Extracts of US Congressman Eni F.H.Faleomavaega’s Statement to US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific
Posted on February 28th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

Yesterday The US Secretary of State  of International Organisation Esther Brimmer spoke of another US Resolution to be moved against Sri Lanka, and said, “The Council’s work remains unfinished so long as Sri Lanka continues to fall short in implementing even the recommendations of its own Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission, or in addressing the underlying sources of its longstanding ethnic conflict”

But the US State Departments foreign policy against Sri Lanka came to be criticised at the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Tuesday (Feb 26).  In that the Congressman Eni F.H.Faleomavaega who had  visited Sri Lanka, criticised the US  double standard in its Foreign Policy towards Sri Lanka, and asked what is the necessity for a resolution against Sri Lanka a small country Strategically important to USA.

Following is the extract from  portion of Congressman Eni F.H. Faleomavaega’s statement related to Sri Lanka at the hearing of the US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific. February, 26,2013

“The US simply cannot afford to lose Sri Lanka due to its strategic importance. Last week I had the privilege of visiting Sri Lanka and met with president Rajapaksa for more than 2 hours . I also met with governor of the Northern Province.  And personally visited Jaffna because I wanted to see for myself the post conflict developments since 2009,when Sri Lanka finally became the first country in the world to eradicate  terrorism on its own soil,  by defeating the Tamil Tigers – which remains listed as a terrorist organization by 32 countries including our own country Mr. Chairman, India , Canada and the members of the European Union , and dubbed by the FBI as one of the most ruthless terrorist organizations in the world.”

“After a 30-year terrorist conflict or war the challenges Sri Lankan government faces are enormous. But the strides the Government has made to rebuild in a way that establishes lasting peace and equality for all citizens should be firmly acknowledged.”

The United States should join Australia in praising the work that Sri Lankan government has done in the North and East of the Island in such a short period since the war. As Australian deputy opposition leader Julie Bishops and the parliamentary delegation she led recently, stated on their visit.”

“Regrettably in the resolution it intendeds  to submit again to the United Nations Human Rights council, the  US fails to mention one , not even one positive development for Sri Lanka . Such failures suggest that the United States is not being even handed when it comes to dealing with sensitive human rights issues across the globe.”

“So I call upon my government , the United States of America to find a better way forward rather than using United Nations resolutions to destabilize developing nations like Sri Lanka while ignoring human rights Abuses in nations like Indonesia , where our geological strategic and military interests supersede our Human Rights Agenda.”

“The US led United Nations  resolution should also be withdrawn for focusing only on the last few months of the war and failing to acknowledge therefore almost 30 years, Mr. Chairman, the Tamil Tigers hacked to death innocent men , women and children in Sri Lanka, carried out some 378 suicide attacks more than any other terrorist organization in the world.”

“We also do not need to criticize Sri Lanka for borrowing money from China. And by the way I was there Mr. Chairman . In terms of our ability to provide assistance to these third world countries, China  was able to provide Sri Lanka with 500 million dollars of low interest loans, for them to rebuild their sea port as well as a brand new international airport that I was there to witness”¦.”

Secondly, Ranking Member Faleomavaega reiterated a number of his points from his opening remarks, raising concern over the double standard with which the U.S. Administration seems to approach human rights in the context of its foreign policy.

“I have mentioned in my statement about the double standards that we are applying  in as afar as violation of Human Rights and the sense that I have is why is the most powerful country in the world picking on a small little country like Sri Lanka- the size of West Virginia , 60,000 square miles with only 3 million people- and  yet  in Sri Lanka we are talking about 21 million people living there.”

“The serious question that I have is that for 27 or 29 years this country was in the state of civil war. It is not a conflict.  It is not the question of the Tamil people asking for more autonomy.  We have to understand not all Tamils are members of this terrorist organization called the LTTE or the Tamil Tigers, that our government along with  32 other countries also categorized as a terrorist organization.”

“And in the process you are talking about for 27 years some eighty  to hundred thousand Sri Lankans ended up dead. Lot of innocent men ,women and children”.

“What I am trying to seek here is that there also was a country that had civil war. It was the United States of America, for four years we ended up with 600,000 of our soldiers died form that terrible conflict. Ant it was not the question of Southern States asking for more autonomy. They wanted to secede,  pull away from the mother country , just like the Tamil Tigers wanted to do in their efforts  in seeking this war against the Government .”

“My concern here is that we a looking at such a small little sequence, of this two  or three months that now we are questioning . And the reason why we have this resolution before the United Nations Human Rights Council, but forgetting the fact for 29 years that Sri Lankan government has had to deal with this terrorist organization that I just could not believe the atrocities that were committed by these people.”

“And now overnight we just thought that we’ve got to hit this resolution against them this is where my concern with double standards.”

“Our government to the 10 year period that we were in war in Vietnam . In Vietnam Mr. Secretary, let’s ask the tens and thousands of women and children innocent civilians that we exposed to Agent Orange , when we were there for the ten year period . Let’s ask the people in Laos and Cambodia for the six million pounds of cluster bombs we dropped there, and these countered never declared war on us.”

“Where is the consistency in our standards as far as Human Rights are concerned . We are pointing the finger at this little country Sri Lanka. and  the thing that perhaps may be we need to clean up our own backyard , as suggested may be we be little more consistent , if we are going to do it against Sri Lanka. Let’s make sure that we are clean ourselves.”

“So I just need your comment on that  as I “ƒ”¹…”ve got  only one minute left on this”

I know I”ƒ”¹…”ve only got, ten more seconds Mr. Secretary. I just want to say, that was part of the subject that I discussed personally with the president of Sri Lanka, and he is concerned. In fact, he is spending more time on the Northern Province , and all the amount of resources their trying to do, to make this as part of the reconciliation  process.”

“Thank you Mr. Chairman.”

10 Responses to “Extracts of US Congressman Eni F.H.Faleomavaega’s Statement to US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific”

  1. Vis8 Says:

    Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you Charles! Let’s hope the ‘champions of human rights’ at the UN will read this and come to their senses.

  2. Vijendra Says:

    Even though the foreign policy of the US has been crooked, inconsistent and heavily loaded with biases based on fabricated lies and political maneuvering, it is so refreshing to see that there are genuine statesmen like the Congressman Faleomavaega who has not only taken the trouble to see and verify the facts and ground realities in Sri Lanka, but also to speak up about them at the UN voicing his opinion against the channel4-ltte-US-India sponsored resolution against Sri Lanka.

    Let us hope and pray that the ltte funded Hilary Clinton foreign policies will change for a balanced approach based on facts and ground realities under the John Kerry’s leadership.

  3. Sirih Says:

    Nothing wrong with the US people and its the corrupt politicos that pulling the strings on behalf of the minority interest.
    I work with US defence and they are proud of what SL forces achieved given very limited resources.. As far as US defence is concern it is bad politicos that fiddle with the security of the nation. Our enemy is the Irish women in the white house.
    Ch4 video was with the US well before they have shown in UK, and I was asked to give my opinion and it was a divine gift since it was the raw video that I was given with all the metadata intact… Now they scrubbed the metadata knowing that we will go after these fakes.
    Main issue is our foreign policy being muted by a unsophisticated foreign minister which is not used to global politics or does not understand how to create a rebuttal based on facts.
    I sincerely hope that president get rid of this man and appoint a good communicator like late Mr K. We dearly miss that man.

  4. Senevirath Says:

    G. L P WAS A FEDERALIST FROM THE “birth” HE STAYS WITH MAHINDA FOR HIS BENIFIT LIKE VICTOR IVAN AND UYANGODA.
    THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER MINISTERS WHO CAME FROM U N P
    MOST OF THE U.S PEOPLE NO NOTHING ABOUT SRILANKA OR ANY OYHER COUNTRY. U. S POLITICIANS ARE THE CULPRITS

    G.L. PEIRIS NEVER BELIEVED IN “jathika chinthanaya”” HE HATED IT

  5. aloy Says:

    Perhaps it is the Irish Axis of Eval that is at play. Our Northern priests have the connection. I think their ultimate objective is to convert the coolies in TN

  6. douglas Says:

    Dear Charles: You are doing “Nice” things to do – i.e to give publicity to what is spoken favourable to Sri Lanka in U.S and other forums. That is good. But what is “NEEDED” to be done is quite different. These are two different things viz. “There are “NICE” things to do and “NEEDS” to be done. What is more relevant for Sri Lanka at this moment is not “nice”things, but” Need”to be done.

    In this respect, I totally agree with Sirith. Look at what Daya Gamage in US (a correspondant to the Asian Tribune) said: “Asian Tribune cannot understand is as to why Sri Lanka Ministry of External Affairs could not get one of her own jpournalists accredited to the State Department media centre to properly exercise overseas public diplomacy and strategic communication endeavours on who could ask interesting quetion regarding U.S. approach to human rights and rule of law, during media briefing in Washinton,s State Department”. (I think it is excusable to have qoted this from Mr. Daya Gamage’s contribution to Asian Tribune).

    This is where we have failed and failed miserably. Of course, I am aware of the constraints these officials are faced with the type of “blatant flgrant” violations committed by the Governmental autjhoprties in Sri Lanka. Yet we must make an endeavour to meet the adversaries overseas effectively and constructively. How have this come about is an interesting question. The only annwer is “The Government (meaning the Authorititative Figures) have “BANCRUPTED” the whole Diplomatic Missions and its functions. So today we are paying the high price. Do we see any escape out of this? NO. So, Sri Lankans, be ready to suffer.

  7. Charles Says:

    Nice or Needed- each one should do what one can. Criticising the autorities is not the right thing at this moment. That in it self is bankruptcy of ideas.

  8. douglas Says:

    Dear Charles: I totally agree with you in “each one should do what one can”. But if one does what he or she cannot do and makes a mess and mockery of things handled, no one should keep quite. If we do keep quite, such doings will do more disaster than one could imagine. This is what we have been talking about. It is not only todays “talk”, but had been done so much in the past but fell on deaf years, because the Governing Authorities are “Arrogant, Ego Centric and Corrupted with Power”. They display a “don,t care” attitude and work in such a way as if have been “God Sent” to do things as they determine. But in the end who suffers? : The whole Country and the Nation. This is the type of BANKRUPTCY ,in Governance that we are discussing with a view to avoid disaster being fell on the country.

    For your information there is another “disaster” on the way prior to the Commonwealth Conference. The back ground work is being done and I wonder whether the Government is “alive” to it. Charles, if you can please lay your hands on a report by one Robertson a QC in Australia now circulated among the Commonwealth countries and this is about the “Impeachment of the CJ”. Hope the Government will wake up and study it to give a “rebuff”in time.

  9. Marco Says:

    Douglas,
    If you are referring to the (BHRC) report by Geoffrey Robertson QC it was indeed a well argued and informative report most Sri Lankans were versed with and agreed with the fore gone conclusion. I read it and it was excellent.

    Regrettably, i was not in favour of the sting in the tale of “the report calls for the UK to subject the seven Sri Lankan cabinet ministers who convicted her, and 117 government MPs who signed a “false and fabricated” impeachment motion, to be refused entry visas and to have their bank accounts in Britain frozen.”

    This, i fear is stooping to the lower levels that one would expect from the current GOSL.

    You back yourself on your own credibility:

  10. NAK Says:

    Even when it is pointed out that it is the US of Aggression that is wrong, by a US congressman himself, some of our own people ignore that and look for scape goats here. Why talk about doing what one can!

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