Asia leads the world economy today - Senior Minister DEW Gunasekara
Senior Minister for Human Resources D.E.W. Gunasekara said we have to
identify the three elements in the whole Geneva scenario such as US and
Western global strategy and geopolitics, the genuine human rights and
reconciliation process and the propaganda drive carried out by the
Western funded NGOs under the pretext of human rights. They are really
carrying out the agenda of the West.
The Minister in an interview with the Sunday Observer said in our
country, some people talk only about the human rights dimension, while
others talk about the anti-American aspects and still others the role of
the NGOs. But we should identify these three elements separately and
then formulate our own strategy. These are the issues we should really
The Minister said unfortunately the Opposition is not playing its
legitimate role, not only on the human rights issue but also in other
It is the country’s fate. If we consider the war on terrorism and the
factors which led to it, all happened as there was no consensus among
the main political parties. That was the situation ever since the
1950s.They take up one position today and another the next day. They
maintain a similar stance on the human rights issue as well. The two
main parties are responsible specially in relation to matters of
Q: Why is America moving one resolution after another against
Sri Lanka when there are more outstanding issues affecting world peace.
Is it in keeping with the Western policy of divide and rule or
geopolitics or is it to maintain a military balance?
A: Not a military balance, but the US has two aspects in its
foreign policy. One is global strategy and two is geopolitical interest.
This policy is implemented either through a military offensive or throgh
a diplomatic offensive. Former US President George Bush concentrated on
the military offensive. After the advent of President Obama there is a
shift from a military to a diplomatic offensive particularly with regard
to developing, emerging and weak countries.
They prefer to take diplomatic recourse. As far as our country is
concerned, I don’t anticipate a military offensive. Its an exaggerated
view. As far as this question is concerned, all this arose during the
final phase of the war against terrorism.
They never anticipated that the LTTE would be destroyed int the final
phase. They tried to pressurise the Government anticipating that they
would be able to evacuate the LTTE leadership. However, the Government
didn’t succumb to pressure.
It is because of this that they are operating under various pretexts
of human rights and alleged war crimes. However, the Government didn’t
give in. They can’t get over the fact that we being a small country, we
The US moved two resolutions against Sri Lanka in 2012 and 2013. They
are going to move another resolution against Sri Lanka in 2014 as well.
Before moving resolutions, they resort to threats and blackmailing.
These are all part of their
diplomatic offensives. Although they talk about economic sanctions
and other things even at this time, they will have to take into account
the sentiments of all 47 members and how they look at this question.
They might come with a diluted resolution. The last time the main
thrust of the resolution was the implementation of the LLRC report and
they expected the UNHRC High Commissioner to report back to the Council
after one year.
That is what is going to take place on March 3.
The High Commissioner will table her report with her observations
after her visit. Then the debate will take place. They will decide on
the resolution depending on the debate. There are 147 member countries
in the UNHRC.
Of 47 countries, 45 are from the developing countries which comprises
13 from Asia, 13 from Africa, 8 from Latin America, 11 from the EU and
America. The majority are developing countries.
America has 10 EU countries excepting Russia. Among them there are
some wavering states like Czechoslovakia and Rumania.
They might shift, abstain or sometimes take their side. This is in
pursuance of their foreign policy because the global strategy has
Q: As far as the new developing countries in Asia, Africa and
Latin America are concerned, what is underlined in the Western agenda is
R 2P. Could you elaborate?
A: This is really their economic and geopolitical interest.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new world order emerged
which is known as the unipolar world. But with the dawn of the 21st
century, many changes took place in the world situation. Today that
world order is shifting from unipolar to multi polarity gradually and
The balance of forces political and economic are also changing. In
the meantime, after the economic recession in 2007 and 2008, they were
in a bad way particularly on the economic front. The Asian continent
took the lead.
Today Asia leads the world economy. Excepting for poorer countries
such as Bangladesh and Nepal, all other Asian countries secure more than
6 percent economic growth. This has changed the economic balance. The
role played by Latin America has also changed over the past 10 years.
All 33 countries in Latin America are today under a new organisation
known as CELAC. Earlier those countries were under the dictate of US
imperialism. Today they are functioning independently as sovereign
countries. So that has changed the balance of forces in the Latin
American region. Then a new zone is emerging in Central Asia where
ex-Soviet Republics are taking their independent positions with the
backing of Soviet Russia.
When the collapse of colonialism, there were only 45 African
countries. At present there are about 50 odd countries in the African
continent. New states have come into form through separation. But there
is strong democracy in the African continent.
Seven countries which are known as ‘Seven sisters of Africa’ are
emerging as fast developing countries. The world order is changing
today. When the American Government in pursuing their policy, global
strategy and geopolitical interest, they must keep on changing their
In the case of a small country like ours, they use the pretext of
human rights and other issues so as to interfere into our affairs. We
have to identify the three elements in the Geneva scenario such as the
US and the Western global strategy and geopolitics, genuine human rights
and reconciliation process and the propaganda drive carried out by the
Western funded NGOs under the pretext of human rights.
They are carrying out the agenda of the West. In our country, some
people talk only about the human rights dimension, others talk about the
anti-American aspect and still others the role of the NGOs. But we
should identify these three elements separately and then formulate our
own strategy. These are the issues we should really address.
Q: Could third world countries expect justice and fair play
from West dominated global institutions if one looks at what happened to
Afghanistan, Iran and Libya?
A: That is part of their strategy. Former US President Bush
pursued a military offensive in Iraq, Afghanistan and some other
countries. But President Obama is different and he has launched a
diplomatic offensive. He gets things done through NGOs and through other
forces. That is what is happening in Ukraine and Egypt and they are
continuing to do it.
Q: According to Prof. Nigel Copsey when over 700 mosques are
reported to have been attacked in England itself after 9/11, why should
Western peace crusaders highlight a few isolated cases in Sri Lanka and
call it acts of chauvinists?
A: That is part of their propaganda and we need not take these
seriously. Terrorists such as Al Qaeda and Taliban were created by
America under the Cold war. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, they
no longer needed them.
Because all the counties came under their orbit. They began pursuing
terrorists after the September 11 incident. They nurtured, nourished and
funded terrorists by giving them everything. That is how they operate.
Q: Don’t you think the Opposition should collaborate with the
Government on issues such as human rights, so- called war crimes rather
than harping on petty domestic issues?
A: Unfortunately, the Opposition is not playing its legitimate
role, not only on the human rights issue but also on other national
issues.. It is country’s fate. If we consider the war on terrorism and
the factors that led to it, it all these happened as there was no
consensus among the main political parties. That was the situation ever
since the 1950s.
They take up one position today and another on the next day. They
maintain a similar stance on the human rights issue as well. The two
main parties have a huge responsibility specially in relation to matters
of international significance.
Q: The Northern Provincial Council resolution to launch
flights from Jaffna to several parts of India and developing the
Kankesanthurai harbour to a commercial hub for closer links with India
goes against the 13th Amendment provisions. Is the TNA still acting on
its hidden Eelam agenda?
A: We should not exaggerate. We must be careful. They have a
right to move a resolution or whatever they want. Its only a request
made by the NPC. That request can be complied only by the Central
Government. Otherwise the NPC is not in a position to launch flights
from Jaffna to India. If there is a wish from the people, we should have
flights from Katunayake, Jaffna and Chennai. Everything uttered by the
Tamil parties should not be dismissed as conspiracies.
In our country and India, politicians engage in empty rhetoric
particularly at the time of elections. They give unachievable promises.
Some politicians today say Jayalalitha has declared an Eelam. If
Jayalalitha becomes the Indian Prime Minister, will she be able to
implement it? The reality is India and the world will not permit it. We
need not get perturbed over rhetoric made by some politicians.
Q: Jayalalitha’s stand off with Sri Lanka and her attempt to
release the Rajivu Gandhi murder convicts from prison indicate her open
support for separatism. Don’t you think this hostile atmosphere is the
biggest obstacle to resolving the problems of the Tamil community, if
A: No, that affects India, not us. That is their internal
problem. The Indian Supreme Court has powers to deal with it. If that
province wants to release the convicts, they should get the concurrence
of the Central Government. Jayalalitha has not released the convicts.
She has said that she will release them. That is why the Indian
Central Government intervened and stopped it. Jayalalitha is playing
politics because of the elections. I don’t think she is ignorant of the
law. She deliberately does these things to t score aiming the
If Jayalalitha becomes the Prime Minister, we will have to work with
her. But some of our politicians have not taken into account the Tamil
factor in Indian politics.
There are over 65 million Tamils in South India who practise the same
religion and have the same language. Therefore there is a close affinity
between the Tamil people in Sri Lanka and India. We have take that
reality into account. Otherwise we can’t run countries. Feudalistic
thinking should go. We should take the reality into account.
Q: There are allegations that the COPE reports which had made
constructive recommendations have gone unheeded at the hands of
respondent institutions. Can’t you bring in legislation to ensure its
A: You can’t implement these recommendations through
legislation. I am also a part of the Legislature which has the control
of public finance. Parliament entrusted upon us a job and I have given
its report to the Executive.
So it is the duty of the Executive to implement it. We can’t
implement it through legislations or by force. The Ministers and
secretaries will have to exercise their authority. We can only supervise
and over monitor. Both COPE reports have been accepted by the Cabinet
and instructions have been given by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Ministers and secretaries are bound by the Cabinet decision to
implement it. It is the duty of the Executive to look into whether they
are implemented or not. It is also the duty of the Opposition to raise
it in Parliament which they don’t.
Q: If not the CP and the LSSP the conditions of workers and
peasants in the country would have been hopeless. In this context what
would the country expect from the CP and the LSSP in today’s politics?
A: Today only 10 percent of the working class is organised and
it has reduced to unprecedented levels.
That is a general phenomenon all over the world. As a result of
neoliberalism, a new contract system is in operation and the changes in
the economic structure and manufacturing concern came up so that they
started giving off-show contracts.
It distorted working class unity. This is one of the biggest curses
of the working class which they don’t realise. Today 90 percent of the
working class is not organised. This is what is happening today. Of
course, we represent the working class and it is necessary in today’s
These are objective conditions. We can’t immediately change the
situation subjectively. The time will come and gradually the people will
realise so that the need for organisation will arise. Then the cycle
will turn the other way.
We will have to wait until it comes. It is not only our two parties,
the entire trade union is weak. Even the SLFP trade unions have no
control over the private sector. The UNP has also some state sector
trade unions. But generally the entire trade union movement is at a very
Q: What is your opinion about the JVP dispensation under its
new Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake?
A: It is good the JVP leadership has changed and a new
generation has come to power. My personnel view is that they must make a
self critical assessment within the party of their past records.
I believe now the time is right and they are mature enough to engage
in such self criticism.
That might solve most of their problems. They must also give up their
hegemonistic and arrogant behaviour and try to work with the rest of the
other political parties by taking Sri Lankan and world realities into
account. I look at them with optimism.
Source Article from http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2014/03/02/pol04.asp
Asia leads the world economy today – Senior Minister DEW Gunasekara
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