Strawberries & cream from Norway
for Sri Lanka's surprise peace party
Association for Peace and Integrity -
Sri Lanka Feb 23, 2002
In Sri Lanka, Cabinet spokesman Prof. G.L. Pieris briefed the press
that P.M. Ranil Wickremasinghe was preparing to sign an agreement which
would also be signed by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakran. The signed
documents are to be exchanged in Omanthiran in northern Sri Lanka on Sunday,
Feb 24th, 2002.
Peacemaking Norwegian representatives facilitated the signing. In
response to a journalist's query of a current LTTE sea attack, Prof. Pieris,
a teacher of law, said that such incidents were inevitable in war.
The Norwegian tax payer has been led into anointing a division of turf
between the Prabhakaran-controlled warlord clique and the Wijewardena
clan in Sri Lanka.
Since Independence, the Wijewardena clan has subtly occupied the role
of Haiti's Duvallier clan.
The Prabhakaran group had come forward to receive sheep thrown in the
wilderness, Sri Lanka's Tamil citizens. This came about when the Wijewardena
clan and its minions presided over the burning of Tamil homes in 1983.
The Duvallier limousine was powered by voodoo, the Wijewardena limousine
was powered by ethnic conflict.
Former President J. R. Jayewardene and two-month old PM Ranil Wickremasinghe
belong in the Wijewardena clan and after a a ride in open limousine from
1977, it placed before itself the task of abolishing country elections
due in 1983. So a fake referendum was staged in 1982 to postpone the elections
because the Wijewardena-controlled UNP did not want to submit to accountability
outside its authoritarian grip on power.
In 1977 Sri Lanka was the country that London's 'The Economist', labelled
a model democracy in the Third World. Soon after that article, during
a mere four years, Sri Lanka was looted by UNP minions.
Besides book publisher Rajith Wijewardena collecting cheques wearing
the cap of a reservoir contractor in the Mahaweli scheme, newspapers ran
the UNP Finance Minister's own plaint that the purchase and sales of airliners
by Air Lanka Chairman Rakkhita Wickremanayake was attracting the attention
of the World Bank (the airline chairman was not a professional manager
but merely President Jayewardene's son Ravi's flying instructor.)
This 1982 referendum to postpone elections was treated as eyewash by
more astute Western observers who for the first time spotted ballot-rigging
in the erstwhile democracy of "The Economist."
To counter Western misgivings, a new device for cancelling elections
appeared in the form of the burning of Tamil homes on July 25th, 1983.
The UNP government, which included Education Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe,
presided over the burnings of homes. Western journalists photographed
soldiers deployed from morning in the streets -- directing mobs. The government
used radio and TV to order a curfew and mob control only after the burnings.
Observers noticed a plot, so Information Minister Anandatissa de Alwis
went on TV to say that the burnings were a plot by a "foreign hand." To
support that the UNP planted its own evidence by taking into custody four
aging Leftist leaders.
Authoritarianism escalated further and led to the UNP getting so drunk
with power that a power struggle began among its leaders. The power play
and farce was visible on Government- controlled TV (then called "Premavahini"
after former Wijewardena sergeant Premedasa). World opinion was finally
to precipitate the holding of elections.
In 1994 a coalition of parties led by Chandrika Kumaratunga won in large
part due to the infighting of three factions within the UNP. Yet, the
new 1994 People's Alliance (PA) coalition awaited undermining by a militarist
formula promoted by Anuruddha Ratwatte. Previously a UNP municipal councillor,
he chanced to occupy the PA post of State Minister for Defence and also
the post of Minister of Power and Energy. Since President Kumaratunga
had lost both her father and her husband to assassinations, the Convent
and humanities educated woman (she had no training in military affairs)
had thought to entrust the police and army to her own uncle -- Ratwatte.
Yet, Ratwatte's 6-year war-moneying cost more loss of life than in the
previous 17-year rule of the UNP. Ratwatte must be considered (1) a dupe,
or (2) a man implicitly contracted by the UNP's Ranil Wickremasinghe to
destabilise the economy and thereby edge out the alternative PA government.
Both explanations are supported by circumstantial evidence. The UNP
had committed a breach of faith by its neglect during one day in July
1983. Now it was a 6 year neglect of Ratwatte's ravaging of Sri Lanka's
north, as scapegoat for ills, and his exhausting of the resources of Sri
Lanka's south. Which responsible Opposition would not sustain protests
about a man who was supervising a civil war and at the same time, supervising
government electricity generation and its petroleum refinery amongst other
duties? On electricity, mothers are today supervising children's homework
during an evening 2 1/2 hour power cut.
Defence analysts such as retired air force chief Harry Gunetileke explained
why the Ratwatte militarism would be catastrophic to both north and south
of the country but such voices, which caused Sri Lanka's Western allies
to distance themselves from Ratwatte's fatuous militarism, were not sustained
by the UNP.
Next, we notice that within a mere two months of return of a UNP government,
the previous intransigence of the UNP in Opposition towards Norwegian
peacemakers has suddenly taken a 180 degree turn. This UNP welcome of
peace talks might have warned the Norwegians that the previous years of
UNP agitation for militancy, were only a means of consolidating Wijewardena
clan power. Against the background of UNP intransigence, Ratwatte militancy
appears only to have been a tool used not by a "foreign hand" but by the
UNP to destroy the PA coalition government where Ratwatte was an omnipotent
Lastly, after the December fall of the PA government, in an incident
where ten civilians were slain with automatic rifles in the presence of
witnesses, Ratwatte has been jailed by a magistrate on suspicion of aiding
and abetting the crime. His two sons, also named by the magistrate, are
in hiding. Is this the breed of men whom the UNP had tolerated when in
parliamentary Opposition? Even the shooting in cold blood in the 1990s
of Fijian sportsman Joel Pera with a handgun officially issued by the
forces to Ratwatte's son, was not an issue pressed by the UNP in Opposition
when the father ravaged the country.
. . . . . . . . . . . In conclusion, we find again a diversion for Western
and home opinion. Norway has flown in strawberries and cream for two peace
tarts. Norway has been co-opted by the Wijewardena clan to celebrate its
party with power. In Realpolitik, the party and the accords commemorate
no more than a sharing of turf between two groups of brigands, the Wijewardena
clan and the Northern, more openly warlord LTTE.
The opening of highways will ease the lives of Northern citizens who
bore the brunt of Ratwatte's military attacks. However, Northern citizens
can only hope for authoritarianism by Prabhakaran, for he will not tolerate
the election of moderates Tamils who would blight LTTE messianism in its
far-flung network. Neither can Prabhakaran let a civic peace permit his
extradition to India to face charges of complicity in the Rajiv Gandhi
The South will see semblances of accountability removed as the Wijewardena
clan puts on again its old cloak of authoritarianism and tries to place
Ranil Wickremasinghe in the seat of President still occupied by Kumaratunga.
The previous don of the clan, J.R. Jayewardene, when President, had made
this position immune from the process of law, and the clan seeks thus
to bounce allegations of Wickremasinghe's complicity in several crimes,
including the running of a house for torture in which many family breadwinners
The destabilising of 18 million population Sri Lanka is one thing. The
hold of the LTTE poseurs on highly skilled Tamil professionals around
the world as featured in TIME and other newsmagazines, is surpassed only
by the behavioural hold of 9th Century Turkic Khazars of the Black Sea
area who pose as scriptural Judeans.
Today the LTTE gains impetus for destablising India. Accelerating population
outflows from that country can be a much larger factor to reckon with
in Europe, including Norway, as elsewhere in Australia and North America
-- if Pakistan and the Kashmiri insurgency have not been capable of causing
a full destabilisation of 1.5 billion South Asia.
At present Europe is already seeping in an invisible, destabilised 500
million Eastern Europe, reformed not as in East Germany by the astute
Federal Republic - but destabilised by Harvard monetarists' one-shot paint.
If Norway (a junior partner in NATO because of its border with the former
USSR) is to be remembered in history for peacemaking and not in a farce
towards destabilisation in South Asia, the situation deserves the attention
of US State Secretary General Colin Powell to detract the LTTE byproduct
of the Wijewardenas who like the Duvallier clan, jockeyed the horse as
favourites of 1950s' US State Secretary John Foster Dulles.