Obama: India Ain't Just About Gandhi and Outsourcing

As an Indian-American, anytime the US President visits India, I get excited about the possibilities of a stronger relationship between the two gigantic countries.  And, tomorrow, US President Barack Obama is off to India, stopping in Mumbai and Delhi, among other places.  It also happens to coincide with Diwali, the closest equivalent to Christmas in the Hindu calendar.

The Indian media as usual is going completely bonkers about the trip highlighting every aspect of the trip from the security issues related to a US presidential visit to whether a visit to the Sikh holy site in Amritar might be bad for Obama politically back home.

There is also WAY too much coverage of Obama’s views of Mahatma Gandhi and what it means for him to be visiting India.  Of course, there’s the obligatory stuff about India’s booming outsourcing industry and their high tech sector.

What I haven’t seen much of was whether there will be a discussion of human rights.  It’s probably because there won’t be much of a discussion.  But, there is a LOT to talk about:

  1. Bhopal: 24 years almost to the day was when the world heard the horror of the victims of the Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical) gas release.  There is still little accountability for allowing these deaths to occur and both President Obama and Prime Minister Singh must take steps in each of their countries to prosecute the perpetrators of this human rights catastrophe.
  2. Kashmir: Obama is walking a tightrope on getting involved in the human rights violations in Kashmir, but he must insist that the human rights violations stop and that peace and justice return to the valley as a way to begin discussions on the status of the area.  I recently did a chat on Twitter about Kashmir and we have an action on Kashmir as well.  Things are incredibly grim in the Kashmir Valley and if it’s ignored, the US will have certainly lost credibility on human rights.
  3. Myanmar (aka Burma): Both the US and India must publicly call for the release of all prisoner’s of conscience and an end to human rights violations.
  4. Sri Lanka: Both the US and India must call upon the Sri Lankan government to address human rights violations that had occurred during the civil war.
  5. Terrorism: Both India and the US must take steps to ensure that all prosecutions of terrorism suspects be conducted fairly.  Victims of terrorism are victims of human rights violations and the perpetrators of these violations need to be prosecuted.
  6. Both countries need to abolish the death penalty.

If India and the United States work to incorporate human rights into their relationship, then this could be the start of a great relationship!

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66 thoughts on “Obama: India Ain't Just About Gandhi and Outsourcing

  1. amnesty how can u miss violation of human rights in Punjab state.
    7th point- 25000 Sikh youth killed in police custody and fake encounters and then cremated as unidentified and unclaimed bodies in municipal cooperation cremation ground.

  2. to janmeet singh khalra: the post was not meant to be comprehensive but just a summary of where Obama and PM Singh can engage on human rights. It's not too diminish justice for the violence in Punjab or the Maoist situation in the east, but it's limited to areas where the two governments might talk. thanks for writing.

  3. As a fellow Indian-American, I can only hope that both President Obama and Prime Minister Singh will engage in meaningful conversation about Kashmir. The issues there have now become America's concern as well with the war on terrorism, particularly because of the region's relation to Pakistan. The recent human rights violations in Kashmir in response to mostly non-Pakistani backed protests need to be addressed as well.

  4. amnesty how can u miss violation of human rights in Punjab state.
    7th point- 25000 Sikh youth killed in police custody and fake encounters and then cremated as unidentified and unclaimed bodies in municipal cooperation cremation ground.

  5. to janmeet singh khalra: the post was not meant to be comprehensive but just a summary of where Obama and PM Singh can engage on human rights. It’s not too diminish justice for the violence in Punjab or the Maoist situation in the east, but it’s limited to areas where the two governments might talk. thanks for writing.

  6. As a fellow Indian-American, I can only hope that both President Obama and Prime Minister Singh will engage in meaningful conversation about Kashmir. The issues there have now become America’s concern as well with the war on terrorism, particularly because of the region’s relation to Pakistan. The recent human rights violations in Kashmir in response to mostly non-Pakistani backed protests need to be addressed as well.

  7. How odd that Amnesty International should fail to recognize the plight of the Dalit community in India. A quarter of the population, and estimated 250 million people, still suffer from abuse, persecution, discrimination, poverty and even death because of the inherently held prejudice that people of the Hindu culture have for their fellow citizens. President Bush failed to use his visit as a way of raising the issue and it is certain that President Obama will follow suit, despite his background and the apologies that he seems to continually make for the way in which America has behaved in the past. The Indian government must address the problem of Dalit rights before it can be accepted into the world community as an equal partner.

  8. Thanks for the overview, Govind. Having just moved to India, I'd say the most important issues are the situation in Kashmir and the situation in the Northeast, where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is still in place and used to justify brutality on a daily basis. Here's an article about Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for ten years to protest the situation: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/04/world/m

    It's another question whether Obama should use this state visit to discuss these issues. The moral authority of the U.S. in terms of human rights is practically non-existent given the events of the last ten years, including ongoing drone attacks in Pakistan which ultimately endanger Indian security. A more productive discussion might be whether the U.S. intends to pay reparations to the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan for the misery they've caused in the region, and, if so, how such reparations should be given to ensure that they actually reach the hands of the people who need them. This would be the only way to meaningfully address India's security concerns, many of which are justified given the instability that the U.S. has been bringing to India's borders since the 1970s.

    Deepawali mubarak,
    Sameer.

  9. Thanks for the overview, Govind. Having just moved to India, I'd say the most important issues are the situation in Kashmir and the situation in the Northeast, where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is still in place and used to justify brutality on a daily basis. Here's an article about Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for ten years to protest the situation: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/04/world/m

    It's another question whether Obama should use this state visit to discuss these issues. The moral authority of the U.S. in terms of human rights is practically non-existent given the events of the last ten years, including ongoing drone attacks in Pakistan which ultimately endanger Indian security. A more productive discussion might be whether the U.S. intends to pay reparations to the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan for the misery they've caused in the region, and, if so, how such reparations should be given to ensure that they actually reach the hands of the people who need them. This would be the only way to meaningfully address India's security concerns, many of which are justified given the instability that the U.S. has been bringing to India's borders since the 1970s.

    Deepawali mubarak,
    Sameer.

  10. Thanks for the overview, Govind. Having just moved to India, I'd say the most important issues are the situation in Kashmir and the situation in the Northeast, where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is still in place and used to justify brutality on a daily basis. Here's an article about Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for ten years to protest the situation: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/04/world/m

    It's another question whether Obama should use this state visit to discuss these issues. The moral authority of the U.S. in terms of human rights is practically non-existent given the events of the last ten years, including ongoing drone attacks in Pakistan which ultimately endanger Indian security. A more productive discussion might be whether the U.S. intends to pay reparations to the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan for the misery they've caused in the region, and, if so, how such reparations should be given to ensure that they actually reach the hands of the people who need them. This would be the only way to meaningfully address India's security concerns, many of which are justified given the instability that the U.S. has been bringing to India's borders since the 1970s.

    Deepawali mubarak,
    Sameer.

  11. How odd that Amnesty International should fail to recognize the plight of the Dalit community in India. A quarter of the population, and estimated 250 million people, still suffer from abuse, persecution, discrimination, poverty and even death because of the inherently held prejudice that people of the Hindu culture have for their fellow citizens. President Bush failed to use his visit as a way of raising the issue and it is certain that President Obama will follow suit, despite his background and the apologies that he seems to continually make for the way in which America has behaved in the past. The Indian government must address the problem of Dalit rights before it can be accepted into the world community as an equal partner.

  12. Thanks for the overview, Govind. Having just moved to India, I’d say the most important issues are the situation in Kashmir and the situation in the Northeast, where the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is still in place and used to justify brutality on a daily basis. Here’s an article about Irom Sharmila, who has been on a hunger strike for ten years to protest the situation: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/11/04/world/main7022272.shtml

    It’s another question whether Obama should use this state visit to discuss these issues. The moral authority of the U.S. in terms of human rights is practically non-existent given the events of the last ten years, including ongoing drone attacks in Pakistan which ultimately endanger Indian security. A more productive discussion might be whether the U.S. intends to pay reparations to the peoples of Afghanistan and Pakistan for the misery they’ve caused in the region, and, if so, how such reparations should be given to ensure that they actually reach the hands of the people who need them. This would be the only way to meaningfully address India’s security concerns, many of which are justified given the instability that the U.S. has been bringing to India’s borders since the 1970s.

    Deepawali mubarak,
    Sameer.

  13. Sameer: AFSPA must be abolished, but of course the US has all kinds of laws that also must be abolished, hence the need I think for the US and India to discuss their mutual human rights problems.

  14. Sameer: AFSPA must be abolished, but of course the US has all kinds of laws that also must be abolished, hence the need I think for the US and India to discuss their mutual human rights problems.

  15. Govind,

    Still pathetically hoping that Obama will give us ticking off?

    Honestly, AI is becoming a joke. You were invited to testify before Sri Lanka's 'Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee' (LLRC), yet AI chickened out of testifying. It would've been the perfect opportunity to make strong representations, in person, without fear of censorship to the Sri Lankan govt and public and give hope and courage to Sri Lanka's own human rights organisations, battling in a rough, tough, post-war environment.

    We'll listen to 'older brother' India, but certainly not compromised organisations like AI, HRW and ICG.

    In case you hadn't noticed, the US has military, financial and political power, but no credibility on human rights. None. Zero. Nada.

  16. I just discovered that AI's new Secretary general Salil Shetty's father is a journalist and very active in the Dalit movement. That makes me curious as to why AI does not place great importance on this incredible human rights issue.

  17. In response to Mango's comment above, Amnesty International declined the invitation to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka as that commission does not meet international standards for an independent and impartial inquiry. Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group also declined invitations to testify before the Commission. Those interested in learning more about this issue should visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE0… which includes a link to the Oct.14 joint letter issued by the three organizations explaining their decisions.

  18. I don't, I just don't see any evidence of it. I think President George W Bush missed a great opportunity to raise the issue with the Indian government when he agreed to give access to nuclear technology. President Obama spends his time apologising for things he feels America has done in the past. He needs to be encouraged to get involved in Dalit human rights issues.

  19. In response to Mango's comment above, Amnesty International declined the invitation to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka as that commission does not meet international standards for an independent and impartial inquiry. Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group also declined invitations to testify before the Commission. Those interested in learning more about this issue should visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE0… which includes a link to the Oct.14 joint letter issued by the three organizations explaining their decisions.

  20. In response to Mango's comment above, Amnesty International declined the invitation to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka as that commission does not meet international standards for an independent and impartial inquiry. Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group also declined invitations to testify before the Commission. Those interested in learning more about this issue should visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE0… which includes a link to the Oct.14 joint letter issued by the three organizations explaining their decisions.

  21. Govind,

    Still pathetically hoping that Obama will give us ticking off?

    Honestly, AI is becoming a joke. You were invited to testify before Sri Lanka’s ‘Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee’ (LLRC), yet AI chickened out of testifying. It would’ve been the perfect opportunity to make strong representations, in person, without fear of censorship to the Sri Lankan govt and public and give hope and courage to Sri Lanka’s own human rights organisations, battling in a rough, tough, post-war environment.

    We’ll listen to ‘older brother’ India, but certainly not compromised organisations like AI, HRW and ICG.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the US has military, financial and political power, but no credibility on human rights. None. Zero. Nada.

  22. I just discovered that AI’s new Secretary general Salil Shetty’s father is a journalist and very active in the Dalit movement. That makes me curious as to why AI does not place great importance on this incredible human rights issue.

  23. Dear Jim,
    Great to hear from you again.. we were wondering what had happened to you!
    AI's reasoning for not appearing at Sri Lanka's LLRC sounds like Bart Simpson saying 'the dog ate my homework'. :) Come on, Jim, the reasons given for running away from the LLRC are quite simply laughable!

    Yet again, AI and the rest were outplayed by the SL govt. If you'd come to Colombo, you could've presented your evidence and made the govt look foolish. By avoiding the LLRC, you gave the SL govt and easy win. I don't know who's in charge of your strategy, but whoever it is should be sacked for incompetence.

    Even worse, you've badly let down genuine, non-ethnically minded HR activists in Sri Lanka who are working towards peace, reconciliation, accountability.
    You should think about Sri Lanka's foreign minister GL Peiris's comments on AI snubbing their invitation. "It smacks of an attitude that is almost colonial, patronising and condescending, the assumption being that other people must step in because Sri Lankans are unable to chart a course for their own future."

    The US (to whom Govind looks for guidance in human rights matter) take a strict policy of no international bodies being permitted to override its national sovereignty. If its good enough for the US, its certainly good enough for SL in its final war against the LTTE and India with regard to the Kashmir issue.

    p.s. The LLRC has now extended its tenure by another six months. They're going to be in Jaffna from 11-15th November. Why not come to Colombo for the New Year? We'll be on the beach at Mount Lavina celebrating another year of peace and will keep some chilled Lion lagers for you. You've already got my email.

  24. Mango: The article I wrote never stated that the US should lecture India on human rights. On the contrary, there should be a human rights dialogue as part of the US-India relationship in areas highlighted in the article. Both countries should be taking the lead in promoting human rights in their respective countries as well as in other countries like Sri Lanka.

  25. I don’t, I just don’t see any evidence of it. I think President George W Bush missed a great opportunity to raise the issue with the Indian government when he agreed to give access to nuclear technology. President Obama spends his time apologising for things he feels America has done in the past. He needs to be encouraged to get involved in Dalit human rights issues.

  26. In response to Mango’s comment above, Amnesty International declined the invitation to testify before the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka as that commission does not meet international standards for an independent and impartial inquiry. Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group also declined invitations to testify before the Commission. Those interested in learning more about this issue should visit http://www.amnestyusa.org/document.php?id=ENGPRE013412010&lang=e, which includes a link to the Oct.14 joint letter issued by the three organizations explaining their decisions.

  27. Dear Jim,
    Great to hear from you again.. we were wondering what had happened to you!
    AI’s reasoning for not appearing at Sri Lanka’s LLRC sounds like Bart Simpson saying ‘the dog ate my homework’. :) Come on, Jim, the reasons given for running away from the LLRC are quite simply laughable!

    Yet again, AI and the rest were outplayed by the SL govt. If you’d come to Colombo, you could’ve presented your evidence and made the govt look foolish. By avoiding the LLRC, you gave the SL govt and easy win. I don’t know who’s in charge of your strategy, but whoever it is should be sacked for incompetence.

    Even worse, you’ve badly let down genuine, non-ethnically minded HR activists in Sri Lanka who are working towards peace, reconciliation, accountability.
    You should think about Sri Lanka’s foreign minister GL Peiris’s comments on AI snubbing their invitation. “It smacks of an attitude that is almost colonial, patronising and condescending, the assumption being that other people must step in because Sri Lankans are unable to chart a course for their own future.”

    The US (to whom Govind looks for guidance in human rights matter) take a strict policy of no international bodies being permitted to override its national sovereignty. If its good enough for the US, its certainly good enough for SL in its final war against the LTTE and India with regard to the Kashmir issue.

    p.s. The LLRC has now extended its tenure by another six months. They’re going to be in Jaffna from 11-15th November. Why not come to Colombo for the New Year? We’ll be on the beach at Mount Lavina celebrating another year of peace and will keep some chilled Lion lagers for you. You’ve already got my email.

  28. Mango: The article I wrote never stated that the US should lecture India on human rights. On the contrary, there should be a human rights dialogue as part of the US-India relationship in areas highlighted in the article. Both countries should be taking the lead in promoting human rights in their respective countries as well as in other countries like Sri Lanka.

  29. Dear Govind,
    The US is too intelligent to lecture India on HR (unlike that cretinous ex-UK foreign secretary Milliband). India won't stand for it :)

    I don't know why this is so difficult to grasp. After Iraq and Afghanistan, the West simply has no credibility when sermonising about human rights anywhere (perhaps short of genocide) unless and until its' own leaders responsible for those indescribably awful episodes are brought to justice.

    Really nasty regimes like Sudan, Burma etc can simply ignore whatever lectures and finger-wagging sermons come their way from AI and the West. I want to see the Western powers responsible for those two wars of choice subjected to the same treatment AI meted out to Sri Lanka during its war of survival against the LTTE. i.e. calls for UN War Crimes trials, boycotts of sports events beloved by the populations of those countries and calls for the politicians responsible to be sent to the Hague.

    Instead, we have the frankly bizzare spectacle of AI giving evidence to a US Senate sub-committee about SL's alleged war-crimes. Whatever reality altering substance you guys are smoking, I want some of it.

    p.s. On Bhopal: we saw Saint Obama's fury when BP's explosion killed 13 oil workers & some fish in Louisiana. I expect he'll be incandescent with rage about the 23,000+ dead Indians, no? I know life is cheap in India, but didn't realise that the exchange rate was so low. i.e. 23,000 dead Indians ≤ 13 dead Americans & some American fish and lobsters.

  30. Dear Govind,
    The US is too intelligent to lecture India on HR (unlike that cretinous ex-UK foreign secretary Milliband). India won’t stand for it :)

    I don’t know why this is so difficult to grasp. After Iraq and Afghanistan, the West simply has no credibility when sermonising about human rights anywhere (perhaps short of genocide) unless and until its’ own leaders responsible for those indescribably awful episodes are brought to justice.

    Really nasty regimes like Sudan, Burma etc can simply ignore whatever lectures and finger-wagging sermons come their way from AI and the West. I want to see the Western powers responsible for those two wars of choice subjected to the same treatment AI meted out to Sri Lanka during its war of survival against the LTTE. i.e. calls for UN War Crimes trials, boycotts of sports events beloved by the populations of those countries and calls for the politicians responsible to be sent to the Hague.

    Instead, we have the frankly bizzare spectacle of AI giving evidence to a US Senate sub-committee about SL’s alleged war-crimes. Whatever reality altering substance you guys are smoking, I want some of it.

    p.s. On Bhopal: we saw Saint Obama’s fury when BP’s explosion killed 13 oil workers & some fish in Louisiana. I expect he’ll be incandescent with rage about the 23,000+ dead Indians, no? I know life is cheap in India, but didn’t realise that the exchange rate was so low. i.e. 23,000 dead Indians ≤ 13 dead Americans & some American fish and lobsters.

  31. The brown sahibs ( sinhalese minister Peiris et al ) respond to any criticism of their regimes by Western human rights bodies as "colonial paternalism".

    Internal criticism or unrest is more vaguely labeled as evidence of a "foreign hand" at work.

    Ask the Nepali, Bhutanese, Burmese,or Bagladeshi peoples if they see india as "elder brother" ……… & you'll hear from THEM about india's REAL colonial paternalism.

    Mr Mango should check with "Big Brother" india is he should critique the US rights record in Afghanistan ……. & he'll find Big Brother supports the US side !!

    & so does Mr Mango's own brother Rip van Winkle …….. who supports the war against the Taliban "terrorists" !!

    Mr Mango blurs lines & realities to score his "points".

    He blurs the line between US rights groups & the

  32. Mr Mango deliberately blurs the line between US human rights groups & the US war machine in "Iraq & Afghanistan", & depicts BOTH the rights groups AND the military as a SINGLE entity, "The WEST" ….. merely to make his "point" that this entity can't critique any nonWestern regime ……. because it is supposedly so monolithic as to be indistinguishable !

    Are the military & the rights bodies indistinguishably one in the West, or anywhere else ?

    Maybe they are in sri lanka … perhaps those nonethnic rights activists Mr Mango sounds so enthusiastic about !!!

    Mr Mango's always THIS carelessly about the realities he paints — again & again , only to score a "point" & laugh at the imagined discomfiture he has caused the target of his ruthless repartee .

    His depiction of BP's environmental devastation of the Gulf as only involving "13 dead Americans & some American fish & lobsters" — when the costs both marine & human are staggering & of a scale that will continue taking a toll into the DISTANT future …….. this very flippancy of his signature "style" is only to score his jocularly sarcastic "point" about Obama's allegedly "furious" reaction to the Gulf catastrophe being overwhelming in comparison to a supposed lack of response concerning the Bhopal disaster …

    Obama's "fury" at BP ????

    Where, & when ???

    Obama's very LACK of "fury" or of any strong response AT ALL to the Gulf crisis caused by BP ( he merely pursed his lips, in a belated attempt to convey disapproval !! ) is what characterized the US president on that & EVERY other critical domestic issue ……. & contributed to his party's electoral debacle !!

    He can't convey any rights concerns to india either, except for grandiloquent insubstantialities that are HIS trademark style ……… which suits both Mr Mango & his "Big Brother" eminently !! & in case Obama DID, Mr Mango's sure the Big Brother he so admires will brush it off just as sinhalese lanka continues to do………

    while Kashmir …. the "Northeast"…. the indigenous heartland …. & the Dalit Issue all continue to explode simultaneously.

  33. Correction to typing slip above :

    If Mr Mango checks with Big Brother india IF he should critique the US human rights record in Afghanistan ……. he'll find out Big Brother HIMSELF is on the US SIDE in the Afghan war, & supports the same people the US does in Kabul !!!

  34. The brown sahibs ( sinhalese minister Peiris et al ) respond to any criticism of their regimes by Western human rights bodies as “colonial paternalism”.

    Internal criticism or unrest is more vaguely labeled as evidence of a “foreign hand” at work.

    Ask the Nepali, Bhutanese, Burmese,or Bagladeshi peoples if they see india as “elder brother” ……… & you’ll hear from THEM about india’s REAL colonial paternalism.

    Mr Mango should check with “Big Brother” india is he should critique the US rights record in Afghanistan ……. & he’ll find Big Brother supports the US side !!

    & so does Mr Mango’s own brother Rip van Winkle …….. who supports the war against the Taliban “terrorists” !!

    Mr Mango blurs lines & realities to score his “points”.

    He blurs the line between US rights groups & the

  35. Mr Mango deliberately blurs the line between US human rights groups & the US war machine in “Iraq & Afghanistan”, & depicts BOTH the rights groups AND the military as a SINGLE entity, “The WEST” ….. merely to make his “point” that this entity can’t critique any nonWestern regime ……. because it is supposedly so monolithic as to be indistinguishable !

    Are the military & the rights bodies indistinguishably one in the West, or anywhere else ?

    Maybe they are in sri lanka … perhaps those nonethnic rights activists Mr Mango sounds so enthusiastic about !!!

    Mr Mango’s always THIS carelessly about the realities he paints — again & again , only to score a “point” & laugh at the imagined discomfiture he has caused the target of his ruthless repartee .

    His depiction of BP’s environmental devastation of the Gulf as only involving “13 dead Americans & some American fish & lobsters” — when the costs both marine & human are staggering & of a scale that will continue taking a toll into the DISTANT future …….. this very flippancy of his signature “style” is only to score his jocularly sarcastic “point” about Obama’s allegedly “furious” reaction to the Gulf catastrophe being overwhelming in comparison to a supposed lack of response concerning the Bhopal disaster …

    Obama’s “fury” at BP ????

    Where, & when ???

    Obama’s very LACK of “fury” or of any strong response AT ALL to the Gulf crisis caused by BP ( he merely pursed his lips, in a belated attempt to convey disapproval !! ) is what characterized the US president on that & EVERY other critical domestic issue ……. & contributed to his party’s electoral debacle !!

    He can’t convey any rights concerns to india either, except for grandiloquent insubstantialities that are HIS trademark style ……… which suits both Mr Mango & his “Big Brother” eminently !! & in case Obama DID, Mr Mango’s sure the Big Brother he so admires will brush it off just as sinhalese lanka continues to do………

    while Kashmir …. the “Northeast”…. the indigenous heartland …. & the Dalit Issue all continue to explode simultaneously.

  36. Correction to typing slip above :

    If Mr Mango checks with Big Brother india IF he should critique the US human rights record in Afghanistan ……. he’ll find out Big Brother HIMSELF is on the US SIDE in the Afghan war, & supports the same people the US does in Kabul !!!

  37. Oh – I am in dreamland again !!

    I thought Jim MD was fired already from AI for his credibility track records (The Cluster bombing, Assumptions etc… ) Anyways, good to see the naked fella still alive !!!

    Anyways, I will take 1 point from the above article from Govind !

    Terrorism: Both India and the US must take steps to ensure that all prosecutions of terrorism suspects be conducted fairly. Victims of terrorism are victims of human rights violations and the perpetrators of these violations need to be prosecuted.

    May I ask,

    1. What kind of punishment do you propose to those terrorists who are prosecuted ????
    2. Also, by calling for the prosecutions to be conducted fairly, where would you suggest for the prosecutions to happen ??
    3. Most importantly, What are we going to do about the Terrorists who are still free out there terrorizing people (Ex. Osama Bin Laden) ???

    Also Govind, if you had been closely monitoring and studying the post war scenario of Sri Lanka, you would have noticed that the GOSL always kept India updated on what was happening over here. You also would remember that the Government of India did support the GOSL activities where they even went to the extent of risking their ally in Tamilnadu. So, all in all, we can agree that the GOSL and GOI worked hand in hand to demolish the Terrorism in Sri Lanka. I would also remind you that the USA supported the cause by providing Sat / UAV images, Training, Weaponry and ammunition. So, let's agree or 'assume' as Jim MD does that the terrorism was demolished with the blessings of USA and India.

    Also, what a lame damn excuse of not testifying in front of the reconciliation commission. Utter Bull Crap. At times, we work at our work places knowing that we do a good job of work immaterial of the out come and our bosses encourage it + commend it. I trust that the "Ever Assuming Jim MD" is behind the decision of not attending the meetings with the commission where he has already jumped in to the conclusion of it's useless. We all know by now that Jim suffers from short sightedness where he fails to realize the amount of publicity that would be given around the world to the dossier you plan to unfold. Then, the world would be enlightened and be in a position to decide the right from wrong.

    Overall, it's kind of disheartening to see that AI feels that the world should dance according to their tune. I trust that the whole world agrees on HR and that's what many countries including SL signed at the Geneve Convention. However, if an organization as AI doesn't see "All" the contents of the document and only see a few and have learned to interpret it in their own terms, we will only have to feel sorry for those who actually take AI seriously. (What I mean is that, SL conducted the war as per HR laws of how to act during war)

    Jim has failed miserably to explain to us as to what action AI proposed to end the Terrorism in SL apart from war ?(Not the crap of peace talks which failed 4-5 times due to reasons we all know) May be we will extend it to Govind to answer and prove that Govind is not Chicken as Jim.

    Oh – Good to see A(ss) Savage too !! Hi Mate !!

    Indeed I support war against all Terrorist groups – Big Supporter of USA for war against Taliban, but, not the false wars that Bush had against Iraq in search of WOMD which they never found.

  38. Dear A. Savage,
    Great to see you back, yet again exposing your ignorance. Let me help you with a few corrections.

    A 'brown sahib' is a shameless bootlicker of Western interests to the detriment of his own country and people. Prof Peiris is a sterling defender of Sri Lanka's interest and most certainly not a brown sahib.

    Check the map when you wake up and you'll see that India is our 'Big Brother'. It's a geographical fact of life. I repeat, the West can lecture Sri Lanka on HR after it cleans up its own act and prosecutes a few of its' own miscreants.

    The BP oil spill is chicken-feed compared to Bhopal and even the damage isn't as bad as originally assumed. In case you're unable to use a keyboard, let me help you with some proof: "Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we've heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals." http://tinyurl.com/2aaq4hd

    As for terrorism, I'm delighted that we shredded your favourite terror group (the LTTE suicide cult) into oblivion. So is India and the rest of the world. Your second favourite terrorist group, the Taliban deliberately murdered over 3,000 Afghan civilians in 2010. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/taliban-le

    By the end of 2010, there will probably be 6,000+ dead Afghan civilians. Hideously tragic. The West intends to stay in Afghanistan for at least another 10 years to stabilise the country. Probable civilian casualties expected by 2020, (est average of 2,000 per year) = 20,000. We wish the US and its allies every success in enjoying their stay in Afghanistan for the next decade or so and extend our sympathies to the Afghan civilians, yet-to-be-killed-by-US military.

  39. Dear A. Savage,
    Great to see you back, yet again exposing your ignorance. Let me help you with a few corrections.

    A 'brown sahib' is a shameless bootlicker of Western interests to the detriment of his own country and people. Prof Peiris is a sterling defender of Sri Lanka's interest and most certainly not a brown sahib.

    Check the map when you wake up and you'll see that India is our 'Big Brother'. It's a geographical fact of life. I repeat, the West can lecture Sri Lanka on HR after it cleans up its own act and prosecutes a few of its' own miscreants.

    The BP oil spill is chicken-feed compared to Bhopal and even the damage isn't as bad as originally assumed. In case you're unable to use a keyboard, let me help you with some proof: "Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we've heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals." http://tinyurl.com/2aaq4hd

    As for terrorism, I'm delighted that we shredded your favourite terror group (the LTTE suicide cult) into oblivion. So is India and the rest of the world. Your second favourite terrorist group, the Taliban deliberately murdered over 3,000 Afghan civilians in 2010. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/taliban-le

    By the end of 2010, there will probably be 6,000+ dead Afghan civilians. Hideously tragic. The West intends to stay in Afghanistan for at least another 10 years to stabilise the country. Probable civilian casualties expected by 2020, (est average of 2,000 per year) = 20,000. We wish the US and its allies every success in enjoying their stay in Afghanistan for the next decade or so and extend our sympathies to the Afghan civilians, yet-to-be-killed-by-US military.

  40. Dear A. Savage,
    Great to see you back, yet again exposing your ignorance. Let me help you with a few corrections.

    A 'brown sahib' is a shameless bootlicker of Western interests to the detriment of his own country and people. Prof Peiris is a sterling defender of Sri Lanka's interest and most certainly not a brown sahib.

    Check the map when you wake up and you'll see that India is our 'Big Brother'. It's a geographical fact of life. I repeat, the West can lecture Sri Lanka on HR after it cleans up its own act and prosecutes a few of its' own miscreants.

    The BP oil spill is chicken-feed compared to Bhopal and even the damage isn't as bad as originally assumed. In case you're unable to use a keyboard, let me help you with some proof: "Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we've heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals." http://tinyurl.com/2aaq4hd

    As for terrorism, I'm delighted that we shredded your favourite terror group (the LTTE suicide cult) into oblivion. So is India and the rest of the world. Your second favourite terrorist group, the Taliban deliberately murdered over 3,000 Afghan civilians in 2010. http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/taliban-le

    By the end of 2010, there will probably be 6,000+ dead Afghan civilians. Hideously tragic. The West intends to stay in Afghanistan for at least another 10 years to stabilise the country. Probable civilian casualties expected by 2020, (est average of 2,000 per year) = 20,000. We wish the US and its allies every success in enjoying their stay in Afghanistan for the next decade or so and extend our sympathies to the Afghan civilians, yet-to-be-killed-by-US military.

  41. Oh – I am in dreamland again !!

    I thought Jim MD was fired already from AI for his credibility track records (The Cluster bombing, Assumptions etc… ) Anyways, good to see the naked fella still alive !!!

    Anyways, I will take 1 point from the above article from Govind !

    Terrorism: Both India and the US must take steps to ensure that all prosecutions of terrorism suspects be conducted fairly. Victims of terrorism are victims of human rights violations and the perpetrators of these violations need to be prosecuted.

    May I ask,

    1. What kind of punishment do you propose to those terrorists who are prosecuted ????
    2. Also, by calling for the prosecutions to be conducted fairly, where would you suggest for the prosecutions to happen ??
    3. Most importantly, What are we going to do about the Terrorists who are still free out there terrorizing people (Ex. Osama Bin Laden) ???

    Also Govind, if you had been closely monitoring and studying the post war scenario of Sri Lanka, you would have noticed that the GOSL always kept India updated on what was happening over here. You also would remember that the Government of India did support the GOSL activities where they even went to the extent of risking their ally in Tamilnadu. So, all in all, we can agree that the GOSL and GOI worked hand in hand to demolish the Terrorism in Sri Lanka. I would also remind you that the USA supported the cause by providing Sat / UAV images, Training, Weaponry and ammunition. So, let’s agree or ‘assume’ as Jim MD does that the terrorism was demolished with the blessings of USA and India.

    Also, what a lame damn excuse of not testifying in front of the reconciliation commission. Utter Bull Crap. At times, we work at our work places knowing that we do a good job of work immaterial of the out come and our bosses encourage it + commend it. I trust that the “Ever Assuming Jim MD” is behind the decision of not attending the meetings with the commission where he has already jumped in to the conclusion of it’s useless. We all know by now that Jim suffers from short sightedness where he fails to realize the amount of publicity that would be given around the world to the dossier you plan to unfold. Then, the world would be enlightened and be in a position to decide the right from wrong.

    Overall, it’s kind of disheartening to see that AI feels that the world should dance according to their tune. I trust that the whole world agrees on HR and that’s what many countries including SL signed at the Geneve Convention. However, if an organization as AI doesn’t see “All” the contents of the document and only see a few and have learned to interpret it in their own terms, we will only have to feel sorry for those who actually take AI seriously. (What I mean is that, SL conducted the war as per HR laws of how to act during war)

    Jim has failed miserably to explain to us as to what action AI proposed to end the Terrorism in SL apart from war ?(Not the crap of peace talks which failed 4-5 times due to reasons we all know) May be we will extend it to Govind to answer and prove that Govind is not Chicken as Jim.

    Oh – Good to see A(ss) Savage too !! Hi Mate !!

    Indeed I support war against all Terrorist groups – Big Supporter of USA for war against Taliban, but, not the false wars that Bush had against Iraq in search of WOMD which they never found.

  42. Dear A. Savage,
    Great to see you back, yet again exposing your ignorance. Let me help you with a few corrections.

    A ‘brown sahib’ is a shameless bootlicker of Western interests to the detriment of his own country and people. Prof Peiris is a sterling defender of Sri Lanka’s interest and most certainly not a brown sahib.

    Check the map when you wake up and you’ll see that India is our ‘Big Brother’. It’s a geographical fact of life. I repeat, the West can lecture Sri Lanka on HR after it cleans up its own act and prosecutes a few of its’ own miscreants.

    The BP oil spill is chicken-feed compared to Bhopal and even the damage isn’t as bad as originally assumed. In case you’re unable to use a keyboard, let me help you with some proof: “Yes, the spill killed birds — but so far, less than 1% of the number killed by the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska 21 years ago. Yes, we’ve heard horror stories about oiled dolphins — but so far, wildlife-response teams have collected only three visibly oiled carcasses of mammals.”
    http://tinyurl.com/2aaq4hd

    As for terrorism, I’m delighted that we shredded your favourite terror group (the LTTE suicide cult) into oblivion. So is India and the rest of the world. Your second favourite terrorist group, the Taliban deliberately murdered over 3,000 Afghan civilians in 2010.
    http://blog.amnestyusa.org/middle-east/taliban-leaders-should-be-prosecuted-for-war-crimes/

    By the end of 2010, there will probably be 6,000+ dead Afghan civilians. Hideously tragic. The West intends to stay in Afghanistan for at least another 10 years to stabilise the country. Probable civilian casualties expected by 2020, (est average of 2,000 per year) = 20,000. We wish the US and its allies every success in enjoying their stay in Afghanistan for the next decade or so and extend our sympathies to the Afghan civilians, yet-to-be-killed-by-US military.

  43. Dear Jim and Govind,
    A question about how AI reached the decision to avoid attending Sri Lanka's "Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee".

    Was the decision taken by a few senior people within AI or was it open to the entire membership? Did you both have any input and if so can you tell us which way you voted? Or was it a secret ballot?

    AI always (and quite rightly) promote a policy of openness and transparency, so I think we'll all be more enlightened if we knew how this momentous and (in my opinion, short-sighted) decision was reached. If it really was left to the senior AI members, there's no 'witness protection' issue as their identities are well known.

  44. Dear Jim and Govind,
    A question about how AI reached the decision to avoid attending Sri Lanka’s “Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Committee”.

    Was the decision taken by a few senior people within AI or was it open to the entire membership? Did you both have any input and if so can you tell us which way you voted? Or was it a secret ballot?

    AI always (and quite rightly) promote a policy of openness and transparency, so I think we’ll all be more enlightened if we knew how this momentous and (in my opinion, short-sighted) decision was reached. If it really was left to the senior AI members, there’s no ‘witness protection’ issue as their identities are well known.

  45. Mango !

    I 100 % trust that it's a lame excuse by AI because they don't have any solid evidence (apart from the false Satellite image Jim posted sometime back) – all what they have are the lies that the LTTE supporters poured them with without any evidence. An organization as AI should better know by now what the LTTE is made out of – Lies !!! If they can't, it's no body's problem…. Guess that's the reason for other governments of the world to continue supporting GOSL.

  46. Oh Also, (Mango) Do not expect any replies from AI – we know the silent treatment Jim gives after blubbering a few sentences. May Be Govind is in the same boat !!

  47. Mango !

    I 100 % trust that it’s a lame excuse by AI because they don’t have any solid evidence (apart from the false Satellite image Jim posted sometime back) – all what they have are the lies that the LTTE supporters poured them with without any evidence. An organization as AI should better know by now what the LTTE is made out of – Lies !!! If they can’t, it’s no body’s problem…. Guess that’s the reason for other governments of the world to continue supporting GOSL.

  48. Oh Also, (Mango) Do not expect any replies from AI – we know the silent treatment Jim gives after blubbering a few sentences. May Be Govind is in the same boat !!

  49. Rip,
    Yes, its odd how for an organisation that constantly demands openness and transparency from everyone else is so very keen to shield itself from questioning. Perhaps they've been taking lessons from the SL govt? :)

    Anyway, here's a little gift for Jim who won't come to Colombo to speak at the LLRC. It's the testimony about the expulsion of Lankan Muslims from Jaffna by the LTTE http://tinyurl.com/39vloj2

    Interestingly, the HR troika who were unwilling to come to Colombo have just issued another whiny press release about how flawed the LLRC is etc etc… but basically saying "war crimes are being whitewashed."

    The obvious answer which appears to have escaped these highly intelligent HR leaders is….. why not come to Colombo and say this straight to the LLRC commissioners? http://tinyurl.com/347vvyx

  50. Rip,
    Yes, its odd how for an organisation that constantly demands openness and transparency from everyone else is so very keen to shield itself from questioning. Perhaps they've been taking lessons from the SL govt? :)

    Anyway, here's a little gift for Jim who won't come to Colombo to speak at the LLRC. It's the testimony about the expulsion of Lankan Muslims from Jaffna by the LTTE http://tinyurl.com/39vloj2

    Interestingly, the HR troika who were unwilling to come to Colombo have just issued another whiny press release about how flawed the LLRC is etc etc… but basically saying "war crimes are being whitewashed."

    The obvious answer which appears to have escaped these highly intelligent HR leaders is….. why not come to Colombo and say this straight to the LLRC commissioners? http://tinyurl.com/347vvyx

  51. Rip,
    Yes, its odd how for an organisation that constantly demands openness and transparency from everyone else is so very keen to shield itself from questioning. Perhaps they've been taking lessons from the SL govt? :)

    Anyway, here's a little gift for Jim who won't come to Colombo to speak at the LLRC. It's the testimony about the expulsion of Lankan Muslims from Jaffna by the LTTE http://tinyurl.com/39vloj2

    Interestingly, the HR troika who were unwilling to come to Colombo have just issued another whiny press release about how flawed the LLRC is etc etc… but basically saying "war crimes are being whitewashed."

    The obvious answer which appears to have escaped these highly intelligent HR leaders is….. why not come to Colombo and say this straight to the LLRC commissioners? http://tinyurl.com/347vvyx

  52. Rip,
    Yes, its odd how for an organisation that constantly demands openness and transparency from everyone else is so very keen to shield itself from questioning. Perhaps they’ve been taking lessons from the SL govt? :)

    Anyway, here’s a little gift for Jim who won’t come to Colombo to speak at the LLRC. It’s the testimony about the expulsion of Lankan Muslims from Jaffna by the LTTE http://tinyurl.com/39vloj2

    Interestingly, the HR troika who were unwilling to come to Colombo have just issued another whiny press release about how flawed the LLRC is etc etc… but basically saying “war crimes are being whitewashed.”

    The obvious answer which appears to have escaped these highly intelligent HR leaders is….. why not come to Colombo and say this straight to the LLRC commissioners? http://tinyurl.com/347vvyx

  53. Hey Again Mango !

    I don't think so – As I mentioned before, all these nuts have are the rumours they heard via the LTTE Grapevine. No hard core evidence and what these so called HR guys accuse the government of has even been negated by those who were trapped in the war zone. the real humans who were the shields. Kinda useless talking to these loonies of HR. I will only voice my opinion to ensure that these loonies will not get away with their lies…..

  54. Hey Again Mango !

    I don’t think so – As I mentioned before, all these nuts have are the rumours they heard via the LTTE Grapevine. No hard core evidence and what these so called HR guys accuse the government of has even been negated by those who were trapped in the war zone. the real humans who were the shields. Kinda useless talking to these loonies of HR. I will only voice my opinion to ensure that these loonies will not get away with their lies…..

  55. Govind,
    So what happened after the Messiah Obama came & speechified? The usual twaddle about Burma (admittedly a really nasty regime) without mentioning the US's support for Uzbekistan where they boil Islamists alive? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/26/nickp

    The Indians being exquisitely polite and well-mannered people didn't point out this discrepancy and nor did they raise any fuss about decent compensation for Bhopal's victims. How cheap is life in India?

  56. Govind,
    So what happened after the Messiah Obama came & speechified? The usual twaddle about Burma (admittedly a really nasty regime) without mentioning the US's support for Uzbekistan where they boil Islamists alive? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/26/nickp

    The Indians being exquisitely polite and well-mannered people didn't point out this discrepancy and nor did they raise any fuss about decent compensation for Bhopal's victims. How cheap is life in India?

  57. Govind,
    So what happened after the Messiah Obama came & speechified? The usual twaddle about Burma (admittedly a really nasty regime) without mentioning the US's support for Uzbekistan where they boil Islamists alive? http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/26/nickp

    The Indians being exquisitely polite and well-mannered people didn't point out this discrepancy and nor did they raise any fuss about decent compensation for Bhopal's victims. How cheap is life in India?

  58. Govind,
    So what happened after the Messiah Obama came & speechified? The usual twaddle about Burma (admittedly a really nasty regime) without mentioning the US’s support for Uzbekistan where they boil Islamists alive?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/26/nickpatonwalsh

    The Indians being exquisitely polite and well-mannered people didn’t point out this discrepancy and nor did they raise any fuss about decent compensation for Bhopal’s victims. How cheap is life in India?

  59. Mango !

    Agree on Indians being polite in that sense – being gentlemanly. Sad that Govind has forgotten his Indian roots….

  60. Mango !

    Agree on Indians being polite in that sense – being gentlemanly. Sad that Govind has forgotten his Indian roots….

  61. Post war Sri Lanka’s nation building efforts smack of denial, decrying violently any counter-narrative to what is projected by government as the whole and only Truth.

    This is not just detrimental under the present regime, it sickeningly exacerbates a larger systemic problem – the rabid fear of what the Economist calls the “severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress”.

    Simply put, if we don’t have the confidence to embrace difference and its expression as the foundation of nation building, we risk seeing the mere absence of war as the best glue that binds our peoples.
    A timbre of debate that celebrates participation over domination, difference over conformity, creative conflict over supine compliance, critical questioning over mindless submission still eludes us.

    Nation building is “about upholding ethnical values, high standards in morality, about sharing and about redressing people’s grievances”. It is also essentially about human dignity. We are used to seeing its tragic loss in the IDP camps post-war.

    These images endure, and it is a grave mistake to think that any meaningful nation building will occur in an ahistorical vacuum removed from the emotions and violence they generate today, and will continue to generate even outside Sri Lanka and among the Tamil and Sinhalese diasporas.

    Sanjana Hattotuwa

  62. Post war Sri Lanka’s nation building efforts smack of denial, decrying violently any counter-narrative to what is projected by government as the whole and only Truth.

    This is not just detrimental under the present regime, it sickeningly exacerbates a larger systemic problem – the rabid fear of what the Economist calls the “severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress”.

    Simply put, if we don’t have the confidence to embrace difference and its expression as the foundation of nation building, we risk seeing the mere absence of war as the best glue that binds our peoples.
    A timbre of debate that celebrates participation over domination, difference over conformity, creative conflict over supine compliance, critical questioning over mindless submission still eludes us.

    Nation building is “about upholding ethnical values, high standards in morality, about sharing and about redressing people’s grievances”. It is also essentially about human dignity. We are used to seeing its tragic loss in the IDP camps post-war.

    These images endure, and it is a grave mistake to think that any meaningful nation building will occur in an ahistorical vacuum removed from the emotions and violence they generate today, and will continue to generate even outside Sri Lanka and among the Tamil and Sinhalese diasporas.

    Sanjana Hattotuwa

  63. Sanjana,

    If you think that the change could happen with the snap of the finger after a 30 year (more than that when considering other aspects) old struggle, it would be you who is dreaming and being unrealistic. Being a 30 year old, for once in my life I see development + reconciliation efforts. I am not sure whether you had seen more than that in your life time. As people who understand how the human mind behaves in conflict situations, we also know that such efforts would take many more years in the future, may be 50 years.

    What we say is that to get to this stage we had sacrificed a lot – as for me, my childhood and part of my youth. It is finally over and I can be satisfied that at least my child will have the childhood I never had. What organizations like Amnesty are doing is to demean such efforts to bring peace – to date, they haven't given a solution, but, enough and more problems. So, where do U wanna be? Part of the solution or the Problem ?

  64. Sanjana,

    If you think that the change could happen with the snap of the finger after a 30 year (more than that when considering other aspects) old struggle, it would be you who is dreaming and being unrealistic. Being a 30 year old, for once in my life I see development + reconciliation efforts. I am not sure whether you had seen more than that in your life time. As people who understand how the human mind behaves in conflict situations, we also know that such efforts would take many more years in the future, may be 50 years.

    What we say is that to get to this stage we had sacrificed a lot – as for me, my childhood and part of my youth. It is finally over and I can be satisfied that at least my child will have the childhood I never had. What organizations like Amnesty are doing is to demean such efforts to bring peace – to date, they haven’t given a solution, but, enough and more problems. So, where do U wanna be? Part of the solution or the Problem ?