The Canadian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, David McKinnon is busy these days. He is currently on a fact-finding mission. Of sorts. He’s sweeping through Ampara, Batticaloa and Polonnaruwa on a four day visit during which he would meet Tamil and Muslim political leaders including MPs M.M. Musharraf (ACMC) and T Kalaiarasan (TNA) as well as community leaders.
This is good. Facts should be found. In fact if heads of Sri Lankan missions in countries like Canada did the same we would know much more than what the Washington-driven international media tells us. Only, our people are either too nice or too scared. Well, maybe Canada would frown on such moves. ‘Busybodies!’ They’ll think and find ways of tying hands and gagging mouths, perhaps.
Let’s talk facts. Fact: Canada more often than not operates like an adjunct of the USA. Fact: Canada, like the USA, is a child of divide-n-rule Britain and indeed is still loath to have the umbilical cord severed. Fact: minorities in Sri Lanka have typically whined to the West, inflating grievances, painting myth as history, casting the majority community as villains and themselves as victimized angels. Fact: such narratives are useful in global power games and can be used whether or not they are even uttered, but some good quotes are always useful.
McKinnon of course can choose his friends. He can pick and choose who to talk to, who to ignore. Par for the course of diplo-politics, we know. However, in the event that McKinnon has a conscience, some sense of impartiality and even a semblance of a moral code, he could look to obtain a more complete picture. He could obtain context. He could weigh this narrative against that, the other one against the rest and so on.
And we are not talking about cursory, photo-op meetings with representatives of political parties only which, we know, can be used to claim ‘we speak with everyone.’ Mister McKinnon could talk to us, citizen-to-citizen like. How about it David?