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Sunday, December 3, 2023

Sri Lanka’s foreign policy triumphs

While ‘Might overruled right’ at the recently concluded sessions of the UNHRC, wherein a resolution against Sri Lanka was passed on so-called accountability issues by a wafer-thin one-vote majority, this final result should not be seen by this country in an entirely negative light.
For instance, the LLRC report, we find, was a clear winner on account of the fact that its value was appreciated by almost both sides of the divide at the Geneva vote. It would need to be emphatically pointed out to the world that the LLRC was state-initiated and constituted an entirely local remedy to the issues thrown-up by the conflict.

It is the view of the state as well as of the totality of the public almost, that a home-grown solution is best for this country and it needs to be seen that the LLRC recommendations could provide part of the foundation for this solution. Therefore, the state’s constructive efforts towards bringing normalcy to this country have been sufficiently recognized by the international community.

However, the Geneva sessions also helped, in a way, to establish the value of this country’s foreign policy.

A close examination of the final result in Geneva would reveal that this country’s policy of conducting friendly and fraternal ties with all had paid off. The eight countries which abstained from voting are as important for Sri Lanka as those who voted against the US-initiated resolution.

As could be seen, the entirety of the states that thus abstained is from the developing world and subscribe generally to the policy of Non-alignment. Clearly, they had their reservations about voting for the US resolution, while the majority of those who voted for it, are mostly in the Western camp or are obliged to the West in numerous ways. It is plain to see that more than a couple of them are former colonizing powers and that many others are former Western colonies.

Therefore, in a way, it was a question of the ‘Empire striking back’, and the attempt at victimizing this country at the UNHRC needs to be seen as also as an attempt at exerting neo-colonial crippling control over this country. This was noticed by the entirety of those states which voted against the resolution and by those who abstained from voting for it and the pronouncements made by countries, such as, Russia, China and Cuba, need to be specially noted.

Besides, support for Sri Lanka came from far and wide. Besides Cuba, there were Ecuador, Congo and Uganda who voted against the resolution. Among those who abstained were Angola, Botswana and Senegal, who would have made common cause with this country on issues stemming from colonialism.

The constructive comments made by Japan too should not be allowed to pass without meriting commendation. Japan, apparently, could not help but see the injustice that was being meted out to Sri Lanka.

Obviously, Sri Lanka’s supporters represented almost every important region of the globe. This testifies to the fact that the importance of Non-alignment in foreign relations has been underscored and that this country is not short of friends in any part of the world. Over and above all, a considerable number of states are making common cause with Sri Lanka.

These pluses are also a personal triumph for President Mahinda Rajapaksa who spared no pains to engage with world leaders and to interact with them continually. Well, his efforts have proved fruitful and it could be seen that if at all Sri Lanka failed, it was by a whisker. All this and more indicates that Sri Lanka could impact the world in a positive way and that support for Sri Lanka in the world community is very considerable.

Accordingly, Sri Lanka needs to continue its diplomatic and other relevant efforts to build and retain international support for its cause. Finally it is the clout that developing countries could wield on the world stage that would matter crucially. As we have always said, the developing world should devise ways and means of making its views matter very substantially in world affairs


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