Top US official lashes out at Mahinda’s rule

Samantha PowerA top US official in the Obama administration has lashed out at former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, saying he governed largely through divisiveness and fear.

Samantha Power, the US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, speaking during the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit in Mexico said that the Rajapaksa regime persecuted critics.

She noted that during the January 2015 elections, Maithripala Sirisena ran on a platform of open Government, anti-corruption, and reconciliation and the people chose him for President.

“The new government moved swiftly to show it was serious about living up to its commitments, from stopping harassment of human rights defenders and journalists, to exposing rampant corruption. The impact was immediate. A labor organizer who had gone into hiding during the Rajapaksa administration’s rule resumed his work, saying he no longer feared being targeted for what he was doing. A journalist who had been routinely harassed for his reporting said, “the fear has gone.” But in many ways, that was the easy part. Because walking the walk of open government means not only refraining from muzzling one’s critics and refraining from stealing public resources, but finding ways to empower citizens so they can use their greater freedom to shape the government they want,” Power said.

She said that it is so encouraging that while confronting some of the darkest and most painful chapters in its country’s past, the Sirisena administration is also pursuing initiatives to open itself up to greater scrutiny.

“An access to information law is currently being considered in parliament; Sri Lanka’s information technology agency is working to bring connectivity to marginalized communities, who too often have lacked access and the information it provides; and, today, Sri Lanka has joined OGP, one of several new members. None of these tools is transformative in and of itself. But together with other steps, they can help enable citizens to play a greater role in shaping the government they deserve,” she said.

She says the experience of Sri Lanka embodies so much of what is at stake. She says it shows the world the profound costs of impunity and corruption. It shows how a determined and persistent civil society that would not give up can swing the pendulum back toward greater accountability and transparency. And it shows how much leaders can achieve, even in a short period of time, when they are willing to engage the people they serve.

“But I close with this example not because of all it has achieved, but because of all the challenges that lie ahead. As it works to deliver on its ambitious platform of reform, the Sirisena government has a lot to learn from the fellow governments of OGP. Just as we will have a lot to learn from it. As Sri Lankan civil society asserts an increasingly active role in shaping its Government’s actions, one of its greatest resources will be the counsel of the civil society organizations in this room. And this is a tremendous resource that just a few years ago did not exist, for a Government making a transition like Sri Lanka is attempting,” Samantha Power added.

A Sri Lankan Government delegation was also at the Mexico event. (Colombo Gazette)

20 COMMENTS

  1. Samantha Power,

    If you have to felicitate people once they are dead and gone, I might as well wait.

    I know Obama would have been a better school teacher than a President. He came to Chicago only to marry Michelle.

  2. US – greatest human rights protectors…ha ha..don’t ,make me laugh…who is this Samantha…please look in your own back yard…US/ UK supporters of Saudi Arabia to head the UN human rights commission…do i need to say any more…

    • @raju the Saudi comparison.

      If you used your own I_slam humanity name like mohamed we would have all understood it better.

  3. craze Samantha , United State and UK have to responsibility for creating ISIS, Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksha our country redeemer from the LTTE terrorist USA is encourage world terrorist

    • @raipala,

      stupid!
      If not for the US/UK interference the Hindian spawned Terrorism of LTTE VP would still be alive and kicking suicide bombs.
      When did the Yakkos ever make a nut and bolt in their lives to talk of weapons of destruction against a superior enemy??all the yakkos are good is to belch and fart.

  4. “Summit in Mexico said that the Rajapaksa regime persecuted critics.” Simply put, lest we forget, she
    meant this list of Sri ankans gone for ever:
    2004
    1. Aiyathurai A. Nadesan – Journalist / 31 May
    2. Kandaswamy Aiyer Balanadaraj – Writer / 16 August
    3. Lanka Jayasundera – Photo journalist / 11 December
    2005
    4. Dharmaratnam Sivaram – Editor / 28 April
    5. Kannamuttu Arsakumar – Media worker/ 29 June
    6. Relangee Selvarajah – Journalist / 12 August
    7. D. Selvaratnam – Media worker/ 29 August
    8. Yogakumar Krishnapillai – Media Worker / 30 September
    9. L. M. Faleel (Netpittimunai Faleel) – Writer / 02 December
    10. K. Navaratnam – Media worker / 22 December
    2006
    11. Subramaniam Suhirtharajan – Journalist / 24 January
    12. S. T. Gananathan – Patron, Tamil News and Information Centre / 01 February
    13. Bastian George Sagayathas – Media worker / 03 May
    14. Rajaratnam Ranjith Kumar – Media worker / 03 May
    15. Sampath Lakmal de Silva – Journalist / 02 July – killed by Army Intelligence
    16. Mariadasan Manojanraj – Media worker / 01 August
    17. Pathmanathan Vismananthan – Singer and musician / 02 August
    18. Sathasivam Baskaran – Media worker / 15 August
    19. Sinnathamby Sivamaharajah – Media owner / 20 August
    2007
    20. S. Raveendran – Media worker / 12 February
    21. Subramaniam Ramachandran – Media personnel / 15 February
    22. Chandrabose Suthakar – Journalist / 16 April
    23. Selvarasah Rajeevarman – Journalist / 29 April
    24. Sahadevan Neelakshan – Journalist / 01 August
    25. Anthonypillai Sherin Siththiranjan – Media worker / 05 November
    26. Vadivel Nimalarajah – Media worker / 17 November
    27. Isaivizhi Chempian (Subhajini) – Media worker / 27 November
    28. Suresh Limbiyo – Media Worker / 27 November
    29. T.Tharmalingam – Media Worker / 27 November
    2008
    30. Paranirupesingham Devakumar – Journalist / 28 May
    31. Rasmi Mohamad – Journalist / 06 October
    2009
    32. Lasantha Wickrematunga – Editor / 08 January
    33. Punniyamurthy Sathyamurthy – Journalist / 12 February
    34. Sasi Mathan – Media worker / 06 March

    • This is very misleading information. The “Committee for Protection of Journalists” nor the “Wickepedia” websites show many of these names, obviously because many were not journalists.
      According to them in 2004/05 Chandrika/Ranil period there were 12 deaths and 2005/15 Rajapakse period another 12 deaths. These deaths were mostly accidental due to suicide bombings or cross fire or deliberately killed by the LTTE, other terrorist groups or in battle cross fire
      Taking just the first 3 names for 2004 in your list, these websites say, Jayasundera a photojournalists got caught accidentally in a grenade attack on a Colombo Music Festival he was present; Balanadaraja Aiyer the EPDP member of parliament deliberately shot dead by LTTE gunmen in Colombo; and Aiyadurai Nadesan killed by TMVP. Also, the so called editor Sivaram an LTTE journalist, had apparently killed two PLOTE members previously and PLOTE had apparently taken revenge.
      Other than for two out of their 24 jotnalist deaths, they do not hold the Government of the day or the Army responsible.
      I do not wish to waste pace going through the rest of your misleading list, as the motive is clear you want to join hands with the US diplomat to blame Rajapakse for bad incidents and policies, but ignore the tremendous unbelievable achievements he made by rescuing and developing the country in the short 5 year period after such a destructive conflict. Where is gratitude?

      • Patriotism the last refuge of the scoundrel.
        Patriotism the incubator of wars.

        The Wikipedia NGO that can be edited by anyone and has been by many sinhala buddhist is your GOD. like Buddha God??
        Moda kabaragoya. stupid crocodile eating zebra.

        • Sena
          Why insult Buddha? He never claimed to be God and Buddhists as well as average non-Buddhists have the very highest respect for Buddha and his doctrine. So please leave alone religion and religious leaders.
          As for other matters, it is obvious you have no fact and figures to contribute to this discussion and therefore, aimlessly throw abuse in all directions.
          However, I wish you a happy and prosperous future, free of fear from terrorism, regained in 2009. Also try to be grateful to leaders like Premadasa and Rajapakse who rescued the nation from terrorist movements like the old-JVP and LTTE..

    • Although it says one was killed by Army Intelligence, it does not say how many were killed by the LTTE. Also my friend Lanka was killed in an incident which had nothing to do with the LTTE-GoSL war. So DONT drag him into this mud puddle!

  5. Obama, Samantha Powers, Ms. Rice, etc Hilary Clinton who is being questioned by the House Select Committee.. Lets not even talk of these people. I truly admire the Americans and their generous, stout-hearted attitude but THESE people in the White House are …… words fail me.

  6. She should know corruption Samantha Power Obama’s advisor she called for the U.S. to invade Israel. And this is the women from US sits happily with Obama administration to do nothing on IRS Louis Lerner, Plan Parent Hood killing fetuses to sell body parts in US yes not in India, Clintons Missing emails. Problem is she is worst than Percy Mahendra in supporting corruption.

    • “she called for the U.S. to invade Israel. ”

      She is married to an intellect Jewish professor.
      By virtue of their talent. 80% of Obama’s top staff are Jewish-

  7. US praised Sadam Hussain, Gaddafi and many other middle-eastern leaders in the beginning of the ‘leadership’ but they were got destroyed by the same ‘friend’ when refused to listen. Sirisena is being praised in the same way, probably there will be a day for him too.

    • The US/UK both have got bad logic, but very good tentacles in their brains for sensing danger and preserving life.(grabbing food like the octopus).

  8. DIVISIENESS AND FEAR. NOW THAT IS HOW THE COLONIALS AND POWERFUL COUNTRIES RULED CONQUERED COUNTRIES. MAY BE RAJAPAKSE LEARNED THAT FROM HISTORY.
    UK DID IT EFFECTIVELY GIVING POWER TO MINORITIES AT THE EXPENSE OF THE MAJORITY TO DRIVE A WEDGE IN COMMUNITIES. ANOTHER TACTIC WAS PARTITIONING AS IN IRELAND AND INDIA.
    LEARN YOUR HISTORY BEFORE YOU OPEN YOU BIG YANKEE MOUTH.

    • Your name itself spells that you are hora oru/illegal from across the pond. You have no Portuguese slave master DNA except south Indian DNA. The land does not belong to you – you are not the aboriginal just like Yankee.
      the minorities in any country work hard and are diligent so any efficient manager who needs the job done to standard employs them at the drop of a hat.
      sinhalaya modayakauvan kanna yodaya.
      The majority are good at belching and farting.

      Democracy is not for Muslims or sinhala buddhist.

  9. At least our country takes care of its people and much more peaceful . Unlike the United States which has Anti black violence, University killings due to legalisation of Guns, Killing innocent people in other countries, bombing hospitals and saying it was an accident. Yet blame the finger to small nations. SHAME ON PEOPLE LIKE THIS WHO CANNOT SOLVE THEIR OWN HUMAN RIGHTS. HUMAN LOW LIFES !

    • and the local police behaving like animals on the lose when students go on strike.
      you might just be a corrupt police arse-licker??

      Democracy is not for Yakkos but rule by the bullet till you cry out again for the Americans to help

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