With UNHRC meeting due this week external interference is expected to continue on Sri Lanka, unless ……..the new government is able to demonstrate that it is prepared to come out of the Sinhala chauvinistic policy mind-set of the past regimes to begin a new chapter of all-inclusive rule for the multi-racial communities in the country.
From politicians to pedestrians must accept that the dependence on external world is total for a developing country like Sri Lanka which cannot survive and develop without relating to the world outside. Equally powerful countries like EU, USA, China and India have the power to influence smaller countries like Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, willingly in 2009 accommodated external interference to assist the tri-forces to conclude the civil war. The civil war was caused because rulers have failed miserably for decades to keep their house in order and on two earlier occasions have permitted external interference to crush two uprisings in the south. There were also many intrusions by India to pry into the internal matters of the country first giving training to the northern youth who rebelled against the state and in 1987 forced its way into the country. It resulted in the signing of the Indo-Lanka Accord, that included the under cooked devolution package that satisfied nobody in the country. In recent times misrule by the previous regime caused UN and international community interference, which did not go down well with majority of the population in the country. However external prying into the internal affairs of any country is unacceptable that could be minimized if the rulers of the meddled countries keep their ‘house’ (country) in order.
During the negative peace years that followed the end of war as the country was not ruled properly there have been continuous external interference from USA, UK, Canada and Australia. A direct result misrule created the Tamil diaspora, who has power to wield influence in the governance of these countries. There were many outside actors who from time to time produce real life dramas like the one seen in Malaysia, that only help keep alive the fire of hatred in the country. This assault on Sri Lankan High Commissioner of Malaysia by a group of protesters at the KL Airport, such external interference exceeds all acceptable norms of tolerance in a civilized society and does not serve any purpose to anyone certainly not for those living in Sri Lanka. As informed in the house by the Leader of the Opposition, it needs to be dealt properly and perpetrators brought to justice.
Sooner our rulers get this fact into their heads and accept the need to accommodate all citizens as equal the better for the country and for those in politics. Today we have the pro right and urban dominated UNP by tradition allied to the west with pro left and rural controlled SLFP traditionally aligned to the global south are together in Parliament having control of the government. These two political parties have with their Sinhala chauvinistic policies ruled the multi-racial country separately since independence at different times that has taken the country through three uprisings and finally to a bloody civil war lasting three decades. In all counts their past actions are responsible for all the said external interference. Therefore it was not a surprise to see the new government put under severe pressure to transform itself to respond to the needs of the people and to take the country out of the mess, for which the country needs high quality leadership both in politics and in the administrative service to change the direction.
The present leadership did not drop from the sky, but have to do with those picked to lead from the 2015 elected representatives, fortunately the President, Prime Minister are able to make progress with the transformation. Their efforts are further delayed by many legislators in parliament not helping the cause due to their narrow old mindset. The transformation is delayed with an old mindset administrative service that is not geared for the change is a major setback to respond to the needs of the people. This is more so in the North than elsewhere in the country, where during the years of civil war there existed an attitude of non-corporation to oil the wheels of governance. If one walks into any government administrative office in the north, would realize the lack of enthusiasm to work by these public servants with negative mind set to work. The government is further handicapped with the two major political parties in government pre occupying them preparing for the next elections a habit inherited from the days of independence that has been a curse on the country.
The new government is trying to put the country on the right path after decades of misrule and all the problems caused by the civil war. The security forces of the country was used by the previous regime to pursue their colonization programme in the North that resulted in them holding on to land belonging to the people in the war torn province. The efforts of the new government to release these plots of land are bearing results, though not at the phase preferred by the owners of the land and there are still more land to be released.