By: Raj Gonsalkorale
Hitler rose to power through the Nazi Party, an organisation he forged after returning as a wounded veteran from the annihilating trench warfare of World War I. He and other patriotic Germans were outraged and humiliated by the harsh terms of the Treaty of Versailles, which the Allies compelled the new German Government, the Weimar Republic, to accept along with an obligation to pay $ 33 billion in war reparations. Germany also had to give up its prized overseas colonies and surrender valued parcels of home territory to France and Poland. The German Army was radically downsized and the nation forbidden to have submarines or an air force. “We shall squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak!” explained one British official – The National World War 11 Museum, New Orleans.
Those who still hold the view that Hitler did the Germans a lot of good probably remember the above excerpt from the National World War 11 Museum, and not what is noted below by the same entity:
“Adolf Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany in 1933 following a series of electoral victories by the Nazi Party. He ruled absolutely until his death by suicide in April 1945. Upon achieving power, Hitler smashed the nation’s democratic institutions and transformed Germany into a war state intent on conquering Europe for the benefit of the so-called Aryan race. His invasion of Poland on September 1, 1939, triggered the European phase of World War II. During the course of the war, Nazi military forces rounded up and executed 11 million victims they deemed inferior or undesirable—‘life unworthy of life’—among them Jews, Slavs, homosexuals, and Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
Government in the dock despite LTTE atrocities
Reading through many articles written on the heels of the UNHRC Core Group attempt to blackmail Sri Lanka, and that is a word used by most writers, the opinion held by most Sri Lankans appears to be that despite the viciousness and brutality of the LTTE, and the thousands they killed, ordinary people, not just Sri Lankan or Indian soldiers, and politicians both Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim, and two Heads of State, and the gruesome practices they employed like using animals as fodder for their land mine target prices, it is the Sri Lankan Government that is in the dock for defending its people from these vicious monsters masquerading as freedom fighters.
No self-respecting and decent Tamil could condone the atrocities committed by the LTTE in their name, as they were not even remotely acceptable as what genuine freedom fighters would engage in. It is unlikely that most Tamils condone the activities of the LTTE, but perhaps are silent on them due to pressure exerted on them by the power groups within the diaspora, encouraged, supported and funded by some countries, and their agents in Sri Lanka. This enforced silence has contributed in a large measure to the inability of all communities to be more trusting of each other, and to engage in confidence building activities.
But SL governments cannot be excused
In saying this, Sri Lankan governments, past and present, religious leaders, civil society leaders, and the people at large, cannot be excused for not giving the empathy and the action that was needed when governments failed the Tamils, and in some instances, Muslims.
The worst mass-scale pogrom conducted against the Tamil people in 1983, planned and executed by sections of the then Government, was never investigated fully, and no one was brought to justice for that abhorrent crime against the Tamil people.
It took 21 years for a Sri Lankan Government, and finally, the one led by President Chandrika Kumaratunga to extend a long overdue apology in 2004 to the Tamil people and others who suffered on account of this horror that has blackened the name of the so called Buddhist nation. It is sickening that it took that long when it should have been done in 1983 itself. To date, no enquiry has been held and no one held accountable for this gruesome event, although many were and are aware that the planning and execution of that event was led by a senior minister in the then government who was very close to the then President himself.
Sri Lanka and its leaders failed the Tamil people
So, while it is a civic duty on the part of all Sri Lankans to defend itself against the planned UNHRC action as it is not based on facts, and it is based on innuendo and hearsay, and as it is being orchestrated to punish Sri Lanka for its friendship with China, Sri Lankans cannot overlook that its leaders and its people failed the Tamil people in 1983.
This goes for the enquiries launched after the war against the LTTE, the reports submitted and action begun in some cases, and nothing done in other cases. The LLRC report, its action plan begun during the Mahinda Rajapaksa Presidency, then aborted by the Sirisena/Wickremesinghe Government in 2015, the Paranagama report on Missing Persons, and its recommendations, again thwarted by Sirisena and Wickremesinghe, does not give confidence to the Tamil people that Sri Lankan governments are serious about addressing the trials and tribulations faced by them.
Those of us who are defending Sri Lanka’s right to defend itself against the bogus, self-serving interests of the Core Group and its sponsor, the US, cannot and should not pretend that the country has addressed the depravations heaped on the Tamil people by governments elected by the people to safeguard all people, not a section of them.
Condemning the LTTE is one thing, but not condemning Sri Lankan governments and its leaders for their inactivity is not another thing. It is the same side of the coin, not the other side of the coin.
UNHRC hell bent on punishing Sri Lanka
The Core Group of the UNHRC, directed by the US and UK, and aided and abetted by pseudo human rights champions like the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet “who has no clue of what happened in Sri Lanka and is relying on questionable ‘hearsay’ evidence” as a senior lawyer stated in an article published in the LankaWeb, are hell bent on punishing Sri Lanka for its independence and defence of its sovereignty.
The duplicity of these countries is clearly exposed when someone who was integral to the LTTE and its monstrous activity, and who led thousands of innocent Tamil children to slaughter, Adele Balasingham, roams free in the UK, protected by the UK. No charges have been laid against her by them. One wonders how Adele Balasingham sleeps in the night with such gruesome memories.
A person of eminence like Lord Naseby is not given even a scant hearing by the British Government as he has chosen to see both sides of this issue and chosen to defend Sri Lanka’s right to defend itself against vile terrorism, and against highly inaccurate and exaggerated reports authored by people who had not even set foot in Sri Lanka.
Making matter worse by turning to India
To make matters worse, Sri Lanka also appears to be heading back into a wolves’ den by calling on India to help defeat the motion before the UNHRC. India, the one country most responsible for the advent of Sri Lanka’s own Nazi party, the LTTE, and which again stood in the way of arresting LTTE Leader Prabhakaran in 1987, and calling an end to a mindless war that then went on for another 21 years, is now called upon to assist Sri Lanka. It is a black joke.
It is India which violated Sri Lanka’s sovereignty by dropping food parcels without any contact or reference or sanction from Sri Lanka in 1987.
As mentioned in Wikipedia, Steven R. Weisma, New York Times, in a report titled India airlifts aid to Tamil rebels stated that “on 5 June 1987, the Indian Air Force airdropped food parcels to Jaffna while it was under siege by Sri Lankan forces. At a time when the Sri Lankan Government stated that it was close to defeating the LTTE, India dropped 25 tons of food and medicine by parachute into areas held by the LTTE in a direct move of support toward the rebels. Further, the Sri Lanka Government accused that not only food and medicine but weapons were also supplied to the LTTE.”
Amateur foreign affairs officials and even a government that freed the country from this Nazi party and which should have learnt some lessons from the dark past, seems to be living in a cuckoo land if they seriously think India will provide support without extracting a huge price.
Sri Lanka’s future is with other countries and alliances
Sri Lanka’s future is with other countries and other alliances. It is not with the US, UK, and India. Their duplicity is surpassed only by their arrogance. Sri Lanka is vulnerable to these countries because of its geographical position. For this very reason, it should sign a defence pact with China, its friend, so that if ever threatened by this duplicitous trio, China will come to Sri Lanka’s aid. The time for pussyfooting is over, and talking nonsense like “we must be neutral” is over. No country is “neutral” in any sense of the word.
The price these three countries will extract for Sri Lanka’s “neutrality” will defeat the whole idea of neutrality. Sri Lanka will be beholden to them forever. Sri Lanka can be more neutral in reality by working with non-aligned countries and other friendly nations.
The US tried its best to intrude in Sri Lanka’s sovereignty through the MCC, ACSA and SOFA. Some are of the opinion that these are still very much alive and their objectives are being achieved by other means and with intrusive projects with other acronyms. It is an open secret that India is very much part of this trio and are doing their bidding surreptitiously and with cunningness that India is noted for. Despite the risks, it is time to end this game of poker and call their bluff.