26 September, 2020

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US-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue Centered Around Four Pillars

By Thomas Shannon

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs-Designate Thomas Shannon

U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs-Designate Thomas Shannon

Good morning, and to all of you Ayubowan, Vanakkam. Thank you for being here. It’s a tremendous honor and a great pleasure to be here today.

Thank you, Mr. Minister, for your very kind introduction. To be at this respected institute, named in honor of the late and great Lakshman Kadirgamar, and an institute dedicated to the study of Sri Lanka’s strategic interests, is the right place to be today to talk to all of you, about the partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka.

Few understood the strategic interests of Sri Lanka better than Kadirgamar, who was an accomplished international civil servant, and an unparalleled expert on foreign affairs – appointed three times as foreign minister. It has been nearly 10 years since his assassination, but his vision of a united, inclusive, and peaceful Sri Lanka is becoming more real by the day.

Minister Kadirgamar knew it would not be easy. In his own words he said “it’s not a question of pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Peace is not going to be manufactured instantly. Peace is a long road and a hard process.”

But your nation’s journey down that long road is well underway. In January, and again in August, the world witnessed your resolve to move beyond the acrimony of the past and towards a future that is inclusive, peaceful, just, democratic, and prosperous.

Sri Lanka is an example of the power of citizens to reinvigorate their democracy, to retake control – through the ballot box – of their country’s trajectory, and to set a course to a brighter future. We now look to Sri Lanka to also provide inspiration to others around the world, to show them how justice and compassion can overcome a difficult past and help create a stable and prosperous future, and strengthen a nation’s security, prosperity, and prestige.

The United States wants to see a strong Sri Lanka, one that is a leader in the international community, contributing to the global economy, promoting human rights, justice, and democracy abroad, and helping to uphold international law. With its entrepreneurial people, abundant resources, and strategic location, Sri Lanka is uniquely positioned to do so.

Indeed, this beautiful building’s history is itself a reflection of Sri Lanka’s strategic position: before being transferred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Sri Lankan Navy, it was owned by the British Board of Trade and then housed a branch of the Imperial Lighthouse Service.

And the maritime importance of Sri Lanka, as you know, stretches far back into history. Ships from ancient Greece, Rome, Arabia, and China sailed through Sri Lankan waters and docked at its ports.

Yesterday, I was in Trincomalee and took a tour of Fort Frederick, which the Portuguese built nearly 400 years ago, and which was long a site of strategic rivalry between European powers. The Portuguese soon lost it to the Dutch, and it then changed hands with the French several times before the British captured it in 1795, fortifying and defending it through two World Wars until 1948, the year that Sri Lanka gained independence. Trincomalee is still one of the world’s finest natural deep-water ports, and its beautiful city has tremendous growth potential.

I would add that I also visited the Temple at the top of Fort Fredrick and I was struck by the power of faith and the resilience of faith. One that overcame the years of conquest and subjugation and showed the ability of the Sri Lankan people through its faithfulness. Let me put it this way – it was humbling for me to be in such a place and recognize that a commitment to a faith was at the end of the day able to overcome so many years of conflict.

While I was in Trincomalee, I also toured an ice factory that’s partly funded by USAID, and helps small-scale fisherman preserve their daily catch. But before it had factories to make ice, Sri Lanka had to import it. And, believe it or not, it was in the early 1800s that an entrepreneur from Boston, Massachusetts, started shipping blocks of ice – cut from frozen New England ponds – all the way to Colombo.

In fact, our countries have a long and fruitful history of commercial relations, going back centuries.

As far back as 1789, whaling and merchant ships from the United States began to visit Sri Lankan harbors. By the end of the 19th century, U.S.-Sri Lankan trade ties were thriving: we imported goods like pearls, graphite, and tea, and exported glassware, kerosene, and medicine. Today, the United States is Sri Lanka’s largest single-country market, accounting for over 20 percent of your exports in 2014, worth nearly two and a half billion U.S. dollars.

As I flew into Colombo two days ago, I saw below me the busiest port in South Asia and one of the top 30 in the world – an operation that moves over five million containers every year. And that number, I predict, is only going to go up.

Your nation sits at the crossroads of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. By the middle of this century, economists predict that Asia will account for 50 percent of the world’s GDP. Over the next few decades, the supply and demand generated by the billions of people who call this region home will become increasingly central to the world economy and to global stability. We share your vision of Sri Lanka as a hub for trade and investment, and support this effort through our Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiative.

Our wonderful U.S. Ambassador here, my good friend Atul, has recounted to me his amazement at seeing, from the old Dutch fort in Galle, the countless ships that sail past Sri Lanka along the sea lanes between the Straits of Hormuz and Malacca. Forty percent of all seaborne oil passes through the former, and half the world’s merchant fleet capacity sails through the latter. To put it simply, stability and prosperity of the entire world is dependent on the stability of these vital energy and trade routes. And Sri Lanka is at the center of this.

Through your relationships with other nations and active engagement in multilateral organizations, including, for example, the Indian Ocean Rim Association – where, it’s worth noting, Minister Kadirgamar once held a position – you can help lead regional efforts to strengthen economic ties and support maritime security and safety.

In the decades ahead, the economics, politics, and security of the Indian Ocean region will be a central focus of the world. We are hopeful Sri Lanka will continue to contribute to the development of a regional consciousness – one that promotes the values of democratic governance and respect for human rights, freedom of navigation, sustainable development, and environmental stewardship.

You have already accomplished much: ratifying the UN protocol to combat human trafficking, as well as supporting civil society through your voice and vote at the U.N., and, importantly, agreeing to host next year’s Asia-Pacific consultations for the Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission. By these actions, you have demonstrated a commitment to improving human rights not just within Sri Lanka, but throughout the world.

Your military has also demonstrated regional leadership – you were one of the first nations to arrive in Nepal with critical relief supplies after its terrible earthquake this past April. Members of your Engineering Corps cleared several kilometers of roads, allowing for ambulances and relief materials to reach areas devastated by that disaster.

The need for these efforts will only increase as your region grapples with the impact of climate change and an increase in extreme weather events. The United States looks forward to working with Sri Lanka to help strengthen our abilities to provide humanitarian assistance and respond to natural disasters.

Your armed forces are also stepping up to contribute to global security challenges, sending peacekeepers to some of the world’s toughest spots – including Lebanon, the Central African Republic, and South Sudan. We welcomed President Sirisena’s pledge of several additional vetted battalions at the recent peacekeeping summit of world leaders, and we look forward to working with you to ensure future participation reflects the best of Sri Lanka’s professionalism and honor.

The United States welcomes all of these efforts, and we believe that your armed forces can also play a constructive role in ensuring a bright future. As the resolution that we co-sponsored at the Human Rights Council stated: “a credible accountability process for those most responsible for violations and abuses will safeguard the reputation of those, including within the military, who conducted themselves in an appropriate manner with honor and professionalism.” We strongly support these statements, and are willing partners to help you implement them.

As Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power both made clear during their visits to your country: we have long worked with Sri Lanka to help it further strengthen democratic institutions, reconcile multi-ethnic and religious communities, and accelerate economic growth.

We are now working to expand trade flows, increase foreign direct investment, and, together, show the world the bright possibilities of Sri Lanka’s future.

We are forging partnerships with the private sector, especially in under-developed regions.

We are supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises in creating jobs, promoting investment, and improving the business climate. Those initiatives help provide the financial assistance, tools, training, and market access that can help bring economic stability to all Sri Lankans, including war widows, the disabled, resettled families, and ex-combatants.

We are working with Sri Lanka’s economic ministries to help ensure competitive and transparent procurement processes.

We are helping to improve law enforcement capabilities and support anti-corruption task forces that seek to uncover and prosecute large-scale financial fraud, breach of trust, misuse of public funds, and money-laundering crimes.

The partnership between Sri Lanka and the United States continues to grow, and with Sri Lanka’s continued progress, we plan to expand and strengthen our relationship in the years to come.

In fact, one big reason I came here this week was to spend some time with my friend, Minister Samaraweera, who, to my great honor, will lead Sri Lanka’s participation for the first U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue. When we meet for this dialogue in February in Washington, D.C. – and I am sorry about that sir, it is the coldest time of the year – our discussions will be organized around four main pillars.

First – governance, development cooperation, and people-to-people ties. That will include everything from steps on justice and reconciliation to educational exchanges.

Second – economic cooperation, including topics like women’s empowerment, investment climate, and clean energy.

Third – security cooperation, in particular peacekeeping and security-sector reform, to support Sri Lanka’s military preparedness to address current and future challenges.

And fourth – international and regional affairs, including efforts to combat climate change and ensure maritime security.

As we continue planning for this inaugural dialogue, both the Foreign Minister and I will have much more to share with you about the details and what we hope to accomplish.

But as you can see, our partnership spans virtually all fields of endeavor, and the people of both our nations can expect to reap the benefits.

After having seen the tremendous potential of this island nation, I know that the future holds great promise.

The United States will work with you to achieve that promise – we are with you as a fellow democracy, as a longtime friend, and as a strong and dedicated partner.

Across my 31 years in the United States Foreign Service, I have worked in many countries in transition. From Central America, to Colombia to South Africa, I have seen countries grapple, with the kind of conflict Sri Lanka has faced. I have seen these countries grapple with the problems of reconciliation, of transitional justice, of social and economic development. I can tell you that while Sri Lankans look out into the world and try to find examples or experiences that might be relevant to Sri Lanka, I can assure that your success here will make Sri Lanka a reference point for the rest of the world. And for those countries that are facing conflicts today, in the Middle-East, in Africa and elsewhere, if you get deeper into this century and people look for a model of reconciliation, when people look for hope in dark moments, Sri Lanka will be the point of reference. What you are dealing with here has global consequence. I recognize that it is important to Sri Lanka, I recognize that it is a work in progress, I recognize that there is much to be done but I can assure you the solidarity of the world with Sri Lanka is strong, the solidarity for the United States with Sri Lanka is strong. We want you to be successful, for your own benefit, for our benefit and for the benefit of the world. So I congratulate you all, I thank you for your patience today and listening to me and I am delighted to be here and I look forward to coming back. Thank you very much.

*U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs-Designate Thomas Shannon Speech at Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute

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Latest comments

  • 12
    2

    The Honourable Thomas Shannon has spoken words of encouragement and inspiration. This is exactly what we need at this time in Sri Lanka. We can only trust that those who must will take heed and help us all to work towards a better Sri Lanka.

    • 10
      10

      Yes, there will be a lot of words from these American viceroys. THey can talk!

      But there won’t be any money coming to help us. Because China owns 75% of their country.

      American boot-lickers however, will keep crawling to their boot, calling them ‘Honourable@ and every thing else.

      Shameless lickers.

      • 7
        2

        “Because China owns 75% of their country.”
        Shannon is powder puff politico but you are being stupid.
        34% of Americas `external debt` of this America owes China $1.2Trillion
        The internal – citizen owes the government.
        Your bark is bigger than your bite is it not- stop eating garlic.

        • 5
          1

          “”believe it or not, it was in the early 1800s that an entrepreneur from Boston, Massachusetts, started shipping blocks of ice – cut from frozen New England ponds – all the way to Colombo.””

          Sorry but Old Crowd Jews and Twice Blessed can never be Laurence of Arabia.
          (if he weren’t that sentimental, and leave there would never be this PLO conflict)

          I believe this below:
          Fear is the key of the Destruction of the Tea in Boston by Pirates!
          You want to get together like Adam Smith said and Her majesty on her visit answered it beautifully. Unfortunately, there are no whites left here at Lanka- it was terrorist Nasser order.
          Qian Xuesen (Tsien Hsue-shen) father of American Space Program was jailed and Nazi Wernher von Braun led Apollo.
          Even Today mainland Chinese IT inventors are jailed in the USA- saying they are spies but these are lies.
          Reason being who are the Red Indians but they belong to the Chinese race.

        • 0
          1

          [Edited out]

          • 0
            0

            Eileen,
            disillusioned??
            Int. trading and banking is not like BoE issuing 100’s of millions on `chit` from minister.

            Chines owns $1.2 trillion of US Government Bonds and can sell it at anytime they like- both are wise to business and goodwill.
            USA has 536 billionaires (counting in from 1.7 billion onward)then according to Forbes they are worth $3.3 trillion I recon they are worth more in the region of $5 trillion. They would buy the American Government bonds anytime, if China so decides to sell. China has investments worldwide which you are unaware of.America can print the dollar at will too.
            USA is rich and powerful so don’t mess around.

            • 0
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              @Harami

              “They would buy the American Government bonds anytime”

              Why would they ?

            • 1
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              “USA is rich and powerful so don’t mess around.”

              Yes, rich on other peoples’ money. Native AMericans, Spanish, French and the blood of the world’s poor.

              [Edited out]

              • 0
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                Hymie Power /

                “Why would they ?”

                Tam_ill you argue for the sake of arguing.- just street wise bootlegger.

                Show me a nation that would not exploit, and can dispense
                with the services of the secret police, and I would follow him.

                Only an idiot sells off `brand and product` while the Chinese sell trash via private businesses to the people of the west and brings down its industry.
                Therefore the withholding of $1.2T- up for negotiation.

                The Germans sold `brand pump` (the best numatic) to Chinese (who love fountains) but everything inclusive of labour force is retained at Germany.

                UK sold the latest MG Automobile to Chinese – The Chinese took it all away to Mainland leaving the staff unemployed but are unable to manufacture even today. They do not hesitate lamenting the decision.
                Range Rover was taken away with blessings to Chery Auto China(1/2 and 1/2) – 75% of TATA UK income is from the vehicle.

                Kussi Amma CBK mother Sirima asked us all (sterling companies)to leave the island and our wealth before 1968.
                Colombo still does not have natural gas pipe-line. All we left was Sovereign Bar and Lifbuoy – for you to clean your filthy state.

        • 3
          4

          Yeah US borrow Chinese Yen, mark up with larger percentage and loans to SLK camouflaged with the words that it is going to a privileged borrowing country (a friend of US) leaving us with a bigger debt than what we would have done with China had we borrowed directly from China. It is all done with mirrors and fudged words, and at the end yankees just want SLK under its jackboot.

          • 6
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            both of you are colony- keep doing the ding until you can scream no more.
            short cut to freedom accept western economic embargo! and there won’t be Xi either.

      • 4
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        Come on Eileen! We really must get out of this perennial habit of expecting money from other countries.

        Isn’t it about time that we abandoned this undignified beggar mentality, and relied on standing on our own feet and making our way in this world?

        For starters, there will be a lot more money available for improvements in education and health if President Yahapalanaya and his ‘athudawwa’ PM Ranil cut back the ridiculously bloated perks of ministers and MP’s. Even more money will be available if we smarten up our armed forces, reduced excess manpower, and cut out wastage.

        From my little corner, I can still see the great and the good going about in a frenzy searching out every possible chance for scrounging off WE the People.

        I can guarantee you that there would be a dramatic change in the level and quality of our health and education and other public services IF the decree went out that all ministers and MP’s and their parasitic hangers-on were obliged to use state services.

    • 5
      7

      Yep. Good advice well appreciated here in SL.

      However, after watching last night’s Republican Party Presidential Candidates debate on CNN, Thomas Shannon’s advise would be better suited for his own country. The USA.

      OMG, what field of xenophobic, Christian fundamentalist, security freaks that was on stage yesterday.

      Those guys should come to SL and talk to us about how we survived 30 years of civil strife.

      So far, Donald Trump wants to build a wall, ban all Muslims, kill family members of potential terrorists & block the internet. To name only a few of his security measures. Trump is closely followed by other Republicans who try to beat him with their own draconian ideas. How pathetic!

      What makes anybody think Sri Lanka needs advise from USA?

      Cheers!

      • 8
        7

        Ben Hurling

        “OMG, what field of xenophobic, Christian fundamentalist, security freaks that was on stage yesterday.”

        Have you forgotten our own Sinhala/Buddhist fundamentalists such as MR, Gota, Dayan, Vasu, Ganapathipillai, Somawansa, …………. ?

        “What makes anybody think Sri Lanka needs advise from USA?”

        No they don’t need advice, they never needed, ………. will not need any. However fear mongering is part of our treasured culture, it goes back 150 years.

        Gnanasara could do with some support from Trump.

        MR, Gota, Dayan, Vasu, Ganapathipillai, Somawansa, need some reason for their existence.

        • 4
          0

          “”Gnanasara could do with some support from Trump. “”

          they don’t espouse the same Political Correctness.

          That bothers your Utopian world??

          The World Press of ¬Shock And Awe` have been shivering in their socks the day Trump said to the BSF `I shall build a wall overnight and Make the Mexican Government pay for it- he is right- isn’t Lanka’s main export Labour/refugees/illicit?

          Hope he wins for a better economy than `Cover Your Ass` that rule the world know as democratic- liberty and freedom.

      • 5
        3

        ben,
        Is there any other way the US can stop Islamic radicals coming in to the country?
        Can you identify non-radicalized Muslims entering the US and predict whether they may or may not become radicalized? Can you recognize a Muslim child who enters the US and guarantee that he/she will not be radicalized?
        It is easy to whine and complain, but no one is suggesting how things should be done. See what happened in SL because of JR’s “Dharmishta” governance. If he hit hard initially and got rid of the few Tiger leaders who were out there, today we could have saved over 100,000 innocent civilian deaths.

        • 1
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          @Eusense

          You forgot to ask “Why do they get radicalised in the first place ?”

          You are right, the US had the power to stop all this but they let it go to far and now, their own creation has turned back to bite them.

          Who has the power to stop them ? My guess is Russia, China, perhaps Iran because the US and the West will not want to do anything that will compromise their relationship with Saudis and others who are really funding these guys and it interferes with their plans for regime change in the region

        • 1
          11

          Eusense,

          So you are a Trump fan. Good for you.

          However, please note there is no such thing as 100% security. Buy that crap from Trump, if you wish. None of my business.

          Is there a guarantee some angry white man in the US will not buy a gun and go on a killing spree? Can you vet all angry white American men? What if they develop paranoia after getting a gun license?

          Everything is risky. Life is risky. You are not going to get out alive.

          Cheers!

          • 8
            1

            “”Buy that crap from Trump, if you wish. None of my business. “”

            100% you never obtained that at your `O`L.

            Bigoted & prejudiced.
            Aren’t you feeling the heat of cultural shock down under??
            Sweden is overwhelmed (160k ref) and quarreling with neighbour Denmark.
            That is the problem and nothing to do with Cowboy guns.

            Tuesdays Rubio leads but lies to American people like e-mail(MEpipe) Hillary.

            According to The Washington Post, Rubio’s “embellishments” resonated with many voters in Florida, and the newspaper claimed they would be less impressed by his family being economic migrants instead of political refugees from a communist regime.

            Hillary & governing press are afraid of Trump the developer.

          • 6
            1

            Ben
            You haven’t answered my question how else can the US defend it self.
            What if SL continued with your assumption that “everything is risky, life is risky” and do nothing? Won’t we will be still subjected to suicide bombing by those ruthless ltte?

            We are discussing ISIS not angry white men shooting to kill. There are ways to combat that and also ways to combat radicalized Islamist already leagally in the US. They may not like those “methods” but will have to grin and bare for the sake of security for all.

            • 1
              5

              Eusense,

              Recent Republican Party debate of presidential candidates was like a “Chilling video”. It terrified the world. Should terrify a Trump worshiping Brownie like yourself too.

              The debate basically appeared to show nine extremists glaring into the camera and making a series of escalating threats.

              Indeed, the Republican party’s political primary has at times seemed like a competition to find the most unhinged, bigoted, trigger-happy person willing to run for political office.

              I support Michael Moore’s “WeAreAllMuslim” campaign on the Internet. So should you.

              Nothing gives me a bigger kick than poking a terrifying, bigoted, fascist like Donald Trump. Join us.

              Cheers!

              PS: Trump first went after Mexicans, then Blacks, then Women who challenge him & now Muslims too. You will be next. Get ready.

              • 6
                1

                Ben Hurling,

                “”It terrified the world. Should terrify a Trump worshiping Brownie like yourself too. “”#

                You must take away that Bigot’s visor off your eyes and read the latest news before you come off with a barrage of dung surrounding you down under.

                Nothing terrifies the west than `political correctness` even Putin and Xi are are in agreement with The Trump.

                School Teacher Barry, Cheney/Jeb/ Hillary/ Cameron Alex Salmond have had their day and will go away silently and stay in their shells- and wonder what they did creating this chaos and letting 14-21 Vets commit suicide daily..

                Trump was asked Wednesday what he would do to get Russia’s military presence out of Syria, and answered that he would first get Putin’s respect. “I will get along — I think — with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable — stable world,” Trump said. “I would talk to him. I would get along with him.”“He is a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented,” Putin told journalists after his annual press conference in Moscow. thursday.
                21st Jan 2017 even the white commonwealth would follow.

        • 4
          5

          But he was hitting hard at Tamil civilians and organising state sponsored pogroms against Tamils and then coming onto the state television and stating that he will do what the Sinhalese majority wants to kill and starve the island’s Tamils. This is what he has been stating from independence. There was nothing dharmishta about him or his governments. They ethnically cleansed hundreds of thousands of Tamils in the east and in the Vanni Manalru area now renamed in Sinhalese as Welioya. carried out pogroms against them and burnt the ancient Jaffna library, one of the finest in Asia to deliberately destroy evidence of the ancient presence of Tamils in the island. It was these evil Adharmistic satans gave birth to the LTTE

          • 4
            2

            paul,
            If he was hitting hard there wouldn’t have been terrorism. Maintaining law and order is not “state sponsored programs against Tamils”. Killing soldiers and suicide bombing innocent civilians are not acts of innocence. Since independence how many Tamils in SL have been educated to be Doctors? Lawyers? Dentists? Accountants? Veterinarians? Administrators? Engineers? wealthy businessmen etc. etc. If the agenda of the gov. was to “kill and starve” the Tamils explain how do Tamils end up in such noble professions? How come JR’s family members are married to Tamils?

            Get off your lazy whining life and work hard like other Tamils to have a better life than blaming everybody else for your failures!

    • 1
      3

      Yes, indeed: they’re trying to prod the govt to get into the right track:

      ”Sri Lanka is an example of the power of citizens to reinvigorate their democracy, to retake control – through the ballot box – of their country’s trajectory, and to set a course to a brighter future. We now look to Sri Lanka to also provide inspiration to others around the world, to show them how justice and compassion can overcome a difficult past and help create a stable and prosperous future, and strengthen a nation’s security, prosperity, and prestige.”

      But will this govt pay the slightest heed?
      They could brush aside Ven Sobitha Thero’s concerns when he was alive but said the right things at his cremation ceremony just as they did at UNHRC on 14 September. I wonder how the Minister feels(should cringe to be appropriate) inside.

  • 1
    3

    ”I can assure that your success here will make Sri Lanka a reference point for the rest of the world”:

    Paradise Poisoned: Learning about Conflict, Terrorism and Development from Sri Lanka ‘s Civil wars, John Richardson(2005), Professor of International Development in American University: ‘’Paradise Poisoned is the principal product of a seventeen year project, devoted to understanding linkages between deadly conflict, terrorism and development, by viewing them through the lens of Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, from 1948 through 1988. ….. …….. I chose ‘politics without principle’ and drew two lessons from Sri Lanka’s experience…… ……. My vision is of a day when no citizens in today’s developing nations will have to ask ‘how did we come to this?’ Paradise Poisoned will have achieved its purpose when that day comes”

  • 1
    3

    ”his vision of a united, inclusive, and peaceful Sri Lanka is becoming more real by the day”

    Would he have said it if he knows what is actually happening in this country or if he is a regular reader of this website?

  • 5
    4

    Bad news for Elam separatists.

    • 1
      6

      I think it is actually Good News for them. Now their investments in the US election process will bear fruit. The US will prod us to be compliant with Human Rights etc etc (all very well and good) and in the spirit of that, we should split the place so that we can have a place to call our own !

      • 4
        3

        maalumiris,
        For beginners, there were no human right violations. What ever happened was a result of fighting a terrorists war. The US knows it and Europe knows it, as now they are ready to do the same in their own lands to fight ISIS. Such activities are already on in these countries and you should question the US about human rights of ISIS!

        Having a place of your own is not going to materialize. The palship with the US is not going to last if they are to force separation. Once the gov. of SL is off the hook with this human rights garbage, things will change rapidly. And also, who knows what the next gov’s attitude will be. By then Muslim population may be the major minority too.

        • 5
          2

          “”And also, who knows what the next gov’s attitude will be.””

          Hydrocele??

        • 4
          0

          Eusense, beware of kottemiris he is credit card fraud like his diaspora mates.
          say it again – there is no eeelam or peelam and to go back to the mortuary.

          • 1
            1

            @basil

            Sorry basil, maalumiris is a locally sourced, locally-grown, organic son of the soil. Sadly no foreign visa.

            Eusense has the decency to put forward a well-articulated argument without the need to resort to cheap insults in lieu of logic

            Somthing which cannot be said of you and a few other racist unmentionables on these boards

            • 0
              0

              villager you seem to have a dirty mind!
              the new parliament is at SJ KOTTE!!
              where chilli’s grow is kottemiris- you should understand
              the common language sinhala when gossip.

              I don’t want to hack you because you have lost at war.
              one lives life by negotiation but never by guns.

      • 4
        5

        Bad news for Sinhalese racists like you ( who by the way make up the overwhelming majority of the Sinhalese) racist Sinhalese politicians ( many still in the ruling government) armed forces and police who are hell bent on destroying the ancient Eelam Tamil nation destroy their land language religion and culture. Unless genuine reconciliation and federalism is given Eelam will come.

        • 3
          1

          Paul,
          If i am a racist what should I call you who support ltte terrorist seeking elam and suicide murdered over 100,000 sinhalese?
          Stop living on history. Tamil elam is history. Stop dreaming, work with the sinhalese to improve your life. Keeping calling Sinhalese “racists” is not going to help you! The only chance of getting elam is when the US hand over America back to the native Indians!

        • 0
          0

          @Paul, you have nailed it on the head, Eelam is right around the corner. We Elelam Tamils should prepare for the new struggle, you should not waste time typing here, we have work to do. How many black Tigers can you recruit?

          Can you fly? we need air black Tigers too?
          We should demand a war crime investigation into inhumane treatment meted out to Thalaivar, the eternal leader of Tamils. Like Jesus, Thalaivar ( may he rest in peace), endured pain as he was sodomized with a hot iron rod by genocidal sinhalaya’s army.
          Tamils should meet Trump and get his endorsement for an international war crime, crimes against humanity panel.
          Long live Tamil Eelam

  • 3
    2

    This reminds me of Amway Sales Talks.

    Where are the big ticket real time projects like Roads, Trains , Buses , Farms , Manufacturing bases which give the Dalits jobs and lift their living standards?.

    They can’t just live on Human Rights, Womens Rights and people to people contacts with the Americans..

    Mr Shannon doesn’t seem to think that does not fit in to his Pillars category.

    Has American built any of the above in a Developing Nation since destroying Iraq?.

    But the Elite and the Anglicans would have felt ecstatic when he greeted them Good Morning , before Vannakkaam.

    • 2
      0

      “”Has American built any of the above in a Developing Nation since destroying Iraq?.”

      It definitely has built a Billion $$$ rail line at South Sudan to Ethiopia which is guarded by 50k Ethiopian Army.

      Create hanumans bridge with Modi by taking 10 million Dalits who like the sea breeze from Hindia- the US can help you forget the Tamils.

  • 2
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    “Your nation sits at the crossroads of Africa, South Asia, and East Asia. By the middle of this century, economists predict that Asia will account for 50 percent of the world’s GDP. Over the next few decades, the supply and demand generated by the billions of people who call this region home will become increasingly central to the world economy and to global stability. We share your vision of Sri Lanka as a hub for trade and investment, and support this effort through our Indo-Pacific Economic Corridor initiative.”

    He forgot to add the “USA don’t want the Chinese to grab it. So we put pro US govt under the guise of democracy and we will wipe the war crime slate clean wink wink nudge nudge”

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      Never trust the 2 colony boys
      Like Bangaladesh nicked from India by Henry Kissinger- America would make lanka Islamic State or India- America would would jail the underdog and take credit- saying what freinds we have!!
      Witness too the recent insider-trading trials involving the Galleon Group hedge fund – in which the key defendants, witnesses and prosecutors traced their roots to India – highlighted the rise of Indian-Americans on Wall Street. Or the recent appointments of Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai as the chief executives of iconic U.S. tech companies Microsoft and Google
      The collapse of the Galleon Group–a hedge fund that managed more than $7 billion in assets–from criminal charges of insider trading was a sensational case that pitted prosecutor Preet Bharara, himself the son of Indian immigrants, against the best and brightest of the South Asian business community. At the center of the case was self-described King of Kings, Galleon’s founder Raj Rajaratnam, a Sri-Lankan-born, Wharton-educated billionaire. But the most shocking allegation was that the éminence grise of Indian business, Rajat Gupta, was Rajaratnam’s accomplice and mole. If not for Gupta’s nose-to-the-grindstone rise to head up McKinsey & Co and a position on the Goldman Sachs board, men like Rajaratnam would have never made it to the top of America’s moneyed elite.
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Billionaires-Apprentice-Indian-American-Galleon/dp/1455504017

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      Rajash

      You are so sweet as you have given a short and sweet answer to the point.

      Now you seems to understand the Mahinda Chinthane. US hates Mahinda Chinthane because it is China, Russia friendly.

      Keep up your good work. Mahinda Chinthane will re-emerge.

      I love you darling.

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        sorry Nirmala N; Its the Reps Trump who will be at WH 21 Jan2017.

        “He is a very outstanding man, unquestionably talented,” Putin told journalists after his annual press conference in Moscow. thursday.

        “It’s not up to us to judge his virtue, that is up to US voters, but he is the absolute leader of the presidential race,” Putin added.
        Trump was asked Wednesday what he would do to get Russia’s military presence out of Syria, and answered that he would first get Putin’s respect.

        “I will get along — I think — with Putin, and I will get along with others, and we will have a much more stable — stable world,” Trump said. “I would talk to him. I would get along with him.”

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      Raj,
      It appears that you are unhappy with the US mode of operandi. Does that mean MR-China combination is prefered by you and the Tamils?
      you need to make up your mind my friend!

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      @Rajash
      Absolutely right !
      We are now totally War-Crime Free

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    “”Indo-U.S. relationship to resemble the Israel-U.S. relationship, “”

    Like Shlomo Sand says in his The invention of the Jewish people- Tharoor plans to run Hindia via London-New York- and bomb the hard working Ant industries of China- piracy for WASPS.

    The `unfair trading partner` status was removed because Hindia cooperated with Bush and his WMD- Engg projects of Hindia knew well that SAAD 16 had no WMD.
    Enron got away with a small sentance because of Hindia. But Hindian author is living off the underdog who negotiated a couple of millions that he was prepared to pay.

    Why are SARC members unhappy with Hindia and Hillary??

    Stupid mughal’s,Pakistani/Hindia war is a private matter to keep a few sitting on the pot of money.

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    China is in this position today mainly because of the USA.

    In 1977/78 , the meeting of US then president Nixon, Henry Kissinger and Deng Xio Peng met together and formed a strategic partnership.
    That partnership made China to make economic progress.
    Even now there are millions of Chinese working or studying in the US.

    So the only way SL can come up economically is for her to for a strategic partnership with US.
    Imagine if MR was elected again and Nadal becoming the President or PM in 2020 or before.

    http://www.dailymirror.lk/99653/difference-between-then-and-now

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      “So the only way SL can come up economically is for her to for a strategic partnership with US.”

      Many times before we had these “strategic partnerships with the US/West”

      Which didn’t really lead anywhere.

      60 years of Western leanings was not adequate to even get a highway worthy of the name !

      There may be millions of Chinese working and studying in the US. There are many millions more working in EVERY country in the world today. The future belongs to China.

      I am not sure I understand why we would want to hitch our wagon to a system/bloc that is clearly having few morals, great economic, social and religious problems that will definitely not go away in the foreseeable future

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        northern villager stay in your chillie garden.

        We grow non GM in green houses – uncontaminated and higher yield.

        Like Gota you are playing China card. On the 1st December at Paris Xi stunned Putin when he said I am with IC even after all that tech transfer and Shanghai Defense Cooperation- anyone watching China is aware of Chinese philosophy of 50/50 in life- there are no friends at war.

        “There may be millions of Chinese working and studying in the US. There are many millions more working in EVERY country in the world today. The future belongs to China. “

        Please lie to yourself about China and the Chinese in the USA.

        A horse can be taken to water but none can make it drink.

        Independence to Lanka and the sub continent was an accident since London and East India Company was blitzed.American Marshall Plan helped London and UK reconstruct as much as Germany and Japan.

        We grew up at Colombo diplomatic enclave and know it better than most.

        Today Indians in America are emerging as the new Jews: disproportionately well-educated, well paid, and increasingly well connected politically.Although the Indian community remains relatively small – about one percent of the overall U.S. population.
        ______________________
        According to a Gallup survey conducted earlier this year, more 70 percent of the U.S. public has a positive impression of India, a score on par with Israel’s traditionally-high favorability rating. This is the latest indicator of how decisively American perceptions about the country have shifted in a relatively short period of time. Not too long ago, India was widely regarded as the very epitome of what the term “Third World” meant – decrepit, destitute and pitiable.

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    Shannon

    Talk is cheap. Instead of talking, take some action. Gift Sri Lanka with a modern functioning power station to replace the god-forsaken Norochchalai. Build for free a desalination plant to provide safe water for the North.

    Gift modern naval facilities to Trincomallee and Colombo. Build highways connecting Hambanthota to Colombo and Jaffna.

    Send English teachers to teach in rural villages for free.

    Then and only then will I believe you.

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      beggar nation of sinhala buddhist!
      Why don’t you take all the Roingas Or 10 million Syrians??
      the UN pays you to keep them.
      then you can have white babies.

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      Sinhalese Buddhist; I will repeat what I said earlier to Eileen.

      We really must get out of this perennial habit of expecting money from other countries. Isn’t it about time that we abandoned this undignified beggar mentality, and relied on standing on our own feet and making our way in this world?

      For starters, there will be a lot more money available for improvements in education and health if President Yahapalanaya and his ‘athudawwa’ PM Ranil cut back the ridiculously bloated perks of ministers and MP’s. Even more money will be available if we smarten up our armed forces, reduced excess manpower, and cut out wastage. From my little corner, I can still see the great and the good going about in a frenzy searching out every possible chance for scrounging off WE the People.

      I can guarantee you that there would be a dramatic change in the level and quality of our health and education and other public services IF the decree went out that all ministers and MP’s and their parasitic hangers-on were obliged to use state services.

      WE REALLY MUST END THIS REPUTATION OF BEING GLOBAL BEGGARS.

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    Fancy allowing this guy to do Kadiragamar Memorial Lecture. If US were not harboring LTTE terrorist organizers, collectors and political agitators, and if US provided military assistance to deal with the LTTE menace in Sri Lanka at the time when such assistance was requested, Mr Kadiragamar would have been alive today, and there is no need to give these pretentious lectures and shedding crocodile tears by traders. The whole thing is a charade.

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      Kadirgamar was a Sinhalese lackey and a Traitor. No Tamil liked him, only Sinhalese loved hism as this quisling was dancing to their racist tune and bidding and performed very well for them on the world stage, to create immense harm to his own people. The Americans know this.

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        Cool story, bro :D
        Not quite in the same league as your cool historical fiction but a cool story nonetheless :D

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          I am not brother of a low born Shudra who stole my name and identity.

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        With your definition 90 per cent of tamils are sinahlese lackeys and traitors. Now we know who the 10 per cent of terrorists were. So where are you hiding?

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          90%! another Mahavamse myth. I don’t need to hide anywhere. For Sinhalese racists like you nuisance and the Sudra the fake Siva Sankaran who has stolen my name and identity anyone stating the real truth about the Sri Lankan Tamils or their ancient history in the island are terrorists. TO people like you the Mahavamsa that is full of myths is the truth. You people pathetically want t believe in the fake north India Aryan origin myth for the Sinhalese , just like the Sri Lankan Muslims want to pathetically cling to their fake Arab origin( the Arabs themselves have called them descendants of low caste Hindu converts). However history and DNA has proved the both the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Muslims are overwhelmingly descended from largely low caste immigrant Tamils from India and many of them only migrated to the island only a few centuries ago. Now the descendants of these low caste Sinhalised Indian Tamils and converted Muslims are the biggest Tamil haters and go around beating the Mahavamsa myth the fake Aryan and Arab origin myth.
          Kadirgamar the Tamil quisling was dancing to this myth.
          For information there is no Sinhalese word for the island. All the names denoting the island are from Tamil or prehistoric Austronesian. Lanka is Austronesian. Ceylon is derived from the ancient Tamil word for the island Eelam/Eezham. The land of toddy or gold. Serendib is derived from another ancient Tamil word. Cheranthivu. The lsland of the Cheras( the ancient Tamil kingdom of Chera, modern day Kerala, Kerala was Tamil until a few centuries ago, Malayalam was the last major Dravidian language to break off from its Tamil mother. Telugu and Kannada broke of from Old Tamil/Proto Dravidian thousands of years ago). Taprabane is derived from another Tamil word Thamaraparani. A river that still flows in the Tinnevely district of Tamilnadu and empties at the Gulf of Mannar. The southern coast of India was known by this name of this river and the ancient Greeks with whom the Tamils traded , mistook this and gave this name to the island.
          Even the word Sinhala has nothing to with a lion. It is the Pali version of another ancient Tamil name for the island Chingkalam. The land of copper/golden or red soil. Chempu in Tamil means copper or Chikappu means red. Alam means the sliver of land Chembu/Chikappu+Alam = Chingkalam.
          The ancient Hindu Saivite ( Semi Tamil) Elu speaking (masses) or proper Tamil speaking(the elite) population in the island were called Chingkalavar ( the people from Chingkalam) or Eelavar/Eezhavas( the people from Eelam).
          With the arrival of Buddhism the population in the south,central and western parts of island converted to Buddhism, their Tamil dialect got corrupted with the Pali and Sanskrit of Buddhism and gradually over the centuries a new language and identity formed in the south of the island. The Buddhist clergy also encouraged this, as they wanted a new identity for these converted Tamil Buddhists, so that they will never identify themselves with their Hindu Tamil kindred in the north and east of the island and in South India. Especially after the demise of Buddhism in India. SO this fake Aryan origin for the Sinhalese was concocted, to say they are different from Tamils and all these Tamil hating Buddhist supremacist myths were written. The population that remained Hindu and maintained their ancient Tamil identity were called the enemy and the outsider who does not belong. Despite the fact their were the older original population who gave birth to the modern day Sinhalese.
          This newly forming ethnic group took the ancient Tamil for the island but the Pali version. Chingkalam became Sinhala. (This is the reason indigenous Sri Lankan Tamils are the only people who still use the ancient Tamil word for the island Chingkalam to describe the Sinhalese).
          The population in the North East and large parts of the north west until recently did not convert to Buddhism or even if they converted they reconverted back to their ancestral Hindu religion.( Even when they practiced Buddhism, they did not corrupt their language and practised a Tamil form of Buddhism as seen by the Buddhist ruins in the north and east the Sinhalese are now falsely trying to claim this as theirs).Owing to this and the close proximity of their lands to southern India and the various South Indian invasions, their ancient semi Tamil Elu/Tamil identity and language never changed and in fact strengthened in these parts. In fact the Semi Tamil Elu dialect vanished and became proper Tamil. Later this became stronger as they were ruled by their own kings and chiefs of local or from South Indian dynasties. Due to their isolation from South India and even the Sinhalese, these people gradually formed their own unique form of Tamil and culture and took the other ancient Tamil name for the island and were called Eelam/Eezham Tamils and their land Tamil Eelam. This is the reason Sri Lankan Tamil dialects tend to be archaic and very close to classical Tamil/Old Tamil, with many words shared with Malayalam, that has gone out of vogue and in usage in South India.
          The Sinhalese now call Eelam by its Pali version Hela. The native semil Tamil Elu dialect is called Hela Bhasha.( the language of Eelam). The funny part is they poke fun of the ancient Tamil word for the island Eelam and even want to deny its existence but were very happy and comfortable with the word Ceylon that was derived from Eelam/Eezham. They even proudly call themselves by the Pali version of this Tamil world Hela Jathiya which literally means the people of Eelam. They now hate everything Tamil despite the fact they are descended from Tamils both indigenous and Indian who converted to Buddhism. The language is 40% Tamil in vocabulary with its grammar syntax lexicon and alphabet purely derived from Tamil. They worship Tamil Hindu gods and celebrate the April Tamil New Year. The food culture cuisine and dress is typically from Southern Tamil Nadu and once Tamil Kerala. The most important thing is they do not realise that the very name for their language and ethnicity Sinhala is jus the Pali version for the ancient Tamil word for the island Chingkalam. The land of the red soil or or the copperish land.
          Evidence of these ancient prehistoric Tamil Savitie religion are the five Iswarams dedicated to lord Siva dotted from the north west east and south in the island and the temple dedicated to the Tamil god Lord Murugan in Kathirkammam.
          The one in the east Thirukoneswaram in the ancient Tamil homeland Thirumalai or Trincomallee was the one that this American diplomat visited. Sinhalese racists are now trying to claim the ancient Tamil lands around Trincomalee as well as this historical temple as theirs. They are even trying to install Buddha statues there. If these Americans and Indians are genuine about reconciliation and equal rights, hey should put a stop to these illegal Sinhalisation of the ancient Tamil Hindu lands in the north and east and also put a stop to these Buddhist statues cropping everywhere in the north and east and the Muslims who with help of Salafists from the Middle east and Pakistan trying to build mosques everywhere and claim Tamil lands. They feel that the Tamils are weak so now they can lay claim to their lands in the east and parts of the north. The Muslims only arrived in the north and east, as refuges a few centuries ago. People who came as asylum seekers and refugees are now trying to steal the land from the original population that gave them refuge.
          When Buddhism arrived there was mass conversion in the southern and central parts of the island

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          As per you 10% Tamils are terrorist but 99% Sinhalese are terrorist for overtly and covertly supporting Sinhalese racists politicians and the armed forces from the time of independence, to commit war crimes, genocide on the island’s Tamil population from the time of independence. So where are you hiding?

  • 1
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    His beautiful speech – truly diplomatic – failed to mention the two biggest problems we are now confronted with – 1) enforcement of Human Rights to all, and, 2) the all pervading corruption details of which are slowly unfolding daily, and needing several more FCIDs in the future.
    He also pretends not to know that Kadirgamer’s assassination has not yet been fully investigated.

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      well there are more pressing things to worry about. the interest rate of $$ has doubled to 0.5% after 6 years
      Finally, higher interest rates also come at a bad time for many emerging economies, particularly those that rely on exporting commodities. The price of oil, metals and agricultural commodities have fallen dramatically.
      So companies and governments could face higher borrowing costs at a time when earnings from mining and agriculture are falling.
      cancel Christmas.
      would the SL devalue to SLR 200-220?
      Will Modi bail out Sira once again after Ragu RBI fired him for swap. watch the space/

  • 0
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    Too late Too late…….

    Just one year ago USA wanted warcrime inquiry in international level….

    When the government changed US has changed her tune …as usual ….

    You can jump You can dance

    But Greater China is already established here as well as in near Maldives Islands….then in Seychelles where Greater China is building a Naval base..

    US has missed the boat…..

    One fine day US and Greater China will divide this cursed country suitable for their interest no other way..

    Cheers

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