FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Leading Sri Lanka Into the Abyss

by NILANTHA ILANGAMUWA

Another diplomatic battle has erupted against the glorification of the lawless and authoritarian regime in Sri Lanka. We understand that this panoptic regime’s political existence depends on plundering, not only the wealth of the nation, but also the personnel liberties of the people from top to bottom. As Frederic Bastiat said, “When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living together in society, they create for themselves in the course of time a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”

It was three days ago, that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, who had the fortune to become the country’s Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, (purely because his brother became the President) said that the US has no right to meditate to solve the problems in this country. He said that while continuing to deny that weapons were given to the government sponsored paramilitaries which recruited thousands of child soldiers during the Civil War.

Telling to the United States to avert its eyes from the problems in Sri Lanka is laughable and pathetic, but is still understandable. On the one hand, the US is a large global power, has a far worse reputation, and regularly makes articulated arguments to undermine the rights of other countries. They gloss over their own problems while engaging in hypocritical diplomacy. This has been the case, not only from the day they started waging wars all around the world, but even in more recent times, such as their intervention in Libya, without even the consent of their own congress, as well as engaging another similar kind of drama in Syria, showing that the US is more than willing to compromise its claimed ideals in order to secure their strategic interests.

On the other hand, it is more than a little ironic that Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has been railing against US pressure on Sri Lanka to deal with the crimes committed during the Civil War, when he himself worked for and gained US citizenship for his personal and political benefit during the war. Despite an honorable 20 year career as an army officer with extensive foreign training (including Advanced Infantry Officer training in the United States) and combat experience against the LTTE, he retired and immigrated to the US at a time when Sri Lanka needed experienced officers more than ever. While holding a well-articulated negative aspect on Sri Lanka, he was able to establish himself in the US. Nearly two decades later, he was suddenly fortunate to have a central role in the ruling party when his brother became the President.  Though, the Rajapaksa establishment is based on “popular patriotism” none of these US citizen brothers announced to the public that they were going to surrender their US citizenship, which is ideologically completely opposed to the “patriotism” which they marketed. Nor have they expressed any opposition to the United States’ meddling in Sri Lankan affairs by providing extensive training to the Sri Lankan military during and after the Civil War. Apparently, foreign interference is only a bad thing when it doesn’t benefit the Rajapaksa Regime’s political agenda.

It has been widely discussed that when the war started Gotabhaya Rajapaksa never had any confidence that the war would be won, though he later strategically changed his tack. Amazingly, at a later time while attending a live television program along with his brother the President, he told the media, that, he could runaway to US if Sri Lanka lost the war on terror. Now, this same person who holds a US green card urges the people not to trust the US.

There is a popular saying in the United States – sometimes attributed to John Wayne, Richard Nixon, or Chuck Colson, but no one really knows where it came from – that says, “When you’ve got them by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.” This is precisely what really goes on out of the view of the public. As this writer declared years ago, in reality the bitter truth is that, none of Rajapaksas trust Sri Lanka or its people, and they seek to totally control both. They trust power and personal establishments in other jurisdictions, and their trust in China and Russia go only as far as their financial assistance to the island nation.

It is undeniable that the Rajapaksa Regime has led this country into an abyss from which it will be extremely difficult to extract itself. No one needs to go into detail to understand the scenario; the manner in which the regime conducts elections is enough to get a clear cut picture. Most of the nightmares, from the forceful eviction of Sri Lanka’s first lady Chief Justice to devastating wildlife to make a good for nothing air service in Mattala, the Rajapaksa regime has shown its ability to undermine the personal liberty in the country.  Rajapaksa is none other than a carbon copy of Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines. However, nobody knows if the US has any real willingness to help the people if there is a genuine anti-Marcus type rally to eliminate the delusions of the ‘elected’ dictator.

In this context, the message, “We don’t need leaders. We know how to deal with our problems. We do not need American advice on how to solve them.” will have a place in this “patriotic” nation until the people wakeup. That is our history, which has taught us to make the same mistake time and time again: keep the dictator of the feudal hierarchy in power while ignoring what we really need.

The third battle of Geneva is prevailing on this political notion. That’s the battle between, Rajapaksa and the people, between political lies and truth and reconciliation. Though I’m sure I’ll never receive an answer, I still feel compelled to ask Gotabhaya one more time, “If you are a true patriot of this country and deserve to hold a key position in the regime, why don’t you surrender your US citizenship?”

Over to you Gotabhaya.

Nilantha Ilanguamuwa edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper, and he also an editor of the Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives, bi-monthly print magazine. He is the author of the just released non-fiction, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), in Sihalaese. 

 

Nilantha Ilangamuwa is Editor of Torture: Asian and Global Perspectives. He also edits the Sri Lanka Guardian, an online daily newspaper. He is the author of the recently released non-fiction books, “Nagna Balaya” (The Naked Power), published in Sinhalese, and “The Conflation”, published in English. 

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

January 19, 2017
Melvin Goodman
America’s Russian Problem
Dave Lindorff
Right a Terrible Wrong: Why Obama Should Reverse Himself and Pardon Leonard Peltier
Laura Carlsen
Bringing Mexico to Its Knees Will Not “Make America Great Again”
John W. Whitehead
Nothing is Real: When Reality TV Programming Masquerades as Politics
Yoav Litvin
Time to Diss Obey: the Failure of Identity Politics and Protest
Mike Whitney
The Trump Speech That No One Heard 
Conn Hallinan
Is Europe Heading for a “Lexit”?
Stephen Cooper
Truth or Twitter? Why Donald Trump Is No John Steinbeck
Binoy Kampmark
Scoundrels of Patriotism: The Freeing of Chelsea Manning
Ramzy Baroud
The Balancing Act is Over: What Elor Azaria Taught Us about Israel
Josh Hoxie
Why Health Care Repeal is a Stealth Tax Break for Millionaires
Kim C. Domenico
It’s High Time for a Politics of Desire
Shamus Cooke
Inauguration Day and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
More and More Lousy
David Swanson
Samantha Power Can See Russia from Her Padded Cell
Kevin Carson
Right to Work and the Apartheid State
Malaika H. Kambon
Resisting the Lynching of Haitian Liberty!
January 18, 2017
Gary Leupp
The Extraordinary Array of Those Questioning Trump’s Legitimacy (and Their Various Reasons)
Charles Pierson
Drone Proliferation Ramps Up
Ajamu Baraka
Celebrating Dr. King with the Departure of Barack Obama
David Underhill
Trumpology With a Twist
Chris Floyd
Infinite Jest: Liberals Laughing All the Way to Hell
Stansfield Smith
Obama’s Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Ron Leighton
Trump is Not Hitler: How the Misuse of History Distorts the Present as Well as the Past
Ralph Nader
An Open Letter to President-Elect Donald Trump
Binoy Kampmark
NATO and Obsolescence: Donald Trump and the History of an Alliance
Zarefah Baroud
‘The Power to Create a New World’: Trump and the Environmental Challenge Ahead
Julian Vigo
Obama Must Pardon the Black Panthers in Prison or in Exile
Alfredo Lopez
The Whattsapp Scandal
Clancy Sigal
Russian Hacking and the Smell Test
Terry Simons
The Truth About Ethics and Condoms
January 17, 2017
John Pilger
The Issue is Not Trump, It is Us
John K. White
Is Equality Overrated, Too?
Michael J. Sainato
The DNC Hands the Democratic Party Over to David Brock and Billionaire Donors
John Davis
Landscapes of Shame: America’s National Parks
Andrew Smolski
Third Coast Pillory: Politicians and Rhetorical Tricks
Chris Busby
The Scientific Hero of Chernobyl: Alexey V. Yablokov, the Man Who Dared to Speak the Truth
David Macaray
Four Reasons Trump Will Quit
Chet Richards
The Vicissitudes of the Rural South
Clancy Sigal
“You Don’t Care About Jobs”: Why the Democrats Lost
Robert Dodge
Martin Luther King and U.S. Politics: Time for a U.S. Truth and Reconciliation Commission
Jack Sadat Lee
I Dream of Justice for All the Animal Kingdom
James McEnteer
Mourning Again in America
January 16, 2017
Paul Street
How Pure is Your Hate?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
Did the Elites Have Martin Luther King Jr. Killed?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail