Sri Lanka’s foreign policy
‘Might overruled right’ at the recently concluded sessions of
the UNHRC, wherein a resolution against Sri Lanka was passed on
so-called accountability issues by a wafer-thin one-vote
majority, this final result should not be seen by this country
in an entirely negative light. For instance, the LLRC report, we
find, was a clear winner on account of the fact that its value
was appreciated by almost both sides of the divide at the Geneva
vote. It would need to be emphatically pointed out to the world
that the LLRC was state-initiated and constituted an entirely
local remedy to the issues thrown-up by the conflict.
It is the view of the state as well as of the totality of the
public almost, that a home-grown solution is best for this
country and it needs to be seen that the LLRC recommendations
could provide part of the foundation for this solution.
Therefore, the state’s constructive efforts towards bringing
normalcy to this country have been sufficiently recognized by
the international community.
However, the Geneva sessions also helped, in a way, to
establish the value of this country’s foreign policy.
A close examination of the final result in Geneva would
reveal that this country’s policy of conducting friendly and
fraternal ties with all had paid off. The eight countries which
abstained from voting are as important for Sri Lanka as those
who voted against the US-initiated resolution.
As could be seen, the entirety of the states that thus
abstained is from the developing world and subscribe generally
to the policy of Non-alignment. Clearly, they had their
reservations about voting for the US resolution, while the
majority of those who voted for it, are mostly in the Western
camp or are obliged to the West in numerous ways. It is plain to
see that more than a couple of them are former colonizing powers
and that many others are former Western colonies.
Therefore, in a way, it was a question of the ‘Empire
striking back’, and the attempt at victimizing this country at
the UNHRC needs to be seen as also as an attempt at exerting
neo-colonial crippling control over this country. This was
noticed by the entirety of those states which voted against the
resolution and by those who abstained from voting for it and the
pronouncements made by countries, such as, Russia, China and
Cuba, need to be specially noted.
Besides, support for Sri Lanka came from far and wide.
Besides Cuba, there were Ecuador, Congo and Uganda who voted
against the resolution. Among those who abstained were Angola,
Botswana and Senegal, who would have made common cause with this
country on issues stemming from colonialism.
The constructive comments made by Japan too should not be
allowed to pass without meriting commendation. Japan,
apparently, could not help but see the injustice that was being
meted out to Sri Lanka.
Obviously, Sri Lanka’s supporters represented almost every
important region of the globe. This testifies to the fact that
the importance of Non-alignment in foreign relations has been
underscored and that this country is not short of friends in any
part of the world. Over and above all, a considerable number of
states are making common cause with Sri Lanka.
These pluses are also a personal triumph for President
Mahinda Rajapaksa who spared no pains to engage with world
leaders and to interact with them continually. Well, his efforts
have proved fruitful and it could be seen that if at all Sri
Lanka failed, it was by a whisker. All this and more indicates
that Sri Lanka could impact the world in a positive way and that
support for Sri Lanka in the world community is very
Accordingly, Sri Lanka needs to continue its diplomatic and
other relevant efforts to build and retain international support
for its cause. Finally it is the clout that developing countries
could wield on the world stage that would matter crucially. As
we have always said, the developing world should devise ways and
means of making its views matter very substantially in world