Snowden affair, The Hague controversy highlight US double standards – SL officials

By Shamindra Ferdinando

A senior government official yesterday said that the recent revelation of the ongoing top secret US surveillance project targeting both US nationals and selected countries had exposed extreme measures adopted by the US to ensure its national security.

 While resorting to such widespread extreme and illegal methods, the US was constantly critical of security operations launched by other countries restricted to their borders, the Defence Ministry official said. US criticism of post-war security measures in Sri Lanka was a case in point, the official told The Island.

 Commenting on the ongoing US efforts to arrest former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden, who had exposed clandestine surveillance project much to the embarrassment of the US administration, the official pointed out that the revelation wouldn’t have upset the US if it had been serious about the right of the public for information propa gated by its representatives in various parts of the world.

Defence and External Affairs Ministry officials told The Island that the US had accused some countries of failing to facilitate the extradition of Snowden, whereas hundreds of LTTE cadres, including those directly involved in acts of terrorism continued to live in the West freely.

 The Defence Ministry said that a group of LTTE personnel and their families had received asylum in the US a few months back after being held in Dubai for several months. They were among a group of Tamils of Sri Lankan origin on their way to Australia from India when the boat broke down, the ministry said. 

Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry said that the ongoing controversy at The Hague over alleged political interference was a cause for serious concern.

External Affairs Minister Prof. Peiris told The Island that the ongoing attempts to haul Sri Lanka up before an international war crime tribunal over unsubstantiated allegations should be examined taking into consideration the alleged manipulation at The Hague.

Recently a Danish judge on The Hague court alleged that external elements had been manipulating the court - the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). The Danish judge blamed President of the court, a US national for the crisis.

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