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Gotabhaya refused access by US officials

October 6, 2009

This article appeared in Sri Lankan media. Please note we cannot verify the independence of the information in this report.

Colombo Times: US officials refuse to meet Gotabhaya

US Deputy Secretary of State for Asia Robert Blake has turned down several attempts by Defence Secretary who is in the US and has even refused to speak to him over the telephone. Robert Blake is a former ambassador for the US in Sri Lanka.

During his tenure as US ambassador in Sri Lanka, the Defence Secretary treated him similar to a terrorist.

Robert Blake has refused to meet with the Defence Secretary even after Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse has made a request for him to meet with his brother. Diplomatic sources said the Defence Secretary has made four attempts to meet with Blake.

The Defence Secretary planned to meet with Blake to minimize the propaganda being carried out against Sri Lanka among the international community over the violation of human rights and media suppression.

A senior Foreign Ministry official told Lanka News Web that the refusal of Blake and other US officials to meet with the Defence Secretary in the backdrop of Sri Lanka being accused of war crimes has further isolated the country in the international arena.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. vinod malvani permalink
    October 6, 2009 3:26 pm

    Misleading.

    This post can mislead tamil people as well as others. why ? writer says “During his tenure as US ambassador in Sri Lanka, the Defence Secretary treated him similar to a terrorist”. This is wrong and crap. sorry to say that.

    (1) excerpt of blake’s speech at the galle face hotel in colombo not more than 3 days after sri lankan armed forces killed tamil tiger leader ….

    “Looking back on Sri Lanka’s history, I don’t know if I could have chosen a more eventful or defining three years to serve as Ambassador. I arrived in September of 2006, shortly after the Government began its campaign in the East to capture LTTE-controlled territory. Now I depart one day after President Mahinda Rajapaksa announced to the nation the end of the country’s decades-long battle against the LTTE and his call to all Sri Lankans to “get together and build up this nation” source – http://usembassycolombo.blogspot.com

    ++++++ in his speech, he seems to be quite satisfied with is tenure

    (2) blake meeting army commander

    06 April 2009, ColomboPage + Defence.lk

    “Sri Lanka Army Commander Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka today briefed the US Ambassador in Sri Lanka Robert Blake over the current situation in the country …
    “The Army commander has given brief details on the latest military achievements, loss of LTTE leaders in the offensives, growing civil unrest inside the No Fire Zone (NFZ) and probable future scenarios.
    “Army Commander further assured the US Ambassador that the troops are carrying the humanitarian operations without any harm to the civilians.
    “Reportedly the Army Commander informed the Ambassador of the updates on the status related to the military offensives north and east of Puthukkudyiruppu in Mullaitivu.”

    ++++++ do you think gotabaya will ever allow his subordinate to meet a “terrorist” at the last stage of their military campaign and brief him on the status related to military onslaught?

    (3) on 16 May 2009 in India – US Pacific Command Chief Admiral Timothy J Keating speaking on sri lanka (source – zeenews.com (india). this is two days prior to killing of tiger leadership.

    “We had sent a military assessment team about two to three months ago under a Brigadier General of the United States Marine Corps to Sri Lanka to work with our embassy there and abide by the situation.
    “We prepared a range of military options that were and remain available (for the crisis)
    “US had called on the Tamil tigers to cease and desist and asked the Sri Lanka government to be more vigorous in pursuing a solution.”
    (The US Pacific Commander was on a day-long visit to India and met Indian Navy chief Admiral Sureesh Mehta, National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon.)

    ++++++ do you figure out any hostility towards sri lankan regime ? rather other way around. he asked tigers to surrender and he talked of “couple of military options”. what were they?

    (4) 20 may 2009 – blake at his last press conf in colombo (source – http://usembassycolombo.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html) ….

    Question from the media : Does the US support a war crimes investigation?

    Ambassador Blake: On the question of war crimes, we think it is important for the international community to have more information about what happened on both sides during the recent offensive in Northern Sri Lanka. That is one of the reasons that we press for access for the ICRC and for the UN, so they can better understand the facts on the ground and review the situation.

    ++++++ Blake needs more information ! Who is international community?

    All in all what i am trying to say is that posts of this nature can mislead all in creating a picture – USA was against the military onslaught. They all are comrades in arms time and again !!!

    We all need to learn to differentiate PR statements issued by Foreign Offices, State Departments, Diplomats etc from Policy and Deeds of a state. Unfortunately in most cases they are quite different.

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