Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Sri Lanka in the Limelight

The fightinme had written something about Sri Lanka being in the spotlight.

It is true that some of the criticism is orchestrated by the Tamil/Tiger diaspora; I’m never sure where the Tamil diaspora ends and where the Tiger diaspora begins. Whatever criticism made needs to distance itself completely from the Tigers, which unfortunately it does not. As I pointed out here the Tigers have equal responsibility for the final war and its terrible end.

Coming back to fightinme’s argument, I think we need to change the discourse to one of individual liberties. What we must ensure is that the liberties of individuals be protected. The only lasting protection can come from institutions: the constitution (which is supposed to limit the ruler’s power), the courts and parliament which are also supposed to check the ruler’s power.

The entire system has been broken completely; by corruption and the culture of impunity. Citizens no longer enjoy any rights and if one comes under threat one needs to turn to the protection of some politician; not the police or courts.

The war did not end in Jaffna. The incidents on Katunayake, Chilaw and Rathupaswela are simply extensions of the same culture of impunity and the treatment of opponents.

There are many others, like the above at a smaller, individual level, such as the torture of painter, a small businessman and an orderly in a hospital.

The victims during the war were mostly Tamil. Today it can be anyone, anywhere. You and I may have some political connection that the unfortunates above lacked; we may think ourselves safe; for the moment at least. It depends how much longer our political connections can last and how soon the politico will fall from grace.

Why is the GoSL so agitated about international criticism?

Because local criticism is stifled completely; they can do as they please and get away with it. The press is pretty much under control and with the police and courts doing their bidding, no action is possible anyway. Foreign criticism is a bit harder; it causes them to pause, even for a bit.

Thanks to CHOGM and David Cameron, the regime has paused to think, put the BBS back in the drawer, held the Northern Provincial council election, moved on the Khuram Shaikh murder and is even talking of a TRC style commission.

As I said before; what matters to us today is not what went on in the war; it is the fact that it continues to stalk us today. For the unfortunates like Shaikh, it may come too late, but perhaps their fate will serve to spare us.

How ironic that sixty odd years after independence, the best guarantee of liberty today comes from Britain's Prime Minister.


Ratmale,Minneriya,Sri Lanka said...

Totally agree. I believe that the 'powers' cannot stomach the fact that Cameron spoiled the choreographed show and inconvenienced their attempt to airbrush the past.

Let us work together to educate as many as we can on the culture of impunity that must be arrested before it just gets out of hand.

The signs of the latter happening are just getting close to home!

Jack Point said...

Thanks Ratmale.