Bill Gates has forgotten his guiding principals on Sri Lanka.
Bill Gates has honored Mahinda Rajapaksa, the president of Sri Lank, in his latest speech on welcoming information technology in Sri Lanka. In the speech, while he worried about the accessibility of technology to rural areas, he seems to have no notion of knowing the pro-longed detention of over 250,000 Tamils in Sri Lanka, and the absolute denial of basic necessities to them.
Bill Gates and Melinda Gates have championed many humanitarian efforts around the globe, and their Bill & Melinda Gates foundation lists 15 guiding principals for their work. Sri Lanka have violated more than couple of these guiding principals.
Guiding Principle #2: Philanthropy plays an important but limited role.
Philanthropist is "someone who makes charitable donations intended to increase human well-being". Sri Lankan government has intentionally killed over 30,000 Tamils in less than few months away, and Bill Gates seems to have forgotten or not even know about the ruthless war and the blood still fresh in Mahinda's hands.
New York Times reported just on July 13, 2009 regarding the behavior of the Sri Lankan government.
Sri Lanka’s government has celebrated its triumph over the Tigers as the world’s first purely military defeat of an insurgent terrorist group. The war spanned nearly three decades and left tens of thousands of people dead and uprooted hundreds of thousands more.
But human rights organizations here and abroad have documented some of the other heavy costs of the victory.
The government has clamped down hard on dissent. Journalists have been mysteriously killed, arrested and chased from the country.
Thousands of Tamils have disappeared, presumably arrested by the government on suspicion of being Tamil Tiger fighters, according to Mano Ganesan, a Tamil member of Parliament who has been tracking disappearances for years.
Questions remain about how many civilians were killed in the last bloody weeks of the war, when the Tigers were pushed onto a narrow stretch of beach along with hundreds of thousands of civilians.
After insisting for months, improbably, that no civilians had died, Mr. Rajapaksa acknowledged that some must have been killed and said that the government was investigating the last days of the war.
“My instruction was there cannot be any single civilian casualty,” he said. “The army was very careful.”
But the United Nations has said that at least 7,000 people died up to the end of April, when the last push began. No one is sure how many were killed in those last few weeks of fighting, but witnesses said the battlefield was covered with bodies.
Satellite images of the zone seem to contradict government claims that no heavy weapons were used there, revealing large, scorched craters.
Bill Gates is not informed about the killings that have happened. Would Bill Gates be willing to shake hands with Omar-Al-Bashir of Darfur? That's is what he is exactly doing by shaking hands with Mahinda Rajapaksa and praising his efforts of education. The same Mahinda government has forced the Tamil IDP students to write the A/L exams with rest of the Sri Lanka in August, while denying to send in teachers or cover material cost to prepare them in anyway.
Guiding Principle #5: Our focus is clear—and limited—and prioritizes some of the most neglected issues.
Tamils in Sri Lanka is one of the most neglected issues in the world; Tamils in Sri Lanka can be listed as endangered species, as there would be no one left after a decade if the world continues to be silent.
Due to the fear of exercising journalism in Sri Lanka, many, Sinhalese and Tamils alike, have flee the country to stay alive.
In Sri Lanka, censorship and a smear campaign New York, July 14, 2009--The Sri Lankan government is continuing its offensive against the independent news media, blocking domestic access to a news Web site and smearing lawyers who are representing a leading newspaper.
"The government is continuing to silence its critics through harassment and threats. Authorities should end their anti-media policies, and they can start by restoring access to independent news Web sites and halting attacks on their critics," said Bob Dietz, CPJ's Asia program coordinator.
CPJ counts at least 11 journalists who have fled the country in the past year in fear of their lives.
Bill Gates was not informed on the tight censorship and restrictive access in Sri Lanka, which is one of the "most neglected issues" regarding human rights in Sri Lanka.
Guiding Principle #12: We demand ethical behavior of ourselves.
Ethical behavior is unknown to the government of Sri Lanka, and the government has out rightly violated many basic human rights.
About 1,400 people are dying every week at the giant Manik Farm internment camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the nation’s bloody civil war, senior international aid sources have told The Times.
The death toll will add to concerns that the Sri Lankan Government has failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe after announcing victory over the Tamil Tiger terrorist organisation in May. It may also lend credence to allegations that the Government, which has termed the internment sites “welfare villages”, has actually constructed concentration camps to house 300,000 people.
Bill Gates was not informed about the Sri Lankan government's unethical behavior of keeping Tamil IDPs in concentration camps either.
Guiding Principle #14: Meeting our mission—to increase opportunity and equity for those most in need—requires great stewardship of the money we have available.
Bill Gates is strengthening the Sri Lankan government while ignoring the plight of massive over 250,000 Tamils held in pro-longed detention and the rest of Tamils suffer under oppression in Sri Lanka. "Most in need" seems to be the Rajapaksa government for Bill Gates; the same Sri Lankan government who has kicked out aid agencies and journalists at the door to keep their behavior under cover.
Guiding Principle #15: We leave room for growth and change.
There is no room for growth or change for Tamils in Sri Lanka. The news itself of the sufferings are still only leaking. Journalists are barred from talking to any Tamil IDPs, and aid agencies are kicked out at the door to enter Sri Lanka. Handful of aid agencies are opearting in a highly restrictive environment. As far as Bill Gates concerned, Sri Lanka probably has growth and change for Microsoft, and as far as the human rights of the Tamils go, Bill Gates seems to have forgotten his last guiding principal too.
The morals for business interests are quite different from their humanitarian efforts for Bill Gates, and the double standard does not reflect kindly Bill Gates humanitarian efforts.
(1) Tigers under the bed - Human Rights Watch
(2) Sri Lanka: End twenty years of impunity - Amnesty International
(3) Injustice fuels Sri Lanka's cycle of abuse and impunity - Amnesty International
(4) Sri Lanka drives journalists into exile - Committe to Protect Journalists
(5) Sri Lanka's postwar resettlement stalls - The Christian Science Monitor
(6) Sri Lanka: "Don’t Abuse the Displaced" - Human Rights Watch
(7) Rights groups want Sri Lanka abuse probe - Brisbane Times
(8) Expert panel quits Sri Lanka over rights abuse probe - Reuters