No Rajapaksa Visions For The Future?
- Mahinda Rajapaksa should meditate on how the hostility of the powerful Western nations that mattered most to Sri Lanka at Geneva changed almost overnight with a change of regime
- Never mind the blotched up not so glorious past. What promise do the Rajapaksas and their cohorts hold for the future?
- While most political parties and revolutionaries provide a rough outline of their economic and political policies before they embark on their mission, the Rajapaksa opposition has still to declare their visions
The current reduction in the cacophony of pro Rajapaksa activists about their ‘glorious past’ is probably caused by the truth surfacing about their past deeds in a comparatively short time. Of course we are taken back – occasionally – to the ‘Historic Victory’ which the two brothers claimed for themselves, stripped their Army Commander of his rank and put him behind bars for making his impertinent claim of being the real winner. But all that was nearly eight years ago.
The post war claims of building harbours, airports, roads, bridges, etc. too are now less strident in the wake of the cries of the Yahapalanaya leaders that the country is being bankrupted having to pay back the colossal debt burden of an estimated $ (US)15 billion that was spent on Rajapaksa monuments to perpetuate their glory.
Never mind the blotched up not so glorious past. What promise do the Rajapaksas and their cohorts hold for the future? On this aspect too expected pledges have not been forthcoming, although their faithful are awaiting the kiri-pani [milk and honey] as gullible political supporters usually do.
But this is a party, whose leader Mahinda Rajapaksa, has time and again sworn that he would topple the current government this year and take over power. Even his die-hard supporters will want to know what good he can do – or hope to do – for the people before he engages in this exercise of throwing out the Yahapalanaya government. While most political parties and revolutionaries provide a rough outline of their economic and political policies before they embark on their mission, the Rajapaksa opposition has still to declare their visions quite apart from pledges to the people. Even the JVP, before their revolution of delinquents, conducted the Five Lectures in jungles before coming out with their ‘galkattas’ firing. Every common or garden political party presents an election manifesto.
The current Sri Lankan situation demands at least two proposals to be presented for the burning issues of the day: (1) What’s their solution to the issue before the UNHRC, where Sri Lanka stands accused of human rights violations including war crimes. (2) How can this country rid itself of the $ (US) 15 billion debt burden. Both are exclusive Rajapaksa creations.
Last week we witnessed some politically oriented Buddhist monks, admirals of the Navy and ex-Army top brass at a function passing among themselves ‘Factual Appraisal of the Report of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on Sri Lanka (OISL) to be presented to President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and also to hand over the ‘Factual Appraisal’ to the UNHCR authorities in Geneva on March 22.
We are not aware of the contents of this report but are left wondering why this report should have been made now and taken to Geneva this month – almost eight years after this UNHCR calamity descended on us. The report, known as the Darusman Report, was made consequent to a statement issued by visiting UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and President Mahinda Rajapaksa in which the ‘Sri Lanka government agreed to take measures on accountability of the nature and scope of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law’. The appointment of the Darusman panel was strongly objected to by Sri Lanka and its report released in 2011 too was equally, vehemently rejected by the Sri Lanka government. Since then the Darusman report had been debated ad nauseam in various forums and rejected.
Does the ‘Factual Appraisal’ done by an organisation called the Federation of National Organisations’ contain any new evidence or material that can change the course in Geneva favourably for Sri Lanka or is this old wine in new bottles to score debating points at home?
What should have been done way back in 2009 when the conflict ended and allegations were made against the Sri Lanka armed forces is that such evidence should have been presented at that time.
Maybe such evidence may not have been accepted by once friendly Western nations that have turned hostile to the Rajapaksa government because after that euphoria of the ‘historic victory’ the Rajapaksa regime took on the entire powerful Western bloc of nations and even the United Nations head on. It appeared to be Little Sri Lanka Vs the Mighty Western World and the UN!
Reports that trickled from the Presidential Secretariat spoke of how lecturers of undergraduates summoned Presidential Secretariat hectored senior US diplomats on double standards American foreign policy much to the delight of our leaders.
They had appreciated this stupid diplomacy with remarks such as: Api ekata bada pirenda dunna (We gave him a belly full).
Double standards of American foreign policy is nothing new even to perceptive readers of newspapers, but is rubbing it into a visiting diplomat of the most powerful nation good diplomacy or diplomacy at all?
To observers Sri Lanka’s foreign policy in those days, apart from a few so called Non-Aligned nations like Libya, Iran, some African nations, Russia and China, Sri Lanka was becoming increasingly isolated. UN sanctions against Sri Lanka were becoming an increasing reality.
Mahinda Rajapaksa should meditate on how the hostility of the powerful Western nations that mattered most to Sri Lanka at Geneva changed almost overnight with a change of regime. He should inform his faithful followers whether he hopes to follow his earlier trajectory in diplomacy – if ever he returns – and whether that would let Sri Lanka off the hook at Geneva.
On the second most important issue of how he proposes to get out of the $ (US) 15 billion Debt Trap, we make no comment. It boggles our minds. A crazy notion that came to us is: Appoint Nivard Cabraal once again the Central Bank Governor and make him bid before the International Olympic Committee to stage the Olympic Games at Hambantota; go in for hedging against investments, purchase Greek Bonds and make use of the little used Lake House presses for printing currency notes.
An issue that would greatly interest his followers will be his proposed Cabinet. Already his latest adviser has recommended that he (Mahinda) takes a back seat – premiership – and give brother Gota the Plum of presidency. How would this affect the other ‘Rs’ of the inner core (kitchen cabinet): son and heir Crown/Clown, Prince Namal, Yankee brother Basil, Loku Aiya Chamal, Navy Putha Yoshitha? Other ‘Rs’ can be given the top diplomatic stations: Washington, Moscow, London, Paris provided they do not attempt to sell embassy premises or engage in gun running and things like that. Poor relations can be made Diyawadana Nilames of rich devales. There wouldn’t be much of a change, would it: Rajapaksa, Rajapaksa, Rajapaksa and Rajapaksa……….?