By Palitha Kohona *
COLOMBO (IDN) – During the 25-year war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Sri Lanka’s traditional arms suppliers imposed restrictions. The government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) had to look elsewhere – and China was willing to help.
Following the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, the former Mahinda Rajapaksa regime chose to focus on rapid economic revival and development of infrastructure. The U.S. reneged on its commitment to provide $500 million from the Millennium Development Account for road development.
The recently-released e-mails reveal that then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tried to block an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan to GOSL and that the IMF did not like it.
Clinton was told that the IMF had, during the final stages of the war, lambasted her in a conversation with Timothy Geithner, the then U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, for ordering the IMF to suspend funding to Sri Lanka. In an email sent to Clinton by Burns Strider, a former senior advisor, Strider said people on the ground with the World Bank and the IMF believed the LTTE must be completely defeated.
During her previous campaign for the presidential Democratic Nomination, Sri Lankan Americans, who strongly supported her, were discouraged by the way her remarks on terrorism were manipulated by pro-LTTE outlets.
Clinton was forced to return campaign funding from the “Tamils for Clinton” after a heated conversation between the Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary and one of her chief advisors. She visited Tamil Nadu and met Chief Minister Jayaraman Jayalalithaa, a persistent critic of GOSL, on July 20, 2011 and proffered congratulations on her electoral victory. Clinton invited Jayalalithaa to visit U.S. to tell Americans about the great achievements of Tamil Nadu.
Clinton has supported regime change in Asia, Africa and South America. She supported the sanctions that did so much harm to Iraqi children. Clinton is supported by former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who said on TV that the death of half a million Iraqi children was “worth it”.
In the 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton threatened to “totally obliterate” Iran with nuclear weapons. When the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi, was publicly sodomised with a knife, Clinton gloated: “We came, we saw, he died.”
The U.S. might have thought they had got the regime they wanted after Rajapaksa was ousted and the new government “co-sponsored” with the U.S. a resolution on human rights for the UN Human Rights Council. However, the UNHRC business seems to be moving slowly.
And the current Sri Lankan government has found that it cannot live without China after all. Perhaps the new President Clinton will have plans for a Sri Lankan spring and further regime change.
Dr Palitha Kohona is former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in New York. [IDN-InDepthNews – 10 July 2016]
Photo: Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa (left) on July 20, 2011 in Chennai. Credit: PTI
IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate.