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UKinSriLanka misleads FCO

UKinSriLanka misleads FCO

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Published by Puni Selva
British High Commission in Sri Lanka colludes with the Sri Lankan government to give a grossly distorted picture of ground reality
British High Commission in Sri Lanka colludes with the Sri Lankan government to give a grossly distorted picture of ground reality

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Published by: Puni Selva on Feb 04, 2013
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09/20/2013

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 UKinSri Lanka misleads FCO
''Ahead of this year’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM), Mr Burt was able to
see developments that have occurred in the region since his last visit two years ago, and the workthat remains to be done, following thirty years of conflict. He was able to talk to people who hadsuffered the brutality of the LTTE, which remains a banned organisation in the UK. ...... As Guest of Honour at the opening of Sri Lanka
Unites’ reconciliation centre at Mulliayawelai, the Minister saw
how the UK is helping to support sustainable peace in Sri Lanka'' - UK Minister Alistair Burt VisitsNorthern Sri Lanka, 31 January 2013,http://ukinsrilanka.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=854241082It looks as though UKinSriLanka is buying Sri Lanka's trickery and successfully pressing it on FCO:Undoubtedly some people suffered the brutallty of the LTTE for some time but the LTTE was wipedout in the war and for the last 45 months since then the people have been suffering the brutality of the occupation army (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 31 October 2012 and a *multitudeof other reports) Half the world got together and supported the Sri Lankan government to bring anend to them, believing that the injustice to the ethnic minorities that gave rise to the formation of the LTTE in the first place would be dealt with. But what has been happening since the demise of theLTTE has been that the government is not only interested in continuing the post-independenceagenda of oppressing the ethnic minorities but also intent on crushing them much morepsychologically and morally by heavily militarising the area, filling up the space with huge warmemorials and very many Buddha statues and temples, pushing inland all the Tamils from coastalareas, not holding the elections for Northern Province and keeping the Presidential Task Force forNorthern Development in Colombo (National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, 26 July 2012), taking awaythe farming, fishing and other economic activities from the Tamil population by the army and thenavy (speeches by TNA MPs in parliament and *). Gas chambers are not necessary to humiliatepeople in a small island (in a hemisphere where HR is a dirty word) in a geopolitically strategiclocation. (*National, regional and international organisations and individuals in addition to the UN,ICRC, WCC and The Elders).Successive Sri Lankan governments have been controlling damage (against the accusations of oppressing the ethnic minorities) at the UN by ''appointing commissions'' with noble missions buteither failed to implement their recommendations or even failed to allow them to function at all.This is described in the Amnesty International report of June 2009: Sri Lanka's Commissions of Make-Believe. This government followed their footsteps and appointed 15 Commissions in the last 6/7years and the reports are with the President without being made public. Those Commissions are onmurders, abductions, disappearances and corruption at high levels. Will the British let the FCO getaway with a millionth of that obscenity?''Sri Lanka unites'' is a trick played effectively by the Sri Lankan government on UKinSriLanka todeflect the attention away from the severe oppression of ethnic minorities. It is not expert academicknowledge but school playground wisdom that if there is oppression of one group by another therecannot be much unity between the two but if the oppression is removed there is likely to be unity.When the army of occupation is crushing the occupied population it is obfuscation of the highestorder to ask FCO for funding. But then FCO has an obligation to have the integrity to work out theground reality. Even if the FCO refuses to believe reports by AI, HRW, ICG, ICJ, IBA, AHRC, WCC, etcthe House of Commons and the House of Lords produced two reports, one on the role of theCommonwealth and the other on Aid Effectiveness last year.
 
Denial of post-independence economic development to the North and the East by successivegovernments that has been driving Tamils out of the North and the East into the South There isample evidence European and North American researchers) over the last 3/4 decades to show thatforeign aid has been exacerbating the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. When the government has beenseverely restricting the INGOs from helping the war-ravaged Tamils it is devilishness to ask forfunding ''SriLanka Unites''. Furthermore There has been a series of attacks on mosques, churchesand temples for decades, including the last few yrs of intense attacks:Where Is The Greatness Of A Buddhist Nation?http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/where-is-the-greatness-of-a-buddhist-nation/Stoking The Tinderbox Of Extremism, 2 February 2013,://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/stoking-the-tinderbox-of-extremism/
Critics of Sri Lankan Government “Disappear”: Outspoken Church Leader in Danger, 3 June 2012,
://www.persecution.org/2012/06/03/critics-of-sri-lankan-government-disappear-outspoken-church-leader-in-danger/Bigoted monks and militant mobs: Is this Buddhism in Sri Lanka today? 23 April 2012://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/order-to-demolish-dambulla-mosquewhy-raise-this-explosive-issue-now/'Sri Lanka Muslims decry radical Buddhist mosque attack, 23 April 2012,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17816285''But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; orfor that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north bythe Sinhala Buddhist majority'' - Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *GananathObeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012 (*aSinhalese Buddhist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University)''Chandra R. de Silva implies that Buddhist monastic opposition to a non-unitary state hascontributed to the conflict. He appreciates the reasons for this, but pleads for a system of monasticeducation that would exp
ose monks to other religions and cultures. …. I have no hesitation in
recommending this volume as a serious contribution to the understanding of one of the most
complex and intractable conflicts in the world’’, Dr Elizabeth Harris(Liverpool Hope University
),Review(2007) of Buddhism, Conflict and Violence in Modern Sri Lanka(2006) -http://www.equinoxjournals.com/ROSA/article/view/3519/2212
‘’In December 2002, the Pool (referring to the UK govt Global Conflict Prevention Pool) brought five
senior members of the Sri Lankan Buddhist clergy to London, Belfast and Edinburgh to studydevolved administrations. They met a wide range of politicians, senior officials, religious groups andcommunity leaders. The delegates found the visit extremely valuable, and took back positive
messages about the devolution process’’
-http://www.cic.nyu.edu/peacekeeping/conflict/docs/global-conflict-prevention-pool.pdf Sinhalese have been opposed to the UN officials inlcuding the Secretary General and burning theireffigies in Colombo in the last few yrs and burning Norwegian effigies in the early 2000s.THE SANGHA AND ITS RELATION TO THE PEACE PROCESS IN SRI LANKA, A Report for the NorwegianMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Iselin Frydenlund, International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
 
(2005): ‘’Lack of political consensus in the south and opposition to the various peace processes by
nationalist and Buddhist pressure groups have time and again made peacebuilding difficult in SriLanka. .... One possible strategy for supporting pro-peace actors might be to encourage support fromcountries like Thailand
 –
which, like Sri Lanka, is also a Theravada Buddhist country .... ''Sinhalese Buddhist Nationalist Ideology: Implications for Politics and Conflict resolution in Sri Lanka,East-
West Centre Policy Studies 40, Neil De Votta(2007): ‘’International human rights monitors mustbe stationed in Sri Lanka to ensure minorities are protected’’.
 CEYLON : A DIVIDED NATION, B H Farmer(1963):''The truth is simply that nobody unacceptable tothe present Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism has any chance of constitutional power in contemporaryCeylon.''The Southerners and Buddhist clergy have been totally opposed to devolution of power (opposing B-C pact and D-C pact) unleashing pogroms from 1950s onwards. Some government ministers andDefence Secretary have been asking for repeal of 13th Amendment for a few years. These are thepeople ''SriLanka unites'' should be working:''Sri Lanka unites'' reinforces the misinformation in the textbooks and hence complements thehatred spread by textbooks of the last six decades.http://www.scribd.com/doc/104760706/Sri-Lanka-Education-for-War-Must-Be-Transformed-Into-Education-for-PeaceIt thus appears that UKinSriLanka colludes with the government of Sri Lanka and gives a false pictureof ground reality just as Sri Lankan envoys are doing overseas:''Dr Chris Nonis spoke of the multiculturalism of Sri Lanka and the spirituality of its people, and thevalue of faith as a unifier across communities''' - Multifaith Forum, Westminster, December 2012,http://srilankahighcommission.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=374:dr-chris-nonis-addresses-the-multifaith-forum-in-the-uk-parliament-&catid=1:news&Itemid=95UKinSriLanka has proved Prof Richardson:
Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil
Wars(2005), Prof John Richardson, American University:''Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understandinglinkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka's post-
independence history, from 1948 through 1988. ….. Explaining how tran
quillity wassupplanted by all-encompassing violent conflict and terrorism became the focal point of my
inquiries. ……. How could we have come to this? What could we have done to prevent the conflict
that has killed our family members and friends, devastated our lives, destroyed what was being sopainstakingly developed? What can we learn and share from our experiences that may help othersto avoid following a similar path? How can we share what we have learned most powerfully andeffectively?The 'we' of these questions are, principally, political leaders and citizens of the nations, from Angolato Zaire , that have been victimised by civil war.There is another group of individuals, too, who must continue to pose questions about the causesand prevention of civil wars. Foreign political leaders, multilateral and non-governmentalorganisation leaders, leaders in the private sector and development practitioners share in theresponsibility for causing civil wars, though they bear few of the costs .... My vision is of a day

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