Kath Noble in her article “ Sri Lanka’s defeat “ to the Island on 27 March, 2013, states ,
“The UN Human Rights Council sessions ended last week with the passage of another resolution on Sri Lanka. It was a victory for the United States, which secured 25 votes in favour compared to 13 against, with eight abstentions and the representative from Gabon being recorded as AWOL.”
Any one from West would readily claim that the passing of the US Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC in Geneva, is a victory to the USA and the West, what ever that victory means to them, and a defeat to Sri Lanka the hide they take all the trouble to beat. But they cry victory too soon without analysing the out come to see whether it was really a victory. All that the USA and its allies wanted was a victory whatever was the substance of the resolution. But, looking closely at how the voting had gone, the West’s cry of victory rings hollow.
Let us see who voted in favour of the US Resolution :
Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Ireland,Italy,Montenegro Poland, Romania, Spain. Moldova, and Switzerland (12 countries of the European block ) and USA.(1) Benin, Ivory Cost, Sierra Leone ( 3 African Countries,) Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Guatemala , Peru, ( 6 South American Countries), India, Libya, Korea (3 countries that follow USA for special reasons.) (25 Countries)
Who voted Against the US Resolution: Indonesia, Maldives, Philippines, Thailand,Pakistan( 6 Asian Countries) Uganda, Congo, Mauritania (3 African Countries) Cuba, Ecuador, Venezuela(1 Caribbian and 2 South American) Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, ( 3 Middle Eastern Countries) (13 Countries)
Who abstained: Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya,(5 African countries) Japan, Malaysia, Kazakhstan (3 Asian and Central Asian Country) (8 Countries)Absented: Gabon.
Abstaining and not being preset to vote were an acknowledgement of refusal to follow the US sponsored resolution, and a show of sympathy with Sri Lanka. Therefore the US resolution was refused by these nine Countries, adding these to the 13 countries which voted against the Resolution means there were 22 votes against the American resolution which was cosponsored by the Western countries.
Most of the South American countries are under the influence of USA therefore it is no surprise they voted with America. Libya has an American puppet government. Thus USA had 20 votes of their own group of Countries. Other than those countries America found only 5 countries (3 African countries plus Korea and India) supporting its resolution. Therefore, it was not a great victory for America, which has lost its popularity outside its own circle of countries. The US resolution in that equation did not have the support of countries outside American influence, and therefore it is a victory for Sri Lanka as those countries other than those “American Group” of countries, did not support the US call for :
(1) advice and technical assistance of the UNHCHR to promote reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka
(2).. the establishment of a truth-seeking mechanism.,
(3). to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable.
(4).. to cooperate with special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to their outstanding requests, and extend invitations to them and provide them access;
(5).. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps;
(6)… Requests the Office of the High Commissioner, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders, as appropriate, to present an oral updateto the Human Rights Council at its twenty-fourth session, and a comprehensive report followed by a discussion at the twenty-fifth session, on the implementation of the present resolution
USA had proof of its unpopularity and the voting was not an encouragement for USA to pursue its anti Sri Lanka campaign, which is against all norms of democracy and done without any political wisdom, only for reasons of a political strategy which is evident from Americas repeated effort of coming year after year , harassing Sri Lanka on the self same issues.
Therefore Kath Nobel’s blowing a horn of victory for US Resolution is assuming victory too soon. In reality the US resolution has failed to interest the delegates at the 22 session of UNHRCouncil.
Sri Lanka has nothing to learn from the one sided resolution which is only trying to impede the progress of Sri Lanka in the right direction. The delegates of the Countries of the Middle East voted against the US resolution not as Muslims, but as delegates representing their countries. Therefore Kath Noble dragging in Bodu Bala Sena to warn Sri Lanka of a possible disaffection of the “Muslim” countries in the Middle East in their votes in future US resolutions against Sri Lanka seems an attempt to create a rift between those countries and Sri Lanka.
Bodu Bala Sena is not against the Muslim Countries, it is against a new “fundamentalist” trend amoung the Muslims in Sri Lanka which had not been evident in the past, which some Buddhists fear would create a Communal dissension between the Sinhala and the Muslim who had been living without any serious disaccord, and it is only their wish to nip a growing danger to communal unity in the bud. In fact the Embassy of USA in Sri Lanka has information of 4 Islamic fundamentalist Groups working in Sri Lanka.
It is not only in Sri Lanka that this new “fundamentalist” trend has surfaced, but the European countries too are at the moment in the throes of such an unexpected change of attitude of the Muslim communities that had been living hitherto in harmony with other communities.
Kath Noble is perhaps not aware that it had been the Sinhala Buddhists who had suffered most from the Colonial rulers who had swept aside Buddhism and the Buddhist culture. The anti- Buddhist mentality of the British colonial rulers changed only after the coming to Sri Lanka of Henry Steel Olcott , an American Buddhist. After the independence it was only after 1956 that the Sinhala people had been able to give back to their religion and their culture the prestige and its rightful place .
Therefore, if there is going to be any danger to Buddhism coming from whatever quarter the Sinhala Buddhists will certainly rise in protest. It happened before with the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka setting up Catholic Action, which gave rise to the Lanka Jathika Bala Mandalaya.
The terrorism was not only a danger to the Sinhala Buddhist Culture, but a challenge to Sri Lanka’s unitary Status. The Buddhists had always accommodated other religions, but it is only when other religions making use of the pacifist attitude of the Sinhala Buddhists invent new laws and customs hitherto not practices at the cost of Buddhism loosing its rightful place in Sri Lanka that they rise to challenge such manipulations.
Kath Noble States, “ The Bodu Bala Sena, which is entirely comprised of people who consider any comment on what goes on in Sri Lanka by non-Sri Lankans as tantamount to an invasion, will pretend that it hasn’t noticed. Since it claims not to notice much more obvious things – such as that Sinhalese not only aren’t in danger of being wiped out but are actually increasing their share of the population in Sri Lanka, even without the help of retrograde bans on contraception – this should come as no surprise.”
This is a strange statement, the increase or the decrease of the population of the Sinhala people has nothing to do with the protection of a Culture and way of living practiced hitherto.
Noticing the voting pattern in Geneva would make it difficult to continue with its ridiculous and totally destructive campaign against Sri Lanka. The countries of the Middle East which voted against the US resolution will not turn against the Government of Sri Lanka for the action taken by an Organisation which has no connection with the Government.
The Muslims also have their organisations to protect their religious rights and why not Buddhists have their organisations to protect the rights of the Buddhists ? It is needless for outsiders to meddle into such matters to incite the Muslims against Buddhists and make it a political issue affecting the Muslim countries of the Middle East, using as a tactic to get the countries in the Middle East to vote for the next US resolution against Sri Lanka next year..
Kath Noble says “Unfortunately, the Government is not much more intelligent.”
The Government’s intelligence is not measured by the Organisations of the people who have the democratic right to do so in order to keep the people alive to dangers to their religion and culture.
She goes on to add, “ Muslim countries may not choose to express their concern via the Human Rights Council – or not yet, anyway – but they are certainly worried. They said as much in a very carefully worded letter to the Government just days before the vote in Geneva.
Mahinda Rajapaksa must take note, before Sri Lanka is completely isolated internationally.”
Mahinda Rajapakse need no advice from Kath Noble to learn how to keep Sri Lanka safe, without being completely Isolated ? On the contrary, without Kath Noble’s reminder, Mahinda Rajapaksa has expanded Sri Lanka’s diplomatic relations with more countries than it had ever before. Those countries have no ulterior motives to break up Sri Lanka as a political strategies.
West may continue its effort to isolate Sri Lanka from the rest of the World, but it is the West that is loosing the highly respected place it had amoung the developing countries before their undue interference in the affairs of developing countries by arming rebels for their agenda of regime change. Sri Lanka has no difficulty in finding new friends, and also keep the old even if the West uses underhand activities through their agents, and lackeys to create dissention amoung the Communities in the country.
Kath Noble refers to a passage from Dayan Jayatillake’s latest book and states, “ separatism would have been dead and buried if Mahinda Rajapaksa had done what he promised and followed the military defeat of the LTTE with a generous political settlement. But he chose to delay, if not drop the idea altogether.”
Dayan Jayatilleke thinks that , “There had to be a shift of national emphasis and priority, to the international front”. That would only created more problems if Sri Lanka were to decide its future, political and social development projects not to suit the country, but to satisfy the International front.
Intellectuals are not practical, therefore they could only give theoretical explanations to the present situation Sri Lanka is faced with internationally. But Mahinda Rajpakse is a practical man with a shrewd political intuition that has stood well so far.
The International interference would not have ended by a “generous” devolution of political power to the Tamils, because the USA led International Community’s main concern is not with the Tamil people, but with its own political agenda.
Therefore the USA led International Community which could not intervene to save the terrorist from being eliminated would have even if there was a “ generous political settlement” after the war, continued to interfere with Sri Lanka accusing it for one thing or another, as the terrorism in Sri Lanka did not transform into a situation like it was with the rebels in Bengazi.
International Community would have been happy if they could have called the Sri Lanka terrorists, “rebels” and supported them along with the NATO forces, to oust the Mahinda Rajapakse government and murdered him like they murdered Colonel Gaddafi of Libya, for a real regime change. That may have been their plan and the International community having failed in that, will continue to interfere into Sri Lanka at different UN Forums until they will be able to bring about some how other a regime change in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem cannot be determined “in the international theatre”, as they are strangers to Sri Lanka’s culture and the way of thinking. It is not by separating the Tamil people from the rest of the people in Sri Lanka and giving them separate political power that the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka could be solved. It is by integrating all communities to one whole Nation that Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem could be solved. The USA and the Western pandits refuse to understand that in what ever language it is told, as their interest is not in the people but in Sri Lanka’s strategic geographic situation, to counter the Chinese advance in to the ocean around Sri Lanka.
The Tamil people in Sri Lanka has no interest in what happens in Tamil Nadu, it is only the Tamil National Alliance that makes an issue of it for its own political gain. TamilNadu may perhaps have other motives such as breaking away from India to set up a separate State of Tamil Nadu and annex the North and East of Sri Lanka. But the Sri Lanka Tamil people will not agree to such a situation knowing TamilNadu’s rigid caste system. All the Tamils of Sri Lanka for whom the TamilNadu Tamils now shed tears and self-immolate, would be low caste in the TamilNadu caste setup.
Kath Noble goes on to say that, “ During and immediately after the conflict, the world compared its actions to those of the LTTE and took decisions accordingly. It got away with a lot because it was up against a ruthless terrorist organisation that killed both Tamils and Sinhalese, ordinary villagers, human rights activists and political leaders as well as members of the armed forces, and in particular also the leaders of other countries.”
Kath Noble quotes further from Dayan Jayatillake’s book a part of which is, “ . The lesson was that the Sri Lankan state had to catch up, get with the new calendar and new times, and learn to speak a new language. ‘Bush-speak’ had no acceptance outside the USA even during his administration and now it is rejected within the USA itself and has no resonance anywhere in the world. Sri Lanka’s dominant discourse had to change or it would lose the global struggle by simple default. “
Kath Noble states, “Looking at what has happened since then, it would appear that the experience had the opposite effect on Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Government has moved more recklessly than ever in exactly the same direction. If Muslim countries were to abandon Sri Lanka, the descent into hell would surely be even further accelerated.” And advises, “That too is a defeat for Sri Lanka, which should now be focusing all of its attention on rebuilding the country, both physically and psychologically.”
Lot of persons have come forward to say how Mahinda Rajapakse should govern his country. But Mahinda Rajapakse is a good listener and knows what to accept and what to reject.
USA State Department may take the advice of Dayan Jayatilleke quoted by Kath Noble and “ get with the new calendar and new times, and learn to speak a new language. ‘Bush-speak’ had no acceptance outside the USA even during his administration and now it is rejected within the USA itself and has no resonance anywhere in the world. “
USA is preparing to send spacemen to Mars, but still remains with the age old Cowboy mentality.