The visiting US Assistant Secretary of State, Robert O Blake, had to cancel his appointment with civil society representatives, including student representatives of the University of Jaffna on Tuesday afternoon as EPDP paramilitary cum political party, aligned with Rajapaksa regime in Colombo, organized a protest outside the American Corner, situated on 4th cross street in Jaffna, sources in Jaffna said. Hundreds of people were brought from EPDP-controlled islets off Jaffna with placards supporting Mahinda Rajapaksa and staged the protest outside the American Corner.
The student representatives were waiting for more than 2 hours at the American Corner to meet Blake.
In the meantime, the vehicle carrying the visiting US diplomat attempted to reach the American Corner through a different route. But the vehicle was blocked by the EPDP protesters, causing Mr. Blake to cancel his scheduled appointment with the student representatives.
When the SL Police in Jaffna urged the protesters to allow Mr. Blake proceed with his meetings, the police officers allegedly received phone calls from higher authorities in Colombo instructing the SL Police officers allow the protest to continue.
Mr. Blake was not provided adequate security while visiting Jaffna, informed sources said.
However, civil society representatives, including Mr. C.V.K Sivagnanam of the NGO consortium in Jaffna, had met the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State earlier in the day at the office of the NGO consortium located at Temple Road and briefed Mr. Blake about the prevailing conditions in Jaffna.
Mr. Blake also met the Additional Government Agent of Jaffna Ms. Rubiny Varathalingam.
Student representatives of the Jaffna University blamed Colombo for conspiring to block their meeting with the visiting US diplomat.
Secretary Blake’s Jaffna visit coincides with reports from Geneva that indicated that Sri Lanka’s war crimes report produced by Ban appointed UN panel of experts has been submitted to the UN’s Human Rights Commission.