This video is called Sri Lanka’s killing fields.
By Sarath Kumara:
Sri Lanka tilts toward the US
23 June 2012
As the Obama administration escalates its diplomatic and strategic moves in Asia to undercut Chinese influence, the Sri Lankan government is shifting course—distancing itself somewhat from Beijing and attempting to draw closer to Washington.
This manoeuvring was evident at the Shangri-la security dialogue in Singapore earlier this month. Sri Lanka’s Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse and Foreign Minister G. L. Peiris met with the US Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, General Martin Dempsey, on the sidelines of the talks on June 5. In response to a Sri Lankan request, Dempsey agreed to provide military assistance, in particular to the Sri Lankan navy.
Few details have been published. But the Sri Lankan Defence Ministry web site noted that the US and India had “responded positively” to Rajapakse’s request for “enhanced training opportunities for capacity building of defence personnel.” Gotabhaya Rajapakse is President Mahinda Rajapakse’s brother.
The report also noted: “As a coastal nation, the meetings recognised the pivotal role that the Sri Lanka Navy could play in strengthening the security of sea lanes in the Indian Ocean and resolved to co-operate closely in drawing on their synergies in combating international terrorism.”
The reference to “combatting international terrorism” simply obscures the real aim of this developing naval collaboration. At the Singapore meeting, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta announced that the US would be building up its naval presence in the Asia Pacific region to 60 percent of its total forces by 2020.
The US focus on naval power is aimed at controlling key sea routes used by China to ship energy and raw materials from the Middle East and Africa. In the event of a conflict with China, the US navy would be able to mount an economic blockade by halting vital Chinese imports.
Sri Lanka is strategically positioned at the southern tip of the Indian sub-continent near key routes across the Indian Ocean from the Middle East and Africa. It could play a vital logistical role in any US-China conflict, as it did during World War II for British imperialism. After the fall of Singapore and Burma to Japanese troops, the headquarters of the Allied Southeast Asia Command was relocated to Kandy in the central hills area of Sri Lanka.
President Mahinda Rajapakse relied heavily on China for economic, political and military support in his government’s communal war against the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In return, he allowed China to build a major port at Hambantota on the southern tip of the island.
In December 2009, a report by the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, entitled “Sri Lanka: Re-charting US Strategy after the War,” declared that the US could not afford to “lose” Sri Lanka. It called for intensified efforts to bring Colombo into Washington’s orbit.
The Sri Lankan military waged a brutal war, costing the lives of tens of thousands of civilians, before the LTTE was defeated in May 2009. The Obama administration, which backed Colombo’s war, has nevertheless used the threat of war crimes investigations in order to pressure Rajapakse to align more closely with Washington.
Apparently, once one becomes a Pentagon ally in good standing again, one’s war crimes supposedly become irrelevant.