Wikileaks unethical, wrong, anti-peace: Tharoor

By Lakshmi Krishnakumar, IANS
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

NEW DELHI - Shashi Tharoor, former minister of state for external affairs, calls the the latest expose by whistleblower website WikiLeaks unethical and wrong and says the contents of some leaked diplomatic cables cannot conclusively establish the view one country holds of another.

“I have absolutely no doubt that this is unethical and wrong because the confidentiality of government communications is the lifeblood of diplomatic comfort,” said Tharoor, a lawmaker from Thiruvananthapuram who has also served as a undersecretary general at the United Nations.

“You do not effectively run a government if your own diplomats cannot report to their own capitals in utter candour,” Tharoor, who was a contender and India’s candidate for the post of secretary general of the United Nations, told IANS in an interview here.

He was speaking about the revelations being carried by various newspapers and websites worldwide, based on the ongoing analysis of some 250,000 leaked US diplomatic cables, many of which were published online by WikiLeaks.

Tharoor said diplomacy was also about not sharing perceptions about individuals holding high office with foreign governments as they cannot be entirely accurate and complete. “It’s only people inside the system who see the entirety of the file and can view the accurate picture,” he said.

“Quite frankly it is silly to draw apocalyptic conclusions from that about any country.”

Tharoor said what was also irritating about these leaks is they not only violated the peace canons of diplomatic conduct but also sullied the common sense that revealing matters out of context do not actually achieve the larger points these whistleblowers to make.

Founded in 2006 as a non-profit by Australian journalist Julian Paul Assange, WikiLeaks is a whistleblower website that claims to open up governments by providing innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information through websites.

This time it has created a storm by leaking some 250,000 dispatches to the US by its diplomats from various countries, contents of which have not only embarrassed Washington, but also some countries vis a vis others.

(Lakshmi Krishnakumar can be reached at

Filed under: Diplomacy

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