I read the Daily News cause it’s in the office in the morning. The headline is generally ‘EVERYTHING IS FINE’, but there are some new additions. Lately the paper and Mahinda have been going on and on about a ‘plot to discredit the government’ and a media ‘conspiracy’ to demoralize the armed forces. On the front page of yesterdays paper there’s a hysterical Bandula Jayasekera piece called ‘Go tell it to the LTTE’ accusing everyone who speaks up about human rights and disappearances of supporting the LTTE for money. How one gets paid for this I don’t know, but war hysteria is leading to a short-sighted ‘with us or against us’ mentality that slanders many moderate citizens and the stated positions of GoSL to boot.
It is actually possible to report and speak out about disappearances, abductions and human rights abuses without supporting the LTTE. Crazy, I know. It’s what Mahinda did during the Premadasa years, to similar abuse. When a top police official like Victor Perera admits that rogue forces are complicit in abductions, I think it’s worth speaking out about.
It is also possible to be against war and still love Sri Lanka. In fact, the government hasn’t abrogated the CFA, so they are technically against war. In fact, all official statements repeatedly state that they are looking for a negotiated settlement. That is why it’s so absurd to demonize people that support the official government policy.
Finally, they make the absurd statement that anyone opposing the war is in it for ‘money, money, money’. Like an ethnic slur, you can toss an accusation like that out but it just looks nonsensical to people that don’t already agree with you. The people I know making money are arms dealers, people in defense procurement, people involved with Mihin Air or the Hambantota Port, or otherwise in the good graces of the government. No one on the fringes protesting about the war is getting ‘money’ from the LTTE or phantom foreign forces. There is no personal money in peace, though it is better for society.
Standing for a negotiated, peaceful settlement is not treason. It is, in fact, a principled and defensible stand as a patriotic Sri Lankan. It is the official stance of our government. It is supported by the international community. It is spoken by our President, though he practices something different. The people who have the courage to say and practice peace are not traitors and they are not by any stretch LTTE. They are Sri Lankan, like you.