“Sri Lanka must focus to the future and move forward”- State Department Are you quite sure, Ms Verveer!?
Posted on October 6th, 2009

Ramanie de Zoysa

The US State Department in a letter addressed to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister has kindly informed that “Secretary Clinton believes that Sri Lanka must focus to the future and move forward “¦.”

 When Sri Lanka crushed the LTTE terrorists fairly and squarely in an unprecedented military battle and emerged victorious THAT was precisely what Sri Lanka had in mind- to focus to the future and move forward. Alas! Certain elements of the international community- namely the power brokers and wheelers and dealers of the world- obviously had other ideas!

 Since May 2009 to this very hour Sri Lanka has been at the receiving end of a horrendous onslaught very much on par with terrorism itself that Sri Lanka conquered in May 2009. This secondary attack comes in the form of slander, innuendos and outright threats on Sri Lanka launched by a team consisting of the US, UK, EU and a surreptitious fifth column consisting of NGOs, INGOs funded by the said three world powers. Unsubstantiated charges ranging from shelling of Tamil civilians, using cluster munitions on civilians, denying basic needs to IDPs, running concentration camps for Tamils to kidnapping and killing of media personnel have been levelled against Sri Lanka by these very forces with such frequency and such fervour that Sri Lanka is on the back foot, dwelling in the past and on the defensive. Sri Lanka has had to spend an extremely draining quantum of resources in responding to wild allegations, on pandering to the forced visitations and on responding to “ƒ”¹…”war crimes’ video games concocted by Tamil Diaspora since May 09; and Sri Lanka has had its futuristic focus completely diverted to reliving, second guessing and justifying the past. Sri Lanka has been looking back over its shoulder, apologising for exercising its will to defeat terror and generally faltering backwards since this attack began in earnest during the final weeks leading to the complete annihilation of Prabhakaran led LTTE. In this backdrop it is nothing short of utter hypocrisy that the US State Department has suddenly lectured Sri Lanka to focus on the future.

 What is even funny is that this “ƒ”¹…”focus on the future’ order has been barked at Sri Lanka by the US when Sri Lanka objected to an astoundingly false accusation made by the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Speaking in her capacity as the current President of the Security Council on the subject of “ƒ”¹…”Women and peace and security’, Clinton reportedly stated that “We’ve seen rape used as a tactic of war before in Bosnia, Burma and Sri Lanka and elsewhere”. Having dropped this bombshell Clinton now wants Sri Lanka to focus on future and move forward.

 Clinton, who is well on the way to a career that gives dumb blondes a bad name, is on a roller coaster since May this year mouthing off warning after warning against Sri Lanka mostly based on misinformation supplied by Tamil Diaspora LTTE sycophants. Leaving aside the fact that the Sri Lankan Tri Forces have emerged not only victorious but with an unblemished record from this so-called “war” the very claim of Clinton is an act of being stuck in the past, muck raking and grasping at straws to find reasons to haul Sri Lanka before a kangaroo court in Europe.

State Department’s letter to Sri Lanka followed an equally absurd explanation offered by the US Ambassador in Colombo Patricia Butenis regarding the Clinton gaffe in response to objections raised by the Sri Lankan Government. Both Butenis response and the letter from the US State Department, to my mind, have fallen far short of what should have been appropriate under the circumstances. Patricia Butenis’s statement says that “During the 26-year long war in Sri Lanka, there were allegations of rape and sexual violence, just as in other conflicts. Secretary Clinton’s statement was to raise awareness of such brutality, not to implicate specific perpetrators.” She added that the full remarks of the speech by Secretary Clinton’s shows that she made no reference to the Sri Lankan Army or to the LTTE.

This- coming from the woman who came to Sri Lanka to “speak her mind”- is a mindless statement. How can Clinton not implicate anyone in Sri Lanka and still say that rape has been used as a tactic of war in Sri Lanka. In English, the sentence “rape has been used as a tactic of war in Sri Lanka” means rape was used by those who fought the “war” in Sri Lanka to conduct that war. Those who fought the “war” in Sri Lanka were the Sri Lankan State itself and its soldiers. Some unknown third party could not have used rape in the Sri Lankan “war”! It is absolutely no comfort that Butenis and Clinton refer to what occurred in other conflicts. Why did neither of them name those “other” countries that raped as a tool of war? In fact the Clinton statement at the Security Council could have made much more sense if she named US as a perpetrator of rape and sexual violence in war as the US is one of the prime users of such tools in its so-called wars against terror.

 The State Department letter offers Sri Lanka no apology, retraction or unambiguous clearance either. Melane Verveer, Ambassador at large for global women issues of the State Department says, “in the most recent phase of the conflict, from 2006 to 2009 … we have not received reports that rape and sexual abuse were used as tools of war, as they clearly have in other conflict area around the world.” Why did she name Sri Lanka who they now say did not use rape as a tool of war instead of naming those “other conflict areas” which have been using rape as a tool of war even after 2006? Verveer says that the US has no reports of Sri Lanka using rape as a tool of war between 2006-2009 implying that Sri Lanka used rape prior to 2006 as a weapon of war. If that were the case Ms Clinton may well have been justified in making the statement she did- and, this seems to be the US conclusion. Having said that Ms Verveer has the gall to conclude “We hope that this clarification puts the issue in its proper context.” The “issue” is that the chief spokesperson for the US besides the President has named Sri Lanka alongside Bosnia and Burma as having used rape of men/ women as a means to winning the “war” against Tamil Tigers. The overture that Sri Lankan Army (probably) have not been guilty of the crime after 2006 (but did so up till 2006) is absolutely no consolation for Sri Lanka. The issue has only one perspective, proper or improper- that perspective is that Sri Lanka stands condemned for something for which there is absolutely no proof of or even an accusation from the enemy front to that effect. Having done all this damage these three American women- Clinton, Butenis, Verveer- expect Sri Lanka now “to focus to the future and move forward”! In my view, both the US and its Ambassador in Colombo lost an opportunity to show their mettle by retracting Clinton’s gaffe and offering a sincere apology.

 Sri Lanka has no regard for unethical antics of ambitious upstarts of the West and has no respect for what Secretary Clinton believes Sri Lanka should be doing. Moving forward and focusing on its future is what Sri Lanka wants to do. That is why Sri Lanka’s very own gallant heroes decimated the terrorists and cleaned up four corners of the country.

 Sri Lanka can not focus on its future as long as these innuendos and muck rakings engage her scarce resources and damage her confidence. Sri Lanka can not move forward as long as there are perverts of justice baiting Sri Lanka on spurious charges which they can not even substantiate. Sri Lanka has to respond to these baseless allegations, protect her good name and guard against immoral conspiracies that threaten the very existence of the Nation.

 Sri Lankan Government must not choose to swallow its pride and accept insincere “ƒ”¹…”explanations’ sans apologies from the US; no little boy received justice from the school yard bully for turning the other cheek. Sri Lanka knows this best!

3 Responses to ““Sri Lanka must focus to the future and move forward”- State Department Are you quite sure, Ms Verveer!?”

  1. Chintha Says:

    I posted the following under Jehan Perera’s article but was not published yet,

    I think with regard to US, the well planned, organized ,commited misinformation of the senetors is carried out by the LTTE funding Tamil diaspora in USA. The US citizens of Sri Lankan origin can do much with this regard. They can find out thier senetors and representatives web sites and contact them through the websites’ ‘contact me’ and write to them of the sitation in Sri Lanka. This will sure have a very big imapct in the long run. You can contact them and inform of the situation in Sri Lanka. They welcome this . You will find contacts through following links. Patriotic key board heros, it is your turn to defend mother Lanka .

    http://www.congress.org/

    https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

  2. Ram2009 Says:

    Isn’t it time that this obnoxious woman was put in her place. fter accepting funds from the Tamil terrorist proxies and being exposed, and forced return the same, she still bats for them. She, nor the country she represents is in any position to advice others re. human rights.

  3. cassandra Says:

    It is indeed right that Sri Lanka should move on, putting the Hilary Clinton ‘rape accusation’ episode behind it – not because she says we should, but because that is the proper thing to do. It is clear to anyone that Hilary Clinton’s statement was unfounded and untrue and the ‘explanation’ later provided by the US ambassador was a weak – and clumsy – effort that was no more convincing. But Sri Lanka cannot – and must not – keep harping on these things. Sri Lanka and the US have had a wonderful relationship over the years and so it should continue. The objective should be to enrich and enhance that association, not mar it with acrimony over the occasional ‘tensions’ that occur.

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