”Now the country is struggling to convince U.N. and western-American power bloc with the support of Socialist and Marxist power block led by Russia and China. If they were against us still we would have take refuge of Western-U.S power bloc. We cannot rule out Western-U.S. power blocs would make sure that they will carve out the 194th country or alternatively this would become a colony of China”
By Wijedasa Rajapakse
Now the war is over and two years and two months have lapsed. People who contributed through their noses for a long period await until their share of dividends of peace being filtered to the middle and grass root levels. Instead of dawning of the rays of glittering sun, a pall of gloom is descending upon the nation with the international response and reaction over the accountability of the war.
Lack of statesmanship and diplomacy, lackadaisical approach on international affairs, political expediency with the purpose of achieving victories in internal elections, obtaining loans on commercial interest rates, failure to adopt a system of good governance and thereby accommodating corruption in the public sector had significantly contributed to weaken the political and economic stability in the country, failure to uphold the rule of law, the disregard for fundamental human rights, prevalence of dismal media freedom and nepotism in the public sector at various levels have led people to a situation of delusion. Amongst many more organs of the government the Human Right Commission is one which violates the human rights of the people of this country on a mass scale. It is a commission set up at a colossal expense of public funds to safeguard human rights. This kind of fictitious laws would undoubtedly to conflicts over conflicts. It gives legitimate expectations to the general public that it would redress grievances of people and thereby people spend their precious money and time to get a decision. But finally almost all their decisions are tossed into the dustbin by the political and public authorities leaving litigants in the lurch frustrating the entire objectives of the statute.
This kind of fictitious laws also would undoubtedly lead to create conflicts in a country.
Although such malignance and blights have permeated all over the body politic and the economy, the political leaders seems to ignore such situations and civil society looks askance and twiddle their thumbs seemingly to be anesthetised and insensitive to the issues that the country is confronted with. When such epidemics are prevalent people do tend to think in terms of their communal line based on ethnicity, language, religion etc. It is a duty cast upon rulers to ensure that all persons are treated and looked after alike. Chapter four of our Constitution has guaranteed the protection of fundamental human rights.
The Buddha (6th century BC) preached the basic and fundamental obligations to be adhered by any ruler, called Ten Righteous Obligation (Dasa Raja Darma) which reads thus,
1. Alms. (dana) 2. Moral obligation (seela) 3. Charity (parithyagaya) 4. Imperturbability (wriju bawa) 5. Tenderness (mrudu bawa) 6. Reclusion (thapasa) 7. Loving kindness (acrodaya) 9. Non-violence (awihinsa) 9. Endurance (iwaseema) 10. Altruism (aviroda)
Similarly the basic quality that a ruler shall have had been described as four virtuous endowments. (sathara sangraha wasthu)
1. Alms (dana) 2. Pleasant words (priya wachana)
3. equality (samanathwathawaya) 4. disciplined conduct (artha chariyawa)
Any ruler shall be free from four extremes or fetters namely;
1. will (Janda) 2. malice (dwesha) 3. fear (baya) 4. delusion (moha)
Although some of our leaders forestalled international conflicts around the globe, they have failed to display their commitment and dedication towards arresting potential conflicts at home and all leaders are to be blamed at different times. There is no doubt that the LTTE was the most veritable and horrendous terrorist group seen in the world. The LTTE terrorism was only the tip of the iceberg of the conflict on which we militarily submerged or defeated. But, it seems the grievances of the Tamils still remain underdressed.
Sri Lankan Government has conceded the prevalence of that position and given an assurance to both local and international communities that they will offer a solution which may go beyond the 13th Amendment and sometimes called thirteen plus. Some were suggesting even about asymmetric power devolution too. The latest stance taken by the Government is that the land and police power which had devolved on Provincial Council cannot be accommodated. The question is whether the people with Tamil ethnicity would accept such power- shrunk devolution as a solution. It is highly doubtful. S.W.R.D.Bandaranayake said that, ” If we go in search of the Holy Grail, (the plate used by Jesus Christ at the last supper) why should we settle for a silvern tankard.”
We have had All Party Conference for more than two decades. Present proposal to have a Parliamentary Select Committee is being objected from many quarters. It would have been really prudent if it had been taken at the correct time before the issue got aggravated and went out of control. If you allow me to strike a personal note, I state that I proposed a Parliamentary Select Committee on the subject on 08th April 2008, one year before the war ended, but it was not considered. But now two years later, with the highest degree of international attention and interference, we have doubts whether we can achieve anything worthwhile by setting up a select committee. The taking of a correct decision in politics is reduced to zero at the opportune moment.
It is appropriate even at this belated point of time to find an implement a long lasting resolution. When International community specially West and US point their fingers at us on alleged charge of war crimes and violations of human rights, we can successfully contend as to how they have committed crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. But remember Shakespeare referring to the order of the world had said in Julius Caesar that “when beggars die there are no comets seen, heavens themselves blazed for the death of a prince”. It is imperative to comprehend the pulse of all interested parties. There cannot be any bigger tragedy in human dynasty if the man who has inherited the earth for his existence ironically has been converted into a cause for him to kill and to be killed, But, it has occurred continuously in the world. Similarly language is also bestowed upon us to have and maintain humanity, affinity, affability, equality and equanimity. But lamentably it has taken a diametrically converse course, rightly or wrongly it has become the order of the day. That is why Nelson Mandela said that “if you talk to a man in a language he understands that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language it goes to his heart”. Therefore the language issues cannot be trifled with.
The lesson that we have learn is that, now we are compelled to win UN and other power blocs in the world since we could not win a small Tamil community which is less than 2.8 million in Sri Lanka reminding us that every wedge has a thin end. The day we will win the hearts of our own dearest and nearest sons and daughters of this our motherland who speak in Tamil, we need not girdle around the globe to justify our conduct in the past and the present to the people across the seas. We shall not be emotional in handling this issue but must face harsh realities. If we have any doubt that land and police powers devolved in the Provincial Councils will sever the reins of the centre, it is not a fault the system, but a lack of confidence on themselves in the centre.
Abraham Lincoln’s maxim says that a true leader shall have the quality of “Charity towards all and malice towards none.”
In 1950-53 people in the North part of Korea and the people of the South part of Korea engage in a battle. The people of the Southern Part had the support of United Nations, and the people of North Part had the support of China and Soviet Union. United Nations and the powerful nations were responsible for dividing the Korea into North Korea and South Korea. People who were fallen into sleep in the previous night as citizens of Korea did not know until the following day morning that they are living in a newly emerged country dividing Korea.
It is only one example where United Nations and powerful nations have divided countries in a subterfuge way. The latest operation launched by United Nations and powerful nations was made in Sudan. Similarly like in Sri Lanka, British Emperor ruled Sudan by adopting divide and ruled policy until it gained independence in 1956. There were elite groups nurtured with special privileges and powers in the north part of Sudan and even after independence privilege groups enjoyed such special powers. People in the south part were disappointed and commenced to agitate against the people in the north part. Finally it gave rise to a war whereas the Northern people were led by majority Muslims and Southern people were led by majority Christians. Darfur Liberation Front launched and continued guerrilla attacks against the government forces. The war engulfed over 300000 lives. Finally United Nations recognised Southern Province of Sudan as Independent South Sudan adding it as 193rd member country of it on 09th July 2011. Sri Lanka also sent our greetings for newly emerged South Sudan. South Sudan is rich of natural resources such as petroleum and therefore powerful nations had a greater interest in dividing the country. Similarly it has also been discovered that we also have petroleum resources along northern coastal area. United Nations has commenced to initiate proceedings against those who were involved in war crimes in Sudan after the conclusion of the war by dividing the country. United Nations is making similar attempt against Sri Lanka after conclusion of the war without dividing the country.
It is not prudent for the State to engage in international affairs with the objectives of convincing or satisfying Sri Lankan masses. It also can become a mirage if it tries to win the hearts of Tamils in the North and the East by constructions and developments. It is something which has gone beyond that. United Nations and powerful nations may have already made the blueprint of the 194th country of the world. If the present political culture in the country and the international attitude towards the Sri Lanka continue for some time, no one may be able to rule out that the 194th country of the world map may emerge from our own motherland.
Now the country is struggling to convince U.N. and western-American power bloc with the support of Socialist and Marxist power block led by Russia and China. If they were against us still we would have take refuge of Western-U.S power bloc. We cannot rule out Western-U.S. power blocs would make sure that they will carve out the 194th country or alternatively this would become a colony of China. I wish wiser counsel may prevail!
-Taken form the the text of the Deshamanya Professor Nandadasa Kodagoda 14th Memorial Oration delivered on August 2nd 2011 by Presidents counsel and Member of Parliament Mr.Wijedasa Rajapakse at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute,Colombo