On March 26, 2015, former U.S. President, Barack Obama appointed Atul Keshap as U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Keshap is a career Foreign Service officer and has worked as a deputy minister counselor at the U.S. embassy in New Delhi as also as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia. He was literally born into the world of diplomacy. His father was from Punjab, India, and was a United Nations development economist working in Nigeria and his mother had been in the U.S. Foreign Service when she met and married Keshap’s father in London. She also served at the U.S. embassy in India. On the books Atul Keshap seems like a suitable choice for diplomatic duties, but is he really?
U.S. President Donald Trump is an evangelist of non-interventionist foreign policy but Atul Keshap seems not to be on board with the president on that.
Earlier, Ambassador Keshap and the Acting Asst. Secretary of State, Ms. Alice Wells had been seen participating in a Protest Rally in Colombo, organized by the Tamil National Alliance representing the political opposition to draw attention to those Tamils alleged to be missing in Sri Lanka. This isn’t only just a violation of the first principle of diplomatic privilege; it is also a strong statement that screams irony at Trump’s stance on foreign policy intervention.
While talking about Afghanistan and South Asia sometime in August this year, President Trump reiterated that the U.S will not try to rebuild other countries in their own image, but actions of Ambassador Keshap says otherwise.
Keshap has addressed issues in the region with extremely controversial and critical hands, and coupled with the fact that he is suspected of taking money from Maldivian opposition politicians, he may very well be a poison to the region and might be inflicting irreparable damages rather than aiding on its real needs.