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Iniquitous duplicity of western policy

It was in the midst of the recent Afghan polls, which have become a worry to President Obama in convincing US citizens of the needs for the US to be more involved in Afghanistan, and indeed for the same reasons for Gordon Brown too, that German Officers of the NATO Command there called for US air support to retrieve two fuel tankers hi-jacked by the Taliban. The air attacks that followed killed more than 60 civilians, which led to the US Commander there making the usual apology and promising an inquiry.

Condemned attacks

President Kharzai once again condemned the attack on civilians with such great loss, but he has been sidelined by the US and its NATO allies that are carrying on policies of trying to bomb the Taliban, and possibly all resistance in Afghanistan, out of existence.


Children were made child soldiers by the LTTE. File photos

Those who do not learn the lessons of history will be compelled to face the consequences of such folly; but that’s not our purpose today.

What this shows is the duplicity of the western military and economic powers, usually dubbed the international community, in dealing with matters that relate to the world outside their own, or those that are not their direct allies or suppliant dependents for aid, especially in arms procurement.

It was on Monday that the US State Department Report on the War in Sri Lanka was presented to the US Congress, without giving Sri Lanka the opportunity of being heard on its contents, although our Ambassador in Washington was informed of its presentation. Listening to the Sri Lankan side on what was also a war against terrorism that had dragged on for 30 years, making it one of the longest wars in modern times, may possibly have tempered whatever recommendations made to Congress.

But that is not the style of a super power that seeks to retain dominance over the world, especially for its military cum economic advantages.

In a strange twist of concern for human rights and all such important areas that the West is interested in, especially vis-a-vis Sri Lanka, what appears to matter is only what is alleged to have happened at the end of the conflict, but not what took place through the entire conflict that went on for so long, posing a threat to regional security too, and also building up dangerous criminal elements in the very capitals of the West, that are crying out loud for action against Sri Lanka, for allegedly what took place in the last 100 days of the war.

Alleged war crimes

A crucial factor in this exercise of accusing Sri Lanka of everything from human rights violations in general to the larger charges of alleged war crimes, or as some who have cared little for humanity when Tamil leaders of all colour and persuasion were killed, ask for charges of crimes against humanity, is the lack of verifiable evidence.

The upshot of this is the making of the absence of verifiability itself about the source of information on the alleged crimes, the cause for its credibility.

Touch of truth

We do recall the several journalists who were claiming they had the right to report what the LTTE propagandists put out as the truth because they were not allowed, for reasons of their own safety, and yes, for security concerns of Sri Lanka too, to be at the war front, embedded or not.

They did not bother to state that they cannot vouch of the truth of what they reported at the time, but expected the world to believe it as the truth according to the gospel of any old news agency, network, of flyby night journalist, just because they were not there.

It was the absence from the scene that gave the touch of truth to the story, usually picked up in toto from the propagandists of the terrorist camp; and these were all journalists and news organizations that stood for democracy.

We saw this happen to politicians of the West too, and various big names of human rights and UN organizations, who came here almost in droves to lecture to Sri Lanka on how the final phase of the war had to be fought, always with the demands for a ceasefire, which was what the LTTE was seeking, through its many interlocutors on the west side of the world.

What we can now see is the United States joining the European Union in the duplicity over Sri Lanka’s handling of terrorism in the country.

The US which launched its own war on terror after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Centre, and the EU states, many of them through NATO that were engaged in the regime change mission of the US-British alliance in Iran, and are now at a loss as to how they can overcome the Afghan insurgency, are together in what seems to be a concerted attack on Sri Lanka.

The rule

The EU is pressing on with the threat to withdraw the GSP+ tariff concession, which when granted had nothing to do with IDPs, or any such related matters they are now concerned with. The US, while blatantly violating all norms of international law and the various Geneva Conventions on War and the handling of prisoners by US Forces, at Guantanamo and Iraqi and Afghan prisons, is joining in the witch-hunt on Sri Lanka, allegedly because of its concern for human rights.

There is no doubt that the position taken up by many who point fingers at Sri Lanka, for the alleged, unverified and unproven excesses in the final stages of the war with the LTTE, (and certainly not a civil war as is often made out to be) has more than an element of correctness in expecting a government or State to act better than a terrorist organization. Of course, who would challenge that? This is unquestioned.

But at the same time it must be stated that this cannot be taken as a generally applicable rule across the board, without taking the specifics of each case into consideration.

The first is the nature of the enemy, and the next is not only the extensive use of violence by the enemy, but also how it acts in the given circumstances that are the cause of concern.

What the duplicitous West, prodded on by the pro-LTTE forces, whether they are Tamils for Obama, or those who made the infamous Channel 4 video, ignores in its entirety is what the LTTE was doing to the Tamils, who were under its thrall in the last stages of the battle.

It is well recorded how they were held hostage by the LTTE to force a ceasefire on Sri Lanka, and also how hey were used as human shields for the protection of the LTTE leaders. Also, it is well known how the LTTE used every civilian it had to carry arms, irrespective of age, sex or physical condition, in its last attempts to compel a ceasefire and live to fight on another day.

These are inalienable facts that those who are now, directly or not, lobbying for the LTTE in the EU, and in the US, seem to wholly ignore.

They are attaching themselves to a level of objectivity that does not stand the same tests in the objective conditions that actually prevailed at the time of their concern in Sri Lanka, nor are they borne out by the reality of how they treat civilians and non-combatant prisoners in their own wars on terror.

Deceit and deception

The deceit and deception of these ‘champions’ of human rights have made them blind to the enemy that Sri Lanka was fighting for so long; an enemy that was violating every norm of human rights and the very right to life, freedom of expression and the whole range of democratic rights that these powerful west side forces are using to try and batter Sri Lanka into submission to their will.

Their extensive use of child soldiers, many of whose mental health is possibly damaged for life, the use of women and children as suicide killers, the use of the elderly to carry arms and be in the front line of defence of the LTTE cadres - all this gross inhumanity against its own people, the Tamils and to its perceived enemy the Sinhalese, is forgotten or ignored, in the new interests of power politics; where they wish to see Sri Lanka as another supplicant State of the west that brazenly violates human rights, and not as a free, independent and sovereign nation, to serve the political and economic interests of the West.

In the face of two major emerging economic powers in Asia, India and China, Sri Lanka is seen as a good pawn to have under the control of the West through the threat, nay even the fact of many sanctions, over what these obscurantist forces, see as a means of continued geo-political strength.

The humanity of the West is lost when it concerns the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankan women, and the resultant effect of their families through the possible loss of GSP +. One should also note that many of these are women who have also lost their brothers and other loved ones in the battle to rid this country, and its neighbours of the terrorism of the LTTE.

But such realities are of no concern to those who believe in duplicity as the keystone of foreign policy when dealing with small, less powerful nations of the world.

‘Humanity’ of the West

The report to the US Congress is manifested by its lack of authenticity and verification of facts about what took place in the North of Sri Lanka, when nearly quarter of a million Tamil civilians, dared LTTE bullets and mortars to come to the safety to the Government held areas, where they are still looked after in safety. When considering the US reliance on facts in taking action against countries it believes should be penalized, it is apposite to recall that the US and Britain went to war for regime change in Iraq, based on their intelligence reports of the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, under the control of Saddam Hussein.

This has already gone down as one of the worst examples of national leaders being duplicitous towards their own citizens, in the desire to pursue a foreign policy that would not be approved by the people if they had all the facts before them.

It is the same today with the war in Afghanistan, when despite ‘Wanted Dead or Alive, posters, his imminent capture in the mountain heights between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and all that schmuck about Osama bin Laden., he still remains the most wanted man in the West and the current nemesis of Barack Obama.

In its latest move against Sri Lanka, both by the EU and the US, we see that the foreign policy of the West, when dealing with small States that are not its willing and supplicant clients, is based largely on iniquitous duplicity.

It is certainly not the Politics of Change that Obama spoke of so eloquently when seeking election.

It is truly strange that the Politics of Change can ignore all the violence of a terrorist organization that has been defeated in battle, but still survives with its fund raising arms, against US law, and only looks at the conduct of a democratically elected government, the oldest democracy in Asia.

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