Eat us, America, and give us peace
The Island editorial of Nov. 24, 2015 entitled ‘Power Play’ about Samantha Power’s Sri Lanka visit provided the cue for this article. Power (45), American Ambassador to the UN, and President Obama’s trusted advisor on American response to global genocide and human rights abuse issues, according to news reports, went back early that day local time after a brief visit to Sri Lanka. Her professional and political authority within the America-dominated UN establishment is beyond doubt. What is in question, however, as far as we Sri Lankans are concerned, is whether her visit is likely to help or hinder post-war normalization in our country. This is particularly so, given her controversial political and diplomatic track record. A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, a book she authored in 2002, won several awards including the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-fiction the following year. She wrote this book (which came to be widely acclaimed within the Western bloc) while she was serving as a professor in human rights practices at Harvard university. It is claimed that Power was a key figure behind the meddlesome American role in Libya. She has been criticized for recommending ‘solutions from hell’ to ‘problems from hell’! (i.e. for advocating interventionist and militaristic responses to alleged genocide and human rights violation problems).