By Shyamon Jayasinghe, Melbourne

Congrats to Lankaweb for allowing free expression in its columns. I write here something different to the editorial line of Lankaweb but I am sure the editor will publish it. Let a thousand flowers bloom!

It is about the fuss and fury displayed in some quarters over Norway’s role in Lanka. To someone looking at it objectively, this makes little sense. Norway is in Lanka only at the will and pleasure of the government there. It is not a colonial power. A well-known scholar who attended the Oslo conference wrote to me likening the arrival of the Norwegians to the arrival of the Portuguese! That is adequate to gauge the warped reasoning of these people.

Norway- bashers should, therefore, keep it simple. They ought to go to Sri Lanka and persuade the people over there and, consequently, the government, that these guys are evil. They don’t need to organize expensive meetings in foreign countries. Save that money to alleviate the utter poverty of our country.

CBK, during her previous regime, got Norway down. She opposed them in opposition calling them salmon eaters; now, in govt, backs them. Even the JVP has no objection to Norway facilitation although in opposition they declared war on them; their protest is about the ISGA. I can understand that kind of politics in the context of our country. Our politicians grab at anything to seek power. First, it was rice. Then and now it is the ethnic problem. Norway is the latest political football for our politicians. I am not defending Norway as an ideal facilitator; far from it. Nevertheless, we must have our perspectives right.

There is adequate evidence that the expatriate patriots who organize these protest campaigns have never been for a peaceful solution that the UNFPA government is also wedded to. They want the rural poor to go to war on their behalf. At least the LTTE expatriates go to great lengths and sacrifice their money to help the criminal Prabhakaran. Our middle class Sinhalese expatriates are too busy looking after their kith and kin who are with them in affluent countries. Their "heroism" is to make themselves feel good.On the other hand, what a lot of blood, sweat, and tears our housewives in the Middle East expend to send all their earnings to Sri Lanka. They get raped and assaulted and they live without human rights. When I worked as Labour Secrtetary in Sri Lanka, I visited these people and saw for myself the ignominious lives these women lead. Sri Lanka’s economy survives because of these sweat earnings. When they return after their toil, part of their goodies are robbed by customs officials.How many of our expatriate patriots have sponsored a poor child in Lanka? That is a most valuable, as well as most practical, contribution we expatriates can make. Let us give up humbug and do honestly what we can



Copyright 1997-2004 www.lankaweb.Com Newspapers Ltd. All rights reserved.
Reproduction In Whole Or In Part Without Express Permission is Prohibited.