Thursday, 30 June 2016
Home Tamil Affairs International Affairs Editorial Opinion Feature Culture & Community Interviews
Latest Entries:
Clinton and Jayalalitha discuss Sri Lanka
TamilNet 20 July 2011 Print ArticleE-mail ArticleFeedback On Article
   

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa . Photo PTI

The United States is “looking at some innovative and creative ideas to break the impasse over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue,” PTI quoted visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in Chennai Wednesday.

The report did not elaborate.

Meanwhile, in a public address Ms. Clinton said that India's example of multicultural democracy should serve as a model for Sri Lanka.

Describing Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital, as an example of how much society can achieve when all citizens fully join their country's political and economic life, she added: "Every citizen of Sri Lanka deserves the same hope and opportunity for a better future." (corrected from earlier post)

Her comments predictably drew loud applause from the crowd.

Addressing a crowd of students, industrialists, businessmen, artistes and members of civil society at the Anna library, Ms. Clinton said she chose to come to the coastal city as "an admirer of what has been accomplished in the country in the last 18 years".

She described Tamil Nadu as one of the "most industrialised and educated states" that indicates why India should take a leadership role in the region.

Ms. Clinton’s visit to Tamil Nadu was the only regional engagement of her much anticipated three-day official visit to India.

She is the first high-ranking US official to visit the southern state, one of the powerhouses of India’s booming economy, and a key destination for US investment. The US consulate in Chennai issues more skilled temporary worker visas than any other US outpost in the world, the Wall Street Journal says.

Aligned interest and values

"The United States and India can work together to advance democratic values in the region,” the Times of India quoted her as saying. "Our interests align and our values converge."

“We can support states transitioning into democracy in Africa and the Middle East. India's Election Commission widely viewed as the gold standard for running elections can play a role in this," she said.

"There is no better place to speak about Asia Pacific than Chennai, which looks out onto the Bay of Bengal. Indian traders have sailed these waters for thousands of years and their influence can still be seen across the region – in the Tamil influences in the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia and in the Ganesha gods that guard homes in Indonesia."

"India will have the duty to speak out against human rights violations in Asia. … "We encourage India not just to look east but also act east."

"India's diverse and democratic system can serve as a model for Sri Lanka. In Chennai and in Tamil Nadu, you can see how much society can achieve when all citizens participate in political and economic life. Every citizen of Sri Lanka deserves the same."

Meeting Jayalalitha

Earlier, Ms. Clinton met with Ms. Jayalalithaa for an hour in the Secretariat. They discussed various social, political and economic issues of common interest, an official press release said.

Contrary to assertions attributed to Indian External Affairs Ministry officials last week, the Tamil question in Sri Lanka also featured in their discussions, India press reports said Wednesday.

Ms. Jayalalithaa was quoted by PTI as pointing out that though Sri Lanka’s war en ended two years ago, Tamils in Jaffna area are still in camps and unable to go back to the original areas where they used to live.

Ms. Clinton also congratulated Ms. Jayalalithaa on her electoral victory in the April 13 Assembly polls, and invited the Tamil Nadu leader to visit the United States, PTI said.

India policy on Sri Lanka

Ahead of Ms. Clinton’s visit to Chennai, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Sadanand Dhume, one of its columnists and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, slamming India’s soft-pedalling policies towards Sri Lanka

Noting how “New Delhi has failed to slow Sri Lanka's rapid slide toward authoritarianism, protect the rights of minority Tamils, or stem rising Chinese influence,” Mr. Dhume asked: “how can India expect more clout on the world stage when it wields so little influence in its own neighborhood?”

“At the heart of India's Sri Lanka problem lies the thuggish regime of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,” Mr. Dhume said. Detailing the concentration of power in the Rajapaksa family’s hand, he added “This nepotism on steroids has gone hand in hand with one of Asia's worst human rights records. Nor has the Rajapaksa regime confined itself to mistreating minority Tamils.”

“Through all this, India's record has hardly been inspiring. In 2009, India's toothless admonitions failed to prevent the massacre of civilians. Two years later, it has failed to convince the Rajapaksa regime to extend an olive branch to its own citizens.”

Mr. Dhune criticized India’s policy of trying to outbid China’s influence in Sri Lanka with aid projects of its own, saying “ultimately this is a short-sighted strategy.”

“Instead, India must retool its Sri Lanka strategy to play to its own strengths: pluralism and democracy. This means keeping open the option of throwing its weight against Colombo at the UN. It means support for liberal elements in Sri Lankan society [and] working with Western democracies, Japan and the human rights community to demand a degree of accountability in Colombo as a step toward a lasting peace.”

“If India succeeds in nudging Sri Lanka toward embracing pluralism and democratic values as the foundation of prosperity, New Delhi will have enhanced both its influence and its international prestige,” he said.

 

 

 
Share on Facebook Print ArticlePrint Article E-mail ArticleE-mail Article Feedback On ArticleFeedback On Article
 
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  Tamil Affairs
Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Catholics, Communists Tamils and Muslims – Sri Lanka’s biggest threats claim BBS
Sinhalese Buddhists in Sri Lanka are “under threat” claimed nationalist organisation Bodu Bala Sena’s Chief Executive Officer in a wide ranging interview with by Zachary Walko earlier this month. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Millions of rupees of cannabis seized in Jaffna

Almost 100 kilograms of cannabis, thought to have been smuggled in from India, was seized by Sri Lankan police in Jaffna this week. Sri Lanka’s Special task Force arrested two people after the haul was discovered along the Achchuveli-Valalai coast in Jaffna following a tip off. The prevalence of illegal drugs has risen in the war torn North-East increasingly over the last few months. This week, [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Joint Opposition clamours against attempt to ‘foreignise’ Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s Joint Opposition has spoken out against the potential signing of trade agreements with India, claiming it is an attempt to “foreignise” the island’s economy. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Countries reiterate need for international participation in Sri Lanka's accountability mechanism
Further country statements and links to full documents to be added A number of countries voiced their support for the High Commissioner’s oral update today and re-asserted their commitment to ensuring full implementation of Resolution 30/1. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Sri Lankan military erects Buddha statue in Mannar
 

The Sri Lankan military has constructed a new Buddha statue besides a Hindu temple in Mannar, [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Almost 9,000 Sri Lankan military deserters receive legal discharge
Nearly 9,000 Sri Lankan army soldiers who deserted the military have received a legal discharge during an amnesty period declared by Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Defence. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Supreme Court refuses to hear petition against Eastern Provincial Council Chief Minister

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has refused to grant leave for a Fundamental Rights petition against Eastern Province Chief ("EPC") Minister Nazeer Ahamed for allegedly verbally abusing and threatening a Naval Officer. [more]

Tamil Guardian 30 June 2016
Support our journey with patience says Sri Lanka at UNHRC
Sri Lanka said it looks forward to “cooperation with the international community” and was “deeply appreciative of  the High Commissioner and his office”  during an interim update made to the 32nd session of the UN Human Right Council on Wednesday. Sri Lanka’s foreign minister reiterated the country’s commitment to the UNHRC resolution , [more]


Print Editions

 
 

Contact Tamil Guardian
www.tamilguardian.com