Where's the smoking gun?
Like some kind of knee-jerk reaction to the murder of her Foreign
Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar, President Chandrika Kumaratunga has
asked for talks with the LTTE. They, seeing the accusing finger
is pointed at them, have readily agreed, knowing only too well that
a smokescreen is needed for the moment.
has already defused some of the heat on them in continental Europe,
but maybe not in the US or India. The PA and the UNP believed that
the global war on terror after the Oklahoma and 9/11 bombings in
the US would be to our advantage and went after an elusive 'international
safety net'. Kadirgamar was always wary of this. He probably knew
the ways of the world better than most of us.
a young Oxford undergrad he made a telling comment to a largely
western audience during a debate on "Democracy is unsuitable
for the under-developed countries". The official University
extract refers to it as follows: "Lakshman Kadirgamar (Balliol)
ex-President made a speech of such brilliance that comment is almost
superfluous. He spoke of "Communism being the only alternative
to Democracy" and the danger in thinking that "Democracy
was meant for the gods and the gods are in the West".
his interactions with western leaders, he realised only too well
that Sri Lanka - thanks to the long years of mismanagement since
Independence - had become overly dependent on foreign aid. And the
quid-pro-quo was to listen and often act according to the dictates
of this "international community".
But Kadirgamar stood up to them - treating them as equals. His last
official visit to Japan was aborted at the 11th hour last month.
The official reason given was urgent domestic political developments
and the impending hurricane in Japan.
untold reason, however, was that he wanted even our very good friend
Japan to know that an incumbent Foreign Minister should not leave
his country on an official visit without a confirmed appointment
with his counterpart - in this case - the Foreign Minister of Japan,
even though the Japanese Foreign Ministry assured Colombo that an
appointment would be scheduled.
that extent Kadirgamar maintained the dignity of a once proud nation.
On the 29th of June this year, less than two months ago, he wrote
a tribute in the state newspaper to the President on her 60th birthday
where referring to Norway's role as peace broker in the Sri Lankan
crisis, and calling for democracy to prevail in the North and East,
the Government of Norway is unable to plead this cause with the
conviction and determination that it deserves it should stand aside
and yield to other parties who could carry the flag of democracy
into areas where darkness presently prevails."
Monday this week, the Norwegian Foreign Minister and his Deputy
stood by Kadirgamar's bier, the picture of sombre dignity in their
dark suits. But inside and outside the Minister's official residence
- in the towns and countryside, the question was being asked; Not
just 'who did it?' but where is the smoking gun?
and attempts at eliminating irritants - by western powers in their
quest for world supremacy are as old as recorded history. The CID
that cannot find the sniper's gun that felled the minister is not
going to find the smoking gun.
Norwegians clearly found Kadirgamar a thorn in the flesh - but they
could probably have lived with him. After all, the President had
already sidelined Kadirgamar from the so-called peace process and
branched on a line of appeasement with the LTTE. But then he could
have bounced back in a future PA Government.
no fear of contradiction when one says that the sheer reluctance
of the Norwegians to rein in the LTTE (there have been over 3000
confirmed ceasefire violations by them since the 2002 truce) gave
them the confidence that they could, literally get away with murder.
West acts at the speed of greased lightning when a bomb explodes
in their cities. The world is told that Al-Qaeda is behind it. But
when it happens in Sri Lanka, they want proof.
standards of proof are used to name Al-Qaeda as the group behind
the horror of 9/11? What standards are used to check on Islamic
extremism in Britain right now? But when Sri Lanka invokes emergency
regulations, concerns are expressed in Britain - where the Al-Qaeda
are "terrorists" and the LTTE "rebels".
Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry - now leaderless - has pleaded for the
international community to at least implement Kofi Annan's own proposals
for curtailing the movements of members of terrorist organisations.
Why must the fight against global terrorism have two meanings on
this side of the Suez Canal and that?