Western Hypocrisy - Double Standards to Terrorism!

Nish Veduge

Today, I was fascinated with the following news item:

Russia plans pre-emptive strikes on terrorists
MOSCOW (AP) - President Vladimir Putin said Friday that Russia is "seriously preparing" for pre-emptive strikes against terrorists, while Chechen insurgent leader Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility for a school hostage-taking and other attacks that have claimed more than 430 lives. Speaking to a meeting of world mayors in Moscow, Putin also made a veiled attack on the West, saying that double standards in dealing with terrorism are "disastrous for global security." Putin didn't name any specific countries, but his comments appeared aimed at European and U.S. officials who have urged Moscow to conduct peace talks with Chechen rebels.
"There continue to be attempts to divide terrorists into ours and others, into moderates and radicals," Putin said in televised remarks. "All this is a condescending, justifying attitude to murderers, which amounts to being an accomplice to terrorism."
Putin firmly ruled out any "bargaining" with the Chechen rebels. "Every concession leads to aggression, a widening of their demands and multiplies the losses," he said.
This, as most sensible Sri Lankans would admit, has been an endemic and perennial facet of the LTTE's terrorism problem in Sri Lanka. My hats-off to you Mr. Putin for making these utterances that clearly would not win you a popularity contest in the West. This is the kind of utterance that our own Sri Lankan leaders would buckle at knees even just contemplating of uttering!

Of course, one can argue that Russia and the Russian Federaton is not Sri Lanka and hence, our leaders cannot make such statements. I, however, do not agree with that view and consider it only a cheap cop-out. There have been many national leaders who have taken resolute stands in what they believed in, in what they considered the best for their nations, and these leaders did not cow down in fear and stay muted, or worse, utter completely sanguine (and dishonest) statements to just to please the West.

Such leaders as Gandhi, Lee Kwan Yew, Nasser, Castro, Mao, etc. stood by their principles of national interests (ideologically labeled they may have been) and often, when under criticism from the West, pointed out to the West its double standards on overlooking its own backyard. Problems such as rampant racism, inner-city squalor, high crime, etc. in the West are issues that the West did not hear about from a third party. These leaders did not wield economic or military clout, but rather were strong characters leading struggling nations.

The bottom line…it should be evident to us that our present generation of SL leaders are noting but servile "yes, master" dog-puppies to the West and they simply lack the courage, or the wisdom, to tell the West what Putin told them today. The closest we have seen as a strong character in this context in Sri Lank is Lakshman Kadirgamar and we all know how he was vilified by the former UNP for his effective campaign in getting the LTTE banned in the West - which was nothing more than cheap partisan politics on UNP's part!

The moral deduction of this analysis is - it is time for a new breed of SL leaders who truly know to speak and act in the global theatre.



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