By Chandi Sinnathurai. Axis of Logic.
According to Sri Lankan press the U S have praised the Sri Lankan Government's efforts in resettling the IDPs (Internally Displaced People). The work however is far from over. But it certainly is good news.
It is the innocent victims such as these, who were trapped between the State Armed Forces and the Tamil Tigers, that must be looked after by the state. Quite rightly the resettlement must be the utmost priority.
The US Ambassador Patricia Butenis have also confirmed in her report that "large swaths of the North and East are now cleared of the mines." This must be a great news to the war-ravaged people who have suffered immensely under horrid conditions. All this means people can return to their land, plant crops, revive their livelihood, rebuild their lives and contribute to society.
A war-ravaged country is truly rebuilt firstly by building up the lives of the vulnerable in society. Their needs have to be met and their rights have to be restored. Investing wisely in people and re-establishing their honour and dignity is indeed a genuine recovery. Each individual must be recognised by the state as an asset neither as a political tool nor as a dispensable commodity.
The psychological effects of the war demolishes the intrinsic value of a human being. Land mines are such horrible things that cannot differentiate between a child and a combatant. Experts who clear land mines at the risk of their lives must be publicly recognised and be given the country's highest award possible. Such persons save lives. International Campaign to Ban Land Mines ought to be supported by all.
Now while the country is helping it self to come to terms with the traumas of a 30 year conflict its relationship with some of the Western powers are beginning to be shaky. The post-Iraq war West, the US, the EU and the UK are making subtle allegations on war crimes seemingly committed by the Sri Lankan state is nothing but short of international politicking game of the 'Pot calling the kettle black.' India and China have already got major investments in Sri Lanka. The US wants to have the slice of the pie - mainly to spread its foot hold in the region...Playing its card close to the heart in terms of its relationship between India and Pakistan. Some scholars view these two countries as US client states!
In this context, Sri Lankans - both Sinhalas and Tamils have many questions beneath the sands. One of which is: Will the US be a force for good in Sri Lanka? When such questions are posed, people do have a better understanding as to how the world politics work. Of course, they realise the world sadly does not revolve around an altruistic axis. The US considers the relationship with the Indian subcontinent to be crucial to its influence in the region. China, despite its human rights record is increasingly an overarching super-power in the globe. Some keen students of international relations are beginning to believe that the bi-poplar world might be overshadowed by China. When mercantile interests and selfish territorial motivations are at work tragically the matter of human rights is pushed to the background. History is over crowded with such examples. After all China has a greater influence in Africa, Asia and not to mention Europe. Even this year's Nobel peace award didn't make the Chinese bat an eye lid. That is the real state of affairs on the international stage.
It is within such contradictions, a workable concordance and cordiality is found for political expediency. The career diplomats might translate that as "World peace."
As for China individual right seem to be not a big deal. India parades it self as the world's greatest democracy. And the US expansionism is done according to the gospel of democracy. Sri Lanka - with its democratic deficit perhaps, have thus far coped under various stresses and strains in the international scene. China (and Russia) have come to Sri Lanka's rescue in crucial moments in the UN. India is yet to be part of the permanent members of the UN security council!! Astonishingly India is not even part of the TEN elected non-permanent members!!!
President Rajapaksha is enormously chuffed that he has eradicated terrorism in the island. Has he got rid of the root causes of the Tamil dissatisfactions? To respond to that he has a perfect balancing act to perform domestically, pertaining to the Tamil National Question including the war crimes allegations. Rajapaksha ought to be seen by the world as a bringer of peace; a willing partner for dialogue; a leader who is willing to give and take.
In terms of international relations, Rajapaksha cannot afford to rub up the wrong way with Delhi. At the same time, he needs to keep up the permanent smile with uncle Sam.
Having kept the major powers happy, China will be Rajapaksha's "last temptation." Only time will tell whether this relationship be for the rise or fall ....
In the mean time people want peace, development and prosperity. Clearing up of land mines, resettlement, and good governance are the basic rights of wholesome society.
READ MORE ESSAYS AND POETRY BY CHANDI SINNATHURAI