The Sunday Leader

Rajapaksa – All’s Fine But Nothing’s Right

Last week saw the issue of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka hitting international headlines, despite the Sri Lankan government’s effort in answering them with its own “Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission” (LLRC) that sat down to hear major actors interpret the 30 year war.
Two heavy weights in Bernard Goonetilleke and Austin Fernando, before and after the powerful Defence Secretary of this Rajapaksa regime hit headlines in a seemingly organised manner, giving their opinions on the Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) of 2002.

Bernard Goonetilleke and Austin Fernando

This heavy triumvirate was set to prove the longest held cease fire between the GoSL and the Tamil Tigers from 2002 February was a futile effort in making peace. They pictured the Norwegians and also the International community as pro Tiger interventionists and Norwegian facilitation as over stepping  to push the government into awkward situations. Austin Fernando in particular who claimed “My Belly is White” 02 years ago was all strength to this Rajapaksa strategy, answering the Chairman of LLRC, the good old pal of President Rajapaksa, he is. They thus threw open the issue of going to war as the only option, which Gota took time to prove as successful, with a supposed “zero civilian casualty” approach.
This laboured position and arguments for war brought forth by the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa at the LLRC hearing, in claiming it was a humanitarian operation is what the 57 US Congressmen and the most surprising and latest entry into the fray, the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang State of Malaysia, Prof P. Ramasamy challenged up front and without hesitations. The Congressmen who signed a letter addressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on 09 August 2010, opened their letter raising 02 issues.
They made it abundantly clear, they don’t believe the LLRC is a sincere attempt by the government for seeking peace and reconciliation. Their first concern was on alleged war crimes committed and then secondly, the post conflict situation. They therefore want an independent, international investigation, ruling out the LLRC thus. [quote] We believe that Sri Lanka’s past efforts to investigate severe human rights abuses through Commissions of Inquiry – even when supplemented by an international element such as the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP) – have not been successful and do not inspire confidence that the current national mechanism would be any more successful, transparent or credible. [unquote]
Adding to that US Congressional call for war crimes investigations, Deputy General Secretary of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) of Malaysia, Prof Ramasamy, also hits out hard at how the same issues are handled. He minces no words accusing the Indian leaders, PM Singh, Sonia Gandhi and Minister Chiddambaram, of war crimes committed in Sri Lanka, for their supportive role in the war. Ramasamy is also calling for a total boycott of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Karunanidhi’s family business for cheating and misleading the SL Tamil civilians who were caught in the war.
The DAP in Malaysia, is no ethnic political party as the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is. MIC was established to support Indian independence and thereafter to carve out a role for Indians in independent Malaysia with around 2.1 million Indians. Much different to the MIC, the DAP that came into politics with the independence of Malaysia, campaigning for a secular Malaysia for all Malaysians, was firmly grounded on Social Democracy since its founding in 1966 and is a member of the Socialist International (SI). It is therefore clear that its stand on the Sri Lankan conflict, quite different to the MIC, is based on its commitment to democratic principles, rather than on a Tamil bias.
Being the second largest Opposition party in the Malaysian parliament with 29 elected Members, DAP has considerable influence across ethnicities, in a country that runs on a federal constitution. Therefore Ramasamy as Deputy CM in one of the most influential States, the Penang State, making a public call for investigation of war crimes in Sri Lanka, tying up the Indian ruling hierarchy as well, provides both Tamil Nadu Dravidian politics and the Tamil Diaspora with new vigour, while also pushing the pro Tiger Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora into a quandary.
The SL Tamil Diaspora caught in this Malaysian created dichotomy can not afford to hurt the feelings of the Indian ruling elite, wanting a buffer as strength to pressure the Rsajapaksa regime, leaving aside the role of the Indian government as a discomforting ally. Most in Tamil politics, even within SL, wish to cajole Delhi to see if Rajapaksa can be influenced to accommodate Tamil political aspirations in post conflict SL, where Tamil politics on its own strength have almost no role, in deciding national politics.
Rajapaksa has created fissures in every political platform, including that of the Tamil Diaspora. He has with him the most elite of the known international Tamil Tiger leaders, Selvarajah Pathmanathan, better known as “KP”, carving out a strong niche in the Tamil Diaspora in support of him. He has all the Tamil groups except the whole TNA, firmly tied to his North – East development projects funded by India, China, Japan and the US. He is enjoying the personal clashes within the UNP, consciously promoting Wickramasinghe, while keeping watch for possible cross overs. He has pushed the JVP into a tight corner, leaving them to defend a war hero, who is being gradually discredited.
What more would Rajapaksa want, with the media now under control and backing the Rajapaksa regime on its politics ? Politically, this media provides all what this regime wants. For the media therefore Gota is many day’s priority and Gota is “Sri Lanka”. The caption therefore is “Sri Lanka defends war conduct”. For this media, the tragedy of those Tamil civilians in Vavuniya who lost their beloved sons, fathers and husbands and testified in front of the LLRC, was no priority. They are not “Sri Lankan” as Gota is and they don’t get many centimetres to cover their plight in the war.
The Rajapaksa regime with all such local consumption, has not gained any substantial political advantage in terms of national reconciliation and peace, despite the war being declared over an year and 03 months ago. It is in that context the Malaysian call for war crimes investigations, adds on to its woes. The DPA in Malaysia has put Rajapaksa and Delhi on the same bloc as responsible for large scale deaths of civilians. Ramasamy’s media release says, [quote] The serious violation of human rights leading to killings of thousands of Tamils in Sri Lanka was not confined to the actions of the Sri Lankan security forces above……..such an untold violence would not have taken place without the concurrence of the political leaders in India, both at the national and state level.[unquote]
His is a call that draws Malaysian businessmen, accused for white washing the Rajapaksa regime seeking mere profits. This call for business boycott that targets Tamil businessmen both in Malaysia and Tamil Nadu is one, the Rajapaksa regime would be sensitive about.
It would also give strength to the pro Tamil campaign, the Tamil Nadu government is presently trying to suppress. EAM Secretary Rao’s visit to Chennai in providing Karunanidhi some legitimacy to speak on the SL Tamil polity, would thus be seen as washing each others dirty linen.  The DAP decision to have their own Committee to investigate SL war crimes would now be an addition to the advisory panel of UN SG Ban Ki-moon, studying the SL conflict. DAP campaign with the Committee of Inquiry, would certainly galvanise TN sentiments and parts of the Diaspora around it. That would keep the Rajapaksa regime on toes and India ruffled. Malaysia can not be called imperialist, Western, or even pro American by Sinhala extremists nor ignored by Delhi diplomacy. This certainly is a headache, Rajapaksa would not have accounted for.

26 Comments for “Rajapaksa – All’s Fine But Nothing’s Right”

  1. panti ayya

    “For this media, the tragedy of those Tamil civilians in Vavuniya who lost their beloved sons, fathers and husbands and testified in front of the LLRC, was no priority.”

    I saw a few lines at the bottom of an article in this media also.

  2. eureka

    Kusal,
    Thank you for writing this.

  3. Rickj

    “The most surprising and latest entry into the fray, the Deputy Chief Minister of Penang State of Malaysia, Prof P. Ramasamy challenged up front and without hesitations. ”
    Every time some LTTE sympathizing douche bag call for a war crime tribunal, these NGO journalist kakkos getting their orgasm.

    Where is the war crimes tribunal for offenses committed by LTTE?

    • Punchinilame

      Rickj – yes the LTTE can be charged, provided Gota permits KP to face the
      music. The GOSL agenda must be understood, before you comment.

    • Marlon

      Do you know what a ‘war crime tribunal is? LTTE is a terror organisation, do u know what terrorism does? therefore u dont need a tribunal for LTTE carders. Goast eluva will have to answer for the crimes he had (stil he is)commited, innocent civiliants plus all other cases as well eg Lasantha W.

      • Manjula

        People who don’t know what is in their left or right, simply accuse someone who can be seen as an easy or obvious target. This is because they are not politically matured or are incapable in deep analysis of the extreamly complicated situation.

        Thos people who simply and squarly blame Gota might have lost a lot of business opportunities they had through the war and the under-world LTTE supply chains. Therefore I can understand their pain.

        However most of the people on the road knows very well that they can now send their children to school and expect them to come home in one piece thanks to Gota and MR. I am sure Prabakaran and his followers don’t appreciate that, and I understant that also.

        • Umesh

          Manjula:

          There is a need for good citizens of Sri Lankans not to associate either with LTTE or government of Sri Lanka since both are accused of war crimes. One has been already punished for the crime, othe refuse to face the justice through an international inquirey. Majula please do not talk for either war criminals or terrorists. Instead create a Tamil-Sinhalese non aliance to punish those committed crimes. Both Tamils and Sinhalese face injustice. They are looking for justice

        • guru

          Manjula, thats because of SF not because of that idiot Gota or MR. You are another blind MR supporter obviously, who knows nothing beyond MR and Gota.
          Plant some manioc and sweet potatoes so it wil be helpful in near future thats where MR is taking srilanka to.

    • Umesh

      Ricki
      by lowering their standard of the behavior, the government of Sri Lanka had come to the level of LTTE. War crimes have been committed by both sides. Before LTTE’s birth, war crimes have been committed only by the government of Sri Lanka. There is nothing Ramasamy’s challenge. There is something wrong if someone hesitate to face an inquiry on accused war crimes

  4. Kaybee

    Well, if there is nothing to hide,allow an international inquiry to proceed. Not doing so suggests there IS something to hide in the eyes of the international community.

    • billy

      oh yes we should allow international inquiries for every internal thing when some internal cry babies like this cry….yeah fly a kite!

    • Manjula

      Good point ! So, if there is nothing to hide, why not US is allowing an indepandant international probe to investigate their war crimes in Iraq and Afganisthan, as exposed by leaked documents few weeks ago through Wikileaks. I read that US is pretty unhappy and upset about the leaks, when there is nothing to hide there !

      I think it is a good idea to pursue that first by the LTTE supporters here and once US set the example of they have nothing to hide, we all can force the poor little Sri Lanka for a similar investigation. Best way to influence someone is not by just preaching, but by setting an example.

  5. VINTAGE VOTER

    THE GOVERMENT HAS TO COME CLEAN. NOTHING IS RIGHT.
    IF THE GOVERNMENT HAS NOTHING TO HIDE, WHY NOT HAVE
    AN INTERNATIONAL INQUIRY.?
    THE BIGGEST BLUFF BY MR IS THE LESSONS LEARNT COMMISSION.
    I HOPE THE COMMISSIONERS WILL LEARN AFTER SITTING ON IT.
    WELL THEY WILL MAKE A GOOD PACKET THE LONGER THEY SIT.
    ULTIMATELY WHAT WILL COME OUT IS “PLAIN BULLSHIT”
    SRI LANKANS NEVER LEARN.

  6. billy
    This call for inquiry concerns killing of tens of thousands.
    and supported by many independent orgnisations and Institutions, but only rejected by the accused.

    Do not compare this to “every baby crying”.

    • Wikes

      Where were these people who talk about war crimes in Sri Lanka when LTTE killed and injured tens and thousands of innocent civilians during the past 30 years? Stop talking bullshit!

    • Manjula

      Same appy to tens of thousands killed by LTTE too. Where were these so called UN and International Crisis Group and Human Rights groups then?

      Where is the International Crisis Group is hiding these days when there is a mass scale “crisis” in Pakisthan from floods? What is their definition of “crisis”? May be their use of “crisis” is a way to “earn a dollar ” using a crisis rather than a way to “spend a dollar” to solve a crisis.

  7. Lankawick

    Malaysia is controlled by Ethnic Malays…politically….
    Sri Lanka has their support…the only thing that matters….
    In Malaysia…Islamic Malays are the 1st class citizens…..

    Just let the Democratic Action Party ( DAP )……or Prof Ramasamy….
    try to seperate from Malaysia…..or even to demand more rights / powers for the non-Malay citizens…..
    Remember what happened when Indian-Malaysians recently demonstrated in Kuala Lumphur claiming discrimination !!!

    Any reports from a DAP panel….Sri Lanka should throw it to the garbage dump…

  8. Wikes

    Rajapaksa familly saved all Sri Lankans irrespective of their ethnicity from LTTE terrorists. Give them the credit for that. They did what Ranil or Chandrika failed to do. Western countries do not want to give the credit to Sri Lanka for defeating the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world. Why not Monkey Moon, Desmond Tootu and Ramasamy talk about civilian killings and human rights violations in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact countries that allowed LTTE to raise funds for their terrorist activities in Sri Lanka should take the responsibility for the civilian deaths in Sri Lanka. Mr. Moon, please appoint a committee to investigate the role played by Western countries and Australia in promoting terrorism in Sri Lanka.

    • willows

      it is not the Rajapaksa family saved the Sri Lankans, it is the GSF who saved the Sri Lankans,

  9. Vichara

    “Malaysia can not be called imperialist, Western, or even pro American by Sinhala extremists nor ignored by Delhi diplomacy.”

    RAMASAMY IS NOT MALAYSIA.

  10. Buddist monk

    Terrorism began in Sri Lanka from 1956 riots at that time government used some criminals to kill tamils, then terrorism continued in 1971 with JVP taking the weapons and created terrorism …then tamils took arms…..now Gota and some imoralised tamils(karuna pilllayan) and other criminals use the Government power to terrorise the people of Srilanka. So the point is terrorism is still active in srilanka as long as we all support them. Please do not support Gota..and his allies. They are the new terrorist who ruin the morality of the country. According to Gota and Mahinda, you can do any evil to win and do what ever to get what you want. This policy is inhuman and it is animal nature. Even in a game you must play by the rules and still must score the goals to win. You cant break the rules in order to win. Raping tamils and killing every one who oppose them and now brining false allegation against SF, all these are not moral conduct. Therefore, we must understand that in Srilanka Terrorism is still active the new terror leaders are Rajapekse family. We must oppose all form of evil. I am calling all the children of Srilanka not to support this new terrorist who try to ruin The country. These war criminals must be brought to justice. Wake up Lanka dont be an easy target for all these evil men to destroy you. Srilanka rememeber what Lord Buddah and Lord Jesus and and Prophet Mohamed and Baghavad geetha teach you. Stand for justice and humanity. Never think that these murderers are heroes rather look at them as destroyers of harmony and peace in Sri Lanka.

  11. Buddist monk

    Dear Sir, Kusal Perera, please keep writing the truth always. Your artical is well balanced with lots of facts. Let every one in SL know that Sinhalist and Tamils came to Lanka from india in the past and now let them live together insted of fighting. Accept one another and hold a justice goverment. Let both language speaking people remember that Sri lanka will do much better if these 2 language speaking people work togerther and live together with out racism. All war criminals must be brought to justice to avoid future war crime by goverments in future.

  12. Lankan

    I think the US will send the B52s sooner or later

  13. Rohan

    I don’t know what we Singhas are celebrating when we lost over 30,000 our our boys in trying defeat a few thousand of those LTTE. This is pathetic. It is almost half of the force at that time. How can we be so incompetent?

    We had all the countries resouces, India, Pakistan and China’s help as well. I don’t we Singhas are that stupid. It is the ‘thick as pigshit Gota Rajafcuks’ who got our boys killed. He then had tell our boys to ‘kill them all’ to get some equality on the dead.

  14. MOHAMED ASFAR

    Lankan, i hope the bombs will fall on your family first.

  15. Trivandrum

    The name of the republic should be changed from Sri Lanka to Sri Tamilanka.

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