‘Assistance’ or Espionage?
Posted on January 8th, 2017

 By Lasanda Kurukulasuriya Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Recent media reports revealing that a $13.7 million USAID programme for ‘democracy and accountability’ is to be implemented by a private US company alleged to have links to the CIA, raise several questions regarding the nature of the government’s relationship with the US.

A leading newspaper cited on its January 2, 2017 edition that the US Embassy in Colombo confirming that the company Development Alternatives Inc. (DAI) ‘would work closely with the Parliament, Independent Commissions and related ministries’ to carry out the project. Another leading TV channel bulletins of 2, 3 and 4 Jan. 2017 also exposed the company’s alleged links with the CIA.
An alarming aspect of the expose is that so few parliamentarians are even aware of the project’s existence, leave alone details of the bilateral agreement signed by Speaker Karu Jayasuriya last September in Washington, with a government delegation. The ‘Strengthening Democratic Governance and Accountability Project’ (SDGAP) as it is described, is not subject to Sri Lankan law but to the laws and regulations of the US, under the terms of the agreement. It does not come under the purview of Sri Lanka’s Auditor General – the Auditor General’s Department itself is apparently under scrutiny under another USAID (US Agency for International Development) project. It would be relevant to ask whether there has not been a serious dereliction of responsibility by political leaders, in allowing politically sensitive internal reforms to be ‘outsourced’ in this manner to foreign agencies. The fact that the contractor has alleged links with funding the country’s intelligence agency makes matters worse.

The US embassy has said that USAID also has projects working with Parliamentary Committees on Public Accounts and Public Enterprises, the National Procurement Commission, and others to support transparency, accountability, and capacity development.”

Ironically, interviews by the said TV channel news showed how uninformed government ministers were about this project meant to promote ‘transparency and accountability.’ Minister of Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara denied the involvement of any American Company ‘to train our officials,’ while Speaker Jayasuriya said he was unaware of DAI’s alleged CIA links. Deputy Media Minister Karunasena Paranavitana at a press conference said that USAID was the implementing agency, and that ‘maybe they were looking for a subcontractor.’ When a journalist persisted with questioning he agreed to ‘look into the matter.’

DAI is said to be one of the largest US government contractors in the world, particularly active in Latin America. Its subversive role in Venezuelan politics has been thoroughly documented by Eva Golinger in her 2005 book ‘The Chavez Code – Cracking US Intervention in Venezuela.’ Golinger calls on Venezuela to expel DAI, which she describes as a CIA front and ‘an organization dedicated to destabilizing governments unfavourable to US interests.’

DAI was awarded a multi-million dollar budget from the USAID in Venezuela to assist civil society and the transition to democracy” writes Golinger. More than 2,000 documents partially declassified from the USAID regarding the agency’s activities in Venezuela reveal the relationship between the DAI and sectors of the Venezuelan opposition that have actively been involved in coup d’etats, violent demonstrations and other destabilization attempts against President Chávez” (Chavezcode.com).

Explaining how the CIA operates abroad Golinger writes: The use of a chain of entities and agencies is a mechanism employed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to channel and filter funding and strategic political support to groups and individuals that support US agenda abroad. The pretext of promoting democracy” is a modern form of CIA subversion tactics, seeking to infiltrate and penetrate civil society groups and provide funding to encourage regime change” in strategically important nations, such as Venezuela, with governments unwilling to subcomb (sic) to US dominance.”
The role of the USAID in Sri Lanka today has undergone considerable change since it started operations in the1950’s with the ‘PL-480’ food aid programme, with humanitarian overtones. With geographic location assuming importance in the power-games being played out in the region today, it would appear that strategic considerations have entered the equation in the US’s engagement with the island.

USAID’s Asia Bureau Asst. Director Jonathan Strivers outlining budget priorities for 2017 opened his address to a US Congress Foreign Affairs subcommittee last year by referring to the role of the USAID in advancing US foreign policy goals in South Asia. In Sri Lanka he said that US support helped advance the ‘reform, accountability and reconciliation agenda’ and that the USAID would be working with key institutions, including Parliament, the Judiciary, the Elections Commission and Auditor General.

These remarks show how USAID’s focus has shifted away from economic development. It is in the context of these changes that the aid agency’s alleged collaboration with the CIA in Sri Lankan would need to be investigated. There have been numerous instances documented where the USAID projects were found to have had links with the CIA.   ‘Foreign Policy’ magazine of April 3, 2013 cites an explosive ‘Associated Press’ investigation that revealed how the US covertly launched a fake Twitter platform in Cuba called ‘ZunZuneo’ (referring to the Cuban hummingbird’s tweet) with a view to sparking a ‘Cuban Spring’ and bringing about the collapse of the island’s communist government (‘U.S. Secretly Created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to Stir Unrest’- AP April 4, 2014).

Here’s what FP further has to say about the murky side of USAID’s activities: Though better known for administering humanitarian aid around the world; the USAID has a long history of engaging in intelligence work and meddling in the domestic politics of aid recipients. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, the agency often partnered with the CIA’s now-shuttered Office of Public Safety, a department beset by allegations that it trained foreign police in terror and torture techniques” and encouraged official brutality, according to a 1976 Government Accountability Office report. The USAID officials have always denied these accusations but in 1973, Congress directed the USAID to phase out its public safety programme – which worked with the CIA to train foreign police forces – in large part because the accusations were hurting America’s public image.”

USAID is perhaps the new CIA” said Peter Kornbluh, Director of the Cuba Documentation Project at George Washington University. Talking to ‘Democracy Now’ about USAID’s fake Twitter operation he described how it was part of a broader US effort to use the Internet and social media to create a communications vehicle that could be used to spur unrest. And it was funded under a programme to ‘promote democracy.’
Does this all sound familiar…?

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/-Assistance-or-Espionage–121829.html#sthash.FWnHTUZA.dpuf

9 Responses to “‘Assistance’ or Espionage?”

  1. Christie Says:

    What else would you expect with an Indian vermin, the US Ambassador in our country.

  2. Wetta Says:

    We helpless slavery beggars cannot live without the “dog biscuits” thrown to our school children by USAID.

    Therefore hold the self-respect and shame between the legs and continue to enslave to USA and their USAID to receive the “dog biscuits”. The moral slaves of sirilanka island have no way out.

  3. Ananda-USA Says:

    Be assured, these are funds given to US proxies and 5th columns within Sri Lanka to help the US engineer political changes and maintain polotical control of Sri Lanka.

    These kinds of funds for overt interference in Sri Lanka’s politics should be BANNED, and those who accept these funds should be treated as TRAITORS to Sri Lanka, without exception.

    These are the kinds of funds that were used by the US to engineer the Regime Change of January 18, 2015, that is now propelling the unitary sovereign nation of Sri Lanka towards disintegration into a patchwork of warring communal Bantustans.

  4. Ananda-USA Says:

    Oops! I meant to say “…..the Regime Change of January 8, 2015”.

  5. Lorenzo Says:


    They are all the same!

  6. Ananda-USA Says:

    The USA is now engaging in a heated debate of the alleged interference by Putin’s Russia in US politics, particularly the recent Presidential election.

    Politicians on both sides of the aisle, Democrats and Republicans, are screaming in outrage, while Donald Trump, the alleged beneficiary of that Russian assistance, is dismissing it as a false allegation.

    In my own view, Donald Trump won because he addressed the fears and needs if middle America, that Hillary Clinton failed to acknowledge, and the Russian influence on the election was minimal.

    Nevertheless, this is the FIRST TIME in recent memory that a large segment of the US public has come to fear and oppose interference by an untrusted foreign power in the National politics of the USA.

    However, forgotten in the midst of this outrage and anger, is that the USA interferes ROUTINELY in the politics of other countries, like Russia, China, Iran, the Arab Spring countries, developing nations in Asia, Africa and South America like Sri Lanka, Burma, Indonesia, Phillipines, Cuba, Venezuela etc etc without so much as batting an eyelid. Often this interference is hidden from view and justidied under the pretext if “human rights”, “democracy enhancement” and yes, even promoting “good governance”.

    Usually those at the receiving end of this unwanted diabolical attention of the Western Powers pursuing this method of imposing their Neo-colonial policies find there countries destabilized, without stable governments to protect their interests as they see it, their communities pitted and warring against each other, their economies and their livelihoods in ruins, and their hopes for prosperity and security in tatters.

    For the FIRST TIME, the Russians are giving the people of the USA a taste of how it feels when a foreign power intervenes effectively to subvert their method of selecting their leaders.

    Will the people of the USA recognize that they are being hoisted on their own petard, and change their ways, and give up the Neocolonialist policies they had practiced in the recent past, most notably under the leadership of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of the Obama administration?

    We can only hope that the Russian interference in the US Presidential election would initiate some introspective review of the policies that led to interferece by the US in the politics of other nations. Interference in innocent nations without provocation, and driven only by a blind need to extend the hegemony of the United States throughout the globe.

    This kind of cross-border interference will only increase in the future, because it requires little more than access to the Internet, and a fertile mind sitting behind each keyboard.

    Therefore, the USA should heed this as a warning that “those who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others” for there are far more people living outside US borders than within them!

  7. RohanJay Says:

    Ananda-USA There was NO nterference in US election by Russia. You being an informed citizen should know better. The days when Russia interfered in other countries affairs is over. It’s trying to move on from the days of the Soviet Union. Ananda-USA. Russia is not the Soviet Union anymore. Even during Soviet times I doubt Russia would be crazy enough to interfere in US elections at the height of the cold war. Thereby antagonising the great American superpower during cold war times. Russia is very much into peace these days. Even back then I doubt they would have interfered in a US election. So this story that Russia interfered in US elections is pure baloney to use an American phrase.

  8. RohanJay Says:

    @Ananda-USA to add further even if the politicians in DC are in hysteria. A good number of American citizens are aware these allegations against Russia are bogus. That’s why vast numbers voted for Trump because they want their country to have good peaceful relations with Russa. The American people want to break away from the crap of the Obama-Hillary Clinton,Bush administrations. Americans want to be good friends with Russia. That’s the new reality you have to face Ananda-USA.

  9. Ananda-USA Says:


    If you read my comment carefully, you will note that I do not agree that Russia “interfered” effectively in the recent US Presidential election to swing the victory to Trump.

    I stated that Trump won because he addressed some deep-seated fears and issues of working-class Americans.

    To that extent, I agree with you, and there is no dispute between us.

    However, for the FIRST TIME since the MaCarthy/Cold War/Soviet years, there is a PERCEPTION among a large number of Americans, mostly the defeated Democrats caught with their pants down by Trump that a foreign power, Russia, has interfered in their Presidential election.

    The National Security establishment, CIA/FBI is also stoking these fears by saying that Russia has indeed done this.

    I am only pointing out the laughable HYPOCRISY of the US, which routinely interferes in the politics of other countries, when it expresses OUTRAGE at others returning the favor.

    Ergo, “people who live in glass houses should not throw stones”!

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