One of the US diplomatic cables revealed that New Zealand threatened Fiji’s Army Chief Bainimarama and his wife with preventing them visiting their grandchildren living in New Zealand if he staged a coup to dethrone the government of Laisenia Qarase. Stuff.co.nz quoted the cable as saying that Bainimarama and his wife Meli came to New Zealand in November 2006 to attend a granddaughter’s First Holy Communion in Wellington.
His statement prompted then New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to set up urgent meetings with Bainimarama and, later, Qarase to discuss the issue. Unusually, New Zealand’s "talking points" were then put to Bainimarama by the British Defence Attache based in Wellington, Nigel Lloyd, at a lunch. "I gather you are down here on a private visit for your grand-daughter’s first communion – a significant family occasion. I hope you enjoy your visit," the cable says Lloyd was instructed to say.
Lloyd further warned that if Bainimarama did not listen, New Zealand would change its travel advisory to discourage tourism to Fiji. Bainimarama returned to Fiji, staged his coup and has since then expelled at various times three New Zealand diplomats. His grandchildren are reportedly backed in Fiji.
Article first published as The ‘Star Leakerâ€™ Becomes a Leak Victim on Blogcritics.
The man shot up to Celebrity status through leaking massive classified “unpopular war” logs and diplomatic cables between the deteriorating superpower USA and its ambassadors around the world, has himself become a victim to a supposedly officially unofficial leakage of Swedish police report on his alleged sexual offences. Julian Assange, 39, reportedly complained that he was a victim of a targeted leakage by Swedish authorities while speaking with The Times.
Incidentally, the same British newspaper, The Guardian, which helped Assange publishing diplomatic cables, brought to light the report prepared by the Swedish police on Assange’s sexual abuse of his two women admirers, a charge denied by Assange. Assange claimed the newspaper was selective parts of the report on selected dates by which his release by bail might have been adversely affected.
“The leak of the police report to The Guardian was clearly designed to undermine my bail application. It was timed to come up on the desk of the judge that morning. Someone in authority clearly intended to keep Julian in prison, and shopped (the report) around to other newspapers as well,” Assange was quoted as saying in Tuesdays The Times.
Assange is contesting a bid to extradite him to Sweden for participating in unprotected sex with two women. He says there is clear evidence that the two women were motivated by money, police pressure and revenge. If what Assange says is right, the third motivation, revenge, reveals that there was something to be considered guilty from Assange side too.
One of the cables from the US ambassador to Bangladesh sent to the state department reveals that the UK’s Policing Improvement Agency is providing training to Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in crime scene management and investigation through officers from West Mercia Police and Humberside Police. RAB is accused of violating human rights by Human Rights Watch.
British High Commission officials have confirmed the news, BBC reported. They were quoted as saying that the training program had begun in early 2008 and will conclude by March 2011. They emphasised the training focused on human rights and it provided the RAB with skill-set to conduct law enforcement duties in an ethical manner. However, they declined to comment on whether training is meant as counter terrorism effort in Bangladesh.
They said the areas covered include basic human rights training; interview skills, investigation skills, basic scene of crime skills, inclusion on a range of legal and human rights focused events. Human Rights Watch said in its report last year that RAB had an operating culture of extrajudicial killings perpetrated by its members with impunity.
BBC News | 18 December 2010
Bank of America has stopped handling payments for whistle-blowing website Wikileaks, joining several other major financial institutions. It said it acted because "Wikileaks may be engaged in activities that are… inconsistent with our internal policies for processing payments". In response, Wikileaks urged its supporters to stop doing business with the bank – one of the world’s largest.
MasterCard, PayPal and other companies earlier cut off Wikileaks’ payments. The financial institutions acted after Wikileaks – together with several major media organisations – began publishing thousands of secret US diplomatic cables, causing tension between Washington and some of its allies.
Mr Assange, 39, dismissed the claims as part of a "smear" campaign. He also said he was worried about an attempt to extradite him to the United States, adding that Washington was conducting an "aggressive" and "illegal" investigation into him and the website.
Wikileaks’ latest revelations have pointed to Monarchy’s uncertainty in Thailand. According a cable sent by the US ambassador to Thailand to Washington, three top political figures of Thailand expressed concerns about prospects of the crown prince assuming monarchy.
Two of the three figures are said to be senior advisers to the king. The ailing 83-year-old King Bhumibol Adulyadej is the world’s longest-reigning current head of state. Crown Prince Vajiralongkorn is in his late fifties. The ambassador’s cable quotes alleged conversations with General Prem Tinsulanonda, the head of the Privy Council, and two former prime ministers, Anand Panyarachun and Air Chief Marshall Siddhi Savetsila.
It says all three had quite negative comments about the crown prince and two of them – while asserting that the crown prince will become king – implied that the country would be "better off if other arrangements could be made" as per BBC news. The cable also cited concerns about the crown prince’s private life.
The ambassador’s conclusion in the cable is that "on the two most difficult and sensitive issues of the day in Thailand – ousted Prime Minister Thaiksin
Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blower website was granted conditional bail on Thursday, November 16 by a British court. The Australian is fighting extradition to Sweden over sex charges involving two Swedish women. Assange’s supporters put up sureties worth 240,000 pounds.
Gemma Lindfield, representing the Swedish authorities, had told the judge there was "a real risk" Assange would abscond and pointed to his nomadic lifestyle. She said he had "the means and ability" to go into hiding among Wikileaks’ many supporters in this country and abroad.
However, Mr Justice Ouseley pointed out Mr Assange had offered to meet the police in London when he heard the Swedish matter was still live and he said, "That is not the conduct of a person who is seeking to evade justice."
The US used backstage diplomatic manoeuvres to help block the appointment of a scientist from Iran to a key position on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a leaked diplomatic cable reveals. The US privately lobbied IPCC chair Dr Rajendra Pachauri, as well as the UK, EU, Argentina and Mali representatives, and had put its embassies to work from Brazil to Uzbekistan. It wanted to prevent the election of Dr Mostafa Jafari as one of two co-chairmen of a key working group.
The other co-chair was to be an American scientist, Prof Christopher Field. The US state department noted that sharing the IPCC position with an Iranian would be "problematic" and "potentially at odds with overall US policy towards Iran". The jobs often involved travel to and extended residencies in each other’s countries, the cable said. The appointment of an Iranian would also "significantly complicate" US funding for the IPCC secretariat for that working group. US diplomats recognised Jafari as "a highly-qualified scientist … but he is also a senior Iranian government employee".
Pachauri today rejected any suggestion he had colluded with the US private approaches, which apparently ended in another candidate, an Argentinian, being appointed to the position to which Jafari had been nominated. A spokesperson for Pachauri said that he, "neither influenced, nor agreed to influence, the election. Not only would such an agreement be outside his mandate as chairman of the IPCC, but it would also be impossible to achieve."
The cable claims: "Prior to arrival in Geneva, the [US delegation] contacted IPCC chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri (please protect) who agreed to work on this issue to avoid the potential for disruption to one of the organisation’s three core working groups." The phrase "please protect" is used to tell the cable’s recipients not to use a contact’s name publicly.