Sri Lanka Express

Commentary

The impact of Clinton's defeat on the Eelam factor


By Hassina Leelarathna

Soros, Clinton, Podesta:
The powerful triumvirate that would have supported Eelamists if Clinton had won

In an opinion piece dated May 25, 2016, CNN writer Frida Ghitis describes her global search for non-American fans of then presidential candidate Donald Trump.  “ My global search for fans of Donald Trump has finally borne fruit, but it was not easy,” she declares in the article headlined “Who in the world wants DT to win?”

Ghitis says she looked for Trump supporters in six different countries during travels for different projects. “But it took flying some 10,000 miles away from U.S. shores, to an island in the Indian Ocean, to find my first non-American Trump supporter.”  In fact, Ghitis found and interviewed several Sri Lankans who were rooting for the real estate mogul to win the White House race.



















Sri Lanka "Trump Country"?

And then there’s blogger M.D. Harkins who earlier this year went looking for “an honest appraisal on the upcoming presidential election.”

Harkins said he was tired of “doublespeak” from Americans who were “apparently too embarrassed to be honest about their voting intentions.”  His journey for truth ends in, yes, Sri Lanka, the “last bastion of honesty.”  This, he proclaims is “Trump Country,” where American politics is followed as enthusiastically as they do cricket, “and they love Trump.”

Trump’s popularity among Sri Lankans can be attributed solely to one factor: Hillary Clinton’s support for the Tamil Tigers and the widespread complaint of a double standard in Washington’s approach to terrorism.

“Hillary Clinton watched the video showing the killing of Osama Bin Laden and considered it a heroic act. The number of people killed in the 9/11 attack was less than 3000.  The LTTE killed more than 60,000 Sinhalese, Tamils, and Muslims in Sri Lanka, and she supported this terrorist group,” said Los Angeles resident Nihal Weerasinghe who edits the online Sinhala magazine “Lanka Viththi.” 

Like many Sri Lankans Weerasinghe feared that once in the White House Clinton would  push a separatist agenda in Sri Lanka and take the .
It’s no secret that Hillary Clinton received funds from LTTE supporters and that she sent emails trying to delay the IMF loan to Sri Lanka after the LTTE was defeated in 2009,” he said. 

With Clinton’s historic upset defeat,  Sri Lankans are looking forward to favorable changes in US policy.
“I’m so relieved,” said Anoma Silva who like most Sri Lankans watched the polls closely.    “I would very much like to congratulate Donald Trump on this epic victory,” she said in an email commenting on the outcome.  Conceding he is not a “savvy politician,” Silva still believes he will be good for countries like Sri Lanka.  “All Sri Lankans welcome this change as Sri Lanka has been bullied for far too long by the Americans,” she added.
I hope that  Mr. Trump will review US policy objectively and not be swayed by NGOs and other outside forces whose only objective is breaking up the country and creating disunity.  A peaceful and unified Sri Lanka will be a strong ally to the US in Asia. -
Ven. Walpola Piyananda, Chief Sanganayake of America


The Tamil diaspora has had a long tradition of funding American politicians favorable to its cause, more recently President Obama & Hillary Clinton.  But this time when they jumped into the fray for Clinton, there was a greater prize in sight: a Clinton win was going to bring to the Eelam fight some of the most powerful forces in US politics.  
 
The most visible Clinton campaigners in the Tamil diaspora is  “Tamils for Clinton,”   created by Wall Street mogul Raj Rajaratnam who is currently serving a 10-year term in federal prison after being convicted in one of the biggest insider trading cases in the US.   Tamils for Clinton has raised funds on its website for Clinton and actively promoted her candidacy while attacking Trump, most notably with an online video poking fun at the proposed wall along the Mexican border.

Diaspora Tamils were joined by their compatriots in Sri Lanka where Clinton supporters turned to the gods to ensure her victory.  According to news reports Tamils in Jaffna were preparing to dash 1000 coconuts and light as many candles to bless the Democratic nominee as America prepared to vote.   

“We will dash 1,008 coconuts on November 8 to bless her ahead of the US election. We expect her to win the election,” MK Shivajilingam, a Tamil National Alliance (TNA) member of the Tamil controlled northern provincial council said. The event will take place in Jaffna’s historic Kandsamy Kovil in Nallur. There will also be lighting of 1,008 candles at the Jaffna Cathedral,” he was quoted as saying.

Had the gods obliged on November 8, the bounty would have been not just a sympathetic White House incumbent but the addition of  two prominent world figures to the fight -- John Podesta and George Soros -- both backers of the separatist agenda.   
A tranche of hacked emails released in October by Wikileaks reveals the extent of power and influence wielded by Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, whose lobbying firm the Podesta Group (which he co-founded with his brother Tony) has been representing Tamils in the US seeking “greater regional autonomy.”

The Podesta Group earned as much as $370,000 from 2010 to 2015 representing the Tamil American Peace Initiative (TAPE).   Headed by  Dr. Karunyan Arulanantham of Lancaster, California, TAPE’s objectives include promoting “changes to the political and governance structure of Sri Lanka that will allow for greater regional autonomy, fuller political representation of all ethnic and religious groups on the island, and the defense of the individual and collective rights.” 

John Podesta, widely seen as Clinton’s right hand, was on the short list to serve as her White House chief of staff, the second-most powerful job in Washington, next to the presidency.   Earlier this year, Time Magazine in an article on Podesta’s place in the Clinton campaign described him as “.. part coach, part gatekeeper, judge and jury, director, fundraiser, policy wonk and strategist” and offered this line from Campaign Manager Robbie Mook as proof of the man’s enormous power: “He’s John Podesta, you just do what he says.”

In supporting  Tamil ambitions for “greater regional autonomy & fuller political representation”, both Podesta and Clinton would have found backing from George Soros, the ubiquitous god of color revolutions who sits at the top of a labyrinth of meddling international NGOs which form the backbone of the R2P coalition.  Using these NGOs as fronts and with the help of surrogates like Professor Johan Galtung, Soros has been pushing his agenda of dismantling nation states.  
The power of Soros

An email released by Wikileaks revealed the extent of  Soros’ power when in 2011 he successfully pressured Clinton to intervene in the internal affairs of Albania.

“Dear Hillary,
“A serious situation has arisen in Albania which needs urgent attention at senior levels of the US government. You may know that an opposition demonstration in Tirana on Friday resulted in the deaths of three people and the destruction of property."


Soros then calls for (see full text here) the “international community”  intervene and pressure the Albanian government to “forestall further demonstrations” and “tone down public pronouncements.”  He even offers a list of three candidates to go to Albania and act as mediator.

Three days after Clinton received the e-mail from Soros the EU sent sent Soros’ suggested nominee Lajcak to mediate the civil unrest, the BBC reported.


In a Clinton administration, Soros would have become the “puppet master” critics accuse him of being, using the world’s most powerful public office to finally realize his globalist ambitions.  Clinton is indebted to Soros’ money machine having received a whopping $25 million in campaign funds, in addition to the millions he has poured into media outlets to support the candidate.  The relationship goes back to when she was secretary of state.  An email released by Wikileaks revealed the extent of  Soros’ power when in 2011 he successfully pressured Clinton to intervene in the internal affairs of Albania.

As for Podesta, his ties to Soros go back several years and have developed since he worked as head of the Soros-funded Center for American Progress, a strong proponent of the R2P doctrine.  The DC-based think tank/advocacy group runs the website ThinkProgress.com which has published articles on “hardline Buddhists” and Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes. 

In short, Trump’s win has disrupted the alignment of a powerful triumvirate with the will and means to promote Eelamist ambitions. 

Which doesn’t mean Sri Lanka can be assured of a total reprieve from the challenges it faces vis a vis the UN investigation and the continuing push for separatism.    

Much will depend on the next secretary of state, a key figure in charting the course of US foreign policy. 

But Sri Lankan optimism for fair treatment by Washington remains high,  boosted by indications Trump made on the campaign trail that he favors a policy of non-interference.  From what could be gleaned from the sketchy details of his foreign policy, meddling in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of democracy and human rights is not the centerpiece of Trump diplomacy. 

To use a term popularized in the 2016 election, that's a "yuge" difference.