The Sunday Leader

It’s One ‘Oxford’ Salad For Two Racist Calls

Picture Of James Kingston Courtesy Internet, Alligator

The email to James Kingston from a spokesman for the Global Tamil Forum:

Subject: President Rajapaksa
To: president@oxford-union.org
Date: Tuesday, 7 December, 2010, 2:52
Dear Jim,

This note is to say thank you for all your support during President Rajapaksa’s visit to the UK.
I guess the President and his External Affairs Minister have learnt about ‘freedom of expression and democracy’ the hard way. In Sri Lanka, there is absolutely no room whatsoever for freedom of expression. The editors of daily newspapers in Sri Lanka like the Island, Daily News and the Daily Mirror have all condemned the Oxford Union for cancelling the President’s scheduled speech.
The External Minister Mr. G.L. Peiris has gone so far as to call Britain a ‘failed state’.
As you know several journalists in Sri Lanka have disappeared for criticising the President or the government. Lest we forget those that have paid a high price with their lives for expressing their views. So the editors of these dailies who speak about freedom of expression define freedom of expression as praising the President. We do of course feel sorry for them.
It’s a shame our laws protect heads of states who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity and of course we are fully aware of your views about this subject. Anyhow we managed to send him back as there is no room in our country for a war criminal.
All’s well that ends well.
Please keep in touch and hope to see you at the reception hosted by the GTF at the House of Lords tomorrow, 7 December.

Best,
SS (Suren Surendiram)

Check these stupidities. Wickramabahu returning from London is insulted and threatened at the BIA, Katunayake and his supporters attacked by government sponsored hooligans, says Wickramabahu. A LankaeNews and a Sirasa TV provincial reporter is also attacked at the BIA Katunayake by government thugs, reported the news site.
Dinesh Gunawardena, the Chief Government Whip, lashed out right royally in parliament at Dr. Jayalath Jayawardena, Mariya Kadey style. Government ministers and MPs rushed across the well of the house and attacked Dr. Jayawardena, like illiterate thugs. Weerawansa got Sajith Premadasa to contradict a statement made by UNP Deputy Leader Karu Jayasuriya on reconciliation and accusations on war crimes, later retracted by Karu Jayasuriya himself. Government pushed for a no-confidence motion against Karu Jayasuriya and a resolution to appoint a Select Committee to investigate whether Dr. Jayawardena is a ‘traitor’ to the country. Weerawansa went on a protest, calling the British government a “failed state”. There were extensions to all such stupidities in days that followed, despite the Speaker calling for a stop.
This whole lot wrapped on a week’s sordid behaviour by government high rankers and their side kicks, is based on one single event that unfolded in London. President Rajapaksa’s address that was postponed to December 2, thereafter being unilaterally cancelled by the Oxford Union (OU) president, due to heavy Tamil protests and lobbying, triggered the mayhem here.
There are still many doubts left as to who is responsible for this grand fiasco. Whoever initiated the invitation, for whatever personal gain, the External Affairs Minister G.L Peiris confirmed in parliament, the President was advised by many sources in advance, not to make the trip to London. Yet he did not say, what his or his Ministry position was on such advice. His explanation implied rather overtly that he as EA Minister, did not advise the President on the trip and President Rajapaksa went with the invitation for sheer political gain.
Rajapaksa continues to be the icon of Sinhala extremism, held responsible for all accusations from what the US State Department compiled on the final days of the war, to accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity as raised by international rights organisations and to what British Channel 4 aired as possible elimination of disarmed LTTE cadres. An adamant Rajapaksa, who not only refuses to accept the decency to investigate ‘possible excesses’ in the type of brutal war waged, avoids working seriously towards social reconciliation and a practical political solution, home grown or not, to the decades-long political conflict that eventually gave birth to Prabhakaran, LTTE and the demand for an Eelam state, has become the latest reason for continued campaigning by the pro-LTTE diaspora.
That as the political extension of a humiliating defeat least expected by the LTTE supremo and his high command at the hands of this Sinhala regime they helped to establish in 2005 November, now remains as a huge LTTE network in the diaspora with different types of cadres, that has to come back to life for their own political survival, even without Prabhakaran. After ‘KP’ who compromised to be head of the new LTTE named the ‘Trans Tamil Nation’, defected to be the most privileged detainee of the Rajapaksa regime, the pro-LTTE diaspora was hunting around for a catalytic event to mobilise their disheartened and disappointed sympathisers around Rajapaksa’s insensitivity on Tamil political issues and on all accusations of war crimes they wish to highlight as ‘genocide’.
President Rajapaksa’s Oxford address thus became the most apt event for such resurrection of LTTE politics. They thus muscled in with full venom to gain both media publicity and strength in numbers, that now indicate, everything is not over for the pro-LTTE diaspora.
But that is precisely the life line of this Rajapaksa regime that has no answers to any of the post war needs in Sri Lanka and especially of the Sinhala South. The waning glitter of ‘patriotism’ though provided a second term to President Rajapaksa with a new parliament, clearly indicated there were economic issues surfacing. The Rajapaksas therefore talked of post war ‘development’ and a tag line was created calling Sri Lanka the ‘Wonder of Asia’.
Development projects from Norochcholai Coal Power Plant and Upper Kotmale projects to Moragahakanda, Uma Oya, Mattala International Airport and the famously promoted Magampura Mahinda Rajapaksa port that was ceremoniously opened and commissioned twice within four months, were brand names in marketing development, the Rajapaksa way. They alone have no positive impact on the economy. Norochcholai and Upper Kotmale are two decades old and was in the making long before the Rajapaksas came on the scene. Moragahakanda and Mattala don’t seem to be any different to the Magampura sea port that only had the inaugural local ship docking in and none other so far.
The 2011 budget meanwhile has failed to deliver the basics promised during the two recent election campaigns. The nurses, para medics, teachers and all public employees are agitated over the increasing cost of living and being let down with paltry additions to their take-home pay. Free Trade Zone and BOI sector employees have also launched their own campaigns for wage increases. There are reports of bus fare increases too.
The poor in Colombo are threatened with dislocation in thousands and prime city land is up for leasing, under mega projects that come only under the Rajapaksas. Once again the Rajapaksas have around 70% of annual budgetary allocations under them. This Sri Lankan ‘Wonder of Asia’ is a nation of heavy nepotism, growing corruption and unlimited waste, in comparative terms. There is a serious disparity on the increase in wealth distribution that has become the hallmark of economic and fiscal mismanagement. Statistics thus have little credibility with the man on the street, unable to ‘feel’ what the numbers are supposed to speak.
This post war phase in the Sinhala South, the Rajapaksa regime is unable to have under their control, with only hollow ‘development’ promises. Solid answers for basic economic ills, the regime is not capable of finding. The SLFP at rural level remains a disappointed, frustrated base of the government, with no access to political power. Matara and Tangalle local government bodies under the UPFA losing their 2011 budgets a few days ago and the Beliatte PS before that, shows an emerging dissent within the support base in rural society too.
Rajapaksa therefore cannot go on with post war talk of development for long, with no deliveries in the horizon. A turn around once again is necessary and he is hitching himself to the tried and tested slogan of pre-war Sinhala ‘patriotism’ to fight a ghostly LTTE threat.
The Oxford fiasco thus comes handy in telling the Sinhala voter the threat of Tamil ‘separatism’ is not over. This time, members of the opposition are proxy to the pro-LTTE diaspora. There is Wickramabahu and Dr. Jayawardena in London. There is Karu Jayasuriya asking for independent investigations on war crimes and the pro-Tiger diaspora on the prowl, openly waving the Eelam flag. The media is kept busy taking that message across red hot and the ‘Sinhala patriots’ are called to back the Rajapaksa regime.
The JVP thus had to back President Rajapaksa and his London trip. They are clearly distancing themselves from even condemning the attack on Dr. Jayawardena in parliament. The waning glitter of ‘war victory’ and ‘patriotism’ is being resurrected by the Rajapaksa regime, no different to the pro-Tiger diaspora that came out loud and strong in London.
“The logic behind the ‘Separate Tamil State’ is the failure of the Sinhala society to understand this simple, civilised necessity of ‘pluralism’ in modern day nationalism. Understanding and accommodating that pluralism within a new democratic state, structured to be inclusive, provides the only possible answer in defeating separatism, which the South refuses to accept and thus provides for the LTTE to exist and fight for their ideal separate state.”
This was written over two years ago titled, “Tamil separatism survives on the strength of Sinhala nationalism” http://kusalperera.blogspot.com/2008/08/thamil-separatism-survives-on-strength.html. Most unfortunately, the end of the war has not proved this assumption wrong.
A year and a half after the war was declared victoriously over, the Rajapaksa regime provides reasons and space for the LTTE diaspora to gather its resources for re-emergence. The closing of the 30 year war in a feast of kiributh and an orgy of crackers in the South, an agonising human tragedy left as unnecessary baggage in the North and East, is the contradiction that keeps Tamil separatist politics justified.
The Oxford Union fiasco thus folded up as ‘win – win’ for both Rajapaksa and the LTTE diaspora, what ever the President’s gamble was, in going to London. Both live on this exclusive Oxford salad for now, hostile towards each other and both yelling they have a ‘deadly culprit’ to be dealt with. There is no loosening of fists, to start a decent and a constructive dialogue to find a humanly acceptable answer for all. So, here we are, heading towards pre-war Sri Lanka, once again and a more and more militarised society it would be, for Sinhala patriots too.

1 Comment for “It’s One ‘Oxford’ Salad For Two Racist Calls”

  1. Joseph

    Dear Mr Surendiran…..and the UK tamil forum….

    How dare you talk about democracy, freedom of expression etc….

    Tell me when the LTTE dominated part of Lanka for 30 yrs did they give any freedom of expression…. the freedom they gave was a bullet in the head! They killed many thousands of tamils because they opposed. Tell me a single human right they gave to the tamils? On the contrary they kidnapped your tamil kids from the arms of parents and tens of thousands of tamil kids were sacrificed because of a lunatic. They distroyed every thing tamils had- jobs, economy, industry and tamils were reduced to puppets. Many political opponents were killed.
    Despite collecting billions, they did not give a grain of rice or a panadol to the tamils…while the LTTE leaders had swimming pools etc…!

    If you truely were concerned for the tamils and human rights, where were you Mr. Surendiran !!! Did you ever voice your anger against the LTTE ??

    If not, what RIGHT have you got now to talk about freedom and democracy etc !!!

    Please remove the log in your eye before commenting on the spec of the opponents eye!!!

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