“Finally, de Maio said that ICRC had received a pretty straightforward message from DefMin Gotabaya Rajapaksa that it was time for ICRC to wrap up its operations in Sri Lanka. ICRC is a conflict organization according to Rajapaksa, and now that the conflict is over Sri Lanka sees ICRC as ‘a stain on the white page of the post-conflict period.’ the US Mission to UN informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The “Confidential” cable discuses what had happened on the ground during and since the conflict. The cable was signed by the US Ambassador to Geneva Clint Williamson on July 15, 2009.
After a meeting with Jacque de Maio, ICRC Head of Operations for South Asia on July 9, 2009, just two months after the war, the Ambassador wrote;”De Maio said others in the GSL have suggested that if ICRC leaves and then comes back as part of a post-conflict approach under a new memorandum of understanding, this might be acceptable. De Maio stated that ICRC is trying to sound accommodating and will pull out of its three eastern sub-offices, where its work was mostly done. ICRC does not want to close up shop completely, however, so it is telling the GSL it will scale back in the hope it will be allowed to stay, as it sees many elements of its core conflict mandate still at play, including war wounded, IDPs, family tracing and detainees. De Maio asked the USG to consider weighing in on ICRC‘s behalf, letting the GSL know that how this plays out will be a factor in the US approach to a post-conflict Sri Lanka. Amb. Williamson promised to raise this with A/S Blake upon his return to Washington.”
Other related stories to this cable;