Home arrow News arrow US Ambassador, Mr. Blake, plays Politics with Tamil newspaper:Professor Aaron Rajah,California,USA
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
 
 
US Ambassador, Mr. Blake, plays Politics with Tamil newspaper:Professor Aaron Rajah,California,USA PDF Print E-mail
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By: Professor Aaron Rajah, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
Being a bit shy in not responding to US tax payers repeated concerns regarding human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the United States Ambassador for Sri Lanka, Mr. Blake, took the Tamil daily newspaper “Thinakkural” on his standard lip service trip. In his rare and exclusive interview with the Tamil daily newspaper, Mr. Blake once again mislead and misrepresented some of the core issues concerning the troubled island’s human rights violations and made contradictions regarding the American people value of human rights.

 

Here are some of the selected questions and answers of the interview that took place on 02/20/2007:

Question: What was the purpose and your experience of your recent visit to Jaffna? Do you think that even after this past one year experience with the current government that the Tamils in the North would still believe in the international community?

Mr. Blake: Yes, I had made the visit to Jaffna and understand that people are living amongst a very tight situation.  The current Sri Lankan government is trying its best to resolve such issues but there is much that still needs to be done. The human rights minister recently visited Jaffna and I am happy about it. I believe that this is sign that the government is interested in resolving these problems.

My Comment: Mr. Blake had no clue why the minister of human rights, Minister Samarasinghe, visited Jaffna; he did not even follow up on the issue. The fact that the human rights minister had visited does not mean anything except the fact that the “dog and pony” show to divert some international pressure on abduction and killings. After his trip, the minister himself said the following to BBC Sandeshaya after a fact finding mission in Jaffna on or around February 12th, 2007: “If this happens while the curfew is in place, we cannot deny our responsibility." After his visit the killings and abductions increased, this was well documented by the human rights commission in Jaffna. How could the increase in abductions and killings after the minister’s recent visit to Jaffna be a good sign in that the government is trying to resolve the human rights issue? Mr. Blake has become a spokesperson of the Sri Lankan government rather than a representative of the United States interest. Shouldn’t he be honest and say, “I still do not see any improvement even after the Sri Lankan human rights minister’s recent trip to Jaffna?” But instead he decided to misrepresent the national interest of the peace loving American people.

Question: What is your opinion regarding the increased abductions and missing persons in Sri Lanka?

Mr. Blake:  Sri Lanka’s human rights were worse last year (2006). The American HR report is supposed to come next month and it will include all countries. We are satisfied that the President had appointed Presidential HR commissions. USA and other international nations appointed representatives to the commissions. We have only appointed them to monitor and give advice to the commissions. This task had started and I believe that this is important, but feel it’s only one portion of the way to resolve the issue. The government must find solutions for the abductions, missing persons, and HR violations; the international community will help.

My Comments: There is a saying here in the United states, “do not get caught with your hands in the cookie jar.” Mr. Blake spoke in double talk on the issue of human rights violations and abductions in Sri Lanka. Mr. Blake fails to mention the previous track records of so-called presidential human rights inquiries which went nowhere. He is very naïve in saying that the people who commit human rights violations must also have the opportunity of an investigation into the matter. When did the perpetrators of a crime become involved in their own investigation? Does he feel that we have amnesia? How come Mr. Blake fails to mention that previous Presidential inquiries, such has the Binduwella massacre, went nowhere? In fact more recently, in the killing of five Tamil high school students from Trincomalee on January 2nd, 2006, there was a so-called President inquiry that went nowhere and yet Mr. Blake puts all the eggs in one basket. Should the ambassador be honest and say, “Yes, these HR inquiries are helpful but they have been done before without any positive result; these inquiries do not mean anything up until the actions of those who kill their own citizens are not only brought to justice but also receive punished”. But he defends a foreign government for killing its citizens for the last 25 years. As an American, I am very much shamed that you, Mr. Blake, have decided to represent me as well as the peace loving Americans.

Question: Do you  believe that Tamil people have genuine hardship?

Mr. Blake: Yes, Tamil people do have genuine hardship and there must be a solution. The government’s attempts to increase power-sharing must address this.

My Comments: Mr. Blake seems to find himself between a rock and a hard place. Mr. Blake very effectively side lines the core issue of the Tamil people: self-determination. It was a summer day for Mr. Blake when in May 14th, 1976 elected Tamil law makers decided to put forth the Vaddukoddai resolution for self-determination for the Tamil people. This was not about power-sharing, but determination of self respect and self determination. Just like Dr. Martin Luther King pointed out “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” If Mr. Blake were to meet Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, and Dr. King would demand self freedom of blacks in America, Mr. Blake would respond, “let’s share power for awhile, why worry about freedom? After all freedom is always free”.


All in all, for an ambassador representing the national interest of the people of the United States of America, we want our ambassador to be genuine on human rights violations throughout the world. We do not want our ambassadors to pick sides on human rights violations nor be a mouth piece of governments that abduct rape and kill its own citizens. It’s important that human rights violations are conducted by independent groups that have no links with the perpetrators of human rights. After all, no one can be excited when perpetrators of a crime investigating themselves. Mr. Blake violated the trust of the American public by supporting foreign governments that abduct and kill their own citizens and endorse the investigation conducted by the same governments that have been accused of human rights violations; this seriously contradicts the value of the American people.

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