David sent Goliath reeling in Geneva on Wednesday. Little Lanka, preening herself on defeating terrorism on home soil, scored an impressive victory over 'diplomatic terrorism' in a hostile terrain. At the UNHRC special session, her resolution to counter an attempt to confer pariah status on her was carried with a majority of 17 votes – 29 for, 12 against and 6 abstaining. Nobody expected her to crush terrorism. Similarly, not many thought it would be able to floor the powerful western bloc.
The 29 nations that stood by Sri Lanka represent about 4 billion people while the opposing countries are home to only 0.5 billion. That is the world has overwhelmingly backed Sri Lanka vis-à-vis a dastardly attempt by the western bloc and its hangers-on to hang her. David Miliband, Bernard Kouchner and others will need much bigger fig leaves than Sri Lanka's human rights record to cover their nakedness.
Today, we report that two founding members of a Muslim charity in the US have been sentenced to 65 years in jail for funding Hamas. Surprisingly Bruce Fein, a former US Attorney General, continues to sponsor LTTE terrorism openly on US soil with impunity!
Had the West managed to ram an international 'war crimes' probe down Sri Lanka's throat, non-western countries would have desisted from battling terrorism for fear of being hauled up before international war crimes tribunals. And terrorism would have thrived at a faster rate in the world. In other words, the dozen countries that opposed Sri Lanka's counter resolution, to all intents and purposes, voted for terrorism!
Critics of NAM are trying to accord it a grand funeral prematurely but on Wednesday it manifestly worked as an inertia reel for Sri Lanka. What some politicians flaunted as an international safety net during the 2001-2004 peace process has turned out to be a veritable hangman's noose around Sri Lanka's neck.
Ambassador Dayan Jayatilleka has drawn heavy flak for what his critics term 'megaphone diplomacy'. But, his pugilistic pugnacity, lateral thinking and intellectual restlessness helped rally several nations on Wednesday. Cuba unceremoniously shot down a set of proposals Germany tried to incorporate into Sri Lanka's resolution. Dayan, as well as many others including Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, needs to be commended for their excellent performance.
However, piqued and shamed, the western bloc is not likely to give up its campaign to persecute this country for wiping out terrorism with no heed for its call for a truce. The western powers must be smarting more from the ignominious comedown in Geneva.
A prerequisite for a country's independence, de Gaulle once said, was the bomb [nuclear capability]. A strong economy is also an option for a smaller nation. Therefore, it behoves the Rajapaksa government to concentrate on the economic front urgently and turn swords into ploughshares so to get rid of the country’s chronic dependency.
Meanwhile, we are being made witness to a spate of unspeakable demonstrations near some foreign missions in Colombo. They are being staged by the so-called rent-a-mob brigade wrapping itself in the flag. They targeted the Canadian High Commission on Wednesday. The government must rein in those dregs bringing the country into disrepute. We let out a howl of protest when our diplomatic missions came under terror attacks, didn't we? Anyone has a right to protest but the sky is not the limit. Let none spoil Sri Lanka's spectacular victory over terrorism.