29 October, 2020

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WikiLeaks: 13 plus is like US Senate – Mahinda Rajapaksa to US

By Colombo Telegraph –

“The President said the basis of his devolution plan would be the “13th amendment plus 1” – meaning implementation of the existing constitutional provisions for provincial councils, but adding an upper house to Parliament, modeled on the U.S. Senate.” the US Embassy informed Washington.

Rajapaksa said that responsibility for prosecuting and punishing serious crimes against society - he specifically mentioned murder and rape - should be handled by the Sri Lankan state.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and recounts details of the farewell meeting US Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake has had with President Rajapaksa on May 20, 2009. The cable was written on May 26, 2009 by the Charge D’Affaires James R. Moore.

Charge D’Affaires Moore wrote “In his farewell call on President Rajapaksa on May 20, Ambassador stressed that the reconciliation phase must include two vital components: the humanitarian side – providing the IDPs with what they need and resettling them expeditiously – and the political side – power-sharing arrangements to give Tamils assurance of a future with hope and dignity. This was the way to defeat terrorism for good. The Ambassador encouraged the GSL to think about how to engage with Tamil representatives. Ambassador said it was particularly important to reach out to the Tamil Diaspora so they would stop supporting the LTTE. The President said the basis of his devolution plan would be the “13th amendment plus 1” – meaning implementation of the existing constitutional provisions for provincial councils, but adding an upper house to Parliament, modeled on the U.S. Senate.”

“However, the President said that the Tamil National Alliance (the largest Tamil party in Parliament) was a problem. He did not know ‘if they were happy with it.’ The President thought that giving police powers to the provinces, as the TNA and others were demanding, would cause problems. He said that responsibility for prosecuting and punishing serious crimes against society – he specifically mentioned murder and rape – should be handled by the Sri Lankan state. He noted that the incumbent Supreme Court Justice had already decentralized the court system. Ambassador asked whether one step to ensure devolution of power to the provinces would be to abolish the concurrent list of powers to be shared by the center and the provinces, instead giving the provinces primary responsibility. Rajapaksa replied that ‘we’ve been thinking about this but haven’t decided yet.’ Ambassador urged the President to bring Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe on board for the constitutional changes, for which a two-thirds majority is necessary. Rajapaksa made light of the possibility of cooperation with the main opposition party, hinting that ‘we’re thinking of holding an election soon.’ (Note: the earliest President Rajapaksa could hold Presidential elections in November 2009.)” Charge D’Affaires James R. Moore further wrote.

Below we give the relevant part of the cable;

VZCZCXRO2659
OO RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #0563/01 1461138
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 261138Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0031
INFO RUEHTH/AMEMBASSY ATHENS PRIORITY 0287
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 8708
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 6942
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5001
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3074
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 4960
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4066
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9331
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 6637
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 1167
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3551
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000563

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2019
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: IN FAREWELL, AMBASSADOR PRESSES HARD ON
HUMANITARIAN ACCESS AND POLITICAL SOLUTION

Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES JAMES R. MOORE.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D)
8.  (SBU) In his farewell call on President Rajapaksa on May
20, Ambassador stressed that the reconciliation phase must
include two vital components: the humanitarian side -
providing the IDPs with what they need and resettling them
expeditiously - and the political side - power-sharing
arrangements to give Tamils assurance of a future with hope
and dignity.  This was the way to defeat terrorism for good.
The Ambassador encouraged the GSL to think about how to
engage with Tamil representatives.   Ambassador said it was
particularly important to reach out to the Tamil Diaspora so
they would stop supporting the LTTE. The President said the
basis of his devolution plan would be the "13th amendment
plus 1" - meaning implementation of the existing
constitutional provisions for provincial councils, but adding
an upper house to Parliament, modeled on the U.S. Senate.

9.  (C) However, the President said that the Tamil National
Alliance (the largest Tamil party in Parliament) was a
problem.  He did not know "if they were happy with it."  The
President thought that giving police powers to the provinces,
as the TNA and others were demanding, would cause problems.
He said that responsibility for prosecuting and punishing
serious crimes against society - he specifically mentioned
murder and rape - should be handled by the Sri Lankan state.
He noted that the incumbent Supreme Court Justice had already
decentralized the court system.  Ambassador asked whether one
step to ensure devolution of power to the provinces would be
to abolish the concurrent list of powers to be shared by the

COLOMBO 00000563  003 OF 004

center and the provinces, instead giving the provinces
primary responsibility.  Rajapaksa replied that "we,ve been
thinking about this but haven't decided yet."  Ambassador
urged the President to bring Opposition Leader Ranil
Wickremesinghe on board for the constitutional changes, for
which a two-thirds majority is necessary.  Rajapaksa made
light of the possibility of cooperation with the main
opposition party, hinting that "we're thinking of holding an
election soon." (Note:  the earliest President Rajapaksa
could hold Presidential elections in November 2009.)
MOORE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    “Rajapaksa said that responsibility for prosecuting and punishing serious crimes against society – he specifically mentioned murder and rape – should be handled by the Sri Lankan state.”
    So this is the reason behind not devolving police powers!!!!! They can cover up murders and gang rapes like “Tangalle”

    • 0
      0

      Talking of rape and murder, who raped and killed a teenaged girl when he was a teenager? Who’s first wife died of “natural causes”????

      • 0
        0

        USA give 13 plus to Iraq, Afgastain, Libiya Yeman and other middle east contries.New 13th puls for south Sudan.
        What easl you want from USA? USA also seek to give 13Th plus!…… to Iran

  • 0
    0

    HE Rajapakse told this in May, 2009. What is his present opinion?

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