Friday, February 20, 2015

Sri Lanka's new foreign policy

Indi had posted a good summary of the change in Sri Lanka's foreign policy. I wrote this as a comment, responding to Sach's questions. Sach was sceptical of the postponement of the OHCHR report and was worried about the security of the country. He hoped that under MR, Dayan Jayatilleka would run the foreign ministry.

The reason for the postponement is because there is now some commitment to improving human rights.

These rights did not exist in Sri Lanka. Bharatha Lakshman, Khuram Shaikh, Nihal Perera, the worker in Katunayake, the fishermen in Chilaw, the people of Rathupaswela :these were just some of the people who were murdered and whose families could get no justice. The questions raised by the UN are with the war and the Tamils, but the same issues affect all of us, even if you may not have realised it. The people listed above probably did not either-until they were affected.

Therefore addressing questions of human rights is a priority. MR campaigned for this in 1989 when he went to Geneva. The situation now is no different.

The LLRC was set up under MR but it was supposed to be just an eyewash to fool the international community, whcih is why very little was implemented. Now that there is a committment to improving the rule of law and human rights we have got some leeway.

Have you forgotten that Dayan was kicked out by MR a long time ago? Sajin Vaas was running the show. Dayan is now singing MR's praises because he wants to come back.

You are worried about security ? What about KP, Karuna, Pillayan and Douglas who were running amok under MR? Are you saying that every single refugee is a terrorist?

To get to the root of the issue - the way to solve problems permanently is to address the causes. People who are angry may take up arms - the solution is not to keep the boot at their throats but to look at their grievances.

Lobbying does happen but there doing the right things goes a long way. Sri Lanka did not pay lobbyists in the past, it was only due to the mismanagement that this was the only thing left to try-and it was not even working.

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