Academic and former Diplomat Dayan Jayatilleke spoke to the Daily Mirror on the consequences of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against Sri Lanka, the importance of holding the Northern Provincial Council elections in a free and fair manner and Sri Lanka’s lack of foreign policy architecture.
Q: With regards to the United Nations Human Rights Council sessions, you have stated something along the lines of; we have made enemies of our friends and become friends with our enemies, could you start off by elaborating on that statement?
I don’t think that we have become friends with them, because I don’t see any country in the world as an enemy of Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka does have enemies and those are the hardcore fanatics we see in Tamil Nadu, who are becoming increasingly powerful, and also within certain parts of the Tamil Diaspora, but not the whole of the Diaspora, just some parts of it—I don’t think we have become friends with them.
We have not undermined our enemies and isolated our enemies, through prudent policies—both domestic and foreign. Therefore we have played into the hands of our enemies, in that sense we are our enemies best friends. We have been helping the enemy by doing what we should not do and not doing what we should do.
We have lost friends and this is demonstrable. There are three moments you should look at; 2013 this year’s vote in Geneva, 2012 the year preceding and 2009. Countries which voted with Sri Lanka and were staunch supporters of Sri Lanka in 2009, such as Brazil, have voted against Sri Lanka in 2013. Countries that supported us in 2009, voted against us in 2012 and 2013. Countries which abstained in 2009, such as Argentina, voted against us in 2013. South Korea, which never voted against us, abstained in 2009 and in 2012, voted against us in 2013. It is important to note that none of these countries has Tamil lobbies. You cannot attribute it to, what the government inelegantly calls, “the LTTE rump”—it is inexplicable.