(This editorial is published in the wake of the government blocking of SriLankaguardian.org, srilankamirror.com , paparaci.com, gossip9.com, and lankawaynews.com)
(November 06, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) The LTTE was militarily defeated on May 19,2011. The government hyphened its drumbeat that the menace of terrorism had been eradicated from the nation and the President worshipping the tarmac of Katunayake international airport on arrival after over indulging with the much wanted international terrorist Maumar Gadaffi spoke volume of government’s jubilant mood.
Post defeat of the LTTE is proving that the Rajapakse bros., with the extremist Arya Sinhala clan are embracing the tactics adopted by the condemned so-called terrorist outfit LTTE and clearly gloating over its dictatorial decision making process that even the bandwagon of parliamentarians backing the process in a sense of intoxication with so much gained back door wealth are playing their part like the pied-pipers rats and they will only play the synonymous rabban (Sinhala drum) in a inebriated sense to make the most when the seat is warm.
The LTTE was an undemocratic non state actor and it pursuit cannot be like that of responsible state actor. The circumstances of fighting a massive state machinery makes a non state actor to indulge in extra-ordinary activities that are seen unacceptable in the present geo-political context. The degree of what LTTE did may be in variance with the ANC during apartheid regime but LTTE earned the wrath for being an undemocratic and anti-democratic force that compounded the sufferings of its own people to the advantage of the extremism of the Sinhala nationalism that has gloated even further to a disproportionate scale since its defeat.
Except for carrying out suicide bombings and child recruitments, the government of Sri Lanka is doing everything to match the LTTE outfit. It has its clean suit and salwar kameez men to propagate to the world that its post LTTE conduct is transforming Sri Lanka.
The free media faced the wrath of the anti-democratic conduct of the government. The cold blooded murder of the Sunday Leader founder and the Chief Editor Lasantha Wickramatunga and stonewalling an inquiry of his death speaks of the state of mindset of the despotic government.
From kidnaps, murders, burning the media outlets, indulging in unwanted legal actions against the media in the constrained judiciary, funding the crooked media like the Asian Tribune run by a unscrupulous for its propagation and ejecting the critical journalists from the country etc., the Rajapakse Bros. has done everything to silence the freedom of the press – the vital force of a democratic society.
Having marginalised the media in Sri Lanka, the ones operating from overseas became the target as the truth that cannot be revealed in the Sri Lankan outlets were brought to the focus by these international media. The readership of media like Sri Lanka Guardian increased manifold and soon became irritant for the intolerant Rajapakse Bros.
Running the state at gun point with heavy military presence, committing crimes on those who are vulnerable and violent conduct towards those questioning the government, forcefully taking over the lands and businesses, preventing the Sri Lankan’s who have been evicted by the war to return to the country, imposing visa controls with the ulterior motive to further subjugate the Tamils, collecting revenue from visa controls etc., are modus operandi of the LTTE that the government of Sri Lanka is comfortable to practice as its insidious policies.
There are enough sidekicks like China, Myanmar, Russia and Pakistan to provide wealth of advice and assistance to make the island nation a macabre state.
The interesting comment of all is of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information saying many reports posted on dissident websites amounted to character assassination of President Mahinda Rajapakse, his ministers and top officials. If there is unreasonable and unacceptable character it must be dissected in the media. Even Pirabakaran’s outfit did not permit character assassination of its leader and his outfit. Many people paid the price in life for doing so.
The government knows that the much awaited Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report to be realised on November 15, will come under thorough dissection by the so-called banned media and it is the prejudgement to prevent analysis reaching the citizens that made the goons in the government to pre-empt and take this action.
Further, the influence of the free media banned by the government has contributed towards disseminating news and views suppressed in Sri Lanka. How long can Sri Lanka sustain in this manner. Its lager neighbour India is living with multitudes of communities and diverse media but unfortunately the tiny island is unable to manage itself with few communities and few media.
Blocking of the media endorses a clear message of the government. Its target is the Sri Lankan expatriates. They have become a real pain in the backside for it to sit peacefully. Branding the Tamil Diaspora as LTTE and undermining the free media like the Sri Lanka Guardian as hostile lots, the agenda is set to go after the lot. What will be the next. The military and intelligence network will internalise its efforts to target the individuals. Assassinations and kidnaps will be part of the game. The slogan of blaming the LTTE will be an easy one. Sri Lanka has enough contacts to execute the task.
Sri Lanka Guardian will not run away and will find its way to reach our people in a manner appropriate.
Tamil grievances and anti-Tamil standardisation policy for the university entrance brought the thirty years of brutal violence in the island nation and the root problem are not solved even after the LTTE defeat. Every action results in counter reaction and suppression of media too will have its bearings and the time is not too far away.