Partners jump ship in Sri Lanka's US lobby firm

[TamilNet, Monday, 28 March 2011, 00:37 GMT]
More than 30% of the partners at Qorvis, one of Washington's best-known lobby firm, have left the firm in the last two months because of the firm's representation of "despotic dictators" and clients that are listed as human rights violators in US State Department's list, Huffington Post said in an article Friday. Qorvis receives a significant amount business from Bell Potinger, UK, the public relations firm that represents Sri Lanka, and Patton Boggs, LLP, Sri Lanka's PR firm in the US, is an investor in Qorvis, according to Qorvis's website.

Several former Qorvis staffers blamed the firm's current management for cultivating such "black hat" clients, noting that much of that business came about through the firm's partnership with Bell Pottinger, the United Kingdom's largest public relations firm, which took heat for representing Sri Lanka during that South Asian country's brutal crackdown on rebel groups during the last two years. "They have zero conscience in what they do," says the first former insider, referring to Bell Pottinger, according to the Huffington Post story.

"I just have trouble working with despotic dictators killing their own people," a former Qorvis insider tells The Huffington Post. "People don't want to be seen representing all these countries -- you take a look at the State Department's list of human rights violators and some of our clients were on there," the Qorvis insider further said.

The firm's founder and CEO, Michael Petruzzello, says that such complaints are "ridiculous" and disingenuous, asserting that the firm's work with international clients preceded the tenure of departing partners and that no one complained about it, the Huffington story added.

It's not the first time that Qorvis has witnessed a mass exodus due in some part to its unsavory clients, according to the report.

After Qorvis was retained by Saudi Arabia several months after 9/11, the contract attracted controversy and a Justice Department probe of the firm for its involvement in a radio ad campaign that burnished the image of the country, leading three top principals to leave the firm, Huffington Post said.

In one of the methods used by Qorvis and other firms is online reputation management, the firm uses "black arts" by creating fake blogs and websites that link back to positive content, "to make sure that no one online comes across the bad stuff," says the former insider.


Related Articles:
03.12.10   War crime suspect in Rajapaksa entourage plans charted fligh..
28.10.10   Britain reiterates support for independent inquiry into Sri ..
04.08.10   British PR firm whitewashing Sri Lanka’s reputation - report
11.04.09   Fein debunks Patton-Boggs "white paper" on Sri Lanka


External Links:
ST: Diplomatic lapses put SL under world pressure
PB: Patton Boggs LLP
BP: Bell Pottinger Group
QV: Qorvis website
HP: Lobbyists Jump Ship In Wake Of Mideast Unrest

 

Latest 15 Reports
25.09.17 19:22  
Political prisoners resume hunger-strike as Colombo transfers hearings to Anuradhapura
24.09.17 22:26   Photo
Colombo's ‘State Land’ seizure to affect thousands in Vadamaraadchi East
23.09.17 09:46   Photo
Tamil children massacred by CBK's Sinhala Air Force remembered in Jaffna
22.09.17 23:32   Photo
Sinhala colonisation stepped up, genocidal system cannot be transformed through ‘consensus’
21.09.17 22:14   Photo
Champoor Tamils’ security, livelihood threatened by US military partnership with genocidal Sri Lanka
20.09.17 23:37   Photo
Sathasivam papers on Sumerian-Tamil connections see the light of day
19.09.17 22:53  
Tamil village in Batticaloa-Polonnaruwa border Sinhalicized by Mahaweli authority, Survey Dept
18.09.17 18:18   Photo
Uprooted people find houses destroyed by SL Navy in Ira'nai-theevu after 2008
17.09.17 22:07  
Muslims oppose Colombo's ‘Sinhala-only’ policy in public administration of Ampaa'rai
16.09.17 23:49  
Families of enforced disappeared want answers, no deceptive bills to genocidal system
15.09.17 23:30   Photo
30th remembrance of Lt Col Thileepan strengthens resolve among Eezham Tamils
14.09.17 22:52   Photo
Sirisena’s Mahaweli ministry twists old records to Sinhalicize Paduvaankarai
13.09.17 16:39  
EPRLF opposes 20A to SL Constitution, ITAK duo wrongs again says Premachandran
12.09.17 23:17   Photo
Alienate lands to Sinhala colonists or face transfer: SL Governor warns Tamil DS in Vanni
11.09.17 12:10  
Risking legal action, Hakeem wants to transfer lands to Hizbulla’s colony in Batticaloa
 
Find this article at:
http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33730