So, in the end the US State Department had egg on its face because of Hillary Rodham Clinton`s blunder. It is hoped that she will do her homework at least hereafter before displaying her oratorical skills at international fora without letting her prejudices get the better of her.
However, although Hillary got her facts wrong about Sri Lanka, where, she claimed, rape was used as a weapon of war, she deserves the fullest cooperation of one and all to protect women against rape as well as all other forms of sexual abuse, especially in conflict situations. Perhaps, no woman is better positioned than she to champion women`s rights vigorously and effectively.
Similarly, Hillary should realise that rape is not the only crime perpetrated against women caught up in conflicts. The snatching away of children could be as painful and agonising to a mother as sexual abuse. Sri Lanka`s terrorists, whose sympathizers US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert O. Blake has chosen to entertain in spite of a much advertised US ban on the LTTE, turned the Northern and Eastern provinces into a hellhole for women and children. They abducted children in their thousands and transformed them into cannon fodder and killing machines. By the time the so-called Eelam War IV broke out, most mothers in the North and the East had stopped sending their children to school because of the LTTE child recruiters on the prowl. Finally, the UN had to place the LTTE on its List of Shame because of child recruitment.
How would Hillary feel and react if a girl near and dear to her were to be abducted and turned into a suicide bomber? This was the harrowing experience of many Sri Lankan mothers at the hands of the LTTE. Is making a human bomb of a woman as a weapon of war less criminal or less inhuman than rape? Only a diehard LTTE backer will answer in the affirmative. But, how many women`s liberation organisations and human rights outfits which are a dime a dozen in this country took up that issue and tried to bring pressure to bear on the LTTE to stop such barbaric crimes against women and children? None! Even Hillary did not make a whimper of protest against the use of brainwashed women as a weapon of war, did she?
When the LTTE leaders responsible for having recruited thousands of child combatants turned hundreds of women cadres into suicide bombers used civilians as cannon fodder committed low intensity genocide against the communities it perceived as enemies and assassinated prominent political and human rights activists regardless of ethnicity and religion, were cornered in the Vanni, the US and several other countries including Britain and France did their damnedest to rescue them! Had those criminals been spared, there would have been no end to crimes against civilians, especially women and children parents and children would still have had to live in eternal fear and dark justice would have been meted out by kangaroo courts to dissenters. And the North would have remained a hellhole devoid of any human rights.
We are often treated to Hillary s tub-thumping at the UN and her strident calls for stringent action against those who violate the rights of women but when Sri Lanka defeated a terrorist outfit and delivered hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from suffering, the reward it got from the West for its service to humanity was persecution! Hillary has been at the forefront of a campaign to harass Sri Lanka by levelling wild allegations of war crimes against it.
What is the message that the US and Hillary have sent to terrorists the world over? It is that they do not have to worry so long as they steer clear of western interests. So, terrorists could manipulate visa sections of western embassies, send as many sympathizers as possible to the developed world, build block votes and sway governments there the way the LTTE is doing in Scandinavia, Britain, Canada, France etc.
As much as the terrorists and rogue armies that use rape as a weapon of war must be severely dealt with, the powerful countries and their leaders including Hillary Clinton must be condemned for abusing allegations of human rights as a weapon to persecute the developing nations that refuse to compromise their national sovereignty and battle terrorism in defiance of diktats of the West.