THE DOUBLE STANDARDS
The Question is – Are we proud of gaining independence, do we regret that we gained independence and most importantly are we working towards giving up our independence? It is in the backdrop of these questions that we cannot pretend that with or without CHOGM the British Government has been leading every rebuttal against Sri Lanka at every opportunity. The bewildering scene is that despite the darts that continuously point towards Sri Lanka, like a jilted lover refusing to accept reality there are some amongst us repeatedly going behind the colonials and to add insult to injury taking out all memorabilia and polishing them to put to humiliate the country further. Whilst some may suffer from the pathological ailment we define as the Stockholm syndrome for most of us Britain was our former colony, Britain’s war crimes and ethnic cleansing in Sri Lanka are many – it is not Queen Victoria who should be brought out when foreign delegates arrive for CHOGM but the very natives that Britain put to death for their crime of protecting their nation from foreign invaders. It is one thing to herald an international conference of foreign delegates but it is a crying shame if we are to thank and remember the arrival of foreign invaders who put our people to death.
So why and who wish to go worshipping the very people who subjected our people to torture and murder. It is one thing to take over nations and plunder its wealth but it is totally unacceptable to carry out a policy of extermination. The statue that had been gathering dust now being polished to be placed in front of Viharamadevi Park for the people of Sri Lanka to look at is meant to remind us of her greatness when anyone who knows history would be appalled at the very idea. Are we to look at Queen Victoria who ruled for 63 years (1837 to 1901) and as head of the State of England watched millions of people murdered as part of the British Government policy under the British Empire to which CHOGM is very much part of? Hitler became demonized by the entire world and his reign was just 5 years why is the world silent about colonial atrocities and not demanding compensation for these crimes. Before teaching us human rights Britain needs to come clean and accept accountability and thereafter compensate for its sins. There were no wars – the British forcibly entered and took over nations and killed those who were unwilling to follow their orders or people who wanted to protect their country from foreign rule. How can the British talking high and mighty find fault with that?
Who is advising that we revere colonialism taking the entire nation to an Alice in Wonderland environment when in reality we should be demanding compensation for the death and destruction that prevailed throughout colonial rule and in particular British rule? Are we to tell the present day children “Oh this is Queen Victoria… be proud that she was the monarch while her subjects massacred our people and plundered our nation when Sri Lanka was under British colonial rule for 133 years!”
More importantly are these bravados and tamasha’s not likely to gag the Sri Lankan President for 2 years forcing him to adhere and apply all the western rules and regulations of human rights meant to target Third World nations? Are these nations not part of a bigger plot using Western terminology and laws the very ingredients that will NOW attempt to carve out through pen what the LTTE could not achieve by gun?
Does the President normally an astute leader not foresee the dangers in store and are these calls of boycott not a smokescreen to force the Sri Lankan Government to sign on any dotted line to somehow hold the conference simply to save face because the enemies are anyway looking for any type of reason to ridicule Sri Lanka? What a soup Sri Lanka has landed itself in simply because a handful of people do not have their feet on the ground and because they are the very traitors that over years betrayed the nation and continue to suffer pathological tendencies not wanting to appreciate one’s roots but worship those of invading nations.
The Stockholm syndrome is a pathological and psychological phenomenon and we do not need to look far to find those guilty of suffering from a battered-person syndrome. But the tragedy is that the very Government that steered the military defeat of the LTTE and brought peace upon the nation is taking advice from those who sold us out through the ceasefire and now are seated running the foreign policy of the country. People who suffer from Stockholm syndrome should not be allowed to determine the policy of the nation especially because they are taking Sri Lanka away from our traditional friends – the nations like Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam countries that helped Sri Lanka in ancient times.
At the recently concluded Myanmar-Sri Lanka Friendship Association gathering the Deputy Minister of External Affairs did not mince words but showered gratitude upon Myanmar for helping Sri Lanka links that remain strong through ancient times. Yet, the foreign ministry in a country that is predominately Buddhist will not consider opening a Buddhists desk, ignores forming ties with Sri Lanka’s traditional friends, refuses to champion Buddhist causes except deliver matter of fact messages devoid of any sentiment for the sake of making one and has hardly shown any interest in the ongoing investigations to the Sri Maha Bodhi attack in India.
This showcases perfectly that so long as we are a nation “lost” between refusing to bind with our Sinhala Buddhist values that prevailed for hundreds and thousands of years but go after values that invading foreigners introduced we will not find our roots in anything. So long as we value what is not ours when we are a country with a rich culture, a rich civilization with its own legal systems and heritage we would continue to be living as Alice in Wonderland. Foreigners do not value us because we follow their cultures – they look down upon us for doing so. That is not to say that everything foreign is not good – but following everything ONLY foreign is not good and there lies the difference. We should be able to take what is good but not compromise what is good of our own culture and our own heritage – it is upto us to safeguard and protect what our ancestors laid down their lives to save. This is why we should always shower gratitude to our armed forces for they laid down their lives to save the nation – it was the hungry powerseeking politicians and elite that made merry with whatever opportunities they got and this is the same in every country in the world.
Given that David Cameron Britain’s Prime Minister is attending CHOGM in Sri Lanka to teach Sri Lanka a lesson in human rights we would first request him to make an open apology to all those the British killed in Ceylon under British Monarchy Queen Victoria and compensate the families of those killed as well as compensate the country for plundering its wealth and reducing natives to penury – is it a surprise we remain a Third World nation given that neo-colonial IMF and World Bank has taken over from where colonials departed?
That the President will adorn the title of head and host of CHOGM only reminds us how the British took advantage of the vanity of those willing to even give up one’s country for titles. Thus in colonial times India was called the “Empress” and we know the manner Indian sepoys functioned and continue to function.
But the question is why have the advisors failed to foresee the ramifications and are these failures not part of the Stockholm syndrome that they are suffering from which questions as to why they are being paid by the taxpayer to continue to betray the nation?
Shenali D Waduge