A glance to the past of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s Presidency that spanned nearly a decade would reveal that there were four female names he mostly disliked.
- The first of that four was Chandrika Kumaratunga.
- The second was United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power.
- The third was United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay.
- The fourth was former United States Ambassador to Colombo Michele J.Sisson.
Of the four, Mahinda mostly hated or disliked Samantha Power. Whenever Mahinda met with his Cabinet colleagues he used to repeat, “That thin woman in the White House is the person who is creating all these problems for me”.
Mahinda incurred heavy expenditure to create a rift between the then United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Samantha Power working through Lobby Ford entity in the United States and win over Clinton.
Mahinda was told by his Advisors on Foreign Affairs and International Relations that during the 2008 election campaign of Barack Obama Samantha Power had described Hillary as a monster and had insulted Hillary noting there was a rift between Samantha and Hillary.
So Mahinda waited till a battle erupted between Samantha and Hillary, but it never occurred. Thereafter, Mahinda pinned hopes on Hillary’s successor John Kerry. Kerry told the Senate that Sri Lanka would get pushed to the lap of China if the United States proceeded with war crimes charges against the South Asian island nation and also stated in a report that such a stance would be detrimental to the interests of the United States. What Mahinda gathered from that situation was that Kerry would overpower Samantha’s powers.
Whatever Mahinda dreamt and thought, Samantha Power was not ready to loosen her grip on Sri Lanka. The United States Ambassador Michele J. Sisson who was in Colombo at that time acted on the instructions of Samantha Power.
At the time the United National Party (UNP) experienced division and tension and with the late Sobhitha Thera creating a climate to introduce a common candidate to establish a just society, Michele J.Sisson visited the Naga Viharaya to meet Sobhitha Thera. The incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena was recognized for his services as Health Minister by the Harvard University under a USAID Programme and awarded a Harvard accolade when Michele was the US Ambassador in Colombo. When Mahinda announced the conducting of a Presidential Election, Michele left Colombo to work as the second-in-command to Samantha Power. Today she is the US Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations.
Samantha Power visited Colombo in 2010 and met Mahinda. She told him to draw up a mechanism to probe war crimes in the country. Mahinda started to hate her from that point.
Thereafter, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Panel visited Colombo to investigate war crimes allegations. The UN Resolution against Sri Lanka on war crimes surfaced during the period Mahinda was trying to gather China and Russia to halt such exercise.
While American Experts claimed that Mahinda’s popularity was increasing in the face of a war crimes resolution against the island nation, Samantha Power executed her agenda in Sri Lanka through Michele.
Rev. S.J. Emmanuel
When the all powerful Samantha Power visited Sri Lanka this week, Mahinda was just an ordinary Member of Parliament. Moreover, the Government had lifted the ban on eight Tamil Diaspora Organizations to coincide with Power’s visit. These Tamil Diaspora Organizations had dealings with Power in the past. The Rajapaksa Government banned these organizations being jubilant over Indian Congress Government’s refusal to grant visa to Rev. S.J. Emmanuel who headed the largest Tamil Diaspora Organization. However, just two months before the last presidential election, the Spokesman for the Global Tamil Forum visited India. That was after Narendra Modi’s Bharathiya Janatha Party assumed office.
Mahinda’s ouster and the de-proscription of Tamil Diaspora Organizations by the Maithri-Ranil Government is a victory for Samantha Power’s agenda.
When civilians were massacred in Sri Lanka, the United States maintained silence being unable to halt the war. Power had to embrace that defeat.
Hence in 2010 Power arrived in Colombo as a defeated character. However, this time she arrived in Colombo with a victory smile