| by J. Kappetipola
( March 26, 2012, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Controversies and dilemmas are not strange to Sri Lankans in the aftermath of victory over the terrorist menace in that country. The government claims that it won the battle against LTTE and obviously the Rajapakses could hold the crown temporarily for them as if they are the sole heirs of the unprecedented triumph.
The whole family claims that they are ardent Buddhists. That is only half the truth. If President’s wife was not a Catholic, the situation would have been completely different. It is not a secret to Vatican and to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Sri Lanka that President and the First Lady need the assistance of Christian West to promote their eldest son Namal Rajapakse for the Presidency as the successor of Mahinda Rajapakse.
While President’s brother Gotabaya continues his endless vengeance against the former Army Commander General Sarath Fonseka, his nephew the “crown prince” is trying to play a mediocre role especially in the process of freeing former Army Chief. Yet, nobody knows whether it is another episode of family drama or just a political game. Whatever they think and do one thing is apparent that the release of General Fonseka could have adverse effects on them.
Fear is more or less a phenomenal concept and the biggest enemy in politics. An unfathomable degree of insecurity amongst ruling lot would essentially cause an utter chaos amongst people too. Pro Mahinda individuals and groups believe that this government has no other alternative than confining General Fonseka to a prison cell. The reason according to them is that General may expose everything to the West that could end up with an utter disaster to Rajapakses and to their future dreams in governance and financial matters.
This is very similar to what the Rajapakse government did, when it filed charges against General. Attorney General Mohan Peiris was advised by Gotabaya Rajapakse to level charges by over emphasizing the statement given to the editor of Sunday Leader Frederica Janz. No one in the courts raised the question whether one particular charge that was based on White Flag issue really had the anticipated impact on the conduct of masses. If this charge is true, the people in Sri Lanka could have started riots and it could lead to an ethnic tension. And also there was no impact (if the results of Presidential and the General Elections were not manipulated by the government) on election results causing the ruling coalition an absolute defeat. Either the charges or what prevailed without any calamity must be the ground reality in this case. This is another concrete example that the government had the intention to mislead the masses that could ultimately result in hatred for General. The verdict of Justice Warawava cleared this fabricated phobia by the government whatever the judgment of other two judges.
People who know General’s nature and qualities feel completely in a different manner. They are convinced that General loved his soldiers, though he was very strict with them. General knows that his soldiers were very loyal to him and without their dedication neither Rajapakses nor General Fonseka could claim for the victory over terrorism. In this interwoven complexity of mutual respect and trustworthiness, it would be an impossible task for an ex- Army Commander to betray his own soldiers who did the supreme sacrifice to protect Motherland. General has already proved his leadership qualities as a brave soldier in the Army and as the Commander who led the troops in the battlefield.
Is this the reason why the President Mahinda Rajapakse and his brother, the Defense Secretary suffer from fear of rejection by the members of Armed Forces and by general public?
The fact that how serious the Rajapakses were in the process of resolving problems pertaining to human rights violations and international pressure on war crimes is clearly manifest in the following quotation:
“Ambassador Blake wrote “Ambassador met with Minister of Disaster Relief and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe January 30 to share with him a list of requests from non-governmental organizations regarding access and the ability to work in Sri Lanka.”
“After reading the list, Samarasinghe noted that he had ‘been working on the same issues’ but felt ineffective against the influence of the President’s brothers, Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa and Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, both of whom have taken a hard line view toward human rights……” [WikiLeaks: “I Haven’t Had An Easy Time With Rajapaksa Brothers” – Mahinda Samarasinghe, Colombo Telegraph, 23 March 2012]
Even if a prisoner is not allowed to be present at the commission hearings, the question why the government did not call former Army Commander to forward at least his written submissions to the LLRC remains unanswered. This could be another kind of conspiracy to keep General away from the commission activities. The hearings, investigations and recommendations of the LLRC have lost their authenticity by not having summoned a very important person like former Army Commander who knew from A-Z why and how terrorism found fertile grounds on Sri Lankan soil. Being the Commander in Charge of Jaffna Peninsula more than any other commander and later as the Army Commander he had visions how to face civil grievances as well as terrorist threat.
When Channel 4 telecast its 4th documentary on Killing Fields in Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapakse’s henchmen were not happy about mentioning Rajapakses’ name frequently in that video footage. The clear answer for their grumbling that the Channel 4 mentioned General Sarath Fonseka’s name once only is because the government of Sri Lanka itself had set an example by removing his name from Mahavamsa, the great chronicle of Sri Lanka and by not allowing him to give evidence before the LLRC. When General’s own country does not keen on his name, what would be the reason for Channel 4 to go out of the way to make this name prominent? On the other hand, it could be a dirty trick of these groups behind this anti-Sri Lanka campaign to insinuate that the former Army Commander is on their side or they else they thinks that he is not accountable for these killings.
The enemies of Sri Lanka are not only the Tamil Diaspora backed by Christian West but also the present government. The whole World knows the role of Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP in a ruthless terrorist movement as a mass killer. Before the Interpol, FBI and RAW arrest him, Gotabaya Rajapakse provided him a safe haven in Sri Lanka may be for his money or may be for other reasons. Whatever it is, this act indicates direct violation of country’s law and international law apart from the damage being done to the ethical and moral values of Sri Lankan society. Instead of influencing Tamil Diaspora, Kumaran Pathmanathan used all modern facilities given to him by the government to encourage Tamils living abroad to reorganize against the people of Sri Lanka. One should clearly understand that this so-called Western conspiracy is not against Mahinda and Gotabaya but against Sinhala Buddhist social establishments and against Sri Lanka as a whole. Backed by KP and the Church, Tamil Diaspora will continue its campaign against our brave soldiers who freed Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims from LTTE clutches.
There is no transparency in the activities of Mahinda Rajapakse government. He follows a very peculiar type of tactic for his survival. He himself doesn’t want to have a direct confrontation with West. His younger brother Basil is keen on having sound diplomatic relations with India not because his daughter is married to an Indian but he has a proper assessment of his business potentiality with India. A myth is inculcated in the mind of Gotabaya that China and Russia will accomplish a rescue mission supposing the West decides to charge him for human rights violations.
Amidst all these controversies, it is strange to see how and why Gotabaya maintains a hard line on USA policy towards Sri Lanka. He hasn’t yet given up his US nationality and most surprisingly the USA too didn’t utter anything about “possible” war crimes committed by one of its citizens. On the other hand, the USA also cannot hide the fact that a number of higher rankers in Sri Lankan armed forces including Gotabaya had fulfilled a great mission for the USA in Sri Lanka during the JVP insurrection in 1988 and 89. Will USA face criminal charges by Gotabaya, if a Federal Court in USA considers a trial against Gotabaya? Has he got something in his hand to keep USA silent?
Whatever the personal or diplomatic relationship between the ruling lot in Sri Lanka and the Obama Administration, something very unusual is taking place. The US Resolution at Geneva Human Rights Council cannot be the main issue in the context of so-called human rights violation during last few days of the war against terrorism. What USA did in Pakistan to exterminate Al Qaida leader Bin Laden is officially filmed and released to whole world and it clearly shows that no resistance came from Bin Laden or from his body guards. But the execution was carried out on an order given by the President of the USA. Evidently, it was an act of vengeance for the killing of US citizens at home and abroad by Al Qaida.
While taking the above mentioned example into consideration, any country in the World can point the finger to USA but they will not. The whole World hates terrorism. Except for Islam fundamentalists no one would sympathize with Bin Laden and it should be the same with Prabhakaran and with his immediate associates. There is a remarkable difference between Bin Laden and Prabhakaran. Bin Laden challenged the Western capitalist model patronage by Catholic and Christian Churches and Prabhakaran converted himself to Catholic faith and fought nearly 30 years to fulfill the dream of Catholic Church for a separate state for non-Hindu, non-Buddhists and non-Muslims. There is no wonder why a Catholic Priest is giving the leadership to Tamil Diaspora and why the West is keen on having this “dream state” for non-Hindu Tamils. Hypocrisy of West in this regard is clear. Although Prabhakaran was in many ways thousand times worse than Bin Laden, he was excluded from the list of terrorist leaders. In the 15th century, the Vatican declared that anyone can be relieved from sins by paying large sums of money to the Church.
USA and the West are not concerned about democratic rights and social justice in Sri Lanka. They are not worried about General Fonseka’s present tragic situation. The biggest “mistake” committed by him is that he taught the best lessen to the world’s deadliest terrorist outfit thereby he proved his leadership qualities and set an example to other countries how to fight terrorism. It was really a symbolic slap to India.
India is well aware of Western conspiracy against India’s political establishment and she knows who were behind Indira Gandhi’s and Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination but India cooperates with the assassins for the sake of market in the West. Providing Software for the West has become India’s main foreign income source.
Mahinda Rajapakse government would be worried if something happens to semi-slavery labour market in Middle East. He feels secure as long as Islamic countries back him. His dream is to see his son as his successor. But the question is whether the growing unrest in Sri Lanka, which has less to do with so-called grievances of minorities and ethnic tension, would pave the way to materialize Mahinda Rajapakse’s dream. The West and the Church will divert the issues to another direction to give the impression that only through a foreign intervention; the reconciliation process could be implemented. But their true motive is to restrict the rights enjoyed by the Sinhalese Buddhist majority by extending their support to Catholic and Christian opposition to come to power. They know that through democratic means they hardly can achieve this goal. What Sri Lankans now experience is the climax of this conspirative drama. The complot is evidently manifest. The conspirators talk on behalf of “suffering” people in Sri Lanka. They are optimistic about the outcome of present disaster. There is no better example than “fishing in troubled water”. The West, the Church and similar groups are ready to give a certain time period and space to implement the recommendations of the LLRC. The restrictive measures for Sinhala Buddhist activities are included to these recommendations in a suttle way or in a disguised manner. The enemies of Sri Lanka would help the group whom they like to be in power by any means.
The notion of Time and space suggested by foreign groups is not really meant for the suffering people in Sri Lanka. This agony is not confined only to one particular ethnic group. People must realize it and must become vigilant and must protect the country from all kind of traitors. They should not fall into the trap of reconciliation set by these wolves. Having ignored this danger, the people in Sri Lanka will find that this time and space would cost more for them to initiate corrective steps to enforce law and order in the country.