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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2584

Democracy: The Double Standards of Democracy : Ambassador Mr Robert Blake - Please think twice before you speak out.

By Garvin Karunaratne

Our US Ambassador Mr Robert Blake, needs to be educated on democracy- how it is practiced in his own country, the USA, the mother of Democracies. It is sad that the practice of Democracy is at very low ebb in the USA.

The Voiceless PuertoRican Citizens of the USA

The other day, I was stunned by what I saw on the television. I watched the dead body of a Puerto Rican soldier, who had been killed in Iraq being handed over to his parents. The body was laid in a casket draped with the American flag. The Puerto Rican mother in sheer anger tore the American flag out of the casket and cast it on the ground. Out of nowhere she plucked a Puerto Rican flag and draped it on the casket bearing the remains of his dearest son.

Many do not know that though Puerto Rica is a State of the USA, the people though accepted as citizens of the USA cannot vote to elect the US President. Our Ambassador should know that in the case of Sri Lankan elections every citizen has an equal right to vote, wherever they live in the country.

There are 3.9 million Puerto Ricans and the US Army recruits many Puerto Ricans. Poverty and the lack of jobs force Puerto Rican to become cannon fodder. In fact the 65Th Infantry Regiment of the US Army is almost entirely Puerto Rican. Puerto Ricans fought in the forefront and laid down their lives for the USA in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War of 1951 and today in the invasion of Iraq. Of the 4,000 American soldiers who have laid down their lives in the Iraq War to satisfy the ego of a President thrust to the crown through stolen elections, quite a lot happen to be Puerto Ricans.

Is it right to deny the Puerto Ricans the right to vote at the US Presidential Elections?. But that is how the cookie crumbles in the USA. If the President of the USA had the ability to arbitrarily declare war on Afghanistan and Iraq in search of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction which he never found, surely he should have the ability to decide that every Puerto Rican should have the right to vote at the US Presidential Election.

The Two Stolen Erlections of 2000 and 2004

I refer to the vociferous comments often made by the Ambassador on Sri Lanka even infringing on its sovereignty,. He is kindly requested to practice before he preaches. He must understand that President Rajapaksa has been elected by the citizens of Sri Lanka; our President was not pushed into the Presidency by a few Supreme Court Judges like in the case of the 2000 US Presidential Election, as documented in my book: The Administrative Bungling that Hijacked the 2000 US Presidential Election (The University Press of America), and many another book by world famous authorities.

President Rajapaksa was also not elected by the electronic voting machines like in the case of the 2004 US Presidential Election. These machines had no paper trail and therefore the totals coffered up by the machines had to be accepted as final, though in some cases it is proved that the machines totaled four million votes when only four hundred ballots were fed in. This happened in Iowa and the Attorney General even kept shouting that there were no four million voters in the entire State of Iowa. Full details of how the electronic voting machines did perform that task is detailed in my book: The Electronic Stealing of the 2004 US Presidential Election, (Amazon.com,) It was actually the electronic voting machines that did manipulate in the totaling of ballots that offered the crown to George W. Bush.

In fact, William O’Dell, the Chief Executive Officer of ES & S(Election Systems and Software) the largest manufacturer of voting machines, declared before the 2004 election that he will deliver the victory in Ohio to George W. Bush which he did. It is documented again and again that there were many instances where the electronic voting machines voted George Bush to victory. Some instances are given below to illustrate how the voting machines accomplished that task:

In Perry County the machines counted many votes twice. In almost half of New Mexico’s Counties more votes were recorded than were cast and tallies were consistently in Bush’s favor. In many instances Bush appeared when the button for Kerry was pushed on the machine. Touch screen machines were found recording the wrong vote. In Youngstown machines transferred votes from Kerry to Bush.

There is no doubt that Bush was voted in by the machines. However the machines had no paper documentation and there was no possibility of any recount. In short the machines voted Bush in. I worked long ego as an Assistant Returning Officer in Parliamentary Elections in Sri Lanka, and it was colleagues who had worked as juniors with us that did the counting now.

The vote counts in Sri Lanka were done to perfection. In a count done by me in Nuwara Eliya Distrcit in 1965, I counted all ballots three times. I delayed the declaration of the winner by some six hours- I did not care about that. What I wanted was a perfect count.

As Indraratna Ediriweera a colleague of mine who did a number of ballot counts told me, I do not care about satisfying the candidates. I have to be satisfied myself that the winner was the person who was really voted in. That is a sacred task. The Ambassadors of the West must note that our President was voted in by the people and he was not shunted in through a manipulation by the Judiciary or shunted in through the backdoor by voting machines! I have not had the opportunity to work with our President Mahinda Rajapaksa, But I had known his father who was a father figure to us administrators. I had known Luckshman, his cousin in Hambantaota, a man feared by officers who were either thieves or inefficient. Luckshman’s uncle is well noted for standing up for the downtrodden masses against colonial domination. The Rajapaksas have kept a name to stand for the people. They are not of the type that will ever lick the boots of foreigners.

The US Presidential Election of 2008

The authorities are requested to mark my words. Even today(May 2008), there is no paper trail in all the electronic voting machines in the States of Florida and Ohio- two States with major populations. The Democrats have tried again and again to get a decision from Congress to ensure that there is a paper trail, only to be outmanoeuvered again and again by the Republicans. There is no doubt in my mind that though the Clinton-Obama Primary clash is gaining ground daily and a formidable battle will eventually be fought in words in actual practice the crown will be offered to the Republicans and the Democrats will have nowhere to turn because without a paper documentation there will be no method whatsoever of checking up the veracity of the totals. Today in the US, the Primaries are clashing and after June the Democrats and the Republicans will clash more violently and on November 4th, Americans will solemnly queue for hours at the polling precincts, and planeloads of solicitors will be on the ready to argue out the case, if the necessity arises, but the electronic voting machines will malfunction in silence, just as they did in the 2004 Presidential Election delivering a Republican to the Crown.

But all is not well even in the U.S. Democratic circles where today the two contenders- Hilary Clinton and Baraka Obama are engaged in a gutter political battle. They are not arguing on any principled policies to take America out of the economic morass and out of the shame that has been cast on it by Bush’s policies. Instead they are washing their dirty linen in public. Today Hilary Clinton has even stated in public that she is keeping on fighting for nomination because it was in June that a former contender Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968. She was telling in other words that she is yet in the race because Obama could be assassinated in June!. This is gutter politics at its worst- when the US of all countries should actually be showing the path for exemplary political arguments and battles. In Sri Lanka we have had our assassinations. Gamini Dissanayake was assassinated on the eve of the 1965 presidential election and Chandrika walked in. Why has Democracy dwindled to this low?

Ambassador Robert Blake sadly fails to realize the strengths of the USA. It is a great country, with highly developed technology, the home of excellence locked up in premier Universities, institutions that once were a beacon to the poverty and problems of the world. I am certain of this because I am a product of one of them, Michigan State University, the institution that transformed the Kotwali Thana of Comilla District in Bangladesh from poverty to riches. It was what I learned at Michigan State that enabled me to design and implement the Youth Self Employment Program of Bangladesh, a Program which has laid its imprint on the sands of time, the premier employment creation program of today which has established a record of over a million youths made into commercially viable entrepreneurs.

May the leaders of the USA, including our Ambassador Mr Blake have the nerve to make the USA the beacon to deliver the world out of poverty and deprivation once again?

Garvin Karunaratne, formerly of the Sri Lanka Administrative Service

- Asian Tribune -

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