Colombo, Constitutional Reform, Foreign Relations, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War

Taking a page from Chechnya: Sri Lanka’s insincere constitutional reform and its apologists

[Editors note: This post which first came to me through Facebook was forwarded to Dayan for comment. His response follows. The emphasis at the end of the article is mine. It is hoped that Aacharya and Dayan will continue this debate along with others on this site, which is more open than Facebook to this type of exchange.]

The soon to come back home UN Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleke has repeatedly wrote about the Chechen (Chechnya) model (yes he loves Russia) for conflict resolution in Sri Lanka:

In a recent interview with David Blacker Dayan noted:

I have long advocated the Chechen solution — an all-out, combined arms war to destroy the terrorist militia, followed by the implementation of some form of autonomy and self-governance for the area and stabilization through the rule of an elected local ally. Our military victory has to be politically conserved and socially stabilised. That’s what my advocacy of the 13th amendment is about.

Earlier this year he wrote:

Do we attempt to imitate the Israelis and practice a policy of occupation, settlements and discrimination, triggering endless cycles of conflict, or do we follow the no less tough-minded but much smarter Russian leaders, who having had to smash the Chechen terrorist insurgency with untrammeled force, have since ensured a high degree of stability by devolving power to their Chechen ally the tough young Ramzan Kadyrov, and transferring enough economic autonomy to guarantee a surge of prosperity in Grozhny?

I excerpt this paragraph from the Times topic introduction to the Chechen issue from the New York Times:

Vladimir Putin anointed Ramzan A. Kadyrov as the region’s president; his father had held the post before being killed by rebels in 2004. Mr. Kadyrov crushed the rebel movement. He has strong support in Moscow, where he is praised for quelling the insurgency, rebuilding areas devastated by the war and rejuvenating the local economy. But he has also been the focus of widespread accusations of human rights violations.

Mr. Kadyrov has sought increased autonomy for Chechnya. That goal may be helped by the official end to Russian counterinsurgency operations, announced in April 2009, a move of at least symbolic value to Mr. Kadyrov.

The announcement also underscored his success in establishing a stability that has, among other things, allowed rebuilding to begin in the obliterated capital city of Grozny. But critics charge that the peace has been achieved through campaigns of unsparing brutality that have included widespread human rights violations.

The announcement did not mention troop withdrawals, though Russian officials said they would now have more legal leeway to scale down the number of federal military and security forces. While the violence in Chechnya has declined, however, the insurgents have not been completely routed, and it seems likely that many troops and security forces will remain there for some time.

I will leave it to my readers to draw the parallels to how GOSL is positioning its local allies in the East and now in the North. It does look like the Chechen solution is taking shape except that President Rajapaksha is trying to do it without giving away anything, not even as basic as the 13th Amendment. So Dayan who presses for it is sent home. Now at least Dayan should come out and say that he was wrong to have expected from this regime anything like even the 13th Amendment and hence that his support for the regime right from the beginning was wrong. He won’t.