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Jan-03-2014 11:13printcomments

Sri Lanka on Full Throttle to Save its Skin & the Tamils Will have to Match It

If the parties could get together, many of the problems faced by the Tamils would be solved. In addition to policy alignment, duplication of duties could be avoided. Travelling, which is a major cost, could be spread among all of them.

Sri Lanka at Geneva

(MELBOURNE) - With the dawn of the New Year Sri Lanka is slated to experience pressing political and diplomatic challenges in 2014. Main among them is the session of the United Nations Human Rights Council scheduled for March 2014. The government is bracing for the event, and already appointments have been sought with the member states for a lobbying-spree ahead of the session. The UNHRC will appraise Sri Lanka’s progress on the implementation of matters outlined in its resolution adopted last March. It would like to see nearly all the clauses in the last resolution fulfilled. From all accounts available it has little to offer to UNHRC 2014.

So, Sri Lanka is planning to go on full throttle on an international diplomatic spree to get all the support it can to defeat whatever resolution that is submitted in the UNHRC in 2014. It will look for soft spots from the third world countries in in Africa and South America, who are not so amused with the Western policies. During this years election in UNHRC, Algeria, China, Cuba, France Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Namibia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Vietnam, Russia, and United Kingdom, were elected by secret ballot at UN Headquarters in New York. Sri Lanka should be pleased that Cuba, China, South Africa and Russia and perhaps Vietnam had rejoined the UNHRC

That may not be enough to defeat the resolution. With the general election coming soon, India may not be able to change its stand on its voting for the resolution. Flushed with Chinese money and the inducement of investment and trading opportunities, Sri Lanka will go on its diplomatic offensive. It may have to draw in some of those who voted for the resolution last year.


This puts an additional pressure on the Tamil Diaspora to go on their own offensive. Fifty six Tamil organisations voted for a New Year Resolution to bring Rajapaksa to books. Two other parties, GTF and BTF abstained from signing the resolution. I suppose GTF wants to bring in South African Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) into Sri Lanka to save the criminal Rajapaksa clique from the gallows. To date GTF has not given any reason why Sri Lanka needed a truth and reconciliation resolution. Even frustrated TNA, after trying to appease Sri Lanka, now wants a credible and independent international investigation. So,we can understand why GTF failed to sign the resolution; but what about BTF?

What baffles an average Tamil is why about 4 million Sri Lankan Tamils require more than 58 organisations to represent them. Even two or three may be too much. The job before them is enormous. They had to match with the huge funding that Sri Lanka gets. Tamils by nature are not known for their contribution of funds.


The next problem we face is the scarcity of resources. This could be overcome only by pooling resources. For this reason all the parties will have to merge together, either by dissolving the minor parties or by aligning with the major party.

Here, obviously, TGTE is in the lead. It should accommodate the other parties without sacrificing its main policies, for example on the question of Eelam. Soon one would notice the minor parties will all become irrelevant and would suffer a natural death, especially those that do not have a firm policy that appears logical to many.

If the parties could get together, many of the problems faced by the Tamils would be solved. In addition to policy alignment, duplication of duties could be avoided. Travelling, which is a major cost, could be spread among all of them. The Tamils could reach out to many countries and speak with the same voice without contradictions. Moreover, foreign powers may not be able to manipulate one party against the other. All these need hard work and sacrifices from all Tamils. Right now we are depending on the Western powers to do most of our policy directions and God-mothers like Navi Pillay, but please remember, the Western powers have their own geopolitical priorities, which may not synchronize with ours. So, as far as possible it is good to be on our feet.

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