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DateLine Sunday, 17 February 2008

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Enemies of the nation

A question to the UNP:

If Bradman Weerakoon, the Secretary to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe (2000-2004) and his current chief advisor and general factotum, is the Acting Head of the anti-national International Centre for Ethnic Studies (ICES) and also a founder member of the other anti-national Centre for Policy Alternative (CPA), and if the wife of the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs. Maithree Wickremesinghe, an academic who knows her politics, are active campaigners for these anti-national NGOs how can the people trust Wickremesinghe, who is a creature of both, to protect the nation?

This is a serious issue considering the fact that Bradman Weerakoon is the evil guru behind the UNP throne, manipulating Wickremesinghe, who is primarily a lazy, indecisive figurehead. His greatest contribution to politics has been to appoint committees, most of which were headed by Weerakoon. Wickremesinghe is dependent heavily on Weerakoon not only to draft his speeches and to attend to political and administrative details as well as broad policy-making initiatives but also to represent him (and, of course the UNP) at critical meetings with delegates from foreign governments and local leaders. As the minute-keeper of these meetings Weerakoon also has the advantage of interpreting what was said at these meetings which then becomes the official policy of the UNP.

The success of Weerakoon in public service has been due to two main reasons: 1) his ability to do the master's/mistress's bidding without questioning and (2) his willingness to take on onerous duties which, in many ways, goes to strengthen Weerakoon grip on politics and make him indispensable to his masters/mistresses.

By dabbling in all spheres of political and administrative activity he becomes the instant resource centre to lazy and incompetent figures like Wickremesinghe. Consequently, Bradman's in-put into policy-making and decision-making under Wickremesinghe has gone beyond that of a neutral bureaucrat.

He has taken up a position at the strategic centre of decision-making in the Sri Lankan crisis and foreign affairs, which provides him an opening to bring in, directly from the ICES, its anti-national agenda. Weerakoon functions today as the policy-maker, minute-keeper, interpreter of UNP policies, spokesperson, and even decision-maker usurping the powers of his master.

His presence in the inner sanctum of Wickremesinghe, though not so public as that of the politicos in the party, explains why the UNP has swung against the overall interests of the nation and followed the mono-ethnic platform of the Jaffna-centric ICES tied to the TULF. After all, Neelan Tiruchelvam, the founder of the ICES was not only the leading ideologue of the TULF setting its political agenda but also one of its MPs playing politics openly to promote the Jaffna-centric politics initiated by his father. Radhika Coomaraswamy, Neelan's successor, has followed in the footsteps of her political guru loyally. And the caretaker head of ICES, Weerakoon, follows Radhika as loyally as Radhika who followed Neelan.

Where does this leave the UNP? Can Weerakoon serve two masters simultaneously? The record of the UNP policies under Wickremesinghe reveals the direct impact of Weerakoon's ICES policies. The Wickremesinghe-Weerakoon duo have replaced the grassroot aspirations and policies of the founding fathers of the UNP and the nation with that of the mono-ethnic politics coming out of the womb of Jaffna.

The Senanayakes and D. R. Wijewardenes have been thrown out and Radhika Coomaraswamy and Neelan Tiruchelvam have taken over. Weerakoon's grip on Wickremesinghe is almost total. For instance, when the Japanese Ambassador invited Wickremesinghe for dinner with Yashushi Akashi on his recent visit to Sri Lanka, Wickremesinghe took with him Lakshman Seneviratne, whose knowledge of politics, national and international, is as great as his leader's knowledge of Zulu, and, of course, his minder Bradman Weerakoon.

Now Weerakoon is not a member of the UNP nor is he an elected representative of the people. As a self-seeking apparatchik he does not have a stake either in the future of the UNP or the nation. He will serve any mother's son or daughter as long as they serve his interests. And he has a tendency to go for the highest bidder which right now is the anti-national NGOs.

This hired agent who does not represent anyone except the anti-national NGOs is taken by Wickremesinghe to represent the UNP for dinner with Akashi, the only member of the Co-Chairs who, after many failures in opening peace talks, has partially realized the futility of negotiations with the Tamil Tigers. One does not have to be an Einstein to guess what line Wickremesinghe-Weerakoon duo would have plugged at this dinner.

At the moment Weerakoon is immersed in the internal power struggle of the foreign-funded ICES and is making a desperate bid to cover-up the financial scandals which have prompted even the Ford Foundation to send its investigators to look into the loss of millions of dollars. Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy, the former head of the ICES, states that she merely signed the papers put in front of her by the Financial Controller who is known to be an ardent supporter of the Tamil Tiger terrorists. Isn't it rather odd that Radhika should abandon her Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the millions handed to her by the foreign donors? Or is R2P only for the Sri Lankan forces advancing into the areas dominated by the Tamil Pol Pot?

Perks

Getting back to Bradman Weerakoon, he is in cahoots with Radhika who, in fact, has handpicked him to look after her Jaffna-centric political base at the ICES. He is currently the Acting Head of the Colombo branch of the ICES. He is also the darling of the political NGOs working against the national interests. For instance, he is the founder member of the CPA - the other NGO working overtime against the nation. Weerakoon is in this game because he is paid handsomely for it, in cash, in perks, in trips abroad and in kudos too.

As for the NGOs it is opportune for them to have him on board because he can be used as a tool by the NGOs to stir up anti-government politics through Wickremesinghe.

However, the elections results and opinion polls have clearly confirmed that the UNP's alliance with the NGOs have not paid any dividends. The NGOs, on the other hand, had gained considerable power and other political benefits by having one of their stooges in the strategic decision-making centre of the UNP. Whether in the living, dining room or in the office room Wickremesinghe is surrounded by those who are pathologically anti-national. Of these, Bradman Weerakoon is the evil master-mind behind Wickremesinghe manipulating him to dance and sing to the tunes of the NGOs.

Failed Ceasefire Agreement

Starting from the failed Ceasefire Agreement to the handing over of sensitive communication equipment and even to the parts of the light aircraft (duty free) to the Tamil Tigers Weerakoon has acted according to the agenda of NGOs posing a serious threat to national security and the future of the nation.

The role of Weerakoon as the Acting Head of the anti-national ICES interlocking with his role as the decision-making, policy-making minder of Wickremesinghe explains amply the anti-national policies of the UNP like the CFA which handed over two thirds of the coastline and its hinterland to the Tamil Tigers. This is not surprising for the simple reason that separatism in one form or another - i.e., federalism, power sharing, devolution of power, Ceasefire Agreement ONLY WITH THE JAFFNA TAMILS and not with the other minorities - has been the hidden agenda of the ICES. Weerakoon's achievement in manipulating Wickremesinghe to devolve power and territory to the Tamil Tiger terrorists under the provisions of the CFA was, indeed, the glorious pay back that Radhika Coomaraswamy got for keeping Weerakoon on her pay role. This is why Weerakoon is a security risk to the nation. If Wickremesinghe comes back - fortunately it is not on the cards - Weerakoon would galvanize into action, based on the known agenda of the ICES, CPA and other NGOs, to renew the CFA by signing another agreement (of course, all in the name of peace!) and hand over territory and power to the Tamil Tiger terrorists. This makes him a dangerous Enemy of the nation.

This anti-national political agenda of the ICES, has been revealed in absolutely clear terms by Dr. Rama Mani, the deposed Head of the ICES, in her letter to Gareth Evans, who is now parading as the Commander-in-Chief of the R2P forces. She states categorically that the ICES "will be confronting governments and supporting the international community". Of course she says this in referring to the implementation of R2P. But confronting the government and supporting the international community have been and will continue to be the underlying principle on which the NGOs have been acting in Sri Lanka. Dr. Mani outlines the quid pro quo: you give us the money and we will serve you in whatever way you want to confront the government.

Now that Weerakoon has taken over the corrupt ICES, plagued with internal power struggles, he is not going to change the policy objectives pronounced by Dr. Mani. He has never been the guy to buck the system. Dr. Mani has laid down the law for Weerakoon to follow. And being the loyal servant he will lead the ICES and the UNP to (1) confront the government and (2) support the international community.

This two-pronged challenge posed to the national integrity and sovereignty has been a consistent part of the NGO strategy to destabilise and dismember Sri Lanka in accordance with the agenda of the NGO complex.

This, mark you, is not a surmise or conjecture or wild speculation.

This is written down in black and white by the head of ICES handpicked by Radhika Coomaraswamy after pushing her through the charade of a selection process that was supposed to be transparent and fair. But the selection process actually was manipulated craftily to keep Dr. Jeganathan, a research assistant, out of the race and to smuggle in Dr. Mani from France.

Well, this oracle from France has spoken to the ICES. What more do we need to prove that Weerakoon is committed to undermine the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka through his other political base in the UNP?

Any student of politics who has any inclination to understand the primary objectives and the modus operandi of NGOs should memorize this line of Dr. Mani: "A very important element for implementing R2P will be confronting governments and supporting the international community and R2P advocates with hard evidence from the ground, and analysis of the perspectives, views held about R2P by affected vulnerable populations and by ordinary citizens." Quite unwittingly, she has let the cat out of the bag. She has outlined unequivocally what goals are pursued by NGOS and through what means. First, their goals are to "confront governments" jointly with other anti-national and neo-colonial agents supporting R2P and other agendas of foreign governments. Second, outlining the methodology, she says ICES will, in the guise of research collect "hard evidence from the ground, and analyse the perspectives" with the sole objective of "supporting the international community" and not the national governments.

In other words, it is politicized "research" to help the international community to intervene in the domestic affairs of Sri Lanka.

Of course, she writes this in reference to the neo-colonial agenda of implementing the R2P. With or without the R2P, this statement describes succinctly the politics, the goals, the tactics of NGOs hired to subvert nations struggling to find their feet not only from confrontations by armed terrorists groups but also by NGOs financed to confront governments according to the international community. Confronting the national governments and supporting the international community has been the fundamental policy of all NGOs involved in the Sri Lankan crisis. It is this policy of slavishly serving foreign governments that has made the "NGOS" the dirtiest four-letter word in the Sri Lankan political vocabulary.

Evidence

To come down to the brass tacks of what Dr. Mani has stated in black and white, the ICES would collect evidence from those affected by the forces advancing into the Vanni with primary objective of presenting an analysis of the situation that would open opportunities for the international community to invade Sri Lanka invoking R2P. These two functions - i.e., (1) collecting evidence from the ground to (2) help the international interlopers to confront the government (example: British High Commissioner Chillcott) - have been the main focus of all NGOs, whether they are working for R2P or not.

In doing this work for foreign agencies NGOs take cover under the misleading label of "research". But in reality they are overpaid agents collecting evidence for foreign governments to confront the national governments that do not conform to their political agenda. In other words, the NGOs, claiming to be "the civil society", assume that they have been vested with the power to subvert or overthrow the elected governments. They aspire to have a stake in the running of the government or run a parallel state without obtaining the consent of the people through the electoral process. They claim that they derive their powers from the higher authority invested in the UN Charter but, in reality, those powers exist only on paper without any inherent dynamism to emerge as the determining force in politics. These NGOs find some space to invoke the UN Charter only when they are funded by foreign governments. In fact, Paikiasothy Sravanamuttu, Kumar Rupesinghe, Jehan Perera, Radhika Comarswamy et all would not have steepped into the arena of civil society if there was no money in it. It is the filthy lucre that makes them champions of human rights.

They are also boosted by the backing they get from foreign governments (example: the Canadian High Commissioner intervening on behalf of ICES). Mark you, no such facility is available for them to intervene in big power politics of the West. When the Western diplomats intervene in governments elected by the people under an electoral process supervised by their own agents in NGOs and foreign observers, they little realize that they are actually kicking their own political values into the dust bin. Acting in collusion with NGOs, these Western governments who loudly proclaim the virtues of the government of the people, by the people and for the people, actually reject the will of the people expressed through their elected representatives and opt for the "confrontations" led by unelected, self-serving, foreign-funded, anti-people agents in the NGOs. So do these diplomats want a democracy of the people or do they prefer a collective of crooked wheeler-dealers fighting among themselves for power to control the dollars pouring in from foreign sources?

If the common objectie of NGOs has been to (1) confront governments and (2) collect evidence to support the interventions of foreign governments shouldn't all these busybodies in NGOs be classified as enemies of the people? Apart from that, not a single NGO operates on the democratic principle of being elected by their peers, or by the community at large. The ugly and bitter power struggle in the ICES demonstrates amply how power is used to throw out dissidents not favored by the ruling elite.

Radhika, the hidden Madame Defarge, watching heads roll off the ICES guillotine, made sure that Dr. Jeganathan was kept out at any cost. She moved fast, manipulating her international network to put pressure on Prof.

Kingsley de Silva, the Chairman, to get Dr. Rama Mani, a foreigner, reinstated. Bradman Weerakoon, playing the role of the obedient servant to Radhika, launched an attack on the anti-Radhika camp through his "henchaiyas" in the media because he was tasked to protect her political base.

Bradman Weerakoon's loyalties are very clear. He has temporary loyalties to Wickremesinghe a long as he is in a position of power but certainly not to the UNP, not to the people, and certainly not to the nation as a whole. As the Acting Head of the ICES he makes use of Wickremesinghe to push the Jaffna-centric mono-ethnic platform which has dominated the ideology, the political agenda and the "research" strategies of the ICES. Weerakoon's involvement with the ICES brand of politics is reflected in the politics of the UNP. With one foot in the ICES and the other in the UNP Weerakoon has successfully managed to inject Jaffna-centric politics of the ICES into the UNP. In the crisis faced by the ICES his primary task was to cover the rather broadening back of Radhika Coomaraswamy. With this objective in mind he launched an attack on the anti-Radhika camp consisting of Dr. Jeganathan, a "researcher" and others who rebelled against the establishment.

Questions relating to Weerakoon go beyond his political chicanery. One of the key questions relates to his qualifications to hold a top position in the ICES which is advertised as the premier "research" institution. He holds only a basic degree. Normally, the minimum requirement is a Ph.D which qualifies the head to direct research. Weerakoon has no known experience or qualifications in conducting research. Of course, if one has a proven record of being an experienced stooge who needs a Ph.D? Radhika Coomaraswamy goes all the way to handpick a Ph. D overlooking the resident Ph.D candidates. But she has no qualms in appointing a mere B. A.-holder to head the ICES! The insiders also feel that she is scared of bright Ph.D-holders performing better than her. She is seen by them as a lightweight bluestocking from Ladies College good at regurgitating Foucault and an assortment of feminists, including the local nobodies who had become somebodies through NGO patronage.

Though Weerakoon is totally unqualified to hold a high-ranking position in a research institution he has displayed some excellent qualities in holding the fort for Radhika Coomaraswamy. He's also good at politicking for his master s/mistresses whilst grinning all the way to the bank. But what is good for the ICES is certainly not good for the UNP, or the nation.

The events have proved that the UNP and the ICES have gone to the dogs or to their female counterparts, as the case may be.

However, if Weerakoon continues to be in the UNP, as its evil guru, it is the nation that will have to pay the price for his anti-national politics borrowed from the ICES.

If Weerakoon is retained by Wickremesinghe (which he will because he is left only with mediocrities in the party) the consequences to the nation - not to mention the UNP - will be disastrous. The Parliamentary Committee which is investigating the role of the NGOs should focus in particular on the NGO agenda of (1) confronting the elected government and (2) supporting the international community to undermine the authority of the governments elected by the people.

The NGO aim is to run a parallel government overriding the authority of the elected governments. For how much longer should the government, the parliament and people allow these agents of foreign governments to subvert the will of the people?

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