Sunday, November 8, 2009


We live in interesting times. Very interesting times. Even just waking up in the morning is a voyage of discovery, not knowing what the day brings! For here in Sri Lanka, everyday some tragi-comedy takes place in our little island! It's a reality show of the extreme kind - and every day, as yet another drama unfolds, we Sri Lankans have no idea whether to laugh or cry!

Take the happenings of last week, for instance. The whole of the country was speculating on many things, on many fronts. First, it was all about GSP+, with anybody and everybody jumping on the bandwagon. Then came the EU report. All sorts of allegations - facts be damned! After that the US report titled "Report to Congress on Incidents During the Recent Conflict in Sri Lanka", which also cites alleged crimes during the final stages of the war. All these intrusions were then forgotten with the talk of upcoming elections. What would come first, the Presidential or the General Election? If the former, then who would field whom to take on the President? Everybody in the country has an opinion on the merits and demerits of possible candidates, and this was the HOT topic till last Sunday, when we were astounded by the extraordinary news that a top official of this country has been summoned for a 'voluntary' interview with a superpower country whilst there on a brief visit, ostensibly to discuss events that took place during the last days of the war.

Which leads us to face the fact that having won the war against terrorism, it now seems that everybody out there is out to get us! For some bizarre reason, Sri Lanka, the little Pearl of the Indian Ocean now seems to be the centre of the Universe! Everybody from the North Pole to the South Pole is concerned about us. Whilst war rages and ravages in the continent just next door, all the nations responsible for these wars are now honing on our little country, hell bent on punishing us for 'winning' our war against terror!

We have won this war at great cost. The human cost of this three decade war alone is sufficient to justify any means to end the horrors that we had to live with for the past thirty years. Many young lives were sacrificed by both the parties to the conflict - so many bright young lights were extinguished before they had lived a full life. After thirty years of nonstop violence, someone had to take a tough decision to somehow conquer terrorrism, and standby that decision! This was a war that vested Western interests always tried to impress upon us that was 'unwinnable'. That the terrorists can never be defeated. The country as a whole was extremely fortunate to be led by persons who were determined to erase this menace, once and for all, from our soil. And it was this unity of purpose that guided us to victory, a victory never dreamt by the people of Sri Lanka.

Now five months have gone past. For many of us, it seems, that the hard won war is a thing of the past, and taken very much for granted. After all, we Sri Lankans are famous for having very short memories! But how could we forget the very recent past so easily? Have we forgotten the bad old days, when we would get out of the house in the morning, not knowing whether we would make it back home alive in the evening? How our hearts were in our mouths every time an explosion rocked the city not knowing who was hurt or killed?

Let me remind all those who suffer from a 'recollection disease' - a sort of 'selective loss of memory' where all the LTTE atrocities were concerned! * The Central Bank mega bomb. * The Dalada Maligawa bomb. * The Sri Maha Bodiya massacre. * The Kebitigollawa bomb. * Rows and rows of very young priests laid out in lines after the Arantalawa massacre, shot in cold blood. * One long trench dug to bury all those who died in the Kebitigollawa massacre. * Young schoolboys killed in the Fort railway station blast. * Three bus bombs in the South. These are but a few examples of attacks on civilians, on innocents. LTTE also targeted and killed most of our leaders. * From President Premadasa to former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar. And Indian President Rajiv Gandhi.

The list is endless.

But the LTTE is no more. Therefore, report after report emanating from the West chronicling atrocities and alleging war crimes to 'both' parties have no value. These reports demand that 'a full and independent investigation' be held so that those responsible can be 'held accountable'. A pretty lop-sided argument since one party accused of these crimes, is now for all purposes 'virtual'. After all, the Supreme Terrorist is dead. So are most, if not all, his top leadership. Then just how is one supposed to hold a full and independent investigation to find the LTTE accountable for thirty years of war crimes? Unless of course, those who funded terrorists are held responsible.

One fact is crystal clear. These reports, posing as 'balanced' accounts of what took place, become in reality, documents which allege atrocities and crimes ONLY against the State. Why is it that the Western powers are on a veritable witchhunt? Why is this little island of such paramount importance to the West? Why is it so important to destabilize Sri Lanka when we are just coming out of a thirty year war, instead of supporting us to get back on our feet?

We must realize that powerful nations will always try to strangle us economically, destabilize us politically, insert puppet regimes that they control and try their best to subjugate us in any which way they can! They will chase us, and hound us for alleged war crimes and accuse us of many atrocities. They will try their best to stop aid and withhold concessions, maybe just to get a few votes from their constituents!

Whatever their reasons may be, we have to beware. Be very aware. United, we won an unwinnable war. Let us not forget what we achieved at such a great cost to the nation. Let us not forget that Sri Lanka is on the brink of realizing her full potential!

The need of the hour is not to find a 'common' or the garden variety type of candidate for the Presidential election. The need of the hour is to unite, and fight the 'common' enemy.

For united we stand. Divided we fall.Let sanity prevail.

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