Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Barefoot sarong owners should stop barking at the moon

The Lankan blogosphere is rife with the stereotypical barefoot sarong owning 'middle class sri lankans' sounding more and more like card carrying members of Wimal Weerawansa's Patriotic National Movement.

"The West is attacking Sri Lanka, instead of helping" they say, USA and UK are "sympathizing with terrorists" apparently or "Interfering with our war on terrorism" and showing "double standards"... and on and on they go.

Enough with the frothy growls people. Calm down, take a deep breath and think about what you're defending. Let Gota borrow a page from the Mugabe handbook on media relations - he is cementing the Rajapakse hand on the nation. Thats a good reason for him - Whats your motive?

When the government proclaims that not a "single civillian was killed by shelling" that isn't dishonesty - its an attempt to equate Tamils and Tigers. This wasn't a war to liberate the Tamils from the LTTE, it was a war to liberate the Sinhalese from the LTTE. I agree that it was a war that had to be fought and the LTTE had to be destroyed but it had to be done with some concern for civilian casualties (instead, the government exhibited no concern and underscored their intentions by keeping the World's media out).

When the USA and UK invaded Iraq, the World's media was "embedded" and they were able to report on what happened, albeit a Western view. However, when the Iraqi national archives were looted by some US Troops the Western media didn't hide it - it was headline news and that helped stem the tide of looting and excesses. The world's media has played an invaluable role in checking abuses like Abu Gh'b and Gitmo. Those countries have processes that deal with such abuses and more often than not, the outcome is right and not wrong.

Contrast that with Sri Lanka's history of presidential commissions that have never ever held anybody accountable for any excess.

Besides, the war against the LTTE couldn't have been won if the UK, EU and the USA didn't outlaw the LTTE and shut down their lethal networks. Under the circumstances, they have a right to question the prosecution of Sri Lanka's war.

What Sri Lanka doesn't need at this time is for the "intelligentsia" to start barking at the moon, like the rest of the pack of rabid dogs that pose off as our leaders & elders.

We all know that LTTE/Prabhakaran was the symptom and not the problem. If you have that level of awareness, then ignorance is not your refuge for your "us against the World" attitude.

Lets get real people. If we want the World to help us rebuild, then we need to be more mature.

Sri Lanka is her biggest enemy and every time we bark at the moon, we're sapping ourselves of the energy and will to look at our own reflection in the water.

Sri Lanka can be better than that! We can be better than that!

5 comments:

Rine said...

Love it! So very true.. I actually read a comment where someone actually said the BBC and CNN were LTTE supporters. When did we become so backward?? Not to mention unable to take criticism? I've got friends who were in London with me, now getting mad when a 'white man' comments on the war saying they are being imperialist and looking down on us. Strange stuff!

- Gini said...

Perhaps thin skins and thick skulls is why we can't seem to get past ourselves?

We lurch from one rat hole to another, each worse than the other.

The tsunami's massacre gave us an opportunity to take the high road and we didn't.

The destruction of the LTTE gave us another opportunity to take the high road and once again we've chosen the low road.

The witch hunts, the triumphalism, the paranoia and the continued prosecution of our perceived enemies is what sets us apart from countries like South Africa and Vietnam.

Anonymous said...

I am on the point of giving up on reading the Kottu blogroll.

There is hardly any intelligent debate anymore, the propaganda being devoured and regurgitated with relish.

As Voltaire said: Doubt Is Not a Pleasant Condition but Certainty Is an Absurd One

Girigoris the One said...

Love this serving of parippu dude

The 'humanitarian wave' is becoming disgustingly naueseating.. Having said that, I wonder whether as Sri Lankans we have really been doing anything to help or just sitting and passing judgement ourselves?

- Gini said...

@anon: agreed. kottu used to be fun. now its a bit of a bore. the cream is gone and only the whey remains

@girigoris: nothing more nauseating than an email I received today with photogrpahs of hundreds of IDP kids wacing the LION flag and dancing for soldiers and films stars. Seemed eerily like the pictures of Sadaam petting the little kids of western hostages...