Who is Robert O. Blake? What is he saying?

(Lanka-e-News -08.May.2019, 11.55PM)  Robert O. Blake was the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka from 2009 to 2013. 

He was the architect of initiating US action on Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council in 2012. 

Since then, he has retired from US Government Service. He now works for McLarty Associates which claims to be able to provide access to US business and Congress for personnel in countries around the world, for a fee. McLarty Associates employs former diplomats like Robert Blake who are willing to be mercenaries, former White House officials, journalists, and intelligence officers, among others. 

US citizen Gotabaya Rajapaksa who is now desperate to realize his Presidential ambitions need people to lobby for him with US Congress and the US Administration and help build his international profile, and he needs all the help he can get. So Gotabaya makes arrangements to have Robert Blake hired and he visits Sri Lanka and speaks at an event in Colombo, just weeks after the Easter Sunday terrorist attacks, and days after Gotabaya expresses determination to contest for the Presidency. The event is organised by Milinda Moragoda’s Pathfinder Foundation funded by Chinese money which now seems to have become a branch of the so-called “Viyathmaga”. The sole objective of the Pathfinder Foundation these days is building Gotabaya’s international profile, grooming him to take over the Presidency. So Robert O Blake, at this Pathfinder Event sings for his supper by praising Gotabaya’s “so-called” leadership. Blake knows very well that Gotabaya, during his time as Secretary to the Ministry of Defence was constantly surrounded by sycophants, wheeler-dealers, lackeys, yes men and even murderers who would do anything illegal at Gotabaya’s command. Yet, being the mercenary that he is now, he shamelessly lies to the public saying that Gotabaya had a high-level group of technocrats who prevented terror attacks in the country. 

One wonders how and why these so-called technocrats could not then prevent the bomb attack on Gotabaya himself or on the Commander of the Army at the time, Sarath Fonseka. Does that mean that these technocrats and Gotabaya planned and carried out those attacks themselves to hoodwink the public into believing that it was the LTTE? If so, with stories being circulated that Gotabaya paid the BBS and the National Thawheed Jamath from a secret vote in the Ministry of Defence, one wonders who is behind the Easter Sunday attacks. 

It is common knowledge and Blake knows this very well, that Gotabaya was constantly surrounded by sinister characters who would do anything to please Gotabaya in return for questionable rewards. Sadly, he himself has now joined this group of mercenaries. 

People who have seen Gotabaya operate at close quarters know how Gotabaya refused to heed the advice of technocrats even after the conclusion of the conflict in 2009. He was not interested in matters concerning Sri Lanka’s post-conflict security and intelligence reforms. He did nothing to develop the defence, security or intelligence sectors. All he was interested in was to strengthen dictatorial centralised individual control and not strengthen or set up institutional arrangements that will last. In fact, we are today paying the price for his lack of professionalism and refusal to work with technocrats or skilled professionals with knowledge in these fields. Moreover, he antagonised and isolated Sri Lanka from the international community that is essential for setting up the networks required for fighting international terrorism and countering violent extremism inspired by groups and entities outside Sri Lanka. He even ignored giving legal or statutory force to the National Security Council. If he was so knowledgeable about security, if he had technocrats advising him or if he heeded the advice of technocrats who were sharing their views with him, why then did he fail to at least institutionalise the National Security Council!? If he had actually acted as a professional and a true patriot at the time and set up institutional mechanisms, such institutions would have ensured that action was taken despite the President’s lethargy or ignorance, to prevent the attacks that took place on Easter Sunday. The blood of the innocent human beings who perished on 21st April is on Gotabaya’s hands as much as Sirisena’s. It is a sad day indeed to watch people like Robert Blake become mercenaries who sing for their supper instead of helping Sri Lanka strengthen democracy, rule of law, statutory and other regulations to enhance security, combat terrorism and violent extremism, and attract investors to expand its economy and become a hub in the Indian Ocean so that Sri Lanka can finally achieve stability, reconciliation, development and true prosperity for all her people instead for a privileged few. 

Further reading:
Use group of technocrats like one during Gota’s time: Blake

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by     (2019-05-08 23:08:33)

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