Should USAID continue in Sri Lanka?

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The American notion of promoting democracy is through quasi-private ‘foundations’. The ‘foundations’ tasked to overthrow governments are Albert Einstein Institute, National Endowment for Democracy (NED), International Republican Institute (IRI), National Democratic Institute (NDI), Freedom House, International Centre for Non-Violent Conflict (ICNC) to name just a few. These are steered by the financial branch of the US State Department – USAID.

What CIA initially did is now handed over to select INGOs. NED’s first president, Allen Weinstein, admitted openly that “a lot of what we do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA. “. “An NGO helps to maintain a certain credibility abroad that an official US government agency might not have” 97% of NED’s funding comes from the US state department (through USAID). NED’s success stories include interventions “to protect the integrity of elections in the Philippines, Pakistan, Taiwan, Chile, Nicaragua, Namibia, Eastern Europe and elsewhere.” The list also includes victorious overthrows of democratically-elected governments in Bulgaria (1990), Albania (1992) and Haiti (late 1990s) and destabilisation in Panama, Cuba and Venezuela.

USAID is the entity tasked to promote economic and strategic interests of the US. Coloured revolutions occur in nations with strategic, natural resources (gas, oil), military bases and geopolitical interests and in countries that are anti-imperialist by harnessing pro-capitalist pro-imperialist groups tapping into their self-interests.

The clues to identify ‘coloured revolutions’ sponsored by US is not difficult and once millions of dollars are disbursed to buy over the souls of people willing to betray their own then these pawns would be told what to say, what to do, how to say – they end up robots programmed from Washington.

Anyone willing to sell their soul betray their country and align to the Western agenda is welcomed on board. They are paid, they are sent overseas and trained and they are the supposed ‘colored revolution’ coming out into the streets. The spontaneity of these ‘coloured revolutions’ are such that they have even time to prepare logos, t-shirts, colorful placards and banners! Their instant protests are such that they even have time to create websites, twitter accounts, facebook pages while been handed galaxy notebooks, latest phones and other sophisticated technology. When the son of the much ranted missing cartoonist is also included into this training by the West one has to wonder whether he may be somewhere known to them!

The target groups are generally : political parties, NGOs, student organizations, youth movements, trade unions, lawyers, media and even public officials.

  • Serbia – OTPOR group took to the streets with t-shirts, posters, flags in an attempt to overthrow Slobadan Milosevic. the logo was a black and white closed fist resembling resistance.
  • Ukraine – the closed fist color changed to orange (‘Orange Revolution – 2005) (Ukraine is needed for NATO’s east expansion – “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire … if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources, as well as access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state.” With the accession of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland to NATO by 1999, Ukraine remained the last frontier, the single largest buffer on the Russia-Nato “border”. According to Congressman Ron Paul, the US allocated $60 million for financing the orange revolution “through a series of cut-out NGOs – both American and Ukrainian
  • Georgia – the closed fist color became rose (Rose Revolution – 2003-2004)
  • Venezuela – the fist turned to open hands in black and white (In 2003, year after the failed coup d’etat, AEI gave a 9day course to Venezuelan opposition on how to ‘restore democracy’ – participants of the seminar were opposition political parties, NGO activists, Unions. They were taught how to ‘overthrow a dictator’. In 2005, AEI chose students & youth who received $9million from USAID and NED. Freedom House joined to train youth opposition movement providing them regime change techniques. The US went so far as to set up CATO institute inside Venezuela to train opposition youth. These youth are todays opposition politicians.
  • Kyrgyzstan – ‘Tulip Revolution’ April 2005

USAID has a history of criminalities. Its ‘democracy’ involved providing cover for CIA operatives in South Vietnam. ‘Democracy’ USAID style has been to pump millions to support pro-Western media outlets and any organizations and activists ready to do whatever the US wishes to topple the government and allow the Western corporate interests to take over a sovereign nation. Thus, when pro-Western media and media personnel start chanting Western human rights slogans it is because lump sums of cash have been deposited to their bank accounts. The workshops that prevails throughout Sri Lanka and the citizenship programs the US is holding translates to just one understanding – you will be handsomely rewards even with green cards! To many the opportunity to live in US is a chance that overrules one’s own guilt of betraying one’s nation.

In 1970, USAID trained 30,000 Guantemalan police to suppress local leftists, Mayan peasants were killed by death squads under US-backed dictator Rios Montt. Obama’s own mother Stanley Ann Dunham has been linked to the CIA, she acted as the USAID’s chief employee to help Suharto create the New Order.

All these ‘democratic’ movements were spearheaded by Washington through various INGOS.

The other clues to watch out for :

  • Protests/destabilizing actions / sudden demonstrations (ex Weliweriya / Hanwella)
  • Protests are planned around elections, in Sri Lanka’s case Geneva (notice how C4 always releases a new video, notice how books get released, notice the press conferences and release of ‘statistics’ and other data to create a guilt notion and raise tensions, notice too how.
  • The agencies used are almost always the same – they are USAID, NED, NDI, IRI, Freedom House, AEI, ICNC.(AEI & ICNC take pride in training youth movements to encourage ‘non-violent’ change.

All public protests have seen the involvement of USAID. As an example we shall take the case of how USAID operates in Venezuela.

Eva Golinger claims that there are 2 public leaders behind the violent protests and they both have a long history of functioning as agents of Washington. We can give similar names in Sri Lanka.

Eva goes on to say that the NED and USAID have channeled millions to political parties for their electoral campaigns ($14million between 2013 and 2014). This is something all countries target of regime change will relate to. US has been trying to topple Venezuela since 2001. USAID has also opened an Office of Transition Initiatives with NED pumping more than $100m. OTI had to close shop after being exposed in 2011.

Like everywhere ‘civil society’ becomes the easy path to funnel millions of dollars to execute regime change. The US Foreign Operations Budget allocates $5-6m to fund opposition groups in Venezuela. If such budget allocations are meant for regime change it is natural that Sri Lanka has every right to question how far Sri Lanka’s opposition groups are being funded by the same sources. What may be of interest to Sri Lanka is how the NED funded the opposition coalition in Venezuela.

With such a dark history the US Government or its envoys cannot take offence when we doubt their motives because these motives have had results and countries have been toppled.

There is nothing democratic about the ‘democracy promotion programs’ and Sri Lanka has every right to question why US should wish to do workshops on how to teach us to vote when our women have been voting far before Americans.

While the public are clear about who the country’s enemies and friends are, the GOSL appears not to be. By and large the fault for that lies in the ‘no free lunch’ deal and as a developing nation we have failed to set our own programs to break away from the foreign aid menace that binds the nation and generations into debt.

We have failed to use the aid for sustainable home grown programs that would reduce being drawn to the curse of taking aid to pay debts and thus increasing the debt as well as interest as well. Sri Lanka must be one of the few countries that draws out red carpets to organizations like the World Bank and the IMF the imperialists that use structural adjustment programs to make the common man’s life in a worst state.

There are brave men still. Chavez may be no more but there is Bolivian President Evo Morales. He shutdown the USAID in Bolivia. He has even called for the dismantling of the UN.

There is also Russian President Vladimir Putin who told USAID to quit Russia in 2012. USAID had been funding NGOs with links to terrorists in Chechnya and Dagestan

With the hype on social media and communication it is no surprise how USIAD has been quick to manipulate twitter as was seen in the Cuban twitter – ZunZuneo, a system with the aim to establish regime change and cost the US $1.6m. There are scores of Sri Lankan youth similarly engaged.

In February Nigeria, the National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC) asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to summon officials of USAID for funding ‘activists” to topple the government. Chairman of The National Security Advisory Committee , Francis Kimemia accused USAID of funding a pastor to slander the Nigerian parliament. That USAID is using proxy civil society organizations to get witnesses for the Hague based International Criminal Court declared by lawyer Karim Khan for William Ruto shows relevance to UNHRC resolutions backed by US against Sri Lanka.
If USAID has a history of involvement in regime change, overthrowing governments and destabilizing nations, USAID Sri Lanka cannot be functioning any differently. USAID is now involved in the mischief of putting the minorities against the majority, dividing the Buddhists, dividing the ethnic groups, dividing the religious groups – all in a bid to play mischief with the numbers that lead to election victory. The game is all about the numbers and it is a pity that politicians both in government and opposition fail to keep the majority in tact for they are the only source for a firm government and a strong nation.

Having said that, knowing the capabilities of the USAID the next question is what is the Sri Lankan Government going to do about USAID and its dirty practices? Obviously, registering NGOs and keeping a tab on them is a must, but there are NGOs who have infiltrated the system probably by pocketing a few public officials with bags of goodies and handouts. One cannot rule out the possibilities of Ministers/MPs themselves falling prey to these handouts given the scale of corruption that prevails. This leads us next to ask how best are we to defend the nation when there are those in office prepared to sacrifice the country. What the nation needs to realize is that we are riding on luck far too much.

We need to take some action and in taking action we have every right to, as other countries have done, show with examples how USAID has been manipulating people with money and goodies and people of all ranks and file have fallen prey.

– by Shenali D Waduge