Monday, April 1, 2013

Human Rights and the Sri Lankan Pinochet


70 years ago, during the WWII, when Japan bombed Madras and Cyclone, the ethnic divide between the Tamils and Sinhalese was hardly pronounced. Both were victims of great power politics that was being played out in the region.
In the 1980s the hegemonic politics once again attacked the region. This time, instead of jointly facing the imperial wrath, the Tamils and Sinhalese were victimizing each other on behalf of a new empire in global politics.
The trans-Atlantic alliance opened the flood gates of money and arms for Sri Lankan Tamils and their terrorist organization LTTE to give the world the gift of suicide bombing and 20th century’s first terrorist navy.
Like in so many third world civil-wars, America and the West played a dubious role in Sri Lanka too. They first ignited the war – let it simmer – granted a sudden victory to Sri Lanka after 26 years and finally vanquished the victors by making them slit each other’s throat.
In this entire game, America had all protagonists playing for them. Both General Fonseka, the Sri Lankan chief of army staff during the war and his boss secretary of defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, were US green card holder and US citizen respectively.
Fonseka was and continues to be a US green card holder and enjoys the status of a resident alien. His two daughters reside in US with movable and immovable assets. Being in the army, the general must have acquired the card surreptitiously. Forget being a card holder of a foreign country – or having a foreign spouse – most militaries even debar their serving men from officially interacting with foreigners without proper permission. Needless to say, the General agreed to compromise his office to swap for a green card with the CIA.
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