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President Rajapaksa’s Terrorism Shibboleth

by Sachi Sri Kantha, September 6, 2011

Rajapaksa says that, “We are building a new society, learning from the lessons of the past, and moving towards the promise of future success.” Now that more than two years have passed, can he inform now, what percentage of Tamils (indigenous and Indian-origin) are represented in his predominantly Sinhalese-Buddhist dominated military forces? Other than having a few LTTE turncoats like V. Muralitharan (aka Karuna), S.Chandrakanthan (aka Pillaiyan) and Selvarasah Pathmanathan (aka KP), to lick his toes, has President Rajapaksa taken any remedial measures to negate the half a century old racist policy of a pro-Sinhalese army?

shibboleth >n. a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded, or no longer important. Origin: from Hebrew, sibbolet = ‘ear of corn’ used as a test of nationality by its difficult pronunciation. [New Oxford American Dictionary,2001, p. 1572]

President Mahinda Rajapaksa is hurting badly. First, his purported friend former Libyan strong man, Col. Muammar Gadaffi is in hiding. So, he cannot track him now. If caught alive, Col. Gadaffi may face war crimes indictment at the International Criminal Court in Hague. As of August 30th, Sri Lanka has yet to recognize the ‘new’ Libyan regime of the Transitional National Council. Secondly, he also seems to be hurt by the bruised relationship between Pakistan (his army’s terrorism benefactor) and Uncle Sam. Thirdly, due to accusations of genocide by his Sri Lankan army, his own travels to the UK and USA are also somewhat in a handicapped mode.

Col. Muammar Gaddafi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa 2009

Col. Muammar Gaddafi and President Mahinda Rajapaksa 2009

So, what else one can expect from President Rajapaksa? Release steam publicly from a podium in Colombo, surrounded by sycophants like Narasimhan Ram who lack the spine to challenge the bold faced lies blurted by a wounded president.

Colombo correspondent of the Hindu, R.K. Radhakrishnan, had the following report on September 4th. It appears N. Ram, the editor in chief of the Hindu, was also an invited speaker present in the podium.

“Coming down heavily on countries that demanded accountability for the civilian deaths in the last stages of the Eelam War IV in early 2009, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that for most of those who demand accountability, it was only a ‘verbal apology for civilian deaths that are dismissed as collateral damage in heavy bombings.’

He said the Sri Lankan success against terror was achieved ‘with much less of the assets, and none of the deceit and duplicity of those [the U.S. and its allies] who have been waging a War on Terror for more than a decade; those with much more economic and fire power than we had and many more allies than we ever had, but are still caught up in the killing fields made by unmanned drones and other lethal devices that attack civilians, too.’

Mr. Rajapaksa accused some countries of providing a ‘safe haven’ to ‘theoreticians of terror in Sri Lanka,’ and regretted that ‘the very individuals and institutions that point their fingers at us for our defeat of terror seem to be unaware of the truth about our prolonged battle against terrorism, and the very nature of those terrorists.’

Mr. Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka was on the path of reconstruction and reconciliation, and sought to consolidate the peace that had dawned after a protracted battle. ‘We are diverting all our energies to put the tragic years of terror well behind us. We are building a new society, learning from the lessons of the past, and moving towards the promise of future success,’ he said, and added that Sri Lanka remained committed to protecting human rights and equality for all.  [Hindu, Chennai, Sept.4, 2011]

Libya Recognition Aug 30 2011

With the exception of sycophants like N. Ram, knowledgeable folks are unwilling to sip President Rajapaksa’s terrorism shibboleth for the following reasons.

First, evidence exists that his own Sri Lankan armed forces had been active practitioners of terrorism. As typical of a slimy politico, Rajapaksa carefully skirts the root cause of Tamil terrorism in his public pronouncements. The policy of ethnic cleansing of Tamils in the Sri Lankan armed forces, instituted by his mentor Sirimavo Bandaranaike, was the root cause of Tamil terrorism. A valid internal evidence for the Rajapaksa brand of terrorism exists in the letter written by former Foreign Minister (and campaign manager for Rajapaksa’s first presidency election in 2005) Mangala Samaraweera, dated February 14, 2007, to President Rajapaksa, after he was sacked on February 9, 2007. I quote the relevant excerpt verbatim:

“We have absolutely no arguments against defeating the LTTE completely. But the human rights violations that occur within the country have now become a hindrance to defeating terrorism. By becoming known as a Government that violates human rights, we are allowing LTTE to build a case against us for the international community. Responding to terrorism with even more terrorism is not the act of a responsible Government.”

Check the wording in the first and last sentences! And Mangala Samaraweera should have known what he was writing about.

Secondly, President Rajapaksa deserves a medal as a high-ranking hypocrite. While ranting on about the terrorism of the LTTE, he boasts of friendship with Yasir Arafat and Col. Muammar Gadaffi, both major league stars on the terrorist leadership chart. Namini Wijedasa, writing for the Saudi Gazette noted, “President Rajapaksa has resurrected and propelled ties between Sri Lanka and Libya to new heights. And as an astute politician keen on building a personality cult for himself — not unlike Gaddafi in that respect — he has repeatedly capitalized on his friendship with the Libyan leader to get some personal mileage. In August 2009, for instance, state media trumpeted about President Rajapaksa attending Libya’s 40th Revolution Day celebrations as Gaddafi’s special guest. His spin doctors even said their president had achieved a diplomatic coup by being placed next to Gaddafi at the parade! He was shown watching the event with Gaddafi at his side, the Libyan leader’s arm draped casually over his shoulder. This image was widely circulated as proof of just how close President Rajapaksa was to Gaddafi. ” [March 9, 2011].

Thirdly, Rajapaksa gloats that, “with much less of the assets, and none of the deceit and duplicity”, he had defeated his enemy in 2009. If not for the foreign military assets and mercenary assist solicited and received from China, India, Pakistan, Ukraine, Iran, Israel, and blind-sided diplomatic goodwill from the USA, Canada and UK, his undisciplined army wouldn’t have had a dog’s chance to defeat the LTTE.  

Fourthly, Rajapaksa talks grandiosely that, “We are building a new society, learning from the lessons of the past, and moving towards the promise of future success.” Now that more than two years have passed, can he inform now, what percentage of Tamils (indigenous and Indian-origin) are represented in his predominantly Sinhalese-Buddhist dominated military forces? Other than having a few LTTE turncoats like V. Muralitharan (aka Karuna), S.Chandrakanthan (aka Pillaiyan) and Selvarasah Pathmanathan (aka KP), to lick his toes, has President Rajapaksa taken any remedial measures to negate the half a century old racist policy of a pro-Sinhalese army?

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