The government of Palestine presented Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa with the “Star of Palestine” the highest award of the State of Palestine, on January 6.
“The relations between Sri Lanka and the State of Palestine are exceptional and we remain committed to extending our fullest support to the State of Palestine and the friendly people of Palestine,” President Rajapaksa said during the conferment ceremony.
“President Rajapaksa, on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka, conferred the ‘Sri Lanka Mitra Vibhushana’ awards on former Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and current President Mahmoud Abbas,” during his current trip to Palestine, Israel and Jordan. So reported the Sri Lankan news agency.
This is not satire albeit double speak.
The Sinhalese chauvinist Sri Lanka government practices genocide against Tamils, as confirmed by the Permanent Peoples Tribunal, which held hearings in Berman, Germany, December 7-10, 2013.
The Zionist State practices genocide against the Palestinians, as many nations acknowledge and so determined by the War Crimes Tribunal in Kuala Lumpur, November 26, 2013.
The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal (KLWCT) found former Israeli army general Amos Yaron and the state of Israel guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide stemming from the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut’s Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in 1982.
“While it’s constantly mindful of its stature as merely a tribunal of conscience with no real power or enforcement, this tribunal finds that witnesses in this case are entitled ex justitia to the payment or reparations by the two convicted parties,” said KLWCT president Tan Sri Lamin Mohd Yunus.
Lamin hoped that armed with the tribunal’s findings, the witnesses who were also the victims in the case, would, in the near future, find a state or an international judicial entity able and willing to exercise jurisdiction to enforce the tribunal’s verdict against the two convicted parties.
Now that Rajapaksa has declared eternal friendship with Palestine perhaps he would offer his government to bring the tribunal’s wishes before the world court or, even better, he could try Israel for war crimes and genocide against the Palestinians.
The duplicity of Sri Lanka foreign relations is beyond Orwellian. The governments of USA/UK and other European states, Australia, Israel, India on the one hand, and on the other hand China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan gave or sold weaponry in the multi-millions of dollars to Sri Lankan governments over decades, and aided in many other ways the defeat of the Tamils’ guerrilla movement, including the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).
Since the end of the long civil war, May 2009, western states slightly criticize Sri Lanka for possible human rights abuses. Consequently, the revolutionary/progressive governments of Cuba and its ALBA alliance with Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Nicaragua, and three other small Caribbean states, as well as China, Russia, Iran, Pakistan, all praise Sri Lanka and view only the Tamil guerrilla movement as terrorist. Complicating the hypocrisy is the fact that the US is Sri Lanka’s number one trading partner, and the EU is second.
No government supported the liberation of Tamils from well documented repression and oppression, including inequalities in access to education and jobs, discrimination against their language and religions, all by law.
The important economic and military role that Israel has played for Sri Lanka against the Tamils hardly comes into the spotlight when the Sri Lanka-Tamil conflict is discussed. Nor is this pointed out when Cuba and the other ALBA governments praise Sri Lanka, ignore Tamils, while they praise Palestine and condemn Israel.
“Israel has been a faithful supplier to Sri Lanka” serving the military, commerce and politics, as maintained by the Swedish book Arms Trade with Sri Lanka: global business, local costs, put out by the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society and the Swedish Sri Lanka Committee.
The study provides hard-to-find figures on what countries provided what armaments to Sri Lanka. Most of the weaponry that the LTTE acquired came from capturing enemy arms and some were bought on the black market. Sri Lanka bought its weapons from a score of governments, spending between 7 and 17% of their budgets on the military during the war.1
The most decisive sales and donations in the latter years of war came from Israel (and China). A vast number of combat aircraft (16 Kfir jets plus nine others) and many of the ships (especially six Super Dvora and 38 Shaldag fast patrol craft) used by Sri Lanka came from Israel. It also supplied seven unmanned vehicles, 16 anti-ship mines, communication and surveillance equipment, and great quantities of ammunition; plus pilots and Mossad intelligence and counter-intelligence agents.
Makhdoom Babar, editor-in-chief of the pro-Sri Lanka government Daily Mail reported that Israel uses Sri Lanka waters to test their missiles.
A 2009 SIPRI report, “International Arms Transfers”, shows that between 2000 and 2007, Sri Lanka acquired “several large warships from India, Israel and the USA”. The Swedish-based international arms conflict monitor reported that Israel has been a major and effective arms supplier.
In the 1980s, Israeli experts advised Sri Lanka to create border villages and arm Sinhala civilians as home guards. This is what the US also did in parts of Southeast Asia during its genocidal war in the 1960s-70s.
Zionist Israel’s aid was so useful to Sri Lanka that it sent its chief-of-staff, Donald Perera, to Israel as its ambassador after the military victory. The widest read Zionist daily in Israel, Yedioth Ahronoth, ran a lengthy interview with the new ambassador in July 2010
He spoke proudly as a war commander of having “a great relationship with your military industries and with Israel Aerospace industries.” “For years Israel has aided our war on terror through the exchange of information and the sale of military technology and equipment.”
General Perera spoke of Israel as “a country I consider a partner in the war against terror,” thus labeling Palestinians’ liberation struggle for their homeland and the simple right to exist as terrorism. This is precisely how he and the Sinhalese chauvinist governments view the Tamils struggle for liberation, simply as terrorism.
War criminal par excellence, Perera supported Israel’s illegal and bloodthirsty attack on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship on May 31, 2010, during which it murdered nine solidarity activists. He said, “I can understand that Israel had to protect itself,”—against unarmed civilians bearing material necessities for an occupied, besieged people?2
There are no two peoples better suited to be fast allies than these victims of genocide: Palestinians and Sri Lankan Tamils. When they figure that out, the two nations-in-the-making could confer upon Mahinda Rajapaksa the Orwellian award for double speak.
- See my article, “Sri Lanka War Crimes-Genocide with West Complicity: an analysis.” [↩]
- Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka, page 19. [↩]