and I am fair. We will build a better Lanka.

  28. feroze

    Dr Dayan, you have many salient points but but why are u reluctant to call a spade a spade?it is obvious that Wimal had the blessings of MR to indulge in this unceremonious , disgraceful act. so why do u absolve the Rajapakses of the criticism they rightly derserve? Why make Wimal the sole scapegoat?
    Even the ordinary man in the street realises that Mahinda rajapakse wrote the script for his blue eyed boy.. to act as the comedy star.

  29. Kalag

    The freedom comes with responsibility. The Tamils should work even harder to be living in Sri Lanak. They have to make sure their diaspora brothers do not damage the image of Sri Lanka.
    Otherwise Tamils should be punished.

    • tamilarasi

      Have sinhalease realized their responsibility? If so they would not have committed genocide? In the last article Dyan had said that reconciliation should be in place. Now he is talking about deceiving UN as he had done last May. Tamils living in Srilanka are not allowed to ask for Tamil eelam. Un must conduct a referendum.

      • pemma

        Name some countries where UN had already conducted referendums for separate states. I think they should start from countries where there have been longer lasting conflicts : UK (for northern Ireland) Iraq (for Kurds) India (for Kashmirians) and China (for Tibetans). with that experience they will be able to conduct one in Sri Lanka more effectively .Your isolating Sri Lanka as and putting them ahead of the queue puzzels me.

  30. pemma

    Dr Dayan is undoubtedly an intellectuual whose fabulous contributions like this one make us all that much knowledgeable. With regard to the ending of the war, all patriotic Sri Lankans should be happy because, for the time being at leaat, it appear to have brought to an end the wanton desctruction of human lives which continued over the past 30 years when ovver 100,000 innocent lives were lost, many more fataly wounded. All due to an uncalled for terror campaign. Much as I regret the loss of life -each and evey one of the above- I can not but rejoice the ending of this conflict. For me, this is the lesser of two evils.

    • tamilarasi

      Pemma, what about Sudan? I do not think that genocide occurred as in Sri Lanka in the countries you mentioned. Yes indeed Dyan is intellectual but very partial to sinhalease.

  31. Plain Talking

    I thoroughly enjoyed the objective analysis of Dayan. What he tells is the plain truth.

  32. Black July Victim

    FROM THE ASHEN STREETS
    The violent events of July 1983 are poignant for the entire Tamil population around the world. Tamils were systematically targeted with violence in Colombo and many other parts of Sri Lanka between July 24th and 29th, 1983. Tamil homes and businesses were burned, looted and destroyed. Tamil people were beaten, killed and burned alive. It was in no doubt an unforgettable and utterly dark period for Tamil people characterized by torturous beatings, extreme violence and indiscriminate killings. Fearing persecution, thousands of Tamils fled the island of Sri Lanka.
    At a time when Sri Lankan Tamils were seeking refuge from the violence and political persecution of Sri Lanka’s Anti-Tamil Pogrom of July 1983, Canada opened its doors to provide a safe haven. Join these Canadians on July 23, 2010 as Canadian Tamil Congress presents “From the Ashen Streets”, commemorating the 27th anniversary of Black July. The night will feature a must see documentary by young Toronto directors, V. Aaraniyan, V. Aadhi and V. Aara. These brothers ventured to understand the lives and wounds left behind by the events of Black July through the experiences of six brave Tamil Canadians. Their stories provide a lasting impression on the resilience of the human spirit which lies within the Tamil community and a fresh perspective on the Sri Lankan narrative. It will be followed by a play from the Asylum Theatre Group which will illustrate the parallels between the haunting survivor experiences of Black July to recent events in the island of Sri Lanka.
    In addition, the evening will showcase work from local artists, archived photographs and articles which poignantly chronicles the turbulent history of Sri Lanka up until the days of Black July.
    Come join the Canadian Tamil Congress in remembering the unforgettable.
    Please visit http://www.blackjuly83.com for more information

    • T. Ramanathan

      Let the UN knows about the genocide happening in Sri Lanka for the past 60 years.

  33. Brian Vittachi

    Well said Pemma. The good doctor is right . Yes! SL must defend its sovereign rights while at the same time behaving like a sane and responsible member of the world community. Yes! there is no place in civilized society for the likes of Minister Weerawansa and his crude and primitive posturing. A cold and ruthless terrorist organization was defeated and a whole nation is now at peace. How can this be a bad thing? Yes we mourn for the innocent s who lost their lives but we also rejoice at the many more who will not have to die now. As for those who are safely ensconced in a faraway land screaming “human rights” – would they prefer that the war did not end? It’s time to heal.

  34. zen

    Dayan is an outright Sinhala communalist and a stooge of the dictators of the island

  35. Trevor Jayetileke

    Dr.Dayan is very erudite to say the least.
    The UN must have more concern and sympathy for Sri Lanka whose people have endured three decades of a protracted war and suffering from traumatic fatigue.
    Can’t we have some space to recover from the effects of this plague which is a curse of this world. Please give us time to reflect and feel the remorse of having hurt each other and work out a process of reconsiliation with our tamil bretheren.
    Colateral damage is unfortunately unavoidable in an acrimonious and attritional war and no party could be solely held responsible and is a universally known fact.
    So what is the motive? Is it waxing lyrical for Extended Supper or expecting a Nobel Prize from the Vikings. Or is it the ‘Great Game’ has shifted now to the Indian Ocean.

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