28 May 2012

Rankin’s outrageous rant

High Commissioner John Rankin

British High Commissioner, John Rankin, has openly challenged a statement made by President Mahinda Rajapaksa regarding scaling down of military presence in the North and East.  Rankin has stated that the LTTE is no longer engaging in military activities and as such questioned the logic of a military presence in these areas that is of a magnitude not seen in other parts of the country.

We can forgive the man for being ignorant about the needs for surveillance and (re) educate him about the well-known English phrase ‘Better safe than sorry’, pointing out the following:  a) military consolidation is necessary in the aftermath of a 30 year long war, b) the road from relative calm to all out conflict is short, and the world is not lacking in governments that are ever ready to provide guns and money to further their interests, through ‘regime-change’ effors and/or fuelling bloody conflicts, and c) LTTE-backers in the West have not given up on their dream of a separate state and neither have they dropped their principal operative stance: By any means necessary.

It would better to tell him that we know what he knows but keeps silent about.  Britain continues to have a military presence in Cyprus, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Belize, Brunei and Canada.  ‘At the behest of rulers,’ they might say. Half a decade after the Northern Ireland conflict was ‘resolved’, British troops remain.  Why?  The United States of America maintains a military presence in over one hundred countries with no talk whatsoever of ‘scaling down’ even though, unlike Sri Lanka, there is not even a shadow of a threat to those states from terrorists or other ill-willed entities. 

Can anyone be blamed therefore for saying ‘What gumption, Mr Rankin!’? 

All of the above, however, are of peripheral concern and mentioned just so he knows we know what’s happening in the world.  What is more important is that this individual, either out of ignorance or, more likely, arrogance, has overstepped the boundaries of diplomatic protocol.  We are not a British colony and Mr. Rankin is not a Viceroy.  He is out of order.  He is incompetent and has to be considered a threat to the security of this country. 

We can pretend he didn’t say all this, but that’s clearly not going to earn us any favours from this nation which is still a monarchy, admits that it invaded Iraq illegally, has scripted torture into interrogation manuals and has aided and abetted the USA in monumental crimes against humanity all over the world. 

Mr. John Rankin has overstayed his welcome.  He needs to go. 

[First part of 'The Nation' Editorial, May 27, 2012]


Lalindra said...

Obviously what is sauce for the Goose is not sauce for the Gander. As much as Mr. Rankin can justify why the presence of the British troops are required in so many locations, Mr. Rankin should have the courtesy of checking out his facts with the defense authorities of the country concerned, in this case the defense authorities of Sri Lanka before blurting our unwarranted and unwelcome comments.

Anonymous said...

The hype about the 60th anniversary has gone to his head and he thinks Brittania still rules the waves!!

It's up to the press and community to make things uncomfortable for the man and to pressure the Government into taking action - at least a dressing down by the Foreign Minister.

Ranil J said...

Sri Lanka ended 30 year old war. And that war came from the North. Over 2000 years, there have been on intermittant devastating attacks on Sri Lanka. Most devastating being that in 1215 led by Kalinga Magha from South India. The Sinhalese left North Central and drifted to the South. We have dealt with the fear of extinction many times over, and yet survived. It is the moral responsibility of the Sri Lankan govt to protect its people from fear. We dont need troops in the south; from Matara to South Pole there are only fish.

What is the morality in giving high handed advice to others to while the advisor himself fails adhere to the same advice?

Second world war was over almost 70 years ago. Yet 23,000 British forces continue to occupy Germany. Towns Osnabrück, Paderborn etc.

Walter Rajaratne said...

Britain is no friend of her former colonies. They left not with the love for independence of natives but because they were on the verge of ejection by force.

Mr.Rankin’s rank has dipped to no lesser level than “persona non grata”. Either he left on his own volition or taken from the scruff of his neck and kicked his arse out.

There was a man called Premadasa, not from the elite class but did the right thing when he kicked Gladstone with British aristocracy in no time he overstepped. Why JanaRanjana is mum? A berth at Balmoral Jubilee is at stake.

G. de Silva said...

It is time that someone said, 'F off Rankin' but fortunately our people are not so uncultured like some British and the British Administration.

SANDIKA said...

i agree to your comment Sir (Mr Walter Rajaratne's)

i think that it is good if the states that you have mentioned in the article think that 'Sri lanka is a threat to 'terrorists and for other ill willed parties.'

i think our country is 'not at all a supporter of terrorists' only the good friendly hearts of our country understand these things i believe. Sri Lanka is a genuine supporter of the hearts called 'good intention'

i think the time has arrived all the non sri lankan friends to stop a little somewhere and think of the 'apolitical side of her heart just forgetting the political wills of her mind. She becomes political only when the outside parties try to harm the hearts and souls of her country mates.

Take care!

Dick Perera said...

I would like to think that Mr.Rankin
was either ignorant or arrogant .
Maybe he is perhaps, both .
In any event , he cannot be forgiven for either behaviour . He should be firmly told to offer a public apology
or leave the country . He cannot get away criticising our President under
any circumstances . What if our HC in
the UK criticised the Queen or the PM? But then ,we are not that
uncivilised !!!

Anonymous said...

As soon as the words were out of the President's mouth it seemed destined to be grabbed by the anti-SL lobby.

But the vital point that the President made ( and is now conveniently overlooked) was:

There are army camps all over Sri Lanka, why should there be none only in the North?

Absolute FACT.

Whole of SL is one, and what is good for the south is good for the north.

Rory Winter said...

Such nonsense as this could only be written by a hack on the government payroll. And the finger-pointing gives the writer away for yet another GoSL apologist determined to to distract.

What the writer calls an outrageous rant were little more than the anodyne words of a rather mild-mannered personality. But Rankin pressed the supremacists' buttons by daring to criticize the heavy military presence in the Tamil homelands. A presence so heavy that it has, in fact, become an occupying army.

Overall, the 300 thousand-man standing army of Lanka is three times greater than that of the UK. What does a small island need with such a huge army, especially so in time of peace?

Critics of the GoSL should have, by now, become used to the hypersensitive stance adopted by the apologists. No criticism is to be tolerated of what appears to have become the Lankan chauvinists own version of Manifest Destiny.

Finally, the writer dismisses the crimes of government by confusing it with a nation. He should be reminded that, in reality, there is no such monolithic presence as a nation behind the acts of a UK government. No more so than is a nation behind the behaviour of the GoSL.

Malinda Seneviratne said...

Rory's rant is only marginally less obnoxious and ignorant than Rankin's. I've never heard of a Rory Winter, but whoever you are, either you are thick-as-thieves with the world's big-name thugs or are a pathetic slave to the same.

Rory has in previous comments clearly indicated that she/he is utterly ignorant about Sri Lanka. Now he/she indicates general ignorance about a lot of other things as well.

Keep reading. You might learn something.

Rory Winter said...

Yes, that's right, Malinda. Keep up your abuse & invective of anyone whose views you happen to disagree with. As for 'rants' you really should check the dictionary. Neither I nor Mr Rankin came close to ranting. Ask Bayagotha about rants, seeing as he is so good at them! :D