By Shenali Waduge
A country that remains the ONLY country that has annihilated the scrooge of terrorism should be feeling proud of the achievement and not have to send emissaries to go begging for support against Resolutions. What kind of victory is this to be made to feel sorry for eliminating terrorists? Who is advocating such a policy when it is we who should be taking our success story and proudly revealing to the world how we eliminated a terrorist movement that ruined our country for 3 decades especially when the nations rallying round Resolutions against Sri Lanka are incapable of eliminating terrorism or perhaps do not really want to solve it!
The tragi-comedy of this exercise unfortunately has been tasked to the very man who was the architect of what we all know to be the greatest betrayal of the country. How can anyone trust a man whose very role was to speak about the merits of a Cease Fire Agreement with the LTTE speaking in glorying terms of Sri Lanka’s commitment to uphold every clause of the 2002 CFA whilst LTTE was committing violations by the thousands? Can a nation trust a man using the same verbatim of praise for the CFA now a decade later be promoting the reverse and glorifying our true heroes – the soldiers? In what manner of passion is this delivery being accepted by the counterparts is also questionable.
No country should have to be towing the line of appeasement for ending terrorism. Did the Allied Forces adopt such a strategy when the Germans were defeated? Was there Reconciliation and other such terminology used and plane loads of foreign visitors coming to see how progress in Germany was and how the German citizens were being looked after?
In all of the foreign interventions and invasions that the West has taken part in with and without UN approval – how many timelines, deadlines, UN visits, UN Special Rapporteurs or even Resolutions have been placed even at “watered-down” levels? Where were the UN teams, the foreign diplomats, the Opposition Party delegations, the Parliamentary delegations visiting the countries that the US and NATO invaded, bombed or completely destroyed because it suited their national security plan?
Is the world aware that Sri Lanka has been hosting virtually every month some sort of delegation be it foreign embassy officials, foreign parliaments, opposition parliaments, NGOs, INGOs, UN and showing them every inch of the areas that the conflicts took place, the development being done, the resettlement, introducing them to former LTTE combatant now reintegrated to society and despite all this transparency there is now a vote taking place because the “pace” is not enough.
So what do these Resolution-makers really want?
They want the LLRC implemented. What is the LLRC it is the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and probably a trap which the Government has fallen for thanks to the lovely advisors it keeps.
Anyhow, the fact remains the LLRC is ONLY A LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS. There is No Government or for that matter any private body that is COMPELLED to follow every single RECOMMENDATION made. Recommendations are only a list of suggestions made by the people that have been appointed. These appointees are not appointed by the people and therefore their recommendations DO NOT HAVE to be taken in toto.
In other words, neither the US nor the UN or any country for that matter can dangle the LLRC before the Government of Sri Lanka and threaten to bring Resolutions if LLRC is not implemented in full. In most likelihood the advisors of the Government are likely to make or probably are making all types of deals that would reverse and erase all that our soldiers have sacrificed for when the Ministry in charge of taking care of the interest of the nation should be simply saying that LLRC is only a set of recommendations and the Government will only take and apply those suggestions that it feels does not violate the Constitution and the Rights of the people of Sri Lanka. Recommendations are not to be implemented to satisfy foreign nations or international bodies. Now why is this message is not being clearly conveyed all this time since 2009?
No sooner the war ended and the country realized that nations whose dictates Sri Lanka did not follow which includes India would come down harsh on Sri Lanka the advisors should have set the ball rolling to ensure our policies were clearly articulated to the world at the external level and internally the policies were drawn up so that all areas that would lead to a future conflict was taken care of.
The best option internally would have been to make a special statement on the 6th amendment and remind all citizens inclusive of parliamentarians that the Government would uphold every line of the clauses in the Act. Moreover, the Government should have taken an oath of allegiance to the state so that no citizen of Sri Lanka would work towards separating the nation and this would have sent a very strong message to all those attempting to destabilize it.
The sacrifices the soldiers made are no small sacrifices. What they gave their lives for cannot be sacrificed at the negotiating table reversing the freedom that we gained after 30 years. With the LTTE we faced Terror, we are not ready to be sacrificed diplomatically and the politicians striking these traitorous deals would well do to remember that.
The President must now rise to the need of the hour.