By Colombo Telegraph –
“What is most important, said Blake, is that everyone should feel that they are equal as Sri Lankans and share the same rights. That is not the case right now for Tamils. Rajapaksa blamed the LTTE, and pointed again to the East where there is “full freedom.” He urged A/S Blake to have confidence in the GSL. He regretted that there was too much “speculation, talking and shouting.” We know the situation is not perfect, he said. “The conflict was long and hard,” and society has benefitted greatly from the LTTE’s defeat. Rajapaksa pleaded that he had not received the credit he deserved for disarming the LTTE cadres and the paramilitaries” US State Department wrote to US Embassy Colombo.
The US State Department wrote “He has outlawed ransom payments and threatened to prosecute anyone who pays bribes or ransom. The government wants people, even former hardcore LTTE, to live a normal life. Blake suggested that the GSL engage the Tamil diaspora community, which could provide financial resources for reconstruction in the north, if the GSL can convince them of iyts good intentions. He suggested that the GSL consider starting a non-profit organization that could receive contributions from overseas for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Rajapaksa told Blake that the GSL has started reaching out to Tamils in Colombo; Ambassador Wickramasuriya said the Embassy has begun to do so in the U.S. as well. “People who want to settle problems are not aggressive,” Rajapaksa said.”
A classified diplomatic cable which details a meeting the US Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake has had with Secretary to the Ministry of Difence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on September 24, 2009 in US. 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 25 2009.
Under the subheading “POLITICAL RECONCILIATION” the US State Department wrote “Blake questioned why President Rajapaksa announced his intent to delay steps on devolution until after presidential and parliamentary elections in spring 2010, when opposition political parties are so weak. Progress on this area would net Tamil votes that could more than offset any loss of support from nationalists, whereas continued delay in announcing political reconciliation efforts would further diminish the President’s Tamil support. Rajapaksa reiterated that the President wants Tamil votes and said his party expects to win them in the Eastern Province. The President knew he would lose in Vavuniya municipality to the opposition Tamil National Alliance, so soon after the fighting, but was okay with that. The President’s concern is that the nationalist People’s Liberation Front (JVP) has tried to destabilize the government by suggesting that the President aims to sacrifice the hard-won victory of the Army. He attributed rumors about Chief of Defense Staff Fonseka’s presidential candidacy to these machinations. Rajapaksa said the President was committed to devolution, but that the 13th Amendment would require adjustment before it could be implemented. Right now, police authority would devolve to the Chief Minister; and the only Tamil Chief Minister would be in the Northern Province. Chief Ministers have no national or international obligations; the GSL wants more Tamil-speaking representation among the police.”
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