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The Expensive Tragicomedy That is Lankan Foreign Policy

The Expensive Tragicomedy That is Lankan Foreign Policy

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Published by Thavam

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Published by: Thavam on Feb 10, 2014
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02/10/2014

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| by Tisaranee Gunasekara“Be very credulous; be very persevering; reject all past experience, and do not listen to reason.”Advice given to tose !o seek ealing troug "agneti#ation $ %ebruary &, '()*, +olo"bo, ri -anka Guardian /eiter convincing, nor interesting, it 0alls  bet!een several stools. Te "oustacioed president !o 0lases a !ide grin in te "ost inappropriate places and !aves is and $conspicuously clasping a gold1talis"an as e looks around 0or te next !ord; is broter, te de0ence secretary, !ose atte"pt at presenting a  benign "ien is as convincing as a barracuda at its unday1pleasantest; te glib bureaucrats  per0or"ing te "ost a"a#ing verbal1gyrations to keep up !it teir political "asters 2 te '&1"inute docu"entary 3ri -anka4 5econciling and 5ebuilding6 evokes te vision o0 a 0ar a!ay tropical land "isruled by an oriental version o0 +arlie +aplin6s dictator.Te docu"entary, !ic !as so!n to a group o0 A"erican politicians and o00icials and aired  pri"eti"e on te /B+ /et!ork, as very little to say about eiter reconciliation or rebuilding. Te only 3rebuilding6 "entioned is tat o0 te 7a00na 5ail!ay tation; noting is said about attending to te ordinary needs o0 !ar1destroyed co""unities, o"es, scools or ospitals $probably because tis as never been a 5ajapaksa priority. Te repeated "ention o0 Tiger1atrocities and te "enace i"plicit in Gotabaya 5ajapaksa6s assertion tat any reabilitated ex1Tiger can be a Tiger1at1eart indicate tat o00icial tinking is su00used !it atred and paranoia rater tan 0orgiveness and trust. Ad"iring "ention is "ade o0 te +inese1built 3glea"ing ne! port in +olo"bo6, but te Beijing +onnection it i"plies is ardly likely to appeal to $or 0rigten any A"erican, o00icial or uno00icial. Te docu"entary 0ails to so!case even te country6s undeniable natural beauty and its ric istoric eritage.
 
By trying to appeal to "ultiple audiences and by succu"bing to te 5ajapaksa notions o0 !at is convincing $suc as starring te t!o 5ajapaksa iblings as te "ain dra"atis personae, te docu"entary 0ails on every count. 8n te end, like so "any o0 te 5ajapaksa1ventures, it !astes a colossal a"ount o0 national !ealt !itout serving te national 2 or even te 5ajapaksa 1 cause; its sole bene0iciaries "ust be a and0ul o0 A"ericans.Te indubitably expensive decision to air tis "is0iring1production on /B+ is particularly  ba00ling, since ri -anka is 2 and !ill re"ain 1 a 3non1issue6 0or te general A"erican public. 9ven i0 te 0il" is aired on every single A"erican net!ork, our a0ter tedious our, te likeliood o0 a !ave o0 pro1-ankan 0eeling s!eeping te A"erican public o00 its indi00erent 0eet and pressurising :asington to cut +olo"bo so"e slack is less tan nonexistent.Te 0il" !as produced by te A"erican 5 0ir", To"son Advisory Group $TAG. TAG !as ired by te +entral Bank at a "a""ot 0ee to lobby < la!"akers on beal0 o0 te 5ajapaksa govern"ent. Te iring o0 te 0ir" is in itsel0 a =uite a tale, and one !ic is sy"bolic o0 5ajapaksa "odus operandi. Te 0ir" !as reportedly reco""ended to te -ankan 9"bassy $eaded by a 5ajapaksa1kins"an by -ankan1born Tilak >oan iri!ardana. >r. iri!ardana, a registered li"o1driver, is te personal cau00er o0 TAG +air"an 5obert To"pson. 8n return 0or tis 0avour, TAG is reportedly paying >r. iri!ardana a "ontly 30inder6s 0ee6 o0 <?@,((( $"entioned in its books as a consultant6s 0ee, to circu"vent A"erican regulations.TAG6s gratitude to its +air"an6s cau00er 0or netting it a lucrative client $!o co""ands te !ealt o0 a nation is understandable. Te organisation is not o0 te top1dra!er a"ong A"erican 5 0ir"s. According to an A"erican public service !ebsite, in '(), te total lobbying inco"e o0 TAG !as a paltry <?)'(,(((; it also ad 0our reported clients in tat year . o ri -anka is supposedly spending <? ,((( a "ont on an unrated 5 0ir", reco""ended by te personal cau00er o0 te 0ir"6s cair"anCTat is o! 8nternational 5elations, >eda"ulana1style, !orks in practice.Treats and BribesTreats and bribes 0or" a key co"ponent o0 5ajapaksa governance. %or instance, according to a :ikileaks +able, on April 'Dt '((@, resident 5ajapaksa in0or"ed >TE talk1so! ost ri 5anga “in 0ront o0 a !itness tat Fe0ence ecretary Gotabaya 5ajapaksa !as incensed by 5anga6s andling o0 te abduction issue. Te resident !ose son is a close 0riend o0 5anga6s insisted tat 5anga leave te country, o00ering i" te post o0 F+> in Hslo as an induce"ent. ould e 0ail to accept te o00er o0 exile, 5ajapaksa reportedly told i" Fevananda !ould ave i" killed.”8nitially lies and deception !orked =uite !ell !it te international co""unity . But !en te regi"e6s credibility started !earing tin, te iblings resorted to applying te carrot1and1stick "etod in te international arena as !ell. Te "anner in !ic te 5ajapaksas neutralised Australia and /e! Iealand is no secret. Te iblings6 atte"pts to use te sa"e "odality to !in

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