Mangala Samaraweera gets nothing out of licking Bachelet’s boots.
Posted on April 7th, 2019
Mangala Samaraweera’s speech apologising to UNHRC High Commissioner, Michelle Bachelet was rather difficult to read on my PC because my screen was blurred with his crocodile tears shed for human rights. Simultaneously, his tears were interspersed with scorn and anger against the Sri Lankan delegates who dared to challenge the questionable and unworkable foundations of his Resolution 30/1. He had also pitched his speech at a high spiritual and moral level to make it sound as if he was the New Messiah standing on Mt. Sinai, announcing the New Commandments, in addition to the existing Ten Commandments, for universal human conduct. But beneath the pretentious piety was his humiliating and unwarranted political objective: to prostrate before Bachelet and let her know that he has not abandoned (1) her, (2) Samantha Power, his patron saint in US, and (3) his Resolution 30/1 selling the nation down the river. It is apparent that the speech was written more to appease his masters/mistresses abroad than to find solutions for the victims referred to in Resolution 30/1 at home.
Taking up cudgels on behalf of those in the UNHRC cesspool”, already abandoned with utter contempt by Samantha Power, he says: As the person who held the portfolio of Foreign Affairs when resolution 30/1 of 01 October 2015 was adopted, I feel that it is my duty to respond to some of the malicious arguments being made and misrepresentation of facts.” Here the knight in shining armour from Matara was announcing his battle cry in defence of the damsel in distress at the UNHRC. With that pronouncement he engages in a lengthy exercise to paint himself as an obedient abith-thaya, bending in two, to please Ms. Bachelet. He says:” I offer an apology to High Commissioner Michelle Bachelet, a true friend of Sri Lanka’s people, a champion of the Global South, and herself a survivor of the horrors of torture. (” Really! A true friend of Sri Lanka?). Why should we apologise to Bachelet for exercising the right to challenge the myths, inaccuracies and fictitious numbers which she is touting to push her anti-Sri Lankan offensive?
And then – hold your breath! — he adds: High Commissioner Bachelet, you did not deserve the misrepresentation of your statements.” OMG! This friend of Sri Lanka” accuses and indicts the Sri Lankan forces as murderers of 40,000 Tamils – a fabricated figure challenged and disproved by Lord Naseby who has established on British documentary evidence that those killed in the last stages of the war were around 5,000 – 7,000. So who is misrepresenting” the facts and figures? Since Ms.Bachelet refuses to accept the most reliable figures documented in the unimpeachable British secret files I personally would like to tell her: High Commissioner Bachelet, like everyone else, you deserve every bit of the consequences of your refusal to accept the facts / truth staring in your face!.”
One of the consequences of her intransigent refusal to accept the verifiable facts and figures is to place the future of UNHRC in jeopardy. Already America, one of the sponsors of the Resolution 30/1 has left UNHRC condemning it as a cesspool”. Ms. Bachelet is facing an uphill task in restoring the UNHRC as a moral agency capable of living up to the expected standards of decency and morality – i.e., defend and protect human rights with facts and truth. She cannot win the confidence of the international community with lies. The first step she should take to maintain the dignity, integrity and the credibility of her office is to get her facts and figures right.
By now she should have enough incontrovertible evidence on her table to know that she cannot defend, promote or protect human rights in Sri Lanka on unchecked figures packaged by Darusman whose sources have not been made transparent for the accused parties to check and accept his secret documents as the legal basis to pursue a case against Sri Lanka. That medieval system of accusing and punishing the accused on anonymous and secret sources went out with the Star Chamber and the Inquisition. That pernicious and unfair practice of convicting accused people violates all basic principles of human rights.
Besides, the fact that the figure of 40,000 mentioned in a UN report doesn’t make it true or reliable. UN reports, particularly those that are secret, are not the final repositories of the truth / facts necessary to formulate constructive policies, or to initiate legal action for violating human rights. She must be aware that the biggest crime against humanity committed by the UN was when it accepted the lies of Colin Powell accusing Iraq of being in possession of WMDs. It was also on a UN-sponsored resolution that a naval cordon was thrown round Iraq to block the supply of medical and other essentials – a criminal act that killed 600,000 children of that ill-fated nation.
Lies are vital for Big Powers and institutions like UNHRC manipulated by Big Powers, to bully small nations. For instance, Ms. Bachelet who is so worked up about Sri Lanka is not likely to work with the same urgency and perseverance to take action Israel’s war crimes in Palestine or India’s violations of human right in oppressing the people of Kashmir. Nor will she open up a file to investigate the brutal massacre of unarmed doctors, nurses, and helpless patients in the Jaffna hospital by the Indian army – an incident well documented. Her bravado will be directed only at a small like Sri Lanka. Besides, Ms. Bachelet, who has brilliant academic record, should know by now that she could never leave behind a legacy of being a defender of human right if she pursues a partisan agenda that ignore the facts and truths. She should know that the UN charter was set up to achieve its noble objective only through scientific and verifiable truths and not on voodoo lies.
In fairness to her it must be mentioned that she has been a progressive leader of Chile. She was a popular leader who was elected twice as President by the Chileans. There was, of course, the case of her romantic relationship with Alex Vijokovic Trier of Manuel Rodriguez Patriotic Front, an armed group which was engaged in violence against the military dictator, Gen.Pinochet. When she was accused of being an activist in this Front she denied engaging in violence. And when she was President her son was accused of getting a bank loan of $10 million dollars to finance a land investment of his wife. Once again she denied knowing anything about it. But her popularity plummeted to a new low.
She was also at the receiving end of Gen. Pinochet’s brutal violence. So she should be equipped with ample knowledge not only to receive violence but also to give it back. She also knows how to dispense politicised justice like the way she goes after the Sri Lankan soldiers on fake figures. But all this is acceptable to Samaraweera. because he thinks she is a friend of Sri Lanka”. Backing her, he says, quite blithely:: The Human Rights Council is not a court of law. That is not the place to argue and debate over the number of dead or missing. All these including the information obtained by Lord Naseby are matters for Sri Lankan processes including the Sri Lankan justice system.”
There are two arguments here: 1. UNHRC is not the place to argue and debate the numbers dead or missing (Where in the UNHRC is this written?) and 2.Lord Naseby’s figures are matters for Sri Lankan processes and not for discussion in international fora. . (Really!)
Re.1: He is craftily attempting to remove, or downplay the impact of numbers from the international debate now that Lord Naseby had exposed the fact that the Sri Lankan forces had not killed 40,000 Tamils in the last days of the longest running war in Asia. Resolution 30/1, which he co-sponsored, would gain credibility only if the figures are inflated to prove that the Sri Lanka forces have been brutal killers of Tamils on a mass scale – somewhere in the region of tens of thousands. Anything less than ten thousand doesn’t carry weight to convince the public that there has been a genocidal massacre” – the line plugged by the Tamil lobby to gain political mileage. In fact, Resolution 30/1 gained international attention on the fictitious figure of 40,000.Even the international community will sit up and take notice only if the dead are in the region of tens of thousands and not below 10,000.
The INGOs ignored the thousands killed throughout the 34-year-old war and focused only on the last three months because the Tamil lobby and their allied NGOs, who attempted to save Prabhakaran from humiliating defeat, raised the bogus cry of a mass massacre in the final assault. And when the end came the NGOs had nothing to fall on except to run berserk with their own cooked up figure of 40,000 dead. A typical example is the UN Representative in Colombo, Gordon Weiss, who estimated the dead to be 7,000 when he was in Colombo and jacked it up to 40,000 when he returned to his home in Australia to market his book, The Cage. Later, when questioned, he reduced the figure to 10,000. I e-mailed him and requested an interview. He agreed at first and then backed out like all pro-Tamil propagandists. Even M. Sumanthiram and C. V. Wigneswaran who distort history, politics, and facts and figures backed off when they were pressed for a debate or an interview.
It is Lord Naseby’s figures dug out from the British secret files that nailed the Tamil propagandist and Resolution 30/1. His figures punctured the hot air balloon floated by the Tamil propagandists. His figures do not fit into their fiction of a genocidal war”, or anti-Sri Lankan resolution at the UNHRC. The political agenda of Samaraweera too demands a figure of 40,000 or more. Now that he does not have the figures to prove the Tamil claim of a genocidal massacre” he says figures are not valid for debates at the UNHRC.
If the UNHRC is not the place to debate the numbers dead or missing in the armed conflict in Sri Lanka then why did Samaraweera go all out to sponsor the UNHRC Resolution 30/1 which, among other things, is aimed at setting up judicial mechanism with foreign judges to take punitive action against Sri Lankan soldiers accused by him, his friend” Bachelet, and also his friends in the Tamil Diaspora, of violating human rights? He didn’t agree to hybrid courts to judge a cricket match between the warring parties, did he? His Resolution refers to investigation of serious crimes involving human rights violations, or violations of international humanitarian laws”? These charges cannot be prosecuted or tried without counting the dead and the missing.
That is also the central issue in the Resolution raised and pushed hard by the anti-Sri Lankan Tamil and Western lobbies. Samaraweera too was quick to pick the fictitious figures of the dead and missing to justify the sponsoring of his Resolution. Embarrassed by Lord Naseby’s revelations he is now on his back foot struggling to save his face. He is now singing a different tune. He is saying UNHRC is not the place to argue and debate the numbers dead or missing. Ha! Ha!
It is the fictitious figure of 40,000 cooked up by Darusman, a man with a grouse against Sri Lanka, that clinched the argument for the anti-Sri Lankan lobby to vote against us. The case against Sri Lanka would not have got off the ground if the figures of Lord Naseby figures were available in 2015 when Resolution 30 /1 was passed by UNHRC. Lord Naseby’s figures have been an embarrassment to Ranil-Mangala move to tie the hands of Sri Lanka and parade the nation as genocidal killers who must tried in hybrid courts. In fact, the Ranil-Samaraweera government refused to revise or, reject Resolution 30/1 based on the hard evidence of Lord Naseby’s figures invalidating the rationale on which they co-sponsored the Resolution in 2015. Besides, it is the fake numbers accepted by Samaraweera which makes him and his Resolution 30/1 a total betrayal of Sri Lanka’s national interests. If he thinks he can build peace, reconciliation and stability on fake figures then he got another think coming!
Re.2: In the same breath, he says that figures are matters for Sri Lankan processes and not the UNHRC. According to him the local Truth Commission is going to be a Sri Lankan made instrument for Sri Lankans to confess their crimes. If and when it begins it is likely to question him on the various causes and events the war, including the last stages which has become the critical focus of human rights activists. Will not the dead and the missing feature prominently in that process? And when that issues is raised whose figure will he present? Darunu-man’s or Lord Knows-be’s? The Tamil lobby is having a field day, nationally and internationally, gaining maximum political mileage by vilifying and denigrating the nation with the fictitious figure of 40,000. And what does he do? Sweet llaregub!. (This neologism was created by one of my favourite poet’s, Dylan Thomas, to be read backwards).
One has to go way back in time to Don Juan Dharmapala, to find stooges of the West like the Ranil-Mangala combo. They are two masochistic maniacs who are prostrating at the feet of the Western masters and mistresses pleading with them to whip them more and more. Their appetite to receive humiliating whippings from the West is insatiable. The history of post-Independent foreign policy, however, runs contrary to the cringing roles of this duo.
Let’s begin with the role of Sir. John Kotelawela at the famous Bandung Non-aligned meeting. When Pandit Nehru asked Sir. John Kotelawela why he didn’t show his pro-American speech before it was delivered he retorted: You didn’t show me yours. Why should I show you mine if you didn’t show me yours!” (This is only a paraphrasing!).
Now that’s how he asserted his status as the leader of a proud nation, though small. Tarzie Vittachi, who was my first editor in The Observer, won the plaudits of even the Marxist Left when he threw out the American embassy press attaché from his office when the Yankee walked into to dictate the editorial policy. President Ranasinghe Premadasa taught India a lesson in foreign policy when it decided to boycott the SAARC meeting hosted by him because the Indians were plotting for a regime change. Instead of going begging to India he got on the phone and persuaded all other regional nations to attend. When they agreed to follow President Premadasa’s lead India had no option but to join, though humiliated by his courageous counter-move. He is also the first leader of the nation who dared to kick Britain in the butt by declaring David Gladstone, the British High Commissioner who was a descendant of the famous British Prime Minister, William Gladstone, persona non grata, for attempting to interfere in the domestic elections. Lakshman Kadirgamar also threw out two diplomats for overstepping their mark.
But Ranil-Mangala duo are behaving like two political ponies who take great delight in giving their backs for the West to ride on. What is worse, they seem to enjoy every minute of giving the White men a free ride on their backs!. The people are entitled to ask one straightforward question: Are they political leaders, or are they political poltroons ever willing to sell the country to foreigners?
In his speech Samaraweera makes a farcical attempt to impress that he is a man of high moral values with a scholarly background. Though his speech is sprinkled with reference to Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed and Mani, the founder of Manichean doctrine, there is a touch of starchy artificiality in the laboured attempts to impress his greatness and nobility. He fails because the facts facing him debunk his own fictions. One can see through the pompous attempts of Samaraweera to pose as an intellectual when he quotes Mani, the founder of Manichean doctrine. But those who know Samaraweera will agree that no light has come out of the black hole in his head.
Though in his speech he invokes the values of the highest moral and spiritual authorities it can never erase the hypocrisy of a man who stood on the floor of the House and abused Sri Lanka’s first female Olympian in humiliating filth. Sprinter Susanthika Jayasinghe, the Olympian bronze medallist, was ridiculed in abusive language for not yielding to one of his Cabinet colleagues’ sexual appetites. He treats a Sri Lankan heroine with utter contempt, but he crawls on his fours to lick the boots of anti-Sri Lankan apparatchik at UNHRC who has no compunction in whipping Sri Lankans
He piously preaches human rights to create feel good sounds in the ears of Samantha Power and Bachelet. In the same breath he has no reservations about condemning his mate Mahinda Rajapakse, accusing him of operating a white van culture”. However, he slyly omits the role played by Sudath Chandrasekera, who described himself as Ranil’s rathu thol pook kolla (red-lipped ass boy). Chandrasekera has confessed in his letter of resignation how he thrashed with kurundu polu” (cinnamon poles) the opposition activists marching through Samaraweera’s electorate in Matara. Did Samaraweera utter one word in sympathy with the victims of his leader’s thugs going on the rampage, attacking political activists protesting against his leader and his corrupt government? He allows his leader’s thugs to beat the day lights out of their political opponents in his own backyard and expects us to believe that he is a compassionate disciple of Lord Buddha. Does he expect us to believe his hypocrisy as one of the four noble truths?
With all this boru-shoke” doesn’t Samaraweera’s ali-keli fit neatly into the old Sinhala adage: Lo-keta pera-kashay; gedetta mara-gar-thay”?
H. L. D. Mahindapala