USA’s Double Standards: A Payback Today for Sri Lanka’s Refusal to Kow-Tow in 2009

Item in the DAILY MIRROR, 28 April 2023… with this title “Designating Karannagoda; Russia hits back at US: Says West should not interfere in other countries affairs”

 The United States has designated former Navy Commander Wasantha Karannagoda, for his alleged involvement in gross violations of human rights. The US State Department said that Karannagoda has been designated pursuant to Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2023, due to his involvement in a gross violation of human rights during his tenure as a Naval Commander. As a result of today’s action, Karannagoda and his wife, Srimathi Ashoka Karannagoda, are ineligible for entry into the United States.

The allegation that Wasantha Karannagoda committed a gross human rights violation, documented by NGOs and independent investigations, is serious and credible, the US State Department said. By designating Wasantha Karannagoda, the United States said it reaffirms its commitment to upholding human rights, ending impunity for human rights violators, acknowledging the suffering of victims and survivors, and promoting accountability for perpetrators in Sri Lanka.

The bilateral relationship between the United States and the Government of Sri Lanka is based on 75 years of shared history, values, and a commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific. “As we continue to build our bilateral relationship, we are committed to working with the Sri Lankan government on advancing justice, accountability, and reconciliation, including promoting security reform that maintains human rights at the forefront while ensuring Sri Lanka has the resources and training to properly address emerging security concerns,” the US State Department said.

In 2020 the US designated Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, then Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, due to credible information of his involvement, through command responsibility, in gross violations of human rights, namely extrajudicial killings, by the 58th Division of the Sri Lanka Army during the final phase of Sri Lanka’s Civil War in 2009.



PERTINENT CONTEXTS …. Dating from early-mid 2008 till May 2009

A: “the rebels [i. e. Tamil Tiger forces] prolonged the conflict by keeping hundreds of thousands o women and children trapped with them. They hoped for a humanitarian intervention. Puli [that is, Pulendran the head of the civilian administration of the LTTE] had been quite open about this approach. He told European friends that, just as in Kosovo, if enough civilians died in Sri Lana the world would be forced to step in. It was callous brinkmanship, played with innocent lives.” …. Frances Harrison: Still Counting the Dead, London, Portobello Book, 2012, pp 62-63…..


B: This became a central dimension in the LTTE’s inhumane defensive strategy once (B1) they had lost control of the Eastern Province and once (B2) their supply routes for arms and munitions from India and/or the sea were cut off by the SL forces advances sealed off the north-western sea frontier from Mannar to Pooneryn and (B3) the SL Navy sank several of their supply ships in the Indian Ocean in 2007.

Seishin on fire & sinking Sept 2007 …  16 Sept 2007

C: Quite significantly, this strategic LTTE policy-plank was endorsed by Bishop Rayappu and other prelates of the Catholic Church within the LTTE dispensation.

D:   The strategy was endorsed by the United Nations Secretariat in New York, namely Navy Pillai in the human rights branch and Ban-ki-Moon as its administrative head and witnessed in their active interventions during the war –especially through a  series of visits to the island by an array of senior officials during the first four months of 2009 and Ban-ki-Moon’s hasty visit just after the war had ended in mid-May …

E: … while European Foreign Ministers in the persons of Miliband and Kouchner even rushed to Sri Lanka at the end of April 2009 and sought to pressurize President Mahinda Rajapaksa face-to-face by requesting him to restrain his armed forces from delivering a coup de grace….


F: … with the latter intervention following the US ambassador Blake’s ‘gentle’ [ha-ha] verbal demand face-to-face with military chief Gotabhaya in mid-April 2009: get your armed forces to cease operations ….


some pictorial illustrations of conditons in the ‘Nandhikadal Pocket” in February to May 2009…and, then, of Tamil civilians fleeing when SL Special Forces penetrated the arena in late April 2009


G: …. and many mainline Western news agencies with journalist personnel in Colombo, such as Ravi Nessman of Associated Press, served up news reports that favoured this policy of restraint on ‘humanitarian’ grounds…. [though Bryson Hull and his Reuter’s personnel  sustained much more balanced readings –as did Muralidhar Reddy, Balachandran and Kanchan Prasad representing Indian news agencies}]; ….. the ‘balance’  — in my reasoning– being dependent on map-reading, contextuality and a grasp of the both the strategic and tactical features of the battle scenario .

So, do absorb some aspects depicted in the photographs below and  do so while supplementing your evaluation with all –repeat ALL — Serge de Silva-Ranasinghe’s incisive representations of the battle arenas in the course of 2009 and 2010.




Filed under accountability, american imperialism, atrocities, centre-periphery relations, Eelam, historical interpretation, human rights, Indian Ocean politics, law of armed conflict, life stories, military strategy, nationalism, news fabrication, patriotism, power politics, propaganda, Rajapaksa regime, sea warfare, security, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, slanted reportage, Tamil civilians, Tamil Tiger fighters, truth as casualty of war, UN reports, unusual people, vengeance, war reportage, world events & processes

9 responses to “USA’s Double Standards: A Payback Today for Sri Lanka’s Refusal to Kow-Tow in 2009

  1. Chandra Maliyadde

    Why one calls this as USA double standard

  2. dickie bird

    we are committed to working with the Sri Lankan government on advancing justice, accountability, and reconciliation etc;
    Hancho: Y did the West Invade & attack Iraq?
    Pancho; B’cus Saddam had WMD…..
    Hancho: Then, Y is the West hesitating to attack Russia?
    Pancho; Wait a minute ! Let me use the wash room first.
    Oh! Do what we say but do not do what we do………

  3. Truth is King

    When the Americans rant on about reaffirming “its commitment to upholding human rights, ending impunity for human rights violators, acknowledging the suffering of victims and survivors, and promoting accountability for perpetrators,” we have to recognise this language is a tool the US uses to undermine the sovereignty of other countries in order to gain control over them. That process is already in full swing, but sadly many Sri Lankans are sleepwalking and unable to decipher the noose that is gradually being placed and tightened around Sri Lanka’s neck.

    Normally, if allegations are made of human rights violations, the alleged perpetrator should be presumed innocent until due process is given and evidence presented in a court of law. None of that has occurrd here. The US is acting as prosecutor, judge and jury (1) without due process and (2) without taking into account the context in which events took place during the last stages of the war. The US State Department are sanctimonious pricks — monkeys just down from the trees.

    There is also clear evidence the US do not apply the same standards to themselves.
    When the chief ICC prosecutor attempted to bring a case against US officers over allegations they had committed war crimes and extra-judicial killings in Afghanistan, the US Government responded by sanctioning the ICC chief prosecutor, describing the ICC as criminals, and threatening to invade the Netherlands if the ICC ever brought a criminal case against an American — military or civilian.

    B. Another important point to make is the US State Department’s claim that it wants to work with the Sri Lankan government to “advancing justice, accountability and reconciliation, including promoting security reform that maintains human rights at the forefront while ensuring Sri Lanka has the resources and training to properly address emerging security concerns…”

    What emerging security concerns?

    It is patiently obvious here that A. and B. above are being linked together by the US government. In other words, they are beating up Sri Lanka over something that happened in 2009, deliberately ignoring the full context, and claiming the US will now help SL “get its act together” to meet so-called emerging security concerns, which are not defined. It is pathetic.

    The US are making fools out of Sri Lanka with this rhetoric to undermine Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, and by the way, the language used here by the US State Department is applied to all countries of the world in US bilateral relationships. Most countries know this and quite rightly reject this sort of US meddling into their internal affairs. Sri Lanka should do likewise. What the US are doing here should erode US-Sri Lanka bilateral relations, not strengthen them. But does Ranil Wickramasinghe have the balls to stand up for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty? Or will he just cave in and become another US puppet?

  4. Sure I do agree with the view of ‘Truth is King’ that Uncle Sam’s State Department guys are sanctimonious pricks. If that is so, Sri Lankans are nothing but whining babies. When those pricks, designated LTTE as ‘foreign terrorist organization’, the cry babies hollered from the roof top. Now, when the same pricks pass judgement against them, these babies can only whine loudly. Babies should know that one has to learn to live with indignities. Isn’t this the essence of ‘Duka’ concept in Buddhism?

    • Truth is King

      Sachi Sri Kantha – I enjoyed reading your comment. It was very entertaining. Please write more. Thanks.

    “Do read Kishali Pinto Jayawardene’s News Item on the Protest: a reading that has not — repeat not — attended to what I have spelt out as the “PERTINENT CONTEXT” ……. SEE

  6. Mark La Brooy

    I wouldn’t feel too bad if I was blacklisted by the Americans. This is a case of an enormous pot calling a very small kettle black. There may be some truth to the American claims. I don’t know. What I want to focus on is not only the American hypocrisy, but their belief that they have a god-given right to call out and intimidate non-American nationals.

    In the post-war years there has been no greater perpetrator of grand-scale genocide than the United States of America. Let me list some of their large and small scale adventures.
    1. The Vietnam war. One million Vietnamese lost their lives in a useless, unjust war. Vietnam won the war and today live in peace under a communist government.
    2. In that war Lt. William Calley commanded an American troop that killed up to 504 men, women, children and infants in the village of My Lai. He served three days in prison and was freed to live in America. Google My Lai massacre
    3. In that war the Americans used Agent Orange and napalm to kill hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese.They also carpet-bombed the entire north and south of the country and neighbouring countries Laos and Cambodia.
    4. On July 3 1988 commander William C Rogers ordered his men on the USS Vincennes to bring down Iran Air flight 655. The plane carrying 290 passengers came down into the Persian Gulf killing all on board. At the time his ship was illegally inside Iranian territorial waters. He and his officers received medals for their heroic deed.
    5. The Iraq War: Using manufactured evidence George W Bush, Tony Blair and John Howard killed up to 600,000 Iraqis on the pretext that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. They broke international law, totally destroyed a country and, importantly, allowed the rise of ISIS, an international scourge that has not been eradicated even till today. They went after one man, Saddam Hussein, and finished by killing 600,000. How’s that for genocide? Those three men and their entire cabal (Cheney, Albright, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Bolton, etc) travel the world and give speeches in return for big sums of money. Madeleine Albright, in a now famous interview said the escapade was worth the loss of those Iraqi lives. Such is their moral compass and heroism.
    6. The killing of Ghaddafi and the ruination of Libya which today is still fighting a civil war in which thousands of people have died. Hilary Clinton gloated and said “We came, we saw, he died” in a reference to Ghaddafi’s assassination.
    7. Their successful involvement in the 2014 Maidan uprising in Kiev and the subsequent deposing of the elected government in a coup. They then gave the neo-nazi thugs who took over their support to bombard the Russian speaking people of Donbass (eastern Ukraine). The latter were against the coup and against the new American supported regime. Between 2014 and 2022 14,000 people were killed in the Donbass shelling, including 3,500 non-combatant civilians. This is a fact not known to many because of the monocular western media narrative of the current crisis. Google Casualties of the Russo-Ukrainian War.
    8. The support they gave to Suharto to purge (kill) about a million Indonesians on the pretext that they were communists. Suharto toppled the Indonesian Sukarno presidency and were aided by America to stay in power until 1998.
    9. The direct involvement in the assassination and toppling of Patrice Lumumba in the Democratic Republic of Congo. He was the Democratic Republic of Congo’s first elected Prime Minister.
    9. The deposition of Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana and Salvador Allende of Chile. People died as a result in both countries.
    10. Their direct involvement in the toppling of governments in central America.
    11. Their attempt to topple the Syrian government.

    The United States often acts outside the umbrella of international law, buts struts the world declaring that they uphold the rules based international order and expect others to do so as well. They have 170,000 personnel serving overseas in 750 military bases. Their annual military budget now approaches $US900 billion. China’s is $290 billion and Russia’s is $90 billion. All of this makes you wonder who the aggressor really is? Do they really care about human rights? What do you reckon?

  7. NOTE from THE EDITOR THUPPAHI, 8 September 2023:
    “MARK. …. This is an amazing global survey in distilled mode. Its range and precision suggest to me that your accusations and judgements are grounded and could be clarified …. with citations …. in longer essays if required.

    If feasible, I suggest that you take-up two of the CASES and work-up articles with the requisite references in the course of the next few months.

    Your assessments of the Ukraine-Russian war have support from the occasional commentary in THUPPAHI in the recent past from two Aussie blokes writing under pseudonyms, namely “Fair Dinkum” and “Black Sea resort”.

    • Mark La Brooy

      Michael, All I have written about is in the public domain. I don’t have secret sources. All the $ and numbers can be corroborated. Others can check simply by using Google.

      I lament the evil that this country inflicts on the rest of the world in the name of freedom and democracy. There used to be a time in my childhood when America could do no wrong. We all loved the rock n roll, Elvis Presley, the early silent Hollywood comic films, western movies, Tarzan films, beach culture, and so much more. Most of the hit songs on Radio Ceylon were by American artists. It was all part and parcel of living in a diverse community in the Bambalapitiya Flats. I had a great childhood. Here is something of what I am writing about. Childhood infatuation. No names.

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