By Walter Jayawardhana reporting from Los Angeles

Former first lady of the United States Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said in her best seller, ‘Living History’, which hit the sale of one millionth copy last week creating a world record for an autobiography by a former first lady in the United States that Sri Lanka’s potential for economic growth has been severely undermined by the LTTE’s terrorist war.

Inspired by her 1995 visit to South Asia New York’s popular democratic senator who has authored or coauthored more than 300 acts in the Senate for her brief period in the US Senate has mentioned Sri Lanka several times in her book very favorably.

“ The relentless campaign of terror (by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) undermined the potential for economic growth and foreign investment,” she wrote of Sri Lanka. She also drew the attention of her readers to the assassination of the Indian Prime Minister by the same terrorist group.

Writing very favorably about Sri Lanka’s high literacy rate of both men and women Senator Clinton wrote, ”No country in South Asia has yet achieved all these conditions. Men and women who could have contributed to their own country’s advancement are instead contributing to ours. Sri Lanka…, for example where I ended up my trip had a high rate of literacy for both men and women, but the country had lived up in terror for years because of a guerilla insurgence by the Hindu Tamil Tigers against the majority Sinhalese population and Government. The relentless campaign of terror undermined its potential for economic growth and foreign investment.”

Widely rumored and viciously attacked by the conservatives of America that she was having ambitions of becoming the first woman President of the United States Senator Clinton was probably inspired by the South Asian women who became Presidents and Prime Ministers probably more than in anywhere else in the world. In Sri Lanka she was received by President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have produced woman Prime Ministers and Presidents before anywhere else in the world. Our own Mrs. Sirima Bandaranaike was the world’s first elected leader.

Mrs Clinton wrote in the Living History that the women of Sri Lanka , India , Pakistan and Bangladesh have reached to the level of Presidents and Prime Ministers.

Some say the book has laid groundwork for Mrs. Clinton to become the President of the country. But she has denied having any such ambitions. Critics say the vicious attacks on her book by the conservatives with a declining popularity, whose patron saint these days is President Bush have in fact made the book extremely popular. Mrs. Clinton was paid 2.85 million as an advance by publisher Simon and Schuster. Out of 16 countries where foreign rights have been already sold , in 8 the book has become the best seller. According to the agreement Mrs. Clinton would receive eight million dollars altogether from the first US edition.



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