Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Loose Lips Sink Ships

by Dr. Dasarath Jayasuriya
Executive Director
The Centre for Sustainable Future

Melbourne, Australia


The above phrase ‘Loose lips may sink ships’ was coined as a slogan during WWII as part of the US Office of War Information's attempt to limit the possibility of people inadvertently giving useful information to the enemy, thus subverting the cause of democracy fought for by the Nations patriots. The poster (shown above) widely distributed in the United States is also from that era. This catch-cry is highly applicable to the prevailing environment in Sri Lanka as she battles, not only the brutal Tamil Tiger Terrorists but also a number of other self centred entities surreptitiously destroying Sri Lanka’s hard fought independence and its democratic way of life.

The question amongst the citizenry is whether this relentless undermining of Sri Lanka’s credibility, record on human rights and independence is done unwittingly or for what ever the reason, knowingly. I believe it is the latter. In the case of Sri Lanka, the question is not whether ‘Loose lips might sink ships’ but that ‘Loose lips are torpedoing democratic Sri Lanka’s independence, thus compromising the freedom of its citizenry in perpetuity.

Prabakaran, the LTTE’s manic and despotic leader in his Mahaweer day speech made an impassioned plea to the international community that instead of isolating him, they should come to his rescue and create the external environment conducive to establishing his ethnically cleansed, racist, monolingual, despotic regime in the North and East of Sri Lanka. This begging for external interference is parroted further by B. Nadesan who said that “Tamil people must live with freedom in their homeland. Therefore, the international community must understand this, and immediately remove the bans it has placed on the LTTE and recognize the right of the Tamil people to live with self-determination in their homeland”. The hilarity of this ludicrous plea only has entertainment value except to note that Nadesan, once again is looking to the international community for salvation.

There has been stoic resistance to the thesis put forward by a number of countries such USA, Australia, France, Norway and the EU and organisations such as the UN, that the abrogation of the fatally flawed Cease Fire Agreement (CFA) by President Rajapaksa’s Government is regressive. Sri Lanka is also being battered by a troika of issues championed by the so called leading western democracies, namely violation of human rights, Media Freedom and the need for a political solution to the LTTE’s terrorist problem. Furthermore, a former Foreign Minister of Australia, Gareth Evans irresponsibly floated the Right to Protect (R2P) concept when he was given the opportunity to make last year’s Dr. Neelan Thiruchelvam memorial speech. Suffice to say that Dr Thiruchelvam was a victim of a LTTE suicide bomber and that Mr Evans, rather than protect the victims of terrorism laboured to justify the protection of the perpetrators of terror. Twenty five years of relentless terror, countless suicide bombs, assassination of political leaders, the possibility of infecting India, the suffering of the people and the globalisation of terror have all combined to focus the international community’s disproportional attention on Sri Lanka.

Almost beaten to the point of no return militarily, the LTTE is banking on the International Community’s intervention to reclaim even a modicum of respectability. Operatives in Sri Lanka are contributing to this LTTE cause wittingly through unsubstantiated accusations, political opportunism, false reporting, exaggerated statements and in some cases, blatant lying.

Recent examples of this blasphemous conduct include:

  1. Political opportunism: A case in example is the stance taken by political parties such as the TNA blaming President Rajapaksa’s government for the death of MP T. Maheswaran. The calls by the LTTE’s proxy were parroted by the UNP who considered it opportunistic to bolster its dwindling political capital. Investigations by IGP Victor Perera have concluded that the LTTE’s micro-pistol gang was responsible for killing Mr Maheswaran. However, why spoil a good storey by sticking to facts. The UNP-TNA alliance supported by a coalition of disingenuous NGO’s still continues to slander the Government blaming them for Maheswaran’s death hoping that some of the thrown mud will stick.

  2. Unsubstantiated accusations: Some elements of the Media in Sri Lanka continue to publish unsubstantiated scuttlebutt to denigrate Sri Lanka. Recently, The UNP charged in Parliament that high authorities of the government and the defence establishment had taken a decision to assassinate UNP MPs, Lakshman Seneviratne and Johnston Fernando. UNP Leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe said that these MPs are now in a dilemma whether they should risk heir lives by criticising the government or remain tight lipped ignoring all misdeeds. Some of the irresponsible Media sensationalised the UNP statement by heading their report ’Two MPs on Government’s Hit list’. Once again, one must be cognisant of the consequences of fuelling the fire by publicizing blatant lies which denigrate the Government and even the valiant armed forces falsely accused of colluding with the Government to kill opposition MPs.

  3. False reporting: Another sensational newspaper headline screamed ‘Sri Lanka loose voting rights at UNHRC’. This news item which was widely publicised by the pro-Tiger TamilNet was subsequently found to be malicious, misleading and inaccurate. A retraction was made by the Newspaper on the following day but by then, the horse has bolted from the barn. Perhaps the event was purposefully orchestrated to create a poor Human Rights image of Sri Lanka.

  4. Exaggerated statements: Foreign funded NGO’s have colluded to use the withdrawal of the Government from the fatally flawed CFA to paint a picture of gross violation of human rights. The National Peace Council leading the charge state ‘Only the International Community can make a difference’. They seem to suffer selective amnesia, forgetting the 5000 plus violations of the CFA by the LTTE including Hon. Kadiragarmar’s assassination. Emboldened, Elaine Pearson from Human Rights Watch, urge the International Community to establish a UN Human Rights country office in Sri Lanka.

  5. Misinformation: The Free Media Movement is neither a free nor a significant movement focused on media. Their sole purpose in life seems to be revolving around campaigning against the apparatus of the Government and the Minister for Mass Media. Releasing a statement it claims that a caller from the Kytes police station made a threatening phone call to E Saravanapavan, Managing Director of the Uthayan Newspaper requesting the cessation of publishing the newspaper with immediate effect. If the media is professional, they should have investigated first the authenticity of the so called ‘fact’ that the caller had identified himself to be from the Kytes police station (a dumb admission). Instead, they sensationalised the issue by releasing a media statement. The innuendo is that Sri Lanka’s police are involved and hence the Government is responsible. Probably next, the four charred bodies found in the Buttala jungle belonging to Hashish growers (dead in a gang dispute) too would be associated with the Government, attempting to further strengthen the case for international intervention in Sri Lanka under the pretext of protecting human rights.
It was President Dwight David Eisenhower, the 34th President of the United States of America who said, I quote “How far can you go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without?”

This is not a blind defence of the Government or an attempt to white wash its many failings. The country is threatened by unnecessary international interference. There are many opportunists praying for this hoping to capitalise from the resulting chaos. Do not aid LTTE’s last gasp desire willingly or unwillingly.

It is time for these anti nationalists to button their loose lips.

2 comments:

  1. This is a very good article we really do need to remove any form of terror activity and political support for terror. It would be wise to sweep Tamil Nadu. We also have to tell Australia, China, Nepal, Japan, US, UK, India, Pakistan and EU as well as UN, that India herself must make more effort to remove terrorists from India as in the past an enormous bind eye has been turned to terror activities and if this continues it may mean India being sanctioned and embargoed, as well as territories of India coming under Sri Lanka’s control. If India cannot look after themselves and their own people or have a problem looking after or controlling India’s people as is with these terrorists from Tamil Nadu, then we must, as they are killing the innocent population.

    These terrorists and political terrorists must be repatriated to India, as you have mentioned they wanted to set up an ethnically cleansed part in Sri Lanka, now they have been found out we must give what they desire and build a rehabilitation facility in India and then provide a Tamil only area in Tamil Nadu.

    Nice article, we have been sleeping for far too we are awaking.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a very good article we really do need to remove any form of terror activity and political support for terror. It would be wise to sweep Tamil Nadu. We also have to tell Australia, China, Nepal, Japan, US, UK, India, Pakistan and EU as well as UN, that India herself must make more effort to remove terrorists from India as in the past an enormous bind eye has been turned to terror activities and if this continues it may mean India being sanctioned and embargoed, as well as territories of India coming under Sri Lanka’s control. If India cannot look after themselves and their own people or have a problem looking after or controlling India’s people as is with these terrorists from Tamil Nadu, then we must, as they are killing the innocent population.

    These terrorists and political terrorists must be repatriated to India, as you have mentioned they wanted to set up an ethnically cleansed part in Sri Lanka, now they have been found out we must give what they desire and build a rehabilitation facility in India and then provide a Tamil only area in Tamil Nadu.

    Nice article, we have been sleeping for far too long :) we are now awaking.

    ReplyDelete