Rajapakse, brothers responsible for alleged War Crimes in Sri Lanka, says leaked US cable

[TamilNet, Thursday, 02 December 2010, 01:20 GMT]
In a startling setback for the war-crimes concealment agenda of Sri Lanka's President Rajapakse, and his siblings holding high level positions in Sri Lanka's defense and civilian sectors, a January 2010 cable from US Embassy in Sri Lanka, made public by Wikileaks Thursday, acknowledges that U.S. is cognizant of the fact that "responsibility for many alleged crimes rests with the country's senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka." Ambassador Butenis further reasons the lack of progress in internal investigations: "There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking wholesale investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while that regime or government remained in power."

The contents of the said cable is revealing in the behind-the-scene face of American diplomacy vis-a-vis Sri Lanka (and other countries).

"Accountability for alleged crimes committed by GSL [Government of Sri Lanka] troops and officials during the war is the most difficult issue on our bilateral agenda," the US Ambassador says in the cable.

"While Tamils have told us they would like to see some form of accountability, they have been pragmatic in what they can expect and have focused instead on securing greater rights and freedoms, resolving the IDP question, and improving economic prospects in the war-ravaged and former LTTE-occupied areas. Indeed, while they wanted to keep the issue alive for possible future action, Tamil leaders with whom we spoke in Colombo, Jaffna, and elsewhere said now was not time and that pushing hard on the issue would make them "vulnerable,"" Ambassdor says, indicating the culture of fear prevailing in Colombo where dissenters of Rajapakse Government have been known to disappear or get killed.

On diaspora activities the cable notes, "[t]here is an obvious split, however, between the Tamil diaspora and Tamils in Sri Lanka on how and when to address the issue. While we understand the former would like to see the issue as an immediate top-priority issue, most Tamils in Sri Lanka appear to think it is both unrealistic and counter-productive to push the issue too aggressively now."

A spokesperson for Tamils Against Genocide (TAG), a US-based activist group, said: "The release of the Channel-4 execution video is an addition to key material evidence for war crime prosecution, and US's internal thinking that Rajapakses are allegedly culpable of committing war-crimes is of high probative value, and a persuasive factor in US courts. Diaspora should not rest until all perpetrators of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and the massacre of more than 40,000 Tamil civilians are brought to justice."


Chronology:


External Links:
Wikileak: Sri Lanka - Ambassador reports Sri Lankan President responsible for "alleged war crimes"
Guardian: WikiLeaks cables: 'Sri Lankan president responsible for massacre of Tamils'

 

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