30 September, 2020

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A Note To Nisha Biswal On Accountability And Patience

By Malinda Seneviratne –

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Assistant Secretary of USA for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal, currently visiting Sri Lanka, has issued a warning.  The lady, sent here by President Barack Obama, says ‘if Sri Lanka doesn’t make meaningful progress in addressing the accountability issues, the patience of the international community on Sri Lanka will start to wear thin and urged Sri Lanka to take some “concrete steps” to address the issue of human rights, accountability and reconciliation process’.

‘Accountability’ is the word here.  ‘International Community’ is the definer.  ‘Patience’ is the commodity in short supply.  And charity begins at home, they say.

President Obama is a man of words (which, by the way, is not the same thing as ‘a man of his word’).  On Wednesday the 13th of May, 2009, Obama urged ‘both sides in Sri Lanka’s 25-year civil war to take measures to avert a humanitarian crisis and aid tens of thousands of people trapped in the war zone.’ ‘Without urgent action this humanitarian crisis could turn into a catastrophe,’ he worried. “Now is the time to put aside some of the political issues that are involved and to put the lives of the men, women and children who are innocently caught in the cross fire, to put them first,” he pontificated.

Obama probably knew and still knows the meaning of the word ‘catastrophe’ and one assumes that Biswal does so too. So let’s talk catastrophe.  Policy-driven catastrophe.  Ms Biswal might have heard that around the time that Sri Lankan forces are supposed to have committed war crimes, the US Air Force dropped bombs in Bala Boluk, Afghanistan, killing some 150 people. That’s just one of thousands of such policy-driven, systematic crimes against humanity.  She knows of Drone Attacks.  She knows about how her country bombed Iraq into the middle ages, when thousands of air sorties dropped millions of tons of bombs on places where there were millions of civilians. I am being brief here by the way. But briefly, let me remind Nisha (and the world) that US-led sanctions on Iraq caused the death of half a million Iraqi children.

She knows that her government maintains over 190,000 troops and 115,000 civilian employees in 909 military facilities in 46 countries and territories, and that’s not counting the on-going wars including the non-declared troop deployments in subversive actions to gift democracy (read ‘instability, submission, anarchy’) to certain selective Arab nations.  She knows of abuses and usurpations of American standing armies and they include rape, murder, sexual harassment, robbery and other crimes such as the seizure of people’s lands, destruction of property and cultural imperialism.  All this is not catastrophe-recipe, is it catastrophe-ongoing [if unpunished, uncompensated crimes is the subject, the international community would have nothing else to do but investigate, investigate and investigate the USA let’s not forget – that’s catastrophe-past-tense].

But let’s forget it all.  Let’s go back to accountability.  Nisha must have heard that the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, Nick Clegg, confessed that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. She knows also that the whole Iraq adventure was about WMDs or Weapons of Mass Destruction.  A country was invaded after obtaining the green light of the US citizenry through their elected representatives who were told that Iraq possessed WMD. It was a lie and those who uttered it knew they were lying. And today, more than a decade later, Obama cannot straighten his twisted tongue to admit the fact.

So let’s get to this accountability business.  And also ‘credible, transparent, domestic investigative mechanisms’.  Dear Ms Biswal, is there such an entity back in the USA that’s inquiring into the invasion of Iraq on the basis of a deliberate lie? Is there an entity that is inquiring into the systematic use of torture on political prisoners?  Is there an entity that is inquiring into deliberate and indiscriminate bombing of civilian populations?

We don’t know and we don’t know if Ms Biswal knows or if she does whether she would tell us.  But the world knows that her president announced to block the release of photographs documenting American military personnel torturing detainees in Iraq, in a reversal of an understanding given earlier. The justification is that releasing such photographs would demoralize his troops. So it seems that Mr. Obama, who has ‘eyes’ to see ‘catastrophes’ where none exist, does not have eyes to see the catastrophes his country orchestrated and perpetuated and worse, wants to world to close its eyes as well.

So when Ms Biswal meets the press, someone might ask her a few questions.

How many WMDs did US and allied trooped find in Iraq?

Nick Clegg said the invasion was illegal.  It is known that there was absolutely no evidence of anything warranting an invasion but the US Congress and Senate were deliberately misled into believing otherwise.  Is there any mechanism to investigate how all this happened?

President Obama himself has said ‘don’t talk to us about such things’, clearly implying that the USA is not willing to subject itself to the kind of international scrutiny it demands for when it comes to other countries. But in the clear absence of a credible, transparent domestic mechanism to investigate these crimes against humanity (and here we are talking about concrete evidence and not allegations made by people totally dependent on hearsay and that too from unreliable sources such as terrorists or terrorist sympathizers), is an international investigation, distasteful as it may be, the only way to get to the truth?

One can get away with murder (as the USA has) when one is judge, jury and court reporter. But Ms Biswal must understand that at this end of this political economy of justice, the general perception is that the world has too much colonial posturing and too little reason.

In other words, the leaders of this country are answerable. They are answerable to the people of this country.  They are not answerable to a bunch of terrorist who use wealth and weapons to convince the world that the rivers of blood they make flow are the inevitable juices that give life to democracy, peace, civilization etc.

And that brings us to ‘patience’.  The world, Nisha, has been patient over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not to mention the D-Day massacres.  The world has been patient over your country’s use of chemical weapons in Vietnam and other unhappy places.  The world has been patient about CIA operatives disguised as diplomats sowing discord, fermenting anarchy. We have watched patiently as the USA toppled one democratically elected head of state after another in Latin America and while it moved to install despots instead.  We have watched tyrannies being propped up, monarchies having their lifespan extended and the most ruthless autocrats being embraced as benefactors of humankind by your leaders, Obama included.

And we have patiently observed the machinations of your ‘friendly-to-Sri-Lanka’ government in Geneva and elsewhere, even as it continues to perpetrate horrific crimes against humanity across the globe.  Do you think that we think that if this Government cures itself of all its ills you will get off our national back?  No. We have no illusions.  That’s a discard that accrues, paradoxically, when people have been as patient for as long as we have.  In fact, the one concrete thing that will result from these games people like you play, is the further strengthening of the regime.  Perhaps that’s what you want?

So, spare the lectures.  Spare the tuition classes.  Say your piece, by all means.

*Malinda Seneviratne is the Chief Editor of ‘The Nation’ and his articles can be found at www.malindawords.blogspot.com

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Latest comments

  • 2
    2

    What happened there is no demonstration agonist her visit?
    First lost

    • 5
      0

      Malinda,
      Would MR send Dr Vermin to propose to Ms Bishal as well?

      • 0
        1

        Malinda save your notes and advice. One crime does not cancel out another. I am a Sri Lankan and the crimes of the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime trouble me and I am glad that Jarapassa is being held ac

        You are stupid you do not get it! One wrong or ten wrongs of the USA does not cancel out the war crimes in Sri Lanka which is what concerns me!

    • 1
      0

      Malinda, You took only one laptop or a hundred?. Just checking to see when your kind of boot licking will end

  • 3
    3

    Nor any proposal from Dr. Mervin – too busy sorting things in Kelaniya?

  • 9
    10

    Bravo Malinda!
    This shameless woman didn’t even have the elementary social or emotional intelligence to speak in a civilised manner. “Patience is thinning” – my foot. Would she use such language against India, Israel, Russia or China when talking about their human rights record or governance? This ignorant woman must be thinking Sri Lanka is easy game! Black Obama and this brown woman are playing Uncle Tom to their white masters.

  • 4
    8

    Another Indian woman?

    The whole world knows about Indian women.

    • 1
      0

      Like your !!!

  • 1
    2

    Linda is at it again – toplapping.

  • 0
    0

    are we backing the wrong horse ? Let China go embrace USA and all will be well…

  • 1
    2

    These Americans have thick hides. Sri Lanka must be reconciled to weather the wickedness of the USA (and its lackeys) like Cuba did. The Taliban may not be a bunch of saints but they are prepared to fight for generations to rid the country of the USA.

    • 4
      3

      Lynx

      “The Taliban may not be a bunch of saints but they are prepared to fight for generations to rid the country of the USA.”

      Therefore you want Taliban to fight your war with USA.

      Its a good idea.

      Its like old times, LTTE was fighting the IPKF while your Sinhala/Buddhist armed forces were hiding behind their women folks.

      • 1
        1

        Native Veddah, you have missed the point totally. Read the post again and you may understand. Or try getting someone else to explain it to you.

        And just to address your lack of knowledge of recent history, the Sri Lanka army – which you call Sinhala-Buddhist – comprehensively defeated the LTTE in 2009.

  • 2
    1

    This chap Malinda has better understand a bit about Darwinianism and the ugly but extant theory of “might is right’ (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Might_Is_Right).

    The US is powerful and can call the shots all around the world because it is the most powerful nation on earth. Period. Our own home-grown hora-champion Mahinda, likewise, calls the shots in his homeland because he has manoeuvred himself to be the most powerful politician in little Lanka.

    The problem is that both Mahinda and our editorial brown-noser Malinda think that the one above is equal to the other.

    Methinks they both need a swift kick up the derriere, a reality check and a sharp lesson in Math, not necessarily in that order!

  • 6
    4

    Milinda has been kind to Ms Nisha Deasi.

    Most important is how many in inhabitants in Iraq are getting killed today from Suicide bombsand other attacks.

    Latest figures indicate that the monthly average is around 1200

    This is on Ms Nisha’s Boss’s watch. ouldn’t find any…Right ..

    Wonder whether one of our HR loving English journos in Colombo get a pass to quiz Ms Nisha at the Press Conference..

  • 2
    1

    Accountability is not something that could be relative to another incident or another issue. Each situation has its own accountability. So if we are to discuss US accountability issue it should be taken separately and not confused with Sri Lankan accountability issue. Sri Lankan accountability issues should be evaluated on its own and should stand on its own. It is stupid and senseless to argue that US is not worried about their accountability but worried about Sri Lankan accountability. Educated fools like Malinda Seneviratne is surely a “Gemba” in a Maha-Linda.

  • 6
    1

    So Malinde, what you’re saying is that what the GoSL has been doing in the name of fighting terrorism , was done in past by Americans, right? And you’re also saying what was done by Americans was wrong, very good. Malinda your straight ball in the (golf)hole is what the international community says. GoSL had done harm to its own people. Now is the time for you to repent, i.e repair the damage or else face the consequence. Don’t try to be smart by your illogical argument. We’re in 21st century. If you’re not fit for proper engagement with the rest of the world then you’re lost.

  • 5
    3

    .
    Malinda,

    US never bombed it’s own citizens.

    :-)

    • 1
      1

      Yes indeed, citizens of other countries are always fair game, right?

      By the way, you should look up who Anwar and Abdulrahman al Awlaki are before making a fool of yourself making the same comment again in yet another thread :D

  • 3
    1

    Here You go Malinda,

    Perfect oppertunty for the village Chandia to take on the world. Good luck.

    • 3
      2

      Kiri Yaka

      Please be respectful to Malinda, he is providing weekly comic relief.

      • 0
        1

        But then Native Vedhha, the Moda Chandi combo is just too common in Sri Lanka and it is not comical to watch him doing himself self in – which he does on weekly basis in this forum.

        • 1
          1

          Kiri Yaka

          I am beginning to enjoy his comic strips.

          You are taking his writing too seriously.

          That is your mistake, not his.

  • 5
    1

    yawn. Another rant about American hypocrisy. The world knows this.
    The point is that the international system is not built on equality between countries. That its explicitly recognized by the UN charter, which gives the permanent 5, a guardianship of sorts over the rest. We can talk like America when we have been elevated to that state. Until then we should get our house in order.

    It is also ironical that Malinda says that Sri Lanka is SUPPOSED to have competed war crimes, but does not have any qualms in asserting conclusively that the US has committed crimes. If you are basing your argument on hypocrisy, dude, the least you can do is avoid it in your writing.

    S

  • 4
    1

    The answer is US is a super power and your country is a banana republic. When SL becomes a super power it can do what US is did or doing.

  • 0
    1

    Very true Malinda and you have spoken to awken our kattakaluwara and the umbalakada. I’m sure they are right there sorting the comments.

  • 1
    1

    The molehill Malinda instructs the mountain Obama on the meaning of words as well as his good friend, Nisha, with whom he is on first name basis already. And then the molehill goes on the usual rant about the war crimes of the US and the UK, following all the other Rajapakse stooges.

    There was no law on war crimes of any significance at the time of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the sense there is now. As regards present misdeeds, there is a UN report by Philip Alston on the use of drones and their illegality. There are judgments of the US Supreme Court on the applicablity of international law to detainees at Guantanomo Bay. There have been independent commissions into aspects of the Iraqi War by the different commissions in the UK. This is not perfect but the law is still being worked out. We saw that Margaret Thatcher never travelled out of Britain for fear of prosecution. Blair has a lot of problems within the UK with demonstrators plaguing him whenever he addresses a public meeting. Bush hardly ever leaves the US and so too Kissinger. There are movements around the world about war crimes, even against the leaders of powerful states. Rajapakse must joint the Fujimoris, Charles Taylors, Pinochets and Milosovics of the world and stand trial. Giving a laptop to the grateful stooge Milinda will not stop his prosecution.

    • 0
      0

      What did you expect of Linda the Top Lapper? He enjoys lapping up the white juice of HR and GR.

  • 5
    3

    This Malinda guy’s arguments are like” If you can hit or kill your wife why can’t we do the same ?” kind of stupid one. Oh well he is paid handsomely bribed to write garbage. Let us Just leave this poor scavenger.

    • 1
      0

      But his is still not that harmful kind as the ones of DJ´s are.
      He is just turning his set of fine words to be in good books. That is it.
      I ask myself for what purpose the man was sent to Haward by his parents ?
      In a country where, journalists are being murdered like stray dogs, can any one with a heart report things to this manner ?

  • 2
    4

    Malinda,

    You are coward. You cannot disprove the truth. Truth is you and your Government has blood on your hands. Your hands are dirty with full of corrupted money.

  • 3
    3

    Ajith

    Don’t you think this Malinda chappy look like and think alike typical Tamilnadu Dravidian, dark, stupid, shameless, ………….?

  • 0
    0

    She is another Indian.

    Remember how the Indian diplomat was cavity-searched because she lied in her VISA application saying that she was paying $ 4500 for her Nanny while she was paying her only Peanuts.

  • 0
    0

    Obama should rid Nisha Biswal and appoint Linda Seneviratne in her place as Linda shows, he is know all.

  • 0
    0

    Malinda has understood the things as the usual Sri Lankan way. But, that is not too difficult to America to fix it. US kept providing the LTTE ships’ coordinates to Lanka only after extracting the necessary promises from Chandrika and Mahinda. Once you take the help of US, Chris Norris type of lengthy fake explanations does not work there.

    Everybody know America went to Iraq because of the dictator, Saddam. Malinda trying to hide that fact here because he is too nervous to mention that America has been watching the Sri Lankan dictator families too for some time. Good and bad here(and Malinda too knows that) is Obama is not going to invade into Lanka, but that is not guaranteed when a republican president comes to power. As long as Lanka has a dictator as the head, Lanka can do nothing about it.

    Any bombs America dropped in Iraq Or in Afghanistan is Investigated by the relevant country and settled with America. So, the King has to let NPC to have it’s due judicial power to investigate the bombs dropped over them and come to a settlement.

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