“US ready to support Sri Lanka”, says Kerry
Posted on April 12th, 2013

Asada M Erpini     

For a change, the statement by the US Secretary of State, Mr John Kerry, on the occasion of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, as reported on 12 April, does not seem to have the usual innuendos and the threats that emanated from the likes of Hilary Rodham Clinton and her underlings Robert Blake, Patricia A. Butenis and Michele J. Sison

It is only after May 2009 that Sri Lankans have been able to celebrate any event of cultural or religious significance without the fear or risk of getting blasted by an LTTE bomb. It is sad, however, that the very people in the political and military leadership who have been instrumental in delivering peace are being hauled over the coals by a group of affluent nations led by the US.

All peace-loving Sri Lankans hope and pray that the sentiments expressed by the US Secretary of State are sincere and genuine. Although Sri Lanka is a powerless, poor country, with only a handful of friends in the international arena, it will be glad to reciprocate; in whatever manner that it can, to ensure that there is a harmonious and mutually beneficial relationship between the two nations.

The statement, however, would have been worth its weight in gold if the oft repeated “reconciliation and accountability” did not creep into it. Then again, “Beggars can’t be choosers”, or so the saying goes.

11 Responses to ““US ready to support Sri Lanka”, says Kerry”

  1. Voice123 Says:

    Nothing they say is genuine. Henry Kissinger, in a rare moment of honesty said words to the effect of “In foreign affairs, America has no friends, only interests”. We must be interesting at present.

  2. Sunil Vijayapala Says:

    well the americans are cheeky, crafty guys who have fooled the world for the last few decades and bullied the world. they have only two interests, one oil and the other strategic locations. sri lanka’s magampura harbour or better known as hambantota harbour is of strategic interest to americans and their cousins british. they would like to plant themselves there before the chinese do.
    these ungulates have hit us time and again on world stage, going by false propaganda by tamil dispora and our fools never realise that they are our enemies and only china and russia openly support us at world stage. The world stage is the important issue and openness of chinese and russia. what is lacking in world stage is no one is taking on the americans and britishs on world stage. there is no leader with a backbone to do this.
    hilary dickory dock is still calling the shots with her girl friends jayalalitha and pillai. i hope north koreans give a real hiding to americans this time for they need a lesson or two. the worst perpetrators of human rights have the audacity to go after others and bully them. they can walk into a country (except north korea) and take over any resource they like.

    yet not a single anglo saxon ungulate criticises them, not a single buddhist anglo saxon ungulate openly criticise their human rights violations. another observation is that their media sometimes report few incidences but never pursue them . but with others they are like hyenas, never give up until they hit the united nations or unhcr etc.
    we should never be fooled by these americans anymore.

  3. aloy Says:

    We must not get into another deadly embrace with US and EU. While we retain the hand of friendship extended by China, let them also give us a hand. We must however distance ourselves economically from ME and India as they can undermine the peaseful co-existance of various ethnic groups by promoting jihadist movements and seperation.

  4. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    John Kerry could help SriLanka by compelling India to compensate SriLanka for the 30 year killings and distruction the Tamil Tigers caused and also initiate an inquiry in to the creation and training of these terrorists on Indian soil, with suitable action taken against the guilty. After all, it is not the current Indian Govt that trained these terrorists.

  5. Ananda-USA Says:

    God Forbid!

    Anymore US support similar to what we have been getting from the US in the last few years will REALLY SINK Sri Lanka and drown its people!

  6. nilwala Says:

    I personally think that Sec. Kerry as one who fought in the Vietnam war and vehemently disagreed with US policy then, must have some of that idealism and honesty still left in him that he must recognize the Truth of what Sri Lanka’s leaders who took the country to victory against the “Pol Pot of Sri Lanka”, have had to face in the continuing harassment by the UN’s HR group who seem to work to ensure their own well paid jobs in the International Community, rather than be truly concerned about the human rights of the Tamils of Sri Lanka who were coerced into all kinds of hard labor, recruitment into child soldier brigades and sent with their cyanide capsules to conduct suicide bombings, but are now finding they can breathe freely if not for the pressures put in by the LTTE rump abroad. These people have still not learned and adapted to live in freedom, having been in constant fear and under hostage to the LTTE for nearly 30 years. Sec. Kerry must surely understand that time and space must be given for the post-war reconciliation to proceed in Sri Lanka without the constant and undue pressures from the UN, US and India.
    The US, after its Civil War in the late 1800s, still has people in the South raising the Confederacy flag….this after near 200 years! There surely must be greater understanding of what post-war rehabilitation and reconciliation entail.

  7. Voice123 Says:

    Agree with Nilwala. We have to be pragmatic and build a support base within the west. Plenty of westerners are wary of /critical of India. We must build on these sentiments.

  8. cassandra Says:

    Relations between nations, as between individuals, naturally run into problems from time to time. And when relations remain strained for a while, you need something of a ‘circuit breaker’ to help get things back on track. It seems to me that the change of tenor noted in the recent statement of the new US Secretary of State, could be regarded as giving SL a similar ‘break’.

    It is a poor mariner who is unable or unwilling to take advantage of a favourable change in the weather, and the opportunity that has now come our way should be eagerly grasped, used wisely and to good effect.

    I would question the author’s statement that SL has “only a handful of friends in the international arena”. As far as I am aware, there has been no country that was not friendly towards SL, and I see no evidence of that having changed. True, some countries have voted against SL at international forums. But those who disagree with you do not necessarily cease to be friends.

    It is true also that some of SL’s friendships with other countries are not as warm as they once were, and work needs to be done to repair those friendships. And if SL was to take a calm, sober look at itself, it will realise that the onus is, very much, also on itself, to work towards getting the relationships back to their erstwhile happy state.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:

    When I exclaimed God Forbid! earlier, I was expecting a dirty move such as this!

    There was someone who commented that the press release by the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka the US is “Ready to Help Sri Lanka More” may indicate that they genuinely want to help, and we should explore this “opening”. I don’t think so, it is more smoke and mirrors …. the carrot and stick to drive the Sri Lankan mule. The US certainly has a strange way of “Helping More”. … my bloody foot!

    Even at the height of the war when Sri Lanka urgently needed economic help, US aid to Sri Lanka was a MERE PITTANCE (less than $25 million/year, mostly in for soft “human rights” and “democracy building” work to pay its NGOs undermining Sri Lanka). This amount of assistance is unworthy of being identified as “Aid” from the immensely rich “Sole SuperPower” demanding immediate attention on a daily basis from Sri Lanka.

    The US wants Sri Lanka to say “How High” when the US says “Jump!”. When the GOSL does not jump, the stick comes down hard, forgetting in the process that the US is alenating the vast majority of the PEOPLE of Sri Lanka, not just ots Government. The kind of jumping the US wants Sri Lanka to do, the GOSL simply cannot and should not do, because it will compromise the ESSENTIAL INTERESTS of Sri Lanka’s people: its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    The GOSL must expect that the next shoe to fall will be increased excise duties and embargoes against goods exported from Sri Lanka to the United States. Since the US is Sri Lanka’s biggest export market, Sri Lanka will have to develop and reorient its exports to non-US, and even non-EU markets. In anticipation of these moves, the GOSL has been redirecting its trade towards Asia, Africa and other non-US/non-EU markets for some time now. This has to be accelerated as a high national priority.

    Another thing that Sri Lanka should anticipate is that John Kerry’s predecessor as Secy of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton may become the next US President. She is clearly positioning herself to run for the Presidency. If she becomes President, having taken campaign funds from the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora in the past, and very likely to do so now under the new US campaign financing laws that have totally dismantled all limits on the buying of politicians by lobbyists, Sri Lanka should prepare for US Foreign Policy to become EXTREMELY INIMICAL to Sri Lanka.

    US State Department proposes to cut aid to Sri Lanka by 20 percent

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Apr 15, Colombo: The US Secretary of State John Kerry in his budgetary proposals sent to the Congress last week for approval has proposed a 20 percent cut in US aid to Sri Lanka, a PTI report said Monday.

    Kerry has proposed a US$ 11-million in aid to Sri Lanka, which, according to a senior State Department official, is a “drop of 20 percent” from the actual spending in the 2012 fiscal year.

    The move to cut aid is believed to be a reflection of the increasingly souring relationship between the two countries following the adoption of the two UN resolutions sponsored by the US against Sri Lanka.

    A senior State Department official has anonymously told PTI the aid cut reflects that US had difficult time in programming a lot of their money in Sri Lanka due to the Sri Lankan military’ involvement in US-funded programs.

    “We tried to do a lot in the North to help the IDPs and get back to their normal life and support reconstruction efforts there. But in several cases, we had programmes that we were trying to support, to which the government – the military got quite involved in them, and so we were not able to pursue those programmes,” the official was quoted as saying.

    “So, we made a decision that Sri Lanka as a middle-income country, and in a country where we are having difficulty in programming, that is a place where we should probably cut that have a lot of own resources,” the official has told PTI.

    While the actual US development assistance to Sri Lanka in 2012 was $8 million, Kerry has proposed about $6 million for 2014.

    The US has repeatedly expressed its displeasure in Sri Lanka’s lack of progress toward reconciliation and accountability after the end of the war in May 2009 and is pressuring the Sri Lankan government to conduct a credible independent investigation into the allegations of human rights violations during the last phase of the war.

  10. cassandra Says:

    I imagine that Ananda- USA, is responding to what I had written. It is of course his prerogative to not agree with my comments but to characterise them as ‘a dirty move’ is quite bizarre.

    True, the US did not help SL to the extent SL would have wished during the war with the LTTE. But it would be ungracious to ignore the very positive ways in which the US did help. It was one of the first countries to proscribe the LTTE, it prosecuted and had convicted agents for the LTTE who were engaged in arms purchases and fund raising. And during the latter stages of the conflict, the US provided vital intelligence that helped in the destruction at sea, of LTTE ships ferrying arms. That help was exceedingly crucial to the outcome. We cannot, and should not, forget these things. For my part, I have been brought up to regard gratitude as a highly valued virtue in the Sinhala culture.

    Realistically, all this US and West bashing which we seem so much to enjoy may, in the short term bring us some illusory and transitory sadistic pleasure but it will bring us no joy in the long run. It is in the country’s interest to have good relations with all countries, and the importance of maintaining good relations with countries with international clout, is self evident. It is all very well to keep opening missions in far off Africa and distant Latin America. That may secure for SL, a couple of additional votes at UN bodies. But as we have seen, time and again, mere votes do not matter in the end. Just take the case of Israel. How often has she been isolated at international bodies, with sometimes only the US and a handful of others voting with Israel. But the important thing is that the US voted with Israel.

    As I said earlier, let us use the opportunity that has now arisen, well.

    Regarding the prospect of a Hilary Clinton Presidency in the US, Ananda is obviously closer to the action as it were. For my part, I do not believe she will succeed in getting there. It seems to me she is carrying far too much of baggage than the electorate will be happy with. The US is not tracking too well at present and when the next Presidential elections are due, the scene is hardly likely to change. The Democrats will need to field a very strong candidate if they are to retain occupancy of the Oval Office. I doubt they will want to take risk with someone like Hilary Clinton.

  11. Fran Diaz Says:

    Sri Lanka should endeavor to keep the present export/import markets whilst looking for new ways to export/import.

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