Why the double standards
Posted on June 5th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

TheƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 23rd Commonwealth Heads of Government MeetingƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (CHOGM) will be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 15 to 17 November 2013. However, this occasion is being marred by several International, Diaspora and Sri Lanka-based organizations calling the consideration of Sri Lanka as hostƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ ‘grossly inappropriate’, with Sri Lanka standing accused of rights abuses, war crimes and even genocide.

While it pertinent for our leaders and us as a nation to honour all moral and legal obligations, the question arises as to why nations such as ours are held accountable to all International laws and conventions, when other nations get away with or have gotten away with far worse, facing little to no consequence. For instance:

The 2003 of Iraq

After the events of September 11, the USA, on totally fabricated reasoning launched an invasion Iraq, an independent and sovereign nation that in no way threatened US citizens. There were no weapons of mass destruction, no real connection to Al-Qaeda (although this may have all changed now) and none of the hijackers involved in the World Trade Center bombings were Iraqis. 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, 2 were from UAE, 1 was from Egypt and the other was from Lebanon.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚  Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the attacks was a Saudi national. There are also allegations that the US used of depleted Uranium bombs and white phosphorus. The US has since dropped a further 2000-3000 more tons of depleted uranium (DU) which will mean a future generation of children from yet another country will be born with birth defects, the other being children from Vietnam being born with birth defects due to the use of Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. The use of white phosphorous as a weapon is prohibited under Protocol III of the 1980 Convention of Certain Conventional Weapons. White phosphorous can cause injuries and even death in three ways: by burning deep into tissue, by being inhaled as a smoke, and by being ingested. Extensive exposure by burning and ingestion is fatal.


The United Kingdom and the coalition is accused is multiple rights abuses during the Iraq war.ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ 

As a consequence of the war Iraq is becoming destabilized and fragmented due to ensuing sectarian violence, and as of June 21, 2007, theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ UNHCRƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ estimated that over 4.2 millionƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ IraqisƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ have been displaced, with 2 million within IraqƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ and 2.2 million in neighboring countries. Most have ventured toƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ JordanƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ andƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Syria, creating demographic shifts that have worried both governments.

The only logical assumption one could make is that the only real reason for the current war in Iraq is the access to be gained to its vast oil reserves.

US involvement in regime changes

The USA has been involved in and assisted in theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ overthrow of foreign governmentsƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (more recently termed “regime change“) without the overt use of U.S. military force. Often, such operations are tasked to theƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Central Intelligence AgencyƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ (CIA). Judging by the some of the countries noted in this list, it begs the question if these nations would have fared better if not for outside interference.


  • March 1949 Syrian coup d’ƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©tat & 2012
  • 1953 Iranian coup d’ƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©tat & 2005 up to date
  • 1954 Guatemalan coup d’ƒÆ’†’ƒ”š‚©tat
  • Tibet 1955ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”70s
  • Indonesia 1958
  • Cuba 1959 (famously known as the Bay of Pigs invasion)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo 1960ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”65
  • Iraq 1960ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”63 & 2002/3 up to date
  • Dominican Republic 1961
  • South Vietnam 1963
  • Brazil 1964
  • Ghana 1966
  • Chile 1970ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”73
  • Afghanistan 1979ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”89 & 2001 up to date
  • Turkey 1980
  • Poland 1980ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”81
  • Nicaragua 1981ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”90
  • Cambodia 1980ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”95
  • Angola 1980s
  • Philippines 1986
  • Iraq 1992ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”96
  • Venezuela 2002
  • Gaza Strip 2006ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”present
  • Somalia 2006ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢¢”š¬…”07
  • Libya 2011

ƒÆ’-¡ƒ”š‚ Sri Lanka should not just bow down to the ongoing international pressure. Vague allegations and the one-off video by Channel four are meaningless if they are not backed with solid, undisputable proof. Our army succeeded in defeating one of the most ruthless terrorist outfits in the world, a boast which even the USA cannot make claim to in modern times. Those in the international community should first look to correcting the flaws of their own nations before pointing fingers at us.

3 Responses to “Why the double standards”

  1. Vis8 Says:

    Thank you for standing up to the vicious campaign against Sri Lanka by western politicians who now depend on the funding and promised votes of the Tamil diaspora. Tamils in Sri Lanka are living happily and peacefully, without fear of their children being abducted to man the front lines by the terrorists………. it is only the guilt-ridden diaspora, who have used the “war” as means of getting to greener pastures of the world, who have a vendetta against Sri Lanka.

  2. Lorenzo Says:

    Apartheid standards.

    IF the casualty is of a particular culture, then there is a war crime, etc.

    IF NOT, nothing.

    This is the law followed by the WORLD POLICEMAN. Unfortunately not even an astoroid has hit this apartheid WORLD POLICEMAN.

  3. A. Sooriarachi Says:

    It had been reported that the US forces even engaged in large scale bulldozing of sand in to trenches and pits where Iraqui civilians and combatants were taking shelter from the bombs, to bury them alive. Why haven’t UNHRC, HRW and AI investigated these crimes? Is this a case of “might is right”?

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