Infographic, woefully unpublished but available here: World Tourism Infographic.
Running around all day. Raining. These are two columns for the papers this Sunday. The Ceylon Today was also out, uh, today. New paper, but I couldn’t find a copy (didn’t try very hard). The first column was on international tourism for the Nation, but they don’t seem to have included the infographic at all. You can read the text there but I recommend viewing the graph here: World Tourism Rankings.
For The Sunday Leader I wrote that war crimes investigations are a waste of time. Bit controversial in that venue, but I think they’re disingenuous and unhelpful.
Everyone has an agenda, except for the dead…
Both of these sides are posturing. The hardcore LTTErs are aware of and even fond of human rights violations as a weapon of war. Indeed, that was their main strategy. They oppose them only to prey on the sympathies of decent people, just as they used terror to target innocent civilians. Their call for investigations is purely tactical, attacking the government and idea of Sri Lanka with the only means they have left.
The government is also internally aware of the realities of war. In a leaked cable, Basil Rajapaksa is reported to have said “I’m not saying we’re clean; we could not abide by international law – this would have gone on for centuries, an additional 60 years.”
The call for war crimes investigations are driven by cynics who couldn’t stand the LTTE government losing the war or, at the least, the Sri Lankan government winning. They want a separate, ethnic state (at most) or the end of the Rajapaksa regime (at the least). What the LTTE couldn’t do on the battlefield, they’re trying to do in international courts. What they can’t do democratically, they’re trying to do bureaucratically. This is cowardice, malice, and a shame.
The Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commision, however, is also a farce. They were tasked from the beginning with condemning the cease-fire and rubber-stamping the war. The most honest part was the testimony of average people in the north and east, but it’s unclear whether their concerns (disappearances, deaths) will be acted on.
In between punitive investigations from abroad and defensive investigations at home we get nothing. It’s simply a continuation of the war by other, more irrelevant and wasteful means. (The Sunday Leader)