Disregard pressure from chauvinists
May 31st, 2008
by Dr. Vickramabahu Karunaratne
It was a new experience for me, to watch the Human Rights Commission sittings, chaired by Nissanka Udulagama. I know Nissanka as a soft but fast spoken person with a precision mind. A true noble, ever so humble and never gives into perks or pressures. Perhaps the truth will come out from this Commission. We have to cross our fingers and wait. But already there is pressure from racists such as Gomin Dias and SL Gunasekara to tarnish the image of the Commission and that of the commissioners. They want the Government to dismiss this commission, apparently because it is full of people committed to seek the truth! I am not joking. What else can you say about the people such as Manori, Nesiah and Wijeratne? I am sure these racist campaigners will ask whether we are interested in the human rights violations by the LTTE. Of course we are.
The LTTE is conducting a ferocious military fight against the Government and as Trotsky said in Their morals and our morals the LTTE terror is merciless. The LTTE is committed to Tamil Eelam and it will fight using all methods available to achieve that. The only moral principle that can defeat the LTTE is total liberty, equality and the right of self determination to the Tamil speaking people. Nothing else. Merciless killing of Trinco Tamil youth or the brutal murder of 17 welfare workers at Sampur is not going to change anything. In fact the cover up of the truth only added salt to the wound.
I was asked to come and watch the sessions by Chandra. He insisted that my presence could give a morale boost to those who stand for human rights against the threats of the racists. I heard that chauvinist leaders visited the commission with threatening behaviour. On that day no such thing could be seen. However, many who were there were happy to see me. The Commission sat in a room designated as the restaurant! Though the battle was of words spoken, breaking the dead silence from time to time, it was a real battle of heroes and villains. Obviously my heroes were Ranjit Abeysooriya, Rathnavel and Chandrapala Kumarage. The trojans were represented by SL Gunasekara and his adjutants. Ranjit, my Achilles, with sharp questioning dissected every word uttered by police DIG Wijethilaka. Were the arms carried by the suspected police officers used in that moment of tragedy? This can be ascertained only by checking the issue and the return of weapons and ammunition from the documents kept at the armoury. Substantial support was given to Ranjit by both Rathnavel and Kumarage. SL spoke very little. Maybe because more words would have brought out more truths. The DSG representing the interest of the police officers followed SL and earned his living. No one can blame the poor bloke.
This investigation will be completed if and when witnesses who are scared to come in the open are allowed to give evidence by cyber conference technology. Today a real witness may not come physically to the court house, if there are threats that can be proven to be real. New technology allows witnesses to be in a safe place and participate in the commission sitting.
Apparently this has been approved and the foreign money component is already provided but the local component which is an insignificantly small amount is being withheld by the presidential secretariat. Who is protecting whom? Are the killers paid agents of the Mahinda regime? I cannot see in anyway the logic of killing innocent youth or the killing of welfare workers. How can that help to suppress Tamils, if that is the aim of the killers?
However this sort of commission, even if it fails to bring the wrongdoers to books, will give the public a picture of what happened, and who is to really blame. Already the picture is in the making and the continuation of the Commission will expose the horrible repression launched by the Government. Obviously one can understand the eagerness of the chauvinist supporters of the Government to stop the continuation of the Udulagama Commission.
On the other hand, the wilful attack on the Commission will further destroy the image of the Government both locally and internationally. Mahinda managed to please India and the West by appointing a Tamil chief minister in the Eastern province. However the gamble may not work for more than a few weeks unless Mahinda plays a few more tricks to satisfy both his masters and the local followers. One such gamble maybe to continue with the commissions disregarding the pressure from the chauvinists.
Entry Filed under: transCurrents