Lanka-Israel ties: Ex Amb to Iran condemns govt. stand



Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador in Iran M. M. Zuhair has questioned the government’s stand on sending workers to Israel amidst growing international condemnation and isolation of the Jewish State over the Gaza genocide.

Apropos ‘Labour Minister: Govt. won’t heed demand for severing diplomatic ties with Israel, halt sending workers,’ carried in the May 16 edition of The Island, the former Senior State Counsel and ex-MP Zuhair has sent us the following statement:  Labour Minister Manusha Nanayakkara’s recent statement that Sri Lanka will not ‘under any circumstances’ stop sending workers to Israel must be condemned. His support for Israel accused of genocide by South Africa led-countries in the International Court of Justice, is a gross betrayal of the humanitarian considerations for the safety firstly of the Sri Lankan workers themselves. It is also a betrayal of the thousands of Palestinians already killed since 07 October and the 1.5 million remaining holed up in Refah, Palestine, facing imminent death at the hands of the terrorist State of Israel.

The Minister knows only too well of the unfolding tragedy of unknown numbers of Sri Lankan soldiers, who have sold themselves as mercenaries, to battle till death in the Ukraine-Russian war, in order to feed their suffering families here. He also knows the inability of the government, for months now, to rescue the 50 Sri Lankans trapped by a mafia in Myanmar.

No doubt the US and the UK were amongst countries which directly and knowingly aided and continues to aid the Jewish State, in the murder of an average of around 260 Palestinian men, women and children, every single day for the past seven months, under the pretext of eliminating Hamas, the elected government of Gaza, for the October 7th outburst, the result of 75 years of Israeli oppression of Palestinians in an open air prison, which legitimized the outburst!

Speaking as he did for the Sri Lanka government, Minister Nanayakkara’s statement and his facilitating Sri Lankans to work in a country at war, on the questionable pretext of obtaining jobs for Sri Lankans but in truth aiding and abetting Israel to destroy its host country, Palestine and its innocent millions who lived for the past 50 years, in the hope of a two State solution dangled by the US, the UK and the EU, the greatest deception and fraud perpetrated on the tragic Palestinians, beginning from Oslo in Norway.

It is best that the Minister remembers that the entire world has arisen against this barbaric massacre of a helpless people by a brutal and dangerously violent extremist terrorist State.

It is more important that he remembers that this is not a Muslim issue as he had tried to counter his critics but it is entirely a humanitarian issue that no Sri Lankan will ever support.

He must also remember that over a million Sri Lankans are employed in the Arab world and hundreds of others from Sri Lanka are setting up businesses in the UAE. Over the past decade alone, over US $ 50 billion have been remitted to the country’s coffers by these Sri Lankans from these Arab countries. This sum is equal to the total foreign debts that Sri Lanka is struggling with since declaring bankruptcy!

US citizen Craig Mokhiber, who was the Director of the New York office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who resigned and quit his well- paid office as early as 28th October 2023, in protest  against the Israeli massacre of the Palestinians as at that time, had this to tell the world in his letter of resignation:

“But the current wholesale slaughter of the Palestinian people, rooted in an ethno-nationalist settler colonial ideology, in continuation of decades of their systematic persecution and purging, based entirely upon their status as Arabs, and coupled with explicit statements of intent by leaders in the Israeli government and military, leaves no room for doubt or debate. Across the land, apartheid rules.”