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Kailash Ruhee and Rama Valayden exposed by Wikileaks cables

29.09.2011

Maurtian Ambassador who was stationed in the US, Kailash Ruhee and formerAttorney General Rama Valyden have both been exposed as pro-US "men" within the Mauritian State in Wikileaks cables from the US Embassy in Mauritius to Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State. Both are described in the US Embassy cable (reprinted below) as working towards promoting a neo-colonial “Status of Forces Agreement” that would give the US military a free-rein in Mauritian seas and land. The US already has a military base installed on Diego Garica, part of the Chagos that forms part of Mauritian land illegally occupied by the US. LALIT calls on Kailash Ruhee and Rama Valayden to deny this, should the US cables be misrepresenting them.

The cables in general show the extensive pressure the US and its Africom is putting on Mauritius to sign up to the neo-colonial SOFA.

For a general LALIT analysis of the cables from the US Embassy in Mauritius, see the news section of LALIT's website or click on http://www.lalitmauritius.org/viewnews.php?id=1276


ONE OF THE WIKILEAKS CABLES, RECENTLY RELEASED:



SUBJECT: MAURITIUS SENDS MIXED SIGNALS ON SOFA
REF: A. SECSTATE 81610 (JUL 08) B. PORT LOUIS 271

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Virginia M. Blaser for reasons 1.4 (b and d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Since receiving ref A Status of Forces boilerplate to present to the GOM in July 2008, Emboffs of all levels have engaged the Mauritians repeatedly for comments or reactions. Over the past year, the issue has been raised with the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Tourism, the Attorney General, and their respective staffs. Most recently, the lack of motion on our diplomatic requests for comment was raised during a meeting among the Prime Minister, visiting Africa Commander General Ward, and CDA (see ref B). During this meeting, the Prime Minister voiced his support for a SOFA with the United States, and yet soon thereafter, the MFA forwarded a less enthusiastic dipnote on the issue. Embassy contacts indicate that the MFA forwarded these comments without proper coordination with the Prime Minister's office, and that the GOM would appreciate additional time to consider the SOFA proposal. Embassy Port Louis will continue to work with interested stakeholders to confirm GOM position. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Since receiving ref A request to pursue a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the GOM, Embassy officers of all levels have met with a variety of Mauritian stakeholders (from the Prime Minister on down) to discuss and hear views on the proposed SOFA. Along the road, the Embassy received a variety of reactions. One extreme was the enthusiastic support by the Attorney General, who upon receiving the points called the issue to cabinet and saw through an official "Cabinet Statement" in support of US military ships in the Mauritian EEZ and ports. The other extreme is the oft-noted skepticism by the Mauritian Chief of Protocol, who on June 11 chaired a USG/GOM roundtable discussion of the issue.

3. (C) The decision rests, however, with the Prime Minister, who appeared positive about signing a SOFA with the US. He most recently discussed it during an August 2009 meeting with Africa Command's General Ward and CDA (see ref B). At the end of those discussions, the PM tasked his chief of staff, Kailash Ruhee, to ensure the SOFA was moved forward quickly. Unfortunately, according to Ruhee, his instructions to the Chief of Protocol to bring the discussion to a positive close led to a less than enthusiastic (and Ruhee claims, completely uncleared) diplomatic note (Dipnote 119/2009 (1130/39/14T) dated September 8, 2009). The text of that note reads as follows: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius presents its compliments to the Embassy of the United States of America and, further to its own Note Verbale ref. No. 100/2009 (50/38/12) dated 12 August 2009, has the honour to inform the Embassy, that having carefully considered its Note Verbale dated 16 October 2008, the Ministry is not in a position to sign the proposed Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The Ministry proposes instead that an agreement be formalised between the Government of the Republic of Mauritius and the Government of the United States of America setting out the procedure for the grant of necessary clearances for US vessels calling at the Port Louis Harbour with a view to expediting matters. The following procedure could form the basis of the memorandum of understanding:
(i) On requesting for necessary clearances, the Embassy of the USA will submit to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade information relating to the name of the vessel; the name of the Commanding Officer, the dates of arrival and departure of the vessel; the crew members on board; and the specifications of the vessel.
( (ii) On receipt of such request from the Embassy of the USA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade will refer the request to the Prime Minister's Office (Home Affairs Division), which will, in turn seek the necessary clearances from the appropriate authorities - - for security, - for the use of radio frequencies indicated whilst the vessel will be in the Port, and - for services of pilot, tugs and allocation of berth alongside quay.
( (iii) On obtaining the necessary clearances from the appropriate authorities, the Prime Minister's Office (Home Affairs Division) will inform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade that clearance has been obtained for the US vessel to call Port Louis Harbour and the conditions attached thereto.
( (iv) The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade will convey the necessary clearance to the Embassy of the USA.
( (v) On receipt of the diplomatic clearance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, the Embassy of the USA will liaise directly with the Mauritius Ports Authority for services of pilot, tugs and berthing alongside the Quay. The charges in respect of these facilities are waived for all foreign warships having received diplomatic clearance and calling at the Port Louis Harbour.
( (vi) The procedure will be completed within a reasonable delay. (complimentary closing.) End Text.

4. (C) On 18 September, CDA raised the content of the dipnote with Ruhee, saying she was surprise by the note given that it differed so greatly in both tone and intent from statements expressed a few weeks earlier (ref B) by the Prime Minister. Ruhee, who had attended the PM/Ward/CDA meeting, quickly concurred that the GOM response was not what he expected nor was it what he had instructed as a reply. On 21 September, Ruhee reported back to CDA that he had discussed the issue with the MFA, and that they were under instructions to "fix" the problem. On 24 September, Chief of Protocol Lam called CDA to discuss the diplomatic note and eventually agreed to take the matter of GOM's response to the July 2008 SOFA request back under review.

COMMENT
5. (C) This type of confusion within the GOM is not, unfortunately, unusual. Lam specifically, and the MFA in general, tend to be less cooperative and less positive in dealing on US issues than much of the rest of the Government. The real authority for action rests with the PM's office, and so Post remains optimistic that we will -- in time -- receive a more positive, coordinated response to our SOFA proposal. With regard to the non-SOFA-like counter-proposal encompassed in the diplomatic note above, Post believes that setting up such an agreement which is so narrow in focus is not in the USG's interest. Furthermore, the procedures and benefits of the agreement merely reiterate cooperation we already enjoy whenever a US military ship is visiting. There is no USG gain with the current GOM proposal. Post will continue to bring in the proper stakeholders to seek a more positive outcome to the discussions.
END COMMENT. WHITE