While this is going to bring down on my head the wrath of the B&PF (Bought-& -Paid –For) horde of the Rajapaksa Sycophancy, AGAIN, that certainly does not provide me or anyone else with a smidgen of morality left with the excuse of silence in the face of the monumental hypocrisy practiced by the lot that claims to represent you and me as “our” government.
There is, literally, no end to the finger-pointing against the “International Community” (the so-called Western Democracies) for their effrontery in accusing the Sri Lanka government of destroying what little is left of democracy in an island that was once considered the epitome of democratic practice in Asia, until that abomination of a Constitution that Dr. Colvin R. De Silva produced and which Yankee Dick, J. R. Jayewardene, “improved upon.” What is most fascinating and consistent about all of this is the fact that every response to criticism from this quarter is that “they did it first.”
To begin with, that kind of response speaks loudly and clearly to two facts:
It is a clear admission of acceptance of the truth of the accusation and
It is an equally clear admission that the alleged transgression is a serious and unacceptable one.
When the establishment of the IDP camps was first criticized, the Abu Ghraib military prison in Iraq was trotted out, seemingly, every time there was a suggestion that the Sri Lankan government was practicing less than pristine humanitarianism in the matter of those in its custody.
What happened in that Iraqi prison was a disgrace, to put it mildly, as were such incidents as the extraordinary rendition of the Syrian-Canadian Maher Arar, to Damascus, by the U.S. security agencies where he was subjected to torture in an effort to have him admit to crimes of which he was totally innocent. All of this was in the name of the U.S’s “War on Terror,” the local equivalent of which continues to be practiced in Serendipitous Sri Lanka, notwithstanding the claim that the LTTE has been annihilated and survivors, if any, “rehabilitated.”
However, what our local geniuses fail to mention while their hysteria reaches new heights on the subject of the transgressions of “the West” is the fact that, literally, thousands of Tamils have been and are being incarcerated without benefit of due process of any description and, God forbid, the application of that cornerstone of justice, Habeas Corpus. Even their identities are not revealed to those legitimately needing to have such information. In addition and in many instances, it is not known whether thousands of those being sought are even still among the living.
Also, and perhaps most important, unlike Abu Ghraib and Maher Arar’s case, there has been nothing that anyone has been able to do to rectify this state of affairs apart from making periodic references to it such as this column is doing in this instance.
Leave alone prosecutions of those guilty, the vast majority of whom have not even been charged with any offence and there has been no acknowledgement of that reality. Even if these people have been treated as honoured guests of Our Crown, there is still something to be desired in a situation when, two annual victory celebrations later, we have neither charged nor freed them. From the information that has leaked out from within those places of incarceration, Abu Ghraib begins to look like a not too bad place in comparison to our detention facilities for enemies of the state as defined by our current rulers! For the benefit of those who never tire of suggesting all those critical of our current government’s conduct are C.I.A. “plants” in Sri Lanka, let me remind them that there were many of us active in fighting for Maher Arar and against the policies practiced particularly by Dubya Bush, his father and their satellite countries, all in the name of “Wars” of one description or another, be it “drugs,” “terrorism” or whatever else might have been the flavour of the week. Apropos of which a legitimate question might also be: where were the Sri Lankan supporters of the Rajapaksa Regime in places as exotic as Windsor, Ontario and other joints more local when many Sri Lankans both here and abroad were engaged in the struggle for human rights and the basic dignity of people without consideration for skin colour, nationality or religion? I suggest they were too busy sucking up to Dubya Bush and their clones in places such as Sri Lanka!
Much as the U.S. political system and those of its allies in the “developed” world are riddled with corruption, the huge difference between it and our Sri Lankan claimants to a democracy purer than the driven snow is the fact that everything, going back from Abu Ghraib through Mai Lai to the circumstances of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki has been exposed and questioned within the perpetrating countries themselves. This is true of pretty well all of the huge scandals that reflected adversely on the Excited States of Amnesia and its other major allies such as Great Britain, France and Germany. Given this state of affairs, to suggest that what prevails here is superior to the status quo and what preceded it in the so-called Western World is more than hypocritical. It is dishonest and untrue no matter how many “Pingan Hodana Doctors (PhDs)” mouth that nonsense.
In any event, why on earth has anyone to compare himself to Satan or some such dark entity to prove the legitimacy of his actions?