| by Nalin de Silva
( February 29, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) What is happening in Geneva? The UK, our colonial master for more than two hundred years, if counted from the day they first settled in Colombo has intervened to request for UN intervention if the proposals of the LLRC commission were not implemented. They have not given a deadline meaning that one “fine day” from their point of view they would decide as they please that LLRC proposals have not been implemented, and it is time for action. We do not talk of so called double standards by the UK citing what they did in Iraq. They do not practice double standards but it is the Sri Lankan government that tries to satisfy the colonialists as well as the masses at the same time.
The very establishment of the LLRC implies that the government of Sri Lanka had not learnt any lessons of the way the colonialists have tried to destroy us during the last five hundred years or so. We have some hypocrites in Sri Lanka who while pretending to be against what the colonialists are up to in Geneva in the same breadth ask the government to implement the LLRC proposals. They are, in the final analysis, supporting the UK, the USA, and would keep quiet if the UN decides to impose economic sanctions or if NATO decides to invade Sri Lanka for not implementing the LLRC proposals, irrespective of that Rome Treaty, which Ranil Wickremesinghe says he did not sign for some reason or other. The UK, the USA and other western colonialists, though they may have slight differences with respect to strategy are all united in taking steps to maintain their hegemony in the political, economic and cultural spheres and seeing to it that the other countries imitate their political structures, economic policies and cultural practices including their knowledge in science, arts and other disciplines. In Iraq they have acted to maintain their hegemony and if one thinks that they are behaving differently in Sri Lanka then one is mistaken. The English are English whether they are in England, Iraq or Sri Lanka or even in Scotland, Ireland and Wales. We may not have had airplanes if not for the English and the other westerners but we would have been better off as NATO would not have been able to send their bombers if and when they want. I am proud of the fact that in spite of having their education and finally going in that damned airplane to the UK to obtain a degree from one of their universities, I was able to break away from what they wanted to instill in me. In a sense I neither learnt nor departed, thanks to Catuskoti logic in my culture, and not to Aristotelian logic with its dichotomies.
It is said that the English and the westerners gave independence to the countries in Asia in late forties and to Africa in the sixties. However it was only a limited political independence that was given while in the spheres of economics and culture, no independence was given. The limited political independence we gained in 1948 was not something achieved by the UNP but a result of a long drawn independence struggle that has lasted for more than five hundred years, which is still continuing. During the period the English ruled us after deceiving the Sinhala leaders and going against the Sinhala – English Agreement of 1815, which is nearing two hundred years, there was the first phase of the independence struggle against the English colonialists in 1817 -1818. The independence struggle was defeated by the colonialists who massacred not only the males over twelve years in Uva Vellassa but even the cattle belonged to the Sinhala people. It was such a humanitarian operation by the English, no commissions were appointed to look into any human rights violation. Surely the English officers and gentlemen (there would have been officers who were not gentlemen) would not have dared even to think of violating human rights and no commissions were needed. However the English appointed a commission which goes as Colebrook – Cameron commission which took steps to pull the country into their economical ambit. Then they established the school system to make sure that we were trained under their cultural hegemony, and to produce the future commissioners. There have been so many commissions appointed since then, the latest being the LLRC, but all these commissions have comprised of Oxbridge and other such graduates or English educated personnel, entrepreneurs etc., but very rarely, if at all of Sanga, Veda, Guru, Govi, Kamkaru. In any event, after the Colebrook – Cameron commission we had the Legislative Assembly that saw the political emergence of Tamil racism and of course introduction of various taxes with the abolishing of the Rajakari System. The second phase of the independence struggle commenced with the leadership of Puran Appu and Gongalegoda Banda as the traditional leadership of the Sinhalas had been massacred by the humanitarian English. The very pious and humanitarian governor by the name Torrington defeated the second phase of the independence struggle exceeding even the limits usually tolerated by the King of England.
I do not want to describe all the humanitarian operations that had been conducted by the English, but suffice to mention that as a result of them Anagarika Dharmapala and several Bhikkus led the next phase of the independence struggle, which took a more cultural form and struggled against cultural colonialism as well. That phase of the independence struggle was defeated by the English with the assistance of our “leaders” appointed by the English colonialists. The leaders of the Sinhalas as well as of the Tamils were educated, trained and appointed by the English, wanted only limited political independence who did not want to get involved with mass movements. They were more interested in showing that they were more English than the English themselves and the latter could trust them to “rule” the country on behalf of the English. However, unknown to these leaders the independence struggle continued and it surfaced in the thirties and forties in the form of the language issue. There were number of people who agitated to make Sinhala the official language and also to give the Sinhala Buddhist culture its due place. It is improper to call the movement by the leaders appointed by the English as an independence struggle but after Anagarika Dharmapala the independence struggle took the form of a Bhasa Movement that also fought for the due place for the Sinhala Buddhist culture. The masses were unhappy with what the UNP had done for the Sinhala Buddhists and 1956 was the result of the agitations. Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera was the first to point out that 1956 was the reemergence of the Dharmapala Movement. However, I am of the opinion that it as well as the Dharmapala Movement were continuations and different phases of the independence struggle against the western Christian colonialism headed by the Anglican Christians of England. There were some achievements by the 1956 movement but complete political independence could not be gained not to mention cultural and economic independence.
The English and later the Americans who became the leaders of western Christian colonialism acted against any government, which went against the wishes of the colonialists and wanted to continue the independence struggle. The leader who was most troubled by the colonialists before the President Mahinda Rajapakse was Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. The conspiracy against her government demonstrated this and we are not surprised to find sons and grandsons of conspirators of yesteryear leading a movement against the independence struggle at present. The limited independence given to us by the English colonialists meant that we could elect a government we wish with very much difficulty if the colonialists were against it, and that they would do everything possible to bring down the government the moment the latter took a major decision to gain more independence. In general all the SLFP-led governments except that of Chandrika Kumaratunga were not tolerated by the west. The SLFP was supported mainly by the Sinhala nationalists, and the colonialists who were against the Sinhala masses never wanted SLFP led governments in power. They supported Chandrika Kumaratunga since she was more a sympathizer of Mahajana Party politics than of SLFP politics, and was more a Kumaratunga than a Bandaranaike. In fact she was imported by the agents of the UK at that time from her self-imposed political exile in order to derail the SLFP using the Bandaranaike name and work against the Sinhala people. However, the Sinhala people were finally able to send her back to the environs in the west she most probably enjoys best.
I have maintained for more than twenty five years that Tamil racism was introduced and nurtured by the Dutch and the English against the Sinhalas especially against the Sinhala Buddhists. Tamil racism in Sri Lanka is part of English Christian colonialism and though Sinhala Buddhists are not against the Tamils, they had to oppose Tamil racism, which was used by the English to deprive the Sinhalas, especially the Sinhala Buddhists their due place in the country. The English and the westerners have since then used their schools universities and of course mass media and so called internationally renowned intellectuals not to mention internationally reputed journals, to instill in the minds of the Sinhalas of a guilt feeling for the so called injustices caused to the Tamils by the “Sinhala governments”. I have dealt with these “allegations” in number of articles and books, and I do not want to go into details at present. I found that this guilt feeling in the minds of the members of the LLRC when I was invited to make submissions before the western learned commissioners. Thus most of the recommendations of the LLRC stemming from this guilt feeling, claiming that we have to “give them” something are not acceptable to the vast majority of the Sinhala people.
The President who is leading the present phase of the independence struggle was not guided by the western “wisdom” that the LTTE could not be defeated gave the political leadership to the “ranaviruvas” to defeat the LTTE. The westerners are following a very cautious policy with respect to Sri Lanka, and unlike in the Arabic world wish to tell the world that what they have acted very “legally”. They began with the Ban Ki-moon report mistakenly called the Darusman report, the bogus Channel four footages, and raising the “war crimes and human rights” issue at various “international” fora. The government, as mentioned previously appointed the LLRC without learning any lessons from the past experiences. Now the western bogus humanitarians, who bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, after they had won the war, only to experiment with the atomic bomb want the government to implement the LLRC proposals. If one thinks that all that the westerners want is the implementation of the LLRC proposals, then one is sadly mistaken. It is little now more later policy and just as much the Tamil racists are being instigated to ask for thirteen plus, after the thirteenth amendment, even if the LLRC proposals are implemented they would ask for more. After all, the Oliver Twist character was created in England and so many commissioners and politicians in England would have been brought up to emulate young Oliver, in their old age.
NEED FOR RESISTING WEST
The independence struggle continues and we can defeat the western plans as we defeated the terrorists inspired by the west if we are able to unite the vast majority of people around the government. While we appreciate the work of our delegation in Geneva it has to be said that the independence struggle would be won in the streets of Sri Lanka rather than in the corridors of the UN buildings. It is important to build a strong anti-western block by uniting all the nations from Iran to Russia to China and to India (if India is willing) to Chile and to Argentina and to African countries. The west never gave up their colonial policies and there is only colonialism and not neo colonialism. While we work as a member of the anti west block we have to be aware of the fact that “internationally” we have to fight according to the hegemonic western Christian Law which is always against the non Christian countries. The major struggle is in the streets of Colombo and other towns in Sri Lanka and the government has to prepare the people for that. The struggle would not end up with the Geneva sessions of the UNHRC and it is going to be another long drawn fight against the western Christian colonialism. However, the government has to win the confidence of the people by cutting down on waste, corruption etc., and the ministers should set standards of simple living by example. The independence struggle will continue and at present as a first step we have to defeat the western plans of getting the government to give concessions to Tamil racism that was set up by the westerners themselves. However, final victory over western hegemony would be achieved when we become independent of their knowledge. It is their knowledge that is in the minds of the so called educated people in this country and the Sanga-Veda-Guru-Govi-Kamkaru balawegaya has to come out with plans for this final struggle against western hegemony of knowledge that includes their so called science.