Norwegian government officials shared interesting insights into the motivations of the parties to the conflict as well as developments since its end. However they had no specific evidence of atrocities beyond what has been already been shared with the USG. The two NGOs however, did provide useful information from contacts on the ground who communicated with their offices via satellite phone.” the US Embassy Oslo informed Washington.

Ambassador Williamson

A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated August 24, 20o9, recounts the details of a meeting the US ambassador to Oslo Clint Williamson has had with Norwegian peace envoy Erik Solheim, a variety of high level Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, and two NGOs.

Cherrie Daniels wrote “Before meeting with Minister Solheim, Ambassador Williamson first discussed specific legal and political concerns of the GON with Martin Sorby of the MFA Legal Department in relation to any information which may be shared at later meetings. Williamson began by recognizing Norway’s unique role as a mediator in Sri Lanka in recent years. He stated that any information provided by the GON would not be attributed to senior officials by name, and that if desired the Legal Department could see any quotes attributed to GON officials in advance of the report’s release.”

“At the beginning of all meetings Ambassador Williamson first outlined the language attached to the 2009 Supplemental requiring the Secretary to report to the Appropriations Committees within 45 days on alleged violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) during the recent fighting in Sri Lanka and to the extent possible, identify perpetrators. The Ambassador explained that the USG had limited access to the conflict zone and therefore it will be extremely difficult to present conclusive evidence of what happened and who was responsible.To develop the most complete picture possible, the Department was collecting reports from open sources, NGOs, International Organizations, and foreign governments. Looking at the two sides in the conflict, Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Williamson said that reporting thus far had focused on alleged use of civilians as human shields and conscription of child soldiers by the LTTE. For the GSL, most allegations centered on the potential disproportionate use of force and reports of disappearances of individuals during the screening of the population in the north.” the acting Deputy Chief of Mission further wrote.

Read the relevant parts of the cable;

VZCZCXYZ0001

PP RUEHWEB DE RUEHNY #0533/01 2430835ZNY CCCCC ZZH P 310835Z AUG 09 FM AMEMBASSY OSLO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7743 INFO RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0375 RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0449

C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000533

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/31/2019 TAGS: PREL[External Political Relations], PHUM [Human Rights], SL [Sierra Leone], NO [Norway]

SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR WILLIAMSON MEETS WITH GON AND NGOS ON SRI LANKA

Classified By: Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Cherrie Daniels for reaso ns 1.4(b) and (d)

¶1. (C) Summary: In a productive series of meetings on August 24 in Oslo, S/WCI Ambassador Clint Williamson met with Minister for International Development Erik Solheim, a variety of high level Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) officials, and two NGOs to discuss the recent conflict in Sri Lanka, specifically in relation to a Congressional reporting requirement in recent supplemental funding legislation. Norwegian government officials shared interesting insights into the motivations of the parties to the conflict as well as developments since its end. However they had no specific evidence of atrocities beyond what has been already been shared with the USG. The two NGOs however, did provide useful information from contacts on the ground who communicated with their offices via satellite phone. End Summary. LEGAL PARAMETERS ——————

¶2. (C) Before meeting with Minister Solheim, Ambassador Williamson first discussed specific legal and political concerns of the GON with Martin Sorby of the MFA Legal Department in relation to any information which may be shared at later meetings. Williamson began by recognizing Norway’s unique role as a mediator in Sri Lanka in recent years. He stated that any information provided by the GON would not be attributed to senior officials by name, and that if desired the Legal Department could see any quotes attributed to GON officials in advance of the report’s release.

PREFACE TO ALL MEETINGS ————————

¶3.(SBU) At the beginning of all meetings Ambassador Williamson first outlined the language attached to the 2009 Supplemental requiring the Secretary to report to the Appropriations Committees within 45 days on alleged violations of international humanitarian law (IHL) during the recent fighting in Sri Lanka and to the extent possible, identify perpetrators. The Ambassador explained that the USG had limited access to the conflict zone and therefore it will be extremely difficult to present conclusive evidence of what happened and who was responsible. To develop the most complete picture possible, the Department was collecting reports from open sources, NGOs, International Organizations, and foreign governments. Looking at the two sides in the conflict, Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Williamson said that reporting thus far had focused on alleged use of civilians as human shields and conscription of child soldiers by the LTTE. For the GSL, most allegations centered on the potential disproportionate use of force and reports of disappearances of individuals during the screening of the population in the north.

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