False propaganda misleads tourists
We have learnt the biggest lesson in life as a nation. This is
difficult to forget.
There were times all our expectations looked bleak, cold and
cheerless. Traditional friends whom we depended shirked and gave only
opinions (which did not favour Sri Lanka) about what should be done
recommending different course of action.
The Sri Lanka Govt. had to endure from the outset not to subject to
blame or hold responsible and criticize for faults knowing the local and
international concerns and always preferred a blameless record of
everything with avoidance of rashness to take Sri Lanka to safety.
During the past calamities in an incalculable period Sri Lanka had to
change governments regularly in order to find a suitable leader to take
us through a period which Sri Lanka had never gone through, and then she
met her destiny and found a leader who could stand up and be counted.
The hour was a priceless one in which we faced the monumental truth
because earlier we were not free to choose or select and were not free
from facing consequences.
By the time a new leader took over the reins the boiling pot of
ethnic conflict was about to burst open, spurt violently apart and
outbreak of violence threatened the entire country.
Those tragic incidents happened on our home soil. Although this was
the scene in Sri Lanka there had been another web of conspiracy, a
secret unlawful plan had been hatched for the first time and was in
operation overseas for decades. That plan was the beginning of not only
False Propaganda and Fund Raising activities overseas but also used
those funds to procure arms for the impending violence which they
anticipated likely to happen in many years to come.
What is really disturbing is that past Sri Lanka Govts were alerted
repeatedly on this subject by many community leaders, some 20-25 years
ago fell on deaf ears. If those warnings were taken seriously, this
government would not have had to fight a well prepared and well equipped
ruthless enemy who fought the last battles mingling with their own
innocent people who were sacrificed like sacrificial lambs. Among those
sacrificial lambs were tiny tots, babes in arms, and the elderly and
sick people. There were instances when human catastrophes were obvious
the government had to establish humanitarian arms to save civilian
population from being shot at or slaughtered.
The first “sniff” that there was something wrong was not detected in
Sri Lanka because no one ventured into buying arms for a future possible
standoff. When Sri Lanka Societies and Associations were formed in the
early seventies overseas all those who came from Sri Lanka were listed
and were invited to attend a general meeting where members, committees,
presidents and secretaries were elected according to its constitution.
But barely two years passed most of the Tamil members including top
office bearers left one by one and they established their own
Associations away from the pioneer ones.
That was the time those governments were giving away plots of lands
to erect buildings for those associations, an ethnic radio service and
also an ethnic TV Channel etc.
These may be not important to pen today but some readers may find it
interesting especially when you want to stress and prove your point they
are the ones going to substantiate a statement.
It is therefore correct to say that people who domiciled in those
countries got the first “sniff” that something was not quite right. This
act of `Sniffing’ without giving away any secrets unobtrusively went on
until the mid eighties.
Funds for procurement of arms were raised mostly in Europe, USA,
Canada and Australia.
Funds were raised at the end of cultural shows, meetings and Tamil
Oil festivals mostly on Sundays and holidays where permission to use a
section of State schools plus the play grounds was obtained.
The problem was that due to negligence and inaction we lost a good
opportunity to be better prepared and better informed, had Sri Lanka
taken notice of what was going on overseas when alerted by vigilante Sri
Lanka groups who were only ordinary people. Sri Lanka failed to respond
positively. This is why some missions establish a separate unit to look
after these affairs.
False propaganda designed overseas for fund raising activities is not
a new threat.
It’s been there for decades. Sri Lankans should be deeply indebted to
the Government of Sri Lanka for closing down some front organizations,
and having had the vision to size up the danger it could cause to
paralyse every infrastructure in the country.
Those who are involved in the false propaganda work are extremely
good at circulating false publicity mainly aiming at the Tourist
industry means to instil fear so that prospective tourists think twice
before they embark on a holiday. They can also cause severe damage for
such allegations that Tamils have been subjugated by the majority
Sinhalese and they need funds to take up arms to save their rights in
This is also the first time in the world that a group of people
started raising funds seriously to challenge a supremely independent
state, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka. There were the
Tibetan, Armenian, Quebec and Chechnya militant or otherwise groups
operated in exile but nothing came to close as this issue.
It is fair to say that false propaganda has a strong effect on
tourism. This strong effect and its Sri Lanka image-busting influence on
particularly European nations are appalling to hear with tears pouring
down their cheeks. Filled with dismay Europeans feel sorry for their
predicament. However, these people are quiet mute when they are leading
their lives in other countries, even though they are treated better in
Sri Lanka when compared with other richer nations in the world.
Even if ill-treatment is meted out and racial taunts levelled at them
they pretend not to notice or hear it. Another aspect of the problem
being the difficulty of assimilation into the major race by other ethnic
groups. This has been the easiest and best way to absorb into a group or
a nation. Cohabitation had also been difficult due to religious and
customs although existed for centuries without proper assimilation. The
success stories in USA, Canada and particularly Britain and Australia
are higher than those in Sri Lanka. When cohabitation takes place not
only two different people come together but also their extended families
tend to tolerate and respect religions, cultures and customs which are
very foreign to them. So there’s no demand to accept, it naturally
There are large continents in the world consisting of some 130
different nationalities who live together in perfect harmony. Yet Sri
Lanka has only three or four!
Finding a justifiable solution to overcome these barriers is a must.
There are tourist experts who might provide difficult answers with
experts who come from the countries where we are looking for potential
invasion of tourists to our country.
Our opponents almost turned Sri Lanka upside down and to a certain
extent paralysed day-to-day life and they did it without a government or
a Foreign Minister or Diplomatic assistance, but we know now the end
result eventuated. Although new reverberations are on the horizon. The
public adore and worship the Armed Forces - they with the political
leadership are the real heroes of this `big Picture’, they are bigger
and mightier than any previous Kings or leaders we ever had. This is a
well established ground for presumption and there is no need to work out
or describe in detail because so much had been written about this in the
Nevertheless, now it is time to reflect and think deeply as to how
obstacles and hindrances exaggeratedly depicted in pictures or in words
are explained and converted them into victories.
When a body of highly charged people lobbing an MP overseas in
particular, seeking to influence legislation to support their cause by
public demonstrations, they become an electoral or public showpieces. An
embarrassment to the home country! It was no ordinary affair, the cost
of maintaining law and order became so colossal and had to be debated in
Parliament.The traffic virtually came to a halt in a major section of a
European city. The public life was interrupted; all these are to gain
publicity. To press home country to do something.
There was also another significant contrast. Although crowdwise
pro-demonstrators could not show off their strength over
anti-demonstrators the actual ratio stands 1 to 7. Does this mean our
strength was not properly planned and organised and underestimated? If
so these pictures are also injurious to the Tourist industry - it does
not only confine to the country alone because millions of Europeans
around in many European countries were watching those demonstrations
which had slight edge favouring the anti-demonstrations.
Whilst the bonds with European countries remain strong and vibrant
Sri Lanka needs some `people power’ among the people who are already
living there, and their involvement and vigilance at this hour to stay
awake and trying to prevent schemes that usually these groups keep an
eye on matters without getting into problems, which are common in those
countries, are worth taking into consideration. These are common people
who live on those lands whose allegiance towards Sri Lanka remains
unbending and eager to help in whatever, if asked to do so.This is where
the enormous popularity of this nation’s Leader comes handy among Sri
Lankans living abroad, to start the ball rolling which would help not
only in Europe but everywhere around the world.
It is alright to promote our destinations in a fresh drive or a
promotion (pleasant short and easy to remember) but we still need
‘people power’ overseas not so much as we had seen recently on our own
In Asia especially in India we had seen from the times of great
Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru how the leadership material is
regarded. Regard as divine and respect deeply! Honoured as hallowed or
The governing principles pertaining to controlling and overseeing the
menace of FP and FR staring angrily or fiercely above priorities that
need to be dealt in the future, although this had been overlooked by
previous four or five administrations, recently the Sri Lanka Govt.
announced that action will be taken to counter this problem which will
be cherished by all peace-loving people of Sri Lanka. These are
expressions of an independent novice and good to see anyone can express
things that can improve and bring good results to Sri Lanka.
The constitutional changes to share power within the limits of the
Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka remain obscure or unexplained
as long as violence stands as an obstacle to achieve those democratic