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Britain and US under fire

May 14, 2009

Socialist Worker – Britain embraces murder in Sri Lanka

Human rights lawyer Matt Foot exposes the role of Britain and New Labour in the oppression of Sri Lanka’s Tamil population

The British government has been very keen to give the impression that it cares about the appalling plight of Sri Lanka’s Tamils. Following demonstrations outside parliament by thousands of Tamils, foreign secretary David Miliband went to the capital Colombo and called for a ceasefire. Gordon Brown created a new post for Des Browne as “special envoy” to Sri Lanka.

Poor old Des Browne was refused entry to Sri Lanka, which makes you question whether he is an “envoy” to anything at all.

Labour’s inability to challenge the government in Colombo is another hideous example of their “ethical” foreign policy.

In the run-up to the present crisis, the Labour government has been one of the best friends of Sri Lanka’s hardline president, the butcher Mahinda Rajapaksa.

In 2006, then prime minister Tony Blair invited Rajapaksa for friendly talks. In June 2008 Gordon Brown shared a smile and a handshake in Downing Street.

It is ironic that Browne is now accused of trying to “interfere” in Sri Lankan internal affairs. When he was minister of defence, between 2006 and 2008, £12 million worth of British arms were sold to Sri Lanka. This included components for military aircraft and machine guns.

Cick here to read article

Time – Sri Lanka Puts Obama to the Test — and He’s Failing

During the campaign, Barack Obama hinted at how his future Administration might act to stop suffering in the world. American foreign policy should focus on more than just killing terrorists; it needs to address “challenges of the 21st century” such as “climate change and poverty, genocide and disease.”

Obama and his advisers all but called for Robert Mugabe’s removal in Zimbabwe and advocated more aggressive U.S. action to halt the genocide in Darfur. “When genocide is happening,” said candidate Obama during the second presidential debate, “when ethnic cleansing is happening somewhere around the world and we stand idly by, that diminishes us.”

The emerging Obama doctrine seemed to signal a new age of liberal interventionism — the idea that the U.S. has a right and obligation to intervene, by force if necessary, to protect civilians from war and ethnic violence, even in places where the U.S. has no vital national interests at stake.

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