Sri Lanka, beware of the American Trojan Horse!
Posted on March 28th, 2012
Asada M Erpini
After delivering a body blow to Sri Lanka at the 19th Sessions of the UNHCR in Geneva on 20 March 2012 on alleged human rights violations, the US is now sending a team of business leaders, entrepreneurs, and investors to Sri Lanka to enhance bilateral economic relationships.
Investors in business concerns are not generally concerned about bilateral relationships: what they want, quite rightly, is their investments to produce good returns that go in their direction. The Americans cannot be any different from these.
Sri Lanka has suffered immensely at the hands of the economic entrepreneurs and ‘aid-giving’ NGOs. There was a time when innumerable charity institutions from Norway had made the North of Sri Lanka almost their permanent home. They were there to help – or everyone was told – the locals in boat building, fishing industry and other such highly laudable endeavours. However the extent to which these goals were realised had been questioned many a time, with allegations that the knowhow, the machinery and the products had been transferred to the LTTE terrorists. Furthermore Norwegian groups are alleged to have been instrumental in settling in the Kilinochchi and Vavuniya regions tens of thousands of up country Tamils who were being repatriated to India.
It is not in the too distant past that ‘benevolent’ Americans, which included the then US Ambassador in Sri Lanka, arranged teams of local politicians from the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka to visit East Timor to study how the country functioned after the separation from Indonesia. The choice of a new nation that had just emerged on the world stage for the study tour raised many eyebrows among Sri Lankans who valued the sovereignty and territorial integrity of their motherland.
It is essential that proper mechanisms are in place to ensure that the foreign investors engage solely in the professed businesses and all financial dealings are done in a transparent manner in accordance with the legal stipulations that have been promulgated by the Central Bank. Sri Lanka should not leave room for a repetition of the mistakes of yesteryear when the white man comes with goodies to help the ‘natives’.