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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2736

Kosovo and its likely fall back on Sri Lanka /India

By Palitha Senanayake.

The message from Kosovo is very clear. The ‘concern of the US and the European Community for the Albanians in Kosovo’ is greater than the concern of the Bosnians for the stability of their country and for the fellow citizen with whom they have co-existed for years.

The United States was founded by assimilating an assortment of nationalities, and when threatened by the war of division in 1860, they fought it to make it an ‘indivisible nation’. US today draw its strength from the size of the country and its scale of economic activity. Its super power status, which is a result of its military strength, is derived from the strength of its population and technology.

The US could never have dreamt to be what it is today, if President Lincoln failed to take appropriate action to wipe out petty minded separatist who were more bent in preserving their privileges at the cost of the union of the state! Had US broken into two, as the separatist wished, in to a ‘Confederate’ and a ‘Union’ in 1860, each of them probably would have lost the Second World War to Japan and would have remained even today as two protectorates under the Japanese emperor. That certainly would have changed world history and also its destiny!

The story about the European Union is more complex. It was again an assortment of several countries which have formed in to a union to face the economic challenge posed by the United States and Japan, and now the latest threat from China. Each country in the European Union would have been economically marginalized in the face of these threats, had they not formed in to this union. Global power effectively means nothing but economic clout of each nation: so if you are not an economic power to be reckoned with the chances are that you may fall from global grace and even lose your seat in that prestigious and powerful Security Council!

Yes, the UN Security Council is the best example of global power balance. Undemocratically constituted as it is, it represents, even today, the global power balance that prevailed, post Second World War. The Victors, US, Britain, France and Russia taking up membership in the UN Security Council with the Vanquished Germany and Japan out of the picture. If UN is a body meant to assure world peace, it is also a body that ensured the post world war global power balance, as long as they possibly could.

Therefore path to global power / recognition or for that matter survival is in aggregation and integration. The economic prosperity and the security of an average American or European, in the perception of the respective Governments, are in their collective strength and size of their states. But in the case of Bosnia the EU and the USA have strangely decided otherwise. It is in the interest of the people of Kosovo to separate itself from the Bosnian mainland. The ostensible reason being ‘genocide’: because 2000 people have been killed in clashes with the Government troops.

During the separatist war between the confederates and the Unionists in America, more than 600, 000 people were estimated to have died. But President Lincoln in his historic address at Gettysburg justified all that in the name of ‘Unity of the indivisible state’ that is the USA. Lincoln and the Americans were indeed fortunate that there was no R2 P (Right to Protect.) at that time to interfere with President Lincoln’s decision to wipe out separatism by defeating the south until the last Confederate General surrendered in 1865.

Similarly when the Europeans were building their countries there had been enough internal strife which they were able to overcome with the use of their security forces. If the internal struggles stopped short of getting internationalized it was because the European countries traditionally had strong armies that ensured not only heir internal but also external security. It was because of the strength of their armies that they conquered less powerful nations and started trading in commodities and in human slaves. In spite of this seeming strength of the colonial powers it is nevertheless a fact that it is this very colonialism, trade and slave trade that caused the First and Second World Wars that devastated the world: eliminating more than 5 million lives and billions worth of property.

Countries that are either newly independent will always experience problems in their incipient stages. Especially those countries with a legacy of colonialism would have inherited imbalanced socio economic structures as the colonialist always employed strategies and devices to keep the colonies internally divided and economically dependent. Hence national integration and economic sustenance would take sometime for those countries. Therefore it is inevitable that there would be a period of trial and error during the building up of a nation. The magnanimity of a nation to its citizen on issues such as, human rights, employment, and the physical quality of life, would invariably depend on the size of the economic pie of the state. Hence it would be unreasonable to draw parallels between the PQL of developed countries and those of a newly independent state. Hence when a super power creates a new state out of an estranged area by fragmenting an existing state under the pretext of its ‘Right to Protect’ is it in the interest of that state that is being fragmented?

How tenable could such a pretext be in the context of the global situation where about 100 countries in the world have separatist movements in different stages of intensity? For that matter there are only a handful of homogenous countries in the world and hence it would mean that all the other states would be vulnerable to eventual fragmentation. Is the US, as the sole super power helping the world to become more stable with secular and multi cultural states or is it threatening world peace with fragmentation and monolithic states? Remember that the world could not be any more stable and peaceful than it’s super powers wished it to be!

In the 18th century, the world super powers colonized the lesser states on the grounds of ‘need to civilize’ those countries. Now the current super power is doing the same in the ‘need to protect’. What is the difference between these strategies or are we going back to the 18th century? Are the hollowed virtues of modern civilization such as ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’, ‘ethnic rights’, and also ‘secular governance’ increasingly becoming mere justifications for invasion of less powerful states? Come to think of it, how can the tenants of western civilization, which considered those who did not uphold their values as ‘uncivilized’ and those who did not believe in their religion as ‘heathens’ and ‘pagans’ and also ‘consumerism’ as a country’s sole index of development, contribute towards a stable and a sustainable world? Paradoxically, the truth however is that we are made to believe that the westerners love us more than we do ourselves!

Now we come to the key word in the 21st century and that is ‘consumerism’. There are things that the western world love more than yours and mine’s rights: and that is their standard of living and their propensity to consume! We know that this rampant consumerism of the west has created new problems in the world threatening its sustainability. This is mainly because of the unlimited stress brought about by this new civilization upon the limited world resources and its ecology. It is also a fact that throughout the last century 20 % of the world population used 80 % of the world’s resources in their quest to maintain their standards of living. The question before the US and other Europeans powers is how could they continue to do that in the changing world scenario?

With China and India threatening to become world powers how is the western world, the ‘International community’ going to continue to maintain its hegemony in the world? To the discerning the answer is simple. Disturb regions, other than their own, in the name of ‘human rights’, ‘democracy’ and what have you! Well, the middle- east had been the cradle of world civilization. When they found oil there was potential for the Middle –east to become the most developed region in the world. But through Israel that area has been made instable for the past 50 years by the super powers. Now Kosovo is going to be the destabilizing base in the Eastern Europe and Russia. India rising its head has to be thwarted some how. Just imagine with their new designed ‘Nano’ motor car coming in to production and with billion Indians on wheels, what would be the effect on Global warming!

Indian sub continent is a continent with diverse communities each proud and nostalgic with their communal heritage. The US ambassador to Sri Lanka recently commented that ‘The US would not view the prospect of the elimination of the LTTE favorably”. Well, the equation then is ‘as long as the LTTE is there their will not be peace and as long as peace is not there the US would look at it favorably’. This is where the US is going to like the Tamil community more than they liked the Red Indian community. If Prbha’s Eelam could be made in to the Israel of Asia that will destabilize the whole region and India’s dream of becoming a super power would not see the light of day! That would not be all: it is going to be the biggest fillip to the ailing US arms industry. The US and the west are ready to trade with our ‘communal passions’ for their passion for world hegemony and consumerism. Let those fools have their ‘communal rights’ and ‘human rights’ and let us have the resources and the power! Or else ‘let them have their history so that we can have our future’. All what you need is a well oiled and ubiquitous propaganda network to keep them convinced that the US is doing its best for them.

The US State Department’s assertion that Kosovo is ‘unique’ and ‘it does not create precedents elsewhere’ could also be convincing only to the gullible. Every case is unique in its own character. The reliability of the above assertion could only be as reliable as the guarantee given to Bosnia when the NATO forces first invaded the country in 1999. They brought a UN resolution to assure Bosnia of its territorial integrity.

The US ambassador also goes on record to advice that Sri Lanka should not violate UN resolutions in its dealing with Iraq. The paradox again is haven’t the US contravened the international law and UN resolutions when it invaded Iraq and when it recognized Kosovo? Does the adherence to international law depend on a country’s military and economic power? In vernacular Sinhalese the sermons of those who can not practice what they preach are called the ‘sermons of the jungle’. The question then is ‘Are we been made to listen to the voice of the jungle in the name of modern civilization?

- Asian Tribune -

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