Common candidate and common threats

Reports that the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has summoned former Sri Lankan Army Commander and present Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is currently in the US on holiday, for a meeting has raised many an eyebrow in diplomatic and political circles in Colombo. Opinion is divided on the US move: Some wonder whether the meeting has anything do with the process of granting US citizenship to the general, who is a green card holder, while others opine that the US is either taking action in accordance with a State Department report on the incidents during the recent conflict in Sri Lanka or trying to ascertain some information to be used against the Sir Lankan government.

Any legal action against Sri Lanka politicians or military commanders based on the State Department report with hearsay as the basis will not only amount to standing the principle of justice on its head but also confirm that the US is on a witch hunt against Sri Lanka, having failed to save the LTTE leaders. If the US ever wants to use hearsay and press reports as evidence against another sovereign State in pressing war crime charges, it will have to, first of all, act on the charges that UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary and Arbitrary Executions Phillip Alston has levelled against the US military.

An eminent professor of law, Alston minced no words on Oct. 26, when he accused the US of extrajudicial, arbitrary and summary executions in Afghanistan and Pakistan. By initiating action on unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes against Sri Lanka, the Obama administration will only embolden human rights groups to pressure Washington to investigate the well documented specific instances of war crimes the US military has been committing overseas.

Ironically, the DHS move has come at a time when efforts are being made in some quarters here to cause disunity among political and military top guns who were instrumental in defeating the LTTE, as part of a strategy to dislodge the present political dispensation. The Opposition is trying its best to persuade Gen. Fonseka to contest the next presidential election as a third candidate and eat into President Rajapaksa's support base consisting mostly of the advocates of war so that the UNP candidate will stand to gain from a split in the nationalist vote. The strategy of the Western bloc, which is frustrated over its failure to save Prabhakaran, who desperately sought its help to escape is patently clear.

The West wants to install a pro-western puppet government in Colombo ready to back its war crimes witch hunt against their rivals in the present government and military bigwigs responsible for defeating the LTTE. (Remember the grand betrayal of an army Deep Penetration unit at the Millennium City, Athurugiriya in 2002.) It is fairly well known that western governments want to involve themselves in Sri Lanka in a bigger way with an eye on China's energy routes in the Indian Ocean on the pretext of evolving a political solution.

That Sri Lanka's successful war on terror has helped eliminate scourges such as child soldiers, civilian massacres, human bombs, the blasting of civilian targets, political assassination, extortion, kangaroo courts and a host of other crimes the LTTE committed for nearly three decades, is of little concern to the West, which wants its agenda to take precedence over Sri Lanka's wellbeing! It may also have no qualms about promoting its interests even by creating conditions for the revival of terrorism here, if how it promoted barbaric terrorism to oust Russians from Afghanistan is any indication.

It is hoped that Gen. Fonseka will return home fully convinced that he has a pivotal role to play in defending the country's victory over terrorism and desist from playing into the hands of bankrupt wily political elements being propped up by sinister external forces.

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