Norway Fury: A further reply

Somaweera Sirisinghe responding from New Zealand

Peter Gunasekera's response to my reply to Shyamon Jayasinghe's "Norway Fury" is further evidence that there are others who subscribe to the appallingly narrow and simplistic views of national and international politics. My criticism was mainly directed at Shyamon's contentious advice to Sinhala expatriates to "Put up! or Shut up!" on the ground that Norwegians are in Sri Lanka because we invited them.

The greatest humbug I discerned was his infuriating suggestion to Sinhala expatriates "to go and sponsor poor children", presumably as a productive diversion of their collective fury.

Like many other fellow Sri Lankans I too was annoyed by his vexatious assertions about the efforts of the sinhala expatriates to expose the true colour of Norwegian facilitators. It is indeed not a case of "Put up! or Shut up!".

There is no doubt that Sri Lanka's invitation to an international facilitator towards making peace may have been necessitated and executed in good faith. That does not preclude the countryman to agitate against the facilitator violating the mandate or abusing the role of an "honest-broker".

A subsequent government has buttressed the advent of the international facilitator by building an edifice of a cease-fire agreement and a monitoring mechanism. Removal of that edifice requires careful planning of a viable alternative while nurturing and grooming favourable world opinion. In this respect mounting a fury against the violation of the "facilitator's mandate" is essential and commendable.

Shyamon in his over simplistic analysis adds that Norway is not a colonial power. In a world where neo-colonialist ventures are abound and every foreign policy initiative is taken on the sole criterion of national interest, there is no place for such blinkered viewpoints.

I have been accused of directing a personal attack. If Peter Gunasekera reads the other responses published so far, he will surely notice that I am not the only person who has detected Shyamon's fondness to quote anecdotal evidence from his public service postings to reinforce his arguments. If his views are flawed the readers should not be blamed for questioning things related to his public service postings.

I must make it clear that I have no personal agenda. I never had the good fortune to benefit from Shyamon's wisdom of administering municipalities or government ministries, as a ratepayer or as a citizen. Like many other Lankaweb readers I have come to know him through his occasional writings. My criticism of his views is solely based on what he himself has taken the trouble to espouse.

I am still not convinced that winning the hearts of ratepayers like Peter Gunasekera by innovatively administering a suburban municipality of a couple of square kilometres or administering government ministries endows a person to see things in a proper perspective.

P.S: As for Maname, I am among the few thousands who were fortunate enough to watch the original play during student days. I was awe-struck by the epoch-making drama, particularly by the consummate stage acting of late Edmund Wijesinghe as the "Vedi-Raja".



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