– by Shenali D Waduge –
Let’s see – where do we start. A group of busy body nations working in cahoots with an outdated and incompetent global body known by all as the UN enjoys coming to the picture during crisis situations but not before the crisis gets out of hand and after crisis situations but not because it has done anything to bring the crisis to a close. Thereafter, they seem to think that they can wave red cards and nations and natives have to bow down in submission. While having no formula whatsoever that had successfully ended conflicts and brought peace once a nation has managed to eliminate the factor strangulating the peace, these UN and other busy body seems to think that the peace-dawned nation has to follow its post-conflict templates or face ultimatums and their inquiries. Now we think this is downright going overboard and the bullying must stop.
The instances that the international community and the UN had to solve Sri Lanka’s terrorist issue were many. Did they? No. Why? Because the ‘terrorist’ situation worked well for nations and foreign leaders for that became a perfect way to push other agendas through, forge deals, purchase weapons and sign on the dotted line of debt. This went on for more than a few decades helped of course by local governments riding on the terror factor for it suited them to remain in power. The dynamics of why terrorism persisted in Sri Lanka have many dimensions and a lot of guilty parties all round. Yet, what cannot be forgotten is that it was the bravery of our soldiers sacrificing their lives, saving hundreds of thousands of humans in the process and even delaying the inevitable so that the Congress would win the Indian elections that ultimately saw the defeat of the world’s most deadliest terrorist organization – the LTTE. Of course, we agree that its fighting capacity was only eliminated and the LTTE in suits remain at large still.
The issue that we currently face is when a lot of people who wear the cloak of human rights, the legal qualifications to back their role and the experience to claim respect had never come out with that ‘eureka’ formula to end conflicts and if they couldn’t come up with a formula to end conflicts how can they have a formula that works for post-conflict and more importantly if these same people didn’t do anything to end conflicts why should they have any role in post-conflict?
What’s more, simply because of their international title and the fact that they can pluck out any term or word from the Oxford dictionary and issue press releases which are then picked up by mainstream media who twists the words and sentences around and issues almost replica news stories, exactly why should nations put up with the nonsense? Is it because they control the world’s finances, the world trade, world human movement etc… yes that is exactly why Third World or rather what they term as ‘uncivilized’ countries end up having to submit to their whims and fancies. Yet, there are some of us who think that this charade needs to now stop.
The UN is today irrelevant; the objective with which it started is nothing that it can honor given the ground realities and the power yielded by a handful of super power nations. Conflicts and rebels almost always go hand in hand with a global arms supply both illegal and legal to which nations and their leaders become puppets of the transnational corporations that profit from the sales and manufacture alongside all other networked operations – therefore no country will ever be able to solve any conflict unless the solution reached is of benefit not to the parties involved but to the players or the stakeholders involved.
Let’s just take a look at how successful the UN has been in solving conflicts
There are 148 organizations currently officially designated as terrorist by various governments though there is no coherence with countries delisting-relisting so there is no common agreement on a single globally accepted terrorist list. There are also many charities that have been designated as terrorist organizations which clearly establishes how terrorist movements have penetrated the charity mechanism to funnel funds and enter nations and channel people on the pretext of doing social, development and charity.
- Conflicts over 50 years : Colombian conflict since 1964 and close to 600,000 deaths. Kashmir since 1947 with over 60,000 fatalities, Israel-Palestine since 1948, North-South Korea since 1945,
- Conflicts in Africa : Somali, Sudan, Western Sahara, Gambia/Senegal, Uganda/Congo/Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, Tunisia, Mauritania, Niger, Libya, Guinea
- Conflicts in Asia/Middle East : Syria, Bahrain, South Yemen, South Thailand, Turkey, Philippines, Naxalite/Maoist- India, Myanmar, Israel-Palestine, India-Pakistan (Kashmir) are just a few.
There’s not a single country that does not have some kind of rebel group and to confuse matters these groups have come to be called by various terminologies – non-state actors, state actors, international armed groups and each being categorized by various features which these groups themselves may be clueless about. In categorizing these groups, it has become convenient to use these terminologies not against the armed groups themselves but the countries that are victims to the violence unleashed by these groups. Almost always the violent party has been given the soft corner whilst it is the Governments that have been taken to task and the simplest excuse has been to say that they are not signatory to any of the international laws or Geneva Conventions yet why does the international law governors provide haven for these armed groups under these very laws that they are not signatory towards. The simplest reason is that no sooner a rebel group emerges there is always external and internal factors providing them the means to channel large consignments of arms and logistics assistance to kickstart a long drawn out conflict and these conflicts almost always end up bargaining arenas for the big nations to use against conflict-ridden nations. It is not without reason that trade agreements and pacts come with assurance of being good boys in human rights and there are always ways to ensure countries never keep the good boy records in human rights. The media is the instrument used to showcase that countries remain the bad boys of international politics and they can do a marvellous job to even create stories!
In short when covert and overt tactics are applied by the very nations claiming to champion peace and resolve conflicts where do countries realistically stand? Was this not the case with Sri Lanka? How many of the countries that on the surface pretended to help resolve the conflict were assisting the LTTE by harbouring its terror associates, providing technical assistance, allowing LTTE charities to collect funds and organize fund raising initiatives and even trained and supplied arms and ammunition to the LTTE? Is this not why LTTE could control territory for decades and none of the UN pundits did anything except treat the LTTE leadership as VVIPs in par with the Sri Lankan Government and ample video footage is available to show with what open arms the LTTE were greeted by these foreign leaders/UN officials.
Sri Lanka tried every formula the ‘international community’ and the UN came up with. Sri Lanka’s terrorists were allowed ceasefires, negotiations, the armed forces were humiliated to the level of having to escort terrorists, and terrorists were even given climatic changes by arranging talks at foreign locations and exotic destinations but their killings never stopped and nothing was done about the killings either.
We are now in a precarious situation where powerful governments such as US, UK and France are openly arming, training, financially supporting and even importing terrorist to countries that they want to dislodge leadership or destabalize so as to establish bases fortifying their presence in the region and all these incursions and invasions are simply turning all UN initiatives into a joke.
Exactly what good are international laws when the nations quoting from them think that they are immune and excluded – US questions military presence of nations while it uses status of forces agreements to ensure US military presence prevails in over 190 countries! When India demands devolution and greater autonomy it gets into a wind when questioned about Kashmir, similarly all other super power nations will not hear of their dirty linen brought into the open for investigation but are all the while ready to point fingers at other nations whose situations have been engineered by them!
Moreover, exactly what power do officials of the UN have to stop conflicts and nations that fund and continue conflicts known as proxy wars whilst pretending to be championing peace? If the UN can do nothing but issue worthless statements is there any reason having such a global entity meant to maintain peace? What good are these annual conferences, meetings and forums if in reality conflicts have not abated, conflicts have gone from simple arms struggles to far worse scenarios of nuclear and toxic weapon usage which is now not only destroying lives, but leading to defective births and affecting the environment. The UN is just a ceremonial façade and members end up delivering speeches with little meaning except for the emotional outbursts that targeted nations use the opportunity to bring to light. Of course the international legal systems tied to trade and human rights ensures that the leash on Third World nations is so intact that there is very little room for these Third World leaders to wriggle out of.
However, if the Third World nations do rise together, refuse to continue to function in a way imperial neo-colonists wish them to we may see a dynamic shift in things. To do that the cloned local colonials need to be first excluded from the decision making process and nations need to nurture a national pride coupled with a home-grown solution that will compliment and coordinate with the region. This way trade can take place as it did in the past based on mutual understanding and respect before the greed of acquisition took the better of people as was seen when colonials came to plunder and exploit nations and destroy ancient cultures and religious ethos of the nations.
What needs to be categorically stated is that entities of the UN, officials claiming to have all the templates to deliver peace have very little to show as achievements or success stories in contrast to the failures from their interventions and involvements – Kosovo, Libya, Iraq and even Egypt are good examples. In such instances how can their post-conflict formulas and templates work for a country like Sri Lanka who having listened to these international pundits who could not offer any solution decided to put end terrorism on its own terms thereby becoming the ONLY country with the pluck to end terrorism. That terrorism with terrorists in arms were defeated but not terrorists in suits goes to show the double standards and hypocrisies that prevail for it is the promoters of these terrorists in suits that are now using the international laws and formulas to ensure Sri Lanka’s peace remains at a stalemate.
It is time all the nations facing conflicts which have been unfairly treated by the UNO in view of the real culprits not been taken to task decide to jointly issue a resolution putting on record the hypocrisies that prevail for the world needs to know that some of the nation’s claiming to be human rights champions are simply fooling us and themselves…and Navi Pillay is just a messenger for them.