Your thoughts on the Impeachment crisis?
You appear to be quite adamant in not seeking another term? Why? It is the country who will be the loser…
While I still believe that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s historical contribution and merits outweigh his de-merits; while in the absence of a better alternative I regard him as part of the solution and refuse to cast him as the villain of the piece, still less demonize him,it is also my no less strongly held conviction that in the postwar period, the government has deviated from the path that would lead to social progress and a sustainable peace. This deviation has led to a deterioration of policy and distortion of the policy process, which in turn has resulted in degeneration of the System. From a strategic standpoint, Sri Lanka can no longer be successfully defended internationally without renewing its stock of moral capital and re-taking the moral high ground which it has lost in the postwar years. Defending Sri Lanka internationally now requires reforming and democratizing Sri Lanka domestically. The struggle to defend Sri Lanka in New York and Washington, Geneva and Delhi, Pretoria and Brasilia, and in the court of world opinion, now requires a struggle for democratic transformation as well as a struggle against undemocratic measures and the dominant political culture at home.
There are commonalities but also differences in our situations. Having beaten back in full public view, a vicious attack on me from within the System early in 2012, I served out my full term in France - carried my bat through the innings as it were - gave three months notice and clearly and publicly disengaged of my own accord. It’s a great pity that an outstanding senior professional such as Mr. Godage on the one hand and a European educated multilingual woman of Sri Lankan Tamil ethnicity such as Ms Kunanayagam were so shabbily treated by the System and that the country was deprived of their services in the international arena.
In my first spell, as Ambassador in Geneva, they were:
• Firstly, preventing the EU from being able to table a resolution to stop the war before it had ended in victory for Sri Lanka.
“On 27 May at the Palais des nations in Geneva, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, NavanethamPillay, addressed the Human Rights Council and called for an international inquiry into the conduct of both parties to the war. While the EU and a brace of other countries formulated and then moved a resolution in support of Pillay’s call, a majority of countries on the council rejected it out of hand. Instead they adopted an alternative motion framed by Sri Lanka’s representatives praising the Sri Lankan government for its victory over the Tigers...” (p229)
"As Sri Lanka mulls over last month’s United Nations Human Rights Council resolution, it may look back with nostalgia at its 2009 triumph at Geneva. Then, barely a week after its victory over the LTTE, a group of western countries wanted a resolution passed against Sri Lanka for the civilian deaths and other alleged rights violations by the army during the last stages of the operation. With the blood on the battlefield not still dry, Sri Lanka managed to snatch victory from the jaws of diplomatic defeat, with a resolution that praised the government for its humane handling of civilians and asserted faith in its abilities to bring about reconciliation." (The Hindu)
Your thoughts on the current situation regarding the Jaffna University?In Sri Lanka the LTTE has been defeated on ground. What is the situation now - is it triumphalism still, or is reconciliation possible?