Geneva 2012: The signs missed, lessons unlearnt

Photo courtesy JDS

Let’s learn the right lessons from the Geneva outcome, not the wrong ones. It is not the case that a small country such as Sri Lanka cannot fight a diplomatic battle with the mighty USA and win.  Minutes after the Sri Lanka vote at the HRC this time, the Cubans moved a resolution on the composition of the staff of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the opacity (code-named independence) of which the West regards as a holy of holies. The USA opposed the resolution. The Cuban resolution won with a massive 33 votes.

Last year the USA invested far more effort and political capital at a far higher political level than in the case of the Sri Lanka resolution in Geneva, to prevent Palestine from being granted full membership of the UNESCO in Paris. The US lost that battle, and besieged Palestine, an embryonic or proto-state (unlike Sri Lanka) won a two thirds majority.  The battle was fought by a core quartet comprising two Palestinian diplomats –the impressive Left Bank intellectual Ambassador Elias Sanbar, his deputy Munir –and the Permanent Delegates of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. (The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki addressed the Council after the victory to thank the member states). I was privileged to be a participant in that historic struggle.

Even in the case of the Special Session on Sri Lanka in the UNHRC in Geneva in May 2009, we have confirmation from Wikileaks that the USA ‘led from behind’, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instructing the US Mission thus: “…the USG [US Govt] supports a special session on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and related aspects of the humanitarian situation. Mission is further requested to provide assistance, as needed…in obtaining others signatures to support holding this session…Mission is also instructed to engage with HRC members to negotiate a resolution as an outcome of this special session, if held. Department believes a special session that does not result in a resolution would be hailed as a victory by the Government of Sri Lanka…[Cable dated 4th May 2009 from Secretary of State (United States)] Sri Lanka won that battle, of course, with more votes (29) than the sole superpower, the US, managed to secure this time (24) even with that of the regional superpower.

A few weeks after our success in Geneva, Prof Emeritus Miguel Alfonso, the pony-tailed eminence grise who, as co-director, trained generations of Cuban diplomats at the higher Institute of International Relations, Havana’s diplomatic training academy, caught up with me in the Council to say that he had just drawn up a three-hour long training module, the subject of which was Sri Lanka’s fight-back at the Special Session, as a model of how a small country can successfully resist a diplomatic offensive by the global North. Meanwhile Emeritus Professor Richard Falk of Princeton also told me that in the High Commissioner’s Office, it was ruefully said that our counter-offensive was a ‘textbook model’.

The classic example of how to beat the US in a diplomatic battle is Cuba, which moves a resolution against the blockade every year at the UN General Assembly in New York and secures a mammoth victory of 190 votes in favour and 3 against.

The examples of Palestine (2011), Cuba and Sri Lanka (2009) have one thing in common: you can resist the West successfully only if you have built a sufficiently broad cross-regional coalition, a global united front. Such a counter-hegemonic bloc is predicated upon support in one’s own region, from among one’s own neighbours. India’s decision to support the US resolution came as a shock. Yet, it shouldn’t have. There can always be ‘black swan events’ but those are pretty much unpredictable. Other events can be anticipated if preceded by accurate analysis. The Indian turnaround was not only predictable; it was predicted and therefore preventable, and yet it wasn’t. I wrote the following, six months ago, ringing the alarm bell regarding the UN Human Rights Council when there was time enough to do something:

“If one has to identify a single critical or crucial variable for Sri Lanka, it is India, but our strategy cannot be reduced to Indian support…A few weeks after we fought and won our battle in Geneva in May 2009, Myanmar lost in the same forum though it had the votes of India, Russia and China. So the secret of our victory in 2009 was not simply and solely India…We will find it almost impossible to win without India’s support, and we cannot win if India ever turns against us, but we cannot win only with India’s support.   We must always remember that many Asian, Middle Eastern, African and Latin American states will take their cue from India. India has a wide presence and is widely respected among Sri Lanka’s friends. We must rally our neighbourhood in our support. We must have the solid support of our continent, Asia. We must balance the South against hostile sections of the North, and the East against hostile sections of the West. India is pivotal in all these defensive moves and it is difficult to implement any of them if India is against or conspicuously on the sidelines. If, as some critical commentaries assert, India’s position has changed, or is changing, or might possibly change, from that of our May 2009 UN HRC victory, we must seek out the reasons and rectify them jointly.

We must certainly strive to countervail the mounting anti-Lankan opinion in Indian civil society and the media, militant opinion in Tamil Nadu and the lobbying of certain Western elements. We must secure Delhi’s support and swing Indian public and political opinion firmly over to Sri Lanka’s side. This cannot be done by purely verbal means but by policy reforms. As a UN based top official of Sri Lanka’s firmest, most powerful international friend told me once, short of capitulating on or compromising its vital security interests, Sri Lanka must do what it takes to help its friends to help it. (‘Defending and Protecting Sri Lanka’, Daily Mirror, September 29th, 2011, my emphasis, DJ)

My warning six months back was no one-off flash of foresight. The danger of an Indian shift and what should be done to forestall it was set out in cold print by me as long as three years ago. In an article that appeared exactly three months BEFORE the death of Prabhakaran, entitled ‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’ I wrote:

“…India cannot afford recrudescent Tamil Nadu separatism which thrives on the charge that New Delhi is insensitive to Tamil Nadu’s feelings for their ethnic kin in Northern Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu… is an important and influential component of the Indian Union, and when push comes to shove, carries far more weight than Sri Lanka and the Sinhalese, in New Delhi, Washington, Moscow and Beijing. If faced with a serious strategic choice, Delhi will choose Chennai over Colombo. It is up to Sri Lanka to prevent matters coming to that…

Sri Lanka needs to countervail and neutralize the anti-Sinhala extremists in Tamil Nadu and the Diaspora…The balanced solution of fullest autonomy within a unitary framework may be opposed by smaller extremist forces among the Sinhala majority. The grim reality though, is that even at their most disruptive and violent, these forces can do much less harm to the Sri Lankan state than a decision by India, under mounting Tamil Nadu pressure, to tilt against Sri Lanka, and a corresponding decision by India’s partner the USA to mount economic pressure on Sri Lanka through multilateral institutions and agencies. Under the unlamented Bush administration there was daylight between the positions of the US and the EU. Under the new and universally welcomed Obama administration there may be no daylight between the positions of the US, EU and India.” (‘The Indian Reality in Sri Lanka’s Existence’, Groundviews, 16 February 2009)

I had quickly returned to the theme in the next month, again before the war was won, in a piece significantly entitled ‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’:

The Sinhalese and Tamils are in a Mexican standoff. Locally, the Sri Lankan armed forces have surrounded the Tigers…Meanwhile, globally, from the US Senate to the UN Security Council, from Ottawa to London, from Brussels to Pretoria, from Delhi to Dili, Sri Lanka is under pressure and scrutiny as never before. Are we being encircled globally just as we have encircled the Tigers locally…The Tigers have no exit from military defeat, but do the State and society have an exit from the crisis?” (‘Winning Locally, Winning Globally’, Groundviews, March 11, 2009)

In June–July 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the military victory and, more topically today, our diplomatic success in Geneva at the UN HRC, I repeatedly stressed the point in what turned out to be a polemical exchange.

“…As the paradigmatic victory in Geneva showed, we can win against the Tiger Diaspora and the Western European bloc influenced by it, when we are supported by our neighbours, our continent and our natural constituency the developing world plus Russia. In this strategy the support of India is critical. Without India’s support, the rest will distance itself from us, leaving us wide open to Western pressure and coercion. China alone cannot carry the weight…” (‘13th Amendment: Why non-implementation is a non-option’, Groundviews, 13th June, 2009)

“..Sovereignty not only has to be asserted, it has to be defended and defensible. Sri Lanka cannot defend its sovereignty against all comers from all points of the compass, North and South, West and East. It can defend its sovereignty only by power balancing in a multi-polar world…” (‘The 13th Amendment, Indo-Lanka, Sovereignty’ The Island, June 27, 2009)

Sadly, this reality manifested itself in Geneva, on March 22st 2012.

  • nathan

    Did I hear an ‘ouch’? :D

  • wijayapala

    So where was the warning in 2011, when all this was starting up again?

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Dear Nathan, what you heard was a “sheesh!” :)

      Dear Wijayapala, please check the date of the first extract in the GV article: it was Sept 2011. There’s your ‘warning in 2011 when this was all starting up again’. And I have limited myself to the warnings I sounded in print, not those in person.

      Dear Patriot, you need to brush up on Sri Lankan foreign policy. The US Congress passed the Hickenlooper amendment, imposing soft economic sanctions on Sri Lanka because we signed the Rubber-Rice Pact with China. We went ahead. That was under a UNP administration. Forty years later, in 1991, when George Bush sr successfully spearheaded the campaign to repeal the UN General asssembly resolution of 1975, that ‘Zionism was a form of racism’, Sri Lanka, then under a UNP leader, was one of only 25 countries to vote against, and the only non-Communist party rule and non-islamic country to do so. That same UNP leader tossed out the Israeli Interests section, though US Congressman Stephen Solarsz came down to Colombo in Dec ’89 to severely caution him against that decision. The President adjourned the meeting, saying “Mr Solarsz, do you really think that we Sri Lankans take decsions without knowing that there are consequences? This meeting is now at an end”. And stood up.

      JRJ deported the First secretary Political of the US Embassy, for making some comments after July ’83. Premadasa threw out David Gladstone, the UK High Commissioner.

      I’m not even listing the periods under SLFP-Left governance.

      • wijayapala

        Thank you Dayan and my apologies. Unfortunately you diminished the relevance of your single 2011 observation by fixating on what you said in 2009 (perhaps to cover the fact that you didn’t focus on India’s role since Sept 2011?).

  • luxmy

    The author is interested in the oppressive regime’s ”win” at UNHRC and not in getting justice for the oppressed:

    Sri Lanka: Indian Delegates go Home Empty Handed, Kumar David, 15 June 2011: ‘’The umpteenth Indian delegation (Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, National Security Advisor Shiva Shankar Menon and Defence Secretary Pradeep Kumar) came to Colombo and duly went back empty handed and funny as a comic strip! President Rajapakse handed them a flat ‘Nyet’ and for once in a lifetime he spoke the truth. “If I make any devolutionary concessions to the Tamils, 13A Plus, Minus, Divided or Subtracted, it will be curtains for me. The government’s parliamentary group met the evening before the esteemed visitors arrived and decided; ‘Let’s tell them the truth straight from the shoulder and upfront; let’s tell them, if we do it we are dead meat’’ – http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers46/paper4558.html

  • luxmy

    contd…
    This article confirms what is apparent in the debates and demonstrations of the last several weeks: the country serves different sections of its citizens differently, not equally.

  • Sri

    It was in the year 2009. What happened to you after 2009?

    You have not written a single article after May 2009 about your strategy?

    You had simply become another hanger-on.

    Now you write on what you gained on hindsight

    However you were writing like a cold blooded diplomat where people are merely pawns in the diplomatic game and the national interests are far more important.

    You yourself have never taken Sri Lankan Tamils and the Tamil nationalism seriously.

    You had given exclusive emphasis to sovereignty of states even at the expense of nation building.

    The nationalities and minorities within a nation have to live at the mercy of the ruling classes.

    If you do not have enlightened leadership then you are bound to make mistake after mistake and face crisis after crisis.

    Neither May 2009 or March 2012 are not the end of History!

  • Abimanasingham Sitthawatthai Uthayakumar

    Dear Dr. Dayan,

    Leave all these. Will you speak openly the truth why the GOSL was unable to convince the 24 and other 9 countries? This may help the ‘reconciliation in our country !!

  • luxmy

    DJ is utterly human and schoolboyish – talking all the time about the govt winning and LTTE losing.

    Can he be humane and grown-up to talk about what should have been happening in the last three years or NOW?

  • http://tamilnation.co Tamil Nation

    The author of this article is a well-known cheerleader for the brutal, murderous, genocide, ugly military-regime, the Sri Lankan State Terrorists(Govt/Army/Navy/AirForce/Police).

    This UN resolution is nothing. It is not going to bring the perpetrators of horrible crimes(rape/murder) to justice.

    The Sinhalese need to stop their brainwashed, racist thoughts for a moment, and think about the 50,000 Tamils killed in 2009, and the 300,000 Tamils killed over the last 60 years.

  • http://tamilnation.co Tamil Nation

    the Sri Lankan govt is making a fuss about nothing.
    this UN resolution is not going to bring about independent investigations.

    the SL govt has buried all the evidence(dead bodies of Tamils) and built military buildings on top of them

  • Patriot

    I hope the Ambassador (and everyone at GroundViews) steps back and looks at the big picture. The question isn’t whether or not we can prevail at the UNHRC despite the best efforts of the US, the question is how is it that Sri Lanka is now anti-american? We have MP’s calling for the boycott of US products. Is that our identity now, we are now pro-Cuba, pro-China, pro-Russia and anti-USA? That might well be the policy of the GOSL, but we need to at least recognize that this is a fundamental change in the orientation of this country, post-independence. Let’s at least reflect on the fact that the US supported our entry to the UN to begin with, when Russia opposed it on the basis that we were an extension of Britain. We should also recognize that every inch of pro-American politial space that the GOSL vacates, will be gladly filled by the Tamil diaspora, who are today probably the biggest supporters of the USA, with the possible exception of the Libyans, who by the way, voted in favor of the US resolution at Geneva.

  • alex fernando

    This author has is right. The Rajapakses are still only working with their trusted tight-knit inner circle – they need more support from competent Sri Lanakn patriots, as opposed to taking policy advice from Mervyn and Co. Even GL has evidently lost his way.

  • http://tagnos.wordpress.com Agnos

    Let us ignore DJ’s depravity and focus on his claims about India and the UNHCR.

    The truth is that even without India’s support, so many countries either supported or abstained, so the resolution would have passed.
    And DJ fails to recognize the fact that there was an Arab Spring and a radical regime change in Libya. When DJ ‘won’ at Geneva, Libya under Gaddafi was in a lead capacity at the UNHRC, and supported SL. But even though Arab countries supported SL again this time, Libya did not.

    DJ also ignores the fact that Gotabhaya visited China just when the UNHRC sessions were being held, in a continuation of thinly veiled threat to India about playing the China card. Though not many might have noticed, the mandarins of the South Block surely noticed. M.K. Bhadrakumar, the ex-Indian diplomat, even wrote about it. Surely, there would come a tipping point where Indians would get fed up with it. Where did DJ write about it?

    And unlike what DJ prescribed, it wasn’t policy per se, but the utter lack of credibility of the Rajapaksa regime–the latest in a number of lies since the war began being the prevarications about what S.M. Krishna publicly declared regarding going beyond the 13th amendment–that is causing the SL regime to lose support internationally.

    So, some people in Lanka can shout all they want about the ‘hypocrisy’ of the US, but no major democratic country’s leadership lies so brazenly as this SL regime does, and the pro-Rajapaksa crowd fails to comprehend the significance of it.

  • samuthra

    Dayan, we thank you;
    All Srilankans should thank you for the work you did in 2009 UNHRC meeting to defeat a motion on reconciliation and accountably; Because, this is the beginning of the fall of the Rajapaksa clan. If you would have the diplomatic skills and foresight to see the international dimension, you would have tried to arrive at a compromised resolution in 2009 which would have changed the country’s history. Your 2009 triumph is the “waterloo” for Rajapaksa clan. There are similarities between this and the LTTE( and Pirapakaran) downfall. Capturing Elephant pass in 2001(?) by the LTTE is the “waterloo” for LTTE and Pirapakaran. This victory made him believe he is invincible and he doesn’t need international support (particularly India’s) to gain the rights of Tamils. Similarly, after 2009 UNHRC, Rajapaksa clan thought, they can violate the rights of its own citizens, let loose some lunatic ruling party MPs to terrorise anyone question the Rajapaksa(s) authority or send a white van and keep on ignoring to implement their on promises given to the international community. India has shown time and time again, that India alone will determine SriLanka’s destiny; not china, not US, not EU. Time is up for the Rajapaksa clan and we, all srilankan, thank you for masterminding this.

  • Brinjal

    Dear Mr Jayatilleka,

    this is an impressive analysis of how diplomatic points can be scored to secure victory at an international conference.

    However interesting this may be to the career diplomat or analyst it is also worthwhile to ponder on the real liberties and rights that the ordinary citizens enjoy.

    There are many troubling questions on civil rights which have been steadily eroded. If the authorities are willing to fix these fundamentals, the resolution would never have arisen in the first place.

    Better to solve the real problem than win debating points.

  • David

    Geneva lesson is still some countries thinking can punish other countries when they created terrorism. According to information Ms. Clinton basically collected money from Tamil terrorist. That is the one reason she busy trying to punish Sri Lanka. If you look 2008 Ms. Clinton presidential web site she had link to Tamil terrorist organization collecting money. I was wondering why Sri Lanken diplomat did not bring this issue.

    • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

      Please provide link to or screenshot of the website you note? Thank you.

  • Lakputhra

    Indira Ghandhi’s India created, armed and trained LTTE to destabilise Sri Lanka and take control as a big brother at the time. It burned it’s hand when loosing lives of IPKF and Rajiv’s death by LTTE. Prabhakaran said struggle for Tamils begin from Sri Lanka and then they fight India to form Tamil Nadu and Jafna one country. Thats why india woke up and sent IPKF to SL.I wonder this theory is still valid in the minds of LTTE tamil diaspora ? I also wonder what would Rajiv’s ghost say to all this support to pro LTTE lobby. Now India support Pro LTTE daispora/Tamil Nadu politicians and are going to burn it’s hands again by encouraging separatist sentiments of Tamil Nadu from India. Why ? government want to stay in power instead of India’s foreign policy interests. UNHCR has not finished with India’s own human rights role in Kashmire. What goes around may come around.

    Of cause SL should and would implement LRRC guidelines and will give autonomy to tamil brothers and sisters. Ofcause SL past leaders made mistakes and did not give Tamils what they deserved. Current diaspora is just angry at Rajapakse finishing off LTTE and looking for revenge. Government always said they will implement LRRC verdict but at their own time and space.

    Sri Lanka will open Chinese navy docking in it’s shores and award the oil exploration blocks nearest to India to chinese companies. BTW US is brining this motion not to please Tamils but to gain control of SL not to tilt to Chinese who made are only the second country to made stealth fighters and mass produce aircraft carriers to become second superpower with nuke powered ICBMs. Chinese do have issues with India but they have bigger ambitions against US not a reagonal India. Google what is meant by ‘Ring of Pearls’ or ‘String of Pearls’ the american theory of chinese. Then you understand what is Hambanthota harbour. There is no chinese card to play it is only in Indian minds. Chinese have always been a friend and SL is the second country in the world to recognise PRC as China. Chinese don’t ‘Foget the Past’ and they will ‘Save their Face’. These are chinese sayings. SL will treat China the friend-in-need to be friend-in-deed.

  • Kumar

    Dear Dayan,
    Kicking out Gladstone & Israel Int. section done in keeping with dignity of the nation, on the other hand however much JRJ was Yankee, US under Reagan, left out any US support to SL when India was bulling SL. When JRJ wanted 04 Bell (civilian) Helicopters, Reagan admin. sought permission from Indian PM before those were delivered. So whether you are with the US/West or not , won’t make much of difference.
    US brought in this resolution not because of any reason but Obama wanted to keep 01 million Tamil block vote in tact for next US Presidential election.
    Congress govt. survival was under threat when DMK told they would recall Union Ministers & withdraw it’s support, so Congress Govt. had to take a surprise U turn. Just read TOI & The Hindu’s reader’s comments & get convinced. If not Indian PM won’t take pains to send a letter to MR explaining reasons for India’s vote.

  • PitashtharaPuthraya

    Dear Dr. DJ,

    Why can’t you open you eyes to the reality.

    Palestinians, Cuban and Sri Lankans (2009) won aganist the mammoth US because the international community knew that they were in the right side. This time, after years of prevarication, dishonesty, lies, skullduggery, procrastination etc the international community must have felt ‘enough is enough’. That was the only reason why US was able to muster support from those who voted for Cubans and Palestinians earlier.

    We all right thinking Sri Lankans, irrespective of the race, relegion, caste and creed should thank the international communtiy led by US for brining this resolution and won it for the oppressed people in Sri Lanka. Whatever the purported geopolitcal motive of the US is the oppressed people in SL should have felt there there is still right and wrong in this world.

    Imagine a world ruled by MRs, Russians and Chinese!

    • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

      @PitashtharaPuthraya

      A world ruled by Russians,Chinese or Cubans is something most Sri Lankans and some of those who comment on groundviews can’t seem to comprehend. The US in my opinion, with all it’s mistakes is a far better global policeman than the Russians,Chinese or Cubans could ever be. (Remember that there will always be a global policeman…today it might be the US, but someday in the future it could be China or China and Russia together as joint global policemen).
      People always talk about what the US did in Vietnam, Iraq and
      Afghanistan! But nobody ever talks about how the Russians went into Eastern European countries and used their army might to keep communism running…what they did in Afghanistan and Chechnya. Nobody talks about what the Russians did during the cold war, only what the US did. Nobody talks about what the Chinese did in Tibet nor do people talk about what happened in Tienanmen square or about the thousands of Chinese dissidents and the thousands of political prisoners incarcerated in Chinese prisons. Nobody talks about the boat loads of Cubans who have escaped to the US due to the oppression of them by Castro’s regime, and the thousands of political prisoners incarcerated in Cuban prisons.

      Can anyone tell me how many thousands of US citizens have escaped from the US and gone and sought political asylum in Cuba, Russia or China?
      Birds of a feather, flock together they say. The despotic regime in Sri Lanka started leaning towards Russia, China and Cuba because none of these countries care about human rights abuses in their countries or in other countries.

      So thank God for the UNHCR, the US who brought the resolution against this country and Canada who seconded it.

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        “Can anyone tell me how many thousands of US citizens have escaped from the US and gone and sought political asylum in Cuba, Russia or China?”

        They could not escape, almost all who rose against them were massacred in groups, poor Red Indians. A few escaped death, live as second class citizens hidden in the corners of the country.

        However, a few “US citizens” escaped the chains of their slave master citizens and ran away. Until 1960′s they were not allowed even to ravel in omni-buses with the other US citizens.

        That is their HR record. That is not more than 50 years ago. How old were you then, dear PresiDunce Bean?

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear PitashtharaPuthraya;

        “We all right thinking Sri Lankans, irrespective of the race, relegion, caste and creed should thank the international communtiy led by US for brining this resolution and won it for the oppressed people in Sri Lanka. Whatever the purported geopolitcal motive of the US is the oppressed people in SL should have felt there there is still right and wrong in this world.

        Imagine a world ruled by MRs, Russians and Chinese!”

        Bur MR also was a HR champion, who used to run up and down Geneva. So you must have felt the same feeling you have towards US, about MR as well. You like culprits when they are engaged in HR?

        Thanks!

      • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

        @yapa

        Ha…ha…ha…this was the kind of answer I was expecting from you. Let me rephrase my question.
        Are there more Chinese, Russian and Cuban citizens who have fled to the USA seeking political asylum, or do you think that many more US citizens have fled the US country seeking political asylum in human rights havens like China, Russia and Cuba? :D

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        I understand your desire. You want me to assess the more evil one on the basis of the number that escape their countries. On your formula the answer is invariably the one our PitastharaPuthraya has already pronounced, that is “If I were to choose between two evils I would choose the lesse evil, which is US/West”.

        I know people have a tendency to make their own formulas to get their desired results and show case both formulas and results as universal ones. Leaving aside talking in general, let me give a metaphor to answer your query. Metaphors are more easily understood than general theories.

        There was a very rich gentleman lived close to my house. He had several children and the man gave them every comfort. Even needy who came for were satisfied with his philanthropy. The family was a very peaceful and well respected.

        On the other side of my house there is a family who meet their ends with difficulty on the salary earned by the father of the family. Sometimes I can here some unacceptably word exchanges from them, however they also live an average life on the little money they get.

        Recently, I came to know that the philanthropist was not at home, and when inquired found that now he is living a luxury life behind the bars, for his multimillion source of income being disclosed. He used to be the owner of a consumer goods distribution network, and the main agent of a renowned brand of some powder.

        Evilness is found in mind and in intentions and very rarely ascertained through a single parameter. Especially evils know how to hide their evilness smartly and decorate their faces with marvelous smiles. Just look at the smile and don’t decide gentlemen. It could be very dangerous, even to the extend that threaten the whole life.

        “Hinawen ho kathawen bae maninnata minisa”. Foxes always have cunning smiles across their faces.

        Thanks!

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Dear PresiDunce Bean,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I whole-heartedly agree with you.

    I also do not think US and West is perfect. There are manythings done by them I do not agree with. The almost blind folded support for Israel inspite of whatever they do to palestinians is one. If you look at what US did in their backyard in the immediate past you can find enough evidence to say they are not perfect.

    However, having said that I strongly beleive that the role of US and West is crucial today in promoting human rights, maintaining world peace and controlling authoritariansim in the world.

    Take for example Iran and North Korea. While being disgusted about the hypocracy of west about Iran and N/Koriea’s nuclear program (the fact that they and their allies can have them but not others) I have to confess that nuclear Iran and N/Korea are not good for the world. Thererfore, in the long run and final analysis the US/West is doing a good job by policing the world.

    As you correctly said US/West are in a far higher position in the moral scale than Russia and China. The Russians and Chinese supports countries like Sri Lanka not because their love them but because they know that they have skeletons in their cupbords. The most important difference is that these skeletons are skeletons of their own people.

    If I were to choose between two evils I would choose the lesse evil, which is US/West.

    • http://srilankalandoftheblind.blogspot.com/ PresiDunce Bean

      @yapa

      …here is a metaphor for you.

      Four years before the Cricket World Cup held in 2011, Yapa and PresiDunce Bean argued back and forth as to who would win the World Cup. Yapa the SL patriot insisted that Sri Lanka would lift the cup. PresiDunce Bean the cricket lover (who did not have a single patriotic bone in his body, who firmly believed in Socrates’s quote, “I am neither an Athenian, nor a Greek, I am a citizen of the world.”) insisted that it would either be India, Pakistan, Australia or South Africa who would win. Watching this never ending argument, a wise old man advised both of them that it was a waste of time arguing because they would only know the final result in four years time. So Yapa and PresiDunce Bean waited patiently for four years. Sri Lanka and India came to the Finals and India won the Cup.

      The moral of the story is: Don’t count your chickens before they are hatched, and that blind patriotism should never be used as a yard stick to judge what is right or wrong, or what is good or bad.

      …So Yapa, lets sit back and wait to see what will happen in the future to China, Russia, Cuba, Sri Lanka, USA and the European countries allied with the US. If you and I live another 25 years we would be able to see if the alleged war crimes committed against Tamil civilians that the GOSL is accused of is swept under the carpet or if those accused are bought to justice.

      We will also be able to see if the GOSL devolves power to the Tamils or not, and what will happen if they don’t.

      We will also know if Rajapskas’s dream of forming a family dynasty becomes a reality or after a few years the people will decide that enough is enough and kick them out of power by using the ballot or through an Arab style revolution.

      And in about 5 or 6 years time, you and I will know for sure if this country will become the “Wonder of Asia” or the “Debacle of Asia.”

      We both know that USA won the cold war. In 25 years time we will know if China and Russia are able to displace the US as a superpower and the global policeman of the world.

      …until then Yapa, may you live a long and prosperous life. ;)

      “All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.”
      George Orwell

      • http://etofinda yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean;

        “…So Yapa, lets sit back and wait to see what will happen in the future to China, Russia, Cuba, Sri Lanka, USA and the European countries allied with the US.”

        All of them are a pack of crabs fighting in the boiling economic pot. When the fossil fuel for economic heating finishes in a few years, don’t know the crabs will survive to see the result in twenty five years. I think by that time the crabs will be fighting for the remaining drop of petroleum to see whose fuel will heat the pot to end their lives to send them to the heavens to embrace their creator, they would not remember the trivial niceties in the past.

        You are embraced with a philosophy that kills yourself from beneath. Have you watched the video: The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See, I posted in an earlier thread?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-QA2rkpBSY&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=SP6A1FD147A45EF50D

        Thanks!

        Thanks!

      • yapa

        Dear PresiDunce Bean/PitastharaPuthraya;

        Your day dreams are broken into pieces. Please watch.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aRD273wFLs&feature=related

        Thanks!

  • yapa

    Dear PresiDunce Bean/PitastharaPuthraya;

    USA Vs. CHINA

    “Can anyone tell me how many thousands of US citizens have escaped from the US and gone and sought political asylum in Cuba, Russia or China?
    Birds of a feather, flock together they say. The despotic regime in Sri Lanka started leaning towards Russia, China and Cuba because none of these countries care about human rights abuses in their countries or in other countries.”

    ——-Presidunce Bean

    “As you correctly said US/West are in a far higher position in the moral scale than Russia and China. The Russians and Chinese supports countries like Sri Lanka not because their love them but because they know that they have skeletons in their cupbords. The most important difference is that these skeletons are skeletons of their own people.

    If I were to choose between two evils I would choose the lesse evil, which is US/West.”

    ———PitastharaPuthraya

    Please watch,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVSCA0z8ZjM&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hwSc4Xcja_c&feature=related

    Thanks!

  • PitastharaPuthraya

    Dear Yapa,

    Thanks for the interesting links.