With the recent revelations in Wikileaks about U.S. and European complicity in the torture of terror suspects in Libya, President Mahinda Rajapaksa, never known to back down or fold under pressure, picked an opportune moment to criticize western governments for their hypocritical stance when it comes to human rights. It’s no secret that the west has sheltered pro-LTTE groups allowing them to carry on a variety of activities–including drug-dealing and extortion–which helped to fund the 27 year conflict against a democratically elected, sovereign state. Those who have been the most vocal in their criticism of Sri Lanka, calling for investigations into war crimes, are the same ones that are guilty of such crimes themselves, providing a convenient ploy to divert attention.
Right now the two biggest wars on the planet–Iraq and Afghanistan–have already contributed to more human rights abuses and civilian casualties than the entire 27 years of conflict in Sri Lanka (Julian Assange on 60 Minutes recently revealed official documents that put the civilian death toll in Iraq alone at over 109,000). So if the the west is calling for investigation of war crimes, everyone else–the current administration in Syria, as well as Gaddafi and every other Middle Eastern dictator included–would have to stand in line behind George Bush and Dick Cheyney. The Real Politik of the matter, however, is that it is easier and more convenient go after a small nation like Sri Lanka, which, incidentally, solved their terrorist problem with no help from the west. Unlike Obama, who is enjoying his lowest ratings since becoming president, while being perceived as weak and off course–even by those who initially supported him–President Rajapakasa, by defeating the LTTE and bucking international pressure, enjoys the support of 9 out of 10 Sri Lankans according to a recent Gallup poll.