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Radhika Coomaraswamy, seniormost Sri Lankan official at the UN, is supposed to have warned Sri Lanka recently that it was under attack by various Non-Governmental Organizations. The story may be apocryphal, but the reason given has certainly emerged in various writings, namely that they wish to stop what happened in Sri Lanka being used as an example.

Their fears are understandable. In the last couple of years Sri Lanka has turned on its head the previously dominant narrative about countries facing internal problems. In the process it has made a nonsense of the claim prevalent in what is termed the international community, namely that such countries, if they are small and weak, are failed states, needing to be rescued from failure by that very international community, a few countries that call the shots, and their accredited agents, the so-called humanitarian community that consumes in salaries and allowances and perks a high proportion of the funding that donors and taxpayers assume goes to the destitute.

But before we proceed, let us lay down a few facts. What has Sri Lanka achieved in the last few years? To start with the unquestionable, it has destroyed a terrorist movement that has often been described as the most dangerous in the world, one that pioneered suicide bombing, and that has played a major role in developing networks of narco-terrorism. It has brought under the control of government wide areas of territory that were previously under the control of this terrorist movement. Despite the terrorist movement herding civilians to be used as a human shield, Sri Lanka succeeded in rescuing nearly 300,000 of these helpless victims of enforced displacement.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

November 2010
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