Wednesday, September 30, 2009

S.L. Govt. uses Israel to soften American pressure

Upul Joseph Fernando - The report on Sri Lanka’s (SL) war that was to be forwarded to the US Congress has been postponed indefinitely . According to sources in America , this postponement is engendered by the need to garner more information in connection with the report . However , some sources say ,this is the result of a successful ‘Diplomatic operation’ of SL. It is Israel which is being employed to execute this operation . Israel is playing a major role in the operation to soften the American pressure.

Use of Israel by the SL Govt. to ward off the pressures of America is not something new. According to knowledgeable sources , Israel helped SL to stave off the pressures brought to bear on SL by America to halt the war to protect the civil population during the final phase of the war.

There existed a divergence between the American political and the Defense Division opinions regarding the SL war because of Israel’s ability to exert pressure over the American Defense division’s opinions , sources said. When the American political Division tried to stop the war in SL , the Defense Division of America followed a policy of assisting SL to fight the war yielding to the intervention of Israel, it is argued.

The manner in which SL Govt. used America and Israel’s war weapons and equipment for the war was disclosed by an International website as follows :

“ The real assets of the SLAF driving Eelam war 1V were the new Spy planes. Several Cessna 421 , Golden Eagle and two ‘Beechcraft’ super King crafts were bought from the United States for maritime and ground surveillance . Close ground surveillance was carried out by Israeli IAI searcher MK 11 and EMIT Blue Horizon 2 unmanned aerial vehicles …..”

SL decided to seek Israel’s assistance somewhere in 2007. Even during that period,the SL Govt. apparently followed foreign policies which were favorable to anti -Israel States - Palestine and other Arab countries.

SL’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa was also the former President of the SL –Palestine friendship campaign. He had consistently voiced his concern over the Palestine issue. He had campaigned for the Palestinians from as far back as 1970 -1977 when he was the youngest Parliamentary member in the United Front Govt.

Even after his party was installed in power in 1994, he did not abandon this stance in respect of Palestine . When his party decided in the year 2000, to call back the Israel Embassy which was closed down during the tenure of office of the former President R. Premadasa, Mahinda Rajapaksa steadfastly raised objections to this at the Cabinet meeting. He also conducted a vigorous media campaign against this decision publicly. Yet , the Govt. went ahead and got down Israel again to SL as it needed assistance in regard to the war.

Many thought that after Mahinda Rajapaksa becoming President he would close down the Israel Embassy and send them packing. But that did not materialize.

In 2006, when the resolution in favour of Palestine was presented before the UN general assembly , SL walked out and abstained from voting . Many began questioning whether President Rajapaksa changed his stance regarding Palestine ? Sources close to the President reported that this action was taken by the then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera independently without consulting the President. Later , the President has accused Samaraweera for this. Mangala on the other hand had declared that he took this step because the country needed American assistance for the war. Subsequently , when Mangala was dismissed from his portfolio in 2007 , one of the reasons cited by Mahinda for the dismissal was his abstaining from voting and walking out when the Palestine resolution was taken up ,which had therefore damaged the image of the President he has built with the Arab countries.

Mahinda Rajapaksa, since his becoming the President has been cultivating and maintaining cordial relations with Iran and the Arab countries..Hence, his action of dispatching the Prime Minister to Israel in March 2008 sprung a surprise among all. Following the Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake’s meeting with the Israel P.M. Ehud Olmert , the latter’s office issued a communiqué which stated thus …. “Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told SL Prime Minister , do not give into terrorism because it will only bring destruction to your country . Terrorism must be fought , one must not capitulate to it ……”. Similarly, the whole world must be alerted and awakened against Iran’s nuclear power , the Israel Prime Minister has insisted.

It is evident , the SL Govt. while maintaining ties with Iran has obtained support of Israel. In the wake of SL Prime Minister’s tour of Israel , the ‘Sunday Leader’ reported , as Iran’s intelligence service is training SL ‘s intelligence service , Israel has declined to supply arms to SL. This is a consequence of the fear Israel entertained that the information regarding its weapons could leak to Iran through SL , the report added.

It is clear however SL used Israel not only to purchase arms , but also to subdue the antagonism of the Obama administration towards the war.Even today , it is the view of some that SL is enlisting the assistance of Israel to ward off America’s attempts to level war crime charges SL . They also claim that SL ‘s ties with Israel currently , is stronger than those with Arab countries.

Foreign media have reported that expulsion of former SL Ambassador in Geneva, Dayan Jayatileke was at the instigation of Israel which had applied pressure on SL Govt. to dismiss him because he roundly condemned Israel’s attacks on the Gaza strip at the UN human rights Commission, and was very critical of the Israel Army. The foreign media even went further to add that Israel has strongly protested to the SL Govt. against Dayan’s speech .

The Govt. which earlier removed its Foreign Minister from his Ministerial portfolio for walking out and abstaining from voting in favour of the resolution brought forth in favour of Palestine, in order to continue its cordial and friendly relations with Palestine , now deemed it right to expel the SL Ambassador who condemned Israel at the UN human rights Commission, in order for the Govt. to continue its friendly relations with Israel , thus demonstrating to the World , all what matters in its Diplomacy is sheer expediency and nothing else.

© Daily Mirror

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