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to see developments that have occurred in the region since his last visit two years ago, and the work that remains to be done, following thirty years of conflict. He was able to talk to people who had suffered 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 Visits Northern Sri Lanka, 31 January 2013, http://ukinsrilanka.fco.gov.uk/en/news/?view=PressR&id=854241082 It 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 wiped out 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 *multitude of other reports) Half the world got together and supported the Sri Lankan government to bring an end 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 the LTTE has been that the government is not only interested in continuing the post-independence agenda of oppressing the ethnic minorities but also intent on crushing them much more psychologically and morally by heavily militarising the area, filling up the space with huge war memorials and very many Buddha statues and temples, pushing inland all the Tamils from coastal areas, not holding the elections for Northern Province and keeping the Presidential Task Force for Northern Development in Colombo (National Peace Council of Sri Lanka, 26 July 2012), taking away the farming, fishing and other economic activities from the Tamil population by the army and the navy (speeches by TNA MPs in parliament and *). Gas chambers are not necessary to humiliate people in a small island (in a hemisphere where HR is a dirty word) in a geopolitically strategic location. (*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 but either 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 MakeBelieve. This government followed their footsteps and appointed 15 Commissions in the last 6/7 years and the reports are with the President without being made public. Those Commissions are on murders, abductions, disappearances and corruption at high levels. Will the British let the FCO get away with a millionth of that obscenity? ''Sri Lanka unites'' is a trick played effectively by the Sri Lankan government on UKinSriLanka to deflect the attention away from the severe oppression of ethnic minorities. It is not expert academic knowledge but school playground wisdom that if there is oppression of one group by another there cannot 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 highest order to ask FCO for funding. But then FCO has an obligation to have the integrity to work out the ground reality. Even if the FCO refuses to believe reports by AI, HRW, ICG, ICJ, IBA, AHRC, WCC, etc the House of Commons and the House of Lords produced two reports, one on the role of the Commonwealth and the other on Aid Effectiveness last year.
Denial of post-independence economic development to the North and the East by successive governments that has been driving Tamils out of the North and the East into the South There is ample evidence European and North American researchers) over the last 3/4 decades to show that foreign aid has been exacerbating the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka. When the government has been severely restricting the INGOs from helping the war-ravaged Tamils it is devilishness to ask for funding ''SriLanka Unites''. Furthermore There has been a series of attacks on mosques, churches and 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-churchleader-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-thisexplosive-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; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority'' - Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012 (*a Sinhalese Buddhist and Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Princeton University) ''Chandra R. de Silva implies that Buddhist monastic opposition to a non-unitary state has contributed to the conflict. He appreciates the reasons for this, but pleads for a system of monastic education that would expose 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 study devolved administrations. They met a wide range of politicians, senior officials, religious groups and community 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 their effigies 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 Norwegian Ministry 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 Sri Lanka. .... One possible strategy for supporting pro-peace actors might be to encourage support from countries 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 must be stationed in Sri Lanka to ensure minorities are protected’’. CEYLON : A DIVIDED NATION, B H Farmer(1963):''The truth is simply that nobody unacceptable to the present Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism has any chance of constitutional power in contemporary Ceylon.'' The Southerners and Buddhist clergy have been totally opposed to devolution of power (opposing BC pact and D-C pact) unleashing pogroms from 1950s onwards. Some government ministers and Defence Secretary have been asking for repeal of 13th Amendment for a few years. These are the people ''SriLanka unites'' should be working: ''Sri Lanka unites'' reinforces the misinformation in the textbooks and hence complements the hatred spread by textbooks of the last six decades. http://www.scribd.com/doc/104760706/Sri-Lanka-Education-for-War-Must-Be-Transformed-IntoEducation-for-Peace
It thus appears that UKinSriLanka colludes with the government of Sri Lanka and gives a false picture of 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 the value 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:drchris-nonis-addresses-the-multifaith-forum-in-the-uk-parliament-&catid=1:news&Itemid=95
UKinSriLanka 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 understanding linkages 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 tranquillity was supplanted 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 so painstakingly developed? What can we learn and share from our experiences that may help others to avoid following a similar path? How can we share what we have learned most powerfully and effectively? The 'we' of these questions are, principally, political leaders and citizens of the nations, from Angola to Zaire , that have been victimised by civil war. There is another group of individuals, too, who must continue to pose questions about the causes and prevention of civil wars. Foreign political leaders, multilateral and non-governmental organisation leaders, leaders in the private sector and development practitioners share in the responsibility for causing civil wars, though they bear few of the costs .... My vision is of a day
when no citizens in today's developing nations will have to ask 'how did we come to this?' Paradise Poisoned will have achieved its purpose when that day comes.'' .The remit for foreign envoys now has an explicit guide in UN policy on Human Rights in Business on top of OECD guidelines on foreign engagement in conflict situations - only the war was over in May 2009 in Sri Lanka but the conflict continues on: http://www.amnesty.org/en/sri-lanka http://www.hrw.org/asia/sri-lanka/ http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/regions/asia/south-asia/sri-lanka.aspx http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/sri-lanka http://www.peace-srilanka.org/media-centre/political-analysis http://en.rsf.org/sri-lanka.html http://cpj.org/asia/sri-lanka/ http://www.icj.org/country/asia-pacific/south-asia/sri-lanka/ http://www.ibanet.org/Human_Rights_Institute/Work_by_regions/Asia_Pacific/Sri_Lanka.aspx