By Jean-Pierre Page –
Colloquium – Issues of Truth and Accountability; Narration III; The Last Stage of the War in Sri Lanka
I would like to share with you a few ideas in relation to the 3rd narrative of the last stage of the war in Sri Lanka.
I will try to make myself as clear as possible!
I don’t believe in this notion that it is the influence of the Tamil Diaspora that determines Washington’s foreign policy and that of its Western allies! And I think it is very wrong and dangerous to put all the Tamil Diaspora in one basket. Most Tamils I know outside this country do not support a separate State. They are not separatists, and they are not Terrorists.
Of course, the Tamil separatist forces outside do have relations with Washington and its allies, but these relations are determined by the national and geostrategic objectives of the US and its allies, as we have seen in Afghanistan, or now in Iraq, Syria and the Ukraine. For the West, when it suits their objectives, they are good Tamil Tigers and when it doesn’t, they are bad Tamil Tigers, like the good jihadists and bad Jihadists. It all depends on the circumstances. Today, the LTTE has been defeated, but tomorrow it can become useful again!
That is why I find most of the political comments and reflections in Sri Lanka very introspective. They are not concrete observations of the reality.
1– When I speak of reality, I mean today’s global reality, with its tensions, its geopolitical, economic, security and military challenges. How can we speak of a third narrative on the last period of the war without taking into account the reality of the world, its balance of forces as it was then, and as it is today?
Once a very senior French Ambassador told me in Beijing, shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union: “to understand the meaning of international and diplomatic relations, you must look at a map and understand the relation between geography and strategy.” He was quite right. Years later, when I read Zbignew Brejinski’s book “ The Grand Chessboard,” where he affirms “we must always fear Russia, even a capitalist Russia, and an anti hegemonic alliance between China, Russia and India,“ I understood even better what this very senior French Ambassador had meant.
Therefore, if you look at a map of today’s global chessboard, characterized by the strategy of encirclement to roll back the space of Russia, China, India, or when you see where the conflicts are taking place, or where NATO’s ballistic defense system is placed and the disposition of US and NATO forces in this region, especially naval forces, you will understand why the war in Sri Lanka lasted 30 years and why today the US needs to get a foothold here! That’s why they need a regime change, and they can do it with or without sections of the Tamil diaspora. But, regime change is not their finality, but only a means to facilitate their global objectives.
I think, if a narrative is to make any sense, we must take a closer look at this fundamental aspect of the international situation and how it has influenced the conflict in Sri Lanka!
To understand the international aspects of what has happened and what is happening now in Sri Lanka, we must understand the UN as a reflection of this global reality. In fact, the UN, which is a multilateral system and belongs to all of us, is totally dependent and manipulated by civil society mercenaries that are financed by the US and the EU, as shown in the implementation of R2P. It is the use of “soft power” that Joseph Nye talks about.
When you play chess, every move has an importance! The problem here is that not enough people think globally.
Your adversary is the US, but the name of the US is never pronounced, it has become a taboo and very few speak about Obama’s “Asia pivot strategy”. How do we analyze the objectives of Washington in Sri Lanka and the methods used compared to those used in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, the Gaza, or to destabilize progressive regimes in Latin America?
These conflicts and tensions are the consequences of a global strategy and have to do with gaining access to energy resources and control over production and transport of oil, gas and water through domination of economic corridors, especially maritime corridors. The acceleration of conflicts and tensions is the result of the sharpening of the systemic crisis of the capitalist system. Today, with the declining means to guarantee its global supremacy, Washington is faced with a crisis of leadership. The desperate attempts of a dying super power to maintain global supremacy was one of the main reasons for the dismantling of former Yugoslavia and more recently Libya. Today, the same is true for Ukraine and the challenge represented by its enormous reserves of shale gaz.
2– Now, this is my second remark. I have try to show why the US and its western allies are involved in Sri Lanka. Now I would like to look at the type of soft power they are likely to use?
In 500 years BC, Sun Tzu wrote in his book “The Art of war”: ”supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting.”
Strategic ‘Balkanisation’ of societies everywhere is being utilized to destabilize entire continents. This is done through provoking tidal waves of ethnic, religious, and political anarchy that can dismember countries and civilizations. The idea is to create ‘black holes of chaos’.
The US has historically undertaken regime change operations as a method of advancing continental destabilization and pushing Western power deeper into Eurasia. But I repeat, regime change is not the finality, it is only the means by which Washington seeks to achieve its ‘black holes of chaos’ strategy.
People here often speak of regime change in a very simplistic way as if the West was jealous of Sri Lanka’s achievements and its ability to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization, the LTTE. But no one explains why this little island of Sri Lanka, even should it one day become the Wonder of Asia, arouses so much attention in Washington and Brussels!
Regime change has always been a characteristic of American foreign policy. Since Syria in 1949, it is estimated that the CIA has overthrown or attempted to overthrow over 50 governments, although it has only admitted to 7. Today covert regime change operations are preferred when the interests of Great Powers are at stake.
Colour Revolutions are externally supported pro-Western “coups d’états”. They specifically use social media and NGOs as tools to infiltrate societies, increase their ranks, and to expand their efficiency once the regime change operation has commenced. By manipulating large groups of people, the illusion is created of a broad grassroots movement of disaffected masses rising up against a tyrannical dictatorship.
This misleading perception enables the coup attempt to gain wide support and acceptance among the Western community and civil society, and also denigrates the legitimate authorities that are trying to put down the illegal overthrow.
This new Obama method of soft warfare is extremely effective. It presents the affected State or government with the dilemma – to use force against the civilian protesters or resign! Therefore it is not difficult to see why they have been deployed all over. They have replaced ‘traditional’ CIA coup action and have become the modus operandi of covert regime change.
A global shift in US strategy is currently underway, with the US shifting from being “global policeman” to “Lead from Behind” mastermind providing support to Colour Revolutions. Washington prefers a strategy of indirect approaches to projecting power rather than massive invasions and bombing runs.
3– In conclusion, as shown by the vote for the US resolution in Geneva, today the balance of forces has grown in favor of the West and against Sri Lanka! Why? How do we explain this dangerous trend? The US buys the votes of certain countries, but that is not new, and the argument is not sufficient! More important they have been allowed to hijack the UN institution and this is widely underestimated. Sri Lanka is going in a wrong direction by privileging bilateral negotiations with an unequal “partner”! The UN was created in favor of small countries, guaranteeing sovereign equality among all States. Therefore, for countries such as Sri Lanka, the only political choice is to negotiate within a multilateral framework, where it can build a balance of forces in its favour.
Sri Lanka, during the war and since, has had to confront these geostrategic challenges. If Sri Lanka is to formulate an offensive strategy rather than a defensive one, it should take all these into consideration!
Thiru / August 31, 2014
You are concluding with a vague statement below:
“Sri Lanka is going in a wrong direction by privileging bilateral negotiations with an unequal “partner”!”
Can you please explain what you mean by this more explicitly?
Thiru / August 31, 2014
UN chief expresses concerns over “Buddhist extremism”
[ Saturday, 30 August 2014, 12:23.43 PM GMT +05:30 ]
“In both Myanmar and Sri Lanka, I am concerned that Buddhist communities are being swept up by a rising tide of extremist sentiment against other groups,” United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki Moon said on Friday.
He said that in Myanmar, it “is critical to resolve the issue of status and citizenship of the minority Muslim community in Rakhine State, commonly known as the Rohingyas.”
Mr Ban said he is also “alarmed by the rising level of attacks in Sri Lanka against religious minorities.”
“The Government and faith leaders must respond and ensure the safety and security of all communities,” he urged.
The UN chief was speaking at the 6th United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) forum in Bali, Indonesia.
The UNAOC was initiated in 2005 by former head of the UN, Kofi Anan, to build “mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity.”
Mr Ban said that atrocities committed by Buddhists in Myanmar and Sri Lanka “[betray] the peaceful teachings of the founder, Lord Buddha.”
“Calls to violence in the name of religions violate their true principles,” he said.
He noted that in Myanmar, “polarization is threatening the democratic transition.”
“The country’s leaders must speak out against divisive incitement,” Mr Ban said. “They must promote interfaith harmony. And they must stand against impunity for provocations and violence.”
Mr Ban’s remarks are some of the toughest from a world leader on what he calls “Buddhist extremism”, led in some instance by Buddhist monks encouraging violence targeting other minorities or religious groups, namely the Muslims and Christians.
The Muslim Rohingyas in Myanmar, for example, have been persecuted and driven out of their villages by the Buddhists who do not recognise them as citizens of the country.
Scores of Rohingyas have been killed, and most of them have now become refugees, with nowhere to go.
The violence against them is led and approved by Buddhist monks such as U Wirathu, whom TIME magazine described as “the face of Buddhist terror”.
“All major faiths value peace and tolerance,” Mr Ban said in his speech on Friday, which also highlighted the plights of those caught in war or being persecuted because of their race or religion.
He said he was “especially outraged by the reports from Iraq of brutal killing of civilians by ISIL”, referring to the Islamic State, a terrorist group waging war in Iraq and Syria to establish a caliphate in the region.
“Whole communities that had lived for generations in Northern Iraq are being forced to flee or face death just for their religious beliefs,” Mr Ban said. “We cannot allow communities to be threatened by atrocity crimes because of who they are, because of what they believe.”
“In all cases and all regions,” he said, “our response must aim at extremists as well as those who enable them with weapons and other forms of support.”
He called on the alliance to “make and renew our resolve to strengthen the Alliance of Civilization so it can do its job of resisting the forces of dehumanization and brutality – and strengthening the power of our common humanity.”
Vasu / August 31, 2014
Jean Pierre, your wife Thamara Kunanayagam, Dayan Jayathilake and all these participants of this meeting of MARGA institute helped this regime to eliminate Tamil civilians, ignored all conventions of war worldwide, Geneva included
For us you played a similar role like Goebbels in Hitlers regime
4th International is not an escape for your war crimes
You may have taken the decision to enjoy a life as a “embassador´s” husband in foreign country rather than living with social support from Swiss, combined with your old left policies,in Cuba and elsewhere
For us you are corrupted, literally gone with the wind
All your approaches to get back as human right defenders after helping this regime do not erase your past
Dr Dayan Jayatilleka / August 31, 2014
That’s very unfair and naughty of you! You’ve forgotten Prof Rajiva Wijesinha!
Chandra / September 1, 2014
On a more solemn note;- Sad to hear the passing away of Sam Wijesinha. Father of Rajiva Wjesinha.
May he rest in peace.
Someone / August 31, 2014
“..People here often speak of regime change in a very simplistic way as if the West was jealous of Sri Lanka’s achievements and its ability to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization, the LTTE. But no one explains why this little island of Sri Lanka, even should it one day become the Wonder of Asia, arouses so much attention in Washington and Brussels!..”
The writer bugger of this nonsensical post is vomiting the above question/idea throughout his gibberish but he never answers it! All this nonsense stems from his Rajapaksha regime sycophancy and fear of loosing the perks and payments he enjoys from the Rajapakshas. Why the hell does he not tell the Rajapakshas to restore democracy, law and order, human rights and punish the offenders to silence the US?
Thiru / August 31, 2014
I am glad you exposed this guy’s credentials – no clothes on!
Vasu / August 31, 2014
“West was jealous” “achievements””wonder of Asia” do we have all these conditions in SL?
Everyone was happy to live without war, we have replaced war with a dictatorship
West is not jealous about begging countries like SL, for what? having highway and harbour in hambantota?
Do we have a self confidense as a SLankan? Then do it yourself without any begging behavior. We have enough resources. Make a compromise for the ethnic issue, isolate BBS, Wimal Weerawamsa and all these trash from political stage
eusense / September 2, 2014
Have you ever given a thought that Tamil terrorism led to all this?
Ram / August 31, 2014
At last, something worth reading.
US activity is always duplicitous.
Panic, a US citizen, was helicoptored in from the USA to take over Yugoslavia, but lost to Milosevic. The latter was got rid of and brought before the ICC on trumped up charges. Shakasvilli was another similarly sent in to take power in Georgia, who has since lost power and cannot return to the country for misusing that same power. We had Ahmed Kharzai imposed on Afghanistan, who fell out with the US because he did not want to become a total traitor to his people. Chalabi was brought into Iraq as the preferred leader after Iraq was conquerd, but he proved to be even more duplicitous than his mentor, and was soon replaced. Morsi the elected president of Egypt was too nationalistic and was soon replaced by Al Sisi Al Amreeki.
Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran is waiting for his call.
Jim softy / September 1, 2014
It was not a conventional war.
It was the elimination of a ruthless terrorist group who did not respect any international laws.
Now, the left over rump and those who lost their investment on LTTE want it to be considered as conventional war and international laws with regard to conventional war.
justice / September 1, 2014
Tamils are being eliminated from their traditional place of worship by thousands of army troopers in white ‘vertis’ and some dancing with ‘kavadis’ at the Nalloor Temple.
All hindu devotees went home as they were physically elbowed out.
Citizens living in sri lanka should be made to feel at home without restriction of religious activities firstly, before considering ‘global realities’.
justice / September 1, 2014
Tamils are also prevented from remembering those who disappeared during and after the war – though a special commission has been appointed recently to probe all disappearances.
How can they build trust in the state and how can they believe the promises for their future prosperity?
sach / September 2, 2014
It is true that it is a bit of silly to say that US is jeolous of SL in ending the terrorism. But the SLG’s boast about ending terrorism did irritate US.
The reason article by Ryan Goodman has important points.
He said ‘if other countries in the world adopted SL’s method of ending terrorism it is harmful for US’s interests’.
It is also important to remember many terrorist wars in the world especialy mid east are US ploys. Even ISIS were initially funded by US to keep mid east forever at war.
But SL should not worsen its relations with US. SL should build them after all US is not our enemy.
Wickramasiri / September 2, 2014
Despite the criticism,in the main, I agree with Jean-Pierre Page. I feel that it is USA’s dire economic situation that is driving it’s geo-strategic initiatives more than a need to preserve it’s hegemony over the world. Yet,my prediction is that it’s exceptionalism is not credible and will in fact bring it’s downfall sooner than expected. Old evolutionary theory had it that only the fittest survive suggesting that you need to be competitive. However many are now discovering that the survival of the fittest is due more to collaboration for mutual benefit, rather than killing off the competition. The downfall of America will be it’s greed and selfishness, whether the President is white or black. Which is also why Michele J Sison is not credible whether she sweeps the garbage off Galle Face or not.
Ram / September 7, 2014
The latest Marga Institute report crticising the UN for NOT PROTECTING the civilians taken as hostages by the LTTE and placing the blame squarely on the LTTE for their deaths gets no mention in CT. No surprise there.