On one level it is surprising that the United States and the international community is not willing to let go of its desire to punish Sri Lanka for alleged human rights abuses at the end of its 30-year war against the LTTE terrorists; after all, the hard evidence points to Sri Lanka’s innocence.
On another level, however, it is not a surprise at all. What is the value of “hard evidence” in an era when arguments and battles are won in the media, and public opinion can be bought and swayed when falsehood is so easily turned upside down into truth?
It doesn’t help the situation that the deck is already stacked against Sri Lanka with the Chairman of the UNHRC, Ms. Navi Pillay, an ethnic Tamil who consistently demonstrates her bias against the GOSL. This bias is familiar to us all, and is well documented in numerous other articles. Her bias has influenced the international community to be predisposed against Sri Lanka, and to turn deaf ears to the Government’s progress, internal implementations, responses to allegations, pleas for fairness and justice, and global acknowledgement for its tremendous achievements in country-rebuilding.
The only bright note in this tawdry affair of lies were the statements made last week by the U.S. Rep. from American Samoa, Democratic Congressman Eni Faleomavaega, the Vice Chairman of the Congressional Foreign Relations Committee; he had just returned from Sri Lanka the previous week.
The GOSL is clearly not prepared to deal with all of this at once. A “perfect storm” is brewing. The Government is no match for the diaspora’s well-orchestrated and well-funded PR and media campaign against it. It still doesn’t understand how the spin machine industry works, and it has done nothing pro-active to protect itself from its media enemies – other than sponsor a few junkets for the press and business types, and have its embassies around the world issue feeble press releases that never get picked up by the right media outlets. I know the GOSL tries, but trying just doesn’t cut it these days.
What’s at stake here? The sovereignty of Sri Lanka, that’s what. We can’t just say, “Ho hum, another UN Resolution against us.” Sri Lankans have to band together, pool resources, bite the bullet, and get professionals to help solve the country’s image and media problems. Sri Lanka needs a Super PAC to swoop down and come to its defense; right now there is no action figure hero with a flying cape and a chest full of rupees to rescue the country from its arch foes.