By Lucien Rajakarunanayake/The Island
The Western World seems obsessed with the promotion of Lt. General Shavendra Silva as the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army. The US Ambassador here, Aliana Teplitz, came with the first charge against him, regarding allegations of gross human rights violations documented by the United Nations and other organizations that are serious and credible.
There is one thing that Ambassador Teplitz and the others from the UN, Canada and the EU too, must know. They are referring to ‘allegations’ against him, with no proof of guilt.
One hopes that these loud voices on behalf of justice and human rights know one simple reality with regard to the functioning of justice. Accusations and allegations are not proof of guilt. There have been many in this world against whom serious and grave allegations have been made, but who have been found not guilty of such offences.
The powers of the West are certainly free to make allegations, echoed by Ambassadors such as Aliana Teplitz. But, we here have much more stuff about leaders such as Donald Trump himself – that show their utter contempt and gross violations of human rights, to make the world shudder at what such action does to human decency.
Does the US Ambassador not know that President Trump unveiled new rules this week allowing the US authorities to detain immigrant families indefinitely, while asylum cases are judged. Does she not know of the many protests taking place among US citizens on detained children of asylum seekers being separated from their parents, and how much pain this is to both parents and children? This is certainly a glaring violation of Human Rights. It is against the very spirit of humanity. It is not an accusation or allegation – it is the naked truth known by protesting American citizens.
Does Ambassador Teplitz not know about the recent mass shooting this month at the Walmart store at El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed? Does she not know that the target of this killer were Hispanics? Does she also not know that this killer had posted a personal blog piece, just before the shooting, which virtually quoted President Trump about the ‘invasion’ by Hispanic asylum seeking immigrants? This is a reality of the respect for Human Rights and humanity itself by the US authorities.
The US Ambassador and others who are shouting loud about Army Commander Shavendra Silva should take their minds back to the killing of Saudi Arabian journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, then doing a column for The Washington Post, who was killed in Turkey by agents sent by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is strongly supported by President Donald Trump. Has the US State Department taken any action to cut down or reduce the arms sales to Saudi Arabia from the US, which President Trump boasts about?
Does the US Ambassador know nothing about all the deaths taking place in Yemen, with the Saudi-led alliance attacking the rebel forces in Yemen, and the humanitarian catastrophe caused by all the US arms supplied to Saudi Arabia?
What does the US Ambassador, who feels so bad about allegations and accusations against Gen. Shavendra Silva, know about the huge Human Rights violations by the US and the Trump Administration about Palestine and the Palestinian people. Does she not know how the cutting of US aid to the humanitarian project serving the Palestinian people, including education to Palestinian students has been a huge set back to humanitarian services there. Does she and the State Department she comes from know nothing about the gross violations of UN agreements about the Golan Heights which Trump supported acquisition by Israel? And also the violation of international agreements about the city of Jerusalem, in a possible two state solution sometime in the future?
The US Embassy in Colombo and its Ambassador must certainly be enjoying the divine links to President Donald Trump that were announced by none other than himself earlier this week.
What would a decent world think of his recent threat to release European ISIS prisoners back into their own countries?
Referring to his trade war with China, he suggests having the backing of a ‘higher power”, with suggestions of the deity: Looking up to the sky, with his palms open, and declaring: “I am the chosen one!” Adding that: “Somebody had to do it. So I am taking on China. I’m taking on China on trade. And you know what? We’re winning.”
So God is with this leader! And how would Christians, who are not some Evangelicals think of this? Is he to be an accused in the Divine Court of Justice? Will there be allegations of him trying to grab the powers of Divinity?
Ambassador Teplitz represents a country that is led by a President who has described many African countries as ‘shitholes”. She must remain glad in being a representative of such forces of human disgrace.
General Shavendra Silva remains the Army Commander of Sri Lanka. Yes, he is an accused person, but not found guilty; Very different to the US President Trump whose crookedness stands out as facts beyond the courts of decency, and now beyond the judgement of deities too.