Wednesday, December 7, 2011

WikiLeaks: GL a Pomme, Mlinda a Yankee, US cable contends

By Colombo Telegraph -

“In pursuing this pro-U.S. course, Wickremesinghe has been supported by two dynamic advisers, Minister of Constitutional Affairs G.L. Peiris and Minister of Economic Reform Milinda Moragoda.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” analyses the Sri Lanka’s pro – US foreign policy under the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The cable was written on May 29, 2003 by the US Ambassador to Colombo E. Ashley Wills.

Ambassador Wills wrote “In general, the Oxford-educated Peiris’ focus has been more on cultivating ties with former colonial power Britain and other Commonwealth countries, but he is very pro-U.S. and often visits Washington. More than Peiris’, Moragoda’s direct focus has been on cultivating relations with the U.S. and with India. Re the U.S., the intelligent, articulate Moragoda is a perfect fit. Born in Washington, D.C, he is a dual national Amcit (please protect) married to an American, with plenty of Washington connections, many from his days as a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and at Harvard. A “big picture” person, Moragoda is also highly aware that the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, and he feels that it is better that Sri Lanka recognize that fact and work within it.”

Placing a note the ambassador further wrote “Of late, the duo of Peiris and Moragoda have been joined by a new pro-U.S. player: In just several months on the job, Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe, a U.S.-educated financier and close friend of the PM, has already made a mark in Washington.”

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

Related news to this cable; WikiLeaks: “Ranil is a Yankee, like his uncle” US cable implies

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000909   SIPDIS   DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS, S/P, IO, INR/NESA; NSC FOR E. MILLARD   LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL   E.O. 12958:  DECL:  05-29-13 TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR CE UN SUBJECT:  Sri Lanka's foreign policy:  Prime Minister tilts toward U.S., but faces resistance   Refs:  Colombo 873, and previous   (U) Classified by Ambassador E. Ashley Wills. Reasons:  1.5 (b,d).   1. (C) SUMMARY: Since coming to power, PM Wickremesinghe has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy closer to the U.S.  In doing this, he has had successes, including the signing of an ICC waiver with the U.S. and in regard to Iraq where the GSL steered a constructive course.  Moreover, one of his key ministers recently proposed that the GSL take the lead in forming some sort of counterweight to NAM.  That said, the PM's initiative has faced stiff resistance from MFA bureaucrats.  In addition, the president and Opposition, backed by much of the press and the intelligentsia, have cut into his room for maneuver via their generally anti-U.S. biases.   2.  (C) In the post-Iraq war environment, we think the GSL will continue to want to draw closer to the U.S. With the PM facing a precarious cohabitation situation, however, additional steps toward the USG will have to be carefully plotted out.  Nonetheless, with Sri Lanka facing a difficult peace process and needing help to constrain the Tamil Tigers, we think the larger trend in the country provides ballast for the PM's pro-U.S. proclivities.  END SUMMARY.   -------------------- PM tilts toward U.S. --------------------   3. (C) Since coming to power in late 2001, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy closer to the U.S. Wickremesinghe's pro-U.S. views have been long-standing and are in part a function of family connections.  His uncle, J.R. Jayewardene, for example, was Sri Lanka's president from the late 1970s through the late 1980s, and maintained very close links with the U.S. (Note:  In fact, Jayewardene was called "Yankee Dickey" by leftists for years.)  Moreover, Wickremesinghe, who comes from a very wealthy business family, is a strong advocate of free enterprise and strongly opposed to the disastrous socialist policies of former governments. Wickremesinghe is also surprisingly knowledgeable about U.S. history and politics; he is an avid reader about the American Civil War, U.S. military history, and U.S. legislation.  The prime minister's pro-U.S. views also emerge out of his political calculus that Sri Lanka needs the support of the international community, especially the U.S., to constrain the Tamil Tigers. With the peace process his government's number one priority bar none, the prime minister has worked hard to secure U.S. support for his efforts in this area from very early on in his tenure.   4.  (C) In pursuing this pro-U.S. course, Wickremesinghe has been supported by two dynamic advisers, Minister of Constitutional Affairs G.L. Peiris and Minister of Economic Reform Milinda Moragoda.  (Note:  Beyond their official titles, both Peiris and Moragoda play key roles as peace process negotiators and policy formulators for the GSL.)  In general, the Oxford-educated Peiris' focus has been more on cultivating ties with former colonial power Britain and other Commonwealth countries, but he is very pro-U.S. and often visits Washington.  More than Peiris', Moragoda's direct focus has been on cultivating relations with the U.S. and with India.  Re the U.S., the intelligent, articulate Moragoda is a perfect fit. Born in Washington, D.C, he is a dual national Amcit (please protect) married to an American, with plenty of Washington connections, many from his days as a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and at Harvard.  A "big picture" person, Moragoda is also highly aware that the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, and he feels that it is better that Sri Lanka recognize that fact and work within it.   5.  (C) (((Note:  Of late, the duo of Peiris and Moragoda have been joined by a new pro-U.S. player:  In just several months on the job, Ambassador Devinda Subasinghe, a U.S.-educated financier and close friend of the PM, has already made a mark in Washington.)))  WILLS


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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Only Gotabhaya thought a military victory was possible – Erik Solheim

By Colombo Telegraph -

“No one, may be with the exception of Gothabaya Rajapaksa, but he’s the only person I can mention who thought a military victory was possible. I was very hard to say very close to Indian intelligence and an enormous amount of time throughout this process and never, ever did any Indian official hint that a military victory was possible until mid 2008. Then they started, I observed the change in Mr.M.K.Narayanan and others and gradually shift into the position that may be, state may be the government can wipe out the tigers military victory.”Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim said last week

“Sri Lankans try to manipulate every single day for whole this 10 years, for their business interest part of that they tried to manipulate all. We may be fool but no so foolish that we understand that they tried to manipulate.” Minster of the Environment and international Development Erik Solheim further said.


Eric Solheim made this remarks last week in Oslo seminar followed by the launch of the evaluation report of the Norwegian Peace effort in Sri Lanka. The evaluation has been performed by CMI in Bergen and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, and deals with the Norwegian peace effort in Sri Lanka between 1997 and 2009.

Following is the full text of the speech made by Erik Solheim

Let me start by thanking Mr.Gunnar and his team for a very valuable and interesting report. I’ve not been able to study everything at this stage, we will go through it, all the big and small parts…the big and small issues which are covered by the report and see to what extent I can inform and to see what I can do to assist Sri Lanka in the future and more importantly how this can help Norwegian efforts in other peace processes.

Norway is involved in one way or other in may be 20 peace processes in world and very few of them, at the moment, not as a main actor as in Sri Lanka, but in supporting the parties and supporting other international actors in bringing peace so it’s very valuable to look into all these experiences which are experience, this may be the first time, certainly, it isn’t normal, that one involved in the peace process is commissioning a report in to all the positive and negatives of what happened.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

Monday, April 11, 2011

Full Text of Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010

Facts and Figures: U.S. human rights situation

BEIJING, April 10 (Xinhua) -- China's Information Office of the State Council, or cabinet, published a report titled "The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010" here Sunday. Following is the full text:

Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010

The State Department of the United States released its Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2010 on April 8, 2011. As in previous years, the reports are full of distortions and accusations of the human rights situation in more than 190 countries and regions including China. However, the United States turned a blind eye to its own terrible human rights situation and seldom mentioned it. The Human Rights Record of the United States in 2010 is prepared to urge the United States to face up to its own human rights issues.

I. On Life, Property and Personal Security

The United States reports the world's highest incidence of violent crimes, and its people's lives, properties and personal security are not duly protected.

Every year, one out of every five people is a victim of a crime in the United States. No other nation on earth has a rate that is higher (10 Facts About Crime in the United States that Will Blow Your Mind, Beforitsnews.com). In 2009, an estimated 4.3 million violent crimes, 15.6 million property crimes and 133,000 personal thefts were committed against U.S. residents aged 12 or older, and the violent crime rate was 17.1 victimizations per 1,000 persons, according to a report published by the U.S. Department of Justice on October 13, 2010 (Criminal Victimization 2009, U.S. Department of Justice, http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov). The crime rate surged in many cities in the United States. St. Louis in Missouri reported more than 2,070 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, making it the nation's most dangerous city (The Associated Press, November 22, 2010). Detroit residents experienced more than 15,000 violent crimes each year, which means the city has 1,600 violent crimes per 100,000 residents. The United States' four big cities - Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York - reported increases in murders in 2010 from the previous year (USA Today, December 5, 2010). Twenty-five murder cases occurred in Los Angeles County in a week from March 29 to April 4, 2010; and in the first half of 2010, 373 people were killed in murders in Los Angeles County (www.lapdonline.org). As of November 11, New York City saw 464 homicide cases, up 16 percent from the 400 reported at the same time last year (The Washington Post, November 12, 2010).

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Friday, January 14, 2011

MR orders full inquiry

While denying reports that the Sri Lankan Navy had fired on Indian fishermen, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that he instructed the Navy to carry out a detailed investigation into the incident, the Hindu reported today.

Talking over breakfast to foreign correspondents at his Temple Trees residence in Colombo this morning, he said that the Sri Lankan Navy was not involved in the incident.

Asked if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had spoken to him about the incident, he said that the Prime Minister had not. Asked if the Sri Lankan government would take action in the event of the firing being committed by its security forces, he said that despite the preliminary investigation - which established that the Navy was not involved -- he had asked the Navy Commander to conduct a detailed investigation.

The Sri Lankan Navy’s chief of operations, said that the incident occurred well within the Indian waters. “The sea is very shallow in these areas and the position of all our ships’ locations are monitored by land-based and other equipment. This is in the open and anyone can check,” he told The Hindu, denying that the Sri Lankan Navy had anything to do with the incident.
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