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Why the Government of Sri Lanka Fails Internationally

Why the Government of Sri Lanka Fails Internationally

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Published by: Thavam on Feb 25, 2014
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02/25/2014

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- On 02/25/201
!his is amon" the many im#ortant $hallen"es to the %&emo$rati$ally ele$te&% Government of %&emo$rati$ So$ialist 'e#ubli$ of Sri Lanka% (GOSL)* !here may be various ans+ers but let me offer five reasons +hy the #resent Government in the #resent frame of min& $annot +in the su##ort of the international $ommunity at the #resent moment*,rofessionalism in orei"n 'elationshi#s vs* .i#lomati$ mbush,oliti$iation of the forei"n (&i#lomati$) servi$e starte& many &e$a&es a"o* o+ever ,resi&ent 3ahin&a 'a4a#aksa is #rin$i#ally res#onsible for total-#oliti$iation of both the orei"n Servi$e as +ell as the #ubli$ servi$e beyon& restoration*e a##ointe& his relations an& #arty su##orters +ithout any e#osure in &i#loma$y to key &i#lomati$ #ositions in the same +ay he "ot his #eo#le to hea& an& o#erate the key #ubli$ institutions* ##ointments are base& on #oliti$al $onne$tions relationshi#s an& ki$k ba$ks an& nothin" is on merit6.i#loma$y re7uires &ifferent ba$k"roun& an& skills an& those +ho la$k that e#osure $annot &eliver* orei"n relations are a +ell-stu&ie& sub4e$t the +orl& over an& all im#ortant $ountries invest heavily in im#rovin" the 7uality of their &i#lomats* .i#lomati$ historians to s$holars have +ritten so mu$h on forei"n relations* 3any universities the +orl& over tea$h forei"n relations aimin" to un&erstan& the ma$hinery of &i#loma$y an& its role in $ontem#orary international so$iety* !hose +ho learn &i#loma$y +ill re$o"nie &i#lomati$ theory histori$al $han"es innovations an& state $raft* !hey also learn on ne"otiations me&iations bilateral an& 89 $onventions multilateral &i#loma$y $oer$ive &i#loma$y #reventive &i#loma$y an& transition re"imes* !hey +ill have s#e$ial e#osure to international human ri"hts me$hanisms* ll : +ant to em#hasie is ho+ im#ortant it is for the sub4e$t of forei"n relations be han&le& by 7ualifie& #rofessional &i#lomats*;ffe$tive &i#lomati$ relationshi#s are not han&le& by or&inary #ubli$ servants offi$ers of the ttorney General<s &e#artment retire& "enerals in the army or #ai& $onsultin" firms* !he fa$t that a han&ful of in&ivi&uals ha& mana"e& to se$ure a &i#lomati$ vi$tory or t+o &oes not mean that that those in&ivi&uals alone $an run an effi$ient &i#lomati$ servi$e* :t is a &ifferent #rofession that $an risk a future of a nation*
 
!he 'a4a#aksa Government has $hosen 3inister GL ,eiris to han&le Geneva this time* :t +as 3inister 3ahin&a Samarasin"he a fe+ years a"o* .r* .ayan Jayatilleke le& it on$e* Some time ba$k Sri Lanka sent hun&re&s of in&ivi&uals to %atta$k% si&e meetin"s in Geneva or"anise& by "rou#s $onsi&ere& by GOSL as %anti Sri Lanka traitors%* =uite interestin"ly Sri Lanka "oes to Geneva +ith an i&ea of ambushin" the $ons#irators an& not to a&&ress the international &i#lomati$ $hallen"es Sri Lanka fa$es to&ay* !hese %&i#lomati$ units% are naturally "ui&e& by a brief #re#are& lo$ally* With the anti-international rhetori$ one $an #resume that su$h &i#lomati$ briefs are a misfit internationally*With %flatten% strate"ies in my vie+ Sri Lanka has been at a &isa&vanta"eous #osition even if Sri Lanka ha& a reasonable messa"e to $onvin$e the international $ommunity to its a&vanta"e* :n the absen$e of a #rofessional team of &i#lomats the international $onse7uen$es may be &etrimental* 9aturally the im#ortant innovative o##ortunities in the international arena are not un&erstoo& by or&inary Offi$ers (non-&i#lomats)* Offi$ers of the ttorney Ganeral<s .e#artment (+ho form #art of the "rou#) have a ten&en$y to see this as only a le"al issue* :nternational &i#loma$y is not a #ure matter of la+* On the other han& +hen these "rou#s fail on the floor the national lea&ers +ho trust the teams ten& to believe that the international $ommunity is $ray6When the so $alle& .i#lomats fail in basi$ &i#lomati$ fun$tions su$h as lobbyin" the "overnment resorte& to hire e#ensive $ommer$ial firms to lobby 8S* !his be$omes +orse +hen in&ivi&uals +ith veste& interest "rab the o##ortunity to earn a fast bu$k out of these lobbyin" $ontra$ts* Why shoul& +e #ay so mu$h for lobbyin" firms if +e have #rofessional &i#lomati$ offi$ials in the 8S $a#ital>3iin" :nternal ,oliti$s +ith :nternational 'elationshi#sfter the $on$lusion of the +ar in 200? the fo$us of the 'a4a#aksa Government $han"e& from +innin" the +ar to $onsoli&ation of the re"ime* !his +as &one +ith a +ell #lanne& s$heme ba$ke& by a stron" an& $ostly intelli"en$e an& #ro#a"an&a me$hanism $ou#le& +ith a militariation strate"y* ,resi&ent 'a4a#aksa be$ame the voi$e of the vi$torious for$es as +ell as the Sinhala @u&&hist ma4ority* !he Government left no room for any other to $lin$h the $re&it for the vi$tory* :t stron"ly #romote& the unifi$ation of i&eas +hile silen$in" or re4e$tin" #ossible future #oliti$al $hallen"es* fter the &efeat of the L!!; the re"ime +as lookin" for a suitable ima"inary enemy - this time they seem to have settle& +ith a +hole $lub of them in one basket - the &ias#ora the +est 9GOs 8nite& 9ations uman 'i"hts Coun$il et$* 8tteran$es of ministers Wimal Weera+ansa 3ervin Silva an& GL ,eiris or the ,resi&ent himself are seriously not &ifferent to one another* On ? ! July 2010 minister Weera+ansa (+ho hol&s O!;' 3inisters +ith res#onsibility Colle$tive) are $on&u$te& a +ell ,lanne& State s#onsore& an& above ll 3ost .emonstroi&a a %hun"er strike% in ront of the 89 Offi$e a"ainst the a##ointment of the ;#ert ,anel by ! 89 Se$retary General* %: +ill fast until the 89 #anel is &issolve& an& @an Ai-moon "ives an assuran$e that he +ill not label the sol&iers an& #oliti$al lea&ers +ho brou"ht #ea$e to Sri Lanka as +ar $riminals%* 3inister ,eiris took a stran"e #osition that everyone in Sri Lanka has a ri"ht to #rotest* We all kno+ that is not the $ase but it is $ertainly the $ase if the #rotests are a"ainst 89 an& other international a$tors*What Sri Lanka +itnesses to&ay is a #re-me&itate& misinformation $am#ai"n at #ubli$ e#ense +here the GOSL has also be$ome a vi$tim of bein" self &e$eit* !he +orst #art is that foulmouthe& an& fero$ious in&ivi&uals are &eliberately #i$ke& u# for key #ositions in the state-o+ne& me&ia to atta$k i&entifie& in&ivi&uals "rou#s an& or"anisations* (9ot for a moment &o : say that #rivate me&ia has been "reatB rather GOSL has in&ire$t $ontrol of most of the #rivate me&ia as +ell*) Consi&er the a##ointment of the #resent e&itor of .aily ne+s +ho +rites most &efamatory an& re#ulsive e&itorials an& Chairman of Sri Lanka @roa&$astin" Cor#oration +ho $on&u$t most &is"ustin" #ro"rammes - +ith im#unity* !hese e&itorials an& hate #ro"rammes are use& from time to time to #romote hatre& a"ainst the international $ommunity for a #ur#ose* 9aturally on$e su$h #ubli$ o#inion is $reate& an& the GOSL $annot etri$ate itself from it*Sri Lanka<s most im#ortant nei"hbor is :n&ia +hose international $oo#eration $annot be taken for "rante&* !ra&e relationshi#s +ith the West $annot be i"nore&* Lon" stan&in" strate"i$ relationshi#s +e ha& +ith 8S an& S$an&inavian $ountries $annot be &estabilie&* !hat is ho+ever not im#ortant no+* 8nfortunately Sri Lanka has O9L one yar&sti$k to measure forei"n relationshi# no+ - +hether they su##ort the Geneva resolutions a"ainst Sri Lanka* :f so Sri Lanka +ill use all #latforms to atta$k those $ountries as bein" %$ons#irators% %L!!; su##orters% an& %bein" bribe& by the &ias#ora%* !his illo"i$al a##roa$h has $ommen$e& at the national level an& "one into the bloo& of the #oli$ymakers of the $ountry*Susan Sonta" +riter film maker literary i$on an& #oliti$al a$tivist +ith enormous e#erien$e in $onfli$ts sai& %authoritarian #oliti$al i&eolo"ies have a veste& interest in #romotin" fear a sense of imminen$e of takeover by aliens%* We &o not #robably nee& the 89 i"h Commissioner for uman 'i"hts to $onfirm to us that Sri Lanka is fast movin" to+ar&s authoritarianism* !he manner in +hi$h GOSL res#onses to international $ommunity $onfirms it6 !hen +innin" international $ommunity be$omes an enormous $hallen"e*
 
!he short-term a&vanta"e of brin"in" international $hallen"es to &omesti$ #latform is meant to buil& u# su##ort for the 'a4a#aksa re"ime at ele$tions6 ll international $hallen"es are +ell use& by the re"ime to $onsoli&ate their #oliti$al #osition* :nternational #ressure is therefore +el$ome& so that there +ill be a $ommon enemy to unite the likemin&e& o#inion an& to su##ress &omesti$ #oliti$al $hallen"es*:&eolo"i$al 4umble,artly Sri Lanka<s international failure is asso$iate& +ith an i&eolo"i$al +ar* !he "overnment an& the har&-$ore think tanks an& nationalists have mana"e& to infuse an i&eolo"y in or&er to maintain the #ost-+ar eu#horia an& Sinhala @u&&hist &omination* :n or&er to a$hieve this the re"ime &ire$tly an& in&ire$tly #romotes $ommunal an& reli"ious &isharmony* Sri Lanka has an i&eal environment to &o so +ith the &eliberate emas$ulation of 'ule of La+* !he $on&ition is +orse +ith the 3inistry of .efen$e virtually $ontrollin" &ire$tly an& in&ire$tly a "reater #ortion of $ivilian life of the so$iety in$lu&in" la+ enfor$ement &evelo#ment re$reation business an& strate"i$ &e$ision makin" at all levels* un&re&s of $hur$hes an& mos7ues +ere atta$ke& in broa& &ayli"ht an& these $ontinue unabate& +ith im#unity not only be$ause of the $olla#se of 'ule of La+ but also be$ause su$h hatre& is #romote& as an i&eolo"i$al tool* :n that ba$k"roun& GOSL is unable to ans+er a sin"le 'ule of La+-relate& issue su$$essfully in an international forum* 9or is there any +illin"ness by the re"ime to $han"e its attitu&e any time sooner* :nstea& the GOSL $omes out +ith rhetori$ that s o##osition an& 9GOs are tarnishin" the ima"e of the $ountry6Same is true +ith ho+ "overnment $on&u$ts international affairs* :t a##ears that the "overnment is $onfuse& +ith internal i&eolo"y an& "lobal #oliti$al i&eolo"ies* We &o +itness &ifferent #oliti$al i&eolo"ies - an& in a&&ition &ifferent &ialo"ues base& on #hiloso#hies D #oliti$al theory su$h as 9orth South &ialo"ue et$* GOSL is tryin" har& to sell @u&&hist values on"oin" &evelo#ment in the 9orth or 2500 years history of Sri Lanka but nothin" is $onne$te& to international #oliti$s at &i#lomati$ level* !he issues are not raise& on +hether GOSL follo+ @u&&hist values or +hether GOSL &oes not &evelo# the $ountry* !here are many other $ountries ol&er than our $iviliation* o+ever +ith the i&eolo"i$al 4umble GOSL is unable to take a stan&6y#o$risy on uman 'i"hts an& not bein" !ruthful,resi&ent 'a4a#aksak ne+ the im#ortan$e of human ri"hts +hen he +ent to Geneva in 1?EF/E* e +as amon" the lea&in" #oliti$al fi"ures in the 3others< ront +hi$h +orke& a"ainst &isa##earan$es &urin" the then 89, re"ime*:t is im#ortant to realie that the international human ri"hts &o not &e#en& on fe+ Western nations as alle"e& by some rather it is a $olle$tive $ontribution of a $ombination of in&ivi&uals or"aniations an& #ro"ressive states* : am not &efen&in" attem#ts to mani#ulate human ri"hts by any state* :nternational human ri"hts have no+ #ro"resse& mu$h beyon& ,resi&ent 'a4a#aksa<s #ro-human ri"hts era* !he +orl& no+ re$o"nies the universality of human ri"hts - meanin" human ri"hts is im#ortant any+here in the +orl& irres#e$tive of "eo"ra#hi$al limitations* Let us not for"et that human ri"hts that +e s#eak of to&ay ha& evolve& thou"h human e#erien$e* : have hear& the ,resi&ent an& many others boastin" that Sri Lanka has learnt human ri"hts from @u&&hism for over 2500 years but are +e #ra$ti$in" them no+> :n any $ase +hat is bein" &is$usse& un&er human ri"hts is $ertain le"al ri"hts not limite& to reli"ious values alone* lmost all reli"ions have #romote& $ertain as#e$ts of human ri"hts*:n my vie+ the only +ay to meet the "lobal human ri"hts $hallen"es to be "enuine in the $ommitment to #rote$t an& #romote human ri"hts* :f Sri Lanka a&&resses human ri"hts issues "enuinely no other $ountry $an #oint fin"ers at us* Why +e fail internationally is be$ause +e &o not &o it "enuinely* Look at 'atu#as+ela tta$k
'GREASE yaka' 
 atta$ks in Jaffna Aatunayake ! tta$k On killin" of Journalists an& me&ia :nstitutions on"oin" atta$ks atta$ks an& so On On $hur$hes an& 3os7ues* Sri Lanka &oes not a&&ress human ri"hts issues "enuinely* =uite $ontrary the "overnment has nasty rea$tions on those +ho raise the issues an& un&esirable &enials on ea$h of those instan$es* Government #ortrays human ri"hts as a &evastatin" #hiloso#hy* !hose +ho #romote the vision an& i&eolo"y of the re"ime $ontinue to &enoun$e human ri"hts* Worl& &oes not think so* t the en& of the &ay the re"ime +ants #ubli$ to re4e$t human ri"hts be$ause human ri"hts #oses an alternative human vision to the &ominant vision of $reate& by the re"ime itself* :t is not too late to realie that the international human ri"hts have &evelo#e& so ra#i&ly that any anti-human ri"hts front $annot $o#e u# +ith the fresh $hallen"es* !his is the stark reality for GOSL +hen o#enly $on&emnin" human ri"hts for survival*

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