Tamils - a Trans State Nation..

"To us all towns are one, all men our kin.
Life's good comes not from others' gift, nor ill
Man's pains and pains' relief are from within.
Thus have we seen in visions of the wise !."
Tamil Poem in Purananuru, circa 500 B.C 

Home Whats New  Trans State Nation  One World Unfolding Consciousness Comments Search

Home > Tamil National ForumOru Paper Editorial > Geneva here they come! Too much of private tuition can make anyone sleepy.


Geneva here they come!
Too much of private tuition can make anyone sleepy

Editorial, Oru Paper, 17 February  2006

The gentleman whose photograph you see alongside is Mr.Nimal Sripala de Silva, Mahinda Rajapakse's frontline minister, Government spokesman and head of the Sri Lanka government delegation to Geneva for talks on February 22nd and 23rd.. If the photograph shows him sleeping at an important public Function in Colombo, forgive him. Colombo's sultry weather is of course sleep inducing, public meetings nevertheless. But what is worse, even for Health ministers in charge of nutrition, is too much of private tuition!

Nimal Sripala de Silva had already become a joke in political and press circles in Colombo after being nominated to head the Geneva delegation. Poor President Rajapakse had no option. Next to him in seniority was Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickremanayake whose sight the Tigers can't stand. Third in line in protocol was of course this sleepy Minister. But it was hoped that intense private tuition on how to handle Anton Balasingham face to face would help. And a workshop was held at the Presidential Secretariat for no less a purpose than to create a "knowledge base" for the Government delegation and their supporting staff. Attending the conference were not only members of the armed forces, police high ups, officials of the Peace Secretariat but also two Americans described as experts on conflict resolution. And what does this head of the delegation do? He sleeps, and sleeps and ....

Talking of the crash course on conflict resolution being given to Sripala de Silva and the two other delegates Ministers Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and Rohitha Bogolllagama (both again unfortunate choices, except that Fernandopulle knowing Tamil could hear any jokes made by Balasingham in Tamil).  Thamilselvan has commented that they were happy about the intense training being given to the government delegates, but what was important was for the government to have a better understanding of the issues faced by the Tamil people. That being an impossibility with the mindset of the kind of Sinhalese politicians who rule the country, the Geneva talks could well be written off as unlikely to advance the peace process. Anyway, the government's not so hidden agenda is not to advance any peace process, but only to drag on the time until they sort out their domestic problems.

The President has far too many domestic problems on his plate. The JVP has reminded the President of the 13-point memorandum of understanding he signed with them before the elections which were later incorporated in his "Mahinda Chinthanaya" and that the negotiators should be made to stick to it in Geneva. Apart from the constant American shadow falling over Colombo all the time, India too had also poked her nose into the already muddied waters. Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran made an unscheduled four-hour stop-over in Colombo on his return from the Maldives to "discuss some important issues with the President", it is reported. The Indian intelligence men from RAW are already known to be present both in Jaffna and in the East and masquerading as locals.

The question of who is to get how many seats in the forthcoming local government elections is still a bone of contention between Mahinda Rajapakse, the JVP, and the come-back girl Chandrika. The Sri Lanka Muslim Congress is persistently demanding that their delegation too should be there at Geneva. Meanwhile, the country is being threatened with a series of strikes. The government doctors have been holding token strikes at various hospitals in the country paralyzing  medical care, and the Health Care Minister is no less a person than the sleeping minister himself.  The railways were paralyzed on the 15th with station roasters and signal operators demanding a new pay structure. All sections of society are feeling the pinch of the sudden steep rise in the cost of living with both gas and electricity charges shooting up. In-party rumblings are there not only within the UNP and the SLFP but also within our racist comrades of the JVP.

But the funniest part is the way the government is taking the Geneva talks far too seriously. Even the advice of the Harvard specialists is being suspect. The anti LTTE lawyer H.L.de Silva now in Australia is being invited to help in the negotiation process. It is being forgotten that whatever talks that are held in Geneva will be restricted to the "smooth implementation" of the February 2002 Cease-fire Agreement - as has been stated by the LTTE. Any bull-in-the-china-shop attempt to bring in so-called "core issues" into the discussion when Tamils continue to face military oppression everywhere and thousands of families in Jaffna are unable to go back to their villages and their own homes, could face the danger of the LTTE walking out of the talks.


Mail Us Copyright 1998/2009 All Rights Reserved Home