Cables show that the US embassy in Turkey lobbied for pharmaceutical patents. Saudi Arabian crown prince is seen as an extreme conservative. US wanted Sri Lankan troop presence in Afghanistan. China payed Nepalese border guards to hand over refugees from Tibet. Sri Lankan journalists received death threats after criticizing government. Officials in Ghana, Solomon Islands and Zimbabwe respond to cables.
WikiLeaks sheds light on Human Trafficking in SE Asia: The government of Indonesia in 2010 said that it was coming to grips with human trafficking through a number of measures, including a system of individual ID numbers for every Indonesian person, planned to be completed by December 2011. The cable adds, however, that “A disturbing trend in recent years has been an increase in trafficking of young boys and girls, many under age 18, from West Java, North Sulawesi, West Kalimantan, and Papua, where they are labor trafficked or sexually exploited in areas with rich extractive industries, according to NGOs.”
Sri Lanka: Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake is a Rajapkasa loyalist: According to cables, a point was made of choosing Shirani Bandaranayake, a judge known to be loyal to the president, to preside over the case against general Fonseka. The general had, among other things, threatened to release top secret documents. Human rights lawyers confirm that the judge cannot be considered impartial.
Irresponsible US Intelligence Practices Destroy Real Lives: A 76-year old former pilot working as a mechanic in Kenya appeared in Kenyan media when it was revealed that cables state that his air strip has been used for drug trafficking. The fact that this information was transmitted by the embassy despite the fact that the air strip was not his, indicates that the routines of US anti drug-trafficking measures in the country are not sufficiently rigorous. Without vetting, the allegations were passed on, not only to Kenyan authorities, but also to Washington.
- Fonseka Tried To Shift Blame On War Crimes To Gotabhaya
- Sri Lanka: US believes JVP honestly wants to move the country forward
- Malaysia: Immigration detainees after beats prisoners
|Robert Mugabe has been president of Zimbabwe since 1987. Photo by Neal Young.|
Zimbabwe: ‘Sterner Stuff’ Needed for ZANU-PF Succession Issue: Officials of the Zimbabwean Zanu-PF party have argued that fear of retribution is the main reason why party members are reluctant to raise the issue of leadership succession. A statement recorded in a cable by Public Works deputy minister Aguy Georgias that “Mugabe knew he couldn’t trust his politburo and cabinet, most of whom either were so absorbed in economic self-aggrandisement or too politically insecure to actively support meaningful outreach to the West.”
Tunisia Summons Arafat Widow in Corruption Inquiry: A warrant has been issued for Yassir Arafat’s Widow, Suha Arafat, reportedly in relation to a case concerning a school jointly launched by Suha Arafat and the wife of former Tunisian president Ben Ali, Leila Trabelsi, in 2007. A cable shows that the Tunisian government provided USD 1.5 billion and land to Trabelsi in relation to the launch of the school. Another cable reports that the two women later had a falling out over the closing of a competing school, which Mrs Arafat wanted to remain open. The dispute resulted in Ms Arafat losing her Tunisian citizenship.
Censorship of the Sunday Leader in Sri Lanka: A 2009 cable confirms that Sunday Leader editors Frederica Jansz and news editor Munza Mushtaq of the Sri Lankan paper Sunday Leader had received death threats. Speaking to the US embassy, the two editors argued that the threats might have been due to a number of articles critical of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.
Turkey: political climate, the pharmaceutical industry, and GMOs: A cable from 2004 gives an extensive summary of the political climate in Turkey and the prospects for Prime Minister Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party. The US acknowledged Erdogan’s “firm grip on power,” but enumerated difficulties to come, particularly in relation to Turkey’s efforts to join the EU.
Of 240 cables mentioning drug companies, 76 are from Turkey. One such cable from 2006 describes US negotiations with the government of Turkey for opening the country up to the US pharmaceutical industry. In another cable, pharmaceutical industry representatives ask the ambassador “for assistance in getting their Road Map’ report into the hands of key Turkish officials, including the Prime Minister.” Ambassador Jeffrey agreed and offered to help push the government of Turkey into passing a new patent law which would allow companies to apply for patent protection for their products for much longer periods of time.
The article also describes how GMOs are promoted by the US. Cables from Turkey show that the US was concerned about Turkey’s biotech regulations. One cable notes that the Turkish public was very concerned about the safety of biotech foods, but claims that their concerns are based on “urban myths and ideology” rather than scientific evidence. “In an attempt to balance the debate,” the embassy invited a food microbiologist, Dr. Bruce Chassy, to visit Turkey. Dr. Chassy was at numerous seminars on GMOs, which the article cites and claims were not scientifically based.
US wanted Sri Lankan troops for Afghanistan: A cable shows that the US in late 2009 sought to enroll troop support from Sri Lanka in Afghanistan. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa replied that Sri Lankan involvement would be politically sensitive, and that it could spark anger among Muslim groups. Instead, he indicated that Sri Lanka might provide military training to Afghans.
Chavez, Cuba and revelations: An article using cables to explore the relationship between Venezuela and Cuba cites a cable discussing the Venezuela-Cuba Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT), which established framework for cooperation between Cuba and Venezuela in terms of criminal investigations. The cable expresses concern over the power given by the MLAT to Cuban officials to operate in Venezuela. Other cables show that the US in its search for “allies” in Venezuela considered the Catholic church a good candidate.
China in Nepal: Nepal has come to play a significant role in relation to China relations to the neighboring India and Tibet. As India has strengthened its international position over the past decade, China has increased trade, aid and other relations with Nepal. Nepal has also been considered a problem in terms of Tibetan refugees. A cable state that China in 2008 made payments to Nepalese border guards to induce them to hand over refugees to Chinese authorities.
- Israel wanted to overcome diplomatic isolation at UNESCO
- Israeli nuclear submarines holocaust compensation from Germany
Power struggle in the Polo party: A February 2006 cable shows states that one of the candidates for the leadership of the Colombian left-wing PDA party, Gustavo Petro, was looked at warily by the US: “Petro is widely seen as a populist figure who would take the party in a more confrontational, Chavez-like direction,” the cable reports. The cable warns that if Petro became the PDA party’s candidate and spokesperson, the party could be radicalized.
Nayef as King: The Pragmatic Conservative: Saudi Arabian king Abdullah on Friday 28 October announced his decision to make Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz the crown prince of Saudi Arabia. Nayef has played a prominent role in the country over the past year, filling in for the king during large parts of the Arab Spring. Cables discussing Nayef describe him as an extreme conservative. They state that “He is a tough dictator at heart and is suspicious of initiatives to widen political participation and the rights of women.” They also state that “his view of the world is colored by a deep apprehension towards Iran, despite his active role in developing Saudi-Iranian relations.”
India: Year after Rice praise, WikiLeaks slammed Natwar: Former Indian Indian foreign minister Natwar Singh was praised by former US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for helping to promote a US-India nuclear deal, but a cable reveals that the US embassy in 2006 was strongly critical of Natwar as well as of BJP upper house leader Jaswant Singh. “Both Natwar and Jaswant Singh epitomise high-caste pride and unwillingness to admit to error,” the cable states. “Both men have allied themselves with an anti-US group in Parliament, which the press has called the ‘nuclear club’ because of its hostility to the US-India Civil Nuclear Accord.”
- Mexico: Cables shed light on election plot
- Slain Tyrant Gadhafi’s Lifestyle: Female Virgin Bodyguards, Crush on Condoleezza Rice and Bunga Bunga Parties
Impact and reaction^
Is Jonathan Moyo above the law?: Stating that he was working with directors of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organisation, former minister of information and current member of parliament during a 2007 meeting provided in-depth information on the intelligence organisation to the US embassy. According to an anonymous member of parliament, “this detailed cable makes it clear that he had penetrated military and intelligence infrastructure and was passing on information to a foreign government. A case of espionage or treason can easily be sustained here if precedence is taken into account.”
Will Mugabe’s party be torn apart by Wikileaks? People close to power report that Wikileaks revelations of high level dissent have shaken President Mugabe, who is now considering how to proceed in view of the upcoming elections in the country. While Mugabe has said that he wants the people that have been shown to provide the US with information to be investigated, he cannot afford a rupture with many of those people, as that would sever him from a large part of his support base.
Ghana: Hannah Tetteh apologizes to Speaker of Parliament over WikiLeaks comments: Minister for Trade Hannah Tetteh has publicly apologized for her statement, recorded in a cable, that Speaker of Parliament Joyce Bamford-Addo was chosen for the position because “she is seen as someone who would take orders and be malleable to party discipline.”
Solomon Islands: Chan slams Wikileaks report, vows to seek legal action: Following revelations that he had provided the US and Australia with in-depth information on Solomon Islands policies, including the country’s policies towards China, former foreign affairs minister Laurie Chan has promised to take legal action against those responsible for the claims made about him. “Next time, they will probably say I will be riding chariots like an Egyptian pharaoh,” Chan says.
Mugabe says he’s still fit, may target Swiss assets: Reports are that President Mugabe has traveled to Singapore eight times this year for medical check-ups. US embassy cables report that the president has cancer, and that his doctor urged him to step down in 2008. Responding to questions about his health Mugabe and officials insist, however, that he is fit.