Feature Article

Genocidal Colombo gets unlimited chances from US, India

[TamilNet, Monday, 14 June 2010, 23:38 GMT]
"The US and India have a very similar view of the situation in Sri Lanka and the steps that need to be taken,” said US Asst Secretary of State Robert Blake Monday to rediff.com, acknowledging, "We have worked very closely throughout the last several years on the situation in Sri Lanka, and again we have a real convergence of view on how that situation has evolved." Commenting, Tamil circles said the US policy compelled by the geopolitics of the Afghan war is tagged with New Delhi’s perception of the crisis in the island and unless the diaspora and the people of Tamil Nadu are not vigilant Colombo is likely to be encouraged with chances after chances to blunt the national struggle of Eezham Tamils and to complete the genocide. Tamil circles anticipate a long orchestrated plan soon unfolding to hoodwink their national cause as well as to make them economic slaves in their own land.

Barack Obama & Manmohan Singh
Barack Obama & Manmohan Singh
Robert Blake, considered to be the Obama administration's pointman for South Asia, said that the US had welcomed the steps taken by the Sri Lankan government including the forming of a Reconciliation Commission, and "This Commission should now be given a chance to do its work.”

Accusing the LTTE for the underdevelopment and suffering of the North, Blake said "For example, (programmes for) those who have been released from the camps and to encourage new business development in the north, because that will be critical to enabling stability in that area that has been undeveloped and suffered so much after the LTTE rule of 30 years."

Rediff.com cited Blake saying that the US would coordinate closely with India to resettle the displaced Tamils, to ensure that the power is devolved to new democratic institutions in the north, and "greater respect for the rights of all Sri Lankans."

"We always believe that it's best to have domestic answers to these very serious problems that exist because those in the long run -- if they are credible and independent and really get to the bottom of whatever the issue is -- will be much more acceptable domestically and that's particularly true in a country like Sri Lanka, where there is still some polarisation," Blake said.

Question raised in the Tamil circles is how could ‘new democratic institutions’ evolve among Tamils when there is ‘knowing’ international failure in delivering justice and political solution.

Both the US and India have a blind eye to the long-existing genocide in the island and to the righteousness of the Eezham Tamil national struggle, Tamil circles said.

“If ‘domestic’ answers are the best why have they interfered tilting the balance against the Tamils,” the Tamil circles asked.

“After internationalising the war against the Tamil cause, and some of them even covertly operating in the field itself, they deny internationalising the process of justice and political solution.”

“After the internationalized war they even deny war prisoner status to the militants.”

“The powers in fact want to escape from the war crimes they committed and at the same time enjoy the benefits of the war through the ‘domestic’ card, victimising the victims further and further,” Tamil circles said.

Blake himself is not unaware of the futility of what he is saying, Tamil circles pointed out.

According to rediff.com Blake noted that groups like International Crisis Group and Human Rights Watch and others have been skeptical because "Sri Lanka's record with such commissions in the past has been rather poor and nothing has really ever come of such commissions".

A few days ago, coming hard on the UN and the powers for their modus operandi on Sri Lanka, Edward Mortimer, Chair of the Sri Lanka Campaign Advisory Council said: "Let's remember what R2P is - the responsibility of each sovereign state to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, and the responsibility of all states collectively to take action if a state is unable or unwilling to do so. [...] Yes, Sri Lanka has damaged it. So have Western powers, and Russia."

"But that's no excuse for giving up. We cannot resign ourselves – and I believe the people of the world will not resign themselves - to letting Rwanda, Darfur and Sri Lanka remain the norm of international behaviour," he said.

"The Human Rights Council's treatment of Sri Lanka was even more appalling - instead of condemning the flagrant disregard for humanitarian and human rights law, it ended up congratulating the GoSL on its despicable behaviour. Many members of the Human Council - from the global 'north' and 'south' alike - said they were influenced by the GoSL's promise to set up a credible domestic mechanism to establish accountability."

"Countries such as the US should not be so quick to welcome the GoSL's Commission into Lessons Learnt," cautioned Edward Mortimer.

"Sri Lanka is a test case for the international community. [...] we are told that other countries (such as Burma and Thailand) have indicated they might wish to adopt the 'Sri Lanka option'. [...] All those with moral authority, particularly in Asia and other parts of the developing world, should take a firm stand NOW against this insidious doctrine."

“Currently the Sri Lankan government is portraying itself as the plucky non-aligned, developing country that is standing up to the West and/or the North – the imperialists and neo-colonialists. Sadly this works well today in the theatre of the UN, and of international diplomacy. But many of the countries whose governments have been supporting Sri Lanka are democracies - India, Brazil, South Africa and many smaller countries in the global South. So it's to public opinion and civil society in those countries that we need to take the argument. Do any of these countries have a national debate before they vote at the UN, or before they supply aid and investment to Sri Lanka? They should do, and the peoples of those countries should insist on it," Edward Mortimer, the communication chief of the former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, said.

But, powers have their compulsions.

President Barack Obama will be visiting India in November.

Pentagon officials are keen in creating an atmosphere in South Asia so that Pakistan will be free from the fear of India to move the troops massed on the border with India to the western front and help in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Robert Blake
Robert Blake
“We are very encouraged that the Pakistani army has redeployed troops away from the Indian border. We do not see India as a threat to Pakistan and so we would encourage that process to continue,” Robert Blake told rediff.com.

Blake outlined one of the offerings of the US to India: “With respect to the Naxal threat, certainly that's one of the primary threats facing India right now and I know it's a very, very high priority for Prime Minister Singh and Home Minister Chidambaram. At this point, the India government has not requested any assistance from the United States, but certainly we would be prepared to entertain any requests for any assistance, given our fast-rising cooperation on counterterrorism.”

People of Tamil Nadu have to realize that much could be achieved if they show their will power to New Delhi, Tamil circles commented, adding that it is equally important the diaspora keep a vigil on elements hijacking the cause at the instance of the powers.

What the diaspora is doing nowadays is a question asked in the Tamil Nadu circles that look for a lead in supporting what the Eezham Tamils want to achieve in the unfolding scenario.


Related Articles:
14.06.10   Japanese envoy Akashi to visit Sri Lanka

External Links:
Sri Lanka Campaign : Interview with Edward Mortimer, Chair of the Sri Lanka Campaign Advisory Council
Rediff: Must give Sri Lanka another chance: US
Rediff: US very proud of its progress with India


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