Another US Resolution on Sri Lanka: The Road to Nowhere?

Mahinda-Samarasinghe

Photo courtesy JDS

So it looks like the US will bring another resolution on Sri Lanka at the next session of the UN’s Human Rights Council (HRC) in Geneva this March. Quite frankly – I am shocked.

US foreign policy as it relates to Sri Lanka has been confusing and is replete with complications and contradictions.

One can’t help but wonder: Where is all of this heading? Is this a road to nowhere?

I really wish I knew. But at this point, I’m not sure that anybody does.

If the US goes ahead with another (weak) resolution, what would be the point? It would accomplish nothing. And what does that mean for US foreign policy in Sri Lanka, or – more broadly – what might that mean for American foreign policy in the region?

The US didn’t seem to be that concerned about human rights here when people were being slaughtered in 2009. Make no mistake about it: Washington knew what was happening. As a friend of mine (who is well-versed on what actually transpired) told me, “Nothing that occurred in 2009 happened suddenly. People had to have seen it coming.”

I suppose another resolution on Sri Lanka at the HRC would be better than nothing. At least we would know that diplomatic pressure won’t fade away entirely. Nonetheless, I’m still left wondering if any of it matters. If the time for tougher, stronger action has not yet come, when would it ever? Is the US really going to aim for another light resolution and pretend that it will change the regime’s behavior?

It won’t. Another weak resolution won’t mean anything to anyone—except the regime in power.  It will simply mean they’re still winning.

Which leads to another question: Would the US really be pushing for another resolution if the Chief Justice had not been impeached?

It’s an interesting counterfactual to consider. Counterfactuals can be particularly thought-provoking because nobody knows what would have happened. Maybe the impeachment saga crossed a line that made inaction or policy inertia (at least as it relates to human rights) impossible. I suspect that it did.

As far as I can tell, President Obama has no Syria policy and well over 60,000 people have been killed there. And make no mistake: the rebels, a variegated group – to say the least – are not saints. And then in Mali, the French are leading the way. The US is providing intelligence. That’s it. No boots on the ground. It’s one thing for the US to “lead from behind” in Libya; France’s establishment of a more muscular foreign policy in North Africa is another issue altogether.

I’m not suggesting that the US should be intervening in either place, but the conflicts in Syria and Mali are arguably of much greater strategic interest to the US than Sri Lanka. And yet it looks like Washington is prepared to spend diplomatic resources again on a small island nation, albeit only in the form of another watered-down resolution which will provide no impetus for change.

On the other hand, a meaningful resolution will require a lot more work. Is it possible to get a meaningful resolution through the HRC this time around? More importantly, is that something the US really wants?

The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is blatantly lying to people about its implementation of the LLRC recommendations. Groundviews recently published something that made this very clear.[1] Deception with this regime isn’t sporadic; it’s systematic because the GoSL can’t afford to be candid about the current state of affairs.

It’s very clear that Barack Obama wants his legacy to lie in sweeping domestic changes. He wants to get out of protracted wars and avoid diving into another conflict like Syria or Mali. And it looks like he’s going to do that. His nominees for State and Defense are both men who will be reluctant to use military force abroad. Obama likes his drones – in spite of the “collateral damage” to civilians and his Nobel Peace Prize – but he fundamentally believes in using American power in a more limited way. Barack Obama is not yet a champion of human rights overseas; he probably never will be.

I’m really tired of reading about how the United States government is concerned about developments in Sri Lanka. If Washington really is concerned, Obama should prove it by making diplomatic isolation a reality for the regime in Colombo. To put it more bluntly, when it comes to human rights in Sri Lanka, Washington should “go big or go home.” Things are bad here and getting worse. Sri Lankans who are not happy with recent governance trends have a right to know who their friends really are.

  • Sarath Fernando

    As far as Sri Lanka is concerned, U.S.’s concern is hardly Human Rights or even the illegality of impeachment. U.S’s singular concern is India’s miserable failure to protect even its immediate neighbourhood as China encircles and deepens its tentacles in the region.
    This ineptitude of India, despite the never-ending contribution of funds before, during and after the war, (much of it possibly sourced from the U.S.) has been a growing worry. However, U.S. also realizes that direct intervention on that account will be disastrous, on multiple counts. The CJ incidence merely provides one more opportunity to yet again raise its voice, hoping to threaten the Hambantota regime, now that Ranil and S.F. have proved absolutely useless for any practical strategies.
    My prediction: The game will go on yet another innings, more in the baseball tradition than cricket – SL will play the China card again, threatening to let China make further inroads into the Island’s economy and politics, unless more funds are promised for the Reconciliation efforts. And, India and the U.S. will end-up doling out another load of gold to feed the poor Lamborghini-starved Beliatta!

    • somsamusa

      Until justice is done for Tamils who were slaughteredsince independance especislly the Genocide in Mullivaikal, sinking lanka will remain a rogue island in the eyes of civilised world.
      Pake gang’s(Noriega) fate will be that of their great ally Gadaffi in the hands if sinhalas &/or skin heads.

    • Antany Peter

      India is liable for creating the Tamil armed groups, and the Western Countries are liable for made them stronger. No matter how much money they give to the Sri Lankans, they can’t really compensate for what they have done, because the damages are indescribable.

  • Jayalath

    To Gibson .
    It isn’t difficult to realise the stand of you hoping to lead being in Sri Lanka . I do not know whom you are possibly want to advocate for , but it is cristal that you are trying to catch fish in murky water . Also I do not trust your ingenuity genuinely based on to stabilise of vastly distabalized society .nonetheless , your petty statements and crocodile tears only could trigger to aggravate the crisis .

    Our gov may not know whom are our real friends , but we as people know whom we should really associate with , therefore I would glad if you look at the matter with quite intelligently and seriously before issue statments in the short time you spend .

  • Antany Peter

    Who is going to rebuke the US and the other Western Countries for their atrocities? The Americans have killed thousands in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Obama’s choice for defence secretary was very good at killing in Vietnam. Chuck Hagel admitted that he killed hundreds of innocent people in Vietnam. He said that “We were amazingly proficient at it all. In firefights we’d shoot hundreds and hundreds of rounds and after we’d walk 100 yards and see hundreds and hundreds of bodies”. Even after he has admitted that he killed hundreds of innocent people, there is no war crime investigation on Chuck Hagel. The Americans are hypocrites; they have one law for themselves, and one law for the developing countries.

    Who is going rebuke India for creating the Tamil Armed Groups? Who is going to rebuke the Western Countries for funding the LTTE indirectly through the Tamil diaspora? India is liable for creating the Tamil armed groups, and the Western Countries are liable for made them stronger. The Western Countries knew how much money have been poured into the LTTE by the Tamil diaspora, but did nothing. Here is an example; Canada banned the LTTE in 2006, but millions of dollars poured into the LTTE in 2007 and 2008. The CSIS knew everything, but did nothing. The Westerners are happy, as long as the rest of the world is divided, kill each other, and the West get to talk about war crimes, democracy and human rights, in order to undermine others. The Westerners are only 8% of the world’s population; therefore they will do everything to divide others, in order to rule the majority.

    India created the Tamil armed groups to keep Sri Lanka under its wings. However, India also understood that letting the Tamil armed groups grow beyond its control would be detrimental to India. This is the reason Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi got a very good political solution for the Tamils under Indo-Sri Lanka agreement. Unfortunately the LTTE did not see what Rajiv Gandhi did, because of the Tamil Diaspora. The 2002 ceasefire agreement also broken by the LTTE. I believe that Prabhakaran would not have fought against India without the Westerners’s push through the Tamil diaspora. I also believe that Prabhakaran would not have broken the ceasefire agreement with the Sri Lankan government without the help of the Westerners. The Western countries use the Tamil diaspora leaders to develop Western countries and to keep the Westerners on top. Otherwise the diaspora leaders will be unemployable or in prison in the Western Countries like me, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning. Why the Westerners would ever allow the Tamil diaspora to use the Western countries to develop the other parts of the world?

    They are the masters at occupying the high ground, and translating it into great power. In their hands morality becomes a weapon, they wield to attract attention to their cause while distracting attention to the others. They make such a show of moral superiority that the others feel ashamed to disagree with them. They are free to do whatever they want, by waving their magic cards so call “democracy and human rights”. In fact, the Americans, Australians and Canadians do not even live in their own country, if that is the case then how they can talk more about democracy than others? The Spanish took parts of South America, the Dutch and Protégées took parts of South America and the Indian subcontinent, the French took Africa, and the British took most parts of the world. Hundreds of million innocent people were killed by the Westerners. More than hundred million indigenous people were killed around the world. Twenty two million Africans were killed during the slave trade. Fifty nine million Indians were killed by starvation while the British rulers were sending India’s own foods to the United Kingdom. Furthermore, more than one million people were killed in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. But no one was held accountable for those innocent people’s deaths. However, the British and the Americans kept the records of German Nazis’ atrocities in detail, and exposing to the world, in order to cover-up their own atrocities. The Western Countries have killed millions of innocent people, yet they present themselves as moral superiors. The Western Countries’ core focus in the Middle Eastern countries is oil, not democracy or human rights. It is all about exploiting others’ resources and keeping others under them. In fact, the British knew the meaning of democracy and human rights from the 12th century, but they never practised while killing millions of innocent people to takeover others’ homelands, in order to have plenty of resources. The Western Countries will never admit their atrocities; if they do then they can not keep themselves on the top, and fool others in the name of democracy and human rights.

    The Western governments are extremely clever in disguising their ulterior motives and their evil tricks. According to the Independent newspaper of London, Britain discussed plans to exploit Iraq’s oil reserves with some of the world’s biggest oil companies five months before it joined the United States in invading the country in 2003. Citing previously secret documents, the newspaper said at least five meetings were held between British officials and BP and Royal Dutch Shell in late 2002. BP privately said to the British Foreign Office that Iraq was “more important than anything we’ve seen for a long time.” The documents were obtained by the oil campaigner Greg Muttitt, author of the new book Fuel on the Fire: Oil and Politics in Occupied Iraq”. “Mr Blair famously said in early 2003, ‘The idea that we’re interested in Iraq’s oil is absurd, it’s one of the most absurd conspiracy theories you can imagine”. While he was saying that, there was an internal secret document reveals the British strategy to exploit Iraqi oil, and it said, “Britain has an absolutely vital interest in Iraq’s oil”. The Westerners have created Israel based on the history, and the circumstances of the Jews. However, they have refused do the same for the Australian indigenous people. We have enough tangible evidences to prove that the Australian Indigenous people were the first inhabitants of Australia more than anyone could ever prove that Israel is belongs to the Jews. Clearly, it was easier for the Westerners to create a country for the Jews on others’ homeland to have a Jewish state as “the representatives of the West”, in order to control the Middle East. However, the same people who acknowledge the Jewish state have refused to acknowledge indigenous people in their homeland. It is nothing but a double standard and dirty ethic of the Westerners. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? Obviously, the Westerners who have refused to acknowledge Indigenous people in their homeland for centuries would not have started the Arab Spring for the benefit of the Arabs, they have an ulterior motive. The Chinese are dominating the manufacturing sector, and the Indians are dominating the service sector. The Western Countries have lost their economic dominant; therefore they are removing the Middle Eastern Regimes in the name of democracy to place the Western puppets to control the oil, in order to continue to rule the world. The Westerners are desperate to continue to rule the world, even at the expense of democracy and human rights. Whoever exposes the Westerners dirty democracy has been treated as their enemy. The American soldier Bradley Manning and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange have sacrificed their life to inform the truth to the world, in order to enhance democracy. They are heroes for exposing war crimes, and the true civilian costs of the US wars in the Middle East. However, Bradley Manning is facing all kinds of interrogation and abuses on top of solitary confinement. The government of Ecuador granted diplomatic asylum to Julian Assange, citing genuine concerns that his human rights might be violated by the US for exposing the truth.

    • Ranil

      Excellent report by Antany peter,….well done, and it’s better to publish as a head line article on all major news papers in the WORLD………THANK YOU.. mr: Antany Peter

    • Gama10

      Antany Peter,

      Real truth..Please send your write-up to NY Post or Washington Post to publish. Thanks for educatiing the readers.

    • Lanka Liar

      Your are a true Sri Lankan. Start somewhere and end somewhere going nowhere.
      You too are correct in quoting Ma Hinder Chindanaya 1.00.01 – ” If Hitler could kill Pol Pot could kill Idi Amin could kill what is wrong in Sri Lankan killing” In other words if you want to investigate Sri Lankas crime all the crimes that was committed in all parts of the world should be investigated first.

      You forgot to mention so many war criminals were tried and punished in US. But in Sri Lanka they were appointed as Ambassadors.

    • Kadira

      Congratulations to Antany Peter for the comment. The Ground reality in Sri Lanka is that people are free from the terrorist threat. People want to get on with their lives. The US and Westerners do not care about the poor people and their suffering. As you have clearly highlighted the West seeks to hide behind Human Rights, democracy and liberty and interfere for their own benefits into countries such as Sri Lanka. The Tamil diaspora is is not helping reconciliation efforts neither does the constant harassment of the West into the matters of Sri Lanka.If the west is genuine enough to see real peace in Sri Lanka it should allow the people to run its government. the present government came into power with large voter base mainly due to its achievement in the war front.People still trust the government and still stand by its choice. As a nation they also want the chance to enjoy real democracy, freedoms and liberties good governance etc. If the government is getting distracted it is up to the people of that nation sound warning bells and not by Western nations, Tamil Diaspora or any of their agencies placed locally.Because people when they see that the government voted in by them is under siege, will stand by it at any cost if the alternative is to sacrifice the values that they have fought to preserve by electing the current leadership even if they see wrong doings.If anyone genuinely seeks to have people of Sri Lanka enjoy fruits of peace, democracy and benefits of the same, they should allow them to grow and develop without constantly trying to harass it for doing the right thing and have enough faith in its people to do the right thing.In case of the Tamil diaspora it is time they seriously consider carving out a separate country in either India or in one of the heavily Tamil populated western nations as separatism is not something people of Sri Lanka will ever entertain. Majority in Sri Lanka do not care about racism even in my own family. My Autn is a Colombo Chetti, one siter in law married a Tamil Catholic boy, the other one married a Muslim, My dad is a Buddhist, mom is a Catholic, etc. and in many families in SL this is true.

    • Darshi

      Well done Antany Peter, you said it all! Hats off to you!!

    • Agnos

      Antany,

      “…Otherwise the diaspora leaders will be unemployable or in prison in the Western Countries like me, Julian Assange and Bradley Manning.”

      So when did you come out of your prison? The fact that Western countries have acted hypocritically does not give you the right to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity– against your own citizens.
      The demand that the GoSL should still answer for war crimes, white vans, abductions and murders, comes from Sri Lankan citizens. They can seek assistance from anyone, including the West, if that will help with that goal. Your tirade against the West–perhaps from your prison– won’t change that.

    • Jayalath

      To Antany Peter.

      Your artical is interesting and informative, but it seems that you are suffering of western paranoia , which is quite unreasonable & incorrect . I would agree with you of western influence and interference in small nations of their internal affairs in the world .and also your artical is an evidance of big countries role on small countries. The role of India during our conflict is nearest example which you have pointed out and it has proven not only the western nations that any stronger country can interfer over weaker country . Therefore, we have be clever and intelligent when we deal with foreign countries. unless you can’t deal with them decently behaving like rogues and bigots

      We are suffering as a nation much because of our idiot politicians than foreign interferences ,we cannot blame for the foreign countries for this mess . This has become like a chronic illness among us , especially our politicians blame for the foreign countries as a habit to cover their blunders .Just imagine , our target of tourism over coming years , whom are we target to invite for ? Westerners! We cannot survive without interconnect to western . We do not need to paranoid about western countries . I think this fear has been planted in our minds by these extremist groups , these people only can create unwanted problems than thinking of taking the country forward.

      Taiwan , south Korea , Thailand , Singapore , Vietnam , India , china , brazil ,Japan ,all these countries are doing well with western world , we do not see any problem .

      Who thought Japan will be helped by western countries after world war 2 for the atrocities they done , and who thought Germany will be supported ? Hitler caused 70 million lives in war 2 alone , where is the place of Germany now ? Japan had been given latest technology by America after war to develop the country ,and they became the second best economy in the world after USA untill last year . Now is china .
      So, I do not personally believe these myths spread by some people for the lack of some thing of them .

      You may well aware about Singapore , we at least should learn from Lee Kuan yew of Singapore , once he made a contentious comment on Islam , he said Islam is venomous religion, but lately he avoided has been commenting on that
      .but he was a clever & intelligent leader , therefore he managed the country to an enormous status . No body would have imagined to lead country this level after received independence from Malasia in 1965. Although they had majority Muslim in the country . This is the ingenuity . He never surrender to any one or any thing ,he drove the country to prosperity and he left the legacy to the future .
      We never heard any dispute of religion or race .

  • Candidly

    Gibson Bateman evidently comes from the old school of Euro-centric thinking that sees Western nations as having “governments”, or “administrations” while independent nations run by their own black or brown people have “regimes”. Therefore it’s not surprising that he’s confused, in his own admission, about American foreign policy. Even under Richard Nixon, decades ago, the US had gone beyond those myopic, racist categories.

    He seems upset that the USA hasn’t got boots on the ground in Syria, Mali, and, possible, Sri Lanka, as that seems to be his criterion as to whether or not his government has got a grown-up, manly, foreign policy.

    However, he does seem to be getting real about the nature of the UN Human Rights Council and its lack of connection with the rights of real human beings. Personally I see the UNHRC as more like an international competition (such as the Olympic Games) where nations compete with each other to get motions passed for or against their allies and enemies, rather than a body that actually advances human rights anywhere in the world.

  • Christopher

    As the heading of this article precisely points out, this is a futile effort by USA and the UK. If these supposed super powers are after Sri Lanka just because of its nearness to China and Russia, then USA’s strength is being openly compromised. It is also so apparent that the muscles of USA is fast receding due to its very meagre foreign policy that is quite evident and why it cannot pick on countries such as North Korea, Syria, Iran and the like – the undeniable factor is its week foreign policy requiring more diplomacy and less muscle flexing.

  • Rationalist

    It is very clear what the US is intending to do with another resolution. It is what any outsider WOULD do, and the only thing any outsider CAN do in a situation as is in Sri Lanka.
    It comes down to the following bottom line:
    Most Sinhala-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist. They do not want Human rights, Rule of law or Democracy. Basically they do not want to live decent, civilized, responsible lives as world citizens. All what they want is to live in a society where their bigoted, racists views are held supreme and thus keep electing their despot leaders.
    If ‘Sri Lanka’ want Human rights, Rule of law…..and all that decent people the world-over cherish, SRI LANKANS should take the initiative and demand this from their own corrupt government. If they just sit around winging and not take any action, and expect the US or the International community to do the hard work for them, it will never happen. The US and others can only offer HELP and ASSISTANCE for Sri Lankans to achieve these things but cannot make it happen.
    So for starters, on the issue of War crimes, let us see Sri Lankans (at least most of them, including the Sinhala-Buddhist), call for an inquiry into and prosecution of War Criminals within their own ranks and take to the streets.

    • Off the Cuff

      “Most Sinhala-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist”

      An irrational bigot calling himself a rationalist?

      • Hikz

        Seems to be a trend. Like the LTTE stooges trying hard to rebrand themselves as ‘human rights defenders’ ever since the Nandikadal episode.

      • Rationalist

        Off the cuff,
        Before you react with innuendos based on assumptions, think about the statement “Most Sinhala-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist”. And then if you have reason to disagree with it, state your reasoning and make your case. That is the meaning of Rationality, and the way a “Rationalist” would debate.
        From your comment, it is obvious you are not one of them.

        • Happy Heathen

          Rationalist
          02/03/2013 • 4:10 pm

          Notwithstanding my disagreement with most of what OTC has written, your argument is inherently flawed.

          “Most Sinhala-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist”

          Without providing a shred of evidence to back up YOUR CLAIM, you are asking someone else to disprove it!!! (how convenient)

          Do you have any proof of this as the burden of proof squarely lies on you?
          Percentage? Any peer-reviewed articles? References?
          You have come up with solid evidence to prove that at least 51% of Sinhala-Buddhist are racists.

          (Logic 101)

          The GOD exists, please disprove….!!!! and they say we live in an age of reason…what a load of crock.. we live amongst the erudite members of Flat Earth Society.

          Now back to normal transmission…..

          • Off the Cuff

            Happy Heathen,

            Thank you.

            Please let me know when I go wrong with my arguments. I always apologise and change my views if I am proved to be wrong. Some time back I thought the Thesawalami Law was inherently racist. After engaging in a debate with Burning Issue (which made me research case law) I found a Supreme Court decision which argued counter to my long held belief. Since then I have changed my views about the legal aspect of Thesawalami.

          • Rationalist

            HappyH,
            If you are aware of the history of this country, and how the Sinhala-Buddhist mindset was developed, you would not be still asking for evidence that the “majority of the Sinhala-Buddhist are racists”. The evidence has been glaringly obvious to any rational person.
            FYI here is a short list of evidence:
            - Duttugamunu is the greatest hero of the Sinhala-Buddhist. Why is he considered great? Because he is a SINHALESE who defeated a Dravidian. Duttugamunu did not go to war with Elara because Elara was unjust or was a tyrant. The only reason was that Elara was not a Sinhala king. Even today the Sinhala-Buddhists teach their children, that this racist king Duttugamunu as the biggest hero in history.
            - Even in the 20th century Anagarika Dharmapala (another with completely racist attitudes) tapped on to this racists attitudes of the majority Sinhalese to fuse Sinhala with Buddhism. He is also considered as another great hero by the racists Sinhala-Buddhist majority.
            - Since independence, there was the ‘kallathoni’ issue and racism and racists values of the majority Sinhala-Buddhist, were again fanned to discriminate against the Tamils.
            - Then we had the racists Sinhala-Buddhist majority elect a leader who promised them superiority over other races, with ‘Sinhala only’ official language and Sinhala thugs killing and burning Tamils with impunity.
            - In 1972, more racists values were incorporated (with the majority Sinhala-Buddhist approval) into a new Constitution giving more superiority to the Sinhala-Buddhist over others.
            - 1983 saw the racists Black July events, again with impunity and even sanctioned by the majority Sinhala-Buddhist elected government.
            - The 2009 saw the racists massacres in the Vanni, again with majority Sinhala-Buddhist approval and commendation.
            - Today, now that the Tamils are vanquished, we see the racists majority Sinhala-Buddhist turning against the Muslims.

            It is no accident that these crimes are committed by the racist leaders in power, who have throughout the history of Sri Lanka, used the mandate given to them by the MAJORITY RACIST Sinhala-Buddhist. It has always been that every leader who ever came to power, did so by appealing to the Racists attitudes of the majority of the Sinhala-Buddhist.

            And you still keep asking for evidence to show that “majority of the Sinhala-Buddhist are racists”?

          • Happy Heathen

            Rationalist
            02/04/2013 • 1:55 pm

            Typical mindless meandering……

            None of your gibberish statistically prove 51% of the Sinhala-Buddhists are racists and last thing I need is a history lesson form an irrationalist.

            Furthermore “If you are aware of the history of” the world, MOST of the incidents you pointed out are common to MOST countries including the West. A classic example is the good people of Switzerland voting to ban the construction of Minarets in 2009. Are you saying that MAJORITY of the Swiss people are racists? (BTW the co-relation between morality and democracy is yet to be established)
            Therefore according to your ‘rational’ argument we can conclude that MAJORITY of the people in the world are racists and ironically that may include you, me and MAJORITY of the Tamils!!!

            Either you statically prove that 51% of the Sinhala-Buddhist are racists or just refrain from making bigoted comments.

          • Rationalist

            HappyH,

            Do you even realize you are describing your own country’s history as ‘gibberish’? I am assuming with good reason that you are a Sri Lankan and a Sinhala-Buddhist, because your comments are typical of most Sinhala-Buddhist Sri Lankans.
            Of course, with your unintelligent back ground, you are correct to describe your country’s history as “gibberish”, as you Sinhala-Buddhist consider the “Mahavamsa” as your history, and that certainly is “gibberish”.

            And just because you have learnt to utter a few words in English, you don’t seem to even know the meaning of them. You are going on about “statistically proving”,- there is no such thing as “statistically proving”. You can only statistically infer. Even to do that, you would have to ask people to state if they are Sinhala-Buddhist or not, when they vote.
            In order to say “Most Sinhala-Buddhist are Racist”, all you have to understand is that, each and every time the “Sinhala-Buddhist” in this country voted for politicians who played the racist card. It has happened in the past, it is happening today and there is no reason to believe otherwise in the future, as long as the majority of “Sinhala-Buddhist” remain in denial.

          • Gamarala

            Happy Heathen,

            Although it’s not clear to me either why rationalist calls himself such, I do not agree with your contention that it is necessary to prove that 51% of Sinhala-Buddhists are racists. As I wrote elsewhere <see link>, and from which I quote:
            “it is not possible to prove, by any imaginable means, that 51% or above of Sinhalese people, must be racist, as Happy Heathen has suggested elsewhere. Not only is this not a relevant question – it would be impossible to prove even if it were true! The reason is the absence of mind-reading devices that would put an exact figure on this, or even a poll for which one could expect a binary answer for the question: are you a racist? It is not a binary proposition after all.

            It is however, easily possible to demonstrate that the history of Sri Lanka shows a definite majoritarian trend, again a matter which is not disputed by serious scholars, no matter how intense the tantrum Off-the-Cuff throws. The events of ’58, ’83 and of late, the extremism of the BBS, also show that the level of extremism in society is sufficiently high for this to be a definite, persistent problem.”

            Therefore, the question of whether greater than 51% of the population is racist has no relevance, if the net result is equivalent to 51% of the population having exactly such sentiments. It is a big enough problem that we must take it seriously, and consider seriously why there is insufficient societal resistance on this issue.

          • Gamarala

            Happy Heathen,

            I must add one caveat. I cannot speak for rationalist, but I obviously do not believe that there is some natural irredeemability about the Sinhala polity or any other polity for that matter – any political ideology can change – including militant Buddhism, militant Tamil nationalism etc. For example, the Sinhala polity moved away from bending to the will of extremists during CBKs time for example, when there was considerable support for a political solution.

            But my point is simple – there is undeniable evidence that there is a very real, recurring problem with the Sinhala polity of which a concrete side effect is racism – and without acknowledging and dealing with this fact, there will be no solution to the problem.

        • Off the Cuff

          Rationalist,

          You say “Before you react with innuendos based on assumptions, think about the statement “Most Sinhala-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist”.

          I suppose that PUTRID statement of yours was handed down to you by God and hence does not need Justification when you write it?

          You definitely exhibited that you are a Racist Bigot when you went to print with such a putrid statement without a shred of evidence to support it. Hence I made no assumptions, nor did I use innuendo, when I called you an irrational bigot calling himself a rationalist

          You say “And then if you have reason to disagree with it, state your reasoning and make your case.

          Have you made a case for your Bigoted contention?
          I dont see that you have.

          You say “That is the meaning of Rationality, and the way a “Rationalist” would debate.From your comment, it is obvious you are not one of them”

          You seem to have a perverted meaning of Rationality.
          Make an irrational and bigoted statement sans fact.
          When the bigot is called a bigot,cry about the absence of argument.
          The tragedy is that, the bigot cannot recognise that he is also irrational in addition.

          University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) consisting of Ratnarajan Hoole, Daya Somasundaram, K.Sritharan and Rajani Thiranagama (All of them Ethnic Tamils), used the following extract from the book “Sri Lanka: The Holocaust and After,” by L. Piyadasa, Marram Books, London (1984) in their report.

          Extract
          In Kelaniya, Industries Minister Cyril Mathew’s gangs were identified as the ones at work. The General Secretary of the government “union” the Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya (J.S.S.) was identified as the leader of gangs which wrought destruction and death all over Colombo and especially in Wellawatte, where as many as ten houses a street were destroyed. A particular U.N.P. municipal councillor of the Dehiwela-Mount Lavinia Municipality led gangs in Mount Lavinia. In the Pettah (the bazaar area, where 442 shops were destroyed and murders were committed) the commander was the son of Aloysius Mudalali, the Prime Minister’s right-hand man. And so on. Thugs who worked regularly for the leaders of the U.N.P., the Ministers of State and Party Headquarters, and in some cases uniformed military personnel and police, were seen leading the attack. They used vehicles of the Sri Lanka Transport Board (Minister in charge, M. H. Mohammed) and other government departments and state corporations. Trucks of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation’s Oil Refinery came from many miles away bringing the men who destroyed so much of Wellawatte. There is much other evidence of this sort. In view of the quasi-governmental nature of the “action,” the killings that took place may have been difficult for the eye-witnesses to resist …………. But in the neighbourhoods, after the initial shock, Sinhalese and Burghers organised themselves and kept off the gangs who had been sent to burn and kill.
          End extract

          Note the emphasised text.

          Does that describes the actions of a society Pervaded by Racism?

          Prove that Dr. Rajasingham Narendran, a Tamil victim of 1983 riots is a Liar, to have acknowledged on Groundviews, that he was protected by the very Sinhalese that you claim is Racist to the core.

          The above is a part of a comment that I made in response to Gamarala, who came in support of Dr. Suren Raghavan, who like you, tries to vilify the Sinhalese and the Buddhists by using the actions of fundamentalist, to tar the Sinhalese society and the Buddhists. Apparently both of them have similar bigoted views as you. That debate is still on going at http://groundviews.org/2013/01/15/bodu-bala-sena-and-buddhisms-militant-face-in-sri-lanka/#comment-50630

          • Rationalist

            Off the Cuff,
            Your comments reflect the typical attitude of an emotional Sinhala-Buddhist. Whenever they are confronted with hard facts showing the racists side of their character, they react with emotionally charged denials, and try to divorce themselves from the reality.

            But remember, even if YOU are not a racists, you cannot deny the fact that “MAJORITY SINHALA-BUDDHISTS ARE RACIST”. These facts have been right in front of your eyes for decades, but you cannot see them or do not want to see them.

            Please see my reply to Happy Heathen above, to refresh yourself with the facts of history.

          • Off the Cuff

            Rationalist,

            You have proved nothing other than that my first observation was on target. Without prancing around like a headless cock Prove your bigoted irrational statement.

            You say “Your comments reflect the typical attitude of an emotional Sinhala-Buddhist. Whenever they are confronted with hard facts showing the racists side of their character, they react with emotionally charged denials, and try to divorce themselves from the reality.”

            Oh so when you can’t prove what you say I am accused of being emotional? Don’t worry about my emotion. Answer my post RATIONALY.

            If you had hard facts you would have placed them on the Table by now.
            I don’t see any and I don’t envisage you being able to do so now or in the future. But you are welcome to prove me wrong.

            You say “But remember, even if YOU are not a racists, you cannot deny the fact that “MAJORITY SINHALA-BUDDHISTS ARE RACIST”. These facts have been right in front of your eyes for decades, but you cannot see them or do not want to see them”

            I have already challenged your position.
            That means I have not only denied it but have also rejected it completely.

            I will ask you again.
            Prove your Bigoted Racist statement.

            I have read your irrational reply to Happy Heathen and the appropriate counter response He/she had made. The rejection of your ramblings has been done effectively and I do not see the need to add anything to it. But let me give you a hint.

            When the Colonials brought Indian Labour to this country the Local Tamils found they were outnumbered by the Indians. Were these Indians treated as equals by the Local Tamils?

          • Rationalist

            Off the Cuff,
            In answer to your comments, some of the same answers I gave to HH is appropriate. Here it is again for your benefit:
            - In regards to your request “to prove that the MAJORITY SINHALA-BUDDHISTS ARE RACIST”
            History has shown that each and every time, the “Sinhala-Buddhist” majority have acted with their emotional racists element as the major driving force in their decision making (that’s the REASONING that you completely fail to see). If the Sinhala-Buddhist and their apologists, keep going on saying ‘prove we are racists’, ‘disprove the Americans or the Swiss are not racists’ and live in Denial of their own faults and shortcomings in their character, there can be no progress.
            PROVING THAT SINHALA-BUDDHIST ARE NOT RACISTS, IS UP TO THE SINHALA-BUDDHIST THEMSELVES, by their own deeds.
            - In regards to your comment, “I have already challenged your position. That means I have not only denied it but have also rejected it completely”.
            May I ask you Sir, who gave you the authority to deny or reject this on behalf of the Sinhala-Buddhist? Or are you the ‘self-appointed spokesperson/defender’ on behalf of the Sinhala-Buddhist? When you react to a statement (without seeing the REASONING), about the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ group, and talk as you are representing their whole groups’ opinion, then EITHER the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ group members have given you the authority to do so, OR you are so emotionally affected, you have appointed yourself to defend them. That Sir, is Emotion and NOT RATIONALITY.

            You are doing exactly what the other ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ group, the BBS thugs are doing, considering themselves to be self appointed defenders of all “Sinhala-Buddhist” (whether ALL “Sinhala-Buddhist” want it or not).

          • http://brainoil.wordpress.com sharanga

            Probably the first thing any aspiring rationalist should do, is not using the word rational to describe his thoughts unless it is absolutely necessary. Certain rationalist masters I know stress this point. Calling his beliefs rational, blinds a person to their irrationality.

            Having said that, I have to say they too think most Sinhala-Buddhists are racists. I don’t have any statistical data. It’s impossible to have statistical data on those kinds of things. All I have is anecdotal evidence. From what I know from interacting with Sinhalese-Buddhists, yes I do think they are racists.

            That racism is not like the racism in Western countries. Sihalese people don’t take one individual, and treat him badly because he’s of a different race. But they have pretty bad attitudes towards other races. What about “Muslim gandha”, for example?

            I don’t think they are any more racist than say, Tamils, or Muslims. But they do have a strong sense of race, of ingroup vs outgroup, and they do have the misguided idea that they are somehow special, and that others, especially none-white races are inferior to them (whites they either love them or hate them).

            And it’s not surprising. It’s not as if any liberal revolution akin to the one in 60s USA happened here.

          • Off the Cuff
    • Thambi

      You are right, Rationalist. We hate tamils for all the crap they’ve done against Sri Lanka and continue to do and think they are a joke. We don’t have anything against the Muslims or any other group though.

  • Leelananda

    Definitely it will be a very weak resolution.
    It will not achieve any thing and it will lead to nowhere.
    Srilanka knows this very well does not have any concern at all.
    This an eyewash from US.

    DID ANY THING HAPPEN AFTER THE LAST RESOLUTION. NO NOTHING.

    Same this time as well.

    leel

  • Lanka Liar

    Gibson
    Typical Sri Lankan argument “If somebody killed someone somewhere sometime ago what is wrong in Sri Lankan killing somebody” – Ma Hinder Chindanaya 1.00.01.

    A better argument would be If Polt Pot could kill why not Sri Lankans.

  • Gordon Richens

    The West bankrolled Prabhakaran and did their best to save his life even as his fighters shot Tamil women and children as they tried to flee toward SL Army lines. Their resolution will only remind anyone who paid attention of this.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    Gibson Bateman is right about “GOSL blatantly lying to people about implementation of LLRC.” If we all agree on that I wish to ask what I have always been longing to ask: Is the International Community gullible or is it just merely pursuing its own selfish agenda where Victims’ interests or the concept of justice or impunity are inconsequential!

    • Off the Cuff

      Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

      You ask “Is the International Community gullible or is it just merely pursuing its own selfish agenda where Victims’ interests or the concept of justice or impunity are inconsequential!”

      A cursory look at the Iraq war should have given you the answer

      Some were gullible enough to believe Iraq possessed WMD. Even before the war started secret meetings had been held on how to control Iraqi oil by the “gullible”.

  • Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah

    “Would the US really be pushing for another resolution if the Chief Justice had not been impeached?”asks Bateman. Wasn’t 40,000 (70,000? 146, 000 died?) deaths “reason enough” asks Kenneth Roth (HRW) and I wondered about it too!!!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (sic),

      You say “Wasn’t 40,000 (70,000? 146, 000 died?) deaths “reason enough” asks Kenneth Roth (HRW) and I wondered about it too!!!”

      Are those numbers within brackets authored by Kenneth Ross or Dishonestly introduced by you?

      Can you give us a link to prove Kenneth Ross wrote what you claim he wrote?

      Can you prove this continually expanding an perpetualy elastic death figure of 7,000 to 20,000 to 40,000 to 70,000 to 146,000 instead of keeping us WONDERING Usha?

      Hopefully you have the Facts.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Usha S Sri-Skanda-Rajah of the TGT Eelam (sic),

      What is the delay in posting the link to prove Kenneth Ross of HRW wrote what you claim he wrote?

      Is it because you don’t have any proof?

      Did you Lie, Usha?
      Did you Distort what Kenneth Ross wrote?

  • Patriot

    I think the GOSL needs a better foreign policy than “America is stupid, and doesn’t know how to count”.

    I actually believe the Americans are quite smart. I agree with Gibson that a resolution similar to last year will be considered a win by the GOSL. However, the very fact that the US had a press conference in SL prior to the UNHRC is to prep the GOSL and the Sinhalese masses for bad news. There is no necessity to prepare someone if you plan to give them good news. I also believe that the Americans are quite capable of counting. Just like last year, if they didn’t already have the required votes to pass their resolution they would not have made the visit to SL.

    I expect a resolution that will be a significant escalation from last year.

  • Arvind Arasu

    Dear Off the Cuff,

    40,000 is the no figure for the people killed in the last 2-3 months alone of the 30 year old military warfare.

    Tamils were subjected to ethnic cleansing and genocide much before the formation of the LTTE resistance, no of Tamils killed across the full length of the civil war would exceed 100,000.And that excludes the LTTE soldiers, and the civilians who had been blacklisted and murdered by the Sri Lankan army for being related to them.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Arvind Arasu,

      According to the US Foreign Relations Committee the 30 year war caused 60,000 casualties.

      Possibly you have better intelligence than the Americans. Why don’t you upraise us and the US Congress?

      BTW, LTTE had Terrorists not soldires.

      • Mapa

        Of the scarf,

        “BTW, LTTE had Terrorists not soldires.”

        Why do you say so?

        Thanks!

        Mapa

        • Off the Cuff

          You ask “Of the scarf, “BTW, LTTE had Terrorists not soldires.” Why do you say so?”

          Hello Mapa darling,
          Long time no see.
          Tut tut …its bad manners to barge in on an adult discussion.
          Didn’t your mother tell you that child?

          Your debts have been mounting with a trail of unanswered posts.
          I doubt you would understand, even if I tell you.
          Perhaps we can discus, after you outgrow the bottle and the soother.

  • Happy Heathen

    Gamarala
    02/05/2013 • 12:55 pm

    I was not sure whether to write a reply to your comment as I must concede that I agree with the better part of your sentiments with some reservations.

    Many of Sri Lanka’s ills since independence could be attributed to racism (both Sinhala and Tamil). But that does not mean majority are racists. It could very well be a silent majority who are racists or a very vocal minority.
    My humble opinion is that no one can say that either is true in a definitive way, hence my original argument. Furthermore I do share your concern about the silent majority. However, that does not make the majority complicit in racism automatically.

    Furthermore the majoritarian trend you pointed out (rightly so), cannot be simply reduced to racism. There are many external and internal factors contributing to such phenomenon such as inherent ethno-socio-political insecurities, erosion of religious authority, globalization etc……. I personally believe that it’s an effect of introducing a Utopian system like Democracy in a tribal and semi-feudal society like Sri Lanka. (Refer Rationalist’s comment on my ethnicity and religion!)

    The events of ’58 and ’83 are certainly racist, however there is no indication that majority participated in the carnage. Furthermore, I personally believe Sri Lanka lost its innocence in ’71 and ’87-89 not in ’58 or ’83. The Tamils got a ‘better deal’ compared to how Singhalese Buddhists were slaughtered in 87-89!

    The rise of conservatism and/or religious-right is not a local phenomenon, but a global threat. Even the Barbie dolls grew bigger boobs (looked more feminine) during turbulent times when people became, religious, conservative and myopic. However, none of that points to majority being racist or non-racists for that matter.

    Having said all that, one could also notice that JHU has lost its ground politically/electorally over the years since its inception. Does that mean we have become more civilized and less racist? Of course not and I’ll go one step further and say that with the conclusion of the war Sri Lanka has become more racist, chauvinist and myopic and that is a real problem! But calling majority of Sinhala-Buddhists as racists will lead nowhere!

    We’ve got a real problem of masses (both Singhalese and Tamil) tolerating violence and racism is only a part of it. (Refer my comment on ’71 & ’87-89)

    But I am more optimistic than you…..thinking that majority could be swayed (yes either way) as during CBKs time, but then again who derailed it?

    • Off the Cuff

      Gamarala did not refer to a simple majority. He referred to a society pervaded by Anti Tamil racist sentiment. Thus according to him the Sinhalese who constitute the overwhelming fabric of Society was openly or secretly Racist. Hence if you spoke to 10 people on the street at least 7 of them would have anti Tamil sentiment. It was averred that living memory and documented history supports the contention of an anti Tamil sentiment pervaded Racist society. However when called upon to deliver the evidence, documented history and living memory vanished.

      Strangely, this Anti Tamil sentiment Pervaded Sinhala society, together with Burghers, protected the Tamils in 1983 by facing enraged govt sponsored killer squads. These sentiments were subscribed to by the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) consisting of Ratnarajan Hoole, Daya Somasundaram, K.Sritharan and Rajani Thiranagama (All of them Ethnic Tamils) in one of their regular reports.

      “…… But in the neighbourhoods, after the initial shock, Sinhalese and Burghers organised themselves and kept off the gangs who had been sent to burn and kill.”
      “Sri Lanka: The Holocaust and After,” by L. Piyadasa, Marram Books, London (1984)

      A victim of 1983 race riots, Dr Rajasingham Narendran has also testified here on GV that he and his family was protected by the Sinhalese.

      Gamarala said “………… The reality was that anti-Tamil sentiments pervaded society, overtly or covertly, and this was the bedrock on which extremists flourished.” (copied and pasted from Gamarala’s post of 01/30/2013 • 6:41 am (http://groundviews.org/2013/01/15/bodu-bala-sena-and-buddhisms-militant-face-in-sri-lanka/#comment-50519)

      It is indeed sad to see, supposedly educated persons, throwing wild accusations or personal perceptions, couched in verbiage, that cannot be justified, when challenged.

    • Gamarala

      Happy Heathen,

      A very reasonable response and there’s nothing I disagree with in what you said. I think the confusion here stems from the following two possibilities.
      1. The people in Sri Lanka are racist
      2. The people in Sri Lanka are effectively racist

      Whether the or not the majority of Sinhalese are racist “in their minds”, is of little consequence – but the fact that the majority of Sinhalese – through action or inaction – is racist in effect – is a cause for concern. Regardless of whether it stems from “inherent ethno-socio-political insecurities, erosion of religious authority, globalization” – the end result is effectively – racism against our minorities. Mere denial of the type that a guy like Off-the-cuff indulges in, for reasons I’ve outlined here, is of no use to anyone either.

      That is not to say that Tamil or Muslim polities have been any less tribal and racist. We just need an active social campaign as well as education regarding these issues. It is imperative that we get to a state where racism carries a heavy social penalty. There should also be anti-discrimination laws enacted. None of these things can be done – because according to guys like Off the cuff – racism doesn’t exist among the majority of the Sinhalese, be it a real majority or an effective majority (although, in the same breath, he’ll readily write interminable rants on how a majority of Tamils are racist). How can you solve a problem – that doesn’t exist?

      • Off the Cuff

        Gamarala,

        You have made a slur and bragged about evidence that exists to substantiate it. Your bluff was called and the evidence has not been forthcoming for 8 consecutive posts.
        Did you expect your statements to go unchallenged in a Debate?

        Are you trying to salvage your bruised Ego by resorting to argumentum ad hominem? You are welcome to change the topic and try and prove what you say about me.

        You say “Mere denial of the type that a guy like Off-the-cuff indulges in,…”

        What has been denied is your claim of a Sinhala / Buddhist society pervaded by Racism. Not the existence of racism.

        You further say “It is imperative that we get to a state where racism carries a heavy social penalty. There should also be anti-discrimination laws enacted.”

        Fully agree with you.
        But was that under discussion?

        You further state “None of these things can be done – because according to guys like Off the cuff – racism doesn’t exist among the majority of the Sinhalese,…

        Either you are very cunning or you have a very serious language issue. Better get a good English tutor if it is the latter. Only a fool would say Racism doesn’t exist amongst the Sinhalese, the Tamils, the Muslims, the Burghers or any race you care to name anywhere in the world. It’s like saying no criminals exist amongst a race. I don’t know about you, but I am not that fool.

        The sentence Racism exists among the majority Sinhalese cannot be transformed in to the majority Sinhalese are Racists. The words may be similar but the meanings are poles apart.

        You also state “(although, in the same breath, he’ll readily write interminable rants on how a majority of Tamils are racist)”.

        Prove that attempted slur. It will also turn out to be a damp squib like your attempted slur on the Sinhalese / Buddhist society

        The honourable thing to do, is to admit the mistake and withdraw the statement. The heehawing for 8 consecutive posts prove you have no evidence. Whether you have the integrity to admit it and withdraw the attempted slur on Sinhalese / Buddhist society, remains to be seen.

        This is a literal translation of a Sinhala idiom that aptly describes your situation. A dog that defecates on a rock will struggle unsuccessfully to cover it up.

        In the past, you would have resorted to a childish display of playing with my Pseudonym. This time round you have learnt to restrain yourself which is admirable. Hopefully you will also learn to refrain from making inflammatory, unprovable, irresponsible statements, in a public debate in the future.

  • Happy Heathen

    Rationalist
    02/05/2013 • 8:47 pm

    See, the problem with you is that you assume too much…….

    Now, why would anyone with a rational mind assume that I am a Buddhist when my moniker clearly states I am a heathen (irreligious)? Unless, of course you are taking an ideological position and insinuating that all Buddhists are Heathens!

    Furthermore, if you are a regular here on GV, you should have seen my repeated posts calling (amongst other things) for abolishment of all organised religions and adoption of a secular constitution.
    Why would I shoot my own foot!

    ” Do you even realize you are describing your own country’s history as ‘gibberish’?” YES because;
    1. History is written through Victor’s point of view
    2. I don’t believe in imaginary geographical demarcations (i.e. countries) which are parochial and tribal to say the least!

    BTW what is wrong with Sinhala-Buddhists believing in Mahavamsa?
    Don’t Christians believe in the Bible? And the Jews believe they are the Chosen People as per Tora!
    If I am a Sinhalese-Buddhist as you claim, would I call Mahavamsa B.S.?
    Can you denounce Christ and still call yourself a Christian?
    You sir have a much skewed view of rationality!

    ” And just because you have learnt to utter a few words in English, you don’t seem to even know the meaning of them.”
    I’d let that pass as slur…….. When the so called rationalists are cornered they resort to ‘aimless meandering’ and personal attacks. Just like the religious bigots in http://groundviews.org/2013/01/15/bodu-bala-sena-and-buddhisms-militant-face-in-sri-lanka/

    “there is no such thing as “statistically proving” … ah..ha, then could I enquire as to how you come to conclude that “Most Sinhalese-Buddhist (majority in the country) are Racist”? Please don’t give me that old wife’s tale of Sinhalese chose government/…army etc…Who else is going to choose the Sri Lankan government if not for majority of Sinhalese! Martians?

    If you want to talk about history let’s do it in an inclusive manner without cherry picking the events that seems to support your argument.
    The Racist Sinhalese-Buddhist Army of Racist Sinhalese-Buddhist government elected by Racist Sinhalese-Buddhists butchered in excess of 80,000 Racist Sinhalese-Buddhist youth! (Refer my reply to Gamarala)
    I’ve never seen anyone calling a government being racist for killing their own constituency!!
    …oh but wait …I see pigs flying….:D

    • Rationalist

      HappyH,

      Firstly let me correct you on a few points.

      - “Heathen” is used for a person who ‘does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam’. So as you say All Buddhist can be classified as “Heathens”.
      - I am sorry I did not check to see what your background is before I replied. But even if I knew, I would reply to whoever, directly to the comments made by that person rather than what is appropriate for that persons’ background. Basically, I judge the ‘statements and comments people make’, and not the person per-se.
      - You ask ‘Who else is going to choose the Sri Lankan government if not for majority of Sinhalese?’ This highlights the point I am trying to make perfectly. If the majority Sinhala-Buddhist are not racists in their character, they would not (time and again) be voting for politicians who are playing the racists card. In Sri Lanka, each and every time the leaders were elected (by the majority Sinhala-Buddhist) because they promoted racists values. The ethno-religious element has been the decisive factor. In developed “Democracies” this is not the case i.e. Sonia Ghandhi in India, Barrack Obama in the US, Julia Gillard (who is an atheist) in Australia etc.

      So as you see, the problem to solve in Sri Lanka is for the majority Sinhala-Buddhists to acknowledge the emotional racists element in their character that has been the driving force in their decision making so far, to realize this as an undesirable characteristic, and work towards developing a Rational, more Democratic (by the way Democracy is not a numbers game, nor is it Utopian. It is the fairest/Just, PRACTICAL system we have today), Fair and Just outlook.

      If the Sinhala-Buddhist and their apologists, keep going on saying ‘prove we are racists’, ‘disprove the Americans or the Swiss are not racists’ and live in Denial of their own faults and shortcomings in their character, there can be no progress.
      PROVING THAT SINHALA-BUDDHIST ARE NOT RACISTS, IS UP TO THE SINHALA-BUDDHIST THEMSELVES, by their own deeds.

      • Happy Heathen

        Rationalist
        02/07/2013 • 12:45 pm

        I thought I’ll write you a brief concluding rejoinder……

        - “Heathen” is used for a person who ‘does not acknowledge the God of Judaism, Christianity, or Islam’. So as you say All Buddhist can be classified as “Heathens”.

        That depends on the dictionary you are referring to.

        “This highlights the point I am trying to make perfectly. If the majority Sinhala-Buddhist are not racists in their character, they would not (time and again) be voting for politicians who are playing the racists card.”

        Is there any reason to believe that Tamils and/or Muslims would act differently if they were the majority? Are the Tamil Nadu politicians more enlightened than their counterparts across the Palk Straights? Is G G Ponnambalam’s ACTC any different to JHU? What about Muslim Congress and TNA? Are you saying that Sri Lankan Tamils are more enlightened and liberal than the Singhalese?

        “ In developed “Democracies” this is not the case i.e. Sonia Ghandhi in India, Barrack Obama in the US, Julia Gillard (who is an atheist) in Australia etc.”

        No it is not…the pigs will fly the day when US chose an atheist as their President and/or a President with different religious persuasion. Australia is still struggling with a strong religious right and currently tinkering with Anti-Discrimination laws so the religious organizations could discriminate people based on their gender, marital status, sexual orientation etc. Furthermore, Australia is a well documented example of institutionalised racism in the world, and what about the appalling treatment of its indigenous people! (Perhaps you should read about the military occupation of indigenous people in Northern Territory)

        “Democracy is not a numbers game, nor is it Utopian. It is the fairest/Just, PRACTICAL system we have today), Fair and Just outlook.”
        Unfortunately it is (refer my post on Direct Democracy of Switzerland) in fact it is nothing more than a popularity contest. The average Joe is lead to believe that he is participating in the all important decision making process (but he is not!). Since we were talking about Australia, there was an interesting article written by Ross Gittins on The Age on how the democracy works …..http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-four-industries-that-rule-australia-20130205-2dwew.html.

        Furthermore, you have to establish the co-relation between Democracy and morality first to claim that it is a fair and just system. It will PERHAPS work in a homogenous society where the education and income levels remain high but not in tribal societies like Sri Lanka.

  • Arvind Arasu

    Daer sir,

    Once again even the people of the country have less idea of how many civilians lost their lives in the army’s drive in the last 3 months.40,000 have figured as identified bodies.Over 100,000 more remain to be accounted for.Can your intelligent US congress or the SL Army who are the current tyrants of the North and East provide us with the details of those valuable lives?

    LTTE Terrorists?Fine.What do you call the Sri Lankan Army who responsibile for the minimum 60,000(suppose your call was actually correct) civilian deaths, 50-75 times the no of deaths attached to LTTE’s back.

    Debating on LTTE’s and Sri lankan Army is another thing.I think you’d prefer to stick to views from the neutral side of the conflict.I don’t mind digging into history if its okay with you.I can prove you the legitimacy of LTTE’s resistance for all of ‘terrorism’ you can accuse them of.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Arvind Arasu,

      What do you call the Sri Lankan Army who responsibile for the minimum 60,000(suppose your call was actually correct) civilian deaths, 50-75 times the no of deaths attached to LTTE’s back

      It is best that you search for the Report of the US Foreign Relations Committee which was written after the conclusion of the war.

      The figure should be 70,000. apologise for the error. Please note that this is the estimated total for the 30 year war and includes Sinhalese civilian deaths, Tamil Civilian Deaths, other civilian deaths, Dead Soldiers and Terrorist deaths.

      The estimate is a far cry from those advanced by Usha of the TGT Eelam, Rayappu Joseph and others. Please also note that Usha has gone silent.

      You are welcome to prove the rubbery Tamil Civilian death toll if you can. So far ALL who tried failed.

      This is from the COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS, UNITED STATES SENATE, One Hundred Eleventh Congress, First Session, December 7, 2009 report

      Sri Lanka stands at a critical juncture in its efforts to secure a lasting peace. After almost three decades of separatist war, on May 17, 2009, the terrorist Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE or Tamil Tigers) officially conceded defeat. Two days later, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa declared total victory after government soldiers killed the Tamil Tigers’ leader, Velupillai Prabhakaran, and took control of the entire country for the first time since 1983. With an estimated 70,000 casualties over the years, it was a bitter and hard-fought victory, one of the few instances in modern history in which a terrorist group had been defeated militarily. President Rajapaksa framed the victory as part of the global fight against terrorism, declaring in a May 19 speech before Parliament, “Ending terrorism in Sri Lanka means a victory for democracy in the world. Sri Lanka has now given a beginning to the ending of terrorism in the world.”

      You say “Once again even the people of the country have less idea of how many civilians lost their lives in the army’s drive in the last 3 months.40,000 have figured as identified bodies. Over 100,000 more remain to be accounted for.Can your intelligent US congress or the SL Army who are the current tyrants of the North and East provide us with the details of those valuable lives?”

      40,000 identified bodies for 3 months of conflict?
      You must be having a lot of evidence that even HRW don’t have.
      Please go ahead and present them.

      BTW, the US congress is not mine and neither is the SL army!!!
      Of course all lives are valuable even the Tamils who were bumped off by the LTTE. Ever wondered why there were so many child soldiers some as young as 10 years?
      Was there a shortage of Men and Women?

      You say “Debating on LTTE’s and Sri lankan Army is another thing.I think you’d prefer to stick to views from the neutral side of the conflict.I don’t mind digging into history if its okay with you.I can prove you the legitimacy of LTTE’s resistance for all of ‘terrorism’ you can accuse them of.”

      Please go ahead and prove your side of the story.

  • http://sbarrkum.blogspot.com sbarrkum

    On and off you find these prolific apparently objective unbiased authors who write “scholarly” articles on controversial subjects such as Sri Lanka’s Economy and Human Rights.

    Arjuna Sivanathan was one such predicting the dire straits and collapse of the Sri Lankan economy. His pronouncements were given quite a good hearing based on his PhD and Masters in Economics from the University of Glasgow and experience Trading Corporate and Sovereign bonds and credit derivatives. Then it turned out Arjuna no longer worked in Investment Banking and was also a Executive member British Tamil Conservatives and had called for “Sri Lanka must be subject to a regime of punitive economic sanctions”. Suddenly his unbiased “scholarly” predictions were in question.

    New on the scene is Gibson Bateman who focuses on Sri Lankan Human Rights issues with many “scholarly” articles in the International Policy Digest, Foreign Policy Journal and GroundViews (Clicking on the links will list the articles. Foreign Policy Journal calls them “stories”)

    Gibson Bateman’s has written 15 articles over a period of 14 months (Oct 2011 to Dec 2012) makes one starts to wonder what motivates the man to this prolific authorship.

    So, lets start with what we know. According to Gibson Bateman’s LinkedIn profile he is a former Peace Corps volunteer (2001-2003) and an Independent Management Consulting Professional. The blurb heading his articles is that

    Gibson Bateman is an International Consultant based in New York City. He is a graduate of Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). Bateman has worked for leading NGOs in Latin America, Africa and South Asia.

    All well and good and impressive. However this does not answer the question what motivates Gibson Bateman to write 15 articles over a 14 month period and also visit Sri Lanka on a Tourist Visa from April 2012 to Jan 2013 (see these articles; Immigration Anxiety and Dengue Fever). To put it more crudely where is the money.

    The International Policy Digest and Foreign Policy Journal are online Journals that accept unsolicited submissions, are not peer reviewed and no compensation provided. So, these two publications are not really Main Stream Media (MSM) where you get paid for your journalistic efforts. Neither are they peer reviewed Journal. Truth be told International Policy Digest and Foreign Policy Journal are no different from GroundViews (but fancier names and US based) or a blog with multiple authors (but fancier website).

    Now we know that Gibson Bateman is very busy writing for a blog that calls itself a journal and provides no compensation. Real peer reviewed journal articles requires you to provide funding sources. International Policy Digest and Foreign Policy Journal are no better than glorified blog and requires no such disclosure.

    So how does Gibson Bateman fund his writing and travel to Sri Lanka. I doubt Gibson is going to give us full or for that matter partial disclosure. Given the tenor of Gibson Bateman’s articles I am sure your suspicions are no different from mine.

    I guess its a case of “Reader Beware” and “Beware of False Prophets”.

    • SIPA Alum

      For starters, as of the writing of your comment, Mr. Bateman had written more than 15 articles over the period you’ve cited, but I’m guessing you got that number from International Policy Digest. This is unfortunate, as it reveals – quite clearly – that you are willing to approach your own “research” with a lack of rigor and then make sweeping statements about a person you’ve probably never met. (I know he’s written more than 15 articles during that time period – which anybody could’ve find out by doing five minutes more of the “Google research” that you have just undertaken).

      In addition, why do criticize Bateman for writing “scholarly” articles when I can find no record of Mr. Bateman (or anyone) referring to his articles as scholarly? Nor do I see any evidence that Bateman portrayed publications in International Policy Digest (or anywhere else) as being different/better than Groundviews. Your references to peer-reviewed journals are completely irrelevant and reek of intellectual bankruptcy. I would encourage you to engage with Bateman’s analysis or (at the very least) the content of his articles, instead of just writing a hit piece against him. By writing such a comment and posting it on your “blog”, you look as intellectually bankrupt as you probably are.

      In addition, your “analysis” misses another big point: some people write because they like writing or because they care about the issues. A guy who is writing an article a month might be considered prolific, but he’s not necessarily being paid by the “LTTE rump” to destabilize the country…..

      Are you seriously claiming that Sri Lanka doesn’t have any problems when it comes to human rights, media freedom, governance, etc?

      Actually, the idea that anybody writing about “human rights” must have nefarious motives sounds a lot like the propaganda coming from the administration of his excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa.

      Now I will let readers draw their own conclusions.

  • Off the Cuff

    Rationalist,

    You wrote “In regards to your request “to prove that the MAJORITY SINHALA-BUDDHISTS ARE RACIST” History has shown that each and every time,…”

    Such as in the Elara case I suppose?

    You wrote “- Duttugamunu is the greatest hero of the Sinhala-Buddhist. Why is he considered great? Because he is a SINHALESE who defeated a Dravidian. Duttugamunu did not go to war with Elara because Elara was unjust or was a tyrant. The only reason was that Elara was not a Sinhala king”

    Congratulations, that was a convincingly Rational argument!
    Someone takes your home by force and you would retire without a fight to regain it!
    Your bigotry is so acute that it occludes your ability to think.
    A Racist can see only a Racist reason, even for a normal human reaction!

    From 544 BC to 205 BC (339 years) Sinhala Rule was broken only for 22 years in 237BC when Sena and Guttila (Tamil Chiefs and Horse dealers – 1st recorded Tamil rule) killed king Suratissa and usurped the Sinhala Throne. Elara a Chola Dynasty Tamil Prince, invaded Anuradhapura in 205 BC and ascended the Sinhala Throne in 205 BC reigning for 44 years. Dutugamunu defeated Elara and took back the Sinhalese Throne.

    Does that Prove he was a Racist?
    An irrational racist would call it that.

    Dutugamunu caused a monument to be built in honour of Elara.
    Even royalty would not go past without dismounting and paying respects.
    An irationalist would label that as Racist!

    “…. the “Sinhala-Buddhist” majority have acted with their emotional racists element as the major driving force in their decision making (that’s the REASONING that you completely fail to see).”

    Hmm again a rational argument amongst irrationals.

    South based political parties.
    Maha Sinhala Bumiputhra Party – Extreme Racist. Policies similar to Malasian Bhumiputra (Sons of Soil). completely rejected by Sinhala Polity
    Jathika Hela Urumaya – Unable to capture a majority of Buddhist votes. Unable to maintain what it captured.
    The above two parties are the Only political parties carrying the Sinhala Ethnic Label

    Sri Lanka Freedom Party – Composition Multi ethnic (Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil), Non Sinhalese elected from Sinhala Majority areas.
    United National Party – Composition Multi ethnic (Sinhala, Muslim, Tamil), Non Sinhalese elected from Sinhala Majority areas.
    Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna, Communist Party, Samasamaja Party etc does not have Ethnicity embedded in the party name.

    North and East based political parties.
    All Ceylon Muslim Congress
    Sri Lanka Muslim Congress
    Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal
    Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi
    Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization
    People’s Tamil Congress
    All Ceylon Tamil Congress
    Democratic People’s Liberation Front (PLOTE)
    Tamil National People’s Front
    Democratic Tamil National Alliance

    Quite a major driving force! Sans a single multi ethnic political party.
    But the Sinhalese who elect non Sinhalese are Racists and the Tamils and Muslims are not.

    “If the Sinhala-Buddhist and their apologists, keep going on saying ‘prove we are racists’, ‘disprove the Americans or the Swiss are not racists’ and live in Denial of their own faults and shortcomings in their character, there can be no progress. PROVING THAT SINHALA-BUDDHIST ARE NOT RACISTS, IS UP TO THE SINHALA-BUDDHIST THEMSELVES, by their own deeds”

    Hmm quite a Rational argument if made to an audience of irrationals.
    Ethnic Labeled parties proliferate in the North and East
    Tamil in the North and East, Muslim in the East.

    When the Majority of Tamils in the North and East support Racist Political Parties with racially coloured policies, what is left to prove?
    Have the Tamils of the North and East rejected Racist Parties like the South have rejected the Bhumiputhra’s and have moved away from the JHU?

    You wrote “May I ask you Sir, who gave you the authority to deny or reject this on behalf of the Sinhala-Buddhist?”

    Yes you may ask. If you think I need authorisation to reject your bigoted Racist comments you have another think coming. The fount of my authority is your bigoted drivel.

    You write “….. Or are you the ‘self-appointed spokesperson/defender’ on behalf of the Sinhala-Buddhist? When you react to a statement (without seeing the REASONING), about the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ group, and talk as you are representing their whole groups’ opinion, then EITHER the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ group members have given you the authority to do so, OR you are so emotionally affected, you have appointed yourself to defend them. That Sir, is Emotion and NOT RATIONALITY.”

    You have displayed an excellent ability to reason.
    Did you think that you have an unbridled license to spread your Bigotry in a public forum?
    You do have a perverted sense of Rationality and reasoning.
    Neither is second to your Bigotry.

    Sebastian Rasalingam grew up in Jaffna. After WW2 he moved to Mannar and later to Hatton where he married an Estate Tamil Lady and thence to Colombo. He now lives in Canada. This is what he writes on DBS Jayaraj.com

    The poor Tamils worked in the properties and homes of the upper-caste Tamils. We could not go in buses or attend school. Our very presence was ‘polluting’. When the buses were nationalized by SWRD, the CTB allowed anyone to travel in them. THAT angered the Tamil leaders. It was the Church that grudgingly opened doors very slightly to the oppressed Tamils by allowing them to learn English and read the Bible. In my young days I sat on the class-room floor or carried a low stool from class to class, as only the high castes could sit on chairs. The teachers treated me and another child like me as excreta and punished us for daring to be there. But, I thought that was the law – each had his station in life.

    When I moved to Hatton and later to Colombo, I found a very different world. It was a transforming experience for me and my wife to find that our workmates, mostly Sinhalese would actually sit with us and share a cup of tea. We found that we could go to night school and study without being threatened, beaten up, or go and borrow books, and do things that would bring swift retribution ‘back in the North’; our dwellings would have been torched and our women raped with impunity.

    This was in the late 1950s, when, RMB claims, the Sinhala Bill was introduced to ‘hurt the Tamils’. There were far more horrendous things going on in Tamil society. Young Tamils knew nothing about the South and everything they knew was what they heard from their ruling masters and poisonous propagandists. We implicitly obeyed our Periya Dorays and the Tamil pamphlets told the ‘truth’ – the Cingala were our enemies.

    Language is NOT the reason why the Tamils of the North were USED by the Tamil leaders living in Colombo in their struggle. The land-owning, mostly non-Hindu, Anglicized, religiously-neutral or ultra-caste-conscious Tamils of a previous generation had much to lose. They wished to retain their land within the oppressive and profitable norms as in colonial times. The Donoughmore Reforms, with universal franchise was the first frightening volley loosening the power in their hands. The equal seating in the CTB after the bus nationalization in 1956 was an unbearable insult by SWRD. The tarring of the Sri signs on buses and cars was the swift reaction.

    The proposal for Eelam, and ‘devolution’ as the next best thing were valid objectives for the pre-Prabhakaran Tamil leaders. Tamil land owners could run ‘their’ land as they wished. But Prabhakaran had no use for the Colombo Tamil leaders and their dreams. So, he killed a few and the ‘leaders’ shamelessly gave in, ignoring the dead. The first informants against Prabhakaran were the socially disadvantaged Tamils. They were hung on lamp-posts as a lesson to ‘traitors’. The LTTE became the new Periya Dorays.

    Writing in Transcurrents he says

    As Dr. Jane Russell, the British historian has noted, the Tamil politicians have exploited the Elara-Dutugamunu story even more than the Sinhalese. It was G. G. Ponnambalam who brought the Mahavamsa into modern politics in the 1930s, claiming that it was a false piece of propaganda, and in the next instant claiming that it was really a history of the Tamils, with the aboriginal Veddas taken to be Tamils, Vijaya transmuting into Vijayan, Kasyapa into Kasi-Appan and Parakaramabahu a 66% Dravidian. He went on to incite the Sinhalese in Navalapitiya for the first Sinhala-Tamil riot in 1939! George Willy is unwittingly or wittingly playing the old fiddle of G. G. Ponnambalam.

    ….. But the bottom line is, unlike the Hispanics of America, or the Jews of new York, who worked for their communities without provoking the majority, our political leaders were self-serving lawyers like Ponnambalam and Chelvanayagam who pursued the creation of their own impossible dreams of kingship while putting into harms way, the poor and under-privilaged. If they wanted a proper settlement, they should have cooperated with SWRD Bandaranaike from the 1930s onwards, when there were many efforts, even by Banda himself, for fedaralism etc. Even in 1956, I think Banda used “sinhala only” as an opportunistic slogan. If the Tamil leaders had joined Banda’s government which was really an anti-colonial movement(expunging colonialists and the JRJ-type confirmed racists), as did Marikkar and other Muslims, the resulting good will would have lead to a happy federal settlement. BUt we even tar-brushed the “Sri” car plates.

    So the Ponna- or Chleva-Nagathana click never wanted to make such concessions, even with Dudley. It was Thiruchelvam’s influence that always led to some softer approaches.

    Any way, that was how I saw it, and I was in colombo in that era, working at Malay street, living among the Sinhalese. There, I realized that Sinhalese society was far fairer to me and my wife (Estate tamil from Hatton) than I had ever experienced, living among my “own people”.

    …. The LTTE war has produced some leveling and and an occasion to revamp, but at great cost. Women were NOT emancipated by Prabhakaran, but used as a weapon. The genocide was caused by Prabhakaran, and not by the SL government. Ask (privately) the millions of working, non-politicized Tamils living in the south, escaping the Prabhakaran genocide.

    Colomboherald.com

    As a UN member Sri Lanka upheld equal rights to all individuals and caste stood in the way of equal rights to all persons. Going by this commitment on 12 April 1957 the Social Disabilities Act No. 21 was passed in parliament. Tamil children of ‘lower castes’ could attend school regularly only after this act. People of ‘lower castes’ could participate in religious rites in Kovils without any disturbance from ‘high caste’ individuals. A reawakening happened in the north among previously marginalised Tamils.

    Christian groups spearheaded the movement to petition court on any alleged discrimination they came to know. However, it didn’t go down well among the Vellalar ‘high caste’ people. A number of ‘high caste’ Tamils were humiliatingly punished for caste discrimination. Resentment grew against the government. Tamil politicians sensed the double danger of dismantling the caste system and mainstream political parties penetrating into the Tamil community. They took up a racial slogan that pit Tamils against Sinhalese. It worked well in the short run as racial sentiments and fears were drummed up. In the short term it unified Tamils across the caste/region/class divide. Large scale protests, satyagrahas and demonstrations broke out. Ministers were mobbed, Sinhala letters were tarred over a petty issue (having a Sinhala letter instead of English letters in vehicle registration numbers) and a civil disobedience campaign was launched by Tamil race based political parties (Tamil Kachchi and Tamil Congress).