Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Do Western Delegations to Sri Lanka come to see progress and development after terrorism, or confirm their prejudices against Sri Lanka ?

It was announced that an European Union Parliamentary delegation led by Jean Lambert has arrived in  Sri Lanka on an Official visit.   It will meet with the Government, the opposition and other groups during their stay which is due to last one week.  Jean Lambert is the Chairperson of the EU Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia.

She is the woman who stated that she is concerned about reports of threats and attacks on human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka and encourages the authorities to hold those responsible for accountability.  Therefore one can be sure that the EU Delegation will not make any objective observations after  their visit. 

These are people who take it for granted , being “White Europeans” ,that they know every thing happening in South Asia  and have the solutions for the problems. They come already prejudiced that the Government is accountable for all problems with regard to the Tamils of Sri Lanka. 

They will officially listen to the government , but their more important concern will be what the Tamil people will have to say against the government to confirm their own views and  “concerns with  the governments violation of human rights and violation of free media”.  At the end  of their visit they may say they are satisfied  with the progress that has been made,  but , “there is more to be done “

These delegations even before they come know exactly what they are going to say.  Therefore Sri Lanka need not be overly exited by  the visits of these delegations.  They will not after seeing the extensive development projects that have been carried out by the Government after the end of terrorism, and the government’s  remarkable progress in  the development  of  the living conditions of  the people in the North and East from what it had been before, make any positive remarks. 

There is of course  more to be done but what has been done just after four years of  destructive terrorism is singular.  But these visiting delegates are unable to  look at the situation from that point of view and make a statement to encourage the government and the people. 

They will harp on “human rights” and ask for "accountability".  These are their catch phrases.

On the 11 July,2013 there was a Televison Programme  in France 2 of the French Television , “ Carnet de Voyage d’Envoyer special.”  It was  a report by a special reporter  on Tourism.  In the television Magazine announcing the Programme the caption was “ Sri Lanka: a paradise in troubled waters”. 

The introduction read, “ After thirty years of Civil War (they never use the word terrorism, and for them there are no terrorists in countries like ours, they are “ freedom fighters” or “ rebels”), Sri Lanka has become a destination very much sought after, but in the North of the Island, Tamil families have been stripped of their lands.”

The Special Reporter to  Sri Lanka had not bothered to  show to the television spectators the attractive scenic beauty of the land.  They showed a French family  of tourists in a poor village area searching for crocodiles.  There were quick shots of the South, but gave more time to a visit to a village of thatched huts of poor fisher men in the North along with a Tamil journalist from one of the Tamil Journals which they said is critical of the Government. 

The Journalist took the special reporter to buildings under construction and explained they were hotels being constructed by the Ministers of the Government. They showed a barbed wire fence and said it is a forbidden area where poorer Tamil people lived. The journalist acting as a guide to the Special Reporter said that the tourists are taken only to selected areas, as the Tamil people whose lands have been robbed by the government  to construct Hotels live in deplorable conditions in areas where the tourists are not allowed to go.

The French Special Reporter was taken to the buildings under construction.  The workers  doing the construction work, the Tamil Journalist said, were the soldiers.  He added speaking to the  Special Reporter that, as there is no war the Sinhala military men are out of work and they  now work in hotel construction to earn money. 

There were several building constructions and the Tamil Journalist said that they are all hotels owned by Ministers, being built on land “robbed” from the poor Tamil people.  He said that  25 000 people were made landless in the area.  The programme did not boost tourism but confined to a report of the Tamil people in the North, and how they are  being discriminated against by the Government. The presenter of the programme  said in conclusion , “ behind the beautiful Post Card showing the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka is the  blood and tears of the poor Tamil people  robbed of their lands and left destitute.”

The West is out to make Sri Lanka no better than a poor country in  Africa  where the  Government Ministers and officials  make money caring the least for the well being of the poor Tamil people.
That is what every Western visitor seems to say when they get back to their home countries after enjoying the hospitality of the people of Sri Lanka.  They seek out Journalists like those of the Udayan News Paper and “swallow” all they say as the Gospel truth.

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