21 October, 2021

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The Soft And Hard Of Diplomacy

By Malinda Seneviratne – 

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

It was reported that the United States of America had softened its stand on Sri Lanka.  This was after President Mahinda Rajapaksa met US Secretary of State John Kerry on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Jen Psaki, spokesperson for Kerry and the US State Department has since said that the US position on Sri Lanka had not changed.

So it’s still hard.   Not news, though.

Psaki elaborates thus: ‘We would like our relationship with Sri Lanka to achieve its full potential. That will only happen if Sri Lanka builds enduing peace and prosperity for all of its diverse ethnic and religious communities. That’s why the Secretary made clear to the President that Sri Lanka needed to take meaningful steps to act like a country that is no longer at war but instead is now building a future that includes all of its citizens.’

Perhaps Psaki hasn’t heard the adage ‘charity begins at home’ for if he did he would be agitating for an end to structured racism in the USA which results among other things in racial profiling and the regular pumping of bullets into the bodies of Blacks and Latinos by white police officers who are subsequently absolved of any wrongdoing.

Mahinda Obama UN sep 23 2014But if indeed he hasn’t heard of home-charity, it might have something to do with the fact that his office is not about ‘home’ but about ‘abroad’ even though all interventions and engagements are predicated with the now tired and meaningless caveat ‘to ensure the security of our country’.  What does one say to a country that is perpetually at war and yet preaches peace to the rest of the world?  What does one say to a country that destroys other countries and robs the yesterday, today and tomorrow of millions of people and yet talks of ‘building futures for all citizens’?

The point is that softness and hardness are just carelessly and illogically used descriptive of US policy towards this or that country.   The only way to win the friendship of the USA (and thereby obtain softness-degree desired) is to play ball.  In other words, do Washington’s bidding; in a word, enslavement.

This simple truth, clearly, has not been understood by whoever interpreted what transpired at the Rajapaksa-Kerry meeting.  There’s nothing to gain by misinterpretation.  Indeed, there’s no practical value in any kind of interpretation without concrete evidence with which the claim can be anchored.  Another important element in this game is to understand that there’s absolutely nothing to gain by playing word games with who have the power to write and re-write script and even deny authorship.

It is far more profitable to listen, nod, smile, shake-hands, pose for photograph and leave.  Whatever is said and even what’s not said will be read and transmitted as per Washington-requirement.  Indeed, in situations such as the one which prompted this soft-hard talk, the more sensible diplo-speak would have President Mahinda Rajapaksa asking Kerry about Seed Global Health founded by his daughter Vanessa Bradfor Kerry, a physician and healthcare administrator.  He could have also asked if his other daughter Alexandra has made any new films after ‘The Last Full Measure’.

This is easier than talking politics with the powerful.  Unless you want to submit or making an offer that is impossible to refuse but one which plays Russia, China and India against the USA with respect to overall strategic interests and comparative advantages.  This side of that kind of give-take proposal, it is patently silly to say, hear and then indulge in sophomoric interpretation games.

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

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Latest comments

  • 5
    1

    Percentage of Black Americans in the USA is 13.2%. Whites 77%. Hispanics 17%.

    At a background where African Americans were treated less than human, not million of years ago, by today majority of the US population showed to the world of the degree to which they have changed/transformed themselves positively. In 2008 US citizens chose first ever Black American as its president. America is fully reformed country. America has listened to American heart beat.

    Therefore criticising America in this manner, totally baseless footing, is not a right job for someone with petty agendas in mind. American, internal, geographic matters are deeply rooted issues and cannot give reasons by just scratching the surface with one’s fingernails.

    First talk about the truth that you know better about your own country!

    • 4
      0

      Mmm… according to your details US has a total population of 107.2% :) That is extra ordinary indeed :D

      PS : Talk about the truth of our own country? You want to make the author tie himself to trees and cut his privates parts and jump out of moving white vans?

      • 1
        0

        Sorry, I expected this from someone might highlight. As usual, I had been too lazy to look back at what I’ve written.

        Its got mixed up with some other figures in the jumble of figures. What matters here is the Afro-Ams, which is the right fire. Rest is up to anyone who is happy to do their own research and find the answers

        Thanks

    • 3
      1

      senaka de Z. Sirwardena

      “In 2008 US citizens chose first ever Black American as its president. America is fully reformed country. America has listened to American heart beat. “

      The difference is that Sri Lanka, or rather the Land of Native Veddah Aethho is occupied by the Racist Sinhala “Buddhists” who are paras from South India, with monks who want to maintain their hegemony, and prevents the formation of an Egalitarian Country.

      Sri Lanka has more Shills per head than in America,

      Are the Paras, and the Religion the curse of Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho? Data Supports that.

      • 0
        0

        Despite the rhetoric and his Nobel Peace Award Obama had turned out to be more evil than Bush. His slogan during his campaign was “Yes, we can” but he has not reversed a single unconstitutional edict of Bush. Guantanamo is still there, Patriotic Act is still there, Drone attacks had increased, Authority to assassinate anyone anywhere is still valid. US soldiers are still in Iraq, Afghanistan and poised to go into Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. The only consolation is the Health Care which he enacted but created by worthy previous Democrats like Bill Clinton etc.

  • 1
    0

    .
    “The Soft And Hard Of Journalism”
    .
    Have you all noticed that Malinda has softened his stand on opposition parties?

    :-)

    • 1
      0

      Not to worry, MR is a hard man and will shaft all of them.

  • 1
    0

    Kerry foolishly thinking he can win Lanka. No way! Only two parties have ever won Lanka so far. 1. China. When it wanted Norachchoolai, it hacked DOT computers and got whatever it wanted.2.Pope. When he wanted come to Lanka in January 2015, King played game with him by setting up EP election on that days. Pope pushed out Kudu vase holding on the neck out of Vatican and got whatsoever he wanted. America can not do that!

    King put some words in Kerry’s mouth. Kerry tried to throw up. Now the Lankan cannons have started to fire on America. Kerry will be soon eating up all it the same way Blake did in Congress(He confessed America has been cheated). No way America can escape out of it.

    American Blacks are boycotting elections because they think they never can come as EP. They are standing on the razor edge for self determination referendum. Poor Malinda wrote essay after essay asking Sinhalese to vote for CV as EP. They would not because not because he is a Tamil. He is a Law College cheater and a rowdy. They will be voting for the Angel, enlightened Asoka’s son!

    So America also fighting and Lanka also fighting war. This what is coming out a prize winning, creative writer’s mind!

  • 1
    0

    pardon my ignorance here , did Obama and Michelle pose for this photograph ? i remember in an earlier occasion “Daily Noise” getting caught of doing a cut & paste job , subsequently some one posted the same photograph posing with our two comedians “Bandu & Terrance ” (Wada bari Tazon) .

    As to Malinda’s nonsense , it was Government propaganda who had initiated these “softening ” BS and in the end got caught red handed for lying , why going back to same old rhetoric of bashing America now , every body knows about US history and all her misdeeds , who needs to read or listen to a lecture about American foreign policy from Malinda ? why don’t you address the issue at hand ? what made spin doctors to twist the real story ? Malinda don’t forget same thing happened to the other 3 cooked up stories , Ban Ki Moon, Indian PM and Dostara

    • 4
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      Malinda is trying hard to be caught on good books.
      As no other jouarnlist he is apparently doing the job – within 10 days alone on CT platform – 3 -4 articles. How come a US learnt to have turned supporting proved criminals this way ?

      Anyway, we will not see anything in lanken news papers, but one of my colleagues is about to reveal more about Mahindara Jarapakshes untold stories in the days to come.

      Srilal@,

      Jaya niyathai pal, never give up, we will fight further for a better future. We can see the man and oligarch loot us further.

      • 2
        0

        Sun ,

        I’m somewhat reluctant to take former CJ Sarath N silva seriously , but take a look at this video clip , he is explaining why MR can’t run for the 3 rd time , His arguments are solid , at least JVP along with SNS making an effort to educate the grass eating populace !

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/sinhala/sri_lanka/2014/10/141008_sarath_silva_mahinda

  • 2
    0

    Oh my my my….
    Another song from the paid servant. Enough is enough, stop singing for the free laptop you received Malinda.

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