Friday, December 3, 2010

The intractable problem of the Tamil Diaspora as recently re affirmed - the UK fiasco

I call this a problem that needs to be solved and can be solved if the Sri Lanka Government takes a constructive approach to handling it with professionalism and boldness in its diplomacy, with less use of anti-Western rhetoric.

Firstly I do not think any of our diplomats, be they career diplomats or not, except for one or two, are competent to tackle this issue in the manner it has to be undertaken. One has to engage the community in a constructive way, something that is tough but doable, so that their incorrect presentation of the ground situation can be EFFECTIVELY countered. We do not have any who can take on the press and face the tough questions with alacrity and zeal instead of defensive mumbling.

Using Bell Pottinger at enormous fee is another failed project of incompetents, who could have actually engaged a skilled home team, who are the public relations vanguard who go for example to London a week prior to the President’s visit to set the media stage and garner enough counter arguments to the vitriol that currently flourishes. Sadly some of the pathetic actions of the Government in its dealings with her own people make it difficult to defend the indefensible, so we must first educate the leaders that they bear a measure of responsibility for this view. “The no smoke without fire syndrome” has turned into a raging inferno.

We must engage each Government where there is a significant presence of such detractors, with the facts at home but with support from the relevant embassy in SL of that country to corroborate the true state of play. A significant push has also to be made to the media, to counter the misinformation that is being spread, much by people who have never even been to SL, as I personally know that foreign born Tamils have a particularly jaundiced view of the facts, which have changed dramatically once they visit SL and find that Colombo is fully of wealthy Tamils.

If the current trend is unchecked the media misinformation will mushroom into a size that will affect the prestige of SL in the outside world, which cannot be supported by India and China alone. The pariah status will then affect all parts of the economy from consumers, investors, tourism and to other forms of economic progress. The smug attitude of the current leadership has got to change as it is the future that will suffer while today’s lot are six feet under and not have to face it.

A five pronged approach with a pincer movement working together concurrently must be started, one country at a time to neutralize Diaspora, media, governments, public opinion, and perception of local missions, but backed up by facts. The latter to be addressed first, without which the former cannot be convincingly conquered.


Kushan Peiris said...

I completely agree with your views. It is becoming more difficult to protect SL from Western borders when our Gov is acting in such a stupid and foolish manner at home and abroad. Weerawansa is protesting while, MR is shaking hands with Liam Fox, this is all embarrassing. We need to act a bit more disciplined with our reactions to situations like this. Our foreign missions are not capable and lack the proper infrastructure to counter the LTTE diaspora. The staff is only equipped to handle clerical consular work, some even lack the basic computer skills to work in such an environment. I believe this is the main reason why we are outsourcing our external affairs to PR firms like Bell Pottinger. The government should seriously look at setting aside funds to improve foreign missions and set up clandestine services to counter Western LTTE threats. We had one of the great armies in the world to take down LTTE, and it will take an army of equal caliber to take down the LTTE propaganda abroad.

sittingnut said...

you have an exaggerated idea about importance of europe/britian and tamil diaspora that can influence it. may be you spent too much time there

lets see what happened ?

we were denied free speech thro violence in uk.

that is our fiasco? no

it is uk that could not ensure free speech
it is tamil diaspora that resorted to violence
we were open to civil debate and discussion as we should be always .

instead of fiasco we did the right thing .

results furthered our ability to dismiss their demands as coming from cowards and villains. we should and will use it.

further more we should show our anger at their cowardice and villainy. one doesn't win these wars by mere talking we win them by being right , and being confidently confrontational in correctness of our stance .

Anonymous said...

The previous comment is all what is wrong with Sri Lanka today.

There was a protest, and an event was cancelled because adequate security could not be provided.

It is not a big deal. This happens all the time.

Asking the UK to spend money to provide security for a private visit at a time when the economy is down is not something that SL can rightly request.

While the UK is tightening the purse strings to get their fiscal house in order, our lankan ministers are wasting time and resources rushing to the airport to go and suck up to our head of state.

If we want to fix our problems we must look inward and fix them, instead of embarrassing ourselves abroad.

Lets face it. The poor man in this country is having a shitty life, and the leaders are living like kings.

There is no democracy or freedom of speech.

Corruption is rampant.

We did win the war, and that is why we are having a honeymoon. However, this will be short lived if we don't get our house in order.

We have a lot to learn from the west. Lets make some friends of them, before we make greater fools of ourselves.