Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe, who is presently in Geneva leading a Sri Lankan team to the UN Human Rights Council sessions, had once told the then US ambassador Robert O’ Blake that he would not sacrifice his political career to become part of a whitewash for the Sri Lankan government’s human rights violations.
This is contained in a diplomatic cable ambassador Blake had sent on 30 January 2007 to the US State Department in Washington, reports lankanewsweb which claims to have exclusively obtained the cable.
In that cable, ambassador Blake has said that the deeply frustrated minister expressed concern that the president and his two brothers have rendered his human rights and humanitarian access efforts ineffective.
During another meeting to discuss an NGO list of requests regarding access and ability to work in Sri Lanka, Mr. Samarasinghe has noted that he had been working on the same issues, but felt ineffective against the influence of the Rajapaksa brothers Gotabhaya and Basil.
He has agreed with the ambassador that the government would face increased international criticism and pressure to address the human rights record in 2007, and remarked that the president and his brothers must stop the rhetoric and start delivering.
Minister Samarasinghe has also lamented that he had been appointed for damage control and to add credibility to the government’s human rights efforts, but lacked true effectiveness.
He has contended that his other moves to improve the infrastructure for accountability had been blocked