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FeaturesNewsUN-Sri LankaBan-Ki-moon is against us but the UN is with us – Vasudeva Nanayakkara

Ban-Ki-moon is against us but the UN is with us – Vasudeva Nanayakkara

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by Steve A. Morrell

The United Nations (UN) is being used by Western imperialist powers which have been acting in an acrimonious manner against Sri Lanka, National Languages and Social Integration Minister, Vasudeva Nanayakkara charged last week.

“They are scheming to put Sri Lanka and the Government into difficulty by making baseless war crimes allegations”, he said.

These Western imperialist powers want the Sri Lankan Government to be submissive so that they could unduly influence a country so strategically situated in the Indian Ocean, the Minister said in an interview with The Sunday Island.

The following are excerpts of the interview:

Q. What is the actual reason for the Sri Lankan Government to be so antagonistic towards the UN?

A: Let me put it the other way. What is the reason for the UN Secretary General to be so antagonistic towards the Sri Lankan Government? The only reason is that since this Government came into power in 2005, it tried to maintain cordial relations with all countries; but strictly adhered to a non-aligned policy unlike any other Government in the previous 30 years. The Government of Mahinda Rajapaksa took a very clear stand on Palestine — the Statehood of Palestine, and also on Iran. This irked the Western powers and they have manipulated, contrived and engineered in every way to corner the Sri Lankan government.

Q: Why would they want to do that?

Because of the non-aligned position the Government has been taking since 2005. Our Government also did recognize Iran’s right to use nuclear energy.

Q: But, we have been constantly in the Non-Aligned movement?

A: But it had been betrayed and compromised by the UNP Government and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

Q: Even when Indira Gandhi was in power, Sri lanka was in the NAM. At that stage, the West did not oppose nor was it antagonistic towards this country?

A: That was then. This is a new phase. We had governments here — the UNP and Chandrika’s — who were prepared to toe their line. This government was not prepared to do that. There were many other issues where ever it became a conflict between imperialist aggression or their aggressive interests and rights of a country. President Rajapaksa took up the position in a committed way in favour of those who were the victims of such aggressive policy.

There are many other things we should be able to think out. We had a running conflict with the Western Powers, who are Imperialists, as a government during the final one or two months of the war. These have contributed to cumulatively develop antagonism on their part towards us.

Q: But why specifically at this point in time?

A: I don’t know the point of time, they have been doing it all the way. So, this point of time is only another dramatic move by using the UN Secretary General.

Q: Is there any reason why we cannot be more open in our dealings with the UN?

A: We are very open with the UN. I don’t think there are many countries like us who have been very open with the UN. We have allowed, asked and invited their representatives to be here whenever they want. How much more open can anyone be?

Q: What was their response at that point?

A: Their response has been comment and critique. Both. So we have taken note of their critique and considered our security interests and taken our decisions accordingly.

Q: Would it not have been prudent on our part if we had looked inwards and found if we had made a mistake at any given time?

A: We don’t have to. They have to ask themselves whether they have made a mistake. Not us.

Q: The United Nations as it stands…

Not the United Nations. This is Ban Ki-moon. The UN is with us. The Security Council is with us. United Nations Human Rights Council is with us.

Q: So what’s the problem?

A: This Ban Ki-moon and his cronies.

Q: But, the UN Secretary General cannot act on his own?

A: Why not? He can act on his own.

Q: But he needs to have the go-ahead from his council?

A: No, no. That is his choice. When the resolution was to be moved during the last phase of the war, it was totally rejected by the Security Council using veto powers. The UN Secretary General seemed to be acting behind the back of the Security Council.

Q: The main signatories to the UN Charter – they would not allow that, would they?

A: Ban Ki-moon has been given certain powers to advice himself and to present such information to the UN system which he is supposedly doing; but to the contrary, he is on a hunting trip.

Q: Is he not held responsible for what he has said so far?

A: Of course, there will be numerous countries which would raise this matter. Already Russia has. India should take leadership in this matter. Without India’s support and its leadership, we will not be able to have justice. India should assume leadership in the South Asian region.

Q: Is it that India is now looking at us in a more positive way?

A: Yes they have always been our friend. According to our President, “India is our relative”. India has been very effective in supporting us in this instance.

Q: What have they done?

A: They have taken up the position that Sri Lanka’s internal war cannot be a subject of discussion in the Security Council for any contemplated action.

Q: But we always turn to the Western world for help?

A: We go to them as much as we go to every other country. They have the money. Take Libya, that is exactly what they want.

Q: What is the catch that the UN wants us to fall in line and be more open in this particular instance? There has to be a catch somewhere.

A: The only catch is they would like a person who is not Mahinda Rajapaksa, but Chandrika Kumaratunga who will toe their line. The LTTE rump has their own agenda. It will want the LTTE present at future discussions.

Q: You haven’t started talking to the Tamil people?

Tamil people have been part of our government. They are a part of our alliance. Talks have begun and will continue.

Q: You have not placed a time-frame for these talks?

A: No. You cannot place a time-frame. Eventual outcome is that we would reach a solution. Autonomy. Don’t misquote me, but that would be in keeping with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. This would mean that those living in other areas, like the Muslims, can have their own representatives to manage territories or entities within the frame-work of the Constitution.

Q: What is the actual reason for Government to be so antagonistic towards the UN?

A: Let me put it the other way. What is the Reason for the United nations Secretary General to be so antagonistic towards the Sri Lankan Government? I’ll put it that way. The only reason is that since this Government came into power in 2005 it tried to maintain cordial relations with all countries; but adhered to a non aligned policy strictly. Unlike any other Government in the previous 30 years. And the Government of Mahinda Rajapakse took a very clear stand regarding Palestine. The Statehood of Palestine, and also in respect of Iran. These irked the Western powers And they have manipulated, machinated, engineered in every way to corner the Sri Lankan government.

Q: Why would they want to do that?

A: Because of the Non-Aligned position the Government has been taking since 2005 when our Government did recognize Iran’s right to use nuclear energy.

Q: The Non-Aligned movement; we have been constantly in the Non-Aligned movement.?

A: But it had been betrayed and compromised by the UNP Government and Chandrika.

Q: Even when Indira Gandhi was in power we were affiliated to the Non-Aligned movement at that stage the West did not like us being in the non-aligned movement…

A: That was then. This is a new phase. We had our governments here the UNP and Chandrika’s who were prepared to tow their line. Which Mahinda was not prepared to do. There were many other issues where ever it became a conflict between imperialist aggression or their aggressive interests and rights of a country, Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa took up the position in a committed way in favour of those who were the victims of such aggressive policy.

Q: The point we want to raise here is that the report from the United Nations is supposedly antagonistic towards the Sri Lankan Government..

A: And why? I have answered why. There are many other things we should be able to think out. We had a running conflict with the Western Powers who are Imperialists as a government during the last one or two months of the war. They have contributed to cumulatively develop antagonism on their part against us.

Q: But why specifically at this point in time?

A: I don’t know the point of time, They have been doing it all the way. So, this point of time is only another dramatic move by using the UN Secretary General.

Q: Is there any reason why we cannot be more open in our dealings with the United Nations?

A: We are very open with the UN. I don’t think there are many countries like us who have been very open with the UN. We have allowed, asked and invited their representatives to be here whenever they want. How more open can anyone be?

Q: What was their response at that point?

A: Their response has been comment and critique. So, we have taken note of their critique and considered our security interests and taken our decisions accordingly.

Q: Would it not have been prudent on our part if we had looked inwards and found out if we had made a mistake at any given time?

A: We don’t have to. They have to ask whether they have made a mistake. Not us.

Q: The United Nations as it stands…

A: Not the United Nations. This is Ban Ki Moon. The UN is with us. The Security Council, the United Nation’s Human Rights Commission are with us..

Q: So what’s the problem?

A: This is Ban Ki-moon and his cronies.

Q: Ban Ki Moon being Secretary General cannot act on his own?

A: Why not ? He can act on his own.

Q: But he needs to have some advice from his council?

A: No. No. That is his choice. When the resolution was to be moved during the last phase of the war, it was totally rejected by the Security Council using veto powers. The UN Secretary General seems to be acting behind the back of the Security Council.

Q: The main signatories of the UN Charter they would not allow that would they?

A: Ban Ki Moon has been given certain powers to advice himself and to present such information to the UN system which he is supposedly doing, but to the contrary he is hunting.

Q: Is he not held responsible for what he has said so far?

A: Of course. There will be numerous countries who would raise this matter. Already Russia has. India should take leadership in this matter. Without India’s role and its leadership we will not be able to have justice meted out. India should assume leadership in the South Asian region.

Q: Is it that India is now looking at us in a more positive trend?

A: Yes, they have always been our friend. According to our President, “India is our relative”. India has been very effective in supporting us in this instance.

Q: What have they done?

A: They have taken up the position that Sri Lanka’s internal war cannot be a subject of discussion in the Security Council for any contemplated action.

Q: But we always turn for help to the West?

A: We go to them as much as we go to every other country. They have the money. Take Libya, that is exactly what they want.

Q: What is the catch that the UN wants us to fall in line and be more open in this particular instance? There has to be a catch somewhere.

A: The only catch is they would like a person who is not Mahinda Rajapaksa, but Chandrika Kumaratunga who will tow their line. The LTTE rump has their own agenda. They will want the LTTE remnants to be present at future discussions.

Q: You haven’t started talking to the Tamil people?

A: The Tamil people have been part of our government and a part of our alliance. Talks have begun and will continue.

Q: You have not set a timeframe for these talks?

A: No. You cannot place a timeframe. The eventual outcome is that we will reach a solution. Autonomy. Don’t misquote me, but that would be in keeping with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. This would mean that people living in those areas, like the Muslims, can have their own representatives to manage territories or entities within the framework of our Constitution.

Q: You had earlier declined ministerial positions. Why did you change your mind now and accept it?

A: Yes, at one stage I did not want to accept. That was under Chandrika. Her alignments and position were entirely contrary to what I had in my mind regarding the question of economic policies and alignments in the international scene. So, therefore I did not want to be collectively responsible. I had my own view, said what I wanted to say and voted as I wished. I am in concurrence with Mahinda’s line of thinking.

Q: What’s the role of your Ministry?

A: We have a newly developed vision that all people must know both languages in this country. English optional, but we must encourage English so that it becomes a life skill. My vision is a harmonious Sri Lanka united in diversity. The mission statement is formulating policies, providing guidance and facilitating full implementation of the official languages policy and the building of a strong inclusive
TC
http://transcurrents.com/tc/2011/04/bankimoon_is_against_us_but_th.html
Sri Lanka. ~ courtesy: Sunday Island ~

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