Now that Wimal Weerawansa in his inimitable way has managed to get the President of Sri Lanka to kneel down before him and offer water as many predicted, one wonders as to who would end up being the scapegoat of the government failure to get a better statement from the UN on Friday night - Prof. G.L. Peiris or Palitha Kohona
A conciliatory statement from New York became very much part of Weerawansa’s exit strategy following the failure of his move to get Russia to make a commitment. Though Russia had earlier made it clear that it was against the UN panel on Sri Lanka it acted prudently during the fast and refused to play to the gallery of the drama that was being enacted. The anticipated court order to remove Wimal from the site too never came.
When Wimal’s team got a copy of the much- prayed- for statement by the UN they found its contents to be a far cry from the party’s demand.
Running short of options the Weerawansa camp finally had to turn to their most bankable alternative, President Mahinda Rajapaksa - a visit by whom had been predicted by media entities from the very beginning of the death fast. The President surely would have been quite alive to the controversy that such a visit would trigger but still opted to drop in having waited for two days.
Knowing the Sri Lankan style of resolving issues one may well say that one would not be surprised if either External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris or Sri Lanka’s representative in New York Palitha Kohona faces the axe in the days to come. One cannot rule out an influential section of the ruling alliance jumping to the conclusion that a hurried commitment from Russia or a better worded statement from the UN would have saved face. Then comes the need to look for scapegoats.Wimal Weerawansa who referred to President Rajapaksa as his good buddy in his resignation letter is very unlikely to be pulled up despite the humiliation he brought to the twenty million people in the country with his comic act on the global stage. It is now up to the likes of Prof. Peiris and Dr. Kohona to clean the stable after the mess created by Weerawansa. But is there any point?
Sri Lanka has ceased to be a nation that has faith in diplomacy. It only has faith in amateurish retail politics that provides entertainment. There’s hardly a role for the likes of Peiris or Kohona in this government as long as the likes of Wimal Weerawansa calls the shots. So why not send Prof. Peiris and Dr. Kohona home.
(This is the text of the 'Daily Mirror' editorial of Jul 12th, 2010)