Tuesday May 21, 2013
WikiLeaks: Nobody Believes Sri Lanka's Government Anymore Robert BlakeSalem-News.com
The Colombo Telegraph found the related US diplomatic cable from the Secretary of State section of the WikiLeaks database.
(COLOMBO Colombo Telegraph) - “Pascoe, who recently visited Sri Lanka, questioned the credibility of GSL officials; no one believes they can meet their current timetable for moving people out of the camps. A/S Blake agreed, saying he had urged the GSL to demonstrate some real successes on the ground, because nobody believes them anymore. The U.S.has stressed the importance of working with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and others to figure out a way to resettle significant numbers of IDPs. He noted the discussion within the USG on continuing to finance humanitarian assistance to IDPs in closed camps that do not meet international standards for treatment of displaced persons; the U.S.is exploring ways to use food aid and other assistance to support the returns process.” US State Department wrote to US Embassy Colombo.
A classified diplomatic cable which details a meeting the US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake has had with UN officials on September 29, 2009. The Colombo Telegraph found the related US diplomatic cable from the Secretary of State section of the WikiLeaks database. The cable was classified as “Confidential” signed by Hillary Clinton on September 30 2009.
“In a September 29 meeting on the margins of the UN General Assembly, UN Under-Secretaries General Pascoe and Holmes questioned the government of Sri Lanka’s credibility, especially on IDP returns, but said top UN officials would continue to press the GSL on the importance of allowing freedom of movement. The UN will not support new closed transit camps, and is urging that screened and low-risk IDPs be given freedom of movement. A/S Blake expressed appreciation that U.S.and UN messages are in synch. Pascoe and Holmes offered to reinforce to GSL officials the importance of retaining the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Sri Lanka, but have been asked by the ICRC to let it fight its own battles. Pascoe doubted that the GSL was prepared to take meaningful steps on accountability in the near-term before elections in early 2010, but suggested that a process for political reconciliation was beginning to take off. Blake briefed on the draft report to Congress on violations of international humanitarian law by both sides during the war. On Nepal, Pascoe noted concern about the government’s lack of urgency to bring the Maoists back into the political process; Indiatoo seemed complacent. The status quo risks a return to violence, he said.” the US State Department wrote further wrote.
Under the subheading ‘POLITICAL RECONCILIATION; ACCOUNTABILITY’ they wrote “Blake previewed for Holmes and Pascoe the report to Congress being prepared by the State Department Office of War Crimes Investigations (S/WCI) on potential violations of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity committed by both sides during the final stages of the conflict in Sri Lanka. He asked Holmes and Pascoe if there is discussion within the UN on supporting an accountability process in Sri Lanka.”
“Pascoe observed that the government is not yet prepared to take meaningful steps on accountability, but that political reconciliation is beginning to gain traction. The opposition Tamil National Alliance (TNA), for example, has shown some enthusiasm for engaging with the GSL. The UN continues to push on accountability. It would rather have the Sri Lankan government initiate a process that the UN could assist with, but if the government does not do it, then there are international mechanisms that could. Blake questioned President Rajapaksa’s decision to delay steps toward reconciliation and devolution until after spring 2010 elections, noting that he has already weakened and divided the political opposition; from his political perspective, any loss in nationalist votes would be offset by gains from liberals and Tamils.” US State Department further wrote.
Read the relevant parts of the cable;
Special thanks to Colombo Telegraph
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