SRI LANKA: ‘The West Is Out to Get Us!’

Sure, the Sri Lankan government is in favor of manipulating the media to show its positive side. We’ve noted that tendency here before. But in this regard it is little different from governments all over the globe. Yet in another sense it seems determined to enter into a unique category: that of countries with serious human-rights issues stoutly denying that they have any.

This possibility was raised by well-known columnist Lasanda Kurukulasuriya in a major column-like outburst of denial in The Sunday Times, the big newspaper in the capital of Colombo. Decried therein were the claims of U.S. diplomats to be working in a positive manner with the Sri Lankan government to address human-rights issues arising from the recently ended bloody civil war, in which countless people died, especially minority Tamils.

The Sunday Times article slammed the US for greatly overstating its so-called fact-finding and reconciliation role – and, most of all, for greatly overstating the country’s human-rights problem. It cited Sri Lanka’s UN Representative, Tamara Kunanayakam as offended by the US insistence that Colombo had been collaborating with Sri Lanka, terming that claim “inaccurate and misleading.”

The Sri Lankan government obviously believes that a conspiracy against it has been hatched by the UN Secretary General, the Obama administration, the UN Human Rights Council, the British government, the – oh, why go on and on? The argument is that the unctuous concern about its allegedly brutal treatment of the minority ethnic Tamil community are attributable to well-heeled Tamils around the world pressuring governments and in effect bribing politicians to take up the aggrieved Tamil line.

The Sunday Times columnist apparently holds to the view that the West is trying to create the illusion of an alliance of concern so as to get more intimately and strategically involved with the country’s affairs in a clandestine campaign to increase its South Asian influence – not to mention to do the bidding of vested Tamil interests in their menacing and partisan worldwide diaspora.

Or something like that.


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