U.S. punishing small nations: says president Rajapaksa
As the combined United States and European Union sanctions against Iran take effect, small nations like Sri Lanka are extremely worried. Sri Lanka depends almost entirely on Iran for its crude oil supplies and the only refinery in the country, Sapugaskanda, can only process Iranian crude.
“We are discussing on what we should do,” Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa said, when asked what the options before the country were. The Iranians provide a seven-month credit facility, and 93 per cent of the crude comes from Iran. A major part of the crude is converted to fuel oil at Sapugaskanda, a facility put up in the sixties and which is in dire need of renovation. Fuel oil powers the turbines to produce electricity. The President was answering questions from foreign correspondents based in Colombo, at a breakfast interaction at his official residence, Temple Trees.
“We need an alternative. Finally they [the US and the West] are not punishing Iran. They are punishing us, small countries,” Mr.Rajapaksa said. Asked if Sri Lanka is considering approaching the U.S. for a waiver of the sanctions, he said: “We might. Otherwise how do we survive?”
Asked if the U.S. Embassy in Colombo had written to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka warning the Bank not to make dollar payments to Iran, the Central Bank Governor, Ajith Nivard Cabraal said that the general sanctions have been notified. “There has been no real interaction so far,” he said.
Mr.Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka was also considering approaching China and India for help. Asked if Sri Lanka will follow the example set by India – India has said will not be guided by US sanctions, only UN sanctions – he said that this has to first be studied.
On the question of modernising the refinery, Mr.Rajapaksa said that discussions were on with a few countries, including Canada and the Czech Republic. In fact, the Czech Export Bank had, last year, written to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, detailing its interest in participating in modernisation of the plant.
Meanwhile, the US Assistant Secretary of State and former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Robert O’ Blake is expected to visit Colombo and hold discussions with leaders here. Also expected is the much-delayed visit of an Indian Petroleum Ministry delegation in the first week of February.
Source: The Hindu
- Corporal’s bravery in Ududumbara commended by the Sri Lanka Army Commander June 3, 2023
- Price of Litro gas to be reduced by Rs. 350? June 3, 2023
- Sri Lanka Government to relax import restrictions on nearly 400 items June 2, 2023
- Reform momentum must continue despite tentative signs of improvement in Sri Lanka Economy – IMF June 2, 2023
- Government’s objective is to develop Sri Lanka as a thriving nation by 2048 June 2, 2023
- Sri Lankan Rupee appreciates against U.S. Dollar June 1, 2023
- Professionals belonging to 14 categories required to register with Inland Revenue Department from June 01 June 1, 2023
The fearless leader of a small nation who took on the World’s most ruthless terrorist organisation single handedly and decimated it to extinction is now facing up to the tyranny of the World’s leading economic superpower.
I salute thee, Sir, and assure you of our unstinted support in your endevaours.
Thank you for standing by our Hon President against US bullying. I can see that you are also a patriot. Just as our Hon President acted in defence of Motherlanka in totally eradicating LTTE terrorists in the face of fierce opposition of USA, Britain, Norway and other imperial West countries, he should now act fearlessly in defying the totally injust ban on importing crude oil from Iran.
India and China are major importers of crude oil from Iran. India imports $ 12 billion of crude oil annually from Iran. China imports even much more. Both countries have clearly informed USA that they will continue to import crude oil from Iran, as the sanctions imposed by USA is unilateral and not through UNSC resolution. Hence such a sanction is ILLEGAL.
Is USA going to stop Indian and Chinese supertankers from bringing crude oil from Iran through Persian Gulf? USA will then face the might of China and the wrath of India. They are both nuclear power nations. If USA tries to block Indian and Chinese supertankers in the Persian Gulf it would be an act of war. China and Iran would definitely sink US fleets in Persian Gulf. Even the US fleets based in Phillipines would not escape China’s wrath. This is quite justifiable in the face of US illegal acts and war mongerring. NATO would be then embroiled also in attacks on mainland Iran and Chinese and Indian naval fleets.
I hope Hon President too defy fearlessly US sanction against Iran and continue to import crude oil from Iran. Payments could be re-arranged through China’s Central Bank. These matters have to be discussed soon with Iran and China. There is little point in taking up the issue with US State Dept official who is due to visit SL on this matter, as he is here to impose the sanction and not waive it for SL, as an emerging economy. USA wants SL’s economy to fail. Hence this sanction against Iran is a double edged sword, to punish SL as well for eradicating LTTE in defiance of US order not to do so.
SL gets oil from Iran at concessionary rates, which we will not get from Oman or Saudi Arabia or anyother oil exporter. Our emerging economy is hinged on fuel oil, as it is used to generate much of our electricity to drive our manufacturing industries. Are we to comply with illegal unilateral sanction of the dominating USA and suffer serious damage to our emerging economy? Our Hon President must take decisive steps to continue to import crude oil from Iran at the same time invite Czech Republic to modernise our Sapugaskanda oil refinery so that it can refine/process all types of crude oils from suppliers as well, rather than depend on Iran alone. It is best to modernise through Czech Republic rather than through Canada or Norway or Britain, our enemies.
It is very heartening to hear from 2 gentlemen which included a tamil Sri Lankan who is backing our President.
This type of UNIFIED comments from all concerned in Sri lanka, India & China are very appropritate at this time.
BULLYING is not new to India, they have been doing this type UNILATERAL action to Sri lanka & South Asian neighbours constantly.
Very impressed from the responses even from TWO.
GOD BLESS SRI LANKA & may noble triple gems guide & gurad our Motherland & our beloved President.
Yes its true what our excellency president said that US embargo prograss mostly effecting small countries.We shouldn´t forget what iran help us past times.US already end iraq and afganistan now want iran replace that problem,US want more weapans sale for middle east country so they like to make and starting new problems!
We are being forced onto hot waters by the world bully.Perhaps things would be much worse in the near future.I wonder whether RW would go at top gear for a regime change with the help of US and its allies.All the patriots at this juncture will stand by the President in all his endevours to get over this abyss.
If all nations STOP listning to US, what will be the impact? Can all stand as one and discard US supermore. If then we are united and will survive. Gather all nations who are against this sanction. And provide big bang. We can get the lead from CHina or INdia.
To Mr:Niyamasinhalaya i am exactly same opinion with you!
I am very happy that a cross section of SL citizens, representing the three main racial communities, have joined forces in condemning USA for its aggressive world dominating/domineering attitude, in its foreign policy. Whatever political party comes to power in USA, their foreign policy remains unchanged, that is, to dominate the world by military prowess and build an empire run by its puppets, in the nations subjugated by them. It is usually the smaller, developing nations that are muzzled by USA to do its bidding by sheer military power. This is typical behaviour of a bully. USA has absolutely no qualms or shame in doing this. US HYPOCRISY AND DOUBLE STANDARDS ARE APPALLING!
USA is always backed by the NATO countries, it formed soon after the WW2, for its own defence primarily. Of these NATO Countries, Britain and France are nuclear powers, but their military strength pales into insignificance before the might of the hyperpower China and the superpower Russia. North Korea is also a nuclear power with IRBMs, who will readily attack US bases in the East at China’s and Russia’s bidding. I am sure India and Pakistan, the other nuclear powers, will not sit idly by, in the event of a threat to their economies by the arrogant yankee mad-dog, USA. They have to come out fighting on the side of China and Russia against USA and its NATO allies. This is a fight to the finish to prevent domination by USA, the new empire builder after Hitler, with its lapdogs France and Britain chiefly. Ofcourse, let us not forget the totally lunatic Israel, the ‘secret’ nuclear power. Israel built, tested and hoarded an arsenal of nuclear bombs with US and British aid. This secret was revealed by an Israeli nuclear scientist who escaped to Britain. He was captured by Mossad (Israeli spy agency and assassination squad) and bundled back to Israel to be imprisoned for life, for alleged treason. Israel is furious, along with USA and NATO, when Iran too is allegedly building nuclear weapons. So what? Surely Iran has a right of self-defence with nuclear weapons, in the face of Israel’s nuclear threat, as a DETERRANT TO ISRAEL!
The world is getting ever closer to a WW3, the Armageddon, the ‘Abomination of Desolation’, predicted by Jesus Christ. At least we in SL is relatively safe, in that evantuality, hopefully.
All this is precipitated by the action of the WORLD BULLY, USA. Like the mad-hatter, Hitler, US Presidents of whatever shade of political party, have one foreign policy in common, to dominate the world and grab by superior military force, through engineering riots and conflicts in the countries whose natural resources, such as crude oil, it wants to grab. USA and its allies, through their spying agencies such as CIA, MI6 and Mossad, train, arm, fund dissident militant groups to carry out their dirty work of regime change for them. The rioters eventually fall out among themselves, unable to elect a democratic leader acceptable to all. This is because of ethnic divisions among themselves. This is what has happened in Iraq, Egypt and Libya today. While they are infighting among themselves, USA and its NATO allies grab and control the crude oil for themselves, with perhaps a 5% commission for whoever is ultimately leader of the country, a puppet of USA, kept in power by US military might.
USA and the imperial West is now eyeing SL also for a regime change. Democratically elected MR govt is too strong to be toppled by elections. Hence, the solution is a regime change by engineering a military insurrection backed by US and NATO forces. Secret conspiracy, funding and re-grouping is already taking place of ex-LTTE cadres, TNA, diaspora Tamils with Jatika Aragala Movement (the off-shoot of bedraggled JVP), led by the pro-LTTE Tamil, Gnanaratnam. JAM has openly boasted of such conspiracy to build a miltary wing to topple Hon MR and his democratically elected GOSL. Unlike in the cases of Iraq, Libya and Syria whose leaders were self-elected despotic rulers, Hon MR had been elected President by the people of SL with a thumping majority, in the wake of the total defeat of LTTE. USA and its allies are trying to create dissent among SL people, first by weakening SL economy by such action as banning SL from importing its oil from Iran. Hence the sanction against Iran is a double-edged sword for USA and its allies.
Our only hope is for Hon President, not to back down in the face of domineering attitude of US State Dept official who is to visit him shortly, but to send him home packing as he did to Kuchner and Milliband, who tried to stop him from defeating LTTE utterly, for their vested interests.
HON PRESIDENT SHOULD UPHOLD HIS PROMISE AND COMMITMENT TO MOTHERLANKA TO ACT ALWAYS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF MOTHERLANKA, AND NOT FOR PETTY SELF INTEREST OF WESTERN POWERS. WE HAVE CHINA, RUSSIA AND INDIA TO BACK US IN THE MATTER OF CONTINUING TO IMPORT OIL FROM IRAN. NEW PAYMENT STRUCTURES HAVE TO BE WORKED OUT WITH IRAN THROUGH CHINA, PERHAPS. CZECH REPUBLIC SHOULD BE GIVEN THE TENDER TO MODERNISE AND EXTEND SAPUGASKANDA OIL REFINERY TO ACCPEPT ALL TYPES OF CRUDE OILS, SO THAT WE WILL NOT BE AT THE MERCY OF ONE SUPPLIER ONLY.
The problem with US hegemony and its lashing out in its final economic death throes is that the US is militarily far more superior to ALL other nations’ military might combined. For example, it is the only country that boasts aircraft carrier fleets in all seas. (China recently commissioned an old Russian aircraft carrier after reconditioning it)The US has more than a thousand bases around the world. China and India dare not attack or stop any US maneouvres in the Straits of Hormuz if (and when)Iran is next targetted on behalf of Netanyahu and his gang, with large petroleum gas and fossil oil bonuses if Iran falls. Sri Lanka would do well to expedite the refurbishment of Sapugaskanda refinery to accept a broader range of crude oil varieties other than Iranian oil. It must also reaffirm diplomatic solidarity with Iran and the Central Bank must find ways to keep dealing with Iran via avenues that the US and its cohorts cannot detect. (Like when Saddam Hussein of Iraq was being tortured in the 90’s and a million Iraqi children died as a direct consequence of UN sanctions, a fact later justified by Madeline Albright, then US Sec of State as “worth it”)The rest of the world can and should find ways of ensuring business dealings with such targetted victims of Western hegemony via proxies to make it impossible to monitor through global clearing houses.
I agree with some of your arguments. US State Dept is sending an official to gather information about our trade relations with Iran and the way Iran is paid. Why should we reveal such matters to a foreign govt which is openly hostile to us? This man should be sent home packing, just as Kuchner and Millibank were sent home. Surely, we don’t go about prying into US affairs and seek info from USA re its trade relations with other countries and the way payments are made.
US aircraft carriers are very vulnerable to nuclear submarines, armed with an arsenal of missiles, including nuclear missiles. Russia and China have strong fleets of them. That is why China is not bothered with having aircraft carriers. I do not agree that USA on its own is stronger militarily than the combined military resources of Russia, China, N Korea, Iran, India, Pakistan and Venezuella. USA and its NATO allies could destroy infrastructure of a country but never conquer the will of the people who will fight back and destroy USA and the allies, economically as well. USA and EU are in economic doldrums today for this reason. That is why, despite the might of USA and the allied forces, Vietnam eventually won the war against them. USA has to back out of Iraq and Afghanistan as well, as it could not carry out a sustained war with them, even with the help of NATO allies.
USA has bases around the world in order to dominate the world. Eventually, China too will have bases around the world. I support whole heartedly we invite China to have a base in SL, in return for a strong Defence Pact with us and to waive the loans we borrowed from China for our infrastructure building.