Sri Lanka: US blasted for meeting diaspora - Lodges Protest
The government has lodged a strong protest with the US Department of State over Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Robert Blake’s recent meeting with pro LTTE activists, sources said.
Through the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington DC, the Sri Lanka government has very effectively registered its anger with the US Department of State and Robert Blake’s role regarding Sri Lankan affairs.
It is learnt that the government has clearly pointed out that so- called Tamil Diaspora groups are LTTE front organizations and that their activists are LTTE sympathizers.
At the meeting with Tamil Diaspora, Robert Blake guaranteed that persons in the US, who may be affiliated with the LTTE, unless they break US laws by providing material assistance, will not be allowed to be “prosecuted or persecuted’’ by Sri Lankan authorities.
The US State Department organized a Tamil Diaspora meeting at the department of state in Washington DC, on August 11.
Robert Blake and acting ambassador in Sri Lanka James Moore chaired the meeting with sixteen representatives of Tamil Diaspora groups, based in the US.
US Tamil Political Action Council (USTPAC), umbrella organization for Tamils Against Genocide, Americans for Peace in Sri Lanka, Federation of Tamil Associations of North America, HELP Advocates Sri Lanka, Ilankai Tamil Sangam, North Carolinians For Peace, People for Equality and Relief in Lanka, Tamils of California, Tamils of New England, Tamils of Ohio, and World Thamil Organization - USA, issued a statement after the meeting with Robert Blake and other State Department officials. According to that statement Robert Blake said that the US is a strong supporter of devolution of power in Sri Lanka and a measure of autonomy for the Tamils in the areas they predominate.
“The Sri Lankan President’s statement that a political solution would be looked into only after the presidential election in 2010 is disappointing’’, said Secretary Blake. “Political reconciliation will signal the real end to the conflict. Devolution and reconciliation are factors in the benchmarks set up to assess progress. The State Dept. sees the Tamil Diaspora as an important stakeholder for future reconciliation” USTPAC statement said.
The USA, humiliated by the failure of their attempts to humiliate and also throttle Sri Lanka has sunk to such a low that even they will meet with a group of terrorist supporting Tamils as the last straw to strengthen their own hands to show that they are strong and can pressurize Sri Lanka into taking certain actions - whether beneficial or otherwise to the country.
It is interesting to find out how many members of the Tamil diaspora these 16 groups represented, for all Tamils do not see eye to eye with most of these groups. It is a known fact that these groups do not represent the majority of the Tamil diaspora, although they would like to think so.
The silence of the majority of the Tamil diaspora does not give theses associations etc the right to speak for them at meetings and forums. Also, Blake and Moore may be on their own and looking for their own identities themselves during times of humiliation by a country which they were used to brow beat as and when they wanted.
The Presidential elections in Sri Lanka is slated to be held in January 2010, approximately four months away. It is puzzling to realize why a group which tried to achieve eelam for the past 30 years without success and cannot wait for about four months for a political solution to be formulated.
It is well remembered that Prabhakaran and his men rejected suggestions of political solutions when they were on top and then turned 180 degrees when they were on the run.
The President of Sri Lanka has already said that he was considering the adoption of the 13th amendment of the constitution. (So much for a group of people who consist of less than 10% of the total population of the country.)
One thing is for sure. A political solution - Yes. Eelam - No.