By Sanjaya Arachchige
The mechanism that UN has put in place to “leak” information that is intended to be leaked is admirable. The second report that it leaked about Sri Lanka few days ago has served its purpose like the first one. Since the report has been officially released, it is appropriate for us- ordinary Sri Lankans to express our views on the UN’s “Failure” and its “Leaking” strategy regarding Sri Lanka.
Ever since this “Leak”, the Western media has been firing volleys of news alerts, using this piece of information as their latest propaganda weapon against our country. It has reinvigorated the misinformation campaign against Sri Lanka orchestrated by Amnesty, HRW and Crisis group along with their Tamil Tiger backers in the Western world. Yet, none of these intended outcomes of the “Leak” seems sufficient to cover up the UN’s “grave failure” in Sri Lanka. The true “system breakdown” as the UN chief calls it, is clear even in usually distorted news reports on the BBC on this issue.
Since the UN in its report categorically refers the “failure” to the final stage of the conflict, we can assume that UN had been successful in Sri Lanka for the rest of the 26 years that the conflict sustained. On that point, anyone familiar with Sri Lanka would agree that Sri Lanka had been a remarkably successful story not only for the UN but also for the Amnesty and other Human Rights worthies now critical of Sri Lanka. In fact, we never heard of such leaking reports from UN during that period when terrorism walked freely in our country.
Sri Lanka was the home to the Asia’s longest running internal war is a fact known to many. However, few know what compelled Sri Lanka to live with it for 26 years. That is where this success story matters.
The story begins with the notorious anti-Tamil riots in 1983 that no one cared to demand “independent investigations” of any sort to find out the culprits. In a matter of years, a gang of cutthroats became the deadliest terrorist outfit known to the humankind. The outfit’s contributions to the domain of terrorism include; invention of suicide terrorism, horrendous orgies of violence called “village massacres” to be used for ethnic cleansing, disgraceful “Baby Brigade” of child soldiers to lead the attack fronts and above all, the sophisticated propaganda mechanism that works hand in hand with certain organizations profit from human sufferings.
Therefore, the UN is not without souvenirs to prove its effectiveness during its successful years in Sri Lanka. It has ample bomb blasts killing civilians, village massacres, suicide blasts, assassinations and yearly major terror attack at country’s economic nerve centers – perhaps , sufficient enough to leak another report on “past success” in future .
During this time, the UN had been extremely successful in issuing elegantly drafted messages of its “concerns” and frequent “urges” for “both parties” to settle the matters peacefully.
The true success perhaps lies in something else. That is in making it impossible for the successive governments of Sri Lanka to sustain any meaningful campaign to fight terrorism. The conflict not only bled Sri Lanka but also kept the region unstable for about 26 years. When one understands the value of the success then it becomes clear why the UN laments so much on its failure.
Now let’s look at the possible damage that the UN’s failure has caused. No lives are lost in Sri Lanka due to terrorism . The country is rapidly developing and becoming increasingly stable. The very stability has become a headache for the UN’s masters as it has attracted investors from the emerging world superpowers like China, India and Russia. The country has not only become a model for hapless nations fighting terrorism but also become the pillar of regional stability. The war that was so vital to keep the pivotal region unstable to check the ongoing change in the world order has been lost! The losses incurred by Human Rights worthies who made fortunes out of this war should be added to the damage.
Finally, let us envisage the situation had the UN been still successful in Sri Lanka today. There would be one more bleeding country like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. and one less middle-income country in the world . Sri Lanka would have retained its prominent position in the UN’s list of shame for child soldiers. Tamil Tiger would have retained its title as the deadliest and richest terrorist organization with its own Navy and Air Force. The region would have remained unstable with no headache from China and India gaining control over the resources. There would be sufficient human sufferings for the western media and human rights worthies to cash in.
Thus , the UN did have a complete system breakdown that led to a grave failure in Sri Lanka as the report suggests. This is true if the organization has been tasked to ensure continued conflicts and turmoil in the third world countries. In that case, the report should have recognized the efforts of Ms. Navi Pillay and Mr. Vijay Nambiar to rescue the terrorist outfit even at the last moment of the battle.
However, the world has no right to fuss too much over the UN’s lackluster performance in Sri Lanka. The organization has been exceedingly successful with Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Palestine.
Maybe for the UN, what has happened has happened with Sri Lanka. If there is anything left to do, that is to prevent Sri Lanka from achieving lasting peace. As long as there is no proper reconciliation, there is always the opportunity to reignite the flames of destruction. Perhaps these leaking reports, the war crimes ballyhoo, and anti-Sri Lankan propaganda would achieve their purpose eventually.
Perhaps they wouldn’t if our nation stands resolute for peace and stability.
The views expressed are the author’s own.