Some foreign diplomats representing the Occident in Colombo seem to have come all the way here to strain relations between this country and theirs. They have organised themselves into an elitist clique which is trying its hand at running a parallel government. Egged on by their local lackeys including some members of the Fourth Estate, those ambassadorial misfits often overstep their diplomatic limits and venture opinions and remarks detrimental to Sri Lanka’s interests.
Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Ajith Nivard Cabraal has faulted German Ambassador Jurgen Weerth for a remark attributed to the latter in a recent press report that Sri Lankan entrepreneurs have lost faith in their own country and are investing in Bangladesh. Governor Cabraal says it is not their lack of faith in Sri Lanka that has prompted them to invest abroad but the encouragement they have received from the government to penetrate the international market.
One may take the government version with a pinch of salt. The government cannot be expected to tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But, no foreign envoy has a right to disparage this country’s economy—or any other institution for that matter. Such aspersions, the Central Bank Governor has rightly pointed out, are fraught with the danger of ruining Sri Lanka’s economic image and prospects.
Of Ambassador Weerth’s statements at issue, what really takes the cake is his comment that if Sri Lanka were to disappear from the world’s economic map, it could be easily replaced because it is not as strong as China. Had this come from any other person, it could have been dismissed as some Montessori prattle. But, this statement has all the trappings of a Freudian slip. For, causing Sri Lanka to disappear from the world’s economic map is the best way to take it off the atlas of the world so that separatist terror will triumph. That may be the goal of those sinister elements striving to deprive Sri Lanka of the GSP Plus concession.
Sri Lanka’s economy may not be in good shape. (So is the German economy at present. The German trade surplus has shrunk with exports dipping for the second month in three. It is an indication that the German economy might slip into its first recession since 2003.) But, it is unbecoming of a foreign envoy claiming to be a friend of Sri Lanka to speak of a hypothetical scenario in the world resulting from the demise of the Sri Lankan economy.
Ambassador Weerth is also reported to have said the war is very popular here and as many political ideas are based on winning, he cannot convince the taxpayers at home to give consistent support to Sri Lanka, if democratic values do not continue to be shared. Does he want Sri Lanka to revert to appeasing terrorism so that he will find his task easier at home? Battling terrorism and being confident of victory do not clash with democracy in any way. What militates against democracy instead is appeasing or promoting terrorism at the expense of the people under the jackboot of terrorists.
Does the ambassadorial Mafia trying to control Sri Lanka’s destiny think this country should give in to terrorism and run the risk of disintegration and disaster to qualify for foreign assistance? Will the foreign taxpayers be happy to learn that their funds are being poured into a bottomless pit through INGOs in the areas controlled by terrorists who take the lion’s share of their money? It was only the other day that the Norwegian People’s Aid lost several of its heavy vehicles to the terrorists in the Wanni.
Taxpayers of foreign countries also bear the cost of having their envoys here to maintain and strengthen their relations with this country. But, unfortunately, some of those diplomats, as was said earlier, due to their arrogance, callousness and hidden agendas, have caused those relations to turn sour. Those failed envoys wasting their taxpayers’ money, ruining bilateral relations and holding a brief for terrorists ought to be reported to their countries.
Sri Lanka should be happy that those ambassadorial bad eggs constitute only a microscopic minority of the Colombo based diplomatic community. Others are decent men and women known for ethical and professional conduct.