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News Features  


 

Moon reveals false veneer of humanitarian rhetoric

By Ven. Walpola Piyananda Chief Sangha Nayake of America

The Preamble to the United Nations Charter expresses the very highest ideals that countries might live by as guidelines for achieving world peace: tolerance for others, universal human rights, economic and social advancement for all. The Preamble set the intention for all countries to rise together in harmony as the world recovered from the devastation of two World Wars.
The current Secretary General of the UN has turned this esteemed organisation into the focus of derision and the butt of jokes in Sri Lanka; he has also tarnished its image around the world to an almost irreparable degree by revealing a dark layer of bias beneath his false veneer of humanitarian rhetoric. Ban Ki Moon, fueled by his desire to be re-elected to a second term, made several fatal mistakes when he appointed his Advisory Board for the Sri Lankan ‘war crimes’ issue.

First
His first mistake was for him and his Advisory Board to listen to members of the Tamil Diaspora, and their well-paid public relations spokesmen, rather than speak directly to Tamil people in post-war Sri Lanka during the information gathering process. In Sri Lanka all races now live in peace and harmony, and each is involved in the process of peacefully rebuilding the country.
The international Tamil Diaspora, which suffers from an inferiority complex because they don’t have a country to call their own, are bitter about losing the war. They just don’t seem to be willing to lay down their vitriol and hatred for the Sri Lankan Government – even though most of them weren’t born on Sri Lankan soil – because they can’t accept the fact that they will never be able to carve out a piece of our Motherland to call their own.

Second
Ban Ki-moon and his panel’s Second mistake during the information gathering process was to listen to an assortment of often-biased NGOs and their representatives, rather than to Sri Lankan military officers who were at the front of the war – or even our Deputy Ambassador to the UN,. Shavendra Silva, a learned individual who might have advised him quite differently. Moon never let the old saying, “consider your source” be his guide during his decision-making process, and he passed judgment using unreliable sources.

Third
His third mistake was to appoint an Advisory Board with two out of three of its members having a past record of speaking out in public directly against the Government of Sri Lanka. The third member, from the European Union, is, perhaps questionable, but at least he has no such public record. Moon’s thinly-veiled attempt at being fair and neutral was derailed from the beginning.

Fourth
His and the Board’s Fourth Mistake was to examine only the last two weeks of the war – rather than contexting the situation within the totality of thirty years of bloody war. We don’t need to remind ourselves of the hardship and violence of that period, but apparently the Secretary General did.

Fifth
His Fifth and perhaps most Fatal Mistake was to underestimate the strength of the Sri Lankan Government and the determination of the Sri Lankan people in regards to their resistance to succumbing to foreign powers and caving in to post-colonial influences. The Americans and others were angered by the fact that Sri Lanka did not “tow the line” and follow their orders at the end of the war; they obviously still carry a chip on their shoulder.
The former Ambassador Robert Blake was particularly incensed that he was denied the opportunity to bring peace – his way – which was to let Prabhakaran escape so he could regroup and start up the war under better circumstances in the future. I’m sure we will be hearing from Blake ad nauseum, as he refuses to make friends with the GOSL – in spite of his lip-service-only overtures.

The Secretary General has been stripped of his Emperor’s Clothes, and now stands before us a beaten, undoubtedly disillusioned figure. It is unlikely that he will ever be re-elected to his current post, and he can never undo the damage he did to the UN’s reputation as a fair and honest organisation that represents all countries – and is biased toward none. Yes, Moon, you have made the UN a joke. Some of us, however, don’t think it’s very funny.

By the way, we don’t think the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, is very funny either. She has consistently demonstrated an anti-Sri Lanka attitude, and her ‘welcome’ two days ago of the Panel of Expert’s report to the Secretary General was shouting out her bias just about as loud as she could. For the record, her flimsy, undocumented comments were neither appropriate nor accurate. Perhaps she is coming out and publicly announcing her association as a key leader of the Tamil Diaspora/LTTE rump – giving up her esteemed status as a seasoned international diplomat.
Perhaps she is naïve; perhaps not. At any rate, naiveté has no place in a critical situation where the fate of the government of 20 million people is at stake.