Sri Lanka resolution has 38 co-sponsors

Sri Lanka resolution has 38 co-sponsors

Bye Obama, hello Putin

Foreign Ministry denies claims on Ravinatha

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs says attention has been drawn to news reports and commentaries appearing over the past few days suggesting that the statement made by Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha at the 1st informal meeting on the draft resolution on Sri Lanka held on 21 September in Geneva, and the subsequent moving of amendments to the  draft resolution at the 2nd informal meeting on 22 September by the Sri Lanka delegation, was inconsistent with the position of the Government of Sri Lanka.

The Ministry stated categorically that both the interventions by Ambassador Aryasinha, and the moving of amendments to the draft resolution in Geneva, had the approval of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

It is also noted that both these meetings were public events, and that in addition to the respective country delegations, representatives of civil society, NGOs, Sri Lanka diaspora and journalists from Sri Lanka and abroad attended these events. (Colombo Gazette)

Sri Lanka resolution has 38 co-sponsors

The resoluton on Sri Lanka submitted to the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and adopted without a vote on Thursday had 38 co-sponsors as of yesterday (Friday), the last day of the 30th session of the UNHRC in Geneva.

The deadline for more co-sponsors to add their names to the list is October 16, according to the UNHRC Secretariat.

Albania, Australia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Sri Lanka, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America were the original sponsors and co-sponsors.

As of yesterday Estonia, France, Ireland,  Japan, Netherlands, Republic of Korea, Sierra Leone, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland came in as additional co-sponsors. (Colombo Gazette)

Bye Obama, hello Putin

That does it take to defeat terrorism? Well, the answer will vary depending on who is being asked the question. Here in Sri Lanka, for years, no decades, the dominant cry was ‘address and eliminate the conditions which cause people to take up arms’. In other words, it’s like cleaning up breeding grounds to deal with the Dengue mosquito.

If those, who consider methodologies such as suicide bombers, human shields and of late summary execution that is videotaped and posted in social media, are capable to listening to reason, then the Mossie Plan, if you will, might work. The point is that there are two kinds of political agents broadly speaking, the corrigible and the incorrigible. Terrorists fall into the latter kind. They are called ‘rebels’ or ‘revolutionaries’ only by people living in places relatively untouched by these angels or else are directly or indirectly supportive of them.

In Sri Lanka’s encounter with terrorism, we saw many who advocated the Mossie Plan. They believed, moreover, that the LTTE was a product of policies gone wrong. They even said ‘grievances are legitimate’ and argued that if they are addressed the need for anyone to see armed struggle as a ‘necessity’ to achieve ends would disappear. The ‘grievances’, at best, are contestable. Aspirations, the other ‘reason’ that was tossed around during this time, are themselves ‘incorrigible’ because they can encompass anything and everything. No state, however resourceful, can deliver everyone’s aspirations.

The tragedy and indeed irony of terrorism is that they inevitably postpone the addressing of the very grievances whose alleviation they claim to be fighting for. Terrorists know one language. So when the question is asked ‘What does it take to defeat terrorism?’ the answer has to be sought in the one language which makes communication possible. The Mossie Plan advocates will cry foul and will, after the fact of elimination, try to punish the victors. This is simply because their outcome preferences did not materialize and because they are not the angels they would like others to think they are. That’s the Sri Lankan story in a nutshell.

There was a time when the LTTE was the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. Even if the LTTE was still around, today it would be second best to the ISIS. So how should the world deal with the ISIS? The Mossie Plan will not work, that much is clear.

The United States has demonstrated over several years that it has no clue when it comes to dealing with terrorism. Vladimir Putin didn’t mince his words when he told the US that it has to stop dithering and fight. Uncle Sam’s fixation with securing access to resources and the need to generate growth for the arms industry has raised serious questions over its commitment to its loudly articulated policy ‘Zero tolerance of terrorism’. Indeed Washington has shown it is part of the problem. It’s version of the Mossie Plan is actually a perversion since it deliberately spawns the killers. Al Qaeda is Washington’s baby and so is the ISIS.

This is where Vladimir Putin steps in. There’s a time to deal with spawning ground and there’s a time to deal with the spawn. This is the time for the latter for the simple reason of incorrigibility. Sri Lanka wasted close to three decades trying to undercut ‘reasons for terrorism’ simply because a) there were no such ‘reasons’ and b) utter lack of political will. Putin doesn’t appear to be anything like the suckers who ruled Sri Lanka before Mahinda Rajapaksa. And that’s a good thing.

If we left it to the USA, we would have more Iraqs, more Afghanistans and more Syrias and who knows other outfits like the ISIS to deal with.

Finally, there’s no-nonsense resolve from a world leader. If China emerged as the leading economy in the world, then Russia has taken over the task of determining political direction. That should tell our leaders whose friendship, however worrisome it may be, counts. That’s a different matter of course. For now, there’s Putin. And that’s a good thing. Relatively speaking.