24 October, 2020

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Four Possible Areas; Our Offer To Sri Lanka

By John Kerry

John Kerry

John Kerry

Mangala, thank you very, very much. Thank you for a wonderful introduction, notwithstanding that you reminded me that I disappointed you in 2004. (Laughter.) I disappointed myself and a few other people.

I am really happy to be here (inaudible) and I’m very happy to welcome all of you here. No, you are welcoming me – it’s a mutual welcome, admiration, effort. And I can’t thank Mangala and Sri Lanka enough for the very generous welcome that you gave me this morning when I first came here. I came over to that historic building that is now the foreign ministry. Thank you for that, my friend.

I also want to thank you for your remarkable efforts – yours and the president’s and prime minister’s – on behalf of the people of Sri Lanka. And I thank you for something else. A week ago I was in northern Canada, just below the Arctic Circle, not far from the Arctic Ocean, where I was assuming the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. And I want you to know it is a welcome change to enjoy the warm weather here. (Laughter.) I didn’t see a lot of igloos around, happily.

I also want to say thank you to all of you who have come here – students, educators, civil society activists, religious leaders, and to everyone from the government, the diplomatic community, and the private sector who has committed time to be here to share some thoughts this afternoon.

It is fitting that we gather today under the auspices of the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute. Lakshman was, to put it simply, a brave man and a good man. He rejected recrimination in favor of reconciliation. He knew that the future demanded that his country move beyond the more difficult chapters of its past. And he devoted his last years to healing Sri Lanka and to leading it to its rightful place within the community of nations. He said wisely, “We have to live in Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans, tolerating all races and religions.”

So many of you here are the fathers and mothers of this vision. But as any parent will tell you, your obligations don’t end with a child’s birth; they’re just beginning. Sri Lanka’s newfound civil peace has to be nurtured; it must be allowed to grow and become stronger until it is, in fact, fully mature.

If Lakshman Kadirgamar was here and he had lived to see this new era, I know he would be inspired by the people of this country – Sinhalese and Tamil, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Muslim. He would see the possibilities of a Sri Lanka reconciled, democratic, and prosperous, with a united and entrepreneurial people dedicated to making their country a shining jewel of the Indian Ocean and of the broader Indo-Pacific. The United States, I am here to tell you, believes in that vision. We believe in the potential of Sri Lanka, the potential of Sri Lanka’s people – and I mean all of its people. And I can assure you that the United States, that America will stand with you by your side as you build a stronger democracy and a future that is marked by peace and prosperity after so many years of suffering and hardship.

Now, I don’t have to tell you that history. You know it; you’ve lived it. You’ve experienced it for 30 years. Terrorism, sectarian violence, suffering, death, anger, disappearances, moments of hope followed by more loss, more hate, and more fear.

Having gone to war myself, as Mangala mentioned, not very far from here, I know the tragic truth that in peacetime, children bury their parents, but in wartime, parents bury their children. Sri Lanka has known too many generations of parents forced to bury children.

Let me be very clear about this: It is sometimes necessary to go to war, despite the pain it brings. For all of my country’s disagreements with the previous government in Sri Lanka over how it fought the LTTE, we clearly understood the necessity of ridding this country of a murderous terrorist group and the fear that it sowed.

I believe that you learned in the final, bloody days of that struggle what my country discovered to our own anguish during our civil war: There were no true victors – only victims. You saw, I trust, that it is obvious the value of ending wars in a way that builds a foundation for the peace to follow.

And I know you recognize today that the true peace is more than the absence of war. True and lasting peace, especially after a civil conflict, requires policies that foster reconciliation, not resentment. It demands that all citizens of the nation be treated with equal respect and equal rights, and that no one be made to feel excluded or subjugated. It calls for a military that projects its power outward to protect its people, not inward to police them.

It necessitates, as America’s great president Abraham Lincoln said, binding up the nation’s wounds, with malice towards none and with charity towards all.

Today, there are young people in this country who are experiencing peace for the first time in their lives. We need to hope, we need to make certain that they will know anything – that they will never know anything except for peace.

And that isn’t easy – recovering from conflict, believe me, never is easy. Under President Sirisena’s leadership, Sri Lanka’s traditions of critical debate, free press, and independent civil society are returning. The armed forces have started to give back land to people in the north. Your citizens have been asked to mourn all the dead – not just those from one part of the country or one ethnicity or one faith. Incidents of violence have decreased.

The government has stood up against hate speech and created a presidential task force on reconciliation led by former President Kumaratunga. And just this week, the parliament passed and the president championed, as Mangala said, a constitutional amendment that actually limits the powers of his office. Promise made; promise kept.

Now, the problems of Sri Lanka are clearly going to be solved by Sri Lankans. That’s the way it ought to be, but it’s also the only way it’s going to work. And you wouldn’t have it any other way.

But if – but we also know that, in today’s world, everyone and everything is connected. And when we are connected unlike any time in history – everybody’s walking around, even in places where they’re poor, with a smartphone and a cellphone; they’re in touch, they’re in touch with the world. So if there are steps the United States can take to help, we will do so. I know you have your own plan and your own notions about what is necessary, and by no means whatsoever do we intend to try to usurp that or evade that or dismiss that. That would be inappropriate and unwise at the same time. But we do have some suggestions, as friends. And let’s offer four possible areas for cooperation.

First – reconciliation. The majority of you voted for a government that is committed to the difficult task of literally healing the wounds of war. But that’s a difficult job with many components.

Years ago, I want you to know that when I was a member of the United States Senate – in the early years in the ‘90s, Mangala– I was put in charge of an investigation to try to determine the fate of American soldiers, sailors, and aviators who were still missing from the Vietnam War during the 1960s and the 1970s. The families of those in America whose loved ones had been lost were desperately trying to get answers from the government and demanding answers, and they had every right to do so. And we knew that it was impossible for us to try to move forward if we didn’t try to provide those answers. So we did everything possible that there was to try to find out what happened to their loved ones. I traveled to Vietnam something like 17 or 20 times in the span of two years, working with the Vietnamese to let us into their history houses, to their museums, to their documents – even to interview with the generals that we had fought against to see if we could provide those answers.

So we experienced the same emotions and the same search for answers that are present in your country today. And that is why it is so critical for your government to work with the ICRC and the UN in order to investigate missing person cases and try wherever you can – I can’t guarantee it; nobody can that you’ll find the answer for sure – but try to find wherever the truth may lead. No matter how painful that truth is. It’s the right and the humane thing to do – and it is, believe it or not, an essential part of the healing process.

Now, reconciliation obviously doesn’t happen all at once; it requires time and concrete actions. And those have to replace the suspicion with mutual trust and mutual fears have to be replaced with mutual confidence. I want you to know that the United States stands ready to be a partner with you in that effort.

We’ll do all we can to support the government as it makes progress in such areas as returning land, limiting the role of the military in civilian life, and trying to provide the answers on disappeared people. None of us wants to live in a country where the military is stopping its own citizens at checkpoints. And Sri Lanka’s military has so much more to contribute in defending this country, protecting vital sea lanes, and taking part in UN peacekeeping missions all over the world. And as your armed forces make that transition, we’re going to be very eager to work with you and to work with them and to help.

That said, the job of bringing Sri Lankans together also cannot be done by the government alone. So it matters what you say, it matters what people say, and that they have the right to say it. It matters what civil society – that many of you here represent – what you have to say. It matters what religious groups are saying and what they’re able to accomplish, and that they have the freedom to be able to move to do so. And it matters what communities are able to do in order to fix the kind of social problems that impact everyone – from promoting health care and a clean environment to countering domestic violence and drug use – and that the central government trusts people to take the lead.

Now in all this – some may think this goes without saying, but in too many parts of the world it doesn’t – the women of Sri Lanka are playing a critical role, and must. They are helping the needy and the displaced. They’re encouraging people to build secure and prosperous neighborhoods. They are supporting ex-combatants and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, and they’re providing counseling and other social services. And these efforts are absolutely vital and we should all support them.

But we also have to do more than that. Here, as in every country, it’s crystal clear that for any society to thrive, women have to be in full control – they have to be full participants in the economics and in the political life. There is no excuse in the 21st century for discrimination or violence against women. Not now, and not ever.

Now, that brings me to the second area of possible cooperation on justice and accountability. Restoring your country’s judiciary is a long-term undertaking that requires high standards for judicial independence, fairness, and due process under the law. Those reforms are often difficult to achieve anyway – we’re still working on some things in our system, believe me; you can see some of it on television – not easy, but it is absolutely essential to be open and honest about trying to do it. Every citizen has a right to seek justice, and every citizen has a right to expect justice for victims of war crimes or crimes against humanity. They’re painful issues; I know that. But if you try to compel people to simply forget the past and try to wipe it away, believe me: They will be more likely, not less, to cling to it. And if you tell them to forego justice under the law, they will be more likely to seek it outside of the law. It will be harder, not easier, to move forward as one country at peace.

And that is why we hope your government will continue to cooperate with the United Nations as it explores the best way to mount a credible domestic investigation into allegations of human rights abuses – an investigation that meets international standards and at the same time, and most importantly, is legitimate in your eyes, in the eyes of the people here. The United States is prepared to furnish whatever legal, whatever technical assistance, whatever help we can to support Sri Lanka as it moves down this path.

A third area where we can work together is the advancement of human rights, here and around the world. The new government that you’ve elected is laser focused on establishing a strong reputation for your country on human rights. And the United States could not be more supportive of that goal. Until just recently, our diplomats routinely clashed with yours on these issues at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and the UN in New York. Now, with the new government, with the turning of this critical page, we have an opportunity to work together. But we also continue to urge your government to release remaining political prisoners, and we would be pleased to assist in those efforts by sending a team of legal experts to advise on assessment and release, which is a critical component of the documents that have to be made in that.

And I say this fully mindful of the fact – believe me – no nation, including the United States, has a perfect record on human rights. We all have to do our best in order to improve. And I hope that the momentum that has been created in Sri Lanka will continue to build, and I’m confident that with the government you have and their commitments reiterated to me today, I have no doubt that you will.

Now, a final challenge on which our two governments may be able to work together is the strengthening of democratic institutions. Here, you have a very strong foundation on which to build. Your former president reminded me that they had lunch, that you had the first – the longest serving supreme court in all of Asia, and that you have one of the oldest parliaments. You have this extraordinary foundation on which to build. We simply offer our support to help you in any way that we can on this effort of capacity building and the challenge of restoring the tradition that you have always had with respect to the fullness of your democracy. We want to help support you in the upcoming electoral processes. Timely elections will be yet another sign of the government following through on its commitments.

Now, the people of Sri Lanka deserve great credit for the recent elections. And I want to congratulate all of you. They’re quite remarkable. You turned out in huge numbers to exercise your rights. Every vote was a victory for your country. And you insisted on historic reforms, including a constitutional amendment that was just restoring the independence of the electoral commission. But hard work remains, my friends, including devolving power to the provinces. The United States stands ready to provide technical assistance to make it easier to implement these measures and to strengthen such critical institutions as the ministries and parliament. We’re also ready to help with asset recovery and the enforcement of anti-corruption rules. Our investigators are prepared to work with your investigators. Our prosecutors are prepared to work with your prosecutors. And we commit that any stolen assets in the United States will be returned to their rightful owners.

We’ve seen in recent decades that free countries can learn from one another, and that, to prosper, they have to be prepared to help one another. And that is why I’m pleased to announce that our governments will launch a partnership dialogue to intensify our cooperation across the board. President Obama has nominated a new ambassador, and as a symbol of our renewed commitment to this relationship, I am happy to announce that we are going to build a new embassy compound. And our partnership dialogue and expanded bilateral assistance will help consolidate Sri Lanka’s very impressive gains. We also want to do this in a spirit of friendship and mutual respect. We’re not doing this as part of any global countering or whatever – make your choices. That’s your right as independent people. But we appreciate and respect and admire the steps that have been taken by you to give yourself a government that wants to restore that government. And in any way that we can help, we stand ready to do so.

So to sum up, Sri Lanka is at a pivotal point. Peace has come, but true reconciliation will take time. Your institutions of governance are regaining strength, but further progress will have to be made. The United States will help when and where we can. And no part of this transition, obviously, will be easy, but if Sri Lanka keeps moving forward, I have every confidence it will take its rightful place of respect and of influence on the world stage.

Sri Lankans should take enormous pride – I’m sure you do – in what has been happening within your borders. But every nation also has to look beyond its borders as well.

For Sri Lankans, that’s nothing new. Your country sits at the crossroads of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. And for centuries, it’s served as a gateway for merchant ships. The Indian Ocean is the world’s most important commercial highway. Today, 40 percent of all seaborne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz and half of the world’s merchant fleet capacity sails through the Straits of Malacca. And with its strategic location near deep-water ports in India and Myanmar, Sri Lanka could serve as the fulcrum of a modern and dynamic Indo-Pacific region.

The questions now are: How do we get there and what role can the United States play in that journey? Well, let me answer that question by saying that we see our role partly as a leader, because we have a strong economy and an ability to be able to project, but also we see our role as a convener, and most importantly, as a partner.

The United States is already providing leadership on maritime security in the India Ocean in association with close friends and allies across the region, including India, Australia, Indonesia, and Japan. And that requires, in part, a focus on counter-piracy and counter-trafficking operations. It requires investments in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, so that the next big storm doesn’t inflict catastrophic damage on coastal communities. The United States and Sri Lanka are also working together to oppose the use of intimidation or force to assert a territorial or maritime claim by anyone. And we reject any suggestion that freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea and airspace are somehow privileges granted by big states to small ones. They’re not privileges; they’re rights. And these principles bind all nations equally. And the recent decision by India, Myanmar, and Bangladesh to submit to binding arbitration – that’s an example of how maritime claims can be resolved peacefully and through good-faith negotiations.

Now, I’ve said convene also – is a convener. The United States is also a convener when it comes to promoting economic integration. South Asia is one of the globe’s least economically integrated regions. Trade among its countries amounts to some 5 percent of total trade and the cost of doing business across borders due to non-tariff barriers, import duties, and bottlenecks at border crossings is a huge impediment to growth.

That is why the United States is promoting the Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor to connect South Asia to Southeast Asia and to spur sustainable development in both regions. IPEC will strengthen energy, transit, trade, and people-to-people ties – on land and sea. And the challenge is: What’s the pace going to be of this integration? If commerce across South Asia is going to become the economic driver that it ought to be, governments have to act with urgency, not settle for half-measures or wait for the next country to go first. And we look forward to working with the Sri Lankan Government as it increases trade and investment with its neighbors in the Indian Ocean and beyond.

So the United States I’ve described as a leader and convener. Most importantly, though, I want to talk about being a partner. We’re a partner in something like disaster relief, climate change, clean energy. Here in Sri Lanka, you lived through the devastating impact of the 2004 tsunami. I’ll never forget hearing the news. The images are absolutely extraordinary, gut-wrenching –entire towns obliterated; raging waters sweeping away people’s homes; hundreds of thousands killed and many more separated from families.

And after the devastation, the American people moved quickly and generously to provide relief. And I’m proud that the United States Marines were among the first responders in the recovery efforts. And USAID alone provided about $135 million of assistance, with many millions more coming from the American people’s personal donations.

The earthquake that caused the tsunami was unprecedented in its destructive impact. And as searing as images from Kathmandu this week remind us, the nations of this region have to find common cause in enhancing the preparedness for natural disasters. But we also know that because of climate change, we’re actually going to be facing more frequent and intense disasters across the board. I’m not drawing that out of thin air, and I hate to be the bearer of that kind of a warning, but it’s science that’s telling us – the IPCC of the United Nations, the world’s scientists. And we’re seeing the changes already in so many different places, including the Arctic, that I visited the other day. So the United States stands ready to help respond and prevent climate change by leading the world towards a global agreement at the end of this year in Paris.

I can’t tell whether one storm – nobody can – or another storm specifically was caused by climate change, but I can tell you that scientists are telling us unequivocally that there will be more storms of greater intensity unless we stop and reverse course in what we are doing to send greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Now, some people might shrug their shoulders and just say, “Well, there’s nothing that I can do about it.” That’s not true. There’s something everybody can do about it. In fact, all of us know exactly what we have to do. The solution to climate change is a transformed energy policy. Just as climate change presents the United States, Sri Lanka, and the region with a common threat, my friends, the need to develop secure and sustainable energy sources presents us with a remarkable shared opportunity – the greatest market in the history of humankind. It’s an opportunity to make the right choices about conservation, about wind power, or solar power, hydro – which you have, significantly – about fuel and utility standards, about efficiency standards, about building codes, about transportation. And we can – and with all those things – reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and save ourselves, save the planet, literally, from a catastrophe that would be the unrestrained effects of climate change.

Good energy solutions are good climate solutions. And the market represents a multi-trillion dollar opportunity, with 4 to 5 billion users around the world today. Just so you have a little comparison on that, the market of the 1990s that drove our economy to the greatest wealth creation since the early 1900s was a $1 trillion market, not multitrillion. And it had one billion users. And that was the technology, communications market. The energy market is 6, 7 trillion now and rising – maybe 9 by the mid part of the century. By 2040, investment in the energy sector is expected to reach nearly $20 trillion. That’s a lot of money, my friends – that’s a lot of jobs. So we want to see clean, accessible energy be the biggest slice of the economic pie.

Now, of course, Sri Lanka is much more of a marketplace for clean energy. It is much more than simply a market to attract clean energy, and you know that, and I know that. It’s a cultural model; it’s a huge economic mosaic. It could well become, as you march down this road with the effectiveness you have been these days, a model for democracy and the restoration of democracy. It could show unity in remarkable ways to the region. We see even now, regrettably, that there are signs – troubling signs that democracy is under threat in Maldives, where former President Nasheed has been imprisoned without due process. And that is an injustice that must be addressed soon. But Sri Lanka’s story carries the promise that people can hold their government accountable, use peaceful dissent, use the power of the ballot box and change the course of history. And we can already see here the power of that promise.

We see it in the hard work of a Sinhalese mother who struggles to give her child a good education. We see it in the dignity that comes when a young Tamil man secures a job in which he can take pride. We see it in the common desire of all Sri Lankans to live in a safe neighborhood and a secure nation. We see it in the demand that leaders protect the rights of people and be responsive to the basic needs and aspirations. Those are the values that connect all of us across every boundary, no matter our history, no matter our background, no matter our beliefs and our creed. That’s who we are. Now, I want to leave you with just one story of that kind of belief today.

Karthika is from a Tamil Hindu family. When she was 14, the Tigers kidnapped her and sent her north to Jaffna. She was forced to carry a gun and move through the jungle. She was given barely enough food to survive. And in a firefight one day, bullets and shrapnel blinded her in one eye. For 11 years, her family had no idea whether she was alive or dead.

Eventually, Karthika escaped that hell by fleeing through areas of heavy fighting. She returned home, but in many ways, her struggle was only just beginning. She had limited education, limited skills, having spent half her life surrounded by war. She had few friends, and even fewer prospects to find a job or even to start a life.

After several false starts, Karthika found a USAID program in the Eastern Province that offered her a way out. She trained for months and learned the skills she needed to get her a job in a new garment factory. She started earning an income. And she made an effort to befriend women from the Sinhalese community, something that would have been unimaginable for her just a few short years ago. Asked why she was able to find hope when others didn’t, Karthika said very simply, “Now, it has changed.”

My friends, everywhere there is an injustice, there are men and women who are ready to be the Karthikas of their moment. Men and women who survive a war that wrecks families, and then build their own. Men and women who see what the worst of what people can do, and then dedicate their lives to finding the best in others. You have all borne the costs of war. It’s now time for you to experience and hold onto the benefits of peace. “Now, it has changed” is a claim that each and every one of you can make together. And I am certain that you will make it a proud claim – a badge of merit and honor and success that will be heard and seen by your neighbors and friends all across the globe.

So thank you once again for welcoming me here. It’s an honor for me to be here at this point in your history. And I can tell you that we will not walk away from our pledge to work with you, to go together on this road and on this journey. Good luck to all. Godspeed on the road ahead. Thank you.

*Remarks by John Kerry, Secretary of State – Colombo, Sri Lanka -May 2, 2015

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Latest comments

  • 32
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    Over to you, DJ – for your venomous diatribe.

    • 15
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      He says….”There is no excuse in the 21st century for discrimination or violence against women. Not now, and not ever.”

      Just check in the Youtube about the atrocity caused by the Zionists in Palestine. The latest trend in their murder tactics is to SHOOT AT THE PREGNANT PALESTINIAN WOMEN and the Zionist scums owned by the US/UK/French evil axis.

      The cowardly men and women in Israeli populace sporting T-Shirts depicting a cartoon character of a lady in abaya dress with a cross-hair of a target shooting with the words “TWO KILL WITH ONE BULLET”. This will talk a lot about
      JOHN KERRY’s above line against discrimination against women.

      US/UK Zionist Scumbags have no limits in their shitty lies….These evil men and women must burn in hell eternally….

      Israeli soldiers attack Palestinian Woman and Child
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kiAy0HPxNE

      Arrest of 5-year-old Palestinian child causes outrage around globe
      https://youtu.be/mY0xy6VOL4Y

      • 15
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        Kerry, a man brought up in a Christian culture, also said ” I believe that you learned in the final, bloody days of that struggle what my country discovered to our own anguish during our civil war: There were no true victors – only victims” . Have we??? …
        Can you imagine MR or our chief Buddhist prelates loudly say this “no true victors – only victims” after 2009? How much these leaders could have changed minds of people. Instead, all of them cheered loudly saying “We won, we killed all the bad people, we secured our geographical boundaries “. How un-Buddhist?

        • 0
          1

          Indian Ocean should be DEMILITARIZED and an Ocean of Peace! US should lead the push to demilitarize the IO.

          • 0
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            US to lead the demilitarization? to promote peace?
            Sorry for my lack of knowledge.

            But, which country started war with Iraq because of WMDs and how many WMDs they found? Did they establish peace in Iraq? Is Iraq in peace now?

            Which country started war with Libya and was it to promote peace? Is Libya in peace now?

            Tell me a single country where US got involved to promote peace and established peace? As far as I know, every country they stepped foot into they destabilized the countries and made those countries worse with civil unrest.

      • 1
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        He says….”There is no excuse in the 21st century for discrimination or violence against women. Not now, and not ever.”

        What he really meant by “women” was in fact “black youths”. America is a shining example of how this could be achieved. Just instructed the Police.

      • 1
        2

        The support that the US gives Israel is unbelievable. Israel is a rogue state and had consistently been condemned by the UN and most nations, for the decades old occupation and the brutality shown towards Palestinian civilians. The US condemns the illegal settlements, yet the aid flows into Israel, and the weapons used on helpless civilians are also American made. The Jews of Israel have used the holocaust to perpetrate these crimes against humanity, by pretending to be the victims of the occupied people. Who in their right mind thinks the occupying power that has the deadliest weapons and a ruthless army would be the victim of blockaded and unarmed people?

        John Kerry may give us good advice which we should not dismiss, but it would be more credible if the US did not aid, arm and protect a despicable nation that orders it’s armed forces to kill any Palestinian on sight, even in UN shelters, when they decide to slaughter them at the slightest excuse.

    • 16
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      Ha ha ha… Dayan is not only getting an earful in response to his own posts, looks like, he has no-where to hide.

      But guess what; Dayan is still hopeful that the UPFA will end up with a sizable majority. He thinks, in that scenario, he’d be in for another gig on public money. And right about now he’d even settle for Kazakhstan.

      But I’m pretty sure it will be some time before we ever hear from the guy after the General Election though.

    • 2
      1

      DJ may/not have something to say about Kerry’s diatribe. What will those Terrorist Sewer Rats like Rudrakumari & Co say about Kerry’s reference to Murderous, Scumbags of the LTTE?

      • 0
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        @Lal, What will those Terrorist Sewer Rats like Rudrakumari & Co say about Kerry’s reference to Murderous, Scumbags of the LTTE??????

        They would have said, too bad the LTTE buggers did not find this Lal shi% and wipe him off the face of this earth.

        • 1
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          Jihadhi Tamil from the north east west south pakistan

          “They would have said, too bad the LTTE buggers did not find this Lal shi% and wipe him off the face of this earth.”

          Do you now regret that you hadn’t lead the LTTE?

          Gosh, you would have wiped off the entire population.

  • 30
    6

    See the sea of change of 3 months, this country have come out of the isolation of the democratic world.

    For the last 10 years we had head of states from Swaziland, Uganda, China, Seyshells etc and now we have real world leaders in the 1st world and its hightime those like Wimal W, Dayan J comes up with another foreign consipiracy together with Rajapakasas who are big time losers.

  • 25
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    Navin

    What are those smart ass patriots doing to stop this American preaching to the people of this thrice blessed island about war crimes?

    Those smart ass patriots should have arrested him for war crimes that have been committed by the west in every part of the world.

    Where are you smart ass patriots Weerawansa, Dayan, HLD Mahindapala, ….. ?

  • 8
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    This address is clearly directed to the Sinhalese people on the island. It is a reassurance that no matter what happens with the international investigation, the Sinhalese community is going to enjoy friendship and all around excellent relations with the US. There’s always going to be a US embassy in Colombo and in fact the embassy is going to be upgraded. The Sinhalese are going to remain an important fixture in the Indian Ocean and Asia – regardless of what happens in the NE.
    That being said, September 2015 is going to be very, very interesting. The OISL report is going to find the GOSL guilty. We all know that. The US is going to accept the OISL’s findings – they have to – the OISL was their idea. What will be interesting is to see how Mangala and the current GOSL react to the OISL report. Let’s hope they accept it with humility and maturity. That appears to be what Mr.Kerry is expecting.

  • 15
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    We will probably have to wait until tomorrow to read Dosthara The Yarn’s venomous diatribe. Wondering if Siva Sankaran Blacker Sarma of the Gota Boy fan club will be joining in with any rape related comments?

    • 6
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      ” we clearly understood the necessity of ridding this country of a murderous terrorist group and the fear that it sowed. ”

      At least Kerry has partially redeemed himself. The error of his previous statement that Sri Lanka was at war with the Tamils, has been corrected, but WILL NOT be reported in the world press. The harm it had done will persist.

    • 4
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      Was it not man named Wigneswaran who pleaded with Modi to release named murderers and rapists BECAUSE they were Tamils ?

      • 6
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        What Kerry said earlier was his own personal and may I say the correct view. The reference to ‘murderous terrorists’ is a sop to the Sinhalese. You don’t fight a civil war with terrorists but with another nation or group within a country. That is not to say ‘terrorism’ was not part of the war-indeed war is terrorism.The LTTE terrorized the South by targeting politicians, economy and people. The Sri Lankan state terrorized the North by targeting the LTTE and the Tamil people.

        Genocide is another matter altogether and there is ample evidence that what the Tamil people have been put through is GENOCIDE. Not just the view of the Tamils but that of several well regarded authorities -latest being Geoffrey Robertson QC- A very well known human rights advocate and the author of the ‘An Inconvenient Genocide: Who Now Remembers the Armenians?”

    • 7
      4

      Duhwood Blocker

      It is unreasonable of you to attack Wee Thamihz Senior Journalist Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon as he is running hither and thither and being driven from pillar to post like a headless chicken.

      When one is weak and feeble one should refrain from attacking the one poor thing.

      Please bear with him.

      • 1
        1

        Yeah, Duhwood, please don’t kick Blacker in the goolies, despite being the reprehensible little deranged shite that he is! Leave the disgusting bloke alone to lick his wounds in peace!

  • 12
    5

    Hello old Josephian, PhD holder in political science, analyst and self claimed Smart Patriot, Dr.DJ,

    Yesterday was Vesak Day and 1st of June is Poson Day. In my view Dr.Erol Wirasinghe has given you sincere advise in his comments on your latest analysis in the CT . It coincides well with VESAK – POSON PERIOD. Take Dr Eril ‘s wisdom like Devanabiya Tissa took Mahinda Thero’s at Mihintale centuries back.

    Look at John Kerry’s speech and the simple English he has used. Even the gang of 4 your rathu sahotharayo can easly understand.

    Since 8th of January there are no white vans or navy men in motor cycles roaming on the streets and you have complete freedom to rebut John Kerry paragraph by paragraph in simple English so that majority of the SriLankans regardless of race, language, religion, class, creed or cast can easly comprehend what nonsense you are writing.

    Are you man enough to take this challenge to reply to John Kerry and thus to the US or going to chicken out ?

    • 5
      5

      Just seen the psycopath, Big Goat the white van killer was drawn in a cartoon in a newspaper last week and glad there is no harm for the person who created that work.

      What a change in 3 months, the editors and cartoonists had to put a self censorship not to draw/mention the Goat for the last 10 years.

  • 9
    5

    And we commit that any stolen assets in the United States will be returned to their rightful owners……..John Kerry has promised.

    Rightful owners here means the People of Srilanka.

    This also means all assets wherever hidden[SEYCHELLES etc etc etc…] will be hunted down.

    If by some chance that Astrologer is sighted by MaRa…..!

    • 3
      1

      But don’t forget that some of the biggest crooks, like Nimal Siripala, still hold considerable power. Hence the news about a no-confidence motion against the DG of the Bribery Commission.

      In a country where denial is possible even in the face of photographic evidence, unless these robbers admit to it themselves, convictions will be next to impossible. So, don’t get too excited about getting your money back. The country is in a situation not very different from a Golden Key depositor.

      The only recourse left for you is to “punish” these crooks at the voting booth. I really hope people will take the opportunity this time.

  • 11
    2

    So glad to see that US – Sri Lanka relation’s have been “Reset”.

    Kudos, to the President, PM, FM and everyone else who contributed towards that end.

    Sri Lanka needs to benefit from everyone and all countries so that it can become a dynamic nation.It has all the potential to be vibrant and a shining Star in South East Asia.

    • 6
      4

      Follow the path of Lee Kuan Yew. America was the most staunchest ally of this island nation Singapore. And it prospered.

      • 1
        0

        Lee Kwan Yew was ridiculed when he first came into power and for a number of years since. He carried on nonetheless and succeeded, in spite of such bigotry making it the most expensive city to live in today.

  • 6
    4

    Mmmmmmmmmmmmm…. when is the next elections?
    Better hold it soon as the SL Elephants want to piggy back on this American Elephant into Parliament.

    Kerry’s visit was like GOD’s coming to the UNP.
    How infact the second coming took place, even then Rayappu would have to be hospitalised.
    GOD prevented an ungodly meet and sent Rayappu to be treated in a non Eelam hospital to provide him an opportunity to REPENT.

    • 1
      4

      Forget about Rayappu , all the war crimes have been documented and its report is due in September , whether we like it or not , we ‘ll have to face the reality , White van goon , Brigadier Shavendra Silva , General SF are among the 40 odd names which have been included in the report , definetely it’s going to be a tough call for MY3 and RW .

  • 5
    5

    Let us h0pe that Mangala Saramaweera has educated John Kerry that of the 21000 missing 5000 + are Sinhala, and that for ‘the missing’ the Tamils themselves place 60% blame on the reviled terrorist LTTE.

  • 5
    0

    “And that is why we hope your government will continue to cooperate with the United Nations as it explores the best way to mount a credible DOMESTIC investigation into allegations of human rights abuses”

    Great stuff!!!
    So credible INTERNATIONAL investigation is out of the window.
    So much for TGTE demands !!!

  • 8
    5

    Kerry,
    Surely, you cannot compare the UNHRC for Sri Lanka, with your desire to find bones of Americans in Veitnam? Oh no! It is too far apart from reality. Your desire to right all wrongs on Americas in Veitnam is comparable to Iraqis, for example, finding out what chemicals are in the bones of their dead ones, who poisoned them, and bringing to criminal courts. And America and Iraq are a whole ocean and land mass apart. Comparitively Sri Lanka’s war was defitinely more legit.

    And why speak about women’s rights and full control for women. We are not the Middle East, and have had a woman pm and president long before Hillary even dreamed of running for US presidency. So it is quite wrong for you to harp on that just because you want to make Chandrika pm or something, so as to suit any excess desires of yours.

    When you speak of “technical assistance” for a credible domestic investigation, after seeing what Americans have provided in”troubled spots” world over, we think of GUNS! What a terrible thought!

    Ah Kerry……..in Lankan mindset, our current GoSL’s laser focues in bringing about human rights justice is actually not democracy, but could be modern day stratagem to cut off the heads of legitimate opppositional forces.

    Having said all of that, we are however delighted about the new US embassy compound. Our mutual partnership dialogue and expanded bilateral assistance can only be a good thing. But I insist that Sri Lanka’s impressive gains were from China! That US is going to consolidate it is even better. We understand that this is not “global countering,” but decent rebalancing of the US dollar that will enhance and sustain us all. In America will we Trust! We understand you have a more intergrated and sophisticated view on global affairs than any other power, and set of powers put together.

    Any maritime issues you spak of is small potatoes, and so we won’t dwell on that too much. What we worry of course is on land issues, with the Northerners’ obsessions on Tamil heritage and Eelam heritage, and that they will not want to interact with the rest of the races of Sri Lanka, and instead use their residential land zones to build nuclear fascilities(complete with a bomb)- similar to what you say Iran is doing- to fulfill pure Dravidian heritage on sacred Lankan soil. And you will santion it all! Please reassure us of this not happening, where zoning issues will remain consolidated according to the right of Lankan unity and good democratic principles of Central Government dictates. Simply promise us that devolution to provinces cannot mean economic imbalance to our country’s economy due to claustaphobic forces from our nearest neighbour, Tamil Nadu and rest of South India.

    We thank you for your help during the tsumani ( we do not believe anything Hugo Chavez said abut the earthquake). Luv the green energy theme. We hope our ancient farming lands will remain, and our crops, animals and people will never be GMO’d.

    Buddu Saranai to the United States of America! Sadu! Sadu! Sadu!

  • 5
    4

    Despite there sweet words, US should not be trusted. Take a leaf from a Red Indian Chief: “White man speaks with a forked tongue”

  • 1
    3

    Did Karthika get all that training from USAID and got that garment factory job after January 8 2015?.

    Miracles do happen . Don’t they..

    Thank you Mr Ranil for getting the USAID and performing this miracle.

    May God bless you…

    • 1
      0

      Sumanasekara

      I personally witnessed few good projects in eastern part of the country – — partially funded by USAID to provide employment opportunities for ex-LTTE combatants

      One of them was to manufacture saw dust briquette – which are in high demand in upcountry tea industry – medium size venture – most of the employees were Rehabilitated Ex Hardcore LTTE combatants – 50% of the capital investment had come from USAID and the balance from a local Sinhale Buddhist entrepreneur –

      Second one was a polysack factory – again 50% from USAID – the balance from local Muslim entrepreneur – I think there also most of the workers were ex LTTE guys

      I think these projects partially funded by USAID should be appreciated as they provide these Ex LTTE guys to earn a somewhat decent living – which will prevent them from going back to militancy

  • 1
    2

    China will soon give a shot don’t jump too much …just wait…

    US was chased out from Philippines…Thailand from their base ….now planning to establish somewhere …this is why this circus with sweet words…

  • 4
    6

    So Uncle Kerry can help our inhabitants in four ways to attain peace , prosperity,and live with clean energy to attain Nirvana or reach Gods’ Kingdoms.

    Here they are in a nutshell.

    * Give women total control.

    * Take Army out and give Human Rights.

    * Let him send experts to help locals to carryout War Crime trials

    * Increase Democracy and put Judges and Lawyers in total control.

    How cool.

    Here are a few questions my elders want me to ask Kerry’s loyal supporters, because the former cant understand the lingo.

    Can Karthika’s sons or daughters if she gets some in future go to Medical School or at least a Uni if she is in uncle Kerry’s land. ?.

    Do they have as many women as us studying Medicine , Engineering Commerce & Banking?.

    Can our great majority, in fact close to 70 % of the inhabitant population live on USAID alone , because there is no mention of contributing to build Infrastructure, Hospitals, Power stations etc.

    May be uncle Kerry seriously believed our lovely FM’s briefings that we are now Mid Income and we have One Million ex Lankans with oodles of Dosh which they are going to bring in container loads to replace all what our other friendly nations have given in the past.

    What a lucky country we are now thanks to the Troika and Bodhi Sira.

    May Gods bless them and uncle Kerry as well.

  • 2
    2

    Sri Lanka had to pay an enormous price to secure peace. Where was the US for the last 30 years, while we were fighting against LTTE’s ruthless terrorism? And now, what moral authority do they think they have, to preach us about reconciliation?

    Having tried every means to bring Sri Lanka to its knees, finally, with the help of its partners in crime, the US managed to destabilize Sri Lanka by bringing about a regime change and creating a puppet government.

    • 3
      1

      Champa

      “Where was the US for the last 30 years, while we were fighting against LTTE’s ruthless terrorism?”

      Brilliant question. USA brought Hindian active involvement in this island and US always stood by this state irrespective which dictator ruled this island.

      US never went away.

      US supplied all sorts of intelligence, helped destroy LTTE’s warehouse ships, gave diplomatic cover to MR, supplied coastguard ship, helicopters, trained armed forces, etc, not just to finish off LTTE but the JVP as well.

      In case you were sucking thumb in those 1980s, here is an article which might help you to learn what US was doing since JR’s golden era.

      PENTAGON; WEINBERGER FLEXES DIPLOMATIC SKILLS
      By RICHARD HALLORAN
      Published: October 5, 1983
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      WASHINGTON, Oct. 4— On a journey around the world that ended here late last night, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger mixed military duties with diplomacy, rekindling speculation that he might like to be Secretary of State in a second Reagan Cabinet.

      In a conversation aboard his aircraft, Mr. Weinberger explained the military purpose of his 12-day trip to Japan, China, Pakistan and Italy, with brief forays into Sri Lanka, Egypt and the Vatican, saying, ”We defend the United States best outside the United States.”

      Beyond his military tasks, however, Mr. Weinberger undertook several diplomatic missions. At President Reagan’s request, he arranged for an exchange of visits between Prime Minister Zhao Ziyang of China and Mr. Reagan next year. At the other end of his trip, Mr. Weinberger met with Pope John Paul II, becoming the first American Secretary of Defense to meet with a Pope in the Vatican.

      Besides meeting with defense ministers, Mr. Weinberger also talked with the heads of government in China and Pakistan and the Foreign Ministers of Japan, Pakistan and Italy. On a stop for fuel in Sri Lanka, he took a helicopter to have tea with President J. R. Jayewardene. ‘As Long as It Gets Done’

      Asked about combining the military with the diplomatic, Mr. Weinberger said: ”I don’t think it makes an awful lot of difference who does what as long as it gets done. I’m not aware of any incursion into improper area or areas that are not appropriate.”

      Mr. Weinberger argued, ”Military matters can never be separated from diplomatic matters in this kind of a world.” Several other officials supported that contention, noting that the day of formal military alliances were gone for the most part and that the United States must depend on a patchwork of military relationships to deter or contain the Soviet Union.

      The Secretary suggested that he was acting on orders from Mr. Reagan, particularly in arranging the President’s trip to China, saying, ”One does what one is requested to do.” But he brushed aside a question about wanting to become Secretary of State.

      Nonetheless, Mr. Weinberger remains, so far as anyone in Washington can tell, among Mr. Reagan’s closest advisers, with his loyalty unquestioned. When the Reagan Administration was formed in 1981, Mr. Weinberger’s name was on the list for Secretary of State and he was known then to have wanted the position. He Seeks Loose Coalition

      In his present duties, Mr. Weinberger’s 25,000-mile trip around the southern periphery of the Soviet Union underscored his efforts to nurture a loose military coalition against the Soviet Union. He sought to persuade the Japanese to build up their military forces, to enlist the Chinese into vaguely defined strategic cooperation, to reassure the Pakistanis that Americans are reliable allies, and to thank the Italians for their support for new deployments of nuclear weapons despite strong political opposition.

      With all those differences, Mr. Weinberger sounded a consistent call throughout his trip, varying the notes only to fit his audience.

      Perhaps Mr. Weinberger’s staff summed it up best in a skit they put on toward the end of the journey. To the tune of ”When I Was Lad” from ”H.M.S. Pinafore,” they sang, ”I flew from here and I flew from there, pulling the tail of the Russian bear.” His Style Is Diplomatic

      Mr. Weinberger’s style on his trips abroad has always tended to the diplomatic side; on this journey it was even more so. He seemed genuinely to enjoy meeting people of different nations and negotiating. His aides say he relishes being involved in the big issues of the day.

      On this trip he seemed indefatigable. He endured long flights, working on great stacks of papers in his compartment, phoning the White House or the Pentagon, holding staff meetings in his flying office, taking time off only for an occasional nap.

      On the ground, Mr. Weinberger’s schedule was packed. The Chinese, in particular, drove him for long distances to see a skimpy infantry demonstration, an obsolete aircraft engine factory and a naval base. He managed, however, to find diplomatic things to say on each occasion.

      Moreover, Mr. Weinberger was a fervent sightseer. He tramped through the Forbidden City, climbed the Great Wall north of the capital, and followed a guide through an archeological dig near the ancient capital in Xian. In Pakistan, he flew by helicopter through the Khyber Pass to peer across the border into Soviet- occupied Afghanistan, then to watch soldiers of the famed Khyber Rifles whirl through a saber dance as Scottish bagpipes skirled. He Runs Into Town

      While his aircraft was being fueled along the way, Mr. Weinberger went off to meet with the President of Sri Lanka in Colombo and the Defense Minister of Egypt in Cairo instead of resting in the lounge at the airport.

      But Mr. Weinberger’s public posture has shifted. On his first trips abroad after becoming Secretary of Defense, Mr. Weinberger often spoke off the cuff and with vigor on a wide range of subjects. His candid briefings for the press produced sometimes startling headlines.

      On this trip, however, he was far more circumspect, delivering carefully modulated statements and dinner toasts except when excoriating the Russians. In his meetings with the press, he was equally guarded. Background briefings by aides were similarly restrained.

      In effect, his posture suggested diplomacy rather than militancy. For Mr. Weinberger to seek the senior Cabinet position as Secretary of State, moreover, might be a natural ambition for a politician who has already served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, and now as Secretary of Defense.

      http://www.nytimes.com/
      1983/10/05/us/pentagon-weinberger-
      flexes-diplomatic-skills.html

  • 1
    0

    John Kerry speech covers important points and he is too optimistic about the present Government.

    This is the reason when talks about reconciliation, he is not going in to history.

    He has to go deep into this matter, if he really thinks of people like Kathirgarmar, Neelan Thiruchelvam and others.

    If they are alive today, they would have got heart attack on what has happened and what is happening on reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

    Come on John Kerry, when you speak the truth, no need to be very an hypocrite. No need to please Mangala. One time he was also against the US interest in Sri Lanka.
    Be frank and go into the country history.

  • 1
    0

    Where were US then that LTTE launch war against People Sri lanka?
    Then Tamil Ruthless Terrorist outfit of LTTE and their ideology back by TNA totally hijack our democracy. While Terrorist entire Sri lanka nation and democracy by LTTE and TNA ,at that that time US ignored all acts of anarchist by Tamils Terrorists; US and UNO NO WHERE at that TIME !

    What was happen to US soft power?
    Did US has given any support to safeguarded ours valued democracy of Sri Lankan people at that time? NO at all.

    Currently US talk on so-called ‘war crime and human rights violation’ of against legally elected Government of Sri lanka? Since 2009 May!
    Is that the US democracy or Its Global hipcoracy of hegomoinism?
    US has policy of pivot Asia. Is that US intention of occupy our land and establish of Naval and Military base in Trincomalee Port?

    In fact NOT which an opposite to that US and their allies were assist and support Tamil- LTTE ruthless Terrorist by Morally, Financially and shelter has been provided under the so-called ‘human rights’ to during 30 war lunch by Tamil terrorist in New York, London, Paris Berlin, Rome and Geneva.

    All these cities become safe heaven to Tamil Terrorist Fund raised, Armed deals, Human trafficking and Smuggling, the Inside stocks market trading in Many stocks markets London and New York Paris and Berlin. The Credit card faurdas become most lucrative business and quick money earned by Tamils Terrorists in Western World key cities in mainly USA UK, France, Norway, Germany, Australian, Canada & New Zealand. This all over the world undermine political and democracy hegemony of US and mainly UK.

    The US so-called democracy keep blind eye on what was happening her on their soil. US is back FREE hand Tamil Terrorist and provided quite sufficient room to maneuvering Tamil Politics in Sri lanka as well as other part of Globe.

    US did not accept that they simply realized that fact they undermined Sri lanka’s sovereignty and democracy at all.

    US has ugly history, that their accepted values of democracy destroy by themselves by launching aggression other independence countries and occupy other nations, that since after end of second world war 1945. During war against Tamil terrorist 30 US fully back LTTE by secret mode of operandi.

    Kerry can not denied fact that US Model is losing certain of its luster. It’s not just the US MODEL OF HEGEMONY CAPITALISM did not provide sustained development and growth.

    It’s that beginning to realized that majority people of Sri Lankan have not benefited from and development such a US model is not politically and democractally attractive. In our people sensing too, the politically corruptions of US style of political democracy rift with the infulance of special interests of occupy our soil.

    We have witness last 100 days so-called ‘ good governances’ by UNP of Ranil W… CBK and MS are lackeys of US ,how they run their economies democratic institutions like Parliament, Judiciary Independence, fiscal rectitude and Central Bank Bond inside Trading and balance budgets the type of Sarsdiyal of Fiscal policies. Now UNP CBK and MS their democracy credibility, Rule of law and ‘good governances’ has gone once and for all.

    We are witness to have a political system in which ONE PARTY tries to disenfranchise the majority People ,in which restore which money buys politicians, political parties and policies that reinforced the new authorities of rule of governance to replace real values of Democracy after 2015 January Election led by Puppet regime of MS led Presidency in Sri lanka .

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