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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 1584

‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ in US Congress: Why is Sri Lanka behind in Research, Investigation & Public Diplomacy

Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune US Bureau Analysis
Washington, DC. 16 July (

The principal character behind the screening of the Channel 4 documentary ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Field’, a very good propaganda ploy the pro-eelamists in the United States unleashed, at the US Congress in Washington for American lawmakers and their staffers was Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern.

Yet the foreign policy handlers for Sri Lanka in Colombo and Washington failed to use strategic communication and public diplomacy to remove this event from the headlines focusing on the man, McGovern, who has a record of maintaining contacts and supporting terrorist/guerilla movements whose main aim was to destabilize or overthrow democratically elected governments.

The question is: why couldn’t Sri Lanka foreign relations ‘experts’ use their retaliation tactics with authentic data and information and made known the distortions the Channel Four documentary before the 15 July event at Capitol Hill?

Surely, Washington and Colombo would have known in advance the summoning of the ‘audience’ to Capitol Hill; if so they were too late. If not they have no expertise in handling foreign affairs.

It was Asian Tribune in a brief report that carried the ‘credentials of the Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern who was a co-sponsor and a key note speaker at the July 15 event.

The Asian Tribune will give more about this champion that the pro-eelamists found to create an international atmosphere similar to the ‘Kosovo’ type to impress on the international community that the minority Tamils can get justice only with the creation of a separate independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

This writer who was in the U.S. State Department’s diplomatic outpost in Colombo saw how the American Foreign Service Officers anticipated events, developments and their impact in advance to take appropriate measures to use strategic communication and public diplomacy to act to advance American interests in Sri Lanka or her immediate neighborhood.

The foreign policy advisers of Sri Lanka’s presidential secretariat, those ‘experts’ in the foreign ministry or its overseas representatives need to attend the American Foreign Service Training Institute which Democratic Massachusetts Congressman Chris Van Hollen’s mother once headed during this writers tenure in the State Department to learn some ropes.

"Sri Lanka's Killing Fields" was shown to the public inside the US Capitol complex on July 15.

Representative James McGovern, co-chair of a US Congress human rights commission said that the film was "a gruesome example of humans at their worst."

Naturally, neither Congressman McGovern nor the participants were not reached by the Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry to counter the blatant distortions in the ITN’s Channel Four production.

"These scenes provide much more than simply shock value, however: They also are powerful evidence of the need for an independent investigation to hold those responsible accountable for the crimes," said McGovern, a member of President Barack Obama's Democratic Party from Massachusetts.

"If the Sri Lankan government is unable or unwilling to act, then the international community must respond in its place," McGovern said.

The AFP dispatch said: US lawmakers, after lobbying from Tamil Americans, have led calls for a UN-led inquiry into war crimes allegations. The State Department has warned Sri Lanka that it must ensure accountability or face growing global pressure, although it has stopped short of fully backing an international probe.

The Asian Tribune has already carried Congressman McGovern’s past flirtation with terrorist/guerrilla movements, especially with Colombia’s FARC, whose aim was to destabilize or overthrow democratically elected governments.

The report also outlined that the pro-eelamists in the United States found a champion to create a mindset among the international community that the only way for the minority Tamils in Sri Lanka could gain human rights is self determination, in other words a separate/independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka.

Here are more details about the new found champion’s past antics of flirting with terrorist FARC movement in Colombia and their associates.

The FARC, which is a designated terrorist movement in the United States, has carried out bombings, murder, mortar attacks, kidnapping, extortion, and hijacking, as well as guerrilla and conventional military action against Colombian political, military, and economic targets. Foreign citizens were often targets of abductions that the FARC carried out to obtain ransom and political leverage. The FARC has well-documented ties to the full range of narcotics trafficking activities, including taxation, cultivation, and distribution.

The Asian Tribune reproduces here what Michael Waller, the founder editor of the blog carried in its 07 July 2008 edition about Democratic Congressman Jim McGovern, the co-sponsor and key note speaker at the screening of the ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’ at the Capitol Hill building in Washington on 15 July.

(Begin Text) Has the FARC used a US Congressman as a channel to influence Washington's policy toward Colombia? If so, how? Was the congressman an innocent in all this, or was there something more nefarious? These are important questions that the House Ethics Committee and Justice Department should investigate

At issue is Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), the main figure in Congress behind trying to cut off vital support for Colombia's military, and stopping a free trade arrangement that would help the country's economy. The Wall Street Journal has alleged that McGovern is a FARC sympathizer. McGovern has a long record of sympathy for the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and other leftist revolutionaries.

Information contained in the laptop computer of the FARC's then-#2 commander, Raul Reyes, suggests McGovern may have gone over the line in building a liaison with the terrorist organization, and that the FARC may have had a plan to advance its interests through other members of McGovern's political party. The Colombian military killed Reyes and captured his computer on March 1.

McGovern is a top congressional opponent of the US-Colombia free trade agreement, and helped persuade Speaker Pelosi to sink the pact last April.

McGovern has also tried to cut the US military aid to Colombia that has been decisive in taking down the FARC. These points are important, because nearly everything McGovern has done concerning Colombia has undermined that country's progress against, and arguably aided, the narcoterrorist group. The question is, has McGovern been malicious in intent, or just misguided? More importantly, did a foreign terrorist group use a US congressman as an agent or asset to influence and change US foreign and defense policy?

Anyone who has watched Jim McGovern as I have over the past 20-plus years, back to when he was a congressional staffer helping the Sandinistas in Nicaragua and the Cuban-backed guerrillas in El Salvador, knows that he has a soft spot, to put it politely, for the Latino extreme Left. The proposal of a McGovern-FARC go-between - an international negotiations setup involving US Members of Congress and pitting them against the Colombian and US governments - is a carbon copy of the same tactics McGovern promoted to save the Sandinistas and El Salvador's FMLN guerrillas from total defeat in the 1980s. That proposal appeared in the captured Reyes computer. (End Text)

Attorneys who want to succeed in court cases often use the technique of destroying the credentials of someone who is an obstacle to their law suits. Obviously the foreign policy pundits in Colombo or their overseas representatives have a long way to go to use this tactic.

- Asian Tribune -

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