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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2762

Sizzling Sison and that Bulloch in a China Shop

By Our Diplomatic Editor
Colombo, 21th April (

Normally I do not waste time taking up cudgels against diplomats. As someone whose name I quite forget now said decades ago, ambassadors lie abroad for the good of their country. or words to that effect.

Personally it matters little to me if they lie till rigor mortis sets. If they must lie even through their teeth, so be it.

But what really sticks in the craw is when these diplomats, especially those from the wild west, cobble together their own sermons on the mount and preach to the multitude their lessons of twisted morality.

While basking in the glow of their self- infused saintliness, they try to hide their own country's obnoxious past, deluding themselves that they are preaching to babes still on mother's milk and that the rest of the world is unaware of the shenanigans of their imperialist past..

First there was the UK's Deputy High Commissioner Robbie Bulloch whose recent blog (what an infelicitous word!) was played up in several of the local newspapers and websites as though some rare pearls of wisdom had just been scattered in our midst.

Fortunately for the deputy high commissioner he is able to hide his sniggers and sneers, generally reserved for the former colonial natives, with his penchant for British understatement and an air of seeming balance and fair-mindedness .

While Bulloch is, in fact, not much different from other uppity British bulls trashing around in China shops ( remember High Commission Dominic Chilcott who tried to give us lessons in democracy and diplomacy) at least his civilised demeanour saves him from being lumped together with his cousins from the other side of the big pond.

That does not mean he is more truthful about the happenings in his own country now or in the past as his blog would make us believe. Still for all, Bulloch seems a much more restrained personality than the more recently arrived American Ambassador Michele Sison, who like some others from her country who inhabited our part of town, cannot shed the image of an ugly American.

Maybe she has caught the virus from one of her predecessors, Robert Blake, who continues to throw his 6- foot something frame around like a marauding Gen Patton at the Rhine or Gen. MacArthur in the Pacific.

Hardly had Sison set foot in Sri Lanka and breathed its air when she lets American abrasiveness get in the way of diplomacy which she probably picked up at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy or some such place.

As I indicated I could have ignored Bulloch's droppings as a passing attempt to justify the misleading travel advisories that the British High Commission in Colombo keeps putting together though it claims its intention is not to stop Britons from coming to Sri Lanka but simply to warn them.

But when I read Ambassador Sison's remarks to the Foreign Correspondent's Association I could no longer remain silent as I did when reading Bulloch's bovine droppings in nicely cocooned words.

Reading the thoughts of Ambassador Sison on credible investigations into war crimes, accountability and punishment for those responsible, one could not but guffaw at the attempts of this American diplomat to cover nudity with a fig leaf.

To hear homilies from her Sison on human rights, international law and other weighty issues, is like asking the thief's mother for a glowing certificate on the moral character of the thief, as that old Sinhala saying goes.

US history is nothing but a litany of the violation of human rights of one group of people or another. The white man cheated, killed and stole from the native Indians. As a final insult the white rulers then reneged on their promises to the native people, stealing everything and confining them into reservations.

Then they violated the basic human rights of the African people they held as slaves, whipping and torturing those who had been uprooted from the homes and countries.

Perhaps Sison would be pleased to say who of the US leaders and policy makers have been held accountable and punished for the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagakasi, essentially civilian Japanese cities where millions died as a result and others are still suffering generations later?

Who has been held accountable and punished for the undeclared war against Cambodia, the illicit bombing of Laos, the use of napalm against the people of Vietnam and the use of Agent Orange in the pursuit of a scorched- earth policy in Vietnam?.

In more recent times who has been held accountable and punished for the illegal war against Iraq declared on false pretences and concocted evidence and for the tens of thousands of civilians including children who died under the western engineered sanctions regime?

Who has been held accountable and punished for the illegal movement of terror suspects across different jurisdictions and imprisoned and tortured in detention centres such as Guantanamo Bay and in Europe.

Who has been held accountable and punished for introducing interrogation techniques such as waterboarding that amounts to nothing but torture and prohibited under the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Human Rights Convention?

If Ambassador Robbie Bulloch and her fellow high priests from the State Department's evangelical order are so concerned about human rights and bringing justice to violated and discriminated people why do their country keep company with such dictators as the leader of Uzbekistan who finds boiling dissidents alive as entertaining as throwing Christians to the lions, or providing political and diplomatic cover to the rulers of Saudi Arabia who are hardly the world's champions of human rights.

Now that we have our transatlantic tandem- Sison and Bulloch - within our sights one might as well raise the issue of the Chargossian people from Diego Garcia who the UK and US jointly threw out from their island homes in violation of international law and lies to the UN and the British parliament .

After years of struggle and several law suits when the British Courts ultimately held with the Chargossian people on their illegal ouster, the British Government continues to deny them the right to return.

In case Bulloch next tries to bury under the carpet the secret courts that are to be established in the UK to try people who will not even know the evidence against them or will be able to have their preferred lawyers to defend them, so much for the liberal values in some western cities that the man refers to.

So much for the rule of law, human rights, international humanitarian law, accountability and the rest of the caboodle, under which the west tries to hoodwink the world.

- Asian Tribune -

Bulloch and  Sison
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