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Sunday, 6 April 2014

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Opinion:

People will rally round Government to beat Western conspiracies


Former LTTE women cadres returning to their hometowns after completing rehabilitation programs conducted by the Government.
The scene after Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle died due to an attack by a LTTE suicide bomber.

The West has always exerted undue pressure on Sri Lanka before and after the defeat of the terrorism. During the 2006-2009 humanitarian operation, certain countries in the West shed crocodile tears on so-called civilian casualties while turning a blind eye on thousands of hapless civilians mercilessly killed due to LTTE's mass-scale bomb explosions.

They conveniently credited the bodies the LTTE terrorists killed in action as those of civilians. During the latter stages of the battle LTTE used cadres in civil so that their head bodies sans weapons could be tagged as those of civilians killed by the Security Forces.

The Tiger cadres had been given clear instructions to collect weapons and abandon the dead bodies of fellow cadres in civil attire.

That was an LTTE strategy to put the blame on the Security Forces and woo sympathy for the LTTE. It was with those bodies of the LTTE cadres that the West claims that a huge number of civilians had been killed during the final phase of the battle against terrorism.

Terrorists

But none of them would ever provide any concrete evidence to support that claim. If there had been such a large number of civilians killed during the confrontation, their kith and kin should be able to provide details of those persons as evidence. But hardly anybody had done so because they know that most of those people killed were LTTE terrorists.

If they provide such information, the names of the LTTE cadres among civilians would come to light.

In the guise of protecting human rights, certain Western countries try to meddle in internal matters of Sri Lanka, posing a grave threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The results of the recent Western and Southern Provincial Council elections is an ample proof that the masses still repose implicit faith in President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA Government. That is precisely why the people in the Western and Southern Provinces gave a landslide victory for the UPFA.

The decision of the voters sends a clear signal to the international community that the masses would approve the fearless foreign policy of the Government and that they would strongly rally round the President to beat all Western conspiracies.

Even after the defeat of the terrorism, certain Western countries and international organisations have exerted tremendous pressure on Sri Lanka, setting up impossible goals. They expect Sri Lanka to achieve miracles.

Demining

Yet, Sri Lanka has achieved world first. Resettling over 300,000 civilians rescued during the humanitarian operation in the North sets new world standards. No country after a conflict situation has resettled such a large number of displaced persons in double quick time. Hardly anybody in the West could see these positive developments. Instead, they continue to harp on the final stages of the battle.

The other most notable achievement is the demining of the LTTE-held areas. Sri Lanka was able to complete demining in human settlement areas in the shortest period of time on record

In fact, Sri Lanka heads the list of countries which had completed demining in areas earmarked for human settlement, and farming lands, within the shortest period of time under international standards in the aftermath of the elimination of terrorism. Over 1.1 million landmines and explosives that were strewn by the LTTE terrorists have been recovered by the Security Forces and other groups that were engaged in the demining program.

Thick jungles

Countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia have not yet been completely demined after several decades since the end of conflict in those countries. Yet, Sri Lanka has achieved something no other country could ever think of emulating.

Sri Lanka was able to demine areas for human settlement and their farming lands a hundred percent and there is only 82 square kilometers to be demined out of the 2,064 square kilometres that was strewn with landmines, claymores and high explosives by the LTTE before terrorism was eliminated.

The area that has to be demined is in the thick jungles and the demining program is in progress. The demining has been conducted to the UN Demining Program standards.

When demining was completed, such areas were inspected and guaranteed by UNDP officials before lands were handed over to the civilians. Of the total area that has been demined, more than 70 percent of the job was completed by the Security Forces. The balance demining activities were done by local and foreign NGOs.

Hence, Sri Lanka could humbly be proud of its success in the demining program within a short period of time as no other country in the world history has been able to achieve such a degree of success in demining after ending a conflict situation. Landmines in countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia etc have not yet been completely removed, even though conflicts in those countries ended long ago.

Without understanding these landmark achievements and ground realities, certain Western countries, including the US and

the UK continue to exert pressure through the UNHRC Resolutions. Though the latest US-led resolution talks about an investigation only on the final phase of the battle, it looks that they have now changed their mind.

The United States on Thursday said that although the recently passed resolution on Sri Lanka at the Geneva session wanted to investigate incidents between 2002 and 2009, 'an independent and credible investigation into all actions, by all parties, for the entire period of the conflict would be good for Sri Lanka'.

US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Michele J. Sison, addressing to the Foreign Correspondents Association in Colombo, has said that there have been many questions about why the time frame of the investigation was limited to that period. "It is not because the international community only cares about what happened between 2002 and 2009. In fact, an independent and credible investigation into all actions, by all parties, for the entire period would be good for Sri Lanka," she was quoted as saying.

What was exactly what Sri Lanka is doing. Sri Lanka has already embarked on its own local mechanism on the recommendations of the LLRC. We don't need expert ideas of the West because they would never guide us to our well-being.

The West would always like to see countries such as Sri Lanka confronting with never-ending problems.

Certain Western political leaders conduct themselves as if they don't have any other problem to attend in their countries than meddling in internal matters of Sri Lanka. The only problem the British Prime Minister David Cameron has is Sri Lanka and he often devotes dime in the British Parliament to talk on Sri Lanka.

Reconciliation

Cameron said last week that Britain will work closely with its international partners to support the implementation of the resolution on Sri Lanka setting up an international investigation. In response to a question, Cameron told British Parliament on Thursday, "We believe that progress on accountability, human rights and reconciliation is important in establishing an enduring peace in Sri Lanka. Such progress will ensure Sri Lanka can reach its full potential as a strong and prosperous nation."

He also said ahead of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution vote on Sri Lanka on 27 March,"...I personally engaged with a wide range of UNHRC member states including those from the Commonwealth.

That alone shows the extraordinary concern Cameron has on Sri Lanka. No other world leader has son so much of concern on Sri Lanka than Cameron. Could a foreigner has so much concern on Sri Lanka and people here than our own leaders? If so, that could well be due to ulterior motives.

We all know that the Tamil Diaspora has gradually taken control over certain politicians in the UK. Their vote is a decisive factor in certain areas. It is no secret how British politicians such as David Milliband had thrived due to Tamil Diaspora. Hence, it's natural that the people such as Cameron show unbelievable interest on Sri Lanka and its people.

These interests are for their personal well-being and not with the good intention of sincerely helping Sri Lanka. If they are genuinely interested in helping Sri Lanka and wishes the well-being of our people, the biggest help that they could do at this juncture is to refrain from poking their fingers in Sri Lanka's domestic matters.

Surely Cameron has enough and more burning issues the Britons are facing to address. Instead of devoting time on those, he devotes a considerable time of him to 'help' Sri Lanka. We could well imagine his 'devotion' and the 'interest' on Sri Lankans. Cameron could not foot intelligent Sri Lankans who are acutely aware the agenda behind the British PM's moves. Cameron could not have a greater pain on Sri Lankans than our President. We will never get carried away by Cameron's crocodile tears.

Peace

As US Secretary of State John Kerry noted, the UNHRC resolution "supports the Sri Lankan people", in recognition of the resilience they have shown after years of war and their yearning for democracy and prosperity. As Secretary Kerry also said, "the time to pursue lasting peace and prosperity is now; justice and accountability cannot wait."

The resolution represents the international community's unwavering support to help prevent a return to violence and to ensure a secure, unified, and prosperous Sri Lanka for the future. Our ultimate goals are ones shared by friends of Sri Lanka: stability and long-lasting peace on the island.

We all know why these characters are showing that extraordinary concern about Sri Lanka and its people. But none of them were there when 21 million population of Sri Lanka were at receiving end due to indiscriminate bomb attacks of the Tiger terrorists.

It was only our leaders in the Government, led by President Rajapaksa, were there to protect us. The godfathers of human rights who now shout from the rooftops were at a faster sleep when LTTE terrorists mercilessly killed unarmed civilians.

If not for the political sagacity and the illustrious leadership of President Rajapaksa, we still would have been a nation hit by LTTE terrorism with a collapsed economy. Now that we have found our own solution to terrorism, we could have the same local mechanism for reconciliation. We don't want any foreigners to advise us.

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