Nisha Biswal, US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia has visited us again. The likes of Biswal were adamant in providing and privileging space for dissent to the previous government. She went as far as to visit representatives of the Tamil National Alliance and other parties in the Northern Province and indeed to reiterate that they should be involved in any discussion of what she and others in her country love to call the “Sri Lankan Question”.

She will, hence, have no problem if we are to remind her of some points.
Point is she’s back. Point is the political equation has changed. Point is, the government is “owned” by the party which was in the Opposition a year back. In this context will she deign to show the same concern she did back then? Will she meet up with the likes of Wimal Weerawansa, Dinesh Gunawardena, and Mahinda Rajapaksa in order to reinforce the belief that any fully functioning democracy MUST have an Opposition to sustain itself?
No. She hasn’t.

We are thus perplexed, Ms Biswal. You convinced us, really you did, that without an Opposition we could have no dialogue over the National Question. You were steadfast in holding this position, to the extent where you seemed to privilege the Opposition more than the government which by law held the people’s mandate.

Why this sudden change of face, then? Why not spout the same rhetoric you did a year back?

Is it because the Opposition then was and will always be the kind of Opposition you and your country hope for? Because the government then, whether it be the Opposition now or not, is not the kind of government you and your country want to associate with?
Speak up, Ms Biswal. Offer your justification. We are awaiting response.
Ananda Jayawardena