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USA aids, awards Colombo supplier

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 6 April 2010 08:15 No Comment]

A Colombo-based supplier of horticultural produce to McDonalds, Burger King, Unilever, Heinz and also to Japan has been provided with US aid since 2008 to initiate its activities in the Eastern Province. Mr. Mohan Pandithage, chairman of the supplier group, Hayleys, a Multi National Corporate (MNC) of Sri Lanka, received an award from USAID for the achievement of economically linking conflict-affected East with the Colombo-centric system and through that with the other multinational corporates. While Eezham Tamils were butchered, starving, suffering from acute malnutrition, deprived of their land and were incarcerated, sections of their cultivable lands were producing gherkins, jalapeno, peppers and pineapples to MNCs under the programme of the USA, commented a university academic of the East.

Whether giving aid or receiving the returns, doing that through NGOs and companies in the Sinhala south, keeping the ‘conquered’ Eezham Tamils at the lowest rung, has become the practice of the West that failed in its political justice to the nation of Eezham Tamils, the academic said.

“If this is going to be the model of putting ‘development before politics,’ then the covert West is worse than that of overt India and China in contributing to permanent subordination and gradual erasure of Tamil nation in the island,” the academic further said.

Chinese diplomats seem to have openly told a diaspora group that met them that China neither cares political solution nor human rights, but it is prepared to do ‘development’ in Tamil land.

Another diaspora group recently asked some Western diplomats and aid agencies why the aid is not given directly to Tamils to enable them to plan and implement their own development. The answer was that they don’t differentiate between Tamils and Sinhalese, but they only look for ‘credible’ sources for channelling their programmes.

The diplomats advised Tamils to institute their own credible agencies.

“Here is where politics precede. How to do it when there is no political space and when there is a government with an open genocidal agenda, destroying everything built by Tamils,” ask the diaspora groups.

“Not that the West doesn’t know this. But greed precedes everything. The governments that act with so much of anxiety that an armed struggle should not resurrect in the island don’t show that concern in ending the multifaceted genocide and in providing internationally guaranteed political justice,” the diaspora groups said.

“The Western diplomats are keen only in asking us why can’t the diaspora that gave so much of money to the LTTE for arms can’t now give money for development.”

“The crime of the so-called international community, worse than that of abetting the war, is leaving the post-war scenario in the hands of genocidal Colombo. The IC has neither taken direct care of the affected people of the Eezham Tamil nation nor created or guaranteed political and diplomatic space for the diaspora to independently do the job,” the diaspora groups further said.

A US embassy press release Monday described the partnership of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Hayles as “a ground-breaking Private Public Alliance (PPA)” and said that the US government singled out this partnership as a model for the 2009 Global Development Alliance (GDA) Award.

“I am delighted to accept this award on behalf of USAID/Sri Lanka and am very proud of our partnership with Hayleys. This award is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their country. USAID will continue to build many more such alliances to help create thousands of new jobs in former conflict areas of Sri Lanka,” said USAID Mission Director in Colombo, Rebecca Cohn.

The USAID programme in the Eastern Province was initiated when Mr. Robert Blake, currently US Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, was the ambassador at Colombo.

The board of directors of Hayles, engaged in Global Markets & Manufacturing, Agriculture & Agri Business, Transportation & Infrastructure and Consumer Products & Leisure are: A.M. Pandithage, S.C. Ganegoda, L.K.B. Godamunne, J.D. Bandaranayake, A. Hettiarachchy, M.R. Zaheed, A.M. Senaratne, J.A.G. Anandarajah, T.L.F. Jayasekera, K.D.D. Perera and N. Perera.

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