The LTTE’s Bruce Fein and the IMF Loan
By Stephen Long - Los Angeles, California
During my recent visit to Sri Lanka I had the occasion to meet with many government officials in many ministries. I also met with several distinguished members of the business community in Colombo. At all of my meetings I asked the question, “Have any of you ever heard of Bruce Fein?” The answer I always received, along with blank expressions, was "No." I couldn’t believe it. I usually said in response, "How can you not be aware of the Washington mercenary attorney, lobbyist, and PR consultant that is paid by LTTE supporters to bury your country?" Usually, there was very little interest in the subject, so we just moved on. How sad, I felt.
For the past year I have written about Bruce Fein in many articles that have been widely published and circulated. He is reportedly paid $100,000 per month to tell lies in Washington about the Government of Sri Lanka, and to take it to the International Courts – along with its Defence Secretary, Army Commander, and Chief Presidential Advisor – with charges of genocide and other war crimes supposedly committed against the Tamils in Sri Lanka. During the past year Mr. Fein has worked for three LTTE front organizations; his current client is a US-based organization called "Tamils Against Genocide."
I warned everyone that for a variety of reasons Bruce Fein would be an even bigger problem as soon as the Obama Administration took office. This has proved to be the case.
Recent actions and policy decisions made by the US Government indicate that Mr. Fein has gotten the ear of Hillary Clinton, Senator Patrick Leahey (current Chairman of the Judiciary Committee), and Senator Robert Casey (Chairman of the Foreign Relations Sub-Committee).
In a letter from these two Senators to Hillary Clinton this past Friday, June 5th, they stated:
"With the [Sri Lanka] government still refusing to address any of the major concerns that you [Secretary of State Clinton] and others have raised, we believe it would send the wrong signal to approve the IMF loan. It would suggest that to gain international support, the Sri Lankan government did not need to heed the world community's concerns; it merely needed to win the war. Before receiving major financial support, the government should first take at least some steps to reassure the world that it is adjusting its policies, by allowing access to the conflict area and international monitoring of the screening process..."
Undoubtedly this letter is a result of Mr. Fein’s legal and lobbying activities on behalf of his client. Here’s what happened on Wednesday, June 3rd:
To quote Tamil.net, "Judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court of District of Columbia, issued an order granting the Motion for Extension of Time filed by Bruce Fein, counsel for plaintiff, Tamils Against Genocide, in response to the Motion to Dismiss filed by U.S. Attorney John R. Coleman of U.S. Department of Justice, representing Defendants, Secretary of Treasury Timothy Geithner, and Executive Director of IMF Meg Lundsagar. Judge Leon allowed TAG's attorney till 29th June to file the response. Since the case will be "pending" until the Court makes a determination, which cannot take place at least until counsel Bruce Fein files a response, the U.S. is unlikely to vote on the IMF loan before 29th June, legal sources in Washington said."
Senator Leahey, Bruce Fein, and Tamils Against Genocide are in complete alignment as far as pushing US policy against Sri Lanka. I blame them for promoting lies about the GOSL that are seriously affecting its reputation and realizing its prospects for a war-free future. By the way, I also blame former US Ambassador Bob Blake for siding with the LTTE, for trying to get Prabhakaran out of the country before he was killed (I was told by reliable sources that he even arranged for two airplanes to land in Colombo, having them stand-by for this purpose), and for coloring the information he gave to his boss, Hillary Clinton, about the conditions on the ground in Sri Lanka.
Bruce Fein, Tamils Against Genocide, and the Senator cite the same laws, they make the same arguments, and I imagine their end games are the same as well.
So just what are their end games, one has to ask? There are probably several, but I’m sure they dovetail into one another nicely. First of all, de-stabilizing Sri Lanka financially by not giving it the IMF money it needs to operate the Government, take care of the IDP’s, and keep its many promises to both the general public and the military, is the first step toward opening up the door for an Eelam V. After all, the "Western Powers" don’t want to permanently lose another customer for its weaponry (both legal as well as black-market customers), and carving out a piece of Sri Lanka for the Tamils would help keep India on its toes, fearing the same thing. The so-called "Tamil Diaspora" is proving on a daily basis that it’s not giving up Prabhakaran’s dream, and they’re obviously still paying Bruce Fein’s retainer fees to keep it alive. Believe me, Bruce doesn’t work for free.
I think President Rajapaksa, currently riding the crest of his popularity after winning Eelam IV, has a six-month window of opportunity to make good on his many promises, such as building houses for military personnel, finding returning soldiers new employment, re-developing the Northern Province, transforming the society into a unitary whole, and funding the many infrastructure projects that are so badly needed throughout the country. In order to keep his word he has to have money, lots of it, and he needs it NOW. Keeping the IMF money from him while his clock is ticking is a way to erode his confidence while Bruce Fein and the likes of Senator Patrick Leahey build up international opposition against him.
Speaking of the loan, I’m told by one source that the IMF is going to tie so many conditions to it that it won’t be a simple draw-down of funds like a letter of credit, but it will be something like, "hen you do this, we’ll give you this amount." “Then, when you do that, we’ll give you this amount.” And so on. The conditions won’t only be about financial accountability and reporting systems, they’ll be about human rights, democracy, and joining itself to the Western Club’s world views. In my opinion, the IMF and the "hite man’s paradigm"that it represents wants to control Sri Lanka and make it conform to the self-centered interests and desires of the West. I feel that the IMF and the whole Western system wants to eventually see Sri Lanka’s State-owned assets put on the international auction block, grant military concessions, and force the Government to bend to the ideological demands of the "Western Powers." The end game is to use the loan to keep Sri Lanka tightly within its sphere of influence, and become a willing player in its materialistic society. At the end of the day, perhaps the IMF loan isn’t such a good thing after all. Hopefully there are other alternatives.
Back to Bruce Fein. When is the GOSL going to wake up and do something about him? I’ve said several times that action needs to be taken against him with the American Bar Association, for example. He’s a licensed practicing attorney, a former Deputy Attorney General (appointed by Ronald Reagan), who represents an outfit that fronts for a banned terrorist organization. Isn’t this illegal? Isn’t this a good reason for disbarment – at the very least?
Is the Government of Sri Lanka investigating Tamils Against Genocide? Who are the American individuals backing this group? Where are they getting their money to pay Bruce Fein? Does former US Ambassador Blake have something to do with them? What about launching a lawsuit against this organization?
I was in Sri Lanka during the very, very last weeks of Eelam IV, and I can assure you that there was no genocide. My friends in the Government and the military assured me that they were doing everything they could to keep the civilians out of harms way. I believed them. I’m convinced the Sinhalese really don’t have anything against co-habiting with the Tamils in their small island home, and my Tamil friends don’t seem to have a problem with the Sinhalese either. A unified nation can easily become a reality under the President’s leadership. So where is the problem?
It’s in the mind of Bruce Fein, that’s where!
- Asian Tribune -