Monday, June 11, 2007

What Do You Think Then?

Let's see if we can be a bit mature about this shall we?

I ask because I am genuinely interested, not because I want to start some kind of name calling competition.

So the Government of Sri Lanka has issued an apology for the eviction of the 376 Tamils from Colombo last week. There were blog posts all over the Sri Lankan blogosphere talking about it, including mine here.

Java made probably the most mature post I read here.

Voice in Colombo was his usual vociferous self about it here. Personally I disagree with most of his points, but differing opinions are interesting and stimulating.

The one thing that struck me about the whole episode, and the criticism of it, was that many took the approach that one could only be patriotic by backing the GOSL, that there is a war going on and all is fair in love and war. There was an air, from some not all, that any negative opinion of the actions of the GOSL was an act of disloyalty, that it made you "un Sri Lankan".

So what I'd like to know is what people feel about the apology. If you were a person who expressed support for the evictions and felt that it was unpatriotic to criticise the actions of the GOSL do you now feel that you should back the apology?

If you don't agree with the apology then does that make you unpatriotic?

What do you reckon?


Jack Point said...

I think we can accept the apology and leave it at that as far as this incident is concerned.

However we need beware of the causes of the incident, namely decision making by the brothers with no consideration for collateral damage.

Parliament, the (jumbo) cabinet and all else are irrelevant, what the brothers decide is what happens, which is a fairly dangerous.

The latest is that shops around the harbour are to be broken down because they are a security threat.

galle"peacenik"blogger said...

since ur asking, i'll gladly oblige...with whta i replied here:

comments are at he bottm of the page.

galle"peacenik"blogger said...

my cooments are here...bottom of the page.
p.s. it's really hard to post comments on ur blog today, dunno why.

Janus said...

You can love your country and not have to back its Government when something wrong is done. Patriotism does not have to come in the way of morality.
Besides, the apology was made after a lot of protest. Not simply after the incident occurred.

S said...

You can love your country and not love it's politics.

I'm still surprised 300 people would hover around SL without an ID card though; checkpoints are everywhere and 90% of hotels/guesthouses ask for it or an SL passport to decide what rate to charge you.


Voice in Colombo said...

///he one thing that struck me about the whole episode, and the criticism of it, was that many took the approach that one could only be patriotic by backing the GOSL\\\

hmmmm... I don't think so. In my post what i highlighted was your (not only you. Including few others) double standard in saying "Wrong" to "wrong" and "right" to "right". You, RD decided not to blog about politics which was appeared to be a good move, but all of a sudden realized sending 376 people back to their homes from a temporary loge is WRONG, WRONG & WRONG. (In fact it was wrong. I agreed in my post)

But the point is, that incident is very immaterial compared to the other "WRONG, WRONG, and WRONG" things dome by LTTE, which haven't lead to spoil the virginity of your "political" blogging.

That was the whole point of my post, you linked to here. Now you guys are trying to mis interprete what I said, in your own domains which I feel pretty funny. :-)

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Voice in Colombo - I think it's probably fair to say, although I haven't counted or done a statistcal analysis on it, that virtually all who have blogged about the issue have also said that they believe it was wrong fundamentally because the GOSL is a democratically elected government, not a terrorist organisation. I don't believe anyone has condoned the acts committed by said terrorist organisation, although you're sure to point me to someone who has, but most have said that the acts are those that are expected of a terrorist organisation.

You have never answered or acknowledged this, merely repeated your mantra that it's immaterial compared to the atrocities committed by the LTTE.

I don't think it's an example of double standards to expect behaviour from a government that is different to the behaviour of the LTTE or any terrorist group.

Darwin said...

Poor RD, you've really stirred up the hornet's nest with all these political commentary posts eh? Goodluck!

Personally I thinkt the apology was just a token gesture. How could they NOT apologise after all that fuss? They had to apologise to cover their asses.

However it's done now. No point going on and on about it now is there?

N said...

I would say the apology is a good first step, now heads must role (read the IGP/Police chappie) who ordered this. Public trial, conviction for violoation of basic human rights and then slapped with a wet hanky for utter stupidity.

Oh yeah my opinion on the blogosphere reaction, both side got equally too excited...bit hard to hear anything when everyone is screaming their heads of.

sittingnut said...

there is nothing wrong with criticizing the government . that is part of democracy .
imo there were two things wrong about posts criticizing this incident and being 'un sri lankan' or 'unpatriotic 'as you describe were not part of what was wrong about them.( you say 'many' took that approach . in the blogs i did not see that, except in some comments )

my two reason for finding those post wrong headed are -

1/ exaggerations
some went as far as to claim that this was equivalent to ethnic cleansing. others while not using those words described the same thing, that it was a surprise as to why they did not use the words.

in your own "wrong wrong wrong" post, you said that eviction was done based on race. which is simply false. there are hundreds of thousand of tamils in colombo, there are 15000+ tamils in lodges, and 5000 in lodges examined that day, in other words there were other grounds for selection of 376 for eviction. they are lack of identification and the lack of a reason to stay here. this was not a secret .

whether curtailment of rights bc there wasn't a reason stay or lack of identification, was or was not be an effective security measure to take, is a subjective judgment (police as professionals will be the ppl best qualified to judge that) . however such measures do take place in every country. esp during a war .

anyway to call this not so extraordinary security measure a form of ethnic cleansing or ethnic discrimination was an exaggeration.
and we all know who benefits from such exaggerations.

however as i said in indi.'s original post about this,this being a free country ppl are free to express their exaggerated opinions. but others are free to point out that they are doing ltte's work.

2/ most of the bloggers who vocally condemned this were silent about ltte's atrocities
when this was pointed out ( for example in voice in colombo's post). the defensive argument is that ltte is a terrorist organization and as such there is nothing surprising with it committing atrocities while government should be held to higher standards.
excellent principle. only most of the ppl who were silent about ltte atrocities and vocal about this, were also conspicuous for favoring peace through appeasement of ltte. which indicate that they do not think ltte to be terrorist ( either that or they favor terrorists to rule ppl ).

if one thinks ltte to be so terrorist and evil that even condemnation of its atrocities is superfluous and futile . then these ppl should advocate its defeat ( using legitimate violence if needs be) to safeguard the rights of its victims including those who live under it .they should criticize government if its shows signs of slowing down. they should condemn ppl such as norwegians who advocate appeasement and peace talks.

however that is not what we find in their blogs but the exact opposite. they want the terrorist ltte to be given power to govern ppl in return for 'peace' . they condemn anyone who say ltte must be defeated (with military means if needs be) .

isn't that hypocrisy?

as for the apology, if government thinks that they and police made a wrong decision in taking that security measure it should apologize. esp to those whose right were curtailed. that is a political decision. in addition it could be used to an extent to counter the exaggerated propaganda of the ltte.( i doubt that )

imo it has nothing to do with being patriotic or not, any more than original issue with criticism has any direct connection to being patriotic or not .( it was as explained above about exaggerations and attitude to ltte)

government unlike these bloggers did not admit to exaggerated claims that it was ethnic cleansing and its demonstrated attitude to ltte is not comparable to those who criticized this..

Anonymous said...

Just add my 2 cents here. Rhythmic I think you nailed it on the heead Bro. What I feel & feel strongly about is the fact there are governments & rebel movements . The Goverment has to realise that all tamils are not LTTE and all Sinhalese are not GOSL. The country belong to these ordinary people . Anybody who does not respect that and try to use terror as his medium of expression is a Terrorist!!

by sometimesIthink

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Sittingnut - thanks for your comment, which you have clearly thought about a lot.

On reflection, as I have said before, I was hasty in calling it "ethnic cleansing". That was an exaggeration. But, I DO think it was ethnic discrimination, pure and simple. As I saw someone else point out on another blog, there are people all over Colombo of many races who don't carry ID yet, through and amazing coincidence, all the 376 people "chosen" to be evicted were Tamil.

Ami said...

I don’t support the govt doing a back flip.
I think the Govt should have kept to its guns. Doing a back flip, only solidifies the critics & their claim.

Then again, I didn’t come from the unpatriotic angle. I saw it as a necessary move when dealing with safety issues.

Postscript: had you used the term “ethnic discrimination” then it would’ve taken a different approach. Still, I don’t think you would have had evidence to back up your claim other than the advantage of heavy scales on your side, with so many jumping on the bandwagon.
“ethnic discrimination” doesn’t hold water in the world with the war against terror campaign & looking at how Muslims are treated.
So yes, imo our govt did have legitimate reasons & still they did a back flip.
This btw now put a question mark in my mind, as to their motive in the first place.