Sri Lanka played up concerns of LTTE regrouping in South Africa despite contrary intelligence report
Adopting an antagonistic approach towards the West only further strengthened their resolve and the resolve of other regional powers to tighten the noose against us. It is critical that if we are to tread delicately and get the best of what the game of international politics has in store for us, that we are at our best behavior at home.
In a measure of how far Thursday’s presidential election in Sri Lanka has become a knife-edge contest, diplomats here have been checking the rules in case of a dead heat: according to a 1981 act, the rival candidates would draw lots to settle on a winner.
The University of Sydney has withdrawn invitations for two Sri Lankan human rights organisations to an international conference at the request of the Sri Lankan military, angering campaigners.
Sri Lanka is urging the U.S. to avoid letting human rights concerns dominate the relationship between the countries five years after the end of a civil war that killed as many as 40,000 civilians.
While we speak of Israel, let’s also not forget that Israel has over several years militarily and politically supported Sri Lanka’s genocide against Tamils. The jets and pilots that dropped bombs on hundreds of thousands of Tamil civilians were Israeli-built and trained.
“”For years Israel has aided our war on terror through the exchange of information and the sale of military technology and equipment(…) Our air force fleet includes 17 Kfir warplanes, and we also have Dabur patrol boats. Our pilots were trained in Israel, and we have received billions of dollars in aid over the past few years. This is why I asked to be assigned to Israel – a country I consider a partner in the war against terror. Many Sri Lankans admire Israel,”
The United States welcomes UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay’s announcement of the distinguished experts who will advise the panel conducting the international investigation into the alleged human rights violations and related crimes in Sri Lanka, as called for in the March 2014 Human Rights Council resolution on Sri Lanka. We strongly urge the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate fully with the Office of the High Commissioner and its investigation. We continue to urge the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfill its obligations to its own people and to take meaningful, concrete steps to address outstanding concerns related to democratic governance, human rights, reconciliation, justice, and accountability. The United States stands ready to assist Sri Lanka in facilitating progress on these issues.
Sri Lanka has made some progress when it comes to reconstruction and development, but authoritarianism, ethnic tension and majoritarian triumphalism still plague the country. And a feckless, fragmented opposition ensures that the Rajapaksa regime will be around for some time yet.
For those members of international community concerned about human rights, accountability, and reconciliation on the island, now would be an inauspicious time to look the other way.
The Sri Lankan ministry of defense expressed shock and anger on Friday at what it called a “baseless allegation” against the nation’s military in a photo caption posted on the official Twitter feed of the United States Embassy the day before.
So, given these precedents, should Sri Lanka have been suspended? And are Commonwealth nations guilty of hypocrisy?
To discuss this, Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, is joined by guests: KC Singh, a former Indian diplomat and strategic affairs expert; Alan Keenan, the Sri Lanka project director for the International Crisis Group; and Kalinga Seneviratne, a Sri Lankan journalist, broadcaster and researcher.