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Stop International Interference in Sri Lanka 

By Pushpamala Iriyagolle Dharmasena

Unfortunately, most of our former governments actively sought direct help from various countries, especially from India and the west, urging them to take an active role in solving our internal problem. LTTE terrorism was blatantly encouraged by India during the Gandhi period with guerilla training, weapons and funds supplied to the Tigers to destabilize and balkanize Sri Lanka. When President J.R. Jayawardena accused India of intrigue with facts, figures and maps of Tiger training camps, the Indians unabashedly denied everything. India has never apologized for the damage it did to a small and helpless neighbor. But we are a nation with congenital amnesia. As Buddhists, it’s good to forgive our enemies. But should we forget so soon and worse, trust every Tom, Dick and Harry from aboard to pulls us out of the hole which they themselves dug for us?

As a nation, we natively internationalized our domestic problem. Family quarrels should never be sent beyond the front door, but political parties and successive oppositions made it a habit of running to London, Washington, Oslo, Paris or Tokyo to complain about our own governments. They still do. Not even the poorest banana republic does this. Even they have what’s called self – respect. Our politicians are the only ones on earth who don’t have any. Recently an Irish Minister went to meet the Tigers in Kilinochchi with government blessings. An Indian official came to find out how we are treating the Tamils and tell us how to create a federal state for Tamils. When is this charade, this circus, going to end?

So maybe brought upon ourselves this spate of unwanted "advice" by all kinds of foreign governments and sundry johnnies who pass through our transit lounge at the airport. Our media rush to interview these interlopers, asking the question – "What do you think of the Sri Lankan problem?" and "How do you think we can solve it?". Pat comes the answer, "Talk peace with the LTTE and come to a negotiated settlement". They even add, "The Tamils have been discriminated and it’s best to give them federal region". This is the height of cheek. Not even the poorest banana republic would stand this kind of nonsense. But then, this is Sri Lanka, where any joker is free to tell us how to run our affairs and how to clean up our act. Colonial servility is yet entrenched in our veins.

It’s high time we realized the hole we are in due to our own folly. When in trouble, by all means seek help and there is nothing wrong with that. But bootlicking and foreigner in the process is downright stupid. Our politicians should understand that we must never internationalize our internal problems.

Terrorism should not be tolerated. It is being hounded by the whole world and terrorists everywhere are being hunted and destroyed. In response to a truce offer by Al Qaeda, White House spokesman Scott McClellan declared on January 19, 2006.

"We do not negotiate with terrorists. We just put them out of business."

US Vice President Dick Cheney added:

"I think you have to destroy them. It’s the only way to deal with them."

Army Generals do not talk politics. Their job is to destroy enemy. Not to negotiate with them for political solutions. General Norman Schwartzkopf of "Desert Strom" fame, when asked whether there is room for forgiveness to terrorists and to those who aided and abetted them, very pithily stated:

"I believe that forgiving them id God’s function. Our job is simply to arrange the meeting."

While urging us to talk peace, to negotiate and to offer all sorts of carrots in the form of federalism etc., to the Tigers, the west and even India, blasts their own terrorists to smithereens. They even invade foreign nations in the process as was done in Iraq and Afghanistan. But unfortunately, what is sauce for the Goose does not appear to be sauce for the Gander.

The government has now talked enough. Talks are never going work with Velupillai Prabakaran. So let us take a leaf out of Gen. Schwartzkopf’s book. Let’s arrange that meeting between God and Velupillai P. soon.

Meanwhile let us have the guts to tell the international community including the co-chairs, "Thanks for your advice, but no thanks." MOD SL

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July 9, 2006 - Posted by | Media Journalism, News and politics, South Asia, World News

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