For last few days we saw few articles in Sri Lankan news papers about latest wikileaks and it potential impact on Sri Lanka in multiple ways. We thought of summarizing few facts related to wikileaks and their latest release of confidential documents from the United States embassy cables.
What is wikileaks?
The Wikileaks website first appeared on the Internet in January 2007.The site claims to have been “founded by Chinese dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and start-up company technologists, from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa”. Even though creators of Wikileaks has not been formerly identified it has been represented publicly by Julian Asange and few others.
WikiLeaks posted its first document in December 2006, a decision to assassinate government officials signed by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys (Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys is a Somali political figure who was the head of the 90-member shura council of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) of Somalia). The American magazine The New Yorker gave publicity to this leak.
Following are few events that occur after the wikileaks appearence.
Daniel arap Moi family corruption,Bank Julius Baer lawsuit – Wikileaks had to take its domain offline after the Swiss Bank Julius Baer sued WikiLeaks.Guantánamo Bay procedures, Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account contents, British National Party membership list leak, Climatic Research Unit emails leak, Internet censorship lists leak, Bilderberg Group meeting reports leak, 2008 Peru oil scandal, Nuclear accident in Iran, Toxic dumping in Africa: The Minton report, Kaupthing Bank internal documents, Joint Services Protocol 440 – A 2,400 page secret document of British Ministry of Defence, 9/11 pager messages release, U.S. Intelligence report on WikiLeaks, Baghdad airstrike video, Afghan War Diary, Love Parade documents, Iraq War Logs leaks. I suppose you may have already heard about these releases if you listen to news regularly. But nothing was of interest to Sri lankans until their latest release (See below).
Following is a video just prior to release of Iraq war documents by Democracy Now.
Latest US diplomatic record release:
On Sunday 28th Novembre 2010, Wikileaks began publishing 251,287 leaked United States embassy cables, the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into the US Government’s foreign activities.
This set of documents believed to have conversations between United states government with its diplomatic offices all around the world. Following image shows the involved diplomatic offices and you may notice United states Colombo office is also in the graph having significant number of cables.
This leaks believed to have US 15, 652 diplomatic secrets, 101,748 confidential information, and 133,887 unclassified discussions. Iraq has been the most discussed country in these records. At the time of posting this article only 291 records out of 251,287 had been released. We still do not know more information about the released documents, specially records in relation to Sri Lanka.
According to the US department labeling system, the most discussed subjects are:
External political relations – 145,451
Internal government affairs – 122,896
Human rights – 55,211
Economic Conditions – 49,044
Terrorists and terrorism – 28,801
UN security council – 6,532
Statement by Spokesman for U.S. Embassy Colombo Glen Davis:
“The Department of State does not comment on materials, including classified documents, which may have been leaked. Any unauthorized disclosure of classified information by Wikileaks has harmful implications for the lives of identified individuals that are jeopardized, but also for global engagement among and between nations.
Given its potential impact, we condemn such unauthorized disclosures and are taking every step to prevent future security breaches. While we cannot speak to the authenticity of any documents provided to the press, we can speak to the diplomatic community’s practice of cable writing. Cables reflect the internal day-to-day analysis and candid assessments that feed the government’s foreign relations deliberations. These cables are often preliminary and incomplete expressions of foreign policy, and they should not be seen as having standing on their own or as representing U.S. policy.”
Julian Asangs is in Interpol’s most wanted list.
If you think this warrant is directly due to whistle blowing you are wrong. This was due to a Swedish court request which is looking into alleged sex crimes earlier this year. This request has put WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on its most-wanted list. We will be writing on this issue along with few other videos about wikileaks in a future post and importantly we may find some secrets in US diplomatic policy about Sri Lanka.
To be continued….
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