Friday, June 25, 2010
By Hasaka Ratnamalala
Even though Sri Lanka is a small country she has been an active member in the world affairs since the independence from British imperialists. She has been a signatory to hundreds of UN treaties and had an excellent relationship with her neighbours. Sri Lanka`s active role in None Aligned Movement brought her the prestige and respect from other member nations. Before the separatist struggle of Tamil Tigers, Sri Lanka had all the signs of becoming an economic giant in South Asia. Sri Lanka’s education system made her literacy rate, the highest in south Asia and her health care system was also one of the best in Asia. Even before western countries started to talk about women’s rights, Sri Lankans elected the first women prime minister of the world. Through over 2500 years of old culture, Sri Lankans knew how to do things on their way.
It is not a conspiracy theory to think that while Sri Lanka has been such good to the world some countries and organizations have been actively working hard to paralyze Sri Lanka due to different individual reasons. To all of them, a weak leadership in Sri Lanka is essential; whom they can manipulate when ever and whatever the way they want. Having a conflict in the country is a blessing for them and no conflict in the country has made them work hard to think.
There are several reasons why these countries wanted to destabilize Sri Lanka. Geographical situation of Sri Lanka is one of the main. Recently China’s active role in Sri Lanka’s development is another one. Among the countries which want to destabilize Sri Lanka, United Stated States and European Union are on the top of the list. None Governmental Organizations and Tamil Tiger Separatists living in the Diaspora are also in the list. Recent John Kerry report on post war Sri Lanka is one of the proofs that United States is in the game. According to the John Kerry report United States is worrying too much about losing its South Asian interests and recommends developing more interests in the island nation. During the separatist conflict these countries were able to handle Sri Lankan leadership the way they want. But today, in the post conflict scenario they have lost their handle on Sri Lankan politics.
During the last days of the conflict with Tamil Tigers, these countries attempt a major plot to get back in Sri Lanka’s driving seat. There was an operation to stop the Sri Lankan army operations against Tamil Tigers in the name of peace and to deploy US forces to monitor such peace. Even India was silently involved in that operation. But thanks to Rajapakshas, with the China’s backing that plan did not realize. Now there are other plans to prepare the ground for another invasion against this sovereign nation.
Recent announcement to nominate a panel on Sri Lanka by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon comes in such a time which we can assume that it could be one of the ground breakings of such a plan. First it was proposed as an advisory panel for the Secretary General to see the progress on the agreement came between President Mahinda Rajapaksha and UN Secretary General on 26th of May 2009. But now it has been converted to an advisory panel on “alleged war crimes” charges.
In so called agreement between president Rajapaksha and Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, there are no mentions of investigating war crimes charges. What we see in the joint statement of May 26th 2009 are “The government (Sri Lankan) expressed its commitment to ensure the economic and political empowerment of the people of the North through its programmes”,“..re-establishing democratic institutions and electoral politics..”, implementation of 13th amendment”, ”..access to humanitarian agencies..”,..expedite the necessary basic and civil infrastructure as well as means of livelihood necessary for IDPs..”, “..dismantle the welfare villages..”, “promotion and protection of human rights..”.
To get updates on above commitments Ban Ki Moon has all the access through UN agencies on the ground. On the ground level despite the difficulties, Sri Lankan government has been making commanding success in resettling IDPs, rehabilitation of Child soldiers and LTTE combatants, mine clearing, democratization of North and east, infrastructure building and reconciliation. Above all Sri Lankan government has established a truth and reconciliation commission to identify the causes for the conflict and find answers. Then why Secretary General needs a special panel to investigate things that he has no mandate. Only reason we can assume is the pressure from United States and European Union.
According to United Nations Charter it is only Security Council has the power to order an investigation on allegations, such as war crimes. But until today Security Council haven’t ordered such investigation against Sri Lanka and such a thing even not in its agenda; then what right Ban Ki Moon has, to dictate a sovereign nation? This unethical and unlawful action of Secretary General of UN destroys the original mandate of United Nations.
United Nations is a place where countries to discuss issues without interfering each other’s sovereignty. Even the tiniest country and a super power have the same rights at the UN. It is not a place to undermine sovereignty of member Nation on the request of some super power to regain its interests in a region and create a crisis for bankrupt none governmental organizations.
To run the country Sri Lankans have elected a government and an executive president. If there is a problem Sri Lanka’s independent judiciary is capable enough to handle such issues. Sri Lanka today is in the right track, its economy is booming, her people from one end to the other end of the island are starting to receive dividends of the new born peace. Country is in a reconciliation process. It may be slow but it is in the right track. What Ban Ki Moon trying to do is nothing but jeopardise that reconciliation process.