Might Is Right For All Seasons
The day after the much ballyhooed UNHRC Resolution against Sri Lanka was adopted, we thought that the Rajapaksa government had finally got it right.
The chief propaganda sheet of the government, the Daily News, had as its headline in coconut sized letters: Might is Right.
Indeed this is a basic principle in life and throughout in nature it works but not openly acknowledged. But the Daily News was not accepting the hard reality. It was trying to defy the mightiest of the mighty: America and the Western World.
From the days of Greek philosophers like Plato to mighty Indian emperors like Asoka though the morality of might being right has been rejected, it has been an accepted fact of life however much we do not like it. World conquerors , who are described as ‘Great’- Alexander, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, Napoleon, Hitler and now the United States of America established their ‘greatness’ on the principle that might was right.
In this modern world it would be foolish to take on the mighty head on and we must work round them for pure survival if nothing else.
Sri Lankan Might
Sri Lankans are stubborn as mules. They don’t realise the facts of life. We little Lankans are taking on the best and the greatest.
America, the European nations and other industrialised countries and now India the world’s fastest emerging economic power. We are the Mohamed Ali’s of the World but in reverse—we sting like a butterfly and float like a bee. We can take on a Mike Tyson and be knocked out flat on the canvas but we will pick ourselves up and go forward to be knocked down again. That is Sri Lankan heroism and Sri Lankan mulishness as well.
We lost at Geneva however with much statistical ‘jillmart’ we may try to prove we were the real winners. So what do we do? Try to implement at least a part of the Resolution of the UNHRC? No. Every day the state media propaganda organs and the state assisted privately owned media organs carry banner headlines: Such as US slammed over double standards on human rights. Of course the US should be slammed over double standards not only for human rights but many other matters as well. The US gets slammed in almost every country and city each day including Washington and London except in Antarctica. It gives us great delight.
A mental catharsis, a doctor may say. But other than the delight we Sri Lankans derive from our sounds and sights, what impact will it have on the international condemnation on Sri Lanka’s violation on human rights.
Slam the mighty
Certainly our writers and orators should have a go at Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and David Cameron but will these people ever hear of the witty, sarcastic, acerbic cracks made at them. Will the US Embassy file these in their diplomatic dispatches or will they end in the WPB?
We can learn lessons from the extent to which these comments of Sri Lankan critics reach the American dramatis personae but even if we get the information will we learn any lessons? We Sri Lankans are poor in learning lessons but we are mighty good at giving lessons particularly from our 2500 year old history.
Whatever happened to the much celebrated tome of the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee which President Rajapaksa was seen reading stretched on a haansi puttuwa? This was the only Sri Lankan report which received part acceptance from the United States and other foreign powers. Now we are told that all the recommendations of the LLRC report need not be accepted. That is understandable but what are the recommendations that will be acceptable?
Deploy the principle: Might is Right
So now we are told that whatever the LLRC report or any other report says it has to be enacted as an amendment to the constitution in parliament and passed with a two third majority!
Now why weren’t we told all this before and the Parliamentary Select Committee appointed before wasting years at the All Party Conference and more than one year with the LLRC?
Why not resort to that universal principle that Might is Right and adopt the required constitutional amendments with the speed and commitment the way the 18th Amendment was enacted?