21 October, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Basil Admitted Military Shelling Into The Safe Zone

By Colombo Telegraph –

“The Norwegian Ambassador commented that in two recent meetings with Rajapkasa he acknowledged military forces were shelling into the safe zone, but was not comfortable discussing the subject.” The US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Satellite images show 'disappearing' temporary structures in the safe zone, indicating heavy fire

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and recounts details of a meeting the US Ambassador has had with Co-Chair Ambassadors on March 5, 2009. The cable was written on March 5, 2009 by the US Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake.

Ambassador Robert O. Blake wrote “Ambassador opened by summarizing a meeting (reported septel) he and USAID Director Cohn had the previous day with Basil Rajapaksa, the GSL’s Senior Coordinator for all humanitarian issues. In response to the Ambassador’s concerns about the first credible reports of possible starvation in the safe zone in the north, Rajapaksa undertook to arrange an immediate delivery of an additional 200 metric tons of food by the end of March 6 and to work with the WFP to schedule more regular shipments. He also reported that the Government is arranging to bring a larger ship from Colombo equipped with a crane that will make possible the transport of greater quantities of food and more efficient off-loading. Rajapaksa reported that the ICRC delivered a shipment of medicine to the safe zone earlier in the week, but Ambassador noted there are still shortages.”

“Rajapaksa was not as forthcoming to the Ambassador’s concerns about credible reports of shelling of the safe zone on several successive days recently. Rajapaksa lamely pointed out that GSL forces had come under fire from LTTE artillery within the safe zone and they had to defend themselves. Ambassador pointed out such retaliatory shelling had killed many civilians and was a reversal of the government’s own commitment not to use heavy weapons. The Norwegian Ambassador commented that in two recent meetings with Rajapkasa he acknowledged military forces were shelling into the safe zone, but was not comfortable discussing the subject.” Blake further wrote.

Headline of this article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: 1.20 pm January 21, 2012

An earlier version of the headline said that “WikiLeaks: President Rajapkasa admitted military shelling into the safe zone.”

Below we give the relevant part of the cable;

VZCZCXYZ0000
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #0252/01 0641344
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 051344Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9515
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 2739
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 4733
RUEHPG/AMEMBASSY PRAGUE PRIORITY 0052
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3833
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 000252

SIPDIS

STATE FOR A/S BOUCHER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/05/2019
TAGS: PREL PTER PGOV CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: CO-CHAIR AMBASSADORS DISCUSS WAYS TO
PRESSURE GSL AND LTTE

Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr. for reasons
1.4 (b) and (d).
Situation Update

2.  (C) Ambassador opened by summarizing a meeting (reported
septel) he and USAID Director Cohn
had the previous day with Basil Rajapaksa, the GSL's Senior
Coordinator for all humanitarian issues.
In response to the Ambassador's concerns about the first
credible reports of possible starvation in the
safe zone in the north, Rajapaksa undertook to arrange an
immediate delivery of an additional 200 metric
tons of food by the end of March 6 and to work with the WFP
to schedule more regular shipments.  He
also reported that the Government is arranging to bring a
larger ship from Colombo equipped with a crane
that will make possible the transport of greater quantities
of food and more efficient off-loading.  Rajapaksa
reported that the ICRC delivered a shipment of medicine to
the safe zone earlier in the week, but Ambassador
noted there are still shortages.  Rajapaksa was not as
forthcoming to the Ambassador's concerns about
credible reports of shelling of the safe zone on several
successive days recently.  Rajapaksa lamely pointed
out that GSL forces had come under fire from LTTE artillery
within the safe zone and they had to defend
themselves.  Ambassador pointed out such retaliatory shelling
had killed many civilians and was a reversal
of the government's own commitment not to use heavy weapons.
The Norwegian Ambassador commented
that in two recent meetings with Rajapkasa he acknowledged
military forces were shelling into the safe zone,
but was not comfortable discussing the subject.
BLAKE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Barbarians/ Butchers? war criminals.

    • 0
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      “RUTHLESS LEADER PRABA” KILLED THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT SINHALESE & MUSLIM & CHASED THEM OUT OF NORTH & EAST. WOW WHAT A PROUD EELAM WAR WAS THAT & WHAT A HAPPY ENDING OF SHOWING HIS “DINGLING” THRU THE UNDIES…. HAHAHAHA

    • 0
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      What’s the big deal? Has the GoSL ever denied such shelling? Shelling the NFZs is not a war crime.

      • 0
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        Blacker:
        You would have enjoyed running Auschwitz if you were around. Or at least doing a Bomber Harris on Nanthikadal replicating Dresden.

  • 0
    0

    War criminals, war criminals, war criminals , exactly my friend!

    • 0
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      All dead All dead All dead my friend

    • 0
      0

      NOT SURE, HOW FAR MR.BLAKE’S COULD BE TRUSTED….. BY THE WAY IT SEEMS LIKE….

      AFGHAN WAR CRIMINALS ARE STILL ON THE RUN…
      IRAQ WAR CRIMINALS ARE STILL ON THE RUN…
      “MADAM AMMA NAVI PILLAI” IS ONLY WORRYING ABOUT SRI LANKAN KILLINGS.
      ONE LAW FOR SRI LANKA & ANOTHER LAW FOR OTHER WAR CRIMINALS……HAHAHAHA

    • 0
      0

      Ltte are butchers butchers vbutchers butchers tangaraj

  • 0
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    See, How courages he is to admit military shelling,perhaps he will admit his educational qualifications as well :) :) :)

    • 0
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      Nothing to do with qualifications. He will pass law degree without any trouble.

  • 0
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    If this website was honest it would have highlighted the fact that it was in retaliation of the LTTE firing from behind the cvilians within the safe zone that the State’s forces were obliged to shell. The point is that this is a pro LTTE website and nothing honest can be expected of you. Furthermore the US jew coalition cannot give any lessons on war crimes because as late as the end of 2011 they murdered civilians and Pakistani soldiers with their drone attacks. The US cannot preach about what they cannot practice and niether can this pro terrorist website. We have to give some thought to the deaths of the innocent civilians killed in the many bomb attcks accross Sri Lanka since 1983 and during the spineless regimes that were in power. For Sri Lanka real freedom came in 2009, lest we forget.

    • 0
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      Peter Casie Chetty:
      It would be great if we could go back to our cultural roots, designing a three-buffalo plough for you you, David Blacker and Max Silva. That way all of you might be of some use to the community! The compensation though would be poor – grass – as against what you pick up as the wages of sycophancy.

  • 0
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    The headline says “President” Rajapaksa admitted shelling the “safe zone” but the body of the text refers to “Basil” Rajapaksa. Please clarify.

    • 0
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      Thank you for pointing out the mistake. We now corrected it. We added the following part to the original text.

      “Headline of this article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
      Correction: 1.20 pm January 21, 2012
      An earlier version of headline said that WikiLeaks: President Rajapkasa admitted military shelling into the safe zone.”

    • 0
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      Dont tell lies

    • 0
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      dont say lies man he never told but Blake said.

  • 0
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    Only access to the site of the last massacre – Mullivaikal – will show the bodies and evidence of shelling in detail. But this area has been sealed off on the pretext of ‘landmines’.
    Those eye witnesses prepared to testify to this, about persons arrested & later disappeared, & about surrendees bing shot dead, were not allowed to testify before the LLRC.
    So far, there is no ‘database’ of arrested persons available, as promised.
    The government even now is unwilling to instal a Witness Protection Program.

    • 0
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      Das how about killings of Ltte from 1970 to 2008 200,000 + sinhalese got killed by Ltte. we need war crime also.

    • 0
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      ya dog Prabhakaran and 600 Ltte cadre masacred when they try to break army ring to Mulativu sea thats what happened to terrorists.

  • 0
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    Now Wimal Weerawansa and Helaurumaya Ganinnanses should compare so called White Flag Bullshit story against General Fonseka and this great betrayal of Basil Rajapaksha. Not only that, attorney General should file a case against Basil Rajapaksha for admitting falls allegations for putting down the Country, Supreme Commander of the SL Armed Forces, SL Armed Forces and the great humanitarian operation. Basil is a very super power minister and the biological brother of President. When such a person admits such a treacherous allegation no one can assess the amount of power gained by that allegation. So what is the stand point of Attorney General regarding this?

  • 0
    0

    so what was the question again? When LTTE killed Ranasignha Premadasa by a bomb they did not worry about other UNP karayo who is around him. They blow everybody. When they try to kill Ela Fawusi they just blast the whole place. When they .. I can continue a list. Who gives a shit. We won you lost. Now say ” Kadawunea , kadawunea and run towards the kovil to throw some coconuts.

    • 0
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      ha ha ha well said man

    • 0
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      Mahinda could not give a speech in Oxford Union and again in Common Wealth,a presdient eh?also GL Peries running behind Hillary’s petty coat,so who lost and who won now??Now say “sadu, sadu and run towards vihara.

  • 0
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    The Rajapakse’s are war criminals and deserve to treated as such.

    • 0
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      Prbakaran is a small baby prabhakaran is a small baby

  • 0
    0

    The Rajapakse’s are war criminals and deserve to be treated as such.

  • 0
    0

    Because of ‘retaliation’ culling, while spreading ‘zero civilian’ & ‘no heavy’ weapons only we have the ‘war-crimes’ tag.

    Estimated population 70 000, then rescued population 250 000 !

    Yes, we possessed with ‘saintly-innocence’

    Kill the Veddha, blame the Suddha

    Think Brahma/Buddha, do kuppa !

  • 0
    0

    Because of ‘retaliation’ culling, while spreading ‘zero civilian’ & ‘no heavy’ weapons only we have the ‘war-crimes’ tag.

    Estimated population 70 000, then rescued population 250 000 !

    Yes, we possessed with ‘saintly-innocence’

    Kill the Veddha, blame the Suddha

    Think Brahma/Buddha, do kuppa !

  • 0
    0

    yes, we see the government honchos like this Chetttiar trying to take the line that the government shelled because the LTTE shelled and claling this a pro-terrorist website. Predictable!

    When will these morons learn that one cannot equate the LTTE to the government? The government shold never have delcared no-fire zones and drawn the civilians into the area knowing full well that the LTTE will resort to their time honoured tactics. This mistake – which is too big actually to be called a mistake and may have been deliberate – was commented on by the LLRC as well.

    But these are sober questions, not like those who sing for their supper from the gvernment trying to go one up by repeating their nauseatng cry ‘givernment did because the LTTE did’!! Will they never stop?

    • 0
      0

      where all these people when Ltte butchering whole villages 200,000 + sinhalese died from 1970 to 2008

  • 0
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    Basil has nothing to comment on this he is a civil servant/businessman It’s the LTTE who drag tamils to hell for 25years. And the Diaspora wants to stay in Foreign countries and spread the virus and dishonor Sri lanka for a short term happy time. what’s wrong killing mad dogs ? do you want rabies? I mean .. don’t you guys have better things to do rather than digging the poo with a stick? Go and scrape a coconut instead playing Kotta pora.

    • 0
      0

      well said bodi

  • 0
    0

    The moment a no fire zone was designated , the tigers with their heavy weponary moved into the heart of it and started shelling the forces . This is well established and documented by hundreds of rescued hostages. Rescuing the hostage required neutralising the fire which inevitably meant return fire and collateral dammage. Collaterl dammage is accepted as inevitable in any war.
    The reality is that the Tigers never permitted an effective no fire zone. They wre prepared to sacrifice their Tamil hostages for propaganda gain, which they are doing even now , two and a half years after the end of the battles in SL.
    That is the long and short of it. Responsible media and politicians should acknowledge this and let Sri Lanka move on without playing into Tiger propaganda.

  • 0
    0

    Huh….. cheek of Blake. Few points.
    1. Read the Heading of the Message, SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: CO-CHAIR AMBASSADORS DISCUSS WAYS TO
    PRESSURE GSL AND LTTE. So these ambassadors think that their job is to Pressurise GOSL and not diplomacy.
    2. If they wish to pressurise both parties as the title says, then where is the material in the message that demonstrates that these foreigners were pressurising LTTE. In the absence of such information, I take it that the foreigners were acting for LTTE and using the title to camouflage their different motives.
    3. There is heresay information about GSL forces shelling LTTE weapons locations and alleged death of civilians, but where is information that the foreigners appealing, instructing or pressuring the LTTE to move out themselves and their gun emplacements from safe zones.
    Clearly, the message tantamounts to evidence that the ambassador was playing a dubious role and most likely an accessory to the hineous crimes committed by LTTE on their own people..

    • 0
      0

      LTTE TERRORIST PRABA & HIS FELLOWERS USED INNOCENT TAMIL CIVILIANS AS A HUMAN SHIELD IN THE LAST PHASE OF WAR TO SAVE THEIR OWN LIVES & THE TRUTH WAS PRABHA ORDERED TO KILL THOSE CIVILIANS WHO WERE TRIED TO ESCAPE FROM THE TERRORIST HELD TERRITORIES.

      THAT’S HOW MANY INNOCENT TAMIL CIVILIANS DIED IN THE LAST PHASE OF WAR. PRABHA’S ULTIMATE PLAN WAS TO ESCAPE FROM THE RESCUE SHIP COMING FROM OVERSEAS CARRYING MEDICINES & GOODS FOR THE REFUGEES.. BUT UNFORTUNATELY GOVT FORCES SURROUNDED HIM WITH NO WAY OUT.

      GOVT FORCES MIGHT HAVE ATTACKED THE TERRORISTS WITH SHELLS BUT COMPARE TO MORE THAN 200,000 CIVILIANS DEATH IN IRAQ & AFGHAN, THE NUMBERS ARE SMALL IN SRI LANKA.

  • 0
    0

    So now the innocent Tamil civilians want their dignity, justice and an investigation

    What we think is not what these innocent Tamils think !

  • 0
    0

    we need war crime panel for 200,000 sinhala civilians killed by Ltte from 1983 to 2008 , can we have it Pillei?

  • 0
    0

    Massacre of Gomarankadawala by Ltte 1987 – first attack

    87 Innocent Sinhalese civilians were dragged out of their houses bitween 2am to 3 am in the eastern district of Sri Lanka by Mulativu based Tamil Tiger terrorists in 1987.

    28 childrens 34 women 25 men were brutally killed with sharp weapons and gun shots.

    Can UNHR commitee can call an investigation for this killing?

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