Statements on Sri Lanka From State Department
Posted on October 12th, 2009

Ira de Silva London, Canada

Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 14:30:21 -0400

Mr. Robert Blake
Assistant Secretary of State, South & Central Asia
State Department

Dear Sir:
I am writing to you again because of the latest statement by Mrs. Hillary Clinton at the U.N. in which she accused  Sri Lanka of using  rape as a “tool of war”. It is possible to question if Mrs. Clinton has any knowledge of what took place in Sri Lanka much less have any details and that she is merely basing her wild, inaccurate statements on what officials in the State Department are providing her with. Her statement was positive – not the usual diplomatic double speak such as “alleged” rape. This is not the first occasion that a U.S. Secretary of State has made false statements to the U.N. based on information provided by staff.  As you have been the ambassador to Sri Lanka the question is whether you provided her with this false information or was it someone else? If it was someone else, having been the ambassador to Sri Lanka and now responsible for Asia, why did you not correct this lie or were you unaware of what the statement was? As I indicated to you in my last correspondence I stated that you are giving the impression that you are pro-LTTE, which you denied. Given this latest falsehood, would you not agree that there is reason for Sri Lankans to believe that you are pro-LTTE?
Mrs. Clinton’s statement was followed by the current ambassador in Sri Lanka stating “during the 26-year long war in Sri Lanka, there were allegations of rape and sexual violence, just as in other conflicts. Secretary Clinton’s statement was to raise awareness of such brutality, not to implicate specific perpetrators”. I would like to point out to you that during the “26-year long war”, even the LTTE propaganda carried out on never accused Sri Lanka of using “rape as a tool of war”. Where do you think Ms. Butenis gets her information from? It seems that she too is making false statements on a whim because  both statements by her and Mrs. Clinton can not be substantiated.
Another statement  issued by the State Department as a clarification through its ambassador-at-Large for global women’s issues Melanne Verveer absolved Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa administration of using rape as a tool of war saying that “it had no recent evidence of women being raped while in Sri Lankan government custody.” It is a fact that nowhere in Mrs. Clintons statement did she mention dates leaving the impression that it had taken place throughout the conflict. I do not need to point out to you that there is ample evidence of women being raped while in U.S. custody. Does that mean that the U.S. is using “rape as a tool of war”?

Both the statements by Ms. Butenis and Melanne Verveer were attempting to explain the statement by Ms. Clinton only proving that there was no basis for her statement at the U.N. Then Philip J. Crowley, assistant secretary for public affairs muddies the water further when in response to a question regarding Mrs. Clinton’s remarks on Sri Lanka he speaks of her visit to Africa and states that “in these conflict areas, you know, the most vulnerable of our population are the ones that bear, you know, the brunt of the impact of these conflicts”. If it is a general statement on “conflict areas” why make a positive statement on Sri Lanka? Further, he displays his ignorance when he says “ƒ”¹…”significant levels of rape documented (he thinks, he says) through 2002 or 2003 in various reports, including State Department reports as well as Amnesty International reports’. He does not seem to be aware that in this period there was NO war. There was a dubious “ceasefire agreement” dictated to Norway by the LTTE and foisted on Sri Lanka by the west whereby the LTTE were able to re-arm, re-group and extend their tentacles throughout the island assisted by the Norwegians while the armed forces of Sri Lanka were confined to their barracks.   

Yours truly,
Ira de Silva
London, Canada

Yours truly,
Ira de Silva
London, Canada

Having falsely accused Sri Lanka of using rape as a tool of war it appears that the State Department is changing it’s statement every time it is asked about the accusation. My question to you is where did secretary Clinton receive the report that the Sri Lankan armed forces used rape as a tool of war?  The Genocide Task Force Report of  December 2008 cautioned the State Department that when diplomatic and intelligence reporting from the embassies overseas is inadequate the people in Washington make statements and judgements from dubious information and assessments but given that you were the ambassador to Sri Lanka until a few months ago and are now Assistant Secretary responsible for Asia, did you not have any input or were you responsible for the information on which this statement was based?
When I last wrote to you it was after you issued a statement on Sri Lanka. I indicated that in my view U.S. policy appears to be one of vindictiveness towards Sri Lanka because it did not submit to dictates by the U.S. and other western countries to stop the war when Prabhakaran was surrounded. This current statement from Mrs. Clinton confirms that vindictiveness and this time the State Department has gone so far as to lie in it’s effort to vilify the Government of Sri Lanka. I trust that this was not the outcome of your interaction with the Tamil diaspora in the U.S. who are the same American Tamil diaspora that funded LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka, lobbied successive U.S. governments to achieve their goal of dividing Sri Lanka and contacted Mrs. Clinton to save Prabhakaran in May this year. They must have informed you that they have not given up their goal of dividing Sri Lanka and have set up a group in exile to spend the millions they have at their disposal to achieve their goal.  They are American citizens promoting the division of another country by violence, extensive lobbying and funding politicians in the west to “buy” their support against the people and government of Sri Lanka. Given the continued efforts of the Tamil diaspora in the U.S. to continue the LTTE aim of dividing Sri Lanka, can you explain why you believe that these Tamils outside Sri Lanka who have and continue to support the division of Sri Lanka by any means available to them should be given a role in the future of Sri Lanka? Should your interaction with them not be to wean them away from the goal of dividing Sri Lanka if one is to believe that the U.S. believes what it preaches to the world about being against terrorism and for democracy?

As for your continued statements on devolution and the future of Sri Lanka, it is for the people of Sri Lanka to decide whether they want devolution and what form of government they want. The U.S. is supposedly a country that believes in democracy, not dictatorship or bullying (the “ugly American syndrome”) when it comes to dealing with other countries. Non-LTTE Sri Lankans have clearly indicated that they do not want LTTE terrorism paid for by the Tamil diaspora, that they want the government to rid the country of terrorism and provide a stable environment in which they can live without fear and try to rebuild the country. It is no secret that thousands of LTTE trained murderers are among the people in the camps and it seems that what the U.S. and other western countries are attempting to do is to pressure Sri Lanka to release these terrorists into the general public so that they can re-group and re-arm and perhaps in an underhand way achieve what they wanted in May this year, namely safe passage for LTTE terrorists. If the U.S. is unwilling to release those they are holding in prisons because they think they are possible terrorists, why is the U.S. wanting known terrorists to be released?
If the U.S. has any real commitment to democracy in the world, it should help Sri Lanka stabilise rather then make unsubstantiated accusations and attempt to dictate and bully Sri Lanka even by lying.  It appears that what is happening now with your responsibility for Asia is a pro LTTE Tamil diaspora influencing U.S. policy and the State Department being a vindictive bully even if it has to make up lies to achieve that goal. 

One Response to “Statements on Sri Lanka From State Department”

  1. gdesilva Says:

    Hey, Bob, liar…liar….pants on fire!

    I’d bet that poor Robert got it all the time when he was in school.

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