‘The truth and not justice against the racist’ – Nelson Mandela and Tamil Chief Minister Wigneshwaren

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President Maithripala Sirisena speaking at the ‘Ranaviru Commemoration Parade 2015’ held in Matara on Tuesday said that the reconciliation proce…

Naming and Shaming

Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister and TNA politico C. V. Wigneswaran made a statement when he went to pay his respects to the war dead …

Northern Provincial Council Chief Minister and TNA politico C. V. Wigneswaran made a statement when he went to pay his respects to the war dead at Mullivaikkal, Mullaitivu on Monday (18 May).
It was at Mullivaikkal that LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran’s body was found and where the LTTE fought its last battle.
He said that Tamils don’t want to punish the perpetrators, but they are only seeking the truth about what transpired. Wigneswaran was referring to civilian casualties and also the killing of alleged LTTE surrendees, especially during the closing stages of the war against terrorism in 2009.

His was a plea for truth and not for justice, similar to the plea made by South Africa’s famous apartheid freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, who sought the truth and not justice against the racist whites in South Africa, when its apartheid regime was finally broken in the early 1990s.

warcrims-3It’s said that the reason that drove Mandela to seek for truth and not justice, which led to the establishment of the Truth Commission, was not because he was guided by Abraham Lincoln’s philosophy of “With malice toward none and charity for all,” only, but also by realism.

In the case of Mandela, he felt that a truth seeking commission rather than a justice seeking commission would induce the whites, whose expertise and skills were needed by Black South Africa, post apartheid, to take that country forward, would then prevent them from leaving its shores, an event, if it had taken place, would have had left South Africa an orphan, economically.

Likewise, it’s pragmatism getting the better of politics, or, rather than wanting to seek revenge or justice, that has made Wigneswaran, perhaps a first from a politico from a nationalist Tamil political party from the North and East to say, that what the Tamils are seeking for is the truth as to what happened at the last stages of the war and not justice.

He also stressed the importance of the surviving family members in the ‘Northern’ war, being informed of the fate of their loved ones who have since ‘disappeared.’

In as much as a closed economy stifled Sri Lanka’s progress for 21 long years from 1956 to 1977, similarly, if in the event Colombo adopts the attitude of the three proverbial monkeys of ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ on the alleged war crimes issue, it would then run the risk of being economically isolated from the rest of the world, a natural consequence of being first isolated politically, by not heeding to their call for investigations into such.

War Crime sri lanka-It’s the international community, which is also Sri Lanka’s main market, i.e. the West, whether those be merchandise exports or tourism services exports, which, ipso facto, takes main delivery of such. And, breaking their rules and laws by not conducting an inquiry as spelt out by Wigneswaran is playing with economic fire, threatening to make Sri Lanka desolate, similar to what happened to the island in the period 1970-77.
The international community represented by the UN is mainly driven by the diktats of the West led by the USA. However, a saving grace, in the event Sri Lanka is nonchalant to the demands of the West in regard to finding out the truth as to what happened during the closing stages of the war, is the lesson which the international community (West) has learnt by trying to dictate their terms of governance to certain countries in the Middle East, which has resulted in those countries being left in tatters.

Examples of which are Libya, Iraq and Syria. Those were dictatorships, which, Sri Lanka, post 8 January 2015, however, is not. Western interference in those countries, together with their allies (Israeli bombing of Syria for example), either directly or indirectly were mainly militaristic, though economic sanctions, such as against Syria, have also been used. There may have been regime changes in those countries due to those actions (the exception being Syria), but the lot of those peoples and the conditions of those countries, mainly from an economic perspective, have been worse off than before.

nesonHowever, there will be no military action against Colombo in the event it does not toe the line by not investigating into the alleged war crimes in question, though there is a possibility of economic sanctions being imposed on it which may be just as bad.
That may cause instability leading to terrorism which is not to the liking of the West. Terrorism nowadays is an exportable commodity. They are having a taste of it since ‘9/11.’ Therefore, ‘naming and shaming’ as advocated by Wigneswaran is a panacea for ‘all,’ with ‘all’ in this drama including Colombo, the international community and not least the Northern Tamils.
Such an action, ‘With malice toward none and charity for all,’ is also the engine needed to take the economy forward.
Which however, comes first? ‘Naming and shaming’ or general elections or UN Human Rights sessions in Geneva in September? Polls of course!