Category Archives: american imperialism

The Samaraweera-Yahapālana Induction of Tony Blair in support of their “Reconciliation Programme” in August 2015

Michael Roberts

A chance finding during my sojourn with Moninna and Ranjit Goonewardena in Galle Fort in July/August 2015 introduced me to the visit of Tony Blair’s family to Sri Lanka in August 2015 ….. See https://thuppahis.com/2020/11/22/tony-blair-and-family-in-galle-mid-august-2015/ As we all know, in 2015 the Yahapālana govt indulged in an about/turn (with US backing) and joined the HR lobbies by saying ‘mea culpa’ at the UNHRC Sessions in Geneva in March/April that year. This programme overturned the presentations pursued earlier by Dayan Jayatilleke and Tamara Kunanayakam under the Mahinda Rajapakse dispensation. Kunanayakam’s competent representations in 2011 earned the undiluted ire of Eileen Donahue (the American ambassador at the UNHCR) who even threatened Kunanayakam verbally on the phone: “we will get you!”.[1] Internal machinations within the Rajapaksa camp, apparently involving Sajjin Vaas Gunawardena and a Ministry staffer Kshenuka Seneviratne, led to Kunanayakam’s displacement a little later.

Donahoe  Samaraweera at UNHCR sessions in 2015

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Is Australia the Deputy Sheriff in US-China Tensions?

Tony Donaldson, … with highlights in black being his work

Scott Morrison’s olive branch to Beijing on Monday (23/11) appears to signal a shift in attitude in Canberra. It came in the PM’s speech to the Policy Exchange think-tank in London. The speech makes for interesting reading and those interested in it should read the transcript of it rather than picking up edited highlights circulating in Australian media reports (see https://www.pm.gov.au/media/uk-policy-exchange-virtual-address). While the speech wasn’t only about China, the media focused on the sections relating to China which led to occasional injections of a bias in the media by stressing Australia’s role in bringing China out of poverty. One Australian newspaper, for example, reported Morrison as saying: “Australia had helped lift China out of economic poverty.” Taken at face value, this may well offend Beijing as it overshadows and ignores the fact that it was the bold economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping in 1978 that led to poverty among Chinese falling from 88% to 6 % in 2017.

Deng Xiaoping

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Samantha Power on USA’s Interventionist Mission in 2002

Stephen Wertheim

Reproduced here is a sub-section from Wertheim’s review article in the 4th quarter edition[1] of the Journal of Genocide Research in 2010 (without re-deploying his footnotes). This section focuses on the Pullitzer Prize winning book by Samantha Power (2002) and argues that its programme resembles shades of the “civilizing mission” associated with European and Evangelical agencies during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Here, with and within Samantha Power, the mission of “humanitarian intervention” was vested solely in US arms and feet ……..…. thus, not in the UN or any other agencies.

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USA vs China in the Indian Ocean, 1950s-2020

Tony Donaldson. with highlighting imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

In 1943, the US tried to establish a military base in Sri Lanka when OSS chief William Donovan invoked a ruse to railroad it into existence. The details of the ruse and how it was played out is a subject for another occasion. The point to be made here is Donovan’s ruse was quickly exposed by Colin Mackenzie, the Head of Force 136 – the name given to the Special Operations Executive organisation in Asia during World War II. As a result, the British rejected Donovan’s proposal for an OSS military base. Had the US established a military base in Sri Lanka in 1943, it would very likely still be there today, asserting US influence over Sri Lanka, its culture, and inflicting great social damage on local communities.

 Banda welcomes Zhou Enlai soon after he steps off the Air India flight at Ratmalana on 31 January 1957.

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Honouring ALL the Dead in War. Somasiri Devendra’s Ecumenical Epitaph

Somasiri Devendra 

It’s a hundred years since the World War One ended.

It was called “the war to end all wars”, a war “to preserve Democracy”. It was, in fact, fought for nothing more than the needs of a handful of European countries wanting yet bigger pieces of the global pie, fighting each other for it or to deny it to others.

a war cemetery in Europe

British Garrison Cemetery Kandy

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Mahindapala on Trump and USA after Trump with Kamala Harris in the Biden Team

H. L. D. Mahindapala, in LankaWeb, November 2020, where the title reads: “Post-Trump America with Biden – not to mention Kamala Harris”  …. highlighting by Editor, Thuppahi

Say what you like against Donald Trump, the man was a phenomenon. Whether the legacy he leaves behind is good or bad is a judgement that will be determined finally by those who will feel the impact of his regime in the years to come. Win or lose, (he is losing at the time of writing) he will be remembered as the leader who articulated and released the underlying undercurrents that had been dormant in the political landscape, awaiting a leader to take up the challenge. Trump is the leader that represented the subterranean forces which the pundit class had never expected to rise to levels raised by Trump. Though Trump seems to be doomed at the polls (now its midday – Friday) the Trumpism he generated has the force to haunt US politics in the foreseeable future. One of his ambitions has been to make his  mark in history. He would achieve that place as the most  unorthodox, controversial and unpredictable president ever who bucked the system and won. In short, he has changed the style, the substance and the contours of American politics with  the arrogance of an outsider spitting into the inside.

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Kamala Harris’ Brahmin Tamil Roots: Ominous Portents for Sri Lanka?

Daya Gamage, in  Asian Tribune and Elanka.com  where the title runs thus: “Kamala Harris: Tamil Iyer Brahmin US VP for Sri Lanka Tamil reparation?”

As Joe Biden becomes the U.S. 46th president of the United States, Kamala Devi Harris will be sworn in as the Vice President on January 20 next year.

She is of South India’s Tamil Iyer Brahmin heritage. To date she has proudly retained her South Indian heritage – maintaining a certain level of the Tamil tongue – that could extend her vice-presidential reach to the South Asian region. Having a senior staffer of Sri Lankan Tamil-heritage, there is strong possibility that the Biden White House could add Sri Lanka’s ‘national issues’ or ‘ethnic issues’ as one of the US foreign policy planks  – once again – in the form of ‘Tamil reparation’.

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Biden’s Challenges –New and Old

SWR De A Samarasinghe, aka “Sam”, in Daily Mirror, 10 November 2020, where the title reads  “Biden Presidency Faces Old Problems and New Challenges”

Joe Biden will assume office as the 46th president of USA on January 20, 2021. He defeated the incumbent Donald Trump in a bitterly fought contest. Biden polled 75.2m (50.7%) votes and has secured 290 of the 538 electoral college votes that are allocated among the states roughly in proportion to the size of the population in each state. Trump polled 70.8m (47.7%) and has 214 electoral college votes. The final vote tallies will be a little higher because some votes are yet to be counted.  But those votes will not affect the result because Biden already has 290, that is above the minimum 270 needed to win.

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Sri Lanka Now is Aligned ….. not Non-Aligned

Tamara Kunanayakam, in The Island, 2 November 2020, where the title runs thus: “US-Lanka military alliance in the wake of Pompeo visit”

Former Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva

Former Chairperson of UN Working Group on the Right to Development

In fact, a military alliance between the US and Sri Lanka already exists. By signing ACSA in 2007, and renewing it in 2017, Sri Lanka committed its strategic entry points – ports and airports, our armed forces, our military installations, food, oil, and spare parts, to the US for its war against China.

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Reading Pompeo’s Indo-Pacific Thrusts

FOR POMPEO

Charindra in Morning Star, 28 October 2020, entitled “China a Predator …”

Visiting US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo today (28) called China a “predator” and the US a friend of Sri Lanka. “We see from bad deals, violations of sovereignty, lawlessness on land and at sea that the Chinese Communist Party is a predator. The United States comes as a friend and a partner,” he said at a press conference held at the Foreign Ministry.

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