24 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: 'I am not saying we are clean' – Basil to US Senate Foreign Relations staff

Basil - The de-facto czar

By Colombo Telegraph –

A leaked US diplomatic cable the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s brother and his advisor Basil Rajapaksa has been described by the US Ambassador, as a de-facto czar of the IDP and demining issues.

“The president’s brother, MP, and de-facto czar of the IDP and demining issues Basil Rajapaksa hoped to improve the bilateral relationship and build trust with the U.S.” the US Embassy wrote to Washington.

A leaked US unclassified, but “SENSITIVE” diplomatic cable, recounts details of meetings the US Senate Foreign Relations staff members has had with the senior government officials, international organizations, political leaders, civil-society activists, and journalists between November 2-8, 2009. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable was written on December 1, 2009 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis.

The US Ambassador wrote “Basil Rajapaksa was critical of recent U.S. remarks and recommended that the U.S. should choose its word carefully. For example, he noted that ‘the U.S. monitoring the progress ’ was perceived as ‘U.S. encroachment on SL’s sovereignty.’ While Sri Lanka was a small but proud country, SL did not warrant a ‘minority mindset’. He suggested that the U.S. should approach SL as ‘friends’ and ‘give suggestions rather than make critical remarks,’ and such criticisms were a recent phenomenon.”

“In response to the ‘incident’s report,’ Rajapaksa candidly remarked, ‘I’m not saying we’re clean; we could not abide by international law – this would have gone on for centuries, an additional 60 years.’ He highlighted the GSL’s excellent relationship with India, and argued that even India did not request monitoring of SL’s progress” Ambassador Butenis further wrote.

“On Media Freedom, Basil argued that the media had not been singled out, and that high ranking police and army officials and members of the business community had also been imprisoned on terrorism charges. On media access to the camps, Rajapaksa emphasized that media restrictions in the camps were for the benefit of the IDPs and commented that ‘IDPs don’t like media, cameras, because they don’t want to be portrayed in those conditions.’ He pointed out that free access would be only granted to those ‘genuinely interested’ and only those ‘that could be truly trusted.” the US Ambassador wrote.

Basil Rajapaksa also spoke at length on the resettlement progress. Read the below cable for further details. The Colombo Telegraph publishes the relevant part of the leaked cable below;

VZCZCXRO5326
PP RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #1054/01 3270240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230240Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0805
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 2075
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 9103
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 7345
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5246
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3500
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 5184
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0719
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4299
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9666
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 6960
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO 0040
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3842
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 COLOMBO 001054

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM CE
SUBJECT: SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE (SFRC) FACT FINDING
MISSION TO SRI LANKA

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 2-8, Senate Foreign Relations staff
members Nilmini Rubin and Fatema Sumar visited Sri Lanka and held
meetings with senior government officials, international
organizations, political leaders, civil-society activists, and
journalists to discuss post war reconciliation, resettlement of
internally displaced persons (IDPs), the humanitarian situation, and
media freedom.  They also visited the South, East and IDP camp at
Manik Farm.  The StaffDel observed that the post-war situation in
Sri Lanka was complex, particularly in light of possible elections;
Sri Lankans no longer sensed a strong partnership with the U.S.; the
U.S. "tool box" in dealing with the government of Sri Lanka (GSL)
was self-limited; a sense of palpable fear still hung over the media
and civil society; and while the GSL was making progress and doing
some good things, SL had a long way to go on reconciliation and
resettlement.  Recognizing SL's geo-strategic importance to the U.S.
and the current and long-term bilateral relationship, many SL
interlocutors gave their recommendations on strengthening the
relationship and noted a need for more U.S. assistance for
resettlement and demining. END SUMMARY.

PRESIDENTIAL ADVISOR:
CRITICISMS NOT WARRANTED
------------------------

2. (SBU) The president's brother, MP, and de-facto czar of the IDP
and demining issues Basil Rajapaksa hoped to improve the bilateral
relationship and build trust with the U.S.  He was critical of
recent U.S. remarks and recommended that the U.S. should choose its
words carefully.  For example, he noted that "the U.S. monitoring
the progress" was perceived as "U.S. encroachment on SL's
sovereignty."  While Sri Lanka was a small but proud country, SL did
not warrant a "minority mindset".  He suggested that the U.S. should
approach SL as "friends" and "give suggestions rather than make
critical remarks," and such criticisms were a recent phenomenon.  In
response to the "incident's report," Rajapaksa candidly remarked,
"I'm not saying we're clean; we could not abide by international law
- this would have gone on for centuries, an additional 60 years."
He highlighted the GSL's excellent relationship with India, and
argued that even India did not request monitoring of SL's progress.
Basil spoke at length on the resettlement progress and noted that
January 31 ends the 180-day plan, and that the GSL had promised to
have 80% of the IDPs released in 180 days, but that "Blake had said
our plan was too ambitious."  He asserted that 80% of the IDPs would
be released by the end of January.  He did not want to release
details of the government's plan because any delays or changes would
leave the GSL open to international criticism.  Basil believed SL
was well on its way "to win the hearts and minds of the people" and
to resettle the IDPs.  On freedom of movement, the GSL was still
concerned about LTTE sympathizers in the camps and took a paternal
view of the safety of IDPs returning to cleared lands.  On media
freedom, Basil argued that the media had not been singled out, and
that high ranking police and army officials and members of the
business community had also been imprisoned on the terrorism
charges.  On media access to the camps, Rajapaksa emphasized that
media restrictions in the camps were for the benefit of the IDPs and
commented that "IDPs don't like media, cameras, because they don't
want to be portrayed in those conditions."  He pointed out that free
access would be only granted to those "genuinely interested" and
only those "that could be truly trusted."
 BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    What do you mean by “we are not clean”? we mean brothers?

  • 0
    0

    I think he is talking about he and his wife. Mr 10% no?

  • 0
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    americans have no guts. srilankans have guts that’s why they defeated the terrorism in lanka. americans should shut up and listen to srilanka.

  • 0
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    Americans Have no Guts.

    American can only complain about srilanka’s actions and behaviours that’s it, Americans have no guts to fix srilanka, what a scary cat.. hehehehehee…………………….shame, shame, shame on you……

  • 0
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    The U.S. Embassy in Colombo said last week it was deeply concerned. The statement called on Sri Lankan authorities and telecommunications firms “to stop activities aimed at blocking free access in Sri Lanka to all legitimate media websites”

    Maybe we should stay away from other people’s business and bullying other countries. We in here doesn’t have 100% unbiased media either. So if we are deeply concerned, start from here.

  • 0
    0

    The United States has no right at all to look at Sri Lanka, they should look at themselves first, eg. Iraq what did take place in the Prison of Baghdad, violation violation to the lowest degree by a leading nation sanctioned by the Rumsfold Defence Sec,, at this time was he Prosecuted for violations, he was in charge with Gorge Bush junior, what about the the CIA hidden torture camps all over Europe, so the Europeans also should SHUT UP they have violated more rights of human beings, Pakistan, Afghanistan – CNN and Al Jazeera transmitted helicopter flights with blind folded innocent peasants, what about the torture treatment in Guantanamo bay, some were left paralysed and where was the United Nations and the International community then ? what was USA and all the other allies it has doing when Liberians and Sere Leon’s children raped, mutated limbs, DOUBLE STANDARDS – where was the United Nations – Somalia what has USA or NATO allies done – Nothing ZERO let it go on create the Havoc in our benefit, sadly SRI LANKA prevailed under the Rajapakse Government, while all others failed, India too has nothing to say, there forces also committed in human crimes against the Tamil population RAPING women what was any body doing at that time – Today India is worries about the Tamil settlement , the Tamils are Sri Lankan’s sadly mislead by a ideology of some power hungry LTTE cadres.
    The world is not STUPID it only that we human beings don’t have the time to VOICE our opinions.
    SRI LANKA yes we fought this bloody menace why not did not after 9-11 Bush go all out and attack Afghanistan heloooo !!! do not judge SRI LANKA or the Rajapakse Government at least he had the GUTS to wrap this 30 year misery s created by the LTTE the Tamils also suffered in the hands of LTTE – so the whole nation must not tolerate any country dictating terms to SRI LANKA – Clean -up your selves before judging other countries.
    The World has seen and experienced enough double standard politics engineered by the US and its allies – Leave SRI LANKA alone we will run our own affairs ……………….!

  • 0
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    He should have said,” we are not perfect”. We are not clean is not appropriate here. Naturally, his first language is not English. The rest of the conversation appear to be correct & he has sent the right message to foreigeners.

    • 0
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      What? but the bugger was in US for 15 years, and also a US citizen , so, he knows English well, he even runs the Foreign Ministry.

    • 0
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      Dear English Professor Amal – There is absolutely no need for your lecture on the correct use of English. What Basil said and meant is quite clear, first and second language notwithstanding! You should come here to the USA and listen to people whose first language is English; you would think they were talking Greek!! Ambassador Butenis has been in Colombo long enough to perfectly understand Sri Lankan English!!!

  • 0
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    at least bugger accepted they are not clean. i appreciate ;)

  • 0
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    So why the hell then they remain in power without leaving?

  • 0
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    US FR and State dept. are freaking Ponniahs and are part of the problem. They are partners in crime and covering up for the War Criminals, consumers of Human Ash, and crooks. You are Lankaleaks or photocopy of it. That is good. keep up the good work but do not try and stir up shit like secrect pacts which was non existent. US embassy is not the bible of politics and war in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    The United States doesn’t allow any country in the world to live peacefully. Now a day it can clearly be seen the US is interfering extremely personal matters of countries and then makes use of those matters to destabilize governments of those countries. For instance, Middle Eastern countries People of those countries are suffering a lot from annoyance of the US. The US does not heed international norms of human rights but when it wants to invade country human rights is used as a tool to meet it requirement. Recent invasion of Libya the driving force of that invasion is non other than the United States though the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) under took the mission. NATO accomplished the mission for the United States. Soon after the defeat of the LTTE militarily what the United States did to Sri Lanka. It did try to haul political and military leaderships of Sri Lanka before international criminal court saying that it had committed war crimes and crimes against humanity at the final phase of the war with the LTTE. So what about the killings of innocent people in thousands in Iraq, Afghanistan and recently in Pakistan by drone attacks? Who is responsible for those killings? While violating human rights grossly around the world the US has a habit of pointing it finger at old democracies like Sri Lanka to get its standards of human rights corrected. The US is no longer the world police it does not have any right to command the countries of the world while committing crimes around the world. The US must set precedence by safe guarding the international norms of human rights without preaching cant to the world. No country would pay heed what the US says unless it get corrected itself in its conduct in the matters of human rights.

  • 0
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    We also were saying the same, Basil!

  • 0
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    We are helpless. Everything including Law & Order politicized here. He is a dual citizen and US too. Over to you dear Uncle Sam (US).

  • 0
    0

    Trash……?

  • 0
    0

    hy ? do u have a water cut in Coloimbo…?

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