There is a way, but you need government clearance
The West just needs to chill out for 15 minutes. There is a huge humanitarian situation and they’re asking when are people going to be let out of camps, when will the Sri Lankan military presence, when that. For mercy’s sake, as soon as possible. The war has been over for like 5 days. For the love of God, just shut up and give the country 15 minutes to deal with the relief effort. War crimes should not be on the agenda right now. Right now the agenda of the UN Human Rights Commission should be the refugee situation. Then whatever. But right now everyone needs to chill out for 15 minutes and give SL a break.
Right now the government is scared. There are LTTE cadres in the camps, and LTTE supporters abroad are basically trying to indict and prosecute the government abroad. In response they are restricting access to the camps, and it has tragic consequences for the people in there. The right action now is to seriously congratulate the government, flatter them even, get the access you need and deliver the aid.
People say I’m going 180 or whatever, but it’s about goals and how you get there. My goal is the development of this country. Right now there is an urgent humanitarian crisis and I will give my full support to this government to deal with it. Then in the medium term push for resettlement, political resettlement, freedom of speech, etc. But right now children are hungry, people are getting their limbs amputated improperly and there’s scabies and Hepatitis A and pneumonia and stuff. Can we please deal with this with the government and facilities we have?
Frankly, I think the statements from the UN are sensible. The latest from the
UNHCR UNHRC, for example:
The President of the UN Human Rights council, at a special session on Sri Lanka underway in Geneva, welcomed the dawn of peace in Sri Lanka and said the Council will work with Sri Lanka to protect human rights.
Meanwhile the Council condemned the LTTE use of human shields during the fighting.
However, the buzz internationally is dominated by elements of the Tamil diaspora which liberally fly the LTTE flag. So people contact me with stuff like how do you deal with those elements, or I hear this or I hear that. Plus they can’t get any media from Sri Lanka, so whatever propaganda the LTTE diaspora spits out gets carried. In my opinion we are in this international cockupalypse because the LTTE assassinated Foreign Minister Kadirgamar, but I digress.
LTTE supporters are still driving the media abroad, and the media can’t find anyone to really talk to them here, so they just carry that. Sri Lanka needs to loosen up on access here and human rights and freedom and all that but for the love of God, it would be easier if everyone just chilled out and stopped threatening and antagonizing them for 15 minutes.
Seriously, the ‘international community’ needs to think about goals and how to achieve them diplomatically. So you don’t like Mahinda Rajapakse and his government. Fine, I completely understand. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to attack this country and overthrow the elected government? Do you really have enough money on the table for them to listen? No. So maybe that angle isn’t going to work.
This government has a popular mandate and THEY JUST WON A 30 YEAR WAR. They have the support of most Sri Lankan people and honestly, however they did it, it is good that the country is unified without the LTTE. Perhaps because the west hasn’t lived with Al Qaeda in Wales or New Jersey, but it sucks and I’m glad that’s over.
Regardless, this government has power, it controls access, and everyone has to work with them. They are sensitive, so perhaps behave diplomatically to get the access you need. Stop threatening the war crimes and prosecution and stuff for like 15 minutes to get the access you need. Just chill out, congratulate them on what is honestly an admirable victory and let them know that if they open up the camps they won’t be beaned with footage and lectures and lawsuits. Just go in, shut up and help.
Help us sort out our democracy problems once our people have a decent meal and their chicken pox cured. If the ‘international community’ behaves with some respect now they could participate in that long-term process as friends, with access. Instead they’re asking for the whole cow right now without thinking of the next meal.
It’s counterproductive. Just chill out for 15 minutes, let’s deal with the humanitarian crisis and then do all the paperwork. Though, with all due respect, the only real crime in war is losing. At least, the only one you can prosecute for.
Regardless, do whatever. Just focus on the human need right now. And get the access you need by dealing with these people you don’t like. If you believe in helping the Sri Lankan people, just chill out for 15 minutes and work with us and the government we have. With respect.