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As US Trashes "Evil 8" on Human Rights, Nothing on Sri Lanka, Bahrain, S. Sudan

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, November 6 -- It was US election day when the US Mission to the UN got its chance to speechify on human rights in the General Assembly's Third Committee. Its turn came right after Venezuela, which raised the specter of "killer drones."

  The US, which is running for a second term on the UN Human Rights Council, did not address the drone critique in its speech, a hard copy of which it did not, unlike Australia, pass out to the audience including Inner City Press. Rather, it chose eight countries to criticize, and one to mostly praise: Myanmar, or as the US said it, Burma.

  The Evil Eight in the US speech - our term, not the US speaker's -- were in order Syria, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Belarus, Eritrea, Cuba, China. Not mentioned, among others, were US ally Bahrain, which recently prohibited even peaceful demonstrations, and Sri Lanka, which after what the UN said were 40,000 civilians killings in 2009, has not punished anyone.

  In Geneva, the US spoke about Sri Lanka. But in its New York speech, not at all. Likewise, while earlier on Tuesday the US criticized South Sudan for throwing out the UN's human rights officials, this was not mentioned in its Third Committee speech.

  Of course there are priorities. Perhaps these "minor" issues -- Sri Lanka with its 40,000 dead, Bahrain, even South Sudan -- are mentioned in the longer, written version of the speech.

   But some hope that the alongside the railing against countries over which it has little "soft power," the US applies some human right standards to its friends, at least behind the scenes. Watch this site.

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