By Sridas Sivasambo - 07/13/10 11:15 PM EDT
The Sri Lankan ambassador to the United States, Mr. Jaliya Wickramasuriya, belongs to that nascent journalistic breed that thinks anything in print is swallowed hook, line and sinker by its readers. (“Sri Lanka: From War to Reconciliation,” July 6).
Mr. Wickramasuriya wrote that he believes “the lessons learned and reconciliation commission” will enable Sri Lanka to bind up the nation’s wounds.
The present government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was the first to fully embrace the Sinhala Buddhist nationalist ideology, suggests a political solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict is unlikely.
Administrations everywhere resort to this ploy of appointing commissions whenever there is a desire to shove things to the back burner.
The Sri Lankan ambassador wants his readers to take this wonderful commission seriously. It is known that not a single commission appointed by this government has come forth with “recommendations” at all, not to mention acting on them.
Though deliberately made to sound similar, this commission is a far cry from the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission instituted by the great South African Statesman Nelson Mandela.
This commission means nothing. It serves only as an ephemeral shield for the war crimes indictment and is just a talking point for the Obama administration to justify glossing over the Sri Lankan government’s crimes, in the interest of maintaining reasonable political relations in view of the China factor. Mr. Wickramasuriya, understandably seeks to read too much into this, which prompts him to say “Sri Lanka wants a deeper, broader relationship with the United States.” Who doesn’t?
The Sri Lankan ambassador further pontificates: “We have no intention of squandering peace dividend. In fact, Sri Lanka has experienced a ‘sea change’ that defines our nation’s economic potential.” What economic potential is he talking about? He must be referring to the Dead Sea because, in truth, the country’s economic potential drops with the reality of a $2.5 billion loan from the World Bank. Further, the “peace dividend” he is talking about, in economic terms, must be the assistance flowing from all over for reconstruction of the war ravaged regions. Of course, the Sri Lankan government would not squander it by utilizing any to benefit the affected miserable Tamils.
While being free with the pen with cryptic odious comparisons, one should not forget the fact that readers do respect facts over fiction.
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
Climate change poses an unpredictable threat
From Lincoln Oviedo
The devastation continuing to unfold in the Gulf is a daily reminder that we must end our dependency on oil and move to a new, cleaner energy future.
Climate change poses an unprecedented threat to human communities, wildlife habitat, and the natural resources we all rely on for clean air and water, and recreational opportunities such as hiking, camping, boating and wildlife watching.
Please pass comprehensive climate legislation that caps carbon emissions, protects wildlife from the impacts of climate change and prohibits any new drilling off our coasts.