The statement made by Mr Sumanthiran, an appointed MP of the TNA made today
about the fact that they are against the CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka, is I believe regrettable and a regressive step, and harmful to good community relations. Whilst I am not at all happy with the way this Govt. conducts its business, and the rampant crime and corruption we see, almost exclusively limited to their henchmen, as well as the human rights violations on all sectors of our society, including Children as reported by me at length in my previous blogs, it is nevertheless a sense of national pride to showcase what we have.
Whilst the Canadians were cherry picking on the subject which irks them due to their particular electorate being pacified, I believe the violations of the Commonwealth ethic far exceed the limited self interest shown by the Canadians to their Diaspora lobby. In any event, tell me many countries in the Commonwealth that come out clean on this score, and even many in the recent past that have hosted the Commonwealth Heads of State tamashas.
For better or worse Sri Lanka will now be showcased in many countries of the world merely because there will be thousands of journalists and TV crew covering the event. They will report on GOOD as well as BAD from Sri Lanka and we MUST learn to accept that, they will not just report on what we want them to but what they believe their audience back home want to see and hear. That is called freedom of choice.
Sri Lanka is trying to spruce up all the likely TV locations, so the country will look good to the outside world, and hopefully gain positive publicity for tourism and the like. There is nothing wrong in that. All countries even developed ones do that. We locals may suffer traffic snarl-ups and public holidays to keep us away from the Capital as part of this and in the best interests of an incident free event are willing to sacrifice some conveniences for that.
I hope I will have the opportunity to tell people the way it really is and not the way the Govt. wishes to paint it. However I am not being unpatriotic to point out the shortcomings of this supposed democracy turning into an elected kleptocracy. By the latter I mean we have voted to allow kleptomaniacs in government a free reign unhindered, and let the reporters, shame the kleptocrats, whilst regaling the beauty of the country, sadly traumatized by those who currently rule us. Currently I might add. I hope the Commonwealth will realize that it is important to encourage opposition to the Government, if it means espousing Commonwealth values, and core decency amongst our citizens and Government, something we seem to lose drop by drop daily to the mob who run the Country.
I would like the people coming to this country to be able to differentiate between, rogues in Govt. and the people who are basically decent fun loving and welcoming of guests with no expectations of reciprocity. So the Country will win and the TNA be dissuaded from making the whole country a one issue problem of their rights, where a mere 1 million who happen to live in the North out of a population of 20M. The reporters will finally be able to grasp this reality on the ground and correct any misconceptions they may have by Diaspora misinformation.
I beg the question! Is Sumanthiran worried about the Diaspora Canard being laid bare? Or is he just parroting the party line, as they are unable to stomach a Sri Lankan Govt. hosting the CHOGM. I do not have an answer to that question.
My personal line is that I am doing what I can to make this country a better place for ALL who live in it, irrespective of race, religion and caste. When there are people like this Govt. or some TNA Pronouncements that go against that I take issue and am unafraid to call a spade a spade. When greed for power and greed for personal glorification, comes in the face of putting Country first I put the country first.
I trust the Media who read this blog will be able to make the distinction of country vs Government, and understand that this Govt. and to a degree the TNA have fooled their constituents into the belief that only they can solve their grievances. We must put aside these self interested interlopers and work together to build this country for what it truly is, and all the help we can get at this stage from the CHOGM and the Leaders and the Press who are here to cover this is, I hope for the better and not for the worse.
We MUST NOT FORGET that it is not the Govt. of SL that the CHOGM is endorsing, just the fact that we have been in the Commonwealth since 1948 and are one of its senior most members, and is high time we host a CHOGM!!! That is all. Each leader will have their 5 minutes of fame to tell their story, and if they wish to point out the inadequacies of our rule of law and bad governance and human rights record, so be it. Don’t just make it a Sinhala Tamil issue which it most certainly is not. I have no TV to watch the proceedings and so will be completely out of it except in the written press as well as the internet, and hope we are able to show our visitors that despite being in a dictatorship, the people are basically long suffering!