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Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’

…and Hillary had nothing to do with any of this, I found these entries in sequence under JFK in Wikipedia:

Ireland

Further information: The Ireland Funds

President Kennedy in motorcade in the Republic of Ireland on June 27, 1963

On the occasion of his visit to the Republic of Ireland in 1963, President Kennedy joined with Irish President Éamon de Valera to form The American Irish Foundation. The mission of this organization was to foster connections between Americans of Irish descent and the country of their ancestry. Kennedy furthered these connections of cultural solidarity by accepting a grant of armorial bearings from the Chief Herald of Ireland. Kennedy had near-legendary status in Ireland, due to his ancestral ties to the country. Irish citizens who were alive in 1963 often have very strong memories of Kennedy’s momentous visit.[41] He also visited the original cottage at Dunganstown, near New Ross, where previous Kennedys had lived before emigrating to America, and said: “This is where it all began …” On December 22, 2006, the Irish Department of Justice released declassified police documents that indicated that Kennedy was the subject of three death threats during this visit. Though these threats were determined to be hoaxes, security was heightened.[42]

Iraq

In 1963, the Kennedy administration backed a coup against the government of Iraq headed by General Abdel Karim Kassem, who five years earlier had deposed the Western-allied Iraqi monarchy. The CIA helped the new Ba’ath Party government led by Abdul Salam Arif in ridding the country of suspected leftists and Communists. In a Baathist bloodbath, the government used lists of suspected Communists and other leftists provided by the CIA, to systematically murder untold numbers of Iraq’s educated elite—killings in which Saddam Hussein himself is said to have participated. The victims included hundreds of doctors, teachers, technicians, lawyers, and other professionals as well as military and political figures.[43][44][45] According to an op-ed in the New York Times, the U.S. sent arms to the new regime, weapons later used against the same Kurdish insurgents the U.S. supported against Kassem and then abandoned him. American and UK oil and other interests, including Mobil, Bechtel, and British Petroleum, were conducting business in Iraq.[43]

So, number one, lets get this out of the way right now, I descend from (among other nationalities) Northern Irish – one side Catholic and one side Protestant. They married, they got along, case closed except for the fact that my dad and his sibs always went to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC and ALWAYS cheered for the signs “England Get Out Of Ireland” (even though we’re about equally English).   I always felt that gave me the right to side with the Provos way back. And, no, terrorism is not “right,” but in my grandfather’s Hungary, people acting similarly were called “Freedom Fighters.”

My Hillary is going to my beloved Ireland to try to do some healing. God bless her. We needed an end to the fighting. But my relatives, still there, need their equal rights. We may never be “A Nation Once Again,” but I pray for peace there – for my family and for everyone.  (How odd – I left it unedited.  I said “we”).

Last note on this, I just had no memory whatsoever that Eamon de Valera was still alive in my lifetime. DUH!

The entry on Iraq is interesting in that most people think that the only “regime” in Iraq from the early 1950s through the coup that routed Shah Reza Pahlavi in 1979 was that of the Shah.  Apparently not.  Note the implication of Saddam Hussein.  This was all Cold War stuff to be sure.   We were heavily involved all along the path.

I add all of this in response to my Sinhalese readers.  You see,  my folks are “northerners” too.  They would like to be part of the free independent Irish State, but they are not.  So if you think I bear a certain sympathy with the Tamil, I do.

That was not really the point of my previous post.  And I interject Iraq here only because it came up alphabetically and is yet another example of ethinc or religious differences causing civil division.  I post it to demonstrate that I truly am thinking about what you said, David UK.

But I still do not see where you have extended a hand to the Tamil.  Everything I have read from you simply condemns them.

I am sure there are crimes on both sides – sure!  Certain!  It’s always true.  But while you ask me “Where’s the beef?”  I ask you,  if prior to 2006 there were claims, where’s the refutation?

As I have said, Hillary Clinton did not pull the names of countries out of a hat,  There was a basis for what she said.  If you can see where I am coming from,  there is room for talk.  If you are going to deal in inattributed absolutes like “Never.”  Well then you show me the beef.

And I should NEVER get in the middle of a civil dispute again!  Really!   But I might.

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UPDATED AGAIN: 10-12-09

The Tamil point of view which never was represented in the comments are is represented in this article:

Hillary Clinton Does Not Mince Words

UPDATED!

US responds to Sri Lanka protest over Clinton remark
2009-10-05 01:25:00

The United States, responding to protests from Sri Lanka over remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, said it had no recent evidence of women being raped while in Sri Lankan government custody.

In a letter addressed to Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rohitha Bogollagama, the State Department noted that the US government and international human rights groups over the years had detailed “numerous cases of rape and sexual violence in Sri Lanka, particularly acts committed against women held in detention by the government.”

However, the letter signed by Melanne Verveer, ambassador at large for global women’s issues at the State Department said that “in the most recent phase of the conflict, from 2006 to 2009 … we have not received reports that rape and sexual abuse were used as tools of war, as they clearly have in other conflict area around the world.”

“We hope that this clarification puts the issue in its proper context,” the letter said, adding that Washington remains concerned about extrajudicial killings, disappearances and detainee abuse in Sri Lanka.

“Secretary Clinton believes that Sri Lanka must focus to the future and move forward on the promotion of peace and the protection of human rights,” the letter said.

Read more…

Well, I don’t know whether that makes things all better, but where this goes on, Hillary will call it!

Ever since early February, when, just weeks into her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary joined U.K. Foreign Minister, David Miliband in calling for a halt to human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, both Miliband and Hillary have come under attack by that government as well as by the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The Clinton-Miliband joint statement of February 3, 2009 is below:

Earlier today at a meeting, Secretary Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary Miliband discussed their serious concern about deteriorating humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka caused by the ongoing hostilities. They affirmed their insistence on a political resolution to this longstanding conflict. The time to resume political discussions is now and we will continue to work with the Tokyo Co-Chairs, the Sri Lankan government, and the UN to facilitate such a process.

Secretary Clinton and Foreign Secretary Miliband call on both the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE to agree to a temporary no-fire period. Both sides need to allow civilians and wounded to leave the conflict area and to grant access for humanitarian agencies.

We welcome today’s statement by the Tokyo Co-Chairs (Norway, Japan, US and EU) jointly expressing their great concern about the plight of thousands of internally displaced persons trapped by fighting in northern Sri Lanka. We join the Co-Chairs and call on the LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka not to fire out of or into the safe zone established by the Government or in the vicinity of the PTK hospital (or any other medical structure), where more than 500 patients are receiving care and many hundreds more have sought refuge. We also call on both sides to allow food and medical assistance to reach those trapped by fighting, cooperate with the ICRC to facilitate the evacuation of urgent medical cases, and ensure the safety of aid and medical workers. The LTTE and the Government of Sri Lanka must respect the international law of armed conflict.

The picture in this Madam Secretary blog post  WANTED: Clinton, for aiding terrorism, most disturbingly hammers home the level of vitriol with which the Clinton-Miliband team is viewed in Sri Lanka.

Again in early May, they spoke up together calling for an end to the conflict.

Indeed, in late May, the government forces finally did overcome the LTTE forces and a quarter century of conflict came to an end, but as in so many cases of civil conflict,  the human rights issues did not cease with the ceasefire.   Camps for the displaced and victims of the war are essentially holding areas where innocent civilians and combatant LTTE are intermingled.  As the camps filled  in late May,  UNICEF called for a quick screening by the government to identify those who are true victims and had no part in the conflict so that they might receive the humanitarian aid they required.

As we all know,  our indomitable Homegirl acted as President and Chair of the U.N. Security Council this past Wednesday putting forth the U.N. Resolution on Violence Against Women and Girls which was adopted with no objections.  The full transcript and text is at the link above. Part of what Council President Hillary Clinton (typing that felt so good!) said is below.

Statements
Council President HILLARY CLINTON, Secretary of State of the United States, speaking in her national capacity, said: “We are here to address an issue that has received too little attention, not only in the Council but also by all Governments around the world.” That issue went to the core of protecting the safety of citizens in all countries. It also went to the responsibility under the United Nations Charter to protect the lives of all, including women. That responsibility was particularly acute in circumstances where peace was challenged.

Noting that women and children were often the victims in wars for which they bore no responsibility, she said the resolution just adopted was a step towards protecting women in conflict zones. It built on resolutions 1325 (2000) and 1820 (2008). Violence against women and girls during conflict had not diminished, in fact, in some cases it had escalated. The use of rape as a tactic of war had been used in Bosnia, Burma, Sri Lanka and elsewhere and the perpetrators were not being punished. That impunity encouraged further attacks. In Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo, which she had visited, and where thousands of cases of rape were being reported, she had met the victims. The toll on them, their family and society could not be quantified. “It shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.” It also undermined economic progress.

There is nothing particularly anti-Sri Lanka in that statement as I read it.  It is a simple statement of the fact in the context, as Hillary always puts such acts, of the need for the government to seek out and punish the guilty – on both sides of the conflict.  It seems, however, that the government of Sri Lanka has taken exception to her remark.  On my Hillary news feed today, this article popped up: Sri Lanka Protest Clinton’s Rape Remark.

Well, it seems you just cannot please everybody.  The North Koreans made remarks about her which, if comically cryptic and contradictory, were meant to insult (she laughed).  Last week on Larry King, Hugo Chavez was equally complimentary: “Hillary Clinton is lost. America should be concerned about that.”  And now The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka continues  its  attacks on our Homegirl.

Hillary Clinton  picks her fights and issues.  Last week represented a milestone in Hillary’s career-long battle for the rights of women and girls.  That men and military regimes will not necessarily agree with her positions is a no-brainer.  But, like Joan of Arc or SuperWoman, she will continue her fight.   If these guys despise her, we love her all the more.  I don’t think the Homegirls need to worry about Hillary going on a trip to Colombo any time soon.

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