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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

LLRC & Killing fields ,Editorial LB

For those who are now debating the pros and cons of the LLRC Report, anything including obscenely frenzied prevarication seem to pass muster. For those who did not think that the state appointed LLRC commissioners could be quite so open about mistakes made by the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL), there is a certain level of bewilderment they can hardly conceal.
This seems to have prompted some of these desperados to give the most amazing spin to some of the conclusions made by the Commission.

The most audacious of these however seems to be the angling of the Commission conclusions on the Channel 4 video. Those who like to spin the ball to the dizziest level of doosra — for their own mean advantage — are now nursing the canard that somehow the Commission seemed to have shown the green flag for further examination of the Channel 4 footage, thereby giving that production a much-needed credibility boost from a most unexpected quarter.

This is tripe, very succinctly put. The commissioners say unequivocally on the observations made on the Channel 4 production, that all the experts that they referred the video to, had concluded that the work was badly flawed. They have referred it to a Sri Lankan and subsequently to US-based experts. Having quoted such persons as having roundly debunked the video, the commissioners then go on to state that they share ‘some of the significant doubts expressed on the integrity of the video and feel strongly that if that were to be the case, whoever constructed the video and the organization that broadcast it, should be held responsible for a serious instance of gross disinformation.’

Now in simple language this would mean that the commissioners have summarily dismissed the  production as being spurious — and certainly lacking in credibility.

Having dismissed the production on their own as being rather useless, the commissioners then go on to point out however, that there were international actors and certain other interested busybodies who took it upon themselves to pronounce on the Killing Fields video, claiming that it did pass the credibility test.
The commissioners basically sign off on the issue stating that since such people could do much damage to the credibility of the forces, that the Sri Lankan government should put the video under final scrutiny — presumably so that these agents for falsehood could stand exposed.

This situation can by no means be spun to convey the idea that the Sri Lankan government’s own appointees left the Channel 4 video issue open, and they did so because the documentary itself contains some elements of credibility. The commissioners did no such thing.

They had given their verdict which is a clear thumbs down for the Channel 4 picture-show — but have asked for the Sri Lankan government to nail the canard finally, by getting the video thoroughly condemned all round, the way it should be. To twist this reality to mean advantage shows the heights of desperation of the lunatic lobby that has nothing at all to say about Sri Lankan forces, except keep on parroting the word ‘guilty’ every twenty minutes…

Those who say that there is no option for the UNP’s young and the restless other than to accept the umpire’s call that Ranil Wickremesinghe won the leadership contest, are both right and wrong because the answer to whether Wickremesinghe won the election is both a ‘yes,’ and a ‘no.’

That Wickremesinghe scored a technical victory is not the issue in dispute. To cut to the bone of the argument, the issue is not whether the election that bestowed the leadership prize on him is legitimate; the issue is whether the party itself has any real veneer of legitimacy, now that it certainly does not reflect the wishes of the membership in the cocooned hierarchy that is called the party’s Working Committee.

When a farce of this magnitude is being enacted, what does the average card-carrying UNP member do?
It is difficult to ask him or her to wait in hope, because it has been abundantly proved time and again that the rest of the party leadership does not have the mojo (momentum/ verve) — to confront and demolish the absurdly audacious bluff of Wickremesinghe. So what does the average UNP karaya do?

Does he hope for a miracle, or does he settle for redemption at a later date, perhaps seven generations from the current — or in the alternate, does he watch and squirm seeing the slow death of the beloved party?
Ranil Wickremesinghe has said at a post-election press conference that his life is at risk from marauding mobs supporting the rebels.

The sad fact in this claim may be that Ranil may be even more correct than he wishes to be in this regard, considering the acute frustration of the young hopefuls of the UNP who do not see the faintest light at the end of the tunnel.

To be sure, some of the UNP’s more audacious and impatient are          frustrated enough to cause mayhem, and worse. Think for instance that one party faithful/fanatic went the distance to self-immolate himself some years back. From suicide it might be a short step to outright physical harm, and in this Ranil may have been more educated in what he said about ‘a threat to his life’ than we think?



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