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‘The nuns we studied under were tough and they disciplined us, but I am here because of them.’

US Ambassador – Patricia Butenis

The quotation is from a fascinating article by an employee of the US government which provided interesting insights into the legacy that the departing American ambassador seems to want to leave. She is advising the girls of Uduvil College in terms of her own education. It is a touching article, that places Ms Butenis in a charming light, at a time when, as the article states,  ‘the US Government played out its most controversial engagement so far in Sri Lankan affairs in the history of US-Sri Lanka relations.’

The article however immediately issues a sort of disclaimer, in that the ambassador is cited as saying that ‘I think it is a mistake if people think that we can dictate to this Government’. It seems that the impression sought to be created is of a country resisting calls by Tamils for intervention in a context in which ‘We can’t trust India. Karunanindhi and Jayalalithaa are only looking after their interests. Only the US can dictate.’

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Rajiva Wijesinha

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