Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The brave new world is leaving the Tamil separatists behind

H. L. D. Mahindapala

One week President Mahinda Rajapakse is sitting between India’s Prime Minister and Vice President at the closing ceremony of the Commonwealth Games. Within a fortnight he is sitting next to the Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao at the closing ceremony of the spectacular 2010 International Expo held in Shanghai. This is a vastly different scenario from that of William Hague, the British Foreign Minister, sitting in the high chair with a straight back and seating supplicant Ranil Wickremesinghe in the low chair as a well-trained, low-caste stooge of the white man.

The symbolism is significant: overnight Sri Lanka, under President Rajapakse, has earned a strategically important place in the new world order dominated by the emerging two Eastern giants, India and China. The West no longer counts as it did in the past. It is becoming increasingly irrelevant though it continues to make strident noises. For instance, the noises made by David Cameron, the British Prime Minister, in the House of Commons is nothing more than hot air. The House of Commons is no longer the commanding seat of power that shook the world. Once upon a time it consisted of formidable men whose word meant practically everything to at least half the world. Now it consists of vote-catching, unprincipled political pimps who insist that sovereign nations like Sri Lanka should do what they say and not do what they do. The Conservative Camerons and Labour Millibands have yet to learn that Britannia no longer rules the waves of the world.

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