“Expediting aid to Jaffna via Sri Lanka’s large and powerful neighbor makes perfect logistical and economic sense and will help to temporarily defuse an incipient controversy over a UN resupply effort by sea. At the same time, the Charge’s comments make clear that India remains sensitive to potential charges that India’s provision of aid opens the door to claims by both the Tamil and Sinhalese sides that India is again meddling in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and recounts details of a meeting US Embassy had with the Indian Acting High Commissioner Manikkamon. The cable was written by the US Ambassador to Colombo,Robert O. Blake on November 07, 2006.
The ambassador wrote; “President Mahinda Rakapaksa has announced plans to travel to New Delhi November 26-29 where he will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and address a conference of Asian mayors in Dehra Dun. Acting High Commissioner Manikkam told DCM that the heads of state will focus on defense cooperation, economic links, and the ‘political situation,’ i.e., Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. Manikkam stressed that India supports the Sri Lankan military only defensively. He mentioned India’s provision to the GSL of ‘defensive’ military equipment, such as explosive detection dogs, and training programs, which include joint exercises and the training of 400 Special Protection Force commandos for diplomatic VIPs. He noted that detection dogs had discovered several truckloads of LTTE explosives but that ‘we don’t expect Colombo to be targeted’ at this juncture.”
“On economic cooperation, Manikkam said the Government of India (GOI) and the GSL are pursuing an enhanced free trade agreement. Manikkam expressed concern over the Sri Lanka Supreme Court’s October ruling against the merger of the North and East provinces. He described the de-merger as a major setback which has “strengthened the LTTE by demonstrating that the GSL can’t be trusted. Post will report by septel on the Ambassador’s November 7 meeting with Presidential Advisor Lalith Weeratunga on GSL efforts to supply food and other commodities to Jaffna.” Blake further wrote.