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Wikileaks reaching Lanka; more than 3300 documents from US embassy

Among the new documents leaked by whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, 3325 cables were from the US Embassy in Colombo to US State Department, it has emerged.
By Sutirtho Patranobis | Hindustan Times, Colombo
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2010 06:45 PM IST

Among the new documents leaked by whistle-blowing website, Wikileaks, 3325 cables were from the US Embassy in Colombo to US State Department, it has emerged.

Of the 3,325 cables from the Colombo mission, 1,533 were unclassified, 1,680 confidential and 112 marked secret, reports said.

The cables were dated from ``1986 to 2010. There is one cable on 19 May 2009 (the end of the war) and 4 on 26 January 2010 (the day of the presidential election in Sri Lanka). The last 3 cables are from 26 February 2010,’’ the citizen journalists’ initiative Groundviews reported.

In a related cable leak, which was sourced from UK, it was revealed that in June, 2009 the Commonwealth Political Director Amitav Banerji had said Sri Lanka’s offer to host the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was turned down over concerns about lending international credibility to the Government’s actions.

According to agency reports, Banerji said the human rights situation in Sri Lanka during and after the military offensive was raised “informally and off the record” by the UK during the last Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) meeting, forcing a difficult conversation with the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, as Sri Lanka was a CMAG member, the cable revealed.

The US embassy spokesperson in Colombo, Glen Davis, meanwhile, said in a statement added that “these cables are often preliminary and incomplete expressions of foreign policy, and they should not be seen as having standing on their own or as representing U.S. policy.”

``While we cannot speak to the authenticity of any documents provided to the press, we can speak to the diplomatic community’s practice of cable writing. Cables reflect the internal day-to-day analysis and candid assessments that feed the government’s foreign relations deliberations,’’ he added.

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