Bruce Fein: Independence promotes stability
[TamilNet, Thursday, 28 February 2008, 02:33 GMT]
"The reason why the Kosovo independence is so significant is because it addresses an issue that's prevalent throughout the world, for example Sri Lanka, where you have a minority that has been oppressed by the majority. And we’ve always had rather blurry lines in knowing, well, when does the oppression reach a sufficiently intense and egregious level that you're entitled to walk away from a sovereign and establish your separate statehood?" asks Bruce Fein in a video commentary on the global significance of Kosovo independence given to U.S-based Real News Network Sunday.
Excerpts from transcript of the interview follows:
"I think when you force a minority to live under a brutal regime; it continues a convulsed state of affairs. And with Sri Lanka in particular, with which I'm familiar, we've had almost 50 years of oppressions of a Tamil minority at the hands of a Sinhalese majority.
Bruce Fein, Founder American Freedom Agenda
"At present there's indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas in the Tamil north of Sri Lanka. You've got the Rajapaksa brothers. They're the ones who run the government at present with a General Fonseka, accused of egregious human rights violations. You can commit crimes against Tamils with virtual impunity. Over decades there's been maybe or two prosecutions for disappearances for kidnappings, for arbitrary arrests, that sort of thing.
"They've got preventive detention laws that make it a police state in the north where the Tamils reside. It's almost a black hole. No foreign reporters permitted there. No TV reporters. No UN presence there. No ambassadorial presence there. And the issues are always raised, Well, we cannot authorize, you know, any kind of statehood as in Kosovo, because then it will cause an unraveling of the nation state system.
"Forcing people together when it's shown over a long period of time that they don't have the homogeneity the common DNA to live harmoniously seems to me utter nonsense. It's a formula for disaster. And so the Kosovo, I think, message is we need to look at places like Sri Lanka and Iraq and other places where we've got constant convulsions, to see whether or not it makes sense to redraw boundaries.
Fein concludes: "Remember the wisdom of Lord Palmerston: nations don't have permanent friends and enemies; they have permanent interests. And the interests the United States regularly is in recognizing these separatists—if you want to call them separatist moments for statehood, really, because it furthers political stability. And of course when we recognize these new states that subscribe to the principles of democracy and free enterprise, it gives us a new ally."