Tuesday, 28 July 2009

In Defence of Dayan Jayatilleke.

Of course Dayan Jayatileke needs no one to defend him.

Least of all me, as I do not know Dayan Jayatilleke, I have seen him only in media images and heard him on video clips. But I have read some of his articles on various subjects appearing in the websites.

I like his style of writing. I like his intelligent approach to the subjects he treats, and his great scholarship. That is the only closeness I have to Dayan Jayatilleke.

I was keenly following the terrorism in Sri Lanka, for about 14 years until its end in May,2009. I observed how various governments of Sri Lanka approached the vexed problem and the methods they adopted in their attempts to see an end to it.

I also watched the pragmatic plan adopted by the President Mahinda Rajapakse to end terrorism in Sri Lanka. First by attempting a direct approach with the terrorist leadership for a possible political settlement, and failing that planning out and putting into action with great determination a military offensive against terrorists, demanding the Armed Forces from the beginning to avoid causing death or injury to the civil population.

I was profoundly imbued with pride and happiness when the government continued its determined military operations without interruption despite the attempts of a hostile , an ambiguous, and an evidently hypocrite International Community to derail the effective offensive of the Government Armed Forces to terminate terrorism in Sri Lanka.

The West played a dubious role in Sri Lanka making statements of their commitment to fight terrorism where ever it exists, and at the same time conniving with the terrorists in Sri Lanka helping them behind scene to form a separate State. Their honesty, their opinionated transparency of international relations were compromised in their most blameworthy attitude adopted in the last phase of the military operations of the Armed Forces to eliminate terrorism in Sri Lanka, demanding a pause in the military offensive to allow them entry into the conflict zone.

The demand to enter the conflict zone was obviously with the intention of rescuing the terrorists leadership before they were to be eliminated by the Government Forces. This fact is being confirmed in the continuing furore after the successful military offensive against terrorism, and the attempt that was made interposing, their willing “recruit” Navy Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to pass a resolution accusing the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka for war crimes.

This latter attempt was completely and definitely thwarted, thanks to the undaunted courage and rhetoric of the able diplomat that was Dayan Jayatilleke . That part he played in the defeat of the resolution in the UNHRC opened the eyes of the World to the hypocrisy of the West and their fallacy of the publicised generosity to assist the development of the third world countries.

The world of today exist in groups. There is the European Group, the American and Latin American Groups, Asian Groups, Oceanic Group , the African Group and so on. Therefore, it is in the ability to influence the groups that would give strength to a country in International Forums. In seeking support for a countries projects and activities a representative should be able to convince the members not only with facts and figures but also in presenting the case with an appropriate language, turn of phrase, and force and conviction.

In that respect Dayan Jayatilleke turned out to be a great asset to Sri Lanka. The role played by Dayan Jayatilleke to ward off the vengeful manoeuvres of a determined hypocrite West to make the victory over terrorism a National shame, rather than a triumph over evil, was enormous and significant, and should not be underestimated.

The “heroic” stance taken by a dedicated son of the soil should not be over shadowed by his past. The yeoman service he rendered to his motherland in the “Davidian” battle against the “Goliathian” might of the West should not be belittled as he did not allow his past political convictions interfere in the defence of the cause of his country?

What has to be taken into account before passing hasty judgement over him is his contribution to outmanoeuvre the Western Superpowers and their acolytes who were determined to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka, and pay severely for its victory over terrorism- in which “exercise” the Western Super powers are inextricably enmeshed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What matters as far as we are concerned is what Dayan Jayatilleke is to-day and the part he plays in defence of his country against the powerful West, and not what he was in the past and what he will be in the future.

We all have our personal views , ideas , and ideologies acquired through reading, listening and hero worship of politicians, teachers, thinkers and intellectuals, which have shaped our lives one way or another, will always remain a distant echoes. But if in spite of that in whatever call we are to serve , we remain loyal to the cause and defend it without allowing ourselves to be distracted by distant ideologies, it is indeed remarkable. And that is how we should evaluate Dayan Jayatilleke to-day in the immediate aftermath of a military triumph over evil.

Now what I disagree with Dayan Jayatilleke, is his intellectual fundamentalism . The fanatic attachment to theories, phrases, quotes, references to writers, authors and philosophers, without projecting his ideas of his own using his commonsense, without a pragmatic approach to political situations.

But yet he has a right to his views, and being a diplomat does not mean that he should be a prisoner of his Official call. His pronouncements in diplomatic circles may not necessarily be his personal views. That is why he rightly mentions when he writes on matters which have no direct relation to his diplomatic mission, that those are his personal views.

He is an intellectual, a scholar, a thinker and a writer. He cannot sacrifice that aspect of his person to be servile and a yes man even to his equals or inferiors. Dayan Jayatilleke has a sound intellectual background, and uses it as he pleases , and at the same time to enhance his position to embellish the position in which he serves his country.

He has been able to win friends in different countries of the world and won their respect. He had been selected by them to lead them in international Forums. He has won laurels for our country therefore we should first give him credit for what he is, without condemning him for what he was, and what he may be in the future.

There are those who support the 13 Amendment, and there are those who do not. There is Douglas Devananda a Ministers of the President Mahinda Rajapakse, who openly demand the implementation of the 13 Amendment, knowing very well that there is a growing opposition to it. Why has he not been asked to resign from his Ministerial post, when Dayan Jayatilleke who has contributed for the credit of our country in the international Forums is recalled from his post for expressing his personal views, like any other citizen and like Douglan Devananda, on the 13 Amendment.

I therefore see no rhyme or reason for criticising Dayan Jayatilleke or recalling him from his Diplomatic Mission for expressing his personal views on the 13 Amendment.

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