Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

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Philip
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Mar 2012 00:36

So "Spineless" Singh has succumbed to pressure from his boss,Uncle Sam.One wonders whether he will be as positive in any resolution on human rights which condemns the US for its massive killings in Iraq,and Af-Pak! The entire SAARC member nations voted against the resolution,and will this insidious appeasement of the US and parochial TN parties come back to haunt us at a later date over Kashmir,etc? China and Russia also voted against the resolution.

The way is now further open for the Chinese to scuttle India's influence even more in the island,as when it comes to awarding oil concessions and other key decisions that might impinge upon India's security,the Lankans can always tell the GOI to "go fly a kite"! What this decision shows is that we have the worst govt. in post-independent history,that is so timid and fearful of annoying Uncle Sam and a couple of tiresome allies,whose reputations are in the gutter due to the massive corruption cases against both Dravidian parties,and therefore who could've been easily dealt with.The GOI could've used many alternatives to show the world that India was not approving the lack of progress on the R&R by the GOSL,but the manner in which we have surrendered to the US on the issue makes me wonder whether this govt. will be also surrender on the battlefield! The PRC and Pakis must be rolling on the floor at the gyrations of our plasticene PM!

Now the repercussions for us has the potential of the opening of Pandora's Box.First,it legitimises the use of TN as a base for the Eelamists and the prospect of TN once more being used as logistic base for the LTTE.We once more may see TN humming with LTTE armed activity funded by the diaspora and the west and a Nelsonian eye shown by the two major TN parties.We simply cannot afford to have once more another internal crisis where the tail wags the dog and now the Eelamists can swarm into TN while the UPA and its top leadership forget about the sacrifice of the thousands of IPKF soldiers killed,not to mention Rajv G and those who died with him! I am amazed that the Gandhi family that holds the reins of the UPA have either forgotten his sacrifice so quickly,or are unable to manage a few opposition parties of dubious distinction!

Secondly,we are legitimising the US's new strategy of regime change by first abusing the UN and its stamp,.All that is needed now for western military intervention is a UN resolution passed to "save civilians" as was done in Libya.The US has apparently released recently a long list of human rights abuses in India from Kashmir to the N-East! In the future,India is going to be bombarded from several sides on the HR issue,while those of the west,especially the US are not even mentioned in the fine print on the last page of the annexure!
So we are now totally exposed to foreign intervention by the actions of our very own Quisling. Is he representing Indian interests or those of Uncle Sam? This is a very legitimate question that must be asked.

Lastly,for smaller nations threatened by the US's new interventionist strategy,especially those in the IOR and Afro-Asia,whom can they turn to when faced with aggro from the US and the threat of military intervention? Post Independence,we had the towering persona of Pandit Nehru ,an icon for the nations emerging out of colonial rule,who could counter the west with his elequence and emphasis on morality in international affairs. Today,China and Russia look far better prospects of preserving one's sovereignty and independence as we are seeing in the Syrian and Iranian crises,where America is doing it utmost to engineer regime change.Never has India's influence in international affairs sunk so low,where the Indian PM has become the toliet roll holder for Uncle Sam whenever he wishes to take a crap.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Jarita » 23 Mar 2012 00:55

I am amazed that the Gandhi family that holds the reins of the UPA have either forgotten his sacrifice so quickly,or are unable to manage a few opposition parties of dubious distinction!



Little birdies say that wife never had same point of view as husband on Sri Lanka and IPKF. IPKF was Rajiv G's attempt to play in the geopolitical arena and show a finger to some of the bigger players working in Sri Lanka with India as end goal. He died for it.
^^^ Shades of Nepal

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 23 Mar 2012 01:00

India could influence through direct/other channels and show support. This looks like another clever 'sharm' moment like the earlier one. I'm willing to be convinced otherwise like i was with the original sharm episode. btw, how many of the nations supporting the resolution are signatories to and agree with UNCHR or international court of justice rulings?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby KLNMurthy » 23 Mar 2012 01:13

habal wrote:India the founder of SAARC votes against Sri Lanka. Looks like Sardarji doesn't give 2 hoots of destroying India's credibility in neighbourhood as well.

Lankan Tamils and Sinhalese both demand brotherly support from India but both take India for granted and even routinely stab India in the back. Additionally Sinhalese suffer from Duttagamana (?) syndrome against Tamils and have no clue about pluralism. This is the harsh truth.

So it is hard to feel sorry for throwing Rajapaksha to the Western wolves this time. We just need to make sure that if any of the actors in this drama starts wagging their tail about India's internal business, the tail will be promptly cut off.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 23 Mar 2012 05:24

It is 'Sharm-e-Singh' all over again ....

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/51292-india-lets-down-a-friend.html

Manmohan Singh commits foreign policy blunder

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deciding to place his interests as also those of the Congress above our national interest, India has committed one of its worst foreign policy blunders by voting for the US/EU-sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council. Thursday’s vote marks a sharp departure from India’s long-standing principle of not voting in favour of country-specific resolutions at the UNHRC. On March 1, India abstained from voting on a resolution targeting Syria, a country in which we have little or no stake and where recent developments have been far less than happy.

Yet, Mr Singh decided to vote in favour of the anti-Sri Lanka resolution, ignoring the twin facts that this would further sour bilateral relations and push Colombo closer towards Beijing. His decision to break with past practice and deliver a body blow to New Delhi’s already shaky relations with Colombo have nothing to do with the alleged ‘plight’ of Sri Lankan Tamils. It’s a decision that has been entirely dictated by what he lamely describes as “coalition compulsion” — the DMK, which keeps the Congress in power and Mr Manmohan Singh in office, blackmailed him into voting for the resolution. In a sense, what was witnessed on Thursday was not India but Mr Singh voting against Sri Lanka: This is a vote that has shocked the overwhelming majority of Indians who believe the pursuit of national interest should shape the contours of our foreign policy; barring Tamil chauvinists and their political patrons, few, if any, including in Tamil Nadu, would want to associate themselves with Mr Singh’s shameful deed of abandoning Sri Lanka when that country needed us the most.

The US, of course, would be gladdened by Mr Singh’s flawed decision, not the least because it diminishes, though not for the first time ever since this Government came to office, the primacy of India’s national interest. Nothing would delight the US more than an isolated, friendless India which is despised, if not hated, by its neighbours. The Americans have succeeded in achieving that collateral objective through this resolution; Mr Singh is complicit in ensuring that success.

Strangely, Mr Singh claims that his decision to vote against Sri Lanka is aimed at helping Sri Lankan Tamils “get justice”. That’s balderdash. It’s a non-binding resolution which Sri Lanka will be entirely justified in spurning with the contempt it deserves. If the US and its EU allies decide to take the issue to the UN Security Council, that move will be blocked by China and Russia — both countries have wisely voted against the resolution at UNHRC, placing their own interests above those of Western countries which are desperately seeking relevance in international affairs.

Sri Lanka has rightly described the passage of the resolution as a move which will not foster reconciliation between the majority Sinhalese and minority Tamils but only serve to further polarise communities. That’s precisely what busybodies in the West want — to disturb the peace that has prevailed ever since the LTTE was decimated by Sri Lanka’s military, and then fish in the troubled waters. India should have tried its best to prevent that goal from being achieved. Instead, we must now live with the shame of not only letting down a friend but also supping with its enemies. For that, only Mr Singh can be blamed.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Thomas Kolarek » 23 Mar 2012 06:40

What's wrong here ? Like Nepal, I can't understand why SL exists as a nation. Leaving it as a Sinhalese nation, and allowing it to throttle needles on Indian Origins Tamils, makes it worse for India. If India wages an Economic war, SL cant run their nation flatly for 24 hours. If India fields 10 battleship around SL, they will surrender within 8 hours.
Its in India's interest, to run an puppet regime in SL with equal Sinhalese and Tamils and disallow any Chinese or Pak. I think we seriously need a big stick here and stop worrying when we claim as an regional power.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby ranjbe » 23 Mar 2012 07:15

I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 23 Mar 2012 07:33

ranjbe wrote:I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.


It has little to do with interests of Indian tamils,but something to do with tamizh national sentiments.And tamizh national sentiments cannot be wished away.I agree that NDA could not have done anything different.DMK and ADMK have been in power for 45 years,not just 25.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 23 Mar 2012 07:43

Really, an earlier cong government did do something different at one time. Do you really think that 60 million Tamils are more interested in Jaffna's welfare than India's as a whole? DMK used the rhetoric to get some brownie points for themselves at the expense of nation's foreign policy.

This resolution will amount to nothing since SL will reject it. DMK gets its brownie points but nothing gets done on the ground. if AIADMK also gets brownie points then they just cancel each other. Nothing gained except an uncalled for dig at SL.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 23 Mar 2012 08:02

ramana wrote:Philp, Think a little bit more about why its about India and not SL!
I know you'll get it.



Ramana ji,

Kindly enlighten us.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby ramana » 23 Mar 2012 08:05

Philip the vote passed with one vote it was 24 vs 23 so hardly a pinprick. By agreeing to vote India reduced the sting of the resolution and made it upon consent of SL only. All those who voted against didnt get that provision.

Rajnbe is right. NDA would have done the same in this situation. Same time svenkat's points have to be kept in mind. I did say its about India and not SL.

The problem of seeing two sides of a problem obscures other sides.

SL eliminated a serious terrorist organization. Even US hasn't done that. Besides after initial years LTTE is a fre lance organization with backing from Western Europe and others. They are punishing the SL for eliminating their pawns.

By blunting the sting of the resolution India has done a good deed.

Philip, You have long memories. Recall Seshan's remarks?

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Kanishka » 23 Mar 2012 08:14

I wholeheartedly agree with India's stand on the UN resolution.
Though not as much as the Pakis, Sri Lanka has been a headache for sometime.
Their desire to play the China card against India does not bode well for India-Sri Lanka relationship.
This UN resolution puts Sri Lanka on notice. Sri Lanka should realize that hobnobbing with the Chinese will not be able to help them beyond a point.
The ball is in Sri Lanka's court.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Sri » 23 Mar 2012 10:50

I have no sympathy for Sri Lanka at all on this matter at least. Look at the way Chinese went to secure votes for them. This is a blackmail.
India stood by them during the operations. They assured us many times that there will equitable solution for this problem. We have poured money ,opened our market and skys. Indians make the single largest tourist group in SL. They should bloody get the act together and find a solution.

Tamils have equal rights in Srilanka PERIOD. Fedral system like the one in India is the only way.

We should ensure that since terrorism is no threat now, politically Tamil issue needs to be addressed.

Those who think we will push SL into Chinese arms. Thats not the case at all. I just needs a fart from Delhi and the chinese honeymoon will be over in a ziffy.

Can't make them love you, then make them fear you.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Mar 2012 12:39

Ramanna,you have a longer memory than I! I franklly do not remember Seshan's remarks.
Howvere,there are a few valid points being made by many talking heads and BR members.

1.We have not played our cards right after the extermination of the LTTE,given the fact that it is India which is removing land mines from a huge area of the north,and entrusted with key tasks like clearing ,KKS port,bulding housng for the displaced,restoring rail links to the Jaffna peninsula which the LTTE had destroyed,and providing many other freebies to the GOSL.
In return for this assistance,the GOI should've obtained from the GOSL clear dates for the resumption of the political process leading to local elections and a devolution of power within the framework of a united SL.The GOI should've kept up the pressure upon the GOSL to deliver on its promises of R&R. Had it made a more genuine effort,it would've been able to have avoided the Geneva resolution.

2.We have allowed by our indifference over a period of time,in fact through UPA-1 and UPA-2,the PRC and Pakis to get a strong foothold in the island.No "hot air" from the backside of any Delhi politico will send the GOSL scurrying to the bomb shelters.India simply is a paper tiger under the current UPA-2,which cannot even deal with its allies and keep them in check. The Chinese have given SL a large amount of money on loan for the various infrastructure projects being carried out in the island.Massive developmental projects are in the offing.Economically,we have abdicated what should be our premier position to the PRC and allowed the Pakis to get a foothold in Lankan military affairs.

3.Thirdly,we have also allowed the west/US to unseat us as arbiters of the ethnic Q in the island.We have reduced ourselves to being seen as another lapdog of Uncle Sam,where we have not even followed the example of our fellow SAARC nations! Instead of nations looking towards India for leads,they will now look more and more towards Chian, and must be stonished at how we have allowed the US,thousands of miles away,to dominate a matter while India just a few miles away from the Lankan coastline,has a very genuine and legoitimate interest,also underlning the fact that the two predominant religions in the island are both derived from India.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby SRoy » 23 Mar 2012 12:49

Tamils have equal rights in Srilanka PERIOD. Fedral system like the one in India is the only way
.
Entirely an internal issue involving citizens of SL.

It has little to do with interests of Indian tamils,but something to do with tamizh national sentiments.And tamizh national sentiments cannot be wished away.

Tamil nation is not a single geopolitical unit rather it is located within two independent geopolitical units organized as nation-states. So, if the two involved nation states are not in sync with respect to ethnicity driven nationalism, such problems are bound to occur.

As an individual my concern will be welfare of Tamils of the Republic of India, I cannot let my national (Indian nation) interests be held hostage to wishes of SL Tamils.

Sinhalese are racists; live with it. No UN resolution will turn them into saints.

There are two options.

Tamils break out of India and SL as a separate nation or ask India to annexe the SL Tamil territories (truly speaking even SL as a whole is our civilizational outpost). Lets not mince words here.

A Tamil province in SL (anyway is a mess) or an independent Tamil nation in SL (this is what the West is aiming for) will not work and will be extremely detrimental to India.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Mar 2012 14:35

One must understand what the situ on the ground in the island in the N-East is first before generalising a course of action.

Firstly,there is no "aggro" or harrassment of Tamil people as the Eelamist diaspora is attempting to make out.The "human rights" accusations relate to the last days of the Eelam War when both sides fought a no-holds barred fight to the finish,where tens of thousands of civilians were used as human shields by the LTTE .They were dragged along for months to prevent the SL armed froces from finishing them off. The "collateral damage" was exceptionally high.The GOSL's own figures give 8000 as the number killed in the crossfire,while the diaspora has exaggerated figures in tens of thousands.It is impossible to arrive at the right figure that easily,as the LTTE sesquestered all administrative records and data relating to the north,like IT records,land records,etc., to extraxt/extort money from the local population.They operated out o Killinochi,their HQ after being evicted by the SL forces from Jaffna.Perhaps only the electoral commission wil have an accurate as possible figure of the local populationmand their places of rsidence,but given the number of refugees who have fled abroad-where we still have many in India,it will be very difficult to establish how many were killed or died during the last25 years of war.

The difficulty that the GOSL faces is the new video cips of human rights war crimes allegedly committed by its forces during the last days of the war.It clais thta these clips are doctored,but in the eyes of the interational community,the entire lot of evidence cannot be false and even the LLRC report admits to war crimes being committed by Lankan forces.The pursuit and prosecution of the guilty is now going to be the millstone around the Rajapakse regime's neck.Tons of mud has been thrown at it by the diaspora and intl. community and a lot ha stuck.

Secondly,the problem now is to house the displaced,who have no homes to dwell in.This is a primary responsibility of the GOSL and Indian aid is and should be seen as a bonus.How can there be massive nfrastructure programmes in the rest of the country while the lakhs of affected locals have poor or no housing? This is a humanitarian problem thta needs urgent solutions.

The return to the displaced their lands and properties is another major issue.Having experienced untold suffering for years caught between the LTTE and SL forces,the proof of ownership of property is very difficult to produce by the affected and the SL forces are being accused of "squatting" on valuable land owned by the locals.This is a burning issue.Add to this the demand of Muslims who were turfed out of their properties in Jaffna by the LTTE,now wanting to return an claim their property,and one sees the enormity of the problem.
Open land,farming land has to be de-mined too before loals can return to agriculture,which already is booming as prouce frm the north has seen prices collapse in the south,which s a good thign as it wil help bring down the general COL reeling from high oil prices.

However,the irt locla electiosn were held which saw the local TNA alliance/party dominate the olls.The taks therefore is for the newly elected politicians in the north and east to petition the GOSL to accelerate the R&R process.They are the best entity to monitor progress as after all they are answereable to those who have eected them.A closer interaction wiht the Tamil parties is essential for India to also get a better picture of the ground realities and then pressurise the GOSL to deliver as promised,both on the political front as well s R&R.

This is where the problem lies.The Rajapakse regime looks at the issue as a problem only o "terrorism" and not an ethnic issue that needs resolving.While one understand the need for keepign a tight military/police grip on the north-east,to prevent a resurgence of the LTTE's activities,,especially from India across the waters,such a myopic vision will only see the wounds fester and not heal and like a diabetic sore,that will never heal,the island will be permanently troubled.The far greater danger for the GOSL is a resurgence of southern Sinhalese revolt,JVP style in the future,if the rest of the country is treated in similar autocratic fashion.Criticism of the GOSL by the media has seen allegedly the press and journos hounded mercilessly ,including the murder of the editor of the Suday Leader some time ago.Journos has fled,disappeared and given the 3rd degree treatment.

It is no secret in the island that the pres' family (like the Suhartos) control all major decisions and entities,and the regime must remember that there is a limit as to how many elections can be won on the issue of defeating the LTTE.As a famous editor frien of mine loves to say ,the "Sinhalese memory lasts not more than one week".He has also said may a time that the GOSL has often forgotten about engaging the govts. in TN and not to imagine that Delhi will always bail it out.In the current issue of SL and human rights,the GOSL's indifference and aversion to interacting wiht TN ,unlike the days gone by when Chandrika and her husband ate dosais along with MGR and the LTTE in Madras,has seen to its embarrassment,the TN factor "wag the Delhi dog".

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Kanishka » 23 Mar 2012 15:29

The Tamil issue is just one of the many issues that affects India-SriLanks ties.
It is not the only one.
The Tamil issue being an extention of the main issue which is GOSL attitude towards India.

As pointed out by some BRF members it is certain that Sri Lanka is trying to manage
this relationship through blackmail.
It is subtle but blackmail none the same and it has worked for them.

Over the years Sri Lanka has repeatedly played the China card and to some extent Pakistan against India.
Not so long ago it was the Lankans who readily volunteered to play in Pakistan when everyone else refused.

We all know what happened after.

India has gained nothing from Sri Lanka by pursuing a policy of appeasement.
India's extraordinary restraint during the period of ethnic war in Sri Lanka has resulted in
the Chinese getting a foothold in Sri Lanka, not the other way around.
No one respects the weak.

If India wants a peaceful IOR it has to ensure that GOSL gets the message loud and clear.
The UN resolution is the first step, I hope.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby nvishal » 23 Mar 2012 15:34

Too much hula hoop over india voting in the UN.

It's like the steps in a chess board. You think about your first move and assume what the opponent will do next which makes you rethink about the first move all over again.

@Kanishka
SL cannot play. If it does, it'll ruin itself. That's what is happening now.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby shyamd » 23 Mar 2012 15:42

India stresses concurrence & consultation with Colombo
K. V. Prasad
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India on Thursday underscored that any assistance from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights or visits of UN Special Procedures to Sri Lanka should be in consultation with and concurrence of Colombo.

Having voted with the U.S-backed resolution at the ongoing United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, India said that while subscribing to the broader message of the motion and the objectives it promoted, its emphasis was on concurrence and consultation.

“A democratic country like Sri Lanka has to be provided time and space to achieve the objectives of reconciliation and peace. In this Council we have the responsibility to ensure that our conclusions do contribute to this objective rather than hinder it,'' India said.

Informed sources said India played a role to incorporate two amendments to the resolution promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka. Through one, it inserted in the preamble earlier Council resolutions 5/1 and 5/2 on institution building; and through the second, effectively made space for the country by insisting agreement of the Sri Lankan government, instead of the draft that said Colombo should “accept.” The sources characterised the thrust of the resolution as “non-intrusive.''

Through a formal statement, India said it believed that the primary responsibility for the promotion and protection of human rights lay with the states. Consequently, resolutions of this nature should fully respect the sovereign rights of states and contribute to Sri Lanka's own efforts in this regard.

It said that having welcomed the recommendations of Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) report, India believed that there was indeed a window of opportunity to forge a consensual way forward towards reconciliation through a political settlement respecting all the ethnic and religious groups inhabiting the nation. Colombo had committed itself to this in the UNHRC in 2009 and India noted that the dialogue with several parties, including the Tamil National Alliance, had started.

The LLRC report, it said, recognised that a political solution was imperative and that the Government of Sri Lanka should provide the leadership to this political process and also sets out several constructive recommendations, including those pertaining to missing persons, detainees, disappearances and abductions, promotion of a trilingual policy, reduction of high security zones, control of illegal armed groups' activities, return of private land and demilitarisation and restoration of civilian administration.

The Sri Lankan government, the statement noted, had also briefed the UNHRC in the ongoing session on the steps it had taken to implement the report and other measures

“We welcome these steps. We are confident that the implementation of the report will foster genuine reconciliation,'' the statement said adding that New Delhi was involved in both rehabilitation and resettlement efforts and the reconstruction process in Northern Sri Lanka and helped restore a degree of normality in the area.

India urged Colombo to take forward the process of broader dialogue and show concrete movement towards a meaningful devolution of powers, including the implementation of the 13th Amendment and beyond.

“We would also urge that Sri Lanka take forward the measures for accountability and to promote human rights that it has committed [itself] to. It is these steps, more than anything we declare in this Council, which would bring about genuine reconciliation between all the communities of Sri Lanka, including the minority Tamil community,'' the statement noted. As a neighbouring country with which it shared cordial relations for thousands of years, and with deep-rooted spiritual and cultural ties, India said it cannot remain untouched by developments in that country.

“We have been bound also by a shared quest for freedom and dignity. We will continue to remain engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka to take forward the process of reconciliation to secure for all its citizens a future marked by equality, dignity, justice and self-respect.'


Voting was determined by political issues in other countries, says Colombo
: Terming the success of the resolution against Sri Lanka “a cynical negation of the purposes for which the Human Rights Council was established,” Sri Lankan Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris contended that “the most distressing feature” was that the voting was determined “not by the merits of a particular issue but by the strategic alliances and domestic political issues in other countries, which have nothing to do with the subject matter of the resolution.

Despite Sri Lanka not making any progress on accountability or human rights issues — apart from the issue of granting political rights to the Tamils in the Northern Province, almost three years after the end of the war — Prof. Peiris chose to blame “domestic political issues” — a direct reference to the pressure applied by Tamil Nadu political parties — for the debacle at the HRC.

The Sri Lankan argument has been that the report of the committee that went into the causes of the war — the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission report — was submitted only in December last year and since then, Sri Lanka had appointed three committees to implement its recommendations.

Thanking countries that voted against the U.S. resolution, Prof. Peiris said that it was a “matter of great satisfaction” that they voted “despite the intensity of pressure, in a variety of forms, exerted on them.” He also thanked the eight countries “which, by abstaining, declined to support the resolution.”

Taking their absence as a positive vote, he said the final result was that 23 countries, out of a total of 47 members of the Council, did not support the resolution, while 24 supported it. “The margin was as narrow as this. Many countries which voted with Sri Lanka were acutely conscious of the danger of setting a precedent which enables ad hoc intervention by powerful countries in the internal affairs of other nations. This is a highly selective and arbitrary process not governed by objective norms or criteria of any kind. The implications of this were not lost on many countries,” he said.

According to a statement issued by the U.S. embassy in Colombo, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the U.S., and the international community had “sent a strong signal that Sri Lanka will achieve lasting peace only through real reconciliation and accountability, and the international community stands ready to help. The next steps are clear.”

The U.S. wants Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC and take measures to address accountability issues. “We are committed to working with the Sri Lankan government to help realise this goal, and I look forward to discussing future actions with Foreign Minister Peiris soon,” Ms. Clinton said.


No untoward incidents in Sri Lanka
R.K. Radhakrishnan
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Despite apprehensions, there were no untoward incidents soon after Sri Lanka lost the vote at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.

There was some fear among the Indian community that it could be targeted, but this turned out to be misplaced.

Several groups had organised protests in Colombo in the days leading to the vote, and the media were extremely critical of India in the last few days.

The first sign of normality was that a function slated for the evening and featuring almost all top officials of the Indian High Commission, the Secretary-General of the main party that heads the ruling UPFA coalition, the SLFP, Maithripala Sirisena, and over 300 Sri Lankan students was held as scheduled and with considerable bonhomie.

More than friends

Students recalled their stay in India and said that both countries were more than friends. Most students said they were as comfortable in India as they were in Sri Lanka. The Minister too highlighted the many levels of cooperation that existed between the two countries.

Restaurants and clubs did brisk business and it seemed business as usual in Colombo.

“India did a favour”

Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris issued a statement in Geneva which obliquely hinted at the Indian role. But a few others in Sri Lanka, who had studied the resolution, said that India had done Sri Lanka a favour by making sure that the wording was changed not to allow the inclusion of the ‘Trojan clause' – ‘technical assistance' from UNHRC to investigate human rights allegations.

“At the popular level there might be anger. But I am sure everyone in positions of authority knows how much India has helped,” an official said.

Philip
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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Mar 2012 16:27

The unlucky "13th amendment".It will never happen believe you me.It is the most unpopular piece of legislation in the island that will never gain a consesus for implementation from both the Tamil and Sinhala polity.The 13th amendment is a dead horse being flogged agan and again and again and again like a recurring nghtmare.

Here is an eloquent (Eelmist) Tamil on the subject.Moreover,in the changed environment of today,25 years on, with the extermintion of the LTTE,not a dog or cat will want the north and east to be joined into one province,least of all the Tamils and Muslims (mothertongue Tamil) apart fRom the Sinhalese!

Xcpts:
http://tamilnation.co/conflictresolutio ... copera.htm

Thirteenth Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution
- Devolution or Comic Opera [also in PDF]

Nadesan Satyendra, March 1988
[see also Text of 13th Amendment to Sri Lanka Constitution, 1987]

The writer acknowledges with gratitude his indebtedness to the reflections of Sri Aurobindo in an article entitled 'Comic Opera Reforms' in the Bande Mataram - written in 1907, some eighty years ago.
In August 1987, the Sri Lankan Parliament passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and the ancillary Provincial Councils Act. The Sri Lankan Government declared that the enactment of these laws fulfilled the promises made in the Accord, to 'devolve power' on the Tamil people.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, who (together with the other armed resistance groups) were recognized as 'combatants' by the Accord and who had emerged as the leaders of the Tamil national struggle, rejected the basic provisions of the 13th Amendment.

This Article examines the basic provisions of the 13th Amendment and the Provincial Councils Act and inquires whether these laws devolved power on the Tamil people or whether these laws amount to a constitutional script for a comic opera, with power continuing to reside in a Sinhala dominated Central government within the frame of an unitary constitution.

Contents

Constitutional trinity of marvels
Executive power exercised by a Provincial Governor appointed by the Sinhala President
The Provincial Governor will control the Provincial public service
What then, is the role of the Board of Ministers and the Chief Minister?
Chief Minister and the Board of Ministers are 'to aid and advice' the Provincial Governor
Those who are required to 'aid and advice' the ruler should not be left in doubt ..
President may dissolve the Provincial Council
Governor not bound to act on the advice of the Chief Minister
But subject to the direction and control of the President
Who will control the purse?
Withdrawal from the Provincial Fund subject to the sanction of the Governor
If Ministers do not agree with the Governor, President may take over
In sum elected Ministers without Ministerial power
And an appointed Governor with ministerial powers
Many subjects outside even the Governor's powers
Including police and public order
The Chief Minister is granted the privilege of being consulted!
Police and public order in the Province effectively in the hands of the President
Disposition of State land in the hands of the Sinhala President
The third of the constitutional trinity of marvels - the Provincial Council
'National policy' enables the central Parliament to legislate in respect of any matter
Provincial Council - a glorified Local Authority
Without control of finance
The powers of the Provincial Councils may be changed by a simple majority
13th Amendment: Constitutional sleight of hand
Fails to address central issues of the Tamil national struggle
Denies homeland to the Tamils of Eelam
And resorts to the subterfuge of a referendum
A Machievellian provision intended to secure that the merger is temporary
Refuses to recognise the political reality of the Tamil Nation
The Tamil Nation in Eelam is more than an idea
Thimpu Declaration was the joint and unanimous will of the Tamil people
Constitutional script for a comic opera

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Constitutional trinity of marvels

It is difficult to discuss the provisions of the 13th Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution seriously - they are so impossibly burlesque and farcical. Yet, they have a serious aspect. They show that Sinhala chauvinism, like all chauvinisms in the same predicament, has made the time honoured, ineffectual effort to evade a settlement of the real question by throwing belated and unacceptable sops to Demogorgon.

Let us, therefore, take one by one the precious and inestimable boons granted to the Tamil people by the 13th Amendment. The boons are three in number, a trinity of marvels: a Provincial Governor, a Provincial Board of Ministers with a Chief Minister, and a Provincial Council.

At the head of this constitutional Trinity stands the Provincial Governor. Who will select and ordain him? Who else, but the President of Sri Lanka. But that is not all. The Provincial Governor will hold office 'during the pleasure of the President'. When the President is no longer pleased with the Governor the President may dismiss him. And what is the constitutional reason for this provision that the Governor shall hold office during the pleasure of the President? The 13th Amendment does not leave us in doubt as to that reason. It declares that the Governor 'shall hold office, in accordance with Article 4(b), during the pleasure of the President'.

It is a rather curiously phrased provision. What pray, is Article 4(b) of the Constitution? This is the Article which vests 'the executive power of the people' of Sri Lanka in the President. It is 'in accordance' with the provision of the Constitution which vests executive power in the President, that the Governor will hold office at the pleasure of the President. And so let us ask: wherein lies the constitutional link between the President being vested with executive power and the Governor holding office at the pleasure of the President - in what way is the latter 'in accordance' with the former?

The connection, ofcourse, lies in the character of the office of the Governor created by the 13th Amendment. The Governor is no mere figurehead. The 13th Amendment enacts that executive power in the Province in relation to those matters which are within the competence of the Provincial Council, shall be exercised by the Governor.

But if the Governor is to exercise executive power in provincial matters, then the Sri Lankan Constitution which vests executive power with respect to all matters in relation to the entirety of Sri Lanka, in the President, will be violated unless, ofcourse, such Governor holds office 'during the pleasure of the President' and is made subject to the control and direction of the President.

The reason for the curious wording of the 13th Amendment becomes clear. 'In accordance with Article 4(b)' of the Constitution which vests executive power in the President, the Provincial Governor shall hold office 'during the pleasure' of the President. The 13th Amendment reinforces the powers of the executive Presidency and secures that the executive power vested in the President by the Constitution will not be eroded in any way.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Executive power will be exercised by a Provincial Governor appointed by the Sinhala President

In sum, executive power in relation to provincial matters, will be exercised by a Governor who will be appointed by the President, who will hold office 'during the pleasure' of the President, and who will exercise his executive powers as the faithful and loyal servant of the Executive President of Sri Lanka. That is the naked political and constitutional reality of the character of a Provincial Governor under the 13th Amendment.

Perhaps, not surprisingly, in May 1988, two long standing Sinhala members of the ruling party who had served as Ministers in the Sri Lankan Cabinet resigned their offices and gratefully accepted appointment as Governors of the North Western and Uva Provinces, so that they may serve the President 'during his pleasure'. The circumstance that in early 1989, one of them resigned and accepted appointment as Prime Minister in President Premadasa's Cabinet serves to underline the close links that the Governors were intended to have with the Central government.

In June 1988, a Tamil who had served the Government of Sri Lanka with exemplary loyalty and acceptance as its Chief Justice for the past few years, was selected and appointed by the President as the Governor of the Western Province - a Province which has a Sinhala majority. It was an appointment which was, amongst other things, presumably intended to pave the way for the appointment of a Sinhala Governor for a Tamil Province.

At that time, we could almost see in our minds eye those honourable and distinguished Sinhala gentlemen who the President of Sri Lanka would regard as being qualified to serve as the Governor of a Tamil Province. It was a vision which was later made real with the appointment of the Sinhala Major General Nalin Seneviratne, as the Governor of the Northern and Eastern Province. Major General Nalin Seneviratne had served as Commander in Chief of the Sri Lankan Army in the war against the Tamil militant movement and now that the war had been 'won', it was wholly appropriate that he should return to rule the Tamil people as their Governor.

Here, let us recognise that it matters not whether the Northern Province is joined with the Eastern Province or not. If the Northern and Eastern Provinces are joined together, the Tamils will have one Governor. If they are not joined together, then the Tamils will have the privilege of having two Governors.

Ofcourse, it is always possible that the Sri Lankan government, in a moment of great daring, at some future date, may even consider it safe to appoint a Tamil as a Governor for a Tamil Province - so long, that is, that such Tamil Governor will serve faithfully and loyally 'during the pleasure' of the President.

After all, there should be no better way of governing the Tamil people than through a Tamil Governor appointed by, and holding office during the pleasure of, a Sinhala President!

It would be an approach that would rival that of Hitler who sought to govern Norway in the 1940s through a Norwegian whose name was Quisling - and thereby made an everlasting contribution to the vocabulary of the English language. In the months ahead we shall know whether a Tamil Quisling will come forward to make a similar contribution to the richness of the Tamil language.


PS: Even a watered down heavily adultereated version of the unlucky amendment is not on the radar screen of the Rajapakse regime.Development and prosperity are good enough,not political aspirations and self-governance. "To the victor,the political spoils".
Last edited by Philip on 23 Mar 2012 17:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby nvishal » 23 Mar 2012 17:01

@Philip
Look at srilankas economy. About half is tourism. Look at the country it imports and exports from. A sanction will cripple much of the country. The civil war kept the north and the east disturbed. A sanction will disturb the normalcy in south and the rest of the country. Also take into account that the nation state is an island, just like noko.

SL has two choices. It can either comply or it can join the china bandwagon. If it chooses the later, it automatically becomes a strategic imperative.

As I said earlier, SL cannot play. But something about the way the civil war was handled in 2009 tells me that SL itself did not understand its own geopolitical significance in south asia.

India has no diplomatic leverage over SL, for good or for worse so it has no part in this.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 23 Mar 2012 18:02

The expatriate remittances (housemaid's tears) are the largest for-ex earner.Tea and Tourism come next.However,a lot of oney is flowing on from abroad into the tourism sector,as shoswn in earlier posts,Qatar investing heavily in Kalpitiya.Now self-sufficient in rice production,a remarkable feat,and veggie prices tumbling,the Lankan's low population when compared with that of India's,lays les stress upon the infrastructure.Expat earnings has seen a spurt in vehicle ownership and Tata has sold 3000 Nanos in the island recently.

The quality of life in Lanka hs actually improved,I can vouch or this,while in India,it appears to be crumbling (infrstructure).Friends of mine from very well-heeled backgrounds are astonished at the cleanliness and simple sophistication seen in the island.Jogging paths for the public are being set up in various suburbs,something akin to the walkway around the Chandigrh lake.Money that is earmarked for pubic benefit actually reaches the public and is being completed almost on time like the Galle Expressway,now enabligng one to drive to Galle in just 45 mts something that took 4.5 hrs earlier! Gievn the snall size of its needs,the GOSL can survive very well on small handouts from wealthy nations.There aremany nations other than China who want to invest in Lanka now that terrorism has ended and all the top hotel brands in the world are making a beeline for Colombo including our very own ITC who have just signed on for a key tract of land in Colombo.Once the GOSL's tourism plans materialise and the casinos start arriving as in Singapore,just watch the surge in arrivals into Lanka located in the centre of the IOR.

Sorry,one forgot the abundance of gems too,a huge for-ex earner.As my Tamil autodriver said proudly on a recent visit,"mahatya,no country as good as Sri Lanka,it has everything".

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby habal » 23 Mar 2012 18:24

If SL survives the next 2 years intact it will escape. Strongly suspect next attempt will come towards end of mms regime. This is the window that the euro alliance will seek to exploit with great vigor. Rajapakse and his Sinhala ilk believe in giving no quarter to the tamils come what may, as is said 'Lord hardens the hearts of whom he wants destroy' ..

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby shyamd » 23 Mar 2012 18:58

SL has a bright future, it just needs to implement the LLRC and integrate the tamil poplation. Tourism will boom, GoI will increase connectivity between the north and Southern Tip and overall connectivity in key areas as it is doing already with rail infra etc. I am pretty sure Sethu canal will be brought back and that whole region can benefit from trade.India is already the biggest trading partner. Right now many in TN - holiday in Thailand, SE Asia due to good connectivity - lower costs, I think with the right marketing etc SL can become a big holiday destination for lower and middle class South India - perhaps the Spain for the UK?

India is SL's biggest trade partner and the largest investor in Sri Lanka. Every fifth tourist in Sri Lanka arrives from India.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Supratik » 23 Mar 2012 20:13

Agree with India voting for the resolution. SL needs to understand that the war is over and the LTTE is defeated. It needs to move ahead with rebuilding the Tamil areas and reconciliation which it hasn't done; instead of being in a permanent sulk. India is no longer the India of the 80s or 90s. So we should stop this permanent fear of others interfering within our borders.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby svenkat » 23 Mar 2012 20:59

http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/17610-karunanidhi-politically-bankrupt-karuna.html

Government Minister Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan alias “Karuna Amman” stated that Karunanidhi is using the Tamil People to stay afloat politically. “Karunanidhi and many of the Tamil Nadu politicians are today politically bankrupt.

Earlier Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu M. Karunanidhi speaking to Indian media said that the establishing of the Tamil Eelam is his only “unrealized dream”.

Muralitharan also stated that the government and his Ministry have taken constructive measures towards national integration. “The people in the Wanni for the first time in 30 years have electricity, the roads are being developed and there is massive investment on infrastructure. Livelihood development has been one of the key areas we are working on and these thing will all help build lasting peace and ethnic harmony among all communities living in the country” he said.

The former Eastern Commander of the LTTE who led the breakaway faction which ultimately resulted in the military weakening of the LTTE commended the TNA on its approach. “The TNA by not going to Geneva have done the right thing. They have a lot of responsibility though because they have to understand that if they encourage intervention it is the Tamil people who will suffer first” he said.


I am posting different views so we get a better picture.The reality is complex.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 24 Mar 2012 00:51

Would the vote have been the same if DMK had not put up a show, or if Congress had 300 MPs of its own? It has come to such a pass that MMS has to vote against SL to rap it on the fingers while also working hard to dilute the resolution so that nothing really 'intrusive' is allowed. I cannot tell if it is a great balancing act or if it is just another spin.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 24 Mar 2012 08:52

That the DMK and AIADMK are using the Lankan issue as a football is totally apparent.There is no love for the Lankan Tamils barring deeprooted die-hard LTTE supporters like Vaiko.Each Dravidian party is using the issue to score brownie points,in the process complicating the life of "the straw that bends in the breeze",the dear mendicant of snake oil,Dr.Singh. This time,to paraphrase a famous saying about the media in the days of the Emergency,at Uncle Sam's behest,when asked to merely "bend,he chose to crawl"!

Here's a sober view of events from Colombo by Dayan Jayatillake, the son of famous Lankan journo ,the late Mervyn de Silva (Lanka Guardian),whose earlier writings and warnings went unheeded by the regime.

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... itle=48141

Geneva outcome 2012
March 23, 2012, 8:21 pm

By Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win. Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a resolution on the composition of the staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the opacity (code-named independence) of which the West regards as a holy of holies. The USA opposed the resolution. The Cuban resolution won with a massive 33 votes.

Last year the USA invested far more effort and political capital at a far higher political level than in the case of the Sri Lanka resolution in Geneva, to prevent Palestine from being granted full membership of the UNESCO in Paris. The US lost that battle, and besieged Palestine, an embryonic or proto-state (unlike Sri Lanka) won a two thirds majority. The battle was fought by a core quartet comprising two Palestinian diplomats —the impressive Left Bank intellectual Ambassador Elias Sanbar, his deputy Munir —and the Permanent Delegates of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki addressed the Council after the victory to thank the member states). I was privileged to be a participant in that historic struggle.

Even in the case of the Special Session on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in Geneva in May 2009, we have confirmation from Wikileaks that the USA ‘led from behind’, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instructing the US Mission thus: "...the USG [US Govt] supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed...in obtaining others signatures to support holding this session...Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka..."[Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)] Sri Lanka won that battle, of course, with more votes than the sole superpower, the US, managed to secure this time.

The classic example of how to beat the US in a diplomatic battle is Cuba, which moves a resolution against the blockade every year at the UN General Assembly in New York and secures a mammoth victory of 190 votes in favour and 3 against.

The examples of Palestine (2011), Cuba and Sri Lanka (2009) have one thing in common: you can resist the West successfully only if you have built a sufficiently broad cross-regional coalition, a global united front. Such a counter-hegemonic bloc is predicated upon support in one’s own region, from among one’s own neighbours. India’s decision to support the US resolution came as a shock. Yet, it shouldn’t have. There can always be ‘black swan events’ but those are pretty much unpredictable. Other events can be anticipated if preceded by accurate analysis. The Indian turnaround was not only predictable; it was predicted and therefore preventable, and yet it wasn’t. I wrote the following, six months ago, ringing the alarm bell regarding the UN Human Rights Council when there was time enough to do something:

"If one has to identify a single critical or crucial variable for Sri Lanka, it is India, but our strategy cannot be reduced to Indian support...A few weeks after we fought and won our battle in Geneva in May 2009, Myanmar lost in the same forum though it had the votes of India, Russia and China. So the secret of our victory in 2009 was not simply and solely India...We will find it almost impossible to win without India’s support, and we cannot win if India ever turns against us, but we cannot win only with India’s support. We must always remember that many Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Latin American states will take their cue from India. India has a wide presence and is widely respected among Sri Lanka’s friends. We must rally our neighbourhood in our support. We must have the solid support of our continent, Asia. We must balance the South against hostile sections of the North, and the East against hostile sections of the West. India is pivotal in all these defensive moves and it is difficult to implement any of them if India is against or conspicuously on the sidelines. If, as some critical commentaries assert, India’s position has changed, or is changing, or might possibly change, from that of our May 2009 UN HRC victory, we must seek out the reasons and rectify them jointly.

We must certainly strive to countervail the mounting anti-Lankan opinion in Indian civil society and the media, militant opinion in Tamil Nadu and the lobbying of certain Western elements. We must secure Delhi’s support and swing Indian public and political opinion firmly over to Sri Lanka’s side. This cannot be done by purely verbal means but by policy reforms. As a UN based top official of Sri Lanka’s firmest, most powerful international friend told me once, ‘short of capitulating on or compromising its vital security interests, Sri Lanka must do what it takes to help its friends to help it’." (‘Defending and Protecting Sri Lanka’, Daily Mirror, September 29th, 2011, my emphasis, DJ)

My warning six months back was no one-off flash of foresight. The danger of an Indian shift and what should be done to forestall it was set out in cold print by me as long as three years ago. In an article that appeared exactly three months BEFORE the death of Prabhakaran, entitled ‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’ I wrote:

"...India cannot afford recrudescent Tamil Nadu separatism which thrives on the charge that New Delhi is insensitive to Tamil Nadu’s feelings for their ethnic kin in Northern Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu... is an important and influential component of the Indian Union, and when push comes to shove, carries far more weight than Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese, in New Delhi, Washington, Moscow and Beijing. If faced with a serious strategic choice, Delhi will choose Chennai over Colombo. It is up to Sri Lanka to prevent matters coming to that...

Sri Lanka needs to countervail and neutralize the anti-Sinhala extremists in Tamil Nadu and the Diaspora...The balanced solution of fullest autonomy within a unitary framework may be opposed by smaller extremist forces among the Sinhala majority. The grim reality though, is that even at their most disruptive and violent, these forces can do much less harm to the Sri Lankan state than a decision by India, under mounting Tamil Nadu pressure, to tilt against Sri Lanka, and a corresponding decision by India’s partner the USA to mount economic pressure on Sri Lanka through multilateral institutions and agencies. Under the unlamented Bush administration there was daylight between the positions of the US and the EU. Under the new and universally welcomed Obama administration there may be no daylight between the positions of the US, EU and India." (‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’, The Island Feb 16, 2009)

I had quickly returned to the theme in the next month, again before the war was won, in a piece significantly entitled ‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’:

"The Sinhalese and Tamils are in a Mexican standoff. Locally, the Sri Lankan armed forces have surrounded the Tigers...Meanwhile, globally, from the US Senate to the UN Security Council, from Ottawa to London, from Brussels to Pretoria, from Delhi to Dili, Sri Lanka is under pressure and scrutiny as never before. Are we being encircled globally just as we have encircled the Tigers locally...The Tigers have no exit from military defeat, but do the State and society have an exit from the crisis?" (‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’, The Island Midweek, March 11, 2009)

In June–July 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the military victory and, more topically today, our diplomatic success in Geneva at the UN HRC, I repeatedly stressed the point in what turned out to be a polemical exchange.

"...As the paradigmatic victory in Geneva showed, we can win against the Tiger Diaspora and the Western European bloc influenced by it, when we are supported by our neighbours, our continent and our natural constituency the developing world plus Russia. In this strategy the support of India is critical. Without India’s support, the rest will distance itself from us, leaving us wide open to Western pressure and coercion. China alone cannot carry the weight..." (‘13th Amendment: Why non-implementation is a non-option’, The Island, 13th June, 2009)

"..Sovereignty not only has to be asserted, it has to be defended and defensible. Sri Lanka cannot defend its sovereignty against all comers from all points of the compass, North and South, West and East. It can defend its sovereignty only by power balancing in a multi-polar world..." (‘The 13th Amendment, Indo-Lanka, Sovereignty’ The Island, June 27, 2009)

Sadly, this reality manifested itself in Geneva, on March 21st 2012.


PS:Controversial Public Relations (of all things!) minister Mervyn Silva,whose fisticuff ability is legendary in the island,rants and rails at the critics of the GOSL at geneva,threatening them physical damage in the future.It is the actions and words of such members of the govt. that allow the mud of HR crimes to stick like Fevicol to the reputation of the Rajapakse regime.



Mervyn threatens to break limbs of journos
Friday, 23 March 2012

Minister of Public Relations Mervyn Silva warned that he will break the limbs of some journalists, who have gone abroad and made various statements against the country, if they dare to set foot in the country.

“I’m the one who chased one of those journalists ‘PoddalaJayantha’ out of this country. I will break the limbs of all these journalists, in public if they dare to set foot in the country” the Minster warned.

Speaking at a demonstration against the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC held in Kiribathgoda today Silva also said it is the only the President who can remove him from office.

He also said “Even if a Tsunami flow from Sigiriya I’m sure that no Tsunami will flow against me from President Mahinda Rajapaksa” . “Only Mahinda Rajapakshe can sack me, no other big shot can lay their hands on me until that happened I won’t leave Kelaniya. I know the sons of D.A. Rajapaksa from the time they were kids. The King of this country loves me, the King of this country trusts me” he said.

The Minister informed the public present at the meeting that his son, from this day, would be in the hands of the public. “I’m not afraid to die; two drug dealers from Colombo want to chase me away. But I’m not frightened to die, if something happens to my life, my wife and two children will still be there. From this day onwards my son will be in your hands” he said. (Lal. S. Kumara)



PPS:A point about booming tourism in the island.On my last visit,I saw a new coastal ferry in the harbour,which takes tourists onto trips to Galle etc.All island cruises are in the offering in the future and once the car ferries start regular operations from India,the surge in Indian tourism will be evident.Imagine the holiday option of driving in the comfort of your own car or SUV from South India in the island,enjoying the excellent roads network,which allows you to spend as much time in any locale of your fancy.Not to mention the amount of shopping that you can take back with you in your vehicle,as excess air baggage rates these days being charged by the airlines is a downright scandal.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 24 Mar 2012 09:07

Even in the worst days of the Tamil separatist insurgency, India and Sri Lanka had very good economic and political relations. It's not likely to be significantly affected by India's recent vote. There is a vocal tribe of virulent anti-India Sinhalese netters( who even weigh in on India's space programme and anti-piracy activity), but they had virtually no effect on policy. The relationship is far different than with TSP or China.

The image of Buddhism was somewhat besmirched by the behaviour of elements of the Sinhalese monk community, though.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby shyamd » 24 Mar 2012 18:46

Fair enough
'India wants Lankan issue resolved'
Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 23, 2012
Email to Author

When India voted against Sri Lanka in the UN Human Rights Council, it took a calculated risk aimed at prodding the country towards moving faster on resolving Tamil issues, an official said.

It also worked hard to ensure that the issue of the country's “sovereignty” remained intact, going
by a stipulation of the resolution that any move would be made in “consultation or concurrence of the government of Sri Lanka”, he added.

The Sri Lankan issue has a huge bearing on India's domestic politics, especially in matters pertaining to Tamil Nadu and the Congress-led UPA government. Many in the country also think that Sri Lanka hasn’t done enough to address the Tamil ethnic issue, despite assurances made at various forums.

With 24 votes for, 15 against, and eight abstentions, the 47-member UN Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on promoting “reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka”.

The resolution also expresses concern that an internal inquiry report in Sri Lanka does not adequately address "serious allegations" of international law violations. Neighbouring states such as China, Bangladesh and Maldives, besides Russia, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia, were among the countries that voted against the resolution.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Thursday said India's vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR was in line with its stand on the issue, and it only wanted to ensure that minority Tamils in the country received justice.

Stating that India does not intend to “infringe” on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, Singh said, “One has to weigh the pros and cons. We do not want to infringe on the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, but concerns should be expressed so Tamil people can get justice and lead a life of dignity.”

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby member_20036 » 24 Mar 2012 21:11

Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka: India introduced a balanced resolution at UN
NEW DELHI: Seeking to mollify Sri Lanka after the vote against it in UNHCR, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrote to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, telling him that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an "element of balance" in the US-sponsored resolution.

At the same time, Singh underlined the need for achieving a lasting political settlement that will address the grievances of minority Tamils.

"I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution," Singh said.

He was referring to India voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR in Geneva when it supported the resolution against alleged human rights violations during the civil war. Though India voted in favour of the resolution, it worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it "non-intrusive".

Singh's letter comes against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's displeasure over India voting against it at the UN and crticisim from various sections that "domestic compulsions" in had forced the country to vote against it.

In the letter, which suggests that Rajapaksa had written to him three days before the vote, Singh noted that both countries had discussed the way ahead to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation.

"It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect," Singh said.

Singh told Rajapaksa that he was happy to learn about his intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

He said the two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure.

"Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka," he said.

The Prime Minister also assured Rajapaksa that India will continue its engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby member_20036 » 24 Mar 2012 21:11

Manmohan Singh to Sri Lanka: India introduced a balanced resolution at UN
NEW DELHI: Seeking to mollify Sri Lanka after the vote against it in UNHCR, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today wrote to Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa, telling him that India made all efforts and succeeded in introducing an "element of balance" in the US-sponsored resolution.

At the same time, Singh underlined the need for achieving a lasting political settlement that will address the grievances of minority Tamils.

"I had instructed our delegation to remain in close contact with its Sri Lanka counterparts in an attempt to find a positive way forward. Your Excellency would be aware that we spared no effort and were successful in introducing an element of balance in the language of the resolution," Singh said.

He was referring to India voting against Sri Lanka at the UNHCR in Geneva when it supported the resolution against alleged human rights violations during the civil war. Though India voted in favour of the resolution, it worked behind the scenes to tweak the document to make it "non-intrusive".

Singh's letter comes against the backdrop of Sri Lanka's displeasure over India voting against it at the UN and crticisim from various sections that "domestic compulsions" in had forced the country to vote against it.

In the letter, which suggests that Rajapaksa had written to him three days before the vote, Singh noted that both countries had discussed the way ahead to a political solution that will address all outstanding issues, in particular the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka, in a spirit of understanding and mutual accommodation.

"It is our conviction that a meaningful devolution package, building upon the 13th Amendment, would lead towards a lasting political settlement on many of these issues and create conditions in which all citizens of Sri Lanka, irrespective of their ethnicity, can find justice, dignity, equality and self-respect," Singh said.

Singh told Rajapaksa that he was happy to learn about his intention to continue the process of implementing the recommendations of the LLRC.

He said the two governments have, over the last three years, engaged intensively in the immediate tasks of relief and rehabilitation for those displaced by the conflict, as well as the more long-term effort of reconstruction of national infrastructure.

"Much important progress has been registered on this front and I wish to record my appreciation of the assistance your government has provided to various Indian agencies implementing projects of national significance on the ground in Sri Lanka," he said.

The Prime Minister also assured Rajapaksa that India will continue its engagement with the shared objective of building a stable, secure and prosperous environment in Sri Lanka in which all communities can flourish and in which India-Sri Lanka relations can continue to grow from strength to strength.
http://m.timesofindia.com/PDATOI/articl ... 394288.cms

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Javee » 24 Mar 2012 21:12

I'm really appalled that a lot of people here have no faith in our bean counters. GoI will not do an about turn and lose all the goodwill it generated all these years before and after the war in 2009, it is simply not in our nature ;)

There is a rumor going around in TN that JJ asked a favor to appease the locals for which she will in-turn open the gates of KKNP. So, believe what you may, SL would've been brought in confidence and like the news reports say, the power (s) that rule SL very well knows that. So no sweat.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 25 Mar 2012 10:30

It really sounds like spin the more I think about it. India can make independent statements rather than working to dilute a UN statement and then voting for it.
See above view from dailypioneer, and here is another on ToI:

http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/right-and-wrong/entry/a-friendly-neighbour-s-betrayal

Lalith Athulathmudali, one of the most erudite and clever politicians i have encountered; Ranjan Wijeratne, the fiercely outspoken ex-planter; the soft-spoken Tamil constitutional lawyer Neelam Tiruchelvam; and the genial TULF leader A Amirthalingam whose blood-splattered residence i visited just an hour after he was gunned down. Although Lalith’s murder remains an enduring mystery, the others were all killed by the most vicious terrorist organisation ever created: the LTTE.

Life in South Asia is said to be cheap. The LTTE made it worthless in Sri Lanka. By the middle of the civil war, brutalisation had become the norm in the island that once symbolised serendipity. Tamils killed Tamils, Sinhalas killed Sinhalas, and they both killed each other with a staggering degree of recklessness. When the civil war erupted, the Sri Lankan army was essentially a ceremonial force. By the time it dispensed with Prabhakaran’s Tigers in 2009, it had become a redoubtable fighting force.

.......
This is not to justify the trigger-happiness of the Sri Lankans in the last days of the civil war when a reported 40,000 civilians were killed. It is merely to indicate that there was a context to the viciousness of the war—as vicious as the last months of the war against Germany during World War II. The human rights lobby that secured the condemnation of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Commission debate last Thursday cited civilised niceties and international law to pour scorn on a small country. They didn’t take into account that what happened in the summer of 2009 wasn’t military action against unarmed civilian demonstrators—as happened during the initial stages of the Syrian uprising—but an ugly war.

What is particularly galling is India’s effrontery in voting against Sri Lanka. If any country was secretly delighted and relieved that Colombo had finally put an end to the LTTE menace, it was India. India, after all, had nurtured the LTTE—one of Indira Gandhi’s most short-sighted and cynical moves—before realising that it had created a monster that was potentially capable of infecting Tamil Nadu with its poison. Yet, for the sake of his government’s survival, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meekly acquiesced in the condemnation of a country that had preserved itself against overwhelming odds.



[quote]

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Javee » 25 Mar 2012 19:05

Another hawkish view from the Island,

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat ... itle=48260
SL rejects claim of Indian ‘helping hand’ in Geneva
March 24, 2012, 7:15 pm
By Shamindra Ferdinando

Sri Lanka yesterday strongly dismissed claims that India had intervened on behalf of the government to thwart UN intervention by amending the US-sponsored United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution captioned ‘promoting reconciliation and accountability is Sri Lanka’, though it voted with the US-Norway grouping.

The resolution received the backing of 24 countries, while 15 opposed. Eight abstained, including Malaysia.

Authoritative officials told The Sunday Island that in line with the rules and procedures of the UNHRC, technical assistance was based on the principal that it could be given only with the consent of the recipient. They insisted that principle was part and parcel of the rules of procedure of the rights council and it would grossly inaccurate to say that India introduced changes to save Sri Lanka.

"We don’t deny that India revised the draft at the eleventh hour. What they introduced was what is contained in the rules of procedures of the HRC," an official.

The draft of the resolution was amended to replace phrase, ‘and the Government of Sri Lanka to accept’ with ‘in consultations with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka’’. The revised section reads:

"3. Encourages the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights 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 and requests the Office of the High Commissioner to present a report on the provision of such assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session."

Sources emphasized that Sri Lanka had nothing to do with the Indian amendment. "It took us by surprise. If it was on our interest, they could have discussed it with us. Instead the amendment involved the US, which moved the resolution and India. In fact many countries, including those supporting the resolution didn’t know about the US-Indian move until the evening of March 21."

Bottom line was that the US didn’t go to such an extent to thwart a resolution prompting ‘right of the Palestinian people to self-determination’ also at the just concluded 19th sessions of the UNHRC. Of the 47-members, 46, including India voted for the resolution, leaving the US isolated.

Officials stressed that Sri Lanka could have definitely secured more than 15 votes if Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh didn’t throw his weight behind Western powers on March 19, four days ahead of the vote. They alleged the Indian statement made in Lok Sabha, the lower House of the Indian Parliament, was calculated to undermine Sri Lanka.

Had India simply pressed the green button at the UN rights parley in Geneva, we wouldn’t have minded. Although the GoSL could comprehend that domestic political compulsion made it very difficult for India to go against the US resolution, it shouldn’t have thrown a lifeline to the LTTE rump. But unfortunately, India caused an irreparable loss to GoSL’s campaign by making a pro-resolution public statement, which prompted many other countries to re-think their stand, they said. The majority of those who had abstained could have sided with GoSL if India didn’t provide what an experienced official called tacit support to Western powers.

Geneva-based sources described the oral amendment to the draft resolution done on March 21 a cosmetic change and stating the obvious. In fact the recommendation to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights to present a report on the provision of assistance to the Human Rights Council at its twenty-second session (in March 2013) was in the original draft.

They emphasized that if not for China, which acted swiftly and decisively in the wake of Indian move, Sri Lanka would have experienced an unprecedented debacle.

Responding to a query, sources said that the LTTE rump and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) had conveniently forgotten the allegations they made against the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) during the Oct 1987-March 1990 period. Sources said that former Indian High Commission in Colombo J. N. Dixit in his memoirs called India’s role in arming Sri Lankan Tamil terrorists as one of the two major foreign policy blunders made by the then Premier Indira Gandhi.

India’s decision to throw its might behind the latest conspiracy in Geneva could be an equally costly blunder on the part of India, sources said. India never investigated atrocities committed by the IPKF, which former LTTE field commander turned ruling party politician, Vinayagamoorthy Muralidharan, claimed prompted the LTTE to assassinate one-time Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Karuna is on record as having said that the suicide bomber had been raped by the IPKF.

Sources alleged that in spite of providing a range of assistance to those war-affected in the Northern and Eastern Provinces, India had failed Sri Lanka in Geneva. Interestingly, India had turned a blind eye to heavy criticism of its own human rights record by the UNHRC following its latest study, sources said.

The UN went to the extent of demanding India did away with key security laws, which the Indians say were imperative for their national security purposes.

Sources speculated that India could be closely working with the US on the issue due Sri Lanka’s close relationship with China, which the UPFA believed a traditional and unconditional friend.

India wanted to appease the US and the LTTE, while making the GoSL believe that the resolution could have been worse if not for their intervention despite backing the Western move, sources said.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Philip » 26 Mar 2012 05:42

This vote at Geneva has brought about a dramatic change in India's foreign policy decision making.earlier,since Independence in fact,the states acquiesced to the Centre in the main when it came to national interests.There was a general consensus on many ticklish issues,even on the Israeli-Palestinian Q.

I said not too long ago to watch out for the fruit of Hillary's last visit to Tamilnadu and Madras,where she paid a "social call" to the TN supremo JJ. It was as I then said not a social call at all,but to get the TN CM on her (US) side on the Lankan issue and a deal was apparently struck on the same.Flogging the Lankan horse comes easy to the Dravidian parties ,like Cato fulminating against Carthage. As one wit has put it,we are now in a new era of the "municipalisation" of our foreign policy,where Mamta in Bengal sulks and pouts and derails a most important Indo-Bangladesh water agreement,and the Dravidians in the south harm our natural interests by forcing the GOI to crawl like a lackey behind the US in Geneva,in even more disgraceful fashion by announcing our decision before the vote! AS the GOSL said,this would've influenced many nations to follow India's example,which indicated India's desire to punish Lanka.Given the fascinating non-capability of our current FM, "every court must have its clown",truly the "mofussilisation" of our foreign policy has arrived and the consequences will be exceptionally damaging to the national interest.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 26 Mar 2012 07:20

Do not know about Hillary and other pulls, but the 'rap on fingers' seems total spin. At best this tail wagging the dog (foreign policy) necessitated the 'dilution of the resolution'.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby alexis » 26 Mar 2012 17:20

ranjbe wrote:I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.


+1

Eventhough i understand the motion was a western sponsored ploy and impinge onh the sovereignty of our neighbors, India should take a stand that is in line with the aspirations of its citizens.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby Yayavar » 26 Mar 2012 21:33

Regional views vary across India. Gujratis, Rajasthanis or Kashmiris or Punjabis may have families or kin ship across the border. So do Biharis or UP to Nepal. So do some Bengalis or Assamese or Tripuris to Bangladesh. Would you be equally sanguine if some group there considers their regional well being in contradiction to national well-being? Certainly regional desires have to be considered by the center but the regional parties must weigh their real requirements against emotional kinship driving India's foreign policy. The LTTE generated lots of support and they thought nothing of killing Tamils in Sri Lanka and India. The government has multiple ways to let their concerns be known to SL rather than cast a vote under pressure from a regional partner looking for some brownie points.

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Re: Sri Lanka - News and Discussion

Postby chetak » 27 Mar 2012 17:36

alexis wrote:
ranjbe wrote:I think that the vote would have been the same if a NDA Govt. would have been in power. When the two parties which have ruled Tamil Nadu alternately for 25 years both strongly support the resolution, India has no option but to support the resolution. The bottom line is that the interests of 60 million Indian citizens are first, foremost and paramount over the interest of 20 million Sinhalese, who are foreigners, good friends though they may be.


+1

Eventhough i understand the motion was a western sponsored ploy and impinge onh the sovereignty of our neighbors, India should take a stand that is in line with the aspirations of its citizens.



This is coming back to bite us very soon.

The chinese and the pakis will maneuver to bring a similar resolution on cashmere.

We should simply have minded our very own business and abstained at best or simply voted with the other asians.

There has to be a limit to licking american backsides.

The regional "partner" is hell bent on India burning bridges with srilanka and toeing the hidden line followed by the frocked europeans and the frocked americans. Its the east timor situation in the making all over again.


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