17 September, 2019

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WikiLeaks: ‘Sri Lankan Military Is Taking Revenge On The ICRC’ – UN

By ColomboTelegraph

“A/S Blake regretted the current state of GSL-ICRC relations, noting the very critical role ICRC had played on human rights and the constructive relationship the GSL had previously had with the ICRC. He asked if Pascoe had raised the ICRC during his visit. Holmes surmised that the Sri Lankan military is taking revenge on the ICRC, which it believes abetted the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in the past. Holmes and Pascoe had asked the ICRC if it wanted help in retaining its mandate in Sri Lanka, but, as usual, the ICRC preferred to fight its own battles. ICRC has explained to the government what it is in Sri Lankato do; if the government does not want it there, it will leave. It has already lost access to former LTTE combatants. Expelling the ICRC, Holmes said, would be “daft.” Pascoe noted that he told FM Bogollagama earlier on September 29 thatSri Lankais going to need the ICRC to look after the rights of the 10-15,000 LTTE detainees it is presently holding.” US State Department wrote to US Embassy Colombo. 

John Holmes, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Photo: KEYSTONE

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.

Read the relevant parts of the cable;

VZCZCXRO8580
OO RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHNEH RUEHRN
DE RUEHC #2030/01 2740018
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O P 302358Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO IMMEDIATE 6041
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 3804
RUEHSW/AMEMBASSY BERN PRIORITY 6614
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 5366
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 6989
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 6995
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 8771
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 6777
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 6530
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME PRIORITY 2521
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 8154
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE PRIORITY 6500
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 0710
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9794
RUEHNEH/AMCONSUL HYDERABAD PRIORITY 0120
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA PRIORITY 3417
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 2807
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME PRIORITY 0731
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 7963
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 9427
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 STATE 102030 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/30/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM PREF PTER EAID ICRC UN IN CE NP
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA/NEPAL: SCA A/S BLAKE'S SEPTEMBER 29,
2009 MEETING WITH UN UNDER-SECRETARY GENERAL FOR POLITICAL
AFFAIRS LYNN PASCOE AND UNDER-SECRETARY GENERAL FOR
HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS JOHN HOLMES 

Classified By: SCA A/S Robert O. Blake, Jr.  Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d). 

1.  (U) September 29, 2009; 12:00 p.m.; New York. 

2.  (SBU) Participants: 

U.S.
SCA A/S Blake
Donald Camp, Senior Area Adviser, USUN
Douglas Mercado, Adviser, Humanitarian Affairs, USUN
Anthony Renzulli (SCA Notetaker) 

UN
U/SYG for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe
U/SYG for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes
Lisa Buttenheim, Director, Middle East and West Asia
Division, Dept. of Political Affairs
Anne Gueguen-Mohsen, Political Affairs Officer, Dept. of
Political Affairs
Andrew Cox, Chief of Staff to U/SYG Holmes 

3.  (C) SUMMARY.  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; India
too seemed complacent.  The status quo risks a return to
violence, he said. END SUMMARY.
----
ICRC
---- 

8.  (C) A/S Blake regretted the current state of GSL-ICRC
relations, noting the very critical role ICRC had played on
human rights and the constructive relationship the GSL had
previously had with the ICRC.  He asked if Pascoe had raised
the ICRC during his visit.  Holmes surmised that the Sri
Lankan military is taking revenge on the ICRC, which it
believes abetted the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) in the past.  Holmes
and Pascoe had asked the ICRC if it wanted help in retaining
its mandate in Sri Lanka, but, as usual, the ICRC preferred
to fight its own battles.  ICRC has explained to the
government what it is in Sri Lanka to do; if the government
does not want it there, it will leave.  It has already lost
access to former LTTE combatants.  Expelling the ICRC, Holmes
said, would be "daft."  Pascoe noted that he told FM
Bogollagama earlier on September 29 that Sri Lanka is going
to need the ICRC to look after the rights of the 10-15,000
LTTE detainees it is presently holding.
CLINTON
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    ‘daft’ or not, the objective was achieved. if i/ngos and un officials were around and they were kidnapped or killed by the ltte, blake and others would have raised hell and demanded that prabhakaran be spared. what then? then, friends, in the last 3 years we would have had a lot more bloodshed and there would be check-points all over colombo, still. blake would not be inconvenienced of course. but this is not his country.

    • 0
      0

      What strategy these bright sparks adopt to mislead the masses. Does one believe that MR defied the US and India and fought this war with the LTTE on his own terms? The UN, ICRC and MSF along with others, just vacated the North at MR’s insistency? Why is this powerful MR at the mercy of the UNHRC today, being hauled to implement the LLRC Proposals? How do you like this Joker Malinda Seneviratne suggesting that, had the UN remained and if the LTTE took any of it’s members hostage, Blake would have demanded VP to be spared? Did we not hear such story of how these people tried to intervene at the last stages of the war? Infact when the UN staff were leaving the North the civillians were crying asking them not to leave. If as this writer claim if the LTTE wanted, could have easily taken anyone or any number of them as hostage at that time. No, the LTTE was not interested as according the ‘script’ given to VP by this very Robert Blake himself had assured VP of safe passage and Devolution assured after MR’s victory consolidating his position. The only thing VP was unaware was that VP and his cadre of LTTE were to be massacred at the end. Hence they buried all their sophisticated arsenal and conceded victory to MR as planned. VP was obviously unaware that he was to be replaced by KP. Therefore now wheeler dealing is back again where MR is unable to grant devolution as promised earlier lest he gets exposed. So Robert Blake is here again as a trouble shooter to mend fences between the parties. Please note that, some Lawyers of the Sri Lankan delegation are in Geneva at the moment for a briefing for the coming UNHRC sessions. International Intrigue, at its best and I doubt whether our people will ever understand.

    • 0
      0

      Malinda Seneviratne:
      Why don’t you crawl under the Rajapaksa Rock that has and will continue to provide you with shelter?

      Part of this comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
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  • 0
    0

    If Blake crying out loud for ICRC, then everybody can understand what really ICRC is doing.

  • 0
    0

    Gamini, Just because someone doesnt tow your line, that person doesnt become a joker !
    Now I dont agree with you, so does that mean you are a joker or are you ?!
    Pls dont show your true class or un-class for the lack of a better word!

    So according to your theory, that mass murderer was all the while playing to a script eh ?
    Did you forget the cries of “stop the war” from every nook and cranny of the so called western world ?
    Who pushed the effort through ? You ? UNP ? TNA ? CIA ? Those howlers called the JVP ? Indians ? Chinese ? Who ?

    Great….You really do have a great sense of imagination!

    • 0
      0

      Senaratne, I did not know you are Malinda’s mouth piece or any other piece. However when some one try to consture someting completely to the contrary, to what is most Logical, you ask whether one is joking and the person as a Joker. It is in that context the term joker was used and for the open manner, how Malinda Seneviratne has been trying to cover up MR writing cock and bull. You do not have to agree with me, but you could disprove what I say, if the circumstancial evidence is otherwise. But when the hidden agendas are clear from what has taken place, there is little doubt. You are questionning, as to who pushed the effort through? You believe it is MR, good for you. For those of you who have no imagination, it is not surprising, when evidence points otherwise. Sad but true.

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