Sri Lankan exports, which have been flagging in recent times, gained some much needed relief with the European Union’s (EU) Foreign Affairs …
A wide array of Sri Lankan products, including textiles, are set to benefit as the European Union has granted enhanced market access for the South …
Apr 28, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka says it expect to receive the European Union’s says Generalized Scheme of Preferences Plus or GSP+ …
A team from the European Union arrived in Sri Lanka yesterday to evaluate how labour rights are implemented in the country. The review is a …
Apr 11, Colombo: A delegation comprising the members of European Union has arrived in Sri Lanka Monday to review the current situation in the …
Jan 22, Colombo: Even if Sri Lanka regains the European Union’s GSP+ tariff concession, the government will try to negotiate separate trade …
European Union is inviting concept notes from non-state actors (NSAs) established in Sri Lanka or a member country of European Union to apply for …
“Based upon my first-hand personal experiences working with the Palestinians at their peace negotiations and the Bosnians at their peace negotiations, the Tamils cannot trust the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the European Union and its Member States to do the right thing for them. The Tamils can only trust in themselves,” responded Professor Francis Boyle on Monday, when TamilNet asked him what would be his advice to the Tamil diaspora in engaging with the ‘International Community’. TamilNet posed the question to Professor Boyle following his recent interview on Bosnian ‘peace’ negotiations to the Institute for Research of Genocide, Canada.
[Full text of Prof Boyle’s interview to the Institute for Research of Genocide is here.]
When asked whether ethnicity or nationalism, or socio-economic problems was the main issue of the conflict, Boyle said, “it was outright genocide by Yugoslavia and Milosevic against the Bosnians. They proclaimed independence as was requested by the European Union. The EU put out guidelines and said to Bosnia and Croatia that they needed to have elections. They had elections and they voted for independence and they were hit with genocide and aggression,” Boyle told the Canadian organization on Genocide research.
On the behavior of the British representative at the peace negotiations for Bosnia, Boyle said, “I dealt personally with David Owen. He is a typical British, imperialist, establishment, racist individual who believed Muslims were an inferior race of people. We were just supposed to do what he told us to do. I made it clear that that was not going to happen on my watch.”
“Europe just did not want a Muslim state in Europe. It was that simple. It went back to the crusades.
This has to do with anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe going back to the crusades, at least. At that time, before 9/11 2001, we really didn’t have that in the United States. We didn’t have experience with the crusades and all the rest of that. But eventually, Clinton would go along with a carve-up too,” Boyle said.
On the conduct of US representative in the talks, Boyle said, “Cyrus Vance was running the show. That was clear. He was the de facto representative of the US Government. Everyone knew that. Even though he technically represented the United Nations, everyone knew that Vance was there speaking pretty much on behalf of the US Government. He had been former Secretary of State. That’s the way people looked at Vance, that he had the backing of the US Government behind him. Of course Vance never said that, to the best of my knowledge, but that is the way people looked at Vance.”
Facebook provided a much needed moral boost to Kosovars as it granted legitimacy last month in the digital world by approving a number of changes, including giving users registering from the diamond-shaped area on the Balkan Peninsula the option to identify themselves as citizens of Kosovo, rather than the decidedly less attractive option for many there, Serbia. Kosavars call the changes important while they seek recognition from the United Nations, which confers legitimacy, and the European Union, whose members are divided on the question, ever since Kosovo proclaimed a separate state five years ago. Jubilant Kosavars say the Facebook’s recognition is important as a matter of identity and economics. Kosovar businesses have been included on Facebook’s powerful advertising engine, helping companies target Kosovo’s small but growing consumer market.
Kosovo is recognized by the United States and a majority of European Union members. But five, including Spain, which is battling separatist movements of its own, refuse to recognize it. Serbia is also vehemently against recognizing Kosovo’s independence, and Russia, a staunch Serbian ally and a veto-wielding member of the United Nations Security Council, has blocked Kosovo’s membership in the United Nations, stifling its economic and political development, according to New York Times.
Political observers on Sri Lanka’s history and the authoritarian tendency in Sri Lanka after the civil war opined that Kosovo’s Facebook struggle provides an illuminating example for Tamil eezham activists to fight for similar recognition by Facebook. “Facebook, as a fast evolving trendsetter to legitimate social changes, will be highly sympathetic to an Eezham addition to facebook,” an activist noted.
“Facebook has grown to 1.2 billion users in eight years, faster than the growth of Islam, Christianity and the Internet itself,” New York Times quoted Petrit Selimi, Kosovo’s 34-year-old deputy foreign minister and the leader of the government’s digital diplomacy, as saying.
Selimi added that having Kosovo fully included on Facebook had been a priority, along with the still-elusive goals of having Kosovo compete in the Eurovision song contest and in the European Champions League in soccer.
“Being recognized on the soccer pitch and online has far greater resonance than some back room in Brussels,” Mr. Selimi said.
Online reaction to news of the Facebook changes was swift. “Facebook recognizes Kosovo as a state,” Kosovo’s minister for European Union integration, Vlora Citaku, wrote on Twitter. The American ambassador to Kosovo, Tracey Ann Jacobson, congratulated Kosovo on Twitter.
But some Serbs vowed to protest by deleting their Facebook profiles and posting fake ones; others mocked Kosovo for treating Facebook like a country. “Tomorrow they will say that the Smurfs and hobbits have recognized them,” commented one reader on the online version of Blic, a Serbian daily newspaper, NYT said in its article on the Facebook story on Kosovo.