It seems that Sri Lanka's politicians are in urgent need of a short course in logic. One is aware that thanks to the brain drain, Sri Lanka is now the home of only the old, the infirm, the damned (who know better but are condemned by fate to spend their lives here) and the stupid. From the bottom of this pool are dredged the leaders of the country: a misanthropic bunch of vagabonds, footpads, fakirs, freeloaders and ne'er do wells.
Two statements in the Nation newspaper caught my attention today. The JHU spokesman is quoted as saying: "the HRW should initially issue reports about the human rights situation in their own country before making statements about other nations such as Sri Lanka." He goes on to add that:
“We completely dismiss the report issued by the HRW. They should issue reports about the USA first, instead of making statements about Sri Lanka. They should talk about Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and their own country if they are really concerned about the violation of human rights,”
(For the full report please click here)
To begin with, what is the man saying? There are humans rights violations elsewhere, therefore Sri Lanka has no case to answer.
How the situation in other countries has a bearing on Sri Lanka, I fail to understand. Should'nt human rights be measured against certain standards, standards that the country is a signatory to? Trying to justify violations in Sri Lanka by saying there are violations elsewhere is lame at best.
The fact that the spokesman for the JHU has not even bothered to familairise himself with the HRW is abundantly clear-the website details reports on all of the countries mentioned by the JHU spokesman. Click on the links for reports on Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, the UK and the USA.
I doubt if the spokesman even bothered to read what the HRW had to say, never mind the Gautama's views on the subject.
In an interview in the same newspaper, Minister Basil Rajapakse follows the same logic as the JHU spokesman. When questioned on the HRW report he says: I don’t think the government should respond to all these things that appear on the internet. Most of these organisations have not even visited this country. They don’t talk about violations in their own countries. If you go to a website and see how many people are lost in New York City on a day, I think it is more than the population of Sri Lanka. Recently, a child was abducted and hidden under a highway for one week. This is the situation there. Everyday, if you visit a supermarket, you would see notices pasted on doors, saying, so and so is missing. These are the people who talk about Sri Lanka. Missing persons is an issue all over the world. You cannot just say there are abductions."
The Minister sees no differences between missing persons and political abductions.
I have often toyed with the idea of testing the intelligence of the members of parliament by subjecting them to an IQ test. As a control, one could also subject the inmates of the monkey house in the Dehiwala zoo to the identical test. Any bets on the winners?