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Reading through the revelations about Sri Lanka in Wikileaks, I am struck most of all by how they confirm the assumptions on which I have been working over the last few years. I cannot pretend I knew all the ramifications of government policy over this period, but obviously, in fulfilling my responsibilities, as Head of the Peace Secretariat, and also Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, I had to relate to interlocutors in terms of their essential attitudes to the Sri Lankan government.

This was particularly important since a fair amount of my work was with the international community, both in helping to coordinate international humanitarian assistance, which was a responsibility allocated to my Ministry, and also in assisting my Minister and our Ambassador in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilleka, with the various attacks on us that were being launched at the Human Rights Council.

Dayan had realized, soon after he went to Geneva in 2007, that the British were our main enemies. He was practically told as much by Nick Thorne, the then British Ambassador, and also by various others who, though they had to follow the British line, were not so happy with it. Thorne was a bit of a bully, and one did not mind responding to him forcefully. More upsetting was the approach of his successor, who was clearly a very nice man, but permitted his young ladies, who had been trained as it were by Thorne, to be crudely, and often inaccurately, critical.

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Rajiva Wijesinha

January 2011
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