Colombo, Elections, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War, War Crimes

The Presidential Election: A Diabolical Deception!

This up-coming presidential election would be comical, if not for the fact that it is deceptively diabolical. The contention between incumbent president Mahinda Rajapakse and retired General Sarath Fonseka and the arguments being drawn up by both sides are simply degenerate. They expose the depths to which  this political order has been despoiled and degraded.

Threat Projections:
The ‘Mahinda’ camp brings out the threat of an imminent military coup, to be led by Sarath Fonseka and urged by the JVP. These guys are not beyond this type of treachery. The Mahinda camp claims that such a coup was being attempted recently, only to be averted by alerting India. They portray Sarath Fonseka as a tool of US and Western imperialist powers. They blame him for the militarization of the country, and for setting up a military regime in the North and East. They accuse him of being a rabid chauvinist and a hard-line militarist, guilty of horrible war crimes against the Tamil people. The Mahinda apologists claim that the principal contradiction, the central focus of the up-coming presidential election is between Mahinda Rajapakse who represents the only hope for restoring peace, stability, freedom and democracy, while Sarath Fonseka projects a military dictatorship with a Sinhala supremacist fascist agenda.

The Game of Deception:
The Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist) rejects both these candidates, since they represent two sides of the same coin- or as Comrade Wickremabahu of the Left Front, the common candidate of the independent progressive, democratic, revolutionary alliance has aptly said, they represent two heads of a viper, both with deadly fangs. So, we shall not favor any one these candidates. However, let us examine these arguments to establish some irrefutable facts, to rip apart the blood-stained fabric of diabolical deception that is being played out in this election.

Sinhala Supremacy:
Sinhala supremacy is best represented by populist Mahinda Rajapakse. It was he who announced in his inaugural Presidential address that he does not recognize the concept of a Tamil nation, nor of a traditional Tamil homeland and therefore rejects the demand for the right of self-determination of the Tamil people cohabiting in the North- East. This stand set the stage for a military solution. But the good general is no better. He asserted, in no uncertain terms, that this country belongs exclusively to the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ nation and that all others are aliens who have impinged on this country at various times. On this basis, he proclaimed that these aliens should not demand equal rights. Poor Hon. Mano Ganeshan, tailing behind the UNP and US imperialism, says he is willing to dismiss these statements as a slip of the tongue ( ‘misquote’ says Sarath) and advance to the future in good bourgeois faith. You can forget and forgive, Sir. But those who still  suffer the thousand crimes of a brutal, all-out war will not forget nor forgive!

The point is that H.E. president Mahinda Rajapakse, as the Executive Head of State and Commander in Chief did not disavow himself of these rabid, blood-thirsty, racist positions announced by his erstwhile colleagues, but indeed, promoted this policy. He went to the extent of proclaiming that there are no minorities in this country, thus liquidating the national democratic rights of the Tamil nation, the Hill Country Malayaga Tamil nationality, the Moslem nationality and all other ethnic-religious communities. Under this regime the whole social order degenerated as never before. It was under his regime that churches were attacked. It was under his regime that monks fuelled the flames of war, while there was still room for negotiations. It was under his regime that Buddhist monks imported super luxury Mercedes Benz cars and made profit from them, thus defiling the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha. By the way, it was reported that the good  General Fonseka also imported such a super luxury Mercedes Benz to enhance his ego to the tune of some 40 million Rupees, while the rank and file soldiers were fighting the LTTE in swamps- and fighting off mosquitoes.

War Crimes:
As to the accusation of war crimes, first of all it is the State and the Mahinda Chintanaya Regime, and H.E. President Mahinda Rajapakse as Commnader-in-Chief himself and his Defense Secretary and brother Gotabhaya  Rajapakse that are collectively accountable for leading the war. It was this regime that drove the war in such a pitiless, merciless manner, until the Tamil national struggle and its leadership as it existed was decimated. It was the office of the Secretary of Defense that designed and coordinated the grand strategy. It was the President himself who directed the war politically, and even when the ‘international community’ appealed for a negotiated settlement in the face of the colossal suffering of civilians and gross violations of human rights, pressed for an unconditional military solution. This does not belie the fact that the good General waged war with pure, undiluted, blood-thirsty racist gusto, or is absolved of responsibility. He is just as much a militarist-chauvinist war-monger as the regime he served. All these honored representatives of this defunct and corrupt  neo-colonial Capitalist state shall be held accountable to the people for the monstrous crimes against the people and all humanity!

Tool of Imperialism:
The claim that retired General Sarath Fonseka is a tool of US-Western Imperialism is correct. No doubt about that! But what about incumbent president Mahinda Rajapakse? It was his ‘patriotic’ government that entered into the “ Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement” with the United States, which is a military agreement that allows the US free access to all military facilities –land, sea and air- in the island, to the  number 01. terrorist-imperialist state in the world. Remember that this agreement was first being about to be signed by that stale UNF, led by good old yankey-dickey, the then Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, when the Left progressive, patriotic  forces, spearheaded also by the Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist), agitated and succeeded in tearing up the agreement.

Human Rights, Corruption and Abuse of Power:
Now, the bankrupt ideological agents of the reactionary chauvinist Mahinda camp appeal to us to forget and forgive the unprecedented corruption and abuse under this Mahinda Chintanaya regime. Who is responsible for Lanka Logistics, Mihin Air, Maga Naguma? At no time did reeking corruption reach such pitiful heights. Then again, who is responsible for the continued incarceration of some 200,000 internally displaced Tamil persons in concentration camps in the North, including elderly, children, wounded, sick and pregnant women, under pitiful sub-human conditions? Who is to be held accountable for the horrible massacre of seventeen humanitarian aid workers, the murder of five Tamil students, the assassination of Hon. Joseph Pararajasingham, Hon Raviraj, Mr. Lasantha Wickrematunga and others? Along with these abominable crimes, is the crime of keeping some 12,000 political prisoners in various detention camps and prisons, against whom no legal charges have been filed. Releasing Tissainayagam or addressing the issue of some 12, 000 political prisoners NOW will not serve to bite the bullet. These are just sick manipulations for election gain. However,  we have, and will continue to agitate for these demands.

The Real Choice:
No body needs to bring in a military-fascist dictatorship. It is already being established. We remember how Tamil civilians were simply packed off from Colombo. We remember the fascist repression against the media, how public meetings were brazenly attacked. We remember how the military victory was celebrated, building up a mass war hysteria, with posters, banners and cutouts glorifying the President and the armed forces, irrevocably militarizing the whole political-social order.  We remember the sheer arrogance of power. The choice for the people is not between either of these militarist-chauvinist-fascist agendas represented by both these Comprador Capitalist candidates. The real and only choice is to raise the voice and gather the forces for the defense of freedom and democracy. This independent stand shall be the foundation for building a mass people’s revolutionary struggle that will hold the system accountable for all the diabolical deceptions and monstrous crimes committed against the people.

  • Uthungan

    The ordinary people in Lanka are not told the real facts.They are kept a limbo of atavistic mythology, religious obscurantism and racial bias which is propagated and dinned into them on a routine basis.This is now done with the assistance of Emergency Regulations,the PTA and media control.The previous method was somewhat subtle say from the sixties to the seventies…..

    Now murderers and gangsters are roped in and given the impunity needed to brazenly attack or even kill anyone who dares to question or object. The case of journalists like Lasantha Wickrematunge, Tissanayagam, Poddala Jayantha,and politicians and human right activists like Ravi Raj, Loganathan Ketheswaran are prime examples. Even ordinary folks doing their jobs like for instance Dr.Murali Vallipuranathan was dismissed from service for having the gumption to defy a request by his pro establishment colleague to sign on the dotted line and compromise his fundamental right to say ‘No’ had to face the brunt..

    The LTTE which was in fact a mafia set up worked in collusion with Sinhala fascism from the 1970’s and each relied on the commissions and omissions of each other. Both were in fact opposite sides of the same fascist coin.They goaded and loaded each other and both got enriched. The ordinary people irrespective of whether they were of the majority community or the minority community suffered equally with dwindling living standards,and constantly escalating prices.They were needed only when elections came and were supplicated by politicians who promised all types of guarantees and welfare.Once elections were over the politicians got back to forming unprincipled coalitions and cabals to share the spoils.This is the current tendency and that has been the way of Lankan politics from the latter part of the seventies.Now it has become chronic and it is time that this situation is ended.That is the task of us who call ourselves Lankans.

  • Pearl Thevanayagam

    Let us not fool ourselves and co-opt Tamils in the pawn game the Sinhalese have wielded so far.
    Granted we had many Tamils who puffed up their coffers aka Kadirgamar, Douglas Devananada, Karuna nd Pillayan.
    Mannennnai Maheswaran ( killed by Douglas) and many more Tamils co-opted in the judiciary llike Palakidnar ( the appeal court judge who swung the WPC in favour of Chandirka in 1994 and won himslef some prime property in Dehiwela), now Pilayan and Karuna the latter of whch Ranil Wickeremasinge courted despite his notoriety in fleecing Tamils in the East and the Anandasangarees and Siddharthan who never championed the real roo t causes of Tamils in North and East except to win kudos themselves.
    Tamils can win their righful place in the island only if they have genuine empathy towards their brethren.
    But the Tamils who are pandering to the majority have nothing more to offer Tamils except their own selfish interests.
    South Africa only produced self seeking Blacks who genuflected to the Afrikkaners thus puffing up their own selfish intersts. Nelson Maldela genuflected before the Whites and llives a high life while may South Africans are living below poverty line.
    Read John Pilger’s, ” Freedom Next Time”.

  • Susantha

    sri lanka is/was and always will be a sinhala buddhist country its the duty of any presedential candidate to protect that. and wow to destroy anything that will oppose sinhala dominance of the sinhala country(Sri lanka)

  • Burning_Issue

    Susantha,

    I am sure that you will sleep better knowing that MR and brothers will honour your wish and in the process, the so called Sinhala Buddhist country will be bankruped!

    Why are you so inscure? Why do you feel that you need to dominate?

  • London Dole

    Susantha,

    Oh, darling, aren’t you the perfect foil character for this thread?

    Anyway, darling Susantha, the LTTE is a gonner. Just enjoy a cup of tea with ‘Burning_Issue”.

  • London Dole

    Pearl Thevanayagam,

    Pearly, remember how we cheered for Nelson Mandela back in the day? We compared the LTTE to the ANC, didn’t we? Remember those discussions?

    You’ve suddenly turned back on your friends, so don’t ever get our hopes up again with promises of liberation.

  • Vichara

    The writer has made some strong points in this article. But his lack of professional integrity is demonstrated in distortions and deceptions of ‘diabolical’proportions.
    What are the” irrefutable facts” on which he has built his arguments?
    On Sinhala supremacy, he depends on two statements ascribed to President Rajapaksa and Sarath Fonseka. He refers to the inaugural Presidential address where he concludes that the President does not recognize the concept of a Tamil nation, nor of a traditional Tamil homeland and therefore rejects the demand for the right of self-determination of the Tamil people cohabiting in the North- East.
    The relevant section of the official text of the address he refers to is as follows.
    “Instead of the concepts of traditional homelands and self-determination that allow an ethnic group to breakaway from the Republic of Sri Lanka, steps will be taken to ensure for all communities, including Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher and Malay the freedom to exercise all the rights enshrined in the Constitution – including the right to live in any part of Sri Lanka on the grounds that the entire territory is the homeland of all communities.
    All citizens will be equal before the law and no citizens will be discriminated on account of ethnicity, caste, religion, sex, political beliefs or place of birth. “
    According to Rupasinghe –‘ this stand set the stage for a military solution.’ LET THE READERS DECIDE.

    He concludes ‘that the good general is no better as he asserted, in no uncertain terms, that this country belongs exclusively to the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ nation and that all others are aliens who have impinged on this country at various times. On this basis, he proclaimed that these aliens should not demand equal rights.’
    What did General Sarath Fonseka actually say to the National Post of Canada?. According to Stewart Bell of the National Post what SF said was “I strongly believe that this country belongs to the Sinhalese but there are minority communities and we treat them like our people. We are also a strong nation. They can live in this country with us. But they must not try to, under the pretext of being a minority, demand undue things.”
    The emotive terms such as ‘exclusive, aliens, equal rights’ are deliberate distortions introduced by Rupasinghe. The most mischievous and cheap twist is the attempt to bring Buddhism to bolster his argument. There has been no mention that SF made a claim that the country belongs to Buddhists.

    Rupasinghe claims that as of 18 December that “ some 200,000 internally displaced Tamil persons are incarcerated in concentration camps in the North”
    But according to the Joint Humanitarian Update on 19 November, only136,242 people remain in the camps in the northeast, while 112,209 have been returned to their places of origin and 27,663 have been released to host families or into the care of elders. Is Rupasinghe better informed than the UN Refugee Agency the UNHCR?
    One is impressed by the revolutionary fervor of Rupasinghe, but he should not let his emotions falsify facts to suit his arguments.

    MERRY X’MAS!!

  • LANKENVICTIMS

    By Jayashika Padmasiri

    As the country commemorated the fifth tsunami anniversary yesterday, Transparency International Sri Lanka (TIS) urged the Sri Lankan government to immediately explain the issue of missing USD 472 million in tsunami funds.
    TIS were demanding an immediate audit inquiry to be held regarding the utilization of the missing tsunami money.
    TIS Deputy Executive Director, Rukshana Nanayakkara speaking to LAKBIMAnEWS said, “From the total of tsunami funds Sri Lanka received, the committed (funds promised by donors) are USD 2,126,771,858, disbursed sums which includes the sums handed over to implementing agencies are USD 1,075,375,348 and the expended amounts spent on various projects are USD 603,443,908. From these amounts we observed that, USD 471, 931,440 had gone missing. So we ask the government what happened to these monies,” Nanayakkara said.
    “When TIS inquired from the relevant authorities about these missing amounts, but most officials did not want to answer while they were also reluctant to reveal any information. However there were some responsible bodies that implied that the funds were utilized by the government for other purposes,” Nanayakkara said.