The plot thickens!

The US government remains tight-lipped on an 'interview' the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sought with Chief of Defence Staff and former Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who is currently in the US. The State Department has claimed it has no knowledge of the DHS move. One is intrigued! If the State Department is unaware of a vital decision another US government agency across the street has taken in respect of a UN member State, how can it claim to have some knowledge of what it terms possible 'war crimes' alleged to have been committed on a battlefield tens of thousands of kilometres away?

It has now been established that the objective of the DHS is to ferret out some information from Gen. Fonseka to be used against Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry has rightly pointed out that the US government must not seek access to 'privileged information' Gen. Fonseka may have of Sri Lanka's national security in his official capacity as CDS as well as former Army Commander. Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama, for once, hit the nail on the head, when he said on Monday, as we reported yesterday, that the US could not use Gen. Fonseka's Green Card, which was a mere visa arrangement, as an instrument to elicit any information from him about Sri Lanka.

Even if Gen. Fonseka were a fully-fledged US citizen, it would still be wrong for the US government to try to obtain any information from him with a view to using it against the government of Sri Lanka. The US has made a fundamental mistake by trying to use a Green Card holder against a foreign government. In so doing, it has made each and every US citizen look a spy in the eyes of foreign governments as well as foreign organisations including terrorist outfits.

When Barack Obama was elected President, even the worst critics of the US thought the world would have a less arrogant America under the new political dispensation. But, the Obama administration has proved to be worse than the Bush regime, which, in spite of all its failings, did not choose to pander to the whims and fancies of terrorists and their fronts, especially those proscribed in the US.

The US may enjoy the luxury of bullying small nations by virtue of its military might and economic prowess while shamelessly pontificating to the world about democracy and equality, but with a bunch of hoity-toity bureaucrats at the helm of its State Department, it needs no enemies; they are furthering the interests of terror backers on some flimsy pretext.

The State Department worthies have turned a Nelsonian eye to the fact that the defeat of the LTTE has brought to an end scourges such as forcible child conscription, political assassinations, massacres of civilians, bombing of civilian targets, extortion, kangaroo trials, turning men and women into human bombs, gun running, drug trafficking and a host of other criminal activities which posed a grave threat to the civilised world. The death blow Sri Lanka delivered to the LTTE's narcotics trade has benefited children not only here but also in New Delhi, Washington, London and other places. Hadn't the LTTE leadership been wiped out, this country, especially the people of the North and the East, would still have been plagued by the curse of terrorism and the State Department would have had to update its reports on the LTTE's crimes year in and year out. Now that the US has embarked on a witch hunt against Sri Lanka, no small country would want to battle terrorism with might and main for fear of being victimised by the world powers.

Before trying to frame Gotabhaya et al by taking the advantage of their Green Cards or US citizenship, the US government must deal with other US citizens who openly aided and abetted war crimes committed by the LTTE, which are well documented in the State Department reports. As regards US citizens backing terrorism, two prominent names come to mind: Fein and Rudrakumar. Would the US government care to get the Department of Homeland Security to 'interview' those terror backers on the LTTE network and its illegal activities on the US soil? We bet our bottom dollar that the Obama administration will not dare to do so. It does not want to open a can of worms for itself by undertaking to investigate LTTE backers including its financiers who contributed generously to the Democratic Party and its bigwigs’ election campaigns. There is nothing called a free lunch, eh?

If Gotabhaya is really a US citizen, instead of trying to harass him, the US government should send him a special invitation and give him a hero's welcome by rolling out the red carpet. For, he is the only American to have led a successful war for the past so many decades!

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