Search

 

Cablegate: Media Reaction: Department's August 19 Statement

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001401

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR INR/MR, I/RW, I/REC; PA
SA/INS (CAMP, DEAN, BRENNIG) SA/PD (SCENSNY, ROGERS,
STRYKER);SSA/PAS; S/CT

E.O. 12958:N/A
TAGS: KPAO PHUM OPRC KMDR OIIP PREL CE LTTE
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION: DEPARTMENT'S AUGUST 19 STATEMENT
ON SRI LANKA GARNERS COPIUOS MEDIA COVERAGE

1. SUMMARY. The Department's August 19 statement on Sri
Lanka elicited widespread media coverage, with the vast
majority of papers (both English and vernacular) placing
the statement very prominently in above-the-fold banner
headlines. TV news programs on August 20 also led with the
full statement, and carried it again on their evening
broadcasts. Editorial comment adopted the tone of the
statement and called for a return to peace talks. END
SUMMARY.

---------
Headlines
---------

2. Headlines on August 21 uniformly praised the statement,
with the independent English DAILY MIRROR bannering: "Stop
killings and start talking peace: U.S. tells LTTE."
Typical of the coverage was government-owned English DAILY
NEWS, which said: "U.S. urges LTTE to cease killings
return to talks; President Kumaratunga shows desire to move
forward on peace process." The independent English DAILY
ISLAND led with: "U.S. tightens screws on Tigers; Iyer
killing triggers avalanche of condemnation." Even the pro-
LTTE Tamil daily SUDAR OLI reported: "The U.S. press the
government and the LTTE to resume talks immediately."
Independent Sinhala flagship paper LAKBIMA said:
"Assistance scheduled for Sri Lanka will come only if the
peace process is moved forward - America emphasizes." The
mainstream independent Sinhala DIVAINA said: "Renounce all
types of violence including suicide bombings, political
killings: restart peace talks with the government - another
stern statement from America."

3. Television coverage of the statement was also
widespread, with stations in all three languages -- both
government-owned and independent -- leading with the text
almost verbatim on the afternoon news broadcasts, and
replaying it in the evening.

-------------------
Editorial excerpts:
--------------------

3. Under the header "World concern amplifies at LTTE
terror," the government-owned English DAILY NEWS (08/21)
commented: "Yesterday's statement by the U.S. government,
coming close on the heels of one by the EU, highlighting
the need for the LTTE to enter immediately the negotiary
process with the Lankan government, further amplifies
concern by (a) section of the world community over the
LTTE's unimpressive track record on accelerating the peace
effort.... Thus is LTTE intransigence and unconscionable
backsliding continuing to shock the peace-loving sections
of the world community.... Mindless recalcitrance would take
the LTTE nowhere."

4. Under the header "Myth of sole representative blasted,"
the independent English daily ISLAND commented (08/21): "....
Whether these nations, which involved themselves in the Sri
Lankan issue solely on humanitarian grounds will take
measures to prevent the massacre of these innocents will be
seen in the coming days.... Of how the 'international
community' wittingly and unwittingly became embroiled in
this 'Peace Process' is too well known to be detailed.... the
'international community' awoke last week after a spate of
killings of EPDP members and issued a somewhat strong
statement for the first time.... It is time these western
nations and Japan acknowledged this fact and told it to the
LTTE warlords."

5. COMMENT: The widespread and prominent attention the
media gave the statement reflects keen interest in the U.S.
position regarding the peace process. The statement served
to reassure television and newspaper audiences that the
U.S. remains engaged and concerned on this issue. END
COMMENT.

ENTWISTLE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 


Tonga Eruption: At Least 3 Dead, Amid Severe Destruction
At least three people have died in Tonga following the massive volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami wave that hit over the weekend. Homes and other buildings across the archipelago have suffered major damage... More>>

Save The Children: Tonga Volcano Ash And Smoke Cause Concern For Air And Water Safety
Families in Tonga are at risk of exposure to unsafe air and water due to ash and smoke from the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano that erupted on Saturday, reports Save the Children...
More>>



Sudan: 15 Attacks On Health Facilities And Workers In Two Months

With the crisis escalating in Sudan, there have been 15 reports of attacks on healthcare workers and health facilities since last November, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday... More>>


Ethiopia: UN Chief Lauds ‘Demonstrable Effort To Make Peace’

The UN Secretary-General on Wednesday said he was “delighted” to learn that “a demonstrable effort to make peace” in Ethiopia is finally underway, according to information relayed to him by the African Union High Representative for the Horn of Africa... More>>


Tigray: Agencies Suspend Aid As ‘Scores’ Are Killed Due To Airstrikes
Recent airstrikes on camps for internally displaced persons and refugees in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, have reportedly killed scores of civilians, including children, and left many more injured... More>>


UN News: For 25th Year In A Row, Greenland Ice Sheet Shrinks

2021 marked the 25th year in a row in which the key Greenland ice sheet lost more mass during the melting season, than it gained during the winter, according to a new UN-endorsed report issued on Friday... More>>