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The UNP General Secretary Seems Confused In Comparing Sri Lanka To Zimbabwe

© Insight By Sunil Kumara For LankaWeb

April21st 2007

In stating to the media that "Sri Lanka is fast becoming a Zimbabwe in Asia" UNP General Secretary Tissa Attanayake appears to be in some confusion and needs to be somewhat educated about his verbal faux pas! While it seems rank ignorance and apathy to draw an analogy to Sri Lanka with Zimbabwe! It also needs to be questioned as to its inspirations and required objectives despite the protocols relative to free speech and democracy where a very animated Tissa Attanayaka has been bold enough to make this puerile comparison!

To even suggest that Sri Lanka is fast becoming a Zimbabwe in Asia with all types of anti-democratic elements firmly taking root in the country, General Secretary of the United National Party, Tissa Attanayake, MP seems to have overstepped his right to exercise his opinion as it is directed against the State and could have dire ramifications for him. In these days of political unrest he should really tread cautiously in how he expresses his opinion as some of it seems quite misleading!

For instance Zimbabwe is being administered by a megalomaniac and autocrat the contentious Robert Mugabe who runs the Nation with a bunch of goons and rank disregard to the freedoms of Zimbabwe's citizens and has the audacity to confront the world with his impervious bravado and defiance while his country is in the grip of great trials and tribulations, facing economic disaster and in a near state of anarchy. This is not the case in Sri Lanka by any stretch of the imagination and a clear indication of the individual's mentality completely devoid of any sense of loyalty to the Administration with no justifiable evidence to sustain his claim nor any sense of patriotisn to the Sinhala nation being a Sinhalese himself!

It will be a matter of time when the Zimbabwean leader is deposed and normalcy returning and to compare this Nation to Sri Lanka is sacrileginous and contentious to all who know fully well Sri Lanka's administration is being hampered from doing its job by just such individuals disgruntled that their personal political agendas together with those of their party led by another disgruntled and frustrated individual who rather than contribute to the well being of the nation with a show of support and unity constantly undercut Governmental Policy with hardly a reason other than their own circumstances which they have got themselves into through their own fallibilities and infirmities!

In the face of the political climate within Sri Lanka as well as the scourge of LTTE terrorism there has to be a certain amount of pressure exerted on the media by the authorities despite the independence they are entitled to as they often misrepresent through bi partisan journalism and their sometimes bifurcated views what really goes on within the nation as they seem to relish the circumstances within Sri Lanka in the manner of sharks in a feeding frenzy and spew innuendo and speculative idealogies against Governmental policies which are broadcast to the world in the most tainted and biased manner.

Mt Attanayake truly needs to classify as well as clarify the following statement which says "The government hierarchy has a habit of inviting media personnel to the Temple Trees, treating them and then telling them in a subtle way not to write anything critical of the government. Now they have the audacity to warn the independent media with bodily harm." Is this his own concocted imagination or does he have some tangible evidence to susbstantiate it as it would seem very unlikely that the administration would compromise its integrity or its international image to the extent of making irresponsible statements such as this where the greater credibility must favour the Sri lankan Administration rather than a frustrated member of the opposition in his attempt to discredit the Administration!

The icing on the cake towards Mr Attanayakes incomprehension and state of confusion has been further accentuated by his reference to to what he has described as the Government's propaganda campaign against foreign diplomats and Amnesty International where he has said, it was Nimal Siripala de Silva the incumbent Leader of the House and Minister of Healthcare and Nutrition who raised a huge cry of protest in Parliament in 1991 at the then government saying it had not allowed AI to come to Sri Lanka. Amnesty International is an organization which has often been accused of meddling in bi-partisan fashion in the internal affairs of nations and the Government in refusing or shelving the decision to grant them entry into Sri Lanka seems a very justifiable one.So what is the state of affairs relative to Amnesty International today and have they not been proven to be collaborators with the LTTE based on the exposure of certain links in the aftermath of AI's demonstrations at the World Cup of Cricket?

The Mahinda Rajapaksa administration has not displayed all the hallmarks of a quasi dictatorship similar to that in Zimbabwe as accused.This is speculative angered innuendo! The government has no hesitation whatsoever, to bring to book those who overstep the metes and bounds of the Nation's justice system at a time when they also have to deal with an ongoing insurgency. There is no case of the government abusing Human Rights and Fundamental Rights at their will which is a blatant concoction. Sri Lanka's own Human Right's Organization has not attested to this so who is Tissa Attanayake to make this accusation? The free press has never been suppressed beyond a few miscreants being brought to justice as a result of their attempts to incite and foment anger within communities through flagrant violations of their journalistic limitations and sympathies with the wrong side of the law which is a constitutional right of any Sovereign Nation where at present there are very stringent laws to deter this type of activity yet the journalists concerned continue to violate them at their own risk!

If certain members of the opposition, trade unions and even law enforcement officers step out of line and act irresponsibly beyond their juristiction the Government has every right to take action against them.Warning foreign diplomats who pry into the internal affairs of the Nation, over exercise diplomatic immunity and act unilaterally towards compounding the Nations insurgent problem needs no be confronted and certainly a prerogative of any administration!

"The day the International Community will brand Sri Lanka as the Pariah State in Asia" as he speculates seems wishful thinking on the part of the General Secretary of the UNP Mr.Attanayake whose voicings on the issues he has cited seem no more than a voice in a wilderness of dissent based upon his own misgivings rather than being aligned with any sustainable reality.

It is an affront to the Nation of Sri Lanka that the opinions of such individuals often borne of a fecund imagination are broadcast to the world with impunity and it takes a very pragmatic and tolerant Administration to put up with this kind of indiscretion!


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