Dayan Jayatilleka spoke at a recent event organized by the Sri Lankan Committee for Solidarity with Palestine, to commemorate the UN Day for Solidarity with Palestine . The Sri Lankan government has made it a general point to sympathize with the Palestinian cause, though in recent years it has also become increasingly pally with Israel, with an envoy in the country and multiple arms deals.

DJ himself has a long and robust history of support for the Palestinian cause. But his speech on that day smacked of opportunism aimed at capitalizing on one of the world’s most tragic human rights issues in order to express the grievances of Sri Lanka’s government.

His attempts to equate the troubles of the Palestinian people with the ‘troubles of the Sri Lankan people’, whatever that may mean drastically trivialized the Palestinian problem. According to him, Sri Lanka and Palestine are two sides of the same coin, because they are both subject to double standards by ‘hegemonic Western regimes’.

I don’t quite know what Sri Lanka DJ is taking about, unless he’s talking about the extremely poor or the post-war disenfranchised, but even they don’t experience problems remotely close to what Palestinians experience everyday; sewage flooding their streets, constant threat of death by drone strikes/air strikes/deranged Israeli soldier strikes, frequent checkpoints, the inability to enjoy one’s rights in one’s own country, constant threat of expulsion and murder at the hands of an opressive regime etc etc etc. The list goes on.

To say that Sri Lanka and Palestine have something in common because we are both subject to double standards by Western regimes is like equating an advanced cancer patient with someone complaining about a visit to the dentist.

Also consider that in the eyes of the West, the government of Sri Lanka is accused of crimes that liken them more to Israel than Palestine; cast more in the mold of the oppressor than the oppressed. And all it seems to be doing is playing the part of the prosecuted street thug plaintively pointing at the gangland boss going free. This posturing is an admission of guilt, not of innocence.

DJ went on to make an explosive exhortation for David Cameron to visit Palestine, and not Jaffna, if he cares about human rights. I think David Cameron is quite aware of the tragic state of Palestine. He staunchly ignores it everyday, never meaningfully addressing the problem that the ‘Western Hegemonic Powers’ Dayan talks about created in the first place. But unlike Palestine, Sri Lanka’s problem is completely internal. We have the power to solve it, address it and move on from it. The Palestinian people do not have this luxury.

The moral agency of the West (what moral agency of the West?) is just a diversion, and it’s sad to see someone like DJ actively engaging in promoting it as the predominant point in Sri Lanka’s post war discourse, dialog and search for truths. Instead we should be looking inwards, into our own history, into our own morality. I have always been and still am staunchly against the LTTE, and I am more grateful than I can say that the war is now over, and the terrorists ‘defeated’.

But i’d be lying if I said that I believe the conflict has ended. Sri Lanka’s conflict is living on, and it is constantly being aggravated in its sleeping underground state by inaction, jingoism and distraction. And no one seems to be taking a meaningful public stand to address it. The conflict is a sleeping dragon, and eventually it is going to wake up. 

Courtesy; Tehran Times

What is the world doing about Israeli war crimes in Gaza?

Last December Israel launched a massive assault on Palastine comlpetely out of proportion to attacks from Hamas, the Palastinian instigator.

Over 1300 palastinians died including more than 300 hundred children, while 13 Israelis died; only one of them was a civillian.

5300 Palastinians were injured; mutilated and amputated. It was reported that 80% of them were victims of burning phosphorous bombs.

Over 20,00 buildings were partially burnt or damaged and the UN reports that around 50,000 people are now homeless.

The Israeli assault targeted everything from shopping centers, schools, media organizations, public buildings, religious buildings, medical centers to private homes. farms were targeted along with their animals and hundreds of acres of food crops were completely destroyed.

Even though they were given exact coordinates to UN buildings they must have got the wrong message as to what to do with them because they went ahead and bombed UN schools repeatedly; killing about 45 women and children in the process.

Bodies of children were found with several bullet holes in them, indicating that they had ben shot at repeatedly in a ground offensive obviously only meant to target ‘dangerous militants’

They used interntionally banned weapons like phosporous bombs, DIME and depleted uranium.

They’ve done all that and are still escaping persecution. What is the global community, that so easily clamped down on the Sri Lankan government’s shoulders during and after the last stages of its war against the LTTE, doing about the indiscriminate Israeli massacres in the Middle East?

Is the Israeli lobby really powerful enough to have the whole of the US under its thumb?

How can a nation supposedly nursing the wounds of a holocaust upon its own self instigate such a cruel slaughter of another people so easily?

Is there a philosophy driving this? Sort of a superiority complex embedded into Israeli education that justifies the killing of other innocent human beings to it’s people?

Hitler drove the Germans to merciless assault through his Fascist teachings of Aryan superiority, what’s similar seed has been planted in the Jewish system?

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