Saturday, March 17, 2007

GOSL 'Sympathisers' and their response to attributions of Human Rights Violations on the GOSL

This post is in response to the debate on Groundviews based on a post by Indi. (http://www.groundviews.org/2007/03/13/significant-other/#more-311) Indi’s post is in response to an article by Bandula Jayasekera’s in the Daily News titled "Go Tell the LTTE" (http://www.dailynews.lk/2007/03/12/news05.asp)


The "Govt sympathizers'" response to allegations of human rights violations is to attack the identity of the persons and say that you are no better. So when the US or the UK Governments talk about the deteriorating human rights standards in the country the Govt sympathizers' response is: "You are no better. You have no right to talk. Look at what you are doing in Iraq". The objective is the elevation sought to be morally superior to these countries. This is their way of responding to HR allegations. To me this type of argument is very much the same as "if you can do it, we also can do it". Tacitly they are agreeing that we are no better than the UK or the US as with regards to these countries handling of the human rights situation in Iraq. They would even say “Your war on terror has some unfortunate consequences. Our war on terror also has some unfortunate consequences”. But I do agree that countries like the US and the UK have long lost their credibility to talk about other countries’ human rights records.

The response that the GOSL sympathizers provide to the civil society groups is by linking them to the LTTE. (Again, as I see it, seeking to elevate them to this ‘morally superior level’). The new terminology 'Sinhala Kottiya' is devastating. “All those criticizing the GOSL of human rights violations are against the war and hence supporters of the LTTE” – This is the Governments and their sympathizers’ very simple logic.

Similarly, “You don’t criticize the LTTE enough and hence you must be an LTTE sympathizer”. Without answering appropriately allegations of HR violations that are being attributed to them, the GOSL and its sympathizers by engaging in this mud slinging, inadvertently are saying that the Govt is no better than the LTTE when it comes to human rights violations. These arguments appear to me that these people are willing to give ‘parity of status’ to the LTTE with the GOSL when it comes to human rights violations!!

The “Go to Killinochchi” and “Tell Killinochchi” argument does have some substance in it. It poses the difficult question of how civil society groups can independently work within an environment where non state armed actors prevail.

That we have the best combination in the form of the President, Gottabayah and the Army commander is a comment that infuriates me. Best combination for whom? For those who have been 'liberated' from Vaharai? For those who have been displaced? For those who have been abducted and disappeared? Bandula dismisses the problem of abductions as a negligible problem that shouldn’t attract our attention given the exuberant patriotism that is manifested in this trio. How low will the state media bend to please people whom they consider their 'bosses'? (Bandula Jayasekera is by the way the Editor of Daily News)

49 comments:

Just Mal said...

My sympathies are more with the SLA rather than the governing party. Yes, I'm worse than you thought.

Anyway, the contention is not that ""You are no better. You have no right to talk. Look at what you are doing in Iraq" or "if you can do it, we also can do it".

The reality is that they (ie: other countries fighting similar terror groups) are compelled to do these things under similar circumstances. Neither Sri Lanka nor these other countries enjoy doing these things. They go against the very ideals they are fighting to protect, and may in fact deteriorate us to the same shithole as the terrorists. Nevertheless, the fact is that we *have* to, because otherwise the terrorists would win and that would be a worse outcome. What we've got is the lesser evil and there is no realistic third option.

As for "Sinhala koti" (I'm glad of its "devastating" impact), I think the term is fair to be used on those individuals/organisations whose criticism of the government's abuses is as unfair and unjust as is their lack of any criticism of the terrorists'. If the SLA were to fight (or rather not to) according to their rules and guidelines, they would inevitably lose the war. If the result of their criticism is a victory for the LTTE, who would certainly commit worse offenses than the SLA/govt, would it not be fair to call these people LTTE supporters? Granted, some of them may well be genuinely concerned about human rights abuses by all parties, but many are either from the Ngot/peacenik left establishment or the TNA/LTTE camp, hence our doubts about their motives and convictions.

I think the combination of the president, PM, defence secretary and the army commander is the best for those of us who want to see LTTE destroyed.

Anonymous said...

I am a Srilankan Tamil who lived in Colombo throughout and always condoned the killings and hated the LTTE for the brutuality and the fact i couldnt lead a peaceful life in Colombo without thinking when the next explosion is gonna take place.
But the situation as it is now is where i am more worried about the GOSL rather than the LTTE. If this is what you want each peace loving tamil to start thinking about then i think LTTE is winning the battle again.
Dont make the same mistakes that were made in 83

Anonymous said...

Dont make the same mistakes that were made in 83.

The biggest mistake being not getting rid of all of you.

Anonymous said...

"The biggest mistake being not getting rid of all of you."

----------------------------------
First They Came for the Jews (Tamils?)

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Well done...they have suceeded in getting rid of hoards of Tamils....how the country has flourished and prospered since.

Anonymous said...

Yes. Sri Lanka's economic and social prosperity is inversely correlated to the number of terror Tamils.

Anonymous said...

I thought Tamils were cow worshipping Hindus. Have they all become Jews now? Why don't we ask our friendly Israeli government to take care of them then?

Anonymous said...

Apart from the facetious comment...who are the terror tamils and how did they increase?

Anonymous said...

I love how distorted these comments are. The Sri Lankan government is a bunch of hack criminals that have blatantly abused the human rights of both Tamils and Muslims. What a joke. The only thing that should be removed is this corrupt ethno-phobic Sinhalese government and the Rajapakse brothers should be put in jail for life. Get educated and read the recent UN Report on the Human Rights violations of these goons or better yet continue to be a coward and call everyone that doesn't agree with these thugs supporters of the LTTE which is a cop out.

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