26 October, 2020

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Sri Lanka’s Pledges On Transparency Comparable With Obama’s “In The Face Of Doubt, Openness Prevails”

By Atul Keshap

Ambassador Atul Keshap

Ambassador Atul Keshap

As you proceed with your discussions on the Right to Information, your work will send clear signals of Sri Lanka’s commitment to reform and good governance. You are truly fortunate to serve your citizenry at a historic and golden moment when the vast majority of Sri Lankans want a better and more positive future, free of war and racism, and marked by mutual respect, harmony, democracy, transparency, and prosperity.

It is also your good luck to enjoy an opportunity after many decades of strife to send a powerful message to the international community that Sri Lanka is truly back on the global stage, a model democracy with innovative solutions to post-conflict transitions, and dedicated to fulfilling its UN commitments.

*Remarks by Ambassador Atul Keshap – Right to Information (RTI) Interactive Dialogue Launch – May 16, 2016 – Water’s Edge Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Honorable Minister, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen,

It is an honor to address this gathering as you discuss the creation of a Right to Information bill designed to enhance citizens’ access to transparency and insight about their government.

Any democracy requires that government officials be accountable to the citizens who elected them, and that accountability requires transparency. Your discussions today reflect a growing consensus in the global community – as reflected in the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – for countries to “ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms.”

This year, ladies and gentlemen, the United States will celebrate the 50-year anniversary of our own Freedom of Information Act, set up to ensure our citizens have the right to monitor what their government does. Its passage was not easy. First championed by a lawmaker from California in 1955, he could not find enough support until years later, in 1966. And even upon enactment, it was opposed by every U.S. federal agency and department.

But what we have learned over these years is that transparency leads to better governance, a government more truly by the people and for the people, as enshrined in our constitution. And our version of the Right to Information has continued to evolve with amendments and improvements to better reflect our unique national circumstances and changes in communications technologies.

The bottom line is that we understand information maintained by the federal government is a national asset that needs to be readily accessible by the public. As President Obama stated on his first day on the job, “In the face of doubt, openness prevails.”

Just as President Obama made government transparency one of his first priorities, I am also encouraged by similar pledges from President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, and other top government officials in Sri Lanka. Certainly, the last elections have shown that Sri Lanka’s voters consider government transparency a priority.

As Secretary Kerry promised during his visit a year ago, the United States will “stand by your side” as you make progress on these important good governance reforms and human rights commitments.

As reflected in our increased cooperation over the past 16 months, our diplomatic relations are at an all-time high. Our development cooperation in 2015 and 2016 totaled almost $40 million per annum, and the administration has requested a similar amount in fiscal year 2017. As a result of your commitment to good governance and ruling justly, the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is working with Sri Lanka to design a threshold program that can potentially unlock millions in additional assistance to boost economic growth.

In February, our governments launched the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue, which expands and reinforces our whole-of-government cooperation in development, governance, energy, trade, and security. We also had our first ship visit to Colombo in eleven years in March.

Through our increasingly close partnership, we are exploring new avenues to strengthen Sri Lanka’s economy. In April, we hosted the U.S.-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) Council Meeting in Washington, which will further intensify our trade and business relations. We have launched programs to train Sri Lankan business leaders and government officials in best practices for the tourism industry, a sector with great promise for expansion. Experience has shown that businesses and investors – both foreign and domestic – prefer governance systems that are transparent and where officials are held accountable for their decisions and actions. We are finalizing efforts to lend expertise on public financial management reforms over the next two years.

Our initiatives are also helping to establish a stable post-conflict society across Sri Lanka. U.S. Agency for International Development-supported projects help strengthen the rule of law, build a robust civil society, and strengthen democracy and prosperity. At the request of your government, we are now supporting reforms through assistance focused on public financial management, the Elections Commission, and the Parliament.

All of these build upon the decades of steadfast U.S. support designed to help create jobs and prosperity, ensure food security and access to clean water, support women’s livelihoods and well-being, and help citizens recover from natural disasters.

The task of strengthening good governance anywhere in the world is never easy, but enshrining citizens’ Right to Information in legislation will be an important step in the right direction. Such legislation will give Sri Lankans the tools to make their country a better place, and prevent any return to an era of secrecy and a lack of accountability.

These are the promises your government made to its voters before the elections last year. You understood that a preponderant majority of well-meaning Sri Lankans want to transition to an era of reconciliation, unity, peace, democracy, and rule of law. I applaud your resolve to help Sri Lanka restore its standing in the international community, including, notably, through historic co-sponsorship of the UN Resolution that pledges Sri Lanka to tread the difficult but essential path toward reconciliation, truth, justice, and non-recurrence of conflict for all.

There are other important decisions before you, the leaders of your people, including some that will require principled leadership and determination in order to set this country firmly on a path towards greater and lasting peace and prosperity. The effort to make the Constitution more fair and inclusive, to reflect and celebrate the diversity of Sri Lanka, to ensure equal rights and opportunity for all Sri Lankans, to empower citizens to achieve their full potential, reflects a courageous, positive, and principled vision.

As you, acting as your citizens’ elected representatives, seize this rare and historic moment to effect lasting and positive change, please know that the people and government of the United States stand with you and will walk by your side as friends.

Some of these needed reforms are not easy, but the new atmosphere of peace and democracy in Sri Lanka affords you a precious opportunity to effect needed change. Replacing the outdated Prevention of Terrorism Act with a new national security legal architecture can help not only prevent future abuses, but also ensure stronger defenses against modern threats to Sri Lanka, and to it democracy and citizens’ rights.

All of you understand the heart-breaking need to create a credible and effective institution to bring truth, resolution, and justice to those families who lost loved ones on both sides of the war, and to foster a lasting climate of reconciliation and brotherhood after so many years of conflict.

Your government has launched a discussion with ordinary citizens and civil society to determine the best way forward, and we look forward to steady progress toward healing these wounds, including the establishment of an Office of Missing Persons, and other helpful steps.

As you proceed with your discussions on the Right to Information, your work will send clear signals of Sri Lanka’s commitment to reform and good governance. You are truly fortunate to serve your citizenry at a historic and golden moment when the vast majority of Sri Lankans want a better and more positive future, free of war and racism, and marked by mutual respect, harmony, democracy, transparency, and prosperity.

It is also your good luck to enjoy an opportunity after many decades of strife to send a powerful message to the international community that Sri Lanka is truly back on the global stage, a model democracy with innovative solutions to post-conflict transitions, and dedicated to fulfilling its UN commitments.

Thank you once again for inviting me to speak before you. The United States looks forward to opportunities to provide more support, bring more resources, and share more expertise in your efforts to restore Sri Lanka’s rightful place as a leader in the international community, one that contributes to the global economy; promotes human rights, accountability, transitional justice, and democracy; and that helps to uphold international law.

I wish you the best of luck for a meaningful dialogue today, and the successful passage of this important legislation, a key element on the path towards good governance.

Thank you very much.

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Latest comments

  • 21
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    ” when the vast majority of Sri Lankans want a better and more positive future, free of war and racism, and marked by mutual respect, harmony, democracy, transparency, and prosperity.”

    It’s exactly what Harry Truman (democrat) took away from the island.

    America the colony of gun slingers had no business at India or Ceylon to hand over 1 million kilometres sq. to the Immigrant Muslims. The native faiths have been are still Buddhist and Hindu. This was American golden handshake for the 600k soldiers who lost their lives fighting for the British Raj from Brussels to Burma.
    American Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Albert Einstein.

    Desai your junior has you as a toy boy under Kerry- her only qualification was she canvassed for both Obama and Kerry and now for loser Hillary from parent’s corner shop.

    Under your administration USAID built and granted garment factories in the north to 3 sellers of garments exclusively to USA market. !. Gujarati, Muslim, Italian (offshore account) where is the race relations?

    Your administrative clock is clicking as November is nearing. Neither Richard Verma, Nisha Desai, are recognised by India as ambassadors from USA- they are ignored as the ones that got away. Even more after cavity check which was done away with in 1968 by UK.

    Obama was a farce. No president of the United States has interfered in the Judiciary as much as Obama and Hillary have. Outgoing District Court of Columbia Judge, the Judge in the Trinco case.

    So even his 2nd best bet a republican nominee has to wait for Trump to decide on Judge Garland even his tears won’t console the public.

    pack up and Go American. You have really feathered the american nest for the 2nd subic bay Colombo Port city away from phillipines. Diego Garcia with 7 marines and umteen number of Filipina and Sinhala orderlies is proof enough.

    • 2
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      What do you expect him to say?

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        Nothing like the Buddha emptiness!

        One thing that I like to happen is Trump keeping just this very promise.

        ” We print our money (moneda franca) and we are indebted to the tune of $17 trillion. I will write it all off.”

        The 17 trillion is owed as internal debt $15 trillion i.e. to the 556 billionaires of USA and just about $2 trillion as external debt to China etc.

        That is how we stop sale of arms and ammunition that kills and CIA overdoing its stupidity.

    • 2
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      Ambassador Atul Keshap

      RE: Sri Lanka’s Pledges On Transparency Comparable With Obama’s “In The Face Of Doubt, Openness Prevails”

      Transparency and Openness is good.

      However, how do you deal with Ignorant Citizens? American Citizens? Sri Lankan Citizens?

      Anatomy of American Ignorance

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpi7qro4y4g

      Its a full time occupation trying to unravel the reasons Americans remain in the dark. What seems ( to any intelligent outside observer ) like sheer stupidity and arrogance is in reality an almost inescapable indoctrination process that begins before you are born, and ends some time after your dead. It is a system so complex and all encompassing that few can recognize any reality outside of it at all, and that of course is its intended purpose.

      The astonishing amount of rage demonstrated during the course of this fallacious healthcare debate has exposed a great many unfortunate realities about the United States. This country’s inherent ability to avoid the truth about its own origins and behaviors has become increasingly apparent during the first six months of this presidency, and ( as a result of the continued collective denial ) there is no chance of it ending any time soon.

      Its generally not hard to find examples of the totality of mind control in this country, but last week produced a couple of rare examples. Arlen Specter’s Town Hall meeting was evidently an important test case for the organizers of disingenuous dissent, and we got to see a variety of the false arguments. Just look at the two most obvious incidents…

      Furthermore 1 in 4 Americans think that the Sun goes around the Earth. How Many Sri Lankans think so? The information was transparent since Copernicus in 1543!

      1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

      http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

    • 0
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      [Edited out]

  • 5
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    This guy is going to get a boat load of shit. He still do not know how popular America is among local Sri Lankans. Jai Athul mind your own business. Next election you will see how democracy can be a pain in the right royal [Edited out]

  • 6
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    Nice speech. Sri Lanka does need a bill on this.

    As Americans we demand a right to know why the 28 pages of the 9/11 commission were censored. We do have a FIA and can sue or file a request under FIA. As a Tax paying American citizen, we have a right to know why you are covering up for Saudis and their involvement in 9/11.

    If you recall Atul Betey, 15 of the 19 hijacker terrorists were Saudis and NOT one was an Iraqi. And you have been too young but recall that we Americans secretly airlifted the BinLaden family members out of the USA even before we could fly after all flights were grounded. WHY?

    Why did we go to war based upon LIES and create chaos that made matters worse?

    Do we even want to go back to war crimes during the Vietnam war(it looks like you were way too young back then ) but FACTS are facts comrade Keshap. Your own boss John Kerry admitted to war crimes. NOT ONE was hauled up in courts. Kissinger and Nixon launched secret airraids that killed and maimed tens of thousands and (maybe nearly half a million) in Cambodia and they HID it from Congress.


    There are NO countries free from racism. USA is a glaring example. The black-white gap will not be bridged. Things are bad now as far as emotional rage against each other.

    Trump is attracting new voters and millions vote for him and support the idea of a wall. Your preaching is based on a false premise. Laws protect people NOT people protect people. Sri Lanka needs LAWS and fiercely independent judicial officers and police. But to say a society “free of racism” is a lot of hogwash. Racial prejudices are human conditions and there are MILLIONS of unenlightened insecure racists in America who are now flocking to the polls to vote for Trump.

    Here is the part of the US constitution that is great. The FIRST AMENDMENT.

    The amendment as adopted in 1791 reads as follows:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Sri Lanka does need a bill on this. But PLEASE do not play dismembering games like you did in Libya, Iraq and Syria. Obama and Hillary are directly responsible for the spread of ISIS terrorist fascists in Libya now. Samantha Power and her gungho interference policies FAILED. We all know Trincomalee and geo political games are critical in the face of Chinese influence. So I applaud the fact that you did not create chaos in SL and achieved your purpose via democracy. But PLEASE DO NOT overthrow governments like we used to do during the Cold War. We even overthrew a democratic regime in Iran in 1953, Allende, and so many places. Sri Lanka deserves at least 50 years of peace and non-violent reconciliation and reconstruction. Play the good role but do not interfere with the people’s will. Remember what happened in Gaza?

    • 7
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      “”As Americans we demand a right to know why the 28 pages of the 9/11 commission were censored. We do have a FIA and can sue or file a request under FIA. As a Tax paying American citizen, we have a right to know why you are covering up for Saudis and their involvement in 9/11.””

      Read the act FIA and its limitations. They need not disclose as much as you like it- UK is same. only a whistleblower can do it at their own risk.

      “”there are MILLIONS of unenlightened insecure racists in America who are now flocking to the polls to vote for Trump. “”

      Buddha (wisdom) has enlightened you to think they are unenlightened??

      The greatest happiness is in the movement of the bowels. They know how they feel when whole towns have to be evacuated when there are no jobs and in come the indians (the new breed of techies) to take over those homes because only they can afford it. What do they do at the end- Buy a property divide it into four and sell 4 homes- where are the utilities for these newly dense places which once were lovely gardens to look at?? Man your punjabi tappay wont do here.

      Religion is the cause of Lankan suffering. Buddhist + Muslim vs Rest.
      Thats our history from the day of the Bandas and more so the closure of Suez Canal.
      Keep holding that Palestine placard as if we don’t know how corrupt the local politicians are- the money has to bypass the credit companies (Master Visa etc)that includes the black too.
      The world has always been ruled by passion not by rational ants.Solomon was Jesus was Confucius was.

      Trump is any day better than a frightened deer in the park.

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      As Americans, we reserve our God-Given right to hypocrisy, bigotry, racism and ignorance and will drop bombs on ANYONE at ANYTIME to preserve those rights

      We also reserve the right to preach to you.

      God Bless you and God Bless The United States of America !

      • 0
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        maalumiris

        “As Americans, we reserve our God-Given right to hypocrisy, bigotry, racism and ignorance and will drop bombs on ANYONE at ANYTIME to preserve those rights “

        As Americans, we reserve our God-Given right to…

        Is America This Stupid?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNspEpMK7FE

        Anatomy of American Ignorance

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rpi7qro4y4g

        10 STUPID Questions I’ve Been Asked Since Moving To America

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px2Ga-MZG_Q

        CNN: How Stupid Are Americans?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0efLWdJWk4

        Just How Stupid Are Americans? What the data show

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhcnEQnWYDA

        Americans are ignorant says Michael Moore

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Zfe20Z45D0

        Stupid in America

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx4pN-aiofw

        Are religious Americans really this stupid?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wifUXxsOPMA

        1 In 4 Americans Thinks The Sun Goes Around The Earth, Survey Says

        http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2014/02/14/277058739/1-in-4-americans-think-the-sun-goes-around-the-earth-survey-says

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          Amarasiri

          Is America This Stupid?

          I think you know the answer to this one !!! :D

          What is a cause of constant wonder to me is the complete and utter state of fear in which Americans live under, every day of their lives.

          They fear each other, Foreigners, Blacks, the Police, their neighbors, people in the next state, Mexicans and Muslims and a myriad other things.

          You have to wonder how have they come to this sorry state.

          • 2
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            maalumiris

            “They fear each other, Foreigners, Blacks, the Police, their neighbors, people in the next state, Mexicans and Muslims and a myriad other things.”

            They are just like us. The only difference is the size.

            We fear each other, our own shadow, foreigners, LTTE, the Police, the armed forces, our neighbors, people in the next state, Indians and Muslims and a myriad of other things.

            Would you wonder how have they come to this sorry state?

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              Native Vedda

              Fear:
              A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety
              of someone:

              I think not

              We dont go around claiming to be the bulwark of freedom and the most powerful nation on earth

              We are just a bunch of uncivilised third world Natives, who cannot understand Democracy and Freedom if it stepped up and slapped us about the face.

              Sri Lanka not in the habit of gifting democracy and freedom to all and sundry, especially if they have oil

              Tamils, Sinhalas, Muslims, Burghers and Malays not in the habit of shooting each other up and claiming ‘self-defence’

              We dont have a national pastime of mass-shootings of civilians at cinemas, schools and shopping malls

              Our cops rarely if ever, shoot to kill.

              We do however, like the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, have our diluted version of the KKK, albeit a little watery, wearing orange robes instead of white sheets

              Fear:
              A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety
              of someone:

              Plagiarism:
              The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own: Sometimes by way of cut-and-paste

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                maalumiris

                “Fear: A feeling of anxiety concerning the outcome of something or the safety of someone:”

                Paranoia:

                A mental condition characterized by delusions of persecution, unwarranted jealousy, or exaggerated self-importance, typically worked into an organized system. It may be an aspect of chronic personality disorder, of drug abuse, or of a serious condition such as schizophrenia in which the person loses touch with reality.

                Google.

                “We dont go around claiming to be the bulwark of freedom and the most powerful nation on earth”

                You do.

                “We are just a bunch of uncivilised third world Natives, who cannot understand Democracy and Freedom if it stepped up and slapped us about the face.”

                However you claim to practice a vibrant democracy since 1948 . Maybe a sham one at that.

                “Sri Lanka not in the habit of gifting democracy and freedom to all and sundry, especially if they have oil”

                Those who have oil do not seem to want to practice democracy modeled on our own one. However we love to export our women to those countries to earn foreign exchange so that the men could have jolly good time with imported luxury stuff such as scotch, gasguzzlers, arms and ….

                “Tamils, Sinhalas, Muslims, Burghers and Malays not in the habit of shooting each other up and claiming ‘self-defence’”

                On the contrary they love good domestic wars for peace and periodical riots to teach others as they have nothing better to do in their life. They thrive on conflicts one after another.

                “We dont have a national pastime of mass-shootings of civilians at cinemas, schools and shopping malls”

                However you do herd people into a corner, against walls, jungles, prisons, on the streets, in the fields and temples, ………. shoot them and burn them all with impunity, a price worth paying to keep the undemocratic state intact and corrupt politicians in power. In that periodical human sacrifice you don’t mind paying the merchants of death whatever price they demand for the supply of killing machines.

                You are also not ashamed of burning down library.

                “Our cops rarely if ever, shoot to kill.”

                No no you can buy them before they pull the trigger. But then we have lost count of number of people who lost their life in detention.

                “We do however, like the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave, have our diluted version of the KKK, albeit a little watery, wearing orange robes instead of white sheets”

                Hope you don’t encourage new fashion, a saffron hood and another saffron grand duke.

                “Plagiarism: The practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own: Sometimes by way of cut-and-paste”

                Agreed, only when you failed to acknowledge the author or source. I believe you do know the difference.

  • 3
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    As always the American talks shit that his government pushes down the throat of other nations. But is not practiced by its own administration. Go fly a kite!
    We are more interested to know if your political establishment is capable of conducting a fair election. So far your Democrats have shown when it comes to vote counting you have a different maths- one vote for Bernie Sanders is five for ‘Killary’ Clinton.
    So before you preach, go practice transparency Obama administration failed to demonstrate. Clinton email scandal is just one example. To list them takes time and you are too deft to grasp it!

  • 3
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    Atul Keshap another [Edited out] trying to hoax our establishment by trying to sell his bull. If the Obama administration has been transparent and adhering to Freedom of Information Act – FoIA, then explain why the US Federal government is not willing to divulge information leading to trade agreements and treaties such as TPP and TTIP? why are Keystone pipeline and corporate oil agreements been classified and are kept secret behind closed doors? where is the so called openness? Several journalist, activist, reformist and academic researchers in the USA have informed me that when information was requested under the FoIA laws according to the FCC (Federal Communication Commission) policies, the agencies and Federal Government withholding that information refused to divulge this information. If you or anyone think I am making this up, then go ask Senator Ralph Nader, one of the foremost attorneys and consumer rights activist in the USA and also Senator Bernie Sanders. What cannot be practices by the bald eagle is now being sold to the Sri Lankan Chiclets as if everything from the USA is kosher. This is a HOAX!

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      Nailed it Wal gemba.
      Ambassador Keshap is a funny bugger! in the name of “Openness” and “Transparency”
      1. the US even shielded the inquiry of a US president’s assassination for several decades with the JFK assassination files.
      2. More recently the 9/11 commission report
      3. Toxicity of drinking water and the killing of inhabitants in Flint, Michigan
      4. Releasing illegal wire taps and espionage information after violating the US constitution and Bill of Rights by infringing on Muslims, their places of worship, bugging their vehicles and movements in New York, New Jersey, Illinois and California. The US central government and several states that are facing class action law suits of civil liberties organizations are in contempt of court after resisting to release documents even after summons from the prosecution.

      Are these the “openess” you are referring to Keshap?

  • 2
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    Court has to order desegregation. WTF dude? Sri lanka never had racist laws forcing tamils to back of buses. It’s biggest problem were laws passed for reverse affirmative action that deprived tamils of a good education and language policies that further estranged 3 communities of the same ethnicity but different languages because tamils refused to learn the language of the majority and the majority refused to compromise and did away with the link language.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/17/us/cleveland-mississippi-school-desegregation/index.html

    Keshap bahia this is 62 years AFTER laws were passed. This is reality in the deep deep south. Black and white shall never meet. Mississippi is about the worst and Louisiana comes close.

    • 6
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      “Court has to order desegregation.” “WTF dude?”

      Hey Babuva, you are thoppi karaya!
      integration calls for desegregation.

      Everyone knows and you admit there is no `integration` especially after sinhala buddhist SirMao and convenient immigrant Muslim Badiudin Mahmud took away the English medium of instruction and had it for immigrants only i.e muslims and chetty etc- 1970
      As if that was not enough the jealousy of the lazy baila loving southern sinhala buddhist had SirMao import onions chilies and dump them. The northern youngsters lost their means of survival- your idea was to make them coolies like the indian tea workers. Kiyapan kollo hari kiyala (admit the truth you don’t need to think and spin)
      Necessity is the mother of invention- when there were no imports they maintained their vehicles in factory condition.
      Meanwhile we were supposed to have rice from the moon from SirMao Ratwatta. We only saw the poor looking for food in the bins of colombo 7.

      USA is a settlers nation Raleigh had his pickings after Columbus who carried the first slaves- then came ethnicity for other whites, and subsequently race.
      Indian professionals have been resident in the USA over hundred years. Chennai Brahman Mechanical Engineers I know of from 1920 only getting stronger by the generation.They don’t have the problems you point out neither in UK.
      Yes Blacks and Bengali’s (see the Islam wrapped in it?) have joined up to scream bulls**t.They called big mouth SWRD wog so that was then and he took revenge in 1956 from his own race but not his ethnic.-
      Did he come from Banda Island – I am sure he did and changed like a weather cock to cling to power having tasted it from his VOC masters.
      CBK speaks like you- ratte bedande yanva- (they divide county) while she alone is dividing, sinking the nation and making hay via the family friends, the all weather immigrant muslim community set up by mum SirMao.

      Are you school teacher implying you are a settler/immigrant in the island??
      Or the traditional Shape shape when you have to face the music and hide under a woman’s skirt saying `sovereignty`.
      We know how to handle the Yankees you don’t need to butt them but answer the question about you and your kind on the hill.
      If you do not come clean there is no way you will feel happy. Its like a confession so you will not mass murder innocent country men who differ from you culturally because you chose to be so. Mahawamse 1/2 man 1/2 animal and a language that is still incomplete and borrowed from east and west to suit all south indian and bengali genes.
      Terko fatte tak Gali de na chaiye (you need a good bit of aunty misso)

  • 2
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    Fact : our probable future President, YOUR FORMER DISASTROUS BOSS, did not act transparent or in an accountable manner. Now the FBI is investigating her. Y’all screwed up Libya. Some of us who understand world history and geo politics predicted this. Samantha Power lied and exaggerated and now Libya is f**ked. Thanks

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    [Edited out]

  • 1
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    Susan Rice, Samantha Power and Ms. Desai are political appointees. Ms. Desai is a GUJARATI from the famous “Patel Motel” Gujju camp in India. She went to UVA in Virginia. She campaigned and Samantha Power was a total Obama acolyte and even called Hillary Clinton a “monster” during the contentious Democratic Primaries.

    Samantha seems to have a big unhealthy crush on Obama. That is why she referred to him as “our great President” yikes.
    Samantha Power
    She is a monster, too – that is off the record – she is stooping to anything,” Power was quoted as saying.

    “You just look at her and think, ‘Ergh,’ ” Power also said. “But if you are poor and she is telling you some story about how Obama is going to take your job away, maybe it will be more effective. The amount of deceit she has put forward is really unattractive.”

    As for Mr. Keshap, he is a US State Department career professional with great experiences and has good credentials. Power was the architect of the Right to Intervene doctrine and really screwed up/f***ed up Libya.

    Ms. N.D Desai is a naturalized American meaning she was born outside the USA but seems highly educated. Nisha Desai Biswal, the recently confirmed assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs, has named Atul Keshap, until recently the U.S. State Department Senior Official for Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, to be her new deputy. Indians in America, whether they are in academia(some are pretty damn thin skinned petty shits as I experienced in Academia) or any top profession really stick together for their kith and kin unlike the Sri Lankan diaspora in the USA. Indians even in academic journals side and stack the boards with their people even if a professor does not have a single publication in that particular journal they get favored by the vast very secretive Indian network of academics in Universities. It is a well known. you do not have to be published in an A1 journal to become an SE in a journal. And in the Indian community the Tamils and other S.Indians are totally segregated by social life and practice from the Hindi speaking Indians. I saw this first hand. It was effing laughable. They only talk to each other in English at the Temples or other functions.

    So it is likely she pushed for Mr. Keshap to be appointed. But the problem with Ms. Biswal is that she is Indian and likely to be extremely biased towards India and look down on Sri Lanka. One cannot tell but my experience is that it possible. I hear Mr. Keshap is very affable and you can see his outreach efforts are very different than the previous fellows. Sometimes he crosses the boundary but it does not seem as arrogant and high handed as previous chaps.

    Sri Lanka needs a FIA for sure. But it does not need a nation that failed to practice preaching. Senator Bob Kerrey of Nebraska was a war hero, a NAVY SEAL and lost a leg in war in Vietnam, but he admitted much after he left office that he led a party of SEALS to massacre innocent villagers in a Hamlet in Vietnam. Secretary and former Senator John Kerry stupidly said Sri Lanka was at war with Tamils. Such deliberate distortions come as a result of the information they are given and likely to come from Indian Americans and other officials who prepare briefs for him. If Laxman Kadirgamar were the FM, he would have stopped that chap from continuing further with that sort of wild allegation. John Kerry testified about mass murders in Vietnam. I doubt if Atul or the Indian Americans have even heard of MyLai and the Government COVERUPS.

    But having said that Sri Lanka needs the US in order to survive. It needs the US markets for its exports. So whether Sri Lanka likes it or not, it has to shake its head in agreement.

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    In 1955 Interracial marriages were still illegal in Many Southern States including Atul’s homestate of Virginia. He may have not been allowed to marry his wife. Moot point because he was not born back then.

    It was ONLY in 1968 the US Supreme Court ruled those laws illegals. LAWs against blacks sitting together existed while the FIA was passed. Black people were assassinated, terrorised and bombed, dogs unleashed and firehoses used in the 1960s too.

    SO FIA is one LAW but there was so many unChristian sinful laws against humanity that were part of US system. Did you know Atul that the US military was NOT desegregated until 1948 and even during the Vietnam war Blacks and Whites while fighting and dying together were housed separately?

    Did you know that to this date most neighborhoods are still usually defacto segregated by race in many states (and income, but that is a rational criteria)? My best friend, a senior scientist(who has 7 US patents) in 1990s went to buy a house in Baton Rouge and he being brown like Atul was shown all nice houses in his price range(300,000 USD) but the REALTOR who was nominated by his company a giant multilnational chemical company said “we dont sell these houses to Ni****s”. So that is custom and racism by practice no? Wake up buddy boy. Racism is prevalent in Sri Lanka, India and USA as well all nations SAD.

    Do you know a black man I met at a Black Bar(yes in most places in the south except big cities that is how it is) said the following.

    “Do you know the difference between Northern and Southern racism? In the north the white man don’t care how high in life a “n” gets in life as long as he ain’t got to close to him; in the South white man don’t care how close a blackman gets to him as long as he never gets too high-up in life”. Centuries of prejudice. That is why you see northern liberals like the Kennedys, and all rich white folks live in secluded defacto and by tradition segregated areas. Not sure if Samantha Power ever went to an integrated school here either.


    Dr. Condi Rice, President Bush’s top officer spoke of how hard it was to be black in the South too. Here is a verbatim extract from what she said.

    Rice says that as a girl, she was expected to take on any educational opportunity that arose. “I would even say that my parents, and their friends in our community, thought of education as a kind of armor against racism,” she says. “If you were well-educated and you spoke well, then there was only so much ‘they’ could do to you.”

    In this case, the “they” were white racists, Rice says.

    Even with a strong education, “you had to be twice as good to be accepted,” Rice says. But even in an unfair climate, Rice was taught not to be a victim.

    “That was a sin,” she says, “to consider yourself victimized, or not able to control your destiny, or your fate — that was the one cardinal sin in our community.”

    In her book, Rice describes Birmingham of that era as “eclipsing every other big American city in the ugliness of its racism.”

    Rice with fellow students at St. Mary’s Academy.i
    “The rigorous academics at St. Mary’s Academy prepared me well for college,” Rice writes. “Life also revolved around trying to attract the boys at our brother schools, Mullen Prep and Regis High.”
    St. Mary’s Academy, 1969-1970 Yearbook via Random House
    For instance, Rice recalls that the presence of police was a bad sign — and often a dangerous one.

    The situation “exploded” in 1963, she says, with riots, police abuse — and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in September, when four young girls were killed. One of them, Denise McNair, was just a few years older than Rice, and had been a playmate of hers.

    “And if you were a child in Birmingham, you knew then that this was not a safe place,” she says.

    Even a childhood visit to see Santa Claus could become a racially charged event, Rice says. As the Rice family waited in line, her father, John, noticed that the white man portraying Santa was keeping black kids at arm’s length, while putting white children on his knee.

    source:http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=130425923

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      “”In 1955 Interracial marriages were still illegal in Many Southern States including Atul’s homestate of Virginia. He may have not been allowed to marry his wife. Moot point because he was not born back then. “”

      You are not a nomad to understand culture but you are hiding in the hills and trying to sing like poem like TB Illangaratna. In the Uk the pews are empty the councils are open for marriage, but the partners are many and they have children – because of tax laws.

      Refer Thomas Jefferson and his coloured partner then the siblings- Law is for the books and what happens on the ground is the truth. American constitution and its laws are not a constant like in the UK therefore we progress.

      In the United States, social and legal conventions developed over time by whites that classified individuals of mixed ancestry into simplified racial categories,(Gossett 1997) but these were always porous.But, the inclusion of mulatto was an explicit acknowledgement of mixed race. In addition, before the Civil War, Virginia and some other states had legal definition of “whiteness” that provided for people being classified as white if no more than 1/8 black. (For example, if not born into slavery, Thomas Jefferson’s children by his slave Sally Hemings would have been classified as legally white, as they were 7/8 white by ancestry. Three of the four surviving children entered white society as adults, and their descendants have identified as white.) In the late 18th and 19th centuries, people of mixed race often migrated to frontiers where societies were more open, and they might be accepted as white if satisfying obligations of citizenship.[19]

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    On Obama administration’s transparency that Keshap is touting, the grade would be a C or B minus.\\

    Here is an excerpt (source provided at the end)
    Whistle-blowers. Unauthorized disclosures by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and others have led the Obama administration to an uncompromising stance, insisting that these disclosures revealed important secrets. Many open-government activists and information policy experts have disagreed or demanded more evidence.

    The Obama administration also has prosecuted more leakers under the Espionage Act than all other administrations combined. Although the increase may have resulted partly from the discrete decisions of prosecutors as well as improved detection technologies, it also results from the choices of senior officials to prosecute leakers under a law targeting spies.

    Of course, this overview of Obama’s record leaves out many things — the emerging controversy involving Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (and Chuck Hagel’s) e-mails, when the Environmental Protection Agency twice suppressed evidence that fracking can contaminate well water, and when the administration ordered government scientists not to share estimates of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. There are other examples, all puzzling in light of Obama’s promise to “guarantee scientific integrity throughout the executive branch.”

    They just use different ways to classify documents etc. Here is a article for you to read. Those of you who are involved in good governance and part of the more liberal wing of this regime please read the article in its entirety.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2015/03/16/has-obama-delivered-the-most-transparent-administration-in-history/

    All I can say is US State Department officials are professionals and they are patriotic and capable, they can and will SPIN anything. That is what Diplomats do; They have to lie if they have to on behalf of their nations, not go around punching fellow diplomats or getting shit faced drunk or doing wheeler dealer things, enrich themselves or just not bother doing their homework. Keshap is a professional career diplomat and a smart man. Sri Lankans should not be gullible in thinking he will love Sri Lanka more than he loves US. Not gonna happen. As it should be correctly. He represents HIS regime. If that regime becomes a Trump one(one would hope not despite the absolutely nauseating D candidate whose foreign secretary stint was an abysmal failure) then and If Trump decides to “bomb the shit out of ” any nation, Keshap, Biswal, Blake etc will do a fantastic job of SPINNING it. Comprende? They will say Trump saw “imminent threats in some cave in Tajikistan and that ISIS was breeding cows inside a cave in Turkeminstan and that after bombing the shit out of them it was all collateral damage because the weapons used were precision weapons designed to deliver only combatant casualties. Comprende?

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      “then and If Trump decides to “bomb the shit out of ” any nation, Keshap, Biswal, Blake etc will do a fantastic job of SPINNING it. Comprende? They will say Trump saw “imminent threats in some cave in Tajikistan and that ISIS was breeding cows inside a cave in Turkeminstan and that after bombing the shit out of them it was all collateral damage because the weapons used were precision weapons designed to deliver only combatant casualties. Comprende? “

      Tu no comprendo por qué??

      Back in the 70’s when we saw SPAN magazine therein we saw what it was to be selected to as white house staff foreign and civil- It was centre spread of the all youngsters achievement. This is what and beyond that we aimed for at campus.

      “I think Trump is nuts, but I’d love to have him as a president to see what happens,” ‘Make America Great Again’- Trump.

      you do not play with scot/german he already has the elusive friends of asia and that itself is a trump. If he has to clear he would clear the sh*t without the folk you mention. Remember the best Desi american super brain Vijay Singh split at Colombo where he was stationed – what a waste because he did not believe that passion rules the world not rationality from the dawn of rule.

      Aren’t we talking about our lanka so lets stick to it rather than gorge the immigrant colony more.

      “The usefulness of a pot comes from its emptiness.”
      “Try to change it and you will ruin it. Try to hold it and you will lose it.”

      You have no escape from the tentacles.
      Libya went sour because CIA were convinced by highly educated expats sent by Kaddafi that they could run the show- Pathetic Arabs could not do better than a Bedouin a man of steel.
      If you understand administrative procedure- the boss is always right so Sam P did the right thing. It’s always one person who takes a decision (psycho) and Obama took that but now blames solely Cameron and Sarkozy and hugging the Italians- rhino hide working for multinationals who funded his victory- lobbyist groups.

      This is where I don’t need a preacher to tell me you are risking with Trump because he is his man. Sam may stay as her hubby is a very smart alec who put her in the picture.

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        Cannot make sense of your responses to her Alfred; I am sure with your PhD it is difficult for you to relate to those primary school Sinhala fellows. So you are for Trump. Fine. Hillary cannot claim to be a foreign policy expert. She failed as Secretary of State. USA is still a place laws are implemented including laws that segregated people in many states. The fact that courts have to order de-segregation in Mississippi 62 years since civil rights is appalling; it does not speak well of Ebony and Ivory living together in perfect harmony and your fellow Indian Atul Sahib is trying to preach. If everything is so great why is there still so much discord in the greatest nation of all? respice finem, respice finem, respice finem.

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          “” it does not speak well of Ebony and Ivory living together in perfect harmony and your fellow Indian Atul Sahib is trying to preach. “”

          He is not a preacher but carrying out an administrative procedure. Nothing is perfect we prod along correcting what we deem is wrong under those circumstances.

          “”If everything is so great why is there still so much discord in the greatest nation of all? respice finem, respice finem, respice finem. “”
          (A fonte puro pura defluit aqua) Pure water flows from a pure spring.
          It is the next big thing after Oil and Nestle British has the patent rights.

          It is still a young immigrant nation and the most powerful nation in the world unlike immigrant lanka with 500 years european rule carrying the begging bowl shamelessly around the globe hiding behind the skirts of Rinpoche’s sharing eastern wisdom with the west. We have to be reasonable and not gauge from a point of no return `rationality`.

          Even after 500 years of western rule that left Lanka the infrastructure to be what public are today is never enough because stupid ambude public ate it isn’t it??
          Even the gas that flowed to my home from BCC will never see the light of day- that is what we call Panditayo Politicos and their b**l carriers in white clerk uniform who sit at a residence that is floating in a pool of water!Mustache or No mustache they are stupid monkey guided by sexslavery and power.In the south you find that monkey and no where else in the world- Sir David Attenborough. Its called evolution!

          You have to negotiate with the prevailing power not point fingers at their collar.The fact that Lankan’s attack the arbitrator,judge, mediator, negotiator is plainly clear from all discussions had to date and does not seem to ebb. You cannot confuse me I am satisfied as I am.

          The prevailing power is not just military might but the economic might over Lanka. No export No go! Suez Canal Nazzer days are no more.
          Its the age of technology that has taken over not another mans Oil and how he behaves.

          How would you reconcile? Unless there is emptiness the glass can never be filled. We can’t have Hegel Eggheads who are used to having their their feet kissed by unwary babies advice us because they are the cause of the strife that our independence let lose- The British Raj governing from Madras Presidency had these Eggheads marked so they stuck to Buddhism and no more. WW2 The Germans bombed Madras Oil tankers so there was cauious and added our so called freedom fighters hiding there made use of the opportunity to assist the Japanese- or else what is there for the fasista Japanese to love dirty, dirt people.The elephant is in the lounge!
          Eggheads still take the plumb off every foreign contract for their luxurious living trying to compete the Pope and take over every plot of land by planting a useless tree but shade giving one where we play Jungle Book Stories.
          Why was Colombo a target bomb site by Japan during WW2?? Fascist Japan wanted Ceylon as a base like Thailand while we were fighting Japs from Burma and driving them out.
          Talk of how to reconcile- Emptiness first and with it comes Safety First!

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    Ambassador Atul Keshap,

    “The United States looks forward to opportunities to provide more support, bring more resources, and share more expertise in your efforts to restore Sri Lanka’s rightful place as a leader in the international community, one that contributes to the global economy; promotes human rights, accountability, transitional justice, and democracy; and that helps to uphold international law.

    I wish you the best of luck for a meaningful dialogue today, and the successful passage of this important legislation, a key element on the path towards good governance.”

    Thank you for your speech and the promise of continued support. I hope that in addition to the carrot your government also has a stick that can be used if needed.

    • 1
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      Lone Wolf
      What are you proposing to do with Uncle Sam’s stick? …..Up where the sun does not shine!

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    Reconciliation is necessary but will take a very long time. People will take time to heal from the grieving. Innocent Tamils lost their lives and suffered the most when the Hellish war ended. Also So many other Sinhalese also suffered and died in terrorist bombs and massacres etc too. Mr. Keshap, please keep in mind it took decades to even get a semblance of reconciliation in the US after the civil war and some of the history is still entrenched in the defeated Confederate states and their people. In fact reality is that with evil laws of segregation and the way black people were treated, even after Civil Rights laws people’s cultural attitudes, deep seated enmities did not change. It takes time and some may never change. Amazing ordinary Sri Lankans seem to be doing it. As outsiders we can hope they do work miracles to bridge the divides. I do believe a strong constitution based on laws, and implementation of laws will help take the guess work out of human failures. That is why I believe that in the USA, even a President can be investigated by the FBI and as of now a very powerful President’s wife and former Secretary of State is being investigated without fear by AG’s office and the FBI now. Who knows? She might even get indicted. Most Lankan officials perhaps are afraid to take such steps. Laws help. FIA is a good start and also patience to change things. As a diplomat representing USA you seem to be doing a great job to project US interests. My plea is do not enable the dismemberment of Sri lanka again. I understand strategic long term goals require Sri Lanka be a very US friendly nation that may stand with it against China but that is not really necessary. I think Sri lanka can be friends with every nation. Racism is an evil cultural trait found in almost all cultures and races; heck Hutu vs Tutsi, Sinhala vs Tamil horrendous acts, Sikh vs Hindu horrendous acts etc show the baser side of humanity. Jews were massacred and wiped out by a genocidal Nazi white maniac. Racist laws must be removed no matter where they exist. That is why laws of segregation were so insidious and were designed to keep the black man down took so long to be removed from the statutes. Racist People wanted those laws kept to isolate themselves from black people in the USA. Enlightened people were brave to fight and get those removed. Complex cultural and other biases take a long time to evolve into more tolerant views.

    As a diplomat representing USA you seem to be doing a great job to project US interests and also act differently from others. Reconciliation of hearts and minds cannot be achieved by force. I hope there will never be hatred and ethnic violence in Sri Lanka again. I hope Sri Lanka never falls victim to Geo-political regional hegemonist plots again. I hope not one mother has to cremate or bury a child who died from war.

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      Mano Ratwatte

      “Also So many other Sinhalese also suffered and died in terrorist bombs and massacres etc too.”

      I agree.

      ” Innocent Tamils lost their lives and suffered the most when the Hellish war ended.”

      Tamils just lost their lives and suffered. Probably they agreed to commit mass suicide and harm themselves on their own.

      You seem to be in the dark for not knowing how they lost their lives and what made them to suffer.

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        vedda,
        Why do you have to comment on every post you read? Your post is so moronic. Read again, when she says ”Innocent Tamils lost their lives and suffered the most when the Hellish war ended.”, Like a moron you are saying “Probably they agreed to commit mass suicide and harm themselves on their own”
        You are portraying yourself as an intellectually disgraced!!

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        Not sure what the hell you are saying when you parse words too much Native Veddah. This comes from the inferiority complex of some of the so called Native Veddahs who migrate I suppose. No one suggests they committed suicide. She is saying they suffered the most when the war ended. Absurd posturing you take at times.

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          TikiriBanda

          Mano types:

          “many other Sinhalese also suffered and died in terrorist bombs and massacres etc too.”

          He is damn sure about who killed Sinhalese, and for him those were massacres.

          “” Innocent Tamils lost their lives and suffered the most when the Hellish war ended.”

          It seems he is not aware of the killers, but innocent Tamils just lost their lives and suffered. For him it was not even a massacre. How did the Tamils lose their lives? Who caused the loss of their lives? Who caused their suffering?

          Mano tried to pull the wool over our eyes.

          It is simple as that.

          What was his message?

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        lost their lives is another way of saying DIED isnt it? Is your PhD in English or Veddah Script for you to parse words?

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          TikiriBanda

          I know it would be too difficult for a simpleton to decipher Mano’s message. So forget it for a while.

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          You do not know the meaning and difference of romance and love.
          The lion does never know. the beast!

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