| by A Worried Sri Lankan
( February 04, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The international pressure is slowly and surely building up on Sri Lanka.
The direct pressures of suspension of trade privileges, so far had a miniscule effect but indirect circumstantial pressures are giving all the indications that Sri Lanka will have to respond to its conduct in the war in 2009 and follow an honest and transparent reconciliation process to end the climate of endless suppression of the minorities.
The so far government acted bullishly and was prevaricating very serious issues of human rights violations, war crimes and honest dealing on the resolution to the conflict with the minority Tamils. It was on the war path with the west by aligning with some questionable and barely credible governments. Even India has been humiliated-if not for the anti-Tamil Keralite dominated bureaucracy in India, by now the situation would have been turbulent for the Island nation.
The conduct of Sri Lanka on serious issues was very boisterous and its responses were downright rejection and condemnation of claims against it. The evasive government did everything to move away from its traditional friends in the west and went ahead to co-habit with unscrupulous and dangerous governments for its survival. It’s conduct towards the west and India has been very rudimentary, duplicitous and deceptive and was aimed to undermine the very need to respond to the international cries in a responsible manner.
Every action has its reaction and every reaction has its counter reaction. This is the fate accompli for Sri Lanka.
The states that were honeymooning with Sri Lanka is facing all kinds of problems and this circle is progressively shrinking due to circumstances faced by them. The government is running around the world to establish new contacts of countries to sustain its spree.
Let us look at the predicament of the countries that are giving all out support to Sri Lanka.
The Maldives have been a traditional friend of Sri Lanka, due to its proximity and dependency. President Mohammed Nasheed invited President Mahinda Rajapakse to resolve an internal quarrel with the opposition and news about President Mahinda Rajapakse’s engagement received glaring publicity in the Sri Lanka media. He acclaimed a status of a statesman to resolve international conflicts. His effort was an one off visit of few hours and the media went on the hype that Mahinda’s few hours of effort has resolved the conflict in Maldives.
Unfortunately, the problem progressed and the Maldivian government bypassed Sri Lanka and invited the United Nations to intervene and resolve the conflict between the government and the opposition recently. The Maldives action was a sharp slap on the face of Sri Lanka.
What has happened to the much hyphened international conflict resolution profile of President Mahinda Percy Rajapakse. All in tatters and the hero worshipping Sri Lanka media too are maintaining dumbfounded silence on this debacle.
Look at the fate of the Libyan leader Maumar Gadafi. A much gloated friendship between the two nations have been reduced to nothing with the death of the Libyan leader. The relationship between the two nations were such that even the President’s son Namal Rajapakse followed his dad wearing the typical attire of the father and hugged and kissed the Libyan leader.
The Arab spring that brought an end to the Maumar’s regime is a chapter in the failing diplomacy of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is in a predicament of even unable to buy a gallon of crude oil from that country, leave aside exporting a pack of Coppara to Libya.
Down fall of Prime Minister Gordon Brown may be cause of this handshake with his attire?.
Keep away! Keep away!! Prime Minister Julia Gillard, if you want to be Prime Minister for long.
Sri Lanka’s another trusted friend was Myanmar (former Burma). The much discredited and anti-west military dictate of Myanmar was an easy friend, as the country was facing all kinds of pressure from the west on its record. If not for the support from China, Myanmar would have crumbled long time ago. Even that relationship could not be sustained for long. Unable to bear the pressures from the West, Myanmar soon started to relax its dictatorial hold and is now aligning more towards its arch enemies- the West.
The lesson Myanmar has learnt will be a good lesson for Sri Lanka, but whether it will learn any lesson is not difficult to judge. Unlike Myanmar, Sri Lanka is in a pickle. The war crimes is a serious issue and Sri Lanka has to hold its breath until the last point before it is paraded to the world court to answer charges.
The experience of straining relationship with Iran due to external factors is loudly and clearly stated by the President Mahinda Rajapakse. The US sanctions against Iran is going to hurt Sri Lanka due to its heavy dependency on oil imports. 97% of the oil imports are as claimed by the President is from this oil rich nation.
If the oil embargo is fully implemented with military blockade, the much hugged relationship with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have serious repercussion for Sri Lanka. President Mahinda Rajapakse was undermining the call for honest peace and reconciliation by the US that he ignored and was so far going on his merry-go-round to Karachi-Moscow-Beijing etc. His worry of the oil export embargo on Iran is such that before the sanction became effective he has fallen on the foot of America and is crying for help to provide alternative oil supplies to Sri Lanka.
No hug of Mahinda Rajapakse. Forewarned not to hug? Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is saved from political downfall to some extent.
Sri Lanka’s relationship with China is at a heavy cost. Nothing comes free. Every deal is tied to a financial contract. The communist state that is transforming itself to a pseudo capitalist-socialist nation is one of the worst state on human rights violation. It exports its criminals on international construction work and openly sells the organs of the criminals on death sentence to international buyers.
Valuing human rights is secondary to Mahinda Rajapakse regime too and it has no other avenues than belly dancing with China to undermine its record on human rights and war crimes.
China too is facing the threat of the west and has put its navy on high alert recently on the Taiwan conflict.
Chinese know how to play their ping pongs and with the ever shrinking relationship for Sri Lanka it will also play its international role that will disappoint the Indian ocean nation. For China, the western market is more important than the piddly little Sri Lanka. What it did to Sudan’s Bazeer on war crimes charges is the fate Sri Lanka must expect.
The above narrations of failing relationships for Sri Lanka involve many factors. Whether it could be the bad omen of the Rajapakse attire cannot be discounted. Every hug with the attire caused death and serious problems for friendly countries. Whether Mahinda Rajapakse is a bad omen can be found from the relationship with Russia.
Russia is another state that gives unquestionable support for Mahinda’s regime. But fortunately, bitter cold weather in Russia makes the President makes him to give up his traditional attire. Going with it will frozen him to serious consequence.
The change in the attire has given some respite to Moscow. Instead of Putin’s government toppling in the recent election, it faced serious debacles.
Remaining of 2012 will tell how this attire based bad omen going to impact Sri Lanka.