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News Features


On ‘great’ Britain’s rancour at being belittled

By Malinda Seneviratne
I totally sympathise with David Miliband, Gordon Brown, Jeremy Page and the Times of London for being pissed out of their minds regarding Sri Lanka, especially after the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution last week hailing the defeat of terrorism and inter alia snubbing these little Brits. Post-Empire Angst, after all is a malady that takes several generations to work itself out of the psyche of a nation, a society or a community.

Yes, they got snubbed. It probably hurts them, probably haunts their dreams and wakeful hours and that’s because they are caught in a time warp; Britain, not ‘great’ then and certainly not ‘great’ now, can’t get over the fact that the party is over. So they go overboard with rhetoric and emotion, untruth and embellishment, mischievousness and envy, and in the process put their feet in their mouths. Now that is dumbness beyond comprehension.

David Miliband has been cut down to size in his own country. Gordon Brown’s days are numbered. The BBC gave its best shot at colonial fantasising. - Looks like www.timesonline.co.uk is a slower learner. Brats are like that, I suppose. But let us indulge. Let us hope that they will learn. Let us help them learn.

They’ve got a nice round figure. Twenty thousand. That’s 7,000 civilians who are supposed to have been killed between January and April 2009 and 13,000 in 18 days since the May 1, 2009. The way they got this number indicates that not only are their understanding of politics, history and geography abysmal, their arithmetic is worse.

In the first place, the number 7,000 came from a UN worker and the UN quickly retracted the figure, admitting that it could not be substantiated. So some unauthorised idiot throws a number and then it is all of a sudden ‘a UN figure’. Another UN source (unnamed of course) says ‘the Army is killing 1,000 civilians a day’. Neat. A round figure. Now who on earth can actually count 1,000 dead bodies a day? Taking out the night hours, it would mean counting a body per minute, assuming of course the bodies were all lined up neatly so that counting can be easy. Now throw in the shelling that is alleged to have taken place and picture someone diligently going around an area of 5-10 square kilometers jotting down the number of bodies. I would call such a person a ‘nutcase’. No, I believe that nothing of the sort happened or could have happened. Only a nutcase him/herself would believe this unnamed UN source.

The argument is ‘buttressed’ by quoting a Tamil Catholic priest. He has ‘confirmed’ apparently, that the figure is accurate. So we have had two nutcases, not one, walking around an area where there were some 150,000 civilians being shelled by the Sri Lankan security forces while being shot at by the LTTE when they tried to flee the area. All this in the midst of gunfire and smoke, burning and mayhem, let us not forget. Should we laugh? No, we should feel sad that Britain is home to newspaper houses that employ idiots as journalists whose badly researched pieces are passed by equally idiotic editors.

Let’s move on to the vote on Sri Lanka’s resolution at the UN Human Rights Council. Since these people like numbers, here are some. Twenty nine countries voted ‘aye’, 12 voted ‘nay’ and 6 abstained. We must remember that the original resolution submitted by Switzerland support for which was aggressively canvassed by Britain, had 17 signatories. There are more figures for those who like numbers. The countries that supported Sri Lanka represent a total of 9,991,114,086 people and those who were against represent just 469,007,944. That’s an out-voting by 8.5 times.

Britain and her European friends just can’t stomach reality and this is amply demonstrated in their reaction to the HRC vote. Human Rights Watch says ‘deeply disappointing’. Timesonline says ‘that would be breakthrough understatement’, that it was ‘an utter disgrace’. Times decides the resolution was flawed. I am not surprised. All references submitted by their journalists can be traced to a statement by a ruthless terrorist. When one is dumb enough to treat such uttering as biblical truth, then it is natural to come to such conclusions.

Their national malady, Post-Empire Angst, is more pronounced in the broadsides directed at the HRC and those who supported the resolution. ‘Support for the resolution come from the usual suspects - China, Russia, India, Pakistan and a clutch of Asian and Islamic nations determined to prevent the council ever investigating human rights violations in their own or any country.’ Well, they forget that the two nations determined not to have allegations of rights violation investigated are, in fact, the USA and Britain. The ladies and gentlemen of timesonline probably have erased Afghanistan and Iraq from their mind maps. The USA has made a national pastime of invading countries and killing non-white people. As for Britain, it is such a common thief that it had to do a brand-repositioning exercise by way of setting up a ‘Commonwealth’.

Michael Binyon, the author of the timesonline piece, is worried: “It marks a victory for all those countries facing domestic insurgencies who fear any serious investigation into their behaviour. It gives carte blanche to armies to use whatever means available to achieve victory.” Carte blanche did he say? Isn’t that what the USA has enjoyed for decades and Britain has for centuries? In Afghanistan and Iraq, moreover, that ‘carte blanch’ did not even yield ‘victory, remember Michael?

Canada’s representative, Terry Cormier, is sad: “We regret that our reasonable proposals were refused and that the credibility of the Council has been further undermined by the result.” Come, come, Terry, there was a democratic process that yielded this result. What’s ‘reasonable’ for one person may not be so for another. That’s why there are disagreements and that’s why votes are taken. In the democratic tradition, one accepts with grace the majority position.

Canada is not alone, of course. The European Union is also sad. In a statement following the loss of face at the HRC, the EU regrets “that it was not possible for the Human Rights Council to agree on an acceptable outcome of the special session addressing the serious human rights violations and the humanitarian crisis.”

Such high-mindedness! The EU has to learn that it is not going to get unanimous support for all its proposals. The ‘outcome’, these gentlemen and ladies from Europe needs to understand was acceptable to the majority of members.

Perhaps the lesson is simple. Perhaps this vote is a marker of a radical and irrevocable shift in the balance of power in the world. Sri Lanka took a stand. Russia, China and India supported her. Others, as ‘insignificant’ as Sri Lanka in the global political economy chose not to side with the Europeans. That’s not in the script that the Milibands of this world swear by. It is natural then for the lapdogs on the Empire resident in media houses of poor quality to be disappointed. Their world is collapsing before their eyes, they think. Soon they may realise that the collapse happened quite some time ago.

So rant, my friends, rant. The caravan doesn’t stop on account of yapping stray dogs, I am sure you’ve heard that one. Cheers.
(Malinda Seneviratne is a freelance writer. He can be reached at malinsene@gmail.com.)

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