There is just NO let up in the claims and counter claims, arising from the ethnic conflict based civil war in Sri Lanka, and for good measure foreign political operatives are also at it for their own political advantage further clouding the line between truth and fiction.
The latest is a claim by the young Canadian MP (Sri Lanka born, Tamil origin) Rathika Sitsabaiesan, who was recently in Sri Lanka on a private visit, which became very public when she had ostensibly issued a statement that she was under house arrest! (something that never happens in Sri Lanka) that gave an element of notoriety,(and reprimand in Canada) and more importantly for her a huge amount of publicity in her now native Canada. This was a clearly politically motivated move on her part, which while naughty, has upset local (as in Sri Lankan sensitivities) media as there was NO grain of truth in her outburst.
On her return she has now come forward claiming she was followed, wherever she went. I know MacRae and his Channel 4 colleagues were followed, but that was too obvious as to be both intimidating and funny at the same time, as they must have been bumbling goons who were tasked with the job!
As she was on a private visit she was cautioned to keep it so, as she had not had the basic courtesy, common sense or maturity to inform the SL High Commission in Canada of her impending visit. (as unequivocally verified by the female HC to Canada, an experienced career diplomat and not a mouthpiece of partisan politics) The HC said that her claim was an outright lie, though I don’t put it past the security forces to indulge in that sort of stuff, as a matter of normal practice when they discover a hostile MP (to the SL Govt.) is loose and on the prowl. Just think what the Canadians would do if roles were reversed.
In Ms Sitsabaiesan’s case, whilst she claimed she was merely visiting family, something which she would not have dared do in areas if they were occupied by the LTTE, due to her political stance against GOSL it was inevitable she would meet with the people who would reinforce her prejudices over those who would try to contradict her claims! That after all is human nature, and so be it.
The problem becomes the way the news is reported both here and in Canada. Without the underlying background, the reader is left to believe that there is something truly sinister going on! When in fact it is normal practice! That is why we must try and understand the motivations of all parties here.
Talking about motivations, it was very wrong of both Bishop Rayappu Joseph and MP Sumanthiran to jump into conclusions on the recent discovery of a mass grave in the Mannar area, and assume it is of Tamils killed by the forces, when it fact it could also be Tamils killed by the IPKF and also Sinhala and Tamil people killed by the LTTE. Any idiot would say, first the approximate period of when these deaths took place must be ascertained, and secondly determine who was in charge in that location during that period. Neither of which can be obtained within minutes of finding the graves.
We know their motivations as they wish to see an independent International Investigation into war crimes by the Govt. forces, but at least if they were to admit that the LTTE were just as if not more violent in their treatment of civilians and enemy it would at least give them some credibility in their allegations. I can’t for the life of me understand why they both continue to play this antagonistic role, as their credibility is also called into question when they jump into unfounded assumptions, when faced with new discoveries.
Whilst this soup continues to stew, better understanding between the races in Sri Lanka is the loser. The Govt. is just as guilty of this, as they have Karuna as one of their own, MPs and ministers, and for one of the world’s greatest mass murderers to live in their midst, without being held accountable or at least rehabilitated to openly confess to his crimes and ask forgiveness from the thousands of families who are still suffering owing to the killings of their loved ones by him. There is NO “truth and reconciliation” until that is done by the home team and would make it utterly facetious to insist that come from others first.
As you see, I am NOT taking sides. I merely point out the anomalies that all parties to the debate are stuck with, Diaspora, TNA, Clergy, Govt. Forces, former LTTE leaders. The hostages that they ALL have taken are the citizens of Sri Lanka, who are being held to ransom by them for their personal ends.
Until they all realize that they are party to the problem and NOT the solution, the more humility we can elicit from them, instead of grandstanding bravado for the brainless, spineless, tactless and factless media, the easier it will be to find a solution that will be acceptable to all. Until that time, this type of polarized and unbending approach of the rigid (as in inflexible) stakeholders of reconciliation, will continue to destroy any hope of finding common ground, and we the people MUST point our fingers at them as truly abominable, inhuman traitors who will rot in hell for their crimes, as that in essence is what they are guilty of.