| by Rajasingham Jayadevan
( March 26, 2012, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) The true character of Sri Lanka is well exposed in the international arena following the defeat of the LTTE.
The government that believed, it will have overwhelming support from the international community for defeating the LTTE outright in 2009, has become a victim of its own success, due to its inwardly agenda that has put the island nation in a quandary and on the international agenda.
If this is what the behaviour of Sri Lanka conducting its affairs in the international level, one should revisit the historical events to corroborate the facts of how it treated its national minority (Tamils) that created the very LTTE which was eliminated with international support.
|Innocent under-aged Bikkus (Buddhist priests) protest against the West|
Instead of embracing the Tamils as its national minority with due regard, the post independence Sri Lanka treated them with absolute contempt and systematically purged them in various ways to make them a manageable minority – a process that is continuing even after the defeat of the LTTE.
The conduct of the post independence governments against the Tamils is the very attitude presently reflected in the international level to intimidate the nations that did not subscribe to the island’s agenda in the UNHRC.
The conduct of the governments in office in 1970’s reached the peak when the government of Srimavo Bandaranayake (present President’s party) dishonestly introduced the anti-Tamil standardisation policy that bastardised the Tamils that lead to the arms struggle and mass migration all over the world.
Revisiting the parliamentary debates on the introduction of the standardisation scheme will tell how Tamils were ridiculed in the legislative assembly for scoring higher marks in the university entrance examinations to achieve high standards in their will to achieve economic upliftment and to contribute positively for the nations progress.
This followed the passing of the no-confidence motion against Opposition Leader and the leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) Appapillai Amirthalingamthe for being outspoken about Tamil grievances and demanding their due rights.
Scandalisation of the Tamils in the parliament and the media went to the extent of calling the Tamils as cheats that the examiners deliberately scoring higher marks for them to enter universities. A Muslim minister Badiudin Mohamed was put in charge of doing the dirty work for the government with the view to create a wedge between the minority communities. The majority Sinhala rule remains exposed when the children of the migrated victims of the standardisation policy achieving exceptional standards in their host countries without Tamil markers of examination papers.
During the debate on the no-confidence motion against the Tamil leader, vituperative and rabid statements were made by the majority Sinhala parliamentarians to the extent of threatening that the popular Tamil opposition leader should be brutally executed.
Both these events in the parliament and the media and the 1977 anti-Tamil pogrom strengthened the resolve of the Tamil youth to engage in a arms struggle as it proved majority Sinhalese will not resolve to deal with the Tamil demands politically.
The modus operandi of the government of Sri Lanka against the international community is no different to what was inflicted on the Tamils. Using the employees in the state payroll to conduct demonstrations and carrying out accusatory debate in the parliament is the established practice that attempts to negates the genuine concerns of the victims of the war or the international players.
The very same government that criticised the LTTE of engaging child soldiers did not feel ashamed to march the young underage Bikkus (Buddhist priests) to protest against the international community.
Sri Lanka carried out the very same campaign against India when India assertively got involved by sending its troops to the island in 1987. Beyond democratic protests and demands threats, intimidation and coercive tactics became the rules of the government that is now even practiced in the international level.
Some of the LTTE’s practices that were abhorred and campaigned against have become the practices of the government. This has now crossed the borders of Sri Lanka and even felt at the UN Human Rights council sessions when the Council’s leader Navi Pillai warned Sri Lanka not to ill-treat the journalists returning from its secession.
With the absolute authority and to do anything at its will within its territorial boarders, Sri Lanka is now replicating its conduct in the international spear.
Insulting the EU of financial bankruptcy by offering financial assistance when the nation’s productive GDP is under 50%; provoking a debate on boycotting US products; slinging mud and threatening India for voting against at the UNHRC and branding the international effort against Sri Lanka is the work of the LTTE rump are no different to the practices historically followed against its national minority.
Before Tamil militancy started, Lanka violently repressed the democratic agitations of the Tamils. The attacks were not limited to batten charges and went beyond of using live munitions at public meetings and looting the Tamil businesses in the Jaffna town. When the Tamils resisted the state violence with their own violence; bombing, staffing and massacring the civilian population became the tool that eventually lead to the full scale war with the LTTE. For three decades Tamil civilian population paid a heavy price for Tamil militant violence against the government.
The government’s campaign against the west is in the infant stage. Though it does not have the resources or ability to conduct an all out warfare in the international terrain, there remains a question whether it will engage in some form of limited aggressive actions against the Tamil diaspora or the international community.
Having established a strong relationship with intolerant countries and serious human rights violators that export human parts, engage criminal work force to undertake cheap international projects and the nations well known for intolerance towards other religions, the present government may stretch its wings to undertake proxy covert operations to destabilize any international effort.
It is easy to discount this claim, but for Sri Lanka it has passed the cross roads and is in a desperate state. Expanding from its cowardly conduct towards its national minority for decades and its present international associations and attitude towards the west is a worrying situation, unless the government get chickened out under sustained international pressure.