US ambassador-turned-consultant hints at capitalising on ‘shared interests’ with Gotabaya

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 20 November 2019, 23:04 GMT]
“The key question for the United States is now whether the two countries [Sri Lanka and the US] can reset their dialogue on the Indo-Pacific and regional peace and capitalize on the interests they share,” says Ambassador Teresita Schaffer, a retired career member of the U.S. Foreign Service and a former U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992-1995). In an interview conducted for the blog of the Council on Foreign Relations, by Alyssa Ayres, one of her colleague at the Washington DC based consulting firm, McLarty Associates, Shaffer mentions one of the ‘interests’ shared by the US as “preventing the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam from resuming their campaign”.

“Both the emerging U.S.-Sri Lankan security relationship and the country’s relatively successful economy make it a natural partner in the Indo-Pacific region,” Schaffer states.

“Since the Trump administration completely withdrew from participation in the council, the United States has effectively removed itself from the most important international forum for promoting human rights in Sri Lanka,” she states adding that the US played a crucial role in building the “consensus for the resolution on Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council in 2015”.

Former US Ambassador Robert O'Blake leads the India and South Asia practice of McLarty Associates as a senior director.

Mr Blake was visiting Colombo after the Easter Attacks delivering a lecture titled ‘US Foreign Policy towards China and South Asia and what it means for Sri Lanka’ in May 2019.

Blake was praising Gotabaya for effective coordination of intelligence during the times of war. He was enticing Colombo to engage with China, the USA and other countries in parallel, a paradigm which enabled Colombo to annihilate the military power of Tamils through a genocidal onslaught in 2009.

Bob was the US Ambassador in Colombo during the genocidal onslaught on Vanni in 2009. He was promoting US military-to-military support to Colombo in exchange for minor human rights gestures to overcome the challenges posed by the human-rights related reservations in the US Congress.

McLarty Associates is having offices in Brussels, Beijing, and Singapore and specialises in five areas: 1) Banking, Insurance and Financial Services 2) Digital Services & Technology Hardware 3) Food and Drink 4) Healthcare and 5) Oil & Gas.

“Since 1998, McLarty Associates has built a team of nearly 100 seasoned international specialists with expertise in all the major markets of the world, including former diplomats and senior officials, trade negotiators, intelligence officers, journalists, academics, and business people,” a description of the company states.

The ‘strategic partner’ of McLarty Associates in India is DUA Consulting, which is led by Vice Admiral PJ Jacob (Retd), who leads the company's marine, aviation, security practice and strategic advisory services.

Vice Admiral Jacob had commanded India's Eastern Fleet, and he was Director-General of the Indian Coast Guard. PJ Jacob was active in strategic planning and charting the future development of the Indian Navy and later became India's Vice Chief of the Naval Staff before his retirement in 2001.

In 2003, Jacob was advising the SL Government along with India’s former Army Chief-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Satish Nambiar during the Norway-facilitated peace talks between the LTTE and the GoSL. Their “advisory” role complicated the peace process.


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External Links:
Council on Foreign Relations: The Geopolitical Consequences of the Sri Lankan Election


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