Equal status for terrorists inexorable?
Mr. Bradman Weerakoon is a bureaucrat unparalleled in post independence Sri Lanka. He has been the secretary to prime ministers: S.W. R.D. Bandaranaike, Sirima Bandaranaike, Dudley Senanayake, Secretary of International Affairs to Prime Minister Ranasinghe Premadasa as well as Prime Minister D.B. Wijetunge and is now the Secretary to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. Hailing from the correct background, an old boy of S. Thomas College , having played for the first eleven, entered the prestigious civil service when the annual intake was about two to three entrants, Brad Weerakoon is usually described in cricketing parlance as a straight bat except by some SLFPers who say he played some unpardonable agricultural shots a term of Indian cricket commentators- when after Mrs. Bandaranaike was defeated in the sixties. It earned him the wrath of Mrs Bandaranaike and the SLFP.
Mr. Weerakoon as Prime Minister Wickremasinghes Secretary has been put to bat on a very sticky wicket the Peace Process. Initially, the affable bureaucrat appeared to be playing the ball well but of late he has been playing some dangerously agricultural shots which some say is almost playing for the other side or in terms of football could be described as kicking into ones own goal.
Last Monday, The Island carried a report of Mr. Weerakoon circulating in the Foreign Ministry about discussions he had with a European Member of Parliament, Mr. Geoffrey Van Orden at Strasbourg where he had conceded that in the on going peace negotiations the equivalent status as the government of Sri Lanka being given to the LTTE was inexorably happening.
If this is correct, it is indeed a very disastrous development for this nation. This nation is in grave peril. A terrorist organisation that claims to represent only a minor fraction of the people of this country is being inexorably conferred the status as the government representing the Independent Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka!
To make clear what is meant by inexorably happening we refer to the Oxford English Dictionary to the meaning of inexorable". It means: Impossible to stop or prevent.
We doubt that Mr. Weerakoons impeccable command of the English language would have caused any ambiguity in what he said.
The Island refrained from commenting on this calamitous pronouncement for one week, awaiting a reply from Mr. Weerakoon or the government. We received no response but yesterday, a weekend paper, The Sunday Leader carried a lengthy article on what is purported to be the minutes of the meeting between Mr. Weerakoon and the said European Member of Parliament. It is claimed to be the minutes recorded by Sri Lankas Ambassador to the European Union, Mr Romesh Jayasinghe. Had Mr. Weerakoon or any other official of the government sent in these 'minutes' to The Island, we would have certainly recorded them. Why it was not sent to The Island that raised the issue and why The Sunday Leader carried it in full, we leave it for our readers to fathom, which we believe will not be too mind boggling task.
However, it has to be pointed out that the so called lenghty reproduction of the said recorded minutes by our ambassador, in no way contradicts our report. The Sunday Leader report confirms our report although it attempts to show the context in which Mr. Weerakoon made these remarks. Our report too followed the same sequence and certainly does not place Mr. Weerakoon's remarks out of context. Once again, it is left for the readers to decide.
What vast numbers of Sri Lankans have been concerned about in recent weeks is what Mr. Weerakoon said, an equivalent status to the LTTE is inexorably happening. The way in which the controversial transmitter was imported by the LTTE, the Norwegian government brought in by the Government of Sri Lanka and the alacrity of the Norwegian government to break international diplomatic conventions, all point out to the inexorable progress of events.
It does appear that a few politicians and diplomats have taken control of this so called peace process and the rest of the country is unaware of these treacherous activities such as the permission granted to give a powerful radio transmitter to the LTTE. We are told that even Prime Minister Wickremasinghe was informed of the developments after the events had progressed to the penultimate stage. Those responsible for these actions will have to be exposed at some stage of our history. These are not mere political deals. They are issues that deal with the destiny of this nation.
The stage has been reached in negotiations with this terrorist organisation where the people of this country have to be kept informed of every significant move before the horse has bolted from the stables.
The Sri Lankan people cannot be taken for a pack of mules to be told that they should be happy that the LTTE sought permission of the government to licence the radio station according to our regulations. Will Prabakaran obey some petty bureaucrat on regulations of the Sri Lanka Broadcasting Corporation when our own governments dont give two hoots to them?
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