Mr Rankin the British High Commissioner in Sri Lanka is not happy about the presence of SL armed forces in the North and their involvement and their assistance rendered in rebuilding the civil life.
He has even gone to the extent of challenging the position taken by the President in relation to this issue. Rankin has discovered that there is no terrorism in Sri Lanka and he is reported to have stated that the LTTE is banned in many countries.
If Rankin has to be taken seriously about terrorism and good civil administration one needs to seek responses to a few questions about the official British approach to some of the issues discussed.
A) Did the British Government help Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE and curb financing, propagandacampaigns of the LTTE in the UK?
B) How did the LTTE’s theoretician, spokesperson late Anton Balasingham arrive in the UK and continue to carry his duties on behalf of the proscribed organization?
C) Didn’t the LTTE have their international HQ in London?
D) Why didn’t the British take Adela Balasingham, a resident in the UK to the ICJ for recruiting and training child soldiers of the LTTE?(Some of them were given the expertise to be suicide bombers!). AB still lives in the UK.
E) The British MPs speak in the Parliament and outside supporting the LTTE fronts and their actions and continue to do so while ignoring the peace and progress in Sri Lanka in the post war period. Why?
F) Why did the former British Foreign Minister, David Millband travel to Sri Lanka when the Sri Lankan forces were fighting the LTTE terrorism? Was it in keeping with the objectives of the international proscription of the LTTE?
G) To mark the defeat of their LTTE heroes the British Tamil Tiger fronts gathered in the Trafalgar Sq. recently eulogizing the terrorist leaders and exhibiting the LTTE flag. Is this In keeping with the British proscription or a covert policy formula to encourage their separatist / terrorist agenda for Sri Lanka?
The unenviable human rights record of the UK in the 19th and 20th century is written in the history books of Americas, Africa and Australasia. One cannot forget the former British Prime Minister, Thatcher ‘s belligerence in the invasion of the Falkland islands and the misleading the UN and the world by former British Prime Minister Blair justifying the war in Iraq which resulted in the killing of tens of thousands civilians apart from the destruction brought about by the British actions.
The story of Diego Garcia where a country was stolen from a nation is another British adventure set in motion behind the British democratic façade. Rankin should clarify the measurement used by him to judge Sri Lanka. Is it an absolute standard peculiar to Sri Lanka?
Sri Lanka’s achievements in the resettlement, rebuilding the war affected areas are remarkable and have been commented favourably by many international organizations and individuals.These resultswere mainly due the contributions made by the Sri Lankan Armed forces in demining, construction of roads, bridges, schools, houses and provision of medical facilities etc. If one were to paint SL armed forces as demons and under -value their input in the task of efficient rebuilding of the North it can originate only owing to ulterior motives. The laudable efforts exerted by the men in uniforms can be verified by having a chat with the ordinary Tamil people in the North who suffered immensely under the yoke of the LTTE.
Before I conclude my thoughts, I was wondering how the British will respond if Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in the UK were to go public and issue a statement challenging the British adventures or misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan . The British High Commissioner should seriously re-think of the role of a diplomat without attempting to interfere in the internal administration of Sri Lanka.
The international community has provided appropriate forums to discuss issues of this nature at appropriate levels and the foreign representatives should be very selective in choosing what to say and how it should toldin their host countries.
(By: Ranjith Soysa)