HRW: Useful Idiots and Ambassadors of Evil
Posted on May 10th, 2009

Tilak Dias , Ph.D.

Wall Street Journal reported on May 05, 2009, that U.S air strikes had killed dozens of civilians in Afghanistan.   This was attributed to the bombing runs carried out by U.S. led-coalition jets.  The real number is not dozens but over a hundred according to Abdul Basir Khan, a member of the provincial council of Farah province. The villagers have brought bodies of men, women and children, which were mutilated beyond recognition and even difficult to count.  However, the surviving villagers have counted over 100 dead bodies and transported several truckloads of wounded civilians to Farah’s hospital.   

After reading this, my eyes glazed over the official websites of Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Amnesty International trying to find out their response to this tragedy.  To my dismay, there was none.  Not even a symbolic condemnation, let alone any action to prevent such a tragedy in the future.  I assume that Afghans do not have human rights when they are being massacred by donors of these human rights watchdogs who make up the coalition.  The gratuitous praise at times of War-on””…”Terror under the pretext of new democracy being created and unassuming approval of these acts makes them “Useful Idiots” in the eyes of donors.  Yet the unconscionable silence of HRW on the face of such crimes committed by powerful coalition amply proves that for the suffering masses they are Ambassadors of Evil.  This proves their “malignant self love” not the human rights they profess to safeguard.  

The latest bombing run of coalition jets that killed over one hundred civilians is not the first one and may not be the last one either. In August 2008, U.S. bombing raid in Azizabad killed 90 civilians which was also confirmed by the U.N.  The U.S. denied it originally but later admitted that only 33 civilians were killed.  But the U.N.’s role is limited to verifying the deaths because it is some permanent members of the Security Council who are killing civilians playing mayhem in foreign lands. 

 Nonetheless, as the Afghan tragedy was unravelling, Legal and Policy Director of HRW, James Ross published an article in Huffington Post on May 04, 2009, fabricated with deceptive allegation against Sri Lankan security forces.   In it he claims “Tigers seem intent on fighting to the last man, woman and child. Disastrously, the Sri Lanka army has obliged the Tiger’s death wish by indiscriminately firing heavy artillery into the strip, littering the area with bodies and body parts.”  It is a fact that SL Forces have stopped using heavy weapons due to concern of the civilians.  Had the SL Forces used such weapons in an area equals to New York Central Park as Mr. Ross claims, war would have long ended.  Sri Lankan army has just rescued over 185,000 civilians from a death trap set by the terrorists. Yet Mr. Ross plays from the same old playbook of terrorists amply demonstrating HRW’s sinister motives to discredit the SL Forces.  

 He quotes the same death toll of 6,400 civilians that Navi Pillai of United Nations originally obtained from the Terrorist’s website and later repeated in the media giving it legitimacy. He conveniently and repeatedly uses the Terrorists’ playbook, that every terrorist clad in civilian clothes when killed in combat can be counted as a civilian.  His fallacy and cynicism seem to have no bounds when he asserts that “support for the Tamil Tiger cause remains strong for many Tamils in Sri Lanka and among the large Tamil Diaspora, most of whose families fled the country because of government abuses.”  and “even if the Tamil Tigers are defeated on the battlefield, few believe that their bombings and assassinations will end.” 

No one really knows how an ivory tower human rights watchdog formulates the beliefs for a majority about the possibility of new cycle of violence in Sri Lanka even after LTTE is eradicated.   Mr.  Ross’s attempt to manufacture an opinion in favour of a new war in Sri Lanka appears to be open invitation to terrorists and their cohorts to continue their lost cause.

 His hypothesis is that Sri Lankan government is unlikely to take up any initiative on its own to promote a multi-ethnic society in Sri Lanka.  Hence he suggests a role for the Unites States and others to play in shaping up the future of Sri Lanka.  Despite the unfounded allegations and malicious intents of HRW, the Sri Lankan government’s conduct of war has already rejected Mr. Ross’s null hypothesis with overwhelming evidence.   It has not only rescued 185,000 civilians but cared for them with utmost respect. Everyone admits that these camps are not the best but they are transitional points until the war zone is cleared out of all dangers such as landmines, which can kill and maim people and massive stocks of explosives and hidden weapons, which otherwise would fall into wrong hands leading to internecine gang warfare.  No one understands the haste of these HRW and other INGOs in trying to settle these people in danger zones.  Are they trying to influence the IDPs and sow the seeds of  hatred amongst the communities.  As the overwhelming evidence show that these INGos enriched terrorism in Sri Lanka, ( i.e. like the Danish Refugee Council delivered electric generators and satellite phone to LTTE leader), can the Sri Lankan authorities make sure that, if these same INGOs are allowed to operate freely in IDP relief, they would not deliver guns with bread and butter to terrorist sympathizers in order to begin a new cycle of violence? Is this the new cycle James Ross is predicting?

 This desperate call for a role to meddle in internal affairs of other countries is nothing new for creed of HRW and their donors.  I would like to reiterate the fact that Sri Lanka had been a country of tolerance since time immemorial until Ross’s forefathers came and sow the seeds of violence and social disharmony, and plundered the resources of the countries that are embroiled in violence today.  Therefore, I fervently urge HRW to clean its acts before it becomes irrelevant even in its role as a “Useful idiot.”   As for Sri Lanka’s ethnic harmony, I would like to mop up HRW’s ignorance with the fact that Sri Lanka is the only country, which crowned an alien Tamil as the King (Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe) of Sinhala Kingdom long before even British Empire knew it.

 As for the HRW’s roll-call for the United States and other countries for a role to play in shaping Sri Lanka’s future, Sri Lanka should say no thanks in one voice.  After all, it is a well known fact that the United States’ enemy number one, Osama Bin Laden was a strange bed fellow of CIA during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. So was Velupillai Prabhakaran of India’s.  Can Sri Lanka put its future in such hands?

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