Britain- all the Superpowers You do have blood on your hands wherever you went
Posted on July 29th, 2009

By Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D. formerly of the Srilanka Administrative Service

The IMF voting on 24 th June 2009  granted the loan applied for by Sri Lanka. However this incident was marred by Western Superpowers- the USA, Britain and France abstaining from voting.  It is well known that these Superpowers led by France and Britain  were persuading the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa to stop battling the terrorists.  The Superpowers wanted to see that terrorism  was not wiped out! The terrorist LTTE had earned for itself the title of being the most ruthless terrorist out fit in the world and yet the Superpowers were dictating to the Sri Lankan President to stop battling them!.  Abstaining from vot ing at the IMF  was their method of punishing Sri Lanka for ignoring their dictate to stop battling terrorism.

In the meantime the USA supported ably by Britain is battling Alkaida in Afghanistan to catch Osama Bin Laden whom they think masterminded the 9/11 atrocities.  Osama was once  trained by the USA. Both these Superpowers are also yet searching for the Weapons of Mass Destruction held by Sadaam Hussein of Iraq. That effort, now, years in action saw no weapons of mass destruction belonging to Sadaam Hussein. Instead the world beheld weapons of mass destruction belonging to the USA being unleashed on innocents in Iraq!.  It is said and I too am of the opinion that the invasion of Iraq was purely to ensure that the Superpowers do control the oil wealth of Iraq and also to ensure that Iraq would not be of military might to be a threat to Israel.   The invasion of Iraq has seen thousands of innocents being made homeless and daily people are dying and living in want and the Western Superpowers who are so vociferous about the Human Rights situation in Sri Lanka and Dafur are silent because it is they themselves who have created this human misery in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sri Lanka was battling the LTTE in its own territory within the boundaries of its own small island and not in lands far away- 5000 miles or more away.  If the  Western Superpowers are sincere about wiping terrorism off the earth, why were they trying their best to stop Sri Lanka from  wiping out the military might of the LTTE. Therein lies  the truth of the Superpowers’  attempts to wipe out terrorism. That is not their concern. In the case of Iraq it was OIL and Israel. In the case of Afghanistan it is different. It is not well known that Afghanistan has a vast amount of mineral wealth, especially vast deposits of uranium and beryllium.. California  based  geologist Bonita Chamberlin states that   Afghanistan could rule the World in mineral wealth.

The Colonial Period

During the Colonial days there is blood on the hands of every Superpower. Take any problem that besets the World today and a historian can trace it to some action of a Superpower during the last four centuries. It goes back to the days when the Pope ruled that  Spain  should conquer the West and Portugal should conquer the East, Then these were the two Superpowers in the World. Portugal, the Dutch, France and Britain went to the East and plundered the wealth of the coloni es. Spain went to the West and plundered the New World. Mexico a glorious country was totrally subjugated and its wealth- mainly in gold ended up in Spain. Britain conquered North America and its colonialist suppression made the USA fight it out and declare independence.  The USA of all countries should realize the ill effects of colonial domination.

Then there is slavery where a mass of easily over 13 million men were taken at gun point from their hearth and home in African countries, taken incarcerated in ships across the Atlantic in extreme inhuman conditions- packed like sardines in a tin!. Half of them died in the seas.  The Portuguese had a monopoly over slavery  and took away as much as 4.5 million, while Britain, the Superpower that preaches human rights to the world at large today in the cloak of a saint took away at least 2.5 million slaves. The economies of the African continent  suffered due to the fact that this work force was taken away. It was wealth and riches for the European nations. Slavery enabled the USA to have a  cheap work force- a work force that slaved to bring about production, cvaused the economic miracle of the country but did not even have citizenship rights till     . What a great human rights record!

Take Sri Lanka.

The Portuguese first came to trade and established a store to keep their goods. Later the store became a fortress and they waged wars. and forcibly occupied the coastal belt. Their rule was scarred by incessant wars and  massacres of innocents.  Then came the Dutch who not only aggrandized more land but even brought in indentured labour from India to plant tobacco. Later the Dutch territories were handed over to the British who conquered the entire island in 1815. President Rajapaksa has recently highlighted the Human Rights record of the  British in the 1818 rebellion- where  in the two Districts of Moneragala and Badulla every male above the age of 12 was hunted and killed, every fruit bearing tree was cut down and every reservoir was  breached. Recently the Jatika Hela Urumaya made a demand that $ 50 billion should be paid for the damage which persists to this day.

Little is known of the fact that the East India Company of Great Britain compelled farmers in Bengal at the point of the gun, to cultivate opium and thereafter trafficated opium to destabilize China. China in its turn imposed the death penalty for trafficking in opium. 

During  the colonial period , the Superpowers entirely changed the self reliant economic structure of the colonies, took over land en masse from community control and  commenced plantations for products like rubber, coffee, tea and coconut which the Superpowers required for their industries.  The peasants in all colonies suffer from this  plundering of land. The only Third World leader stand and  fight on this cause was President Mugabe of Zimbabwe. Sri Lanka’s Srimavo took over the estates in the early Seventies.but was forced to pay compensation in foreign exchange to foreign owners. Many Sri Lankans have forgotten that the poverty caused in 1971 to 1977 was due to this fact.. In Zimbabwe at the Lancaster House Agreement Britain agreed to pay  £630 million        to finance foreign owners of estates when their lands are taken over by the Zimbabwe Government.  But sad to say that when the estates were taken over Prime Minister Tony Blair reneged and refused to pay what Britain had agreed to pay at the Lancaster House Agreement.  Instead of holding Tony Blair as the culprit the Superpowers including their IMF held Mugabe responsibe, imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, no loans in the first instance till Zimbabwe’s economy broke down with inflation  annualized at 89.7 sextrillion percent as of November 2008 , a currency devalued a trillion times,  poverty and destitution.   The Zimbabwen dollar was devalued  in February 2009 to the extent of 1 trillion- one New Zimbabwean dollar is worth  one trillion of the previous Zimbabwean dollars.

Africa’s problems were entirely created by the Superpowers who colonised. In the process of conquering the African continent the Superpowers started fighting among themselves till Bismark the Chancellor of Germany in 1885 called The Berlin Conference where Africa was parcelled between the European Superpowers, breaking up tribes, countries and natural boundaries in the process. Indentured Labour : What a Human  Rights Record The Dutch and thereafter the British moved thousands of people from India to their colonies as indentured labour. That was a good human rights record to move human beings as indentured labour tied to serve their masters till they repaid the cost of bringing them- that was almost for life. Fiji is worst hit due to this where the Indians are almost 50% of the population forcing the Fijians to take control through a dictatorship.  The ethnic problem in Sri Lanka  was created by Britain by its bringing in indentured labour to Sri Lanka. There is a similar problem in Malaysia too. Britain cannot ever shi rk their responsibility.

The USA & How they treated the Native American Indians with Dignity

Take the Superpower USA. Its entire  early history is scarred with the wars waged with the American Indians who ruled the Americas. History  is full of agreements that were reneged by force of arms when new natural assets were found. Finally the original inhabitants of the USA were incarcerated into Indian homeland territories. In my travels across the USA twice by road it was very easy to spot the  Indian Reservations. If one can find destitute wasteland, an area where there is no water and no vegetation, then that is the homelands that were left for the original American Indians!  The American Indians homes are shanties; they have no employment avenues and suffer in agony all in a land of affluence and luxury.  Unemployment levels are very high. Let me quote from “ƒ”¹…”A People in Peril- Native Americans face unemployment and poverty’, From Current Events Feb24, 2007  

The Sioux “¦along with the more than one million Native Americans living in Reservations have suffered huge cutbacks in government aid, in everything from home repair to education. Because government aid for home repair has dropped  by one third since 199520many homes on the Standing Rock Reservation have holes in their walls”¦”¦ Unemployment on the Standing Rock Reservation is now at 75%, compared with 1.9% for North Dakota as a whole. On the Pine Ridge Reservation  in South Dakota the unemployment rate is at a startling 85%”¦ According to the 1990 Census  31% almost one third of all Native Americans earn incomes below the poverty line. 

On Health, Let me quote from The New England Journal of Medicine, (Vol.353. pages 1881-1883 of 3-11-2005) where Dr Yvette Roubideaus states of an Indian reservation in rural Arizona- a community of 10,000.   the unemployment rate hovered around 80% and alcoholism,  substance abuse, injuries, accidents were common”¦.the outdated  understaffed hospital in this community had only four beds, a busy outpatient clinic”¦ although the hospital was built to be staffed by 12 physicians, only 3 others worked there when I arrived. Although the Federal Government has a trust responsibility to provide health care for the American Indians and Alaska natives the Indian Health Service is  substantially underfunded and understaffed.

It is important to note that over 1000 nuclear trial explosions were done on Native American Shoshone areas “”…” a great human rights record to talk of.

Schwartz the Assistant Secretary of State who is currently in Sri Lanka on a fact finding mission has said that he is concerned over the facilities provided for the thousands who are held in camps in Northern Sri Lanka. In his words, the Government of the USA believes the focus now must be on the prompt return of the displaced in safety and dignity.  These camps house the people who were liberated from the ruthless clutches of the LTTE only a few months ago. Our President has vouched to re settle them within a few years and this will be done. Compare this with the services the USA has  provided for the American Indians who have not been provided with basic services like health care  and education. Why have their been cutbacks. in services.  This is the dignity with which the USA Administration  has treated its own people not for the past two years( the time given for Sri Lanka) but for two centuries!.  It was only in 1924 that Native Americans were given citizenship.            

 The USA and its brilliant, articulate and vociferous  Senators and able Administrators should first address this mass of m isery that is within their territory. Please treat them with the dignity they do deserve. I had some American Indian colleagues studying with me at Michigan State University.  They had hardly any food to eat, hardly any proper clothes to wear and they could ill afford the University fees. 

The USA could learn from Sri Lanka to allow free education to University Studies for all American citizens  I am myself a product of our free education system.   I have met many talented Americans who are destined to be holding third grade jobs and be relegated to poverty for life purely because they cannot find the money to pay exorbitant University fees. . It would behove of the leadership in the USA, now that it claims to be benevolent and enlightened since the advent of  President Obama , to make a human gesture and offer full free University education to all American Indian students in the first instance and secondly to offer full free education to the poor- to those that cannot afford to pay fees.  The USA has to put its record straight before it preaches to others.

The Exploitation of the Third World

Let me quote from a world authority,  Rene Dumont, an enlightened  French Minister, from his book: Stranglehold on Africa. We are first and foremost  exploitors of the poor, because of an economic system based on dominance  that has been cunningly devised by and for the rich nations.

We export our inflation and pollution  and take advantage of cheap Asian labour.

The Multinationals transfer to the poor countries  technologies that have already been written off  in the rich countries

Because the European countries have largely exhausted their own sources of raw materials they feel the need to appropriate  new sources, by force of arms if needs be, though preferably by recourse to the standard economic ploys.

 The Role of the IMF in its Structural Adjustment Programme

Rene Dumont wrote before the days of the Structural Adjustment Programme of the IMF. British Financial Secretary to the Treasury Steph en Timms said this month  that Sri Lanka  suffered from a damaging balance of payments crises. Let me put him right by stating that the balance of payments crisis that holds all the Third World countries in a stranglehold today was brought about by no other than the International Monetary Fund itself in the early Seventies when they came up with the Structural Adjustment Programme and forced the Third World countries to relax the spending of foreign exchange and provided easy credit to bridge the gap. It was this relaxation of terms of loans- by allowing loans for consumption purposes that led to the present deficit budgeting that is a crisis today. The IMF told the countries to spend as much foreign exchange as they liked because then it helped the Western Superpowers to sell their goods to the Third World and also enabled the rich in the Third World countries to spend for luxury travel, luxury education for their children- all money went to the countries of the Superpowers.  In comes John Perkins in his book:Confessions of an Economic Hitman,  where he admits that as a chief executive of a multinational he had to fabricate reports to countries giving them funds, in a manner that the funds found their way back to the donor countries  for services provided, with profits.  This is how the Third World was made indebted.

As I have pointed out in my book:How the IMF  Ruined Sri Lanka & Alternative Programmes of Success,(Godages, Colombo,2006)  the World Bank and the IMF instituted market reforms are beneficial to the rich and the affluent of the world  in  the place of development planning for the benefit of the people of the particular country. It is even documented that the  World Bank and the IMF gave the countries the wrong  advice leading to their present predicament of demise and downfall

The net result of all these machinations by the World Bank and the IMF has been to bring poverty  and destitution to the entire world.

Let me support these ideas with statements from world authorities. Professor Joseph Stigtitz , noble laureate states the World Bank and the IMF chose the models that led to wrong predictions, wrong policies and really negative consequences.(The Hospital that makes you sicker, New Internationalist, March 2003) 

 Professor Jeffery Sachs,  has made a scathing attack in his book:The End of Poverty. Western Governments enforced draconian budget policies in Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. The IMF and the World Bank virtually ran the economic policies  of the debt written continent recommending regimens of budgetary belt tightening known technically as Structural Adjustment Programms. Thse Programs  had little scientific merit and produced even fewer results. By the start of the 21 st century Africa was poorer than in the late 1960s when the IMF had first arrived on the scene.

It must be pointed out that the Structural Adjustment Programme which holds the entire Third World today in a firm stranglehold, with teeming poverty and debt is also the result of the Superpowers machinations to rule the world through neo colonialism..

It is up to the enlightened leadership of President Obama to reform the  IMF, to bring an end to the poverty suffered by the American Indians and the poor in the United States of America. I plead of him to force  IMF to come up with a strategy for growth, instead of its present strategy that causes debt, poverty and  destitution in the Third World and also send wealth from the Third World to the First World Superpowers.   

 Is it not strange that  I, an outsider fro m the Third World,  though a product of Michigan State University, should be arguing the case for  Human Rights to the Native American Indians of the USA. 

  We have seen President Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka  in action defeating the military might of the ruthless LTTE which was said by some Superpowers to be invincible. It will not be long  for the world to  also  see  him in action again to get rid of poverty and deprivation in Sri Lanka. There are indications that this is on track. That will be a beacon to the world. 

 Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D.Michigan State University,29 th July 2009 

3 Responses to “Britain- all the Superpowers You do have blood on your hands wherever you went”

  1. Nihal Fernando Says:

    “The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do” – Samuel P. Hungtinton (Governor of Connecticut 1731-1817)

  2. nuwans Says:

    When are we going to stop blaming the whole world for our problems and start looking at where we failed. For over 50 years since independance, it is us, the Sri Lankan whether they are politicians, civil servants, or regular people, have failed our country. We has a collection made so many bad decisions in the past. Today we face the consequences. Western countries has their ideals that are different to what we believe and they act on them. They put their money on IMF and they get a vote for that and they have every right to do what they believe is right. So instead of blaming them, we should look at us to see, what have we done to bring Sri Lanka to this position that we have to go around the world with a begging bowl. It is always easy to point the finger at others for our problem, but often we fail to realize our own mistakes. This is because of the ego, lack or right attitude of many Sri Lankans. We still live in the memories of the past. Because we had a golden history 100’s of year ago, we are not entitled to anything. In this changed world, we have change our paths and earn a place in the world.

  3. Nihal Fernando Says:

    This is not a case of blaming the West or the whole world. These land robbers invaded Sri Lanka and destroyed it. The Brits were the last colonial masters and they still think at their command we should stand still. They are part of the present problems. They who made the country devide gradually between Sinhala majority and Tamil minority. They gave better education facilities to Tamils in the North so that they could acquire the better positions in the administrartion. It went on from father to son. When it was stopped they started accusing being descriminated. The West is still trying to subjugate Sinhale to whims and fancies of their Christian idelogy and neo colonialism. That is the truth.

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