Is there any other nation, apart from Sri Lanka, which has respected human rights from time immemorial?
The West should by no means attempt to distort this stark fact and thrust any artificial solutions to a non-existent problem.
Those countries which show undue concern on the human rights of terrorists killed during the humanitarian operation must first account for the grave human rights violations they had committed when they invaded countries such as Sri Lanka a few centuries ago.
It is an open secret that LTTE cohorts and a section of the Tamil Diaspora are doing their damnedest to mislead certain countries in the West and take the maximum advantage of their close ties with various international organisations to discredit Sri Lanka.
This modus operandi was also adopted when the LTTE waged its deadliest battle against the Security Forces. The Tigers launched a massive propaganda campaign and resorted to various means to discredit Sri Lanka and its Security Forces until the LTTE leadership was vanquished on May 18, 2009.
They used international platforms to inject their ideology and mislead the international community. International summits such as the United Nations General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council, Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and other international platforms are still being exploited to mislead Western politicians. There is no exception this time around and the Tiger cohorts are working round-the-clock to influence the international community and exert pressure on Sri Lanka.
LTTE cohorts have spared no pains to resurrect the terrorist outfit at a time the UN Human Rights Council is scheduled to meet in Geneva next month and Sri Lanka plans to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting later this year.
Moreover, they are capitalising on human rights as an effective tool to browbeat Sri Lanka as they are cognizant that these organisations and the international community are very sensitive to this subject. Hence, the international community ought to be wary and think twice on any course of action they intend taking against Sri Lanka.
External Affairs Minister Prof G.L. Peiris last week made out a strong case against the inclusion of Sri Lanka as an agenda item at the meeting of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) scheduled to be held in London in April.
As Prof. Peiris quite rightly pointed out, such a course of action is contrary to the decisions taken at the last Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Perth in October 2011 on the mandate of the CMAG and the scope of its functions. The Minister discussed this matter during his recent talks with Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma in London.
Sri Lanka’s landmark achievements since terrorism was eradicated almost four years ago, especially in development, resettlement and reconciliation should be properly evaluated by the international community. More importantly, infrastructure development and the new lease of life enjoyed by people in the North and the East are commendable achievements that have set new world standards. No country has ever resettled displaced civilians so swiftly, ensuring their livelihoods with all facilities.
Minister Peiris has emphasised the crucial need to preserve the essential character of the Commonwealth as a “Voluntary association of sovereign states, characterised by a striking diversity of cultures and outlook among the 54 states in the organisation”.
As Prof. Peiris had pointed out, any attempt to politicise the Commonwealth Movement or permit its structures and mechanisms to be used as instruments by some countries to interfere in the domestic issues of member countries, would inevitably distort the cultural ethos of the Commonwealth and pose significant challenges with regard to its future.
Moreover, the provisions in the United Nations Charter of calling on all nations to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state in their international relations should be strictly adhered to.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa highlighted this cogent fact in his Independence Day address to the nation on Monday in Trincomalee. He said that nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorise the UN to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the members to submit such matters to settlement.
Sri Lanka, as a member nation, has always respected the UN Charter. Similarly, all member countries of the United Nations, irrespective of their size, military capabilities and population, should respect the UN Charter in like manner.
The country’s foreign policy is based on the principles of the Non-Aligned Movement and it is important that Sri Lanka builds a new era in foreign affairs that would be in accordance with this policy. Sri Lanka’s hard-earned peace could be sustained, protected and preserved only if we follow such principles.
Western politicians who blindly swallow concocted stories disseminated by Tiger cohorts must first and foremost visit Sri Lanka and gain first-hand experience before arriving at any conclusions. They should visit Sri Lanka and acquaint themselves with the real ground situation rather than going by what the LTTE rump keeps projecting.
The best answer to the malicious propaganda carried out in foreign countries is Sri Lanka’s development, reconciliation and stability. The West must take serious note of the peaceful coexistence that now prevails among different ethnicities.
The dismal picture projected by LTTE cohorts in most parts of the world is that the minority Tamils are isolated in the North and the East due to discrimination while the majority Sinhalese control all other parts of the country, enjoying all its resources. This is furthest from the truth and if it is so as claimed, the Sinhalese would never have become the minority in Colombo.
The Tamils are by no stretch of imagination confined to the North and the East and more than 50 percent of the country’s Tamil population lives outside these two provinces. Sri Lanka, perhaps, could be the only country where the majority race is a minority in the capital city. Isn’t this a shining example of the peace and harmony that exists among the Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims?
Racial or religious differences would not arise if people belonging to different races and faiths live in harmony. This is exactly what is now being experienced in the country. Hence, is it practical to have different administrations in Sri Lanka, based on ethnicity?
The only solution is to live together with equal rights for all communities. This is precisely what the Government has embarked on, respecting each others’ ethnicity and religious beliefs. The West should by no means attempt to distort this stark fact and thrust any artificial solutions to a non-existent problem.
Sri Lanka needs sincere friends in the international community, but certainly not arbitrators or governors. As the President has stressed time and again, people in the West cannot have more concern about the grievances of our people than the country’s leaders. Our leaders are those who have been elected democratically and the masses have reposed implicit faith in the President and the Government at successive elections.
If politicians in the West who shed crocodile tears over Tamils in the North and the East are genuinely interested in the people’s welfare, they should support the Government’s efforts to further develop these two provinces. Else, they should desist from trying to advise us on reconciliation if they do not practise what they preach.
Those countries which show undue concern on the human rights of terrorists killed during the humanitarian operation must first account for the grave human rights violations they had committed when they invaded countries such as Sri Lanka a few centuries ago. The tragic irony is that those who had forcibly invaded countries and built colonies are now posing off as saints and pontificating to us on human rights and reconciliation. Is such conduct justifiable?
Before preaching to us on accountability, these interlopers must first and foremost account for the lives of those hapless civilians they had killed when invading sovereign states. Is there any other nation, apart from Sri Lanka, which has respected human rights from time immemorial?
No force on earth should be permitted to meddle in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs as the President and the Government have won the hearts of all communities and respects the country’s Constitution.
Opportunist and bankrupt politicians are certainly free to join hands with some Western politicians who depend heavily on the Tamil Diaspora vote in their adopted countries to sling mud and discredit this country. But, come what may, the President will always protect the people and respect the country’s Constitution.
(Govt will protect people and country’s Constitution, Editorial, State controlled The observer)