22 October, 2020

Blog

The Crisis In US-Sri Lanka Relations

By Dayan Jayatilleka –

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

Was it just me or did you notice something very strange in Geneva during the resolution on Sri Lanka? All the speakers who were critical of Sri Lanka focused on post-war sins of commission and omission on the part of the government and the state apparatus— in other words, the present. There was only a passing, ritualistic reference to accountability and reconciliation. However, the mandate of the High Commissioner’s office pertained to the past.

The establishment of a monitoring mission of the Office of the High Commissioner would have addressed the problems that were identified, but by going for an international investigation, the West has put paid for a long time to come, for such an effective measure. Far from an improvement in the situation on the ground, there will be a climate of deterioration.

Decades ago, US policy towards Sri Lanka or any place at all, was drawn up by knowledgeable individuals. A left-of-centre Sri Lankan administration was co-opted and eventually re-shaped by two US Ambassadors with stellar intellectual credentials: Prof Robert Strauss Hupe and Chris Van Hollen Sr. Prof Hupe, the author of the classic ‘Protracted Conflict’ went on to became US Ambassador to NATO. Chris van Hollen became a member of Dr Henry Kissinger’s ‘40 Committee’.

It is not my contention that current and recent US Ambassadors to Colombo are sub-standard. Ambassador Sison and her team are formidably competent diplomats and the crisis in US-Sri Lanka relations owes far more to the quality of Sri Lanka’s representation in the US than US representation in Colombo. It is, however, my contention that those who pushed through the Sri Lanka policy at the Washington end; those who made or endorsed the gear shift from the March 3rd draft resolution to the March 18th draft , are not of the same intellectual quality as the Robert Strauss Hupe, a great Realist strategic thinker, or Chris Van Hollen, a master diplomat (who established such an excellent personal equation with the anti-western Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike that he was suspected of being responsible for the ejection of the leftwing partners of the ruling coalition).

The liberal fundamentalists and human rights hawks on Sri Lanka are, in all probability, not even from within the State Department, but are far more ideological-political elements in the upper reaches of officialdom in the Obama administration.  They belong to a far more ideological or constituency driven type than their deeper thinking predecessors. These are the ‘humanitarian interventionists’; the ideological daughters of Madeleine Albright. It is they who overrode Secretary of Defence Robert Gates’ objections and pushed Obama into the Libyan adventure, which jeopardised US-Russian relations and catalysed the replacement of Medvedev. It is they who would have been most susceptible to moving against Syria and possibly Iran.

My reading is quite similar with respect to British policy. I suspect that the line of the High Commissioner, his staff in Colombo, and probably the FCO in general, was intelligently crafted, as evidenced by Hugo Swire’s nuanced speech at the High level segment in Geneva on March 3rd 2014 in which he mentioned ‘an independent , credible inquiry’ but dropped the term ‘international’. Westminster and Downing Street got into the act after that, taking off from where David Miliband stopped (or more accurately, was stopped) in 2009.

In an earlier time, US scholars on South Asia and Sri Lanka would have been consulted on the effects of an ‘international probe’ on the island’ society, polity and ethnic relations. Obviously none was.

We now have a US-UK driven international probe, which takes place in utterly new terrain: not that of an ongoing conflict (Syria), large scale violence (Colombia), a failed state (Sudan/Darfur), occupied territory (Israel/Palestine) or a closed, almost uniquely grotesque state (North Korea). It takes place in a political context of opposition from the neighbourhood (unlike the unanimous UNHRC resolution on North Korea). It takes place in a country which is not at war, in a state which is not fissured and fractured, against the will of a majority of people who have a very long historical sense of collective identity; is a very old nation. It puts the US in the middle of a protracted political conflict, between two very old ethnic communities (reinforced by old languages and religions), in Asia — and in particular in South Asia. It gets the USA into the entrails of a polarised South Asian society, on one side of what has long been played as a zero sum game.

For all these reasons, any first rate analyst with a solid grounding in the human and social sciences–sociologist, political scientist, cultural anthropologist or historian— would have advised Washington’s policy makers against the direction and thrust of the UNHRC resolution.

Washington does not consider the Sri Lankan state a ‘rogue state’, but it does seem to regard the Rajapaksa regime as a rogue regime (if I may coin a phrase), and is therefore engaging in ‘condition setting’ for regime change. Where the USA has blundered— and it would hardly be the first time it did so in Asia— is that its policy of choice, the international inquiry into the war and accountability by the OHCHR, is a diplomatic-legal drone strike that hits the nationalist sensibilities of the Sinhala majority.

The great George Kennan contended successfully that the containment of Soviet expansionism by the West would over time, cause and enable Russian sensibilities to outgrow and overthrow the Soviet state form and Communist party rule. He would have been aghast at a policy that injured the heart of Great Russian nationalist sensibilities. Henry Kissinger argued for and was the architect of a policy that would enmesh the USSR and China in a web of relationships, drawing them into the world order. In the post-Vietnam period he advocated a US policy for a world order which operated through regional sub-systems and by building up regional ‘influentials’.

No one who was steeped in the great tradition of US foreign policy and strategic thinking (i.e. of Kennan and Kissinger) would have pushed through a resolution in Geneva which revealed an asymmetry of policy perception between Washington and the entirety of South Asia, including ‘strategic partner’ Delhi, on a matter in the South Asian neighbourhood and within India’s sphere of influence.

No student of Kennan, Kissinger or even Brzezinski would have the current policy of the US towards Sri Lanka, which goes against those aims and methods of altering behaviour, because they go against the very grain of the society concerned. If one were to use a different tradition as a point of reference, no US policy maker from Jean Kirkpatrick to Condoleeza Rice with academic roots in political science, would target the regime in a manner that was perceived as an attack on the state as a whole, and the armed forces in particular. No sensible US or UK policy would fail to secure the support or at least the neutrality of the armed forces for the project of transition to a more pluralist and open post-war order. This resolution for an international probe has alienated the armed forces utterly. Switching intellectual traditions once more, no student of Prof Joseph Nye would sacrifice the goodwill toward the US, and US ‘soft power’ in Sri Lanka, by tilting so heavily to an ethnic minority and thereby guaranteeing that Russia, China make durable gains in Sinhala national and political consciousness as true friends and allies.

What then is the bottom line? Hurt, pain and damage to Sri Lanka but also the failure of US policy, i.e. Mutually Assured Damage. The outcome will be the same as in Moby Dick, the great American novel by Herman Melville, about the nature of obsession and a quest driven by it. The Geneva resolution means that the harpoon has been fired and will soon enter the side of the Sri Lankan state. However, where state, nation, language, religion and demographics fuse, the formation that is produced has enormous staying power and tensile strength, as the resistance to thirty years of suicide bombing terrorism and cross border incursion demonstrated. As in the cases of the Indo-Lanka Accord and its IPKF accompaniment, and in a later decade, the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), ill-timed or ill targeted external pressure however well intentioned, generates irresistible blowback.

In pain, this Moby Dick will take the whaler down with it, or at least inflict heavy damage. The whaling ship in this case is obviously not the United States, but US policy goals and interests in Sri Lanka. The US obviously failed to think through the question of whether the instrument of an international inquiry will serve basic US national interests in Sri Lanka positively or negatively, currently and in the foreseeable future. Insofar as Sri Lanka matters enough for Washington to have spent effort and a bit of diplomatic capital for over three years on it, the prospect should cause some modest degree of concern.

*Dr Dayan Jayatilleka’s latest book, just published in the UK by Palgrave, is The Fall of Global Socialism: A Counter-Narrative from the South, Palgrave Pivot, London, 2014

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 5
    5

    I didn’t read the post but Sri Lanka should change. There is no prosecution of any crime committed in the name of race or religion. Change this and then talk about how other countries view SL

    • 7
      3

      IF YOU HEARD THE SAME DAYA JUST LAST MONTH.. HE SAID THE COMPOSITION OF THE UNHCR IS THE THE FAVOUR OF SRI LANKA.. BUT ANY PERSON WHO HAD SEE THE NATIONS VOTED FOR WERE GIVE OR TAKE THE SAME LAST YEAR.. NOW THIS EXPERT SAYING FAULT WITH LANKAN DIPLOMATS IN USA.. BUT WE LANKANS KNOW ITS THE ENTIRE DIPLOMATIC CORE WHO ARE POLITICAL APPOINTEES WHO’S PRIORITY ARE THEIR KIND EDUCATION AND BUSINESS CONTRACTS. DAYAN IS TALKING RUBBISH AS USUAL EPICALLY SAYING WHAT HE SAID ONLY A FEW MONTHS AGO.

      • 7
        4

        Dude DJ you really must quit grading ambassadors in order to show that you are the smartest of them all!
        CT readers are not fools!
        The writing is on the wall for the Rajapaksa Regime, and this time there will be a global-local (glo-cal as social scientists say) and regional collaboration, alignment and networks for REGIME CHANGE IN LANKA.
        You DJ increasingly sound like broken record player and a social science diasaur with your polarizing logic of global against local – just see the PC election outcomes – Sri Lankan people are increasingly fed up and disgusted with the regime and the MAJORITY of politicians and the UNP and SLFP elections CIRCUS. The corrupt and intellectually bankrupt old established political parties of Sri Lanka. New parties and leaders are emerging, the old is dying and the new is being born… ALL THAT’S SOLID MELTS IN AIR!

        • 0
          1

          DUD.. Yes i have see THE LOCAL PC ELECTION RESULTS 2014.. I SUPPOSE MY MATHS MIGHT NOT BE AS GOOD AS YOURS THE THE UPFA HAVE A MAJORITY.. I SUPPOSE THE PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN THEIR VERDICT AND CONTRADICT UR ANALYSIS.DEMOCRACY

      • 5
        0

        Dear All ,

        go through DJ’s earlier articles , he has always been maintaining , that INDIA is the deciding factor on SL affairs in UN related issues and she is the game changer for SL , DJ is in the view that all most all the countries look in to India’s stand before taking any major decision against SL , is that an accurate assessment ? if one analyses India’s strange behavior on Thursday at the UN , India has tried her level best to block the resolution by voting twice against on two separate mini voting sessions run up to the final count down and in the end decided to refrain from voting , mind you India went extra mile by severely criticizing the whole exercise as an intrusion of a sovereignty & territorial integrity of SL , but did it work ? no , it did not! this is where our self proclaimed political scientist got all wrong , half of all the voting members (23) were not ready to buy any of that crap , why ? because they had already made up their minds as to which way to cast their vote .
        now ,i’m just a simple simon who hasn’t been closer to that UN building in Geneva nor have a P.hD in Political science, yet i managed to predict the out come (Yes vote )of this session months in advance by analyzing each country , have to admit , i was wrong in India and Bostwana’s voting pattern though , but our well seasoned political scientist , did he get any thing right ?

        PS: i tried to locate my earlier comments on the issue in the archives and managed to find one which i posted in Dec 15/2013 as a response to prof laksiri Fernando.

        here is the link and my first response to Prof Laksiri,

        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/extremism-might-hinder-the-process-of-justice-in-sri-lanka/

        “Dear Prof Lakssiri ,

        I’m some what surprised of your sudden change of heart ,let’s leave it a side , regardless of PPTSL, TGTE or who ever’s finding , if US/EU decided to bring a resolution against the Regime this time , the outcome would be a foregone conclusion ,out of 47 nations only 24 votes are needed to pass any resolution , here is the composition of the UN general Assembly for 2014 ; African continent (13), Asian Continent (13), eastern Europe (6), Latin American countries (8) and the western block (7), this time round African countries will have the final say , pl go through the countries and you will see final out come for yourself. after a careful study of the past voting patterns,Geo politics and prevailing current situation in SL , a reasonable prediction can be made thus voting would be as follows

        all the Western countries (7) ( Austria, Germany, Ireland, Italy, France, UK and USA )would vote against the Regime , only Venezuela & Cuba would vote for Regime while other Latin American countries (6) ( Argentina , Brazil, Chile , Costa Rica , Mexico and Peru ) against Regime , in the Eastern Europe only Russia would vote for Regime and the rest (5) (Chech Republic , Montenegro ,Romania and Estonia )against and in Asian continent only India and Korea against (2) and the rest ( Indonesia, Japan, Kazakhstan,Kuwait,China, Maldives , Pakistan, Philippines, UAE,KSA and Vietnam )for the Regime , finally the all important African continent( 4) Benin , Costa de voire , Seira leone and Algeria or Morocco would vote against the regime , hence the final predictable number would be 7+6+5+2+4=24 “

        • 1
          1

          Srilal,

          Yes, I remember your UNHRC predictons which were pretty accurate.

          I am glad that we have a great bunch of, educated and Intellectual readership at this CT forum.

          Also many Great writers,Doctors, professors, Journalists, reporters, visionaries who write great articles and the smart readers and commentators.

          That’s why Rajapakses are scared of CT. Fear for the Truth.

          If Rajapakses would have listened to the CT reporters and commentators earlier warnings on UNHRC resolutions and had taken early actions, they would have avoided all this problems by now.

          But in fact of Gloryfying the messangers, Rajapakses killed them.

          Now they reap what they sowed.

          CT should attract more great writers, professors,doctors and academics who could contribute to write great articles relating to Sri Lanka’s politics and development.

          Keep it up Srilal….and keep it up CT.

          As for me I Predicted we will loose by 29 votes (39 for and 10 against, thinking there are 49 countries eligibble to vote…..but there are only 47)

          Also I included the 12 countries which did not vote as for the resolution.

          Therefore If you take out the 12 plus 2 from 39, it comes to 15 against….which is pretty close to 12.

          Anyway good guesses.

          What I want to say is, I think many countries including USA, UK, India knew that we are going to Loose the resolution…..including Pres.Rajapakse.

          May be MR was thinking of bank rolling UNHRC defeat to win PC elections, but he failed.

          With relating to India’s abstinance from UNHRC Vote may be due to many reasons. They could be due to….

          1) India did not want USA and the West to open a HR Pandora Box closer to it’s shores which also could spread to their soil.

          2)India also has issues with Kashmir and may have a fear of UNHRC coming after them next…..or it’s people to seek justice.

          3)India has geo political concerns in SE Asia and wants it to stay as free of foreign interference.

          4)India has 60 million Tamil population in their soil, and do not want to escalate our problems to their soil.

          5)India has business and economic ties with Sri lanka and do not wish to jeopordise them.

          6)India already knew Sri Lanka is going to loose UNHRC and if so it’s vote does not make a difference.

          Finally I say it is Pres.Rajapakse who opened the UNHRC US, UK and the West pandora box in Sri Lanka, and it could spread to South East Asia and beyond.

          This UNHRC resolution could be both a Blessing and a curse to Sri Lanka.

          All depends on how Rajapakses handle it.

          • 1
            0

            Jayanatha@,

            I also agree with you here that Srilal´s predictions were the best.

            To tell you the truth, having listend to BBS sinhala lately, I got to know that DJ and KR had indeed a personal discussion few days before the UNHRC voting. In that tape, DJ added that President´s guesses were exact with final results. This confirms further.

            “What I want to say is, I think many countries including USA, UK, India knew that we are going to Loose the resolution…..including Pres.Rajapakse.”

            And also agree with you that there exist several PhDers, Profs and varied other profesisonals among us ” CT commentators”. So, their fears and threats towards CT could be more inthe months to come.

        • 1
          0

          Breaking news!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Ladies and Gentleman,

          we should award the “Depitakattu trophe/medal of lanken political analysis” to none other than Nation´s self proclaimed highly chamelian charactor – Dr. Dayan Jayathilaka (nee Silva).

          His thoughts and minds have always been very like golden towards the distruction nature. Alone to have sit with President shortly before the UNHRC final voting and brought totally against on to CT readers should be highly recognized in awarding this kind of medal.
          We wish him all the in his efforts promoting the highly disgusting president-Rajapakshe further.

          Please consider all these values of his nature buying his new book that is being advertised these days.

      • 1
        0

        What can you expect from a “social/political/human scientist” who worships Henry Kissinger – one of the greatest mass murderers in the history of mankind – a great diplomat.

        He and his political “science”!

        • 0
          0

          Despite all his boasts and cock-eyed analysis, DJ is a 3rd grade diplomat from a 4th grade country, and lacks any moral scruples.

    • 0
      0

      Duck ter The Yarn is name dropping again. :)

  • 0
    4

    .
    For me looks like, this resolution was initiated by UK/Canada and supported by US. They wanted to be the bad guys.
    Made India to be a good guy to get closer to Lanka and keep China/Russia away.
    :-)

    • 1
      0

      aratai,

      You got the point on UK/Canada and supported by US.

      UK may want to play a role similar to that in Sierra Leone as the last colonial power associated with Sri Lanka.

      DJ laments on the resolution and argues with his conventional diplomacy.

      He fails to think of creative or innovative solution to the ethnic problem in Sri Lanka.

      After all, UK, US and Canada have 600 years old collective knowledge in international matters as they have have sitting on top of the world for several centuries.

      What collective memory DJ, a third world ex-diplomat has over the Western diplomats?

      His thinking is like that of a Sri Lankan engineer trying to teach the Western engineers how to invent a steam engine or a motor car or a plane or even how to go to the Moon.

      We don’t have any local base on state of the art knowledge on any scientific matter, let alone political science and diplomacy!

      • 1
        0

        Thiru,

        Sri Lanka is Rajapakses “Chinthana” Miracle of Asia.

        Why do you need Engineers or Scientists in Asia’s miracle…………when we have Tea salesmen as Ambassadors, and Grade 10 failed ex. Planters as Chairma in our Air line Industry, and Astrologers as Economic advisors.

        Remember Mattala Airport, Hambanthota Harbour, Suriya wewa Cricket stadium and the ever famous Norochcholai coal Power Plant.

        All are wonders of the world, and the brainchild of Astrologers, and all were inagurated at the Auspicious times.

        Isn’t this called Miracle…….Miracle of the world…….

        Hope you have eaten Kiribath with won tons.

      • 1
        0

        Bemil Poot the karapoththa is praising the colonosts under his cowardlytroll name.

        Just one comment. Bemil says – “His thinking is like that of a Sri Lankan engineer trying to teach the Western engineers how to invent a steam engine or a motor car or a plane or even how to go to the Moon.”

        Well, lets take the one about going to the moon. Anyone can teach how to go the moon. Build a film set at (the dead psychopath) Stanley Kubrick’s London home and film a couple of fools jumping around against a black tarpauline with some spot lights on!

        There you have a moon landing! Not difficult is it?

  • 7
    3

    The US obviously failed to think through the question of whether the instrument of an international inquiry will serve basic US national interests in Sri Lanka positively or negatively, currently and in the foreseeable future.

    Both the USA State Dept and National Security Council (NSC) made press releases after the resolution was passed. You’d think NSC is a strange place to comment on Sri Lankan HR issues. The reason NSC is involved is because of Samantha Powers. She holds a position in the council as a Human Rights expert.

    One needs to read her book A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide to see where the thinking comes from. She apparenly advocates the idea United States security would be enhanced if it were more proactive in stamping out moral abuses such as war crimes and genocide. This is where the USA interest in “last phase of the war” in Sri Lanka seems to emerge.

    The Tamils run around screaming “genocide” and “war crimes” hoping to get into her knickers. The passing of the resolution indicates it has worked. She also claims when HR violations occur there is almost always something USA can do including convene allies, impose economic sanctions and expel ambassadors.

    • 8
      6

      Vibushana:

      “The Tamils run around screaming “genocide” and “war crimes” hoping to get into her knickers. The passing of the resolution indicates it has worked.”

      Let me tell you a secret, and this secret I am sharing with you, and with you only. To stop the Tamils and for you to jump into her knickers, just conduct an international independent investigation and if the truth is on your side, gosh you will get your place secured in that heavenly place. Go ahead Vibushana, tell the truth and shame the devil.

      • 2
        2

        Jansee,
        An international independent investigation is good and I like that. What do you think, shouldn’t be this the scenario for all suspected war crimes around the world or exclusive to Sri Lanka? I like to hear your answer.

        • 0
          1

          eusense:

          “Charity starts at home” and I am in perfect sync with that. If I cannot clean up my own courtyard, what moral do I have on talking about others?

          By the way, being the “custodian” of the Buddhist philosophy, how come you guys just watched the Bamiyan Buddha’s statue being blown away to pieces. Worse still, Tibet which is essentially a Buddhist nation, has been ransacked and left in tatters but how come you are holding hands with the perpetrator (China) and singing hosannas with it? Please take care of your own yard before you talk of mine.

          • 2
            0

            Janseee,
            Why are you writing BS without answering my simple question?
            How stupid are you? Sri Lanka is not the home of UNHRC to “charity start at home” !

      • 1
        0

        To stop the Tamils and for you to jump into her knickers, just conduct an international independent investigation

        There had been 36 cases of rape in Jaffna over last 12 months. In all cases its local issues, Tamils raping Tamils. In some cases even overseas Tamils raping local Tamils.

        Now, the resolution claims there is widespread “sexual abuse and gender voilence” insinuating the armed forces.

        What entered the minds of these supposedly “independent” folks at UNHCR was the fabrication told by Tamil National Alliance (TNA).

        Clearly Sri Lanka cannot convincingly connive and manufacture stories like the Tamils. Either that or the ajdudicator is biased.

        Now, pray tell me why should Sri Lanka in anyway get involved such a farce?

        • 0
          1

          Vibushana:

          This is all mere and pure propaganda. From Fiji to SL, it is a well honed and known practice of the SL army to drop their pants once too often. During Prabhakaran’s time these incidents did not happen and he never sent any LTTE cadres with lose pants to rape Sinhalese girls. Now that the army has taken hold, rapes have become common, all because of a sadistic army.

  • 10
    2

    “..What then is the bottom line? Hurt, pain and damage to Sri Lanka but also the failure of US policy, i.e. Mutually Assured Damage..”!!

    Heh! This quack doctor writes as if US is going to sink to the bottom of ocean after backfiring the resolution on SL! What bullshit! On the contrary, and by the way, DJ has said everything the Rajapakshas used to say and hence no question about Dayan’s affinity with Rajapaksha corruption and rogue-happiness, US and UNHRC have rightly acted in the right manner and right time to move forward in discharge of their right to protect obligation and responsibility. We Sri Lankans most welcome and embrace their good gesture! This loony political scientist is babbling about staying power and tensile strength but how SL would survive even two weeks in the face of sanctions is in doubt. This fool Dayan and rogue MARA et al have led this country down garden path towards destruction.

  • 7
    1

    I would like to know what is Dayan Jayatilleka’s take on why South America voted in favor of this resolution. If we wanted to stop this resolution, an easier target would have been to secure the support of countries like Brazil and Argentina which are not western puppets. Even a single abstention would have changed the outcome of the vote. Hence it is wrong to say that we could not prevent this resolution because of the
    political power of the sponsors. The regime needs to adopt to changing times. If not, it would face extinction like dinosaurs. Gross disregard for human rights and its powwow with Buddhist lunatics makes it unsuitable for the times we are living in. More so than its refusal to play ball with the west it is these other undesirable aspects that seem to be accelerating its demise.

    • 2
      0

      this is despite the phone & Email hacking saga of Mexican and Brazilian presidents by the NSA.

  • 2
    2

    US’s Asian policy think tank is Preet Bahara

  • 7
    3

    Dayan:

    Let me start with where you finished off. Moby Dick was/is an animal. Whatever you inference is, and that you seem to have recognised, understood and accepted that the character you have paralleled off in similarity to Moby Dick has no other word but an “animal” with pure and unadulterated animistic instincts, then it is a welcome gesture. If that is the kind of parallel that is your show-case, the majority Sinhalese should not see you in such an artistic light, never mind about what the Tamils think or assume of.

    In short, what you are trying to say is, Gaddafi can screw all he wants, Saddam can butcher his people and MR/GR can bomb hospitals and gleefully admit it as right, but because of your “outdated” theory, they should be given the predominant seat on the dining table and have “the last supper” with them. We are not ignorant of the “politics” of the USA but the politics of India and Sri Lanka, or for that matter any country is no different, only that the extent of its influence differs. India still makes a lot of noise when it means keeping the Indian Ocean on its lap. Justice Shiranee’s unceremonious and crude dumping had all the hallmarks of idiosyncratic and biased politicking.

    The Sinhala state had played politics with the lives of the Tamils since independence. When agreements are made only to make fools out of Tamils, that kind politics sucks. While you revel to find a case against the US led charge against SL, your own suggestions and “reprimands” of the regime appear to have fallen on deaf ears. All that you are doing now is to flip the coin.

    That you seem to have understood that “where state, nation, language, religion and demographics fuse, the formation that is produced has enormous staying power and tensile strength” in the Sinhalese context, what MR and GR set out to “teach” the Tamils a lesson or two would have been ably and undoubtedly demonstrated that the Tamils are in no less mood to be trampled and denied of their rights. Why do you think the Tamils in Tamilnadu and the world over even has to bother what has happened or is happening to the Tamils in SL? If the US and international intervention was sought and welcomed against the LTTE, which in the eyes of the Tamils was the “only” armour left to defend themselves against a ruthless and “animistic” regime, how come that seems to have been lost on you and the regime?

    What the collective majority should have done to protect a section of its citizens was all selfishly abandoned. What had started as “legitimate rights” journey now has metamorphosed into something much larger. The unspeakable atrocities committed by an army that is hell-bent on silencing and subjugating the Tamils should never be accorded a glorified status. It does not amaze Tamils anymore that the army is part and parcel of the decadence and disease that has besieged the Sinhalese society and any high pedestal accorded to them would only exacerbate the already wide and increasing division between the two major races. Is it not the army that has carried the baton of evil always against the Tamils?

    The hurt you are worried that may embrace the Sinhalese is nothing compared to the hurt and loss the Tamils suffered at the hands of a murderous regime. Look at the Congress party’s position in Tamilnadu. Today, there is nothing much talked in Tamilnadu about the SL’s misadventure by the Congress against the Tamils because of near unanimity of all parties that eagerly want to put the SL regime into the dock. And it all looks like that knowing Jayalalitha’s hard stance, the SL regime is in for hard knocks, more so than from this US position you are so worried of. If the US is talking about reconciliation and accountability within a united SL, she is talking of a referendum to severe the cord completely. Whether the action she had set in motion will reach fruition only time will tell but knowing her adamant nature, probably MR/GR would have a formidable foe on their doorstep.

    SL is no Russia and should not even pretend to be one. Neither it is Cuba nor Israel. Before the so-called “cold-war” ended Russia (SU) was a parallel force policing the great waves and it is in known domain that it would be only a matter of time that it will seek to regain its old stance and position eventually and that is what we are witnessing now. When Rajiv dropped the “parippu” and warned that any adverse action would constitute as an act of war, the way the lion became a pussy cat needs no reminder. As opposed to the play-hard attitude of the LTTE, the NPC has some sensible people and instead of talking rationally with them, GR is simply showing his muscle. What do you think Dayan that the Tamils see this as? Right or wrong, the only time that the Tamils got any political concessions was when the LTTE bombed away in horror. Is this the kind of message that the regime wants to send? The then regime alienated all the moderate Tamil politicians and that is exactly what the current regime is doing now, or even worse maybe thinking that with such a huge army breathing over the Tamils it has everything under control. How wrong it can be?

    Precisely it is this concern that the US and UNHRC has been telling a SL regime that would not listen and today it has grown into this. So, instead of chiding the US or others, see if you can talk sense to the regime. Where you have already failed should not give you an excuse to go after the Tamils, and yes, going after the US or the UNHRC is simply going after the Tamils and that should not really be an option under these trying times. There are sensible politicians in the TNA and the NPC and if the regime cannot settle this protracted matter with them and has been silly and stupid enough to internationalise it, who should be blamed then?

    • 1
      0

      Excellent comment Jansee.

  • 9
    3

    DJ,

    You can keep braying about ‘realism’ but Gota and the regime as a whole misunderstood George Bush’s inanity, ‘either you are with, us or you are with terrorists,’ as license to kill, and went ahead with mass slaughter, ignoring pleas from even Hillary Clinton.

    The US, including Obama, believes in US exceptionalism. The US defense expenditure is nearly equal to the sum total of the defense expenditure of the next ten biggest spenders, and that includes China, Russia, India, UK, Germany, France and Brazil. So the US sees itself as the natural global power and leader. You yourself have acknowledged in the past that Obama, too, believes in US exceptionalism, and ‘rightly so.’ In the wake of Crimea, Obama recently made it clear in Europe that he fears more about a bomb in Manhattan than about Russia, which is only a regional power, with an economy based mainly on commodities. As soon as the West starts using alternative energy at reduced prices, Russia will be further reduced as a power.

    So the US wants to make the SL case an example for other countries of what not to do in dealing with internal insurgencies. The US doesn’t want other countries to learn the wrong lessons from Sri Lanka and take on their minorities the same way the GoSL did, resulting in humanitarian and political crises the world over, which needlessly distracts the US from far more important issues on its plate. So allowing the GoSL to get away with it is not an option. With that perspective, any Sinhalese nationalist threats to align with China and Russia will be laughed off.

  • 4
    1

    “”It takes place in a country which is not at war, in a state which is not fissured and fractured, against the will of a majority of people who have a very long historical sense of collective identity; is a very old nation.””””

    It was very interesting the above statement, particularly “against the will of a majority of People”. Who are these majority people. Sinhalese are 75 of the population. They are guided by racist Buddhist Sinhala racist politicians and Buddhist monks. still they elect Rajapakse because Rajapakse denies the rights of the Tamils and Muslims and keep Sinhala military in the North East. These are the Sinhalese celebrated the massacre of Tamils in Mullivaygal. Tamils are 100% support to international investigation, historically Tamils and Sinhalese had separate kingdoms. Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese are fractured and fissured always.

  • 9
    3

    Are you done attacking the TNA, the diaspora, Pillai, CBK, Ranil and the likes…now criticizing US foreign policy.

    FYI: Unlike you, the USA appoints qualified diplomats.
    After all you are simply a political appointment who now works for a NGO.

    • 0
      1

      ” FYI: Unlike you, the USA appoints qualified diplomats. “

      I am afraid this is untrue. The biggest donors to the election campaign have the first refusal, (they want to give the appearance of public service). The lower rungs are a different matter.

  • 7
    0

    DJ claims,

    ‘It takes place in a country which is not at war, in a state which is not fissured and fractured, against the will of a majority of people who have a very long historical sense of collective identity’,

    to buttress his defence of SL and his opposition to the verdict in Geneva.

    Let us look at it closely for once:

    – It takes place in a country which is not at war.

    … Not true. The Government is at war by other means.

    – in a state which is not fissured and fractured.

    … Disagree. The State is fissured and fractured along ethnic lines.

    – against the will of a majority of people who have a very long historical sense of collective identity’.

    … I concede the part, ‘against the will of a majority of people’; better , ‘against the will of the majority community’.

    … But not, ‘of people who have a very long historical sense of collective identity’. SL lacks the political will to embrace any collective identity.

    Why was DJ not alert enough to have omitted it. Well, had he omitted it, his whole argument would have collapsed on him.

    • 3
      0

      Thank you, it is indeed good to see that no one is fooled by Dayan anymore.

      I guess he will have to find another “client” to “sell himself” to.

  • 3
    0

    Dr.Dayan Should compare Apples to Apples and not Apples to Oranges.

    There’s no way we could compare our foreign policy to USA. They have a complete different agenda in Geo poitics as the sole Super power.

    We all know that we have a bunch of Muts in our Foreign Department.
    45 out of 80 odd Ambassadors are unqualified political appointees.
    They are not “Diplomats” but mere bread winners, and due to it today we reap what President MR has sowed.

    Third world “Tin pot Dictators” do not follow ethics of true Socialism or Capitalism, but follow their own agandas of corrupt cronyism.

    They stand behind Socialism to dupe public but do the complete opposite.
    Their motive is life long stay in power by hook or by crook.

    At this Western and Southern provincial council elections there were over 3,500 cndidates fighting for 150 odd seats and quite a large number of them were siblings of current Parliament Ministers and MPs or relatives, while utilising every Government resource.
    The only profession that does not require any qualification but still could live like a king.

    Here’s the latest W/S election related Fraud.
    http://www.lankaenews.com/English/news.php?id=14154

    We need a regime at least half good to govern, but not an absolute criminal family .

    President Rajapakse with other Sinhala Extrimists opened Pandora box at the Geneva UNHRC. It paved way for USA and the West to poke their fingers not only in Sri Lanka, but SE Asia as well and beyond.

    Here’s Ceylon today headline news.
    Sanctions possible
    March 30, 2014

    UN Adviser on Post-War Accountability Issues in Sri Lanka, Yasmin Sooka, says there would be serious repercussions including sanctions, if the Government of Sri Lanka fails to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).

    http://www.ceylontoday.lk/51-60265-news-detail-sanctions-possible.html

    Therefore all Academics, Visionaries,scholars and professors should get to-gether to find the best possible solution to these UNHRC resolutions, to find a lasting solution to all these social problems we face today. It is their duty.

    It’s time to be prudent, sane and serious and the Academics should lead at his hour.

    Otherwise Sri Lanka will never be the same.

  • 0
    0

    Was it just me or did you notice something very strange in DJ the spin-doctor,has he gone mad during the resolution on Sri Lanka?

    *Dr Dayan Jayatilleka’s( SP) latest book, just published in the UK by grave, is The Fall of balls: A Counter-Narrative from the South, grave Pivot, London, 2014

  • 1
    0

    @ jansee: Another great comment from you and WOW !.. what a wonderful factual analytical one, what a flowing vocab and language..oh man I am so proud of your excellent talent and the execution of the comment.
    Great stuff jansee. Hope sensible unbiased people understand what you say . I don’t think any others can write such an honest and sensible comment like you. You are the BEST today. Thank you so very much jansee. You are the best for some time here…
    I miss Dr Jagath Asoka badly and his honest open comments…wish I can see him again here…I don’t know I just love that gentleman’s writings….

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.