24 September, 2017

WikiLeaks: 80% Says MR Is Corrupt And 85% Says His Family Is Corrupt: MR’s Chief Pollster

“President Rajapaksa’s chief opinion pollster – who is a good contact of the embassy on other issues – shared with us the first findings from their initial survey. These initial responses indicated that potential voters had little interest in the symbolic issues” US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

I'm not a yes–man, 80 percent says you are corrupt

I’m not a yes–man, 80 percent says you are corrupt

The Colombo Telegraph found the leaked cable from the Wikileak database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis on December 26, 2009.

The cable recounts details of a meeting US Ambassador to Colombo has had with President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s chief pollster and his close advisor Sunimal Fernando. Under the subheading “PRESIDENTIAL POLLSTER SURPRISED BY GOOD FIGURS” the ambassador wrote “Only about 10% cared about the president’s creation of a ‘patriotic society’ after the war or his willingness to stand tall against the west. Also, many voters saw the Rajapksa family as corrupt (85%) and the president himself as corrupt (80%). Despite all his faults, the pollster claimed, many voters still saw Rajapkasa as a man of action and a man of his word and would vote for him over Fonseka.”

Placing a comment she wrote “the pollster prides himself on being one of the few figures in the president’s circle who gives him objective information and is not a yes – man… we find interesting the very high negatives for the president on corruption and apparent lack of voter interest in Rajapaksa’s standard patriotic issues, which could eat away at the president’s positive figures as the campaign progresses”

Related news – Wikileaks: “Race Is Neck And Neck” Rajapaksa’s Chief Pollster Sunimal Fernando 

Read the full cable

C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 001145

C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDED PASSING INSTRUCTIONS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

RELEASABLE TO: UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/15/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: ELECTIONS UPDATE NO.2

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PATRICIA A. BUTENIS.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D)

FORMER CHIEF JUSTICE APPEARS TO SUPPORT FONSEKA
--------------------------------------------- --

¶1. (C) Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva spoke at an event
organized by UNF member Mangala Samaraweera on December 15,
criticizing the concentration of powers developed through the
executive presidency under Mahinda Rajapaksa.  Fonseka was a
"surprise" guest at the event, and local media published
photos on December 16 of Silva shaking hands with him.  Some
observers have said Silva is a possible pick for the office
of prime minister if Fonseka were to win the election.

PRESIDENTIAL POLLSTER SURPRISED BY GOOD FIGURES
--------------------------------------------- --

¶2. (C) President Rajapaksa's chief opinion pollster -- who is
a good contact of the embassy on other issues -- shared with
us the first findings from their initial survey.  Admitting
that he earlier believed the contest was going to be very
tight, the pollster told us he was surprised at how well the
president appeared to be doing.  1,000 responses had come
back for the Central Province (a total of 25,000 responses
would eventually be received from the entire island).  These
initial responses indicated that potential voters had little
interest in the symbolic issues.  Only about 10 percent cared
about the president's creation of a "patriotic society" after
the war or his willingness to stand tall against the West.
Also, many voters saw the Rajapaksa family as corrupt (85
percent) and the president himself as corrupt (80 percent).
Despite all his faults, the pollster claimed, many voters
still saw Rajapaksa as a man of action and a man of his word
and would vote for him over Fonseka.  The figures showed
Sinhala voters preferring the president over Fonseka 83 to 17
percent; Tamils 65 to 35 percent; and Muslims 60 to 40
percent.  As the pollster put it, "voters seem to prefer the
tested man, with all his faults."  He said he was at first
reluctant to share the data with the president because it
seemed too good to be true.

¶3. (C) The campaign had hired a small Indian firm that
specializes in high-tech paperless surveys.  Surveyors were
sent to selected respondees with cell-phone-based electronic
devices, which also had GPS components.  The latter allowed
the pollsters to track where the surveyors were at any given
time and to ensure that the surveys were, in fact, being done
properly.  For example, each survey should take 18 minutes.
If a surveyor was in a house for 12 minutes or less, he was
not paid and that household was removed from the sample.

¶4. (C) COMMENT: The pollster prides himself on being one of
the few figures in the president's circle who gives him
objective information and is not a yes-man.  He said he
understood these figures were preliminary and that anything
could happen between now and January 26.  He does not appear
to be trying to mislead us but he could still be falling
victim to wish-fulfillment group-think within the president's
circle.  We find interesting the very high negatives for the
president on corruption and the apparent lack of voter
interest in Rajapaksa's standard patriotic issues, which
could eat away at the president's positive figures as the
campaign progresses.  END COMMENT.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 4
    1

    wow wow wow ;) :) :) :)

    • 4
      1

      My problem is whether the rural masses – that are the innocient prey of Rajapakshe thugs. While living on their blantat lies and selfish agendas, they activate all unexpectable by all their strenghts.

      • 2
        0

        WHETHER RURAL MASSAE GET THESE GROUND REALITIES OF RAJAPAKSHE.

    • 0
      0

      Guys this is a very old report. See the date, December 26, 2009.

      • 0
        0

        I agree, but the opponent then is nowhere near the sophisticated Maithripala we have today, and the pollsters opinion should be far worse for the Rajapakses. I reluctantly accept that we wouldn’t give in to the UN investigators but I sincerely hope that we do the investigations ourselves with a truly independent panel and take appropriate actions. The alternative would be the inevitable adverse conclusions by the UNHCR and sanctions against us that will disproportionately affect the poor in our country. The actual War Crimes criminais, if any, would be safely lodged in their ivory towers, or languish in their mansions in foreign lands, thanks to their Dual Citizenships.

  • 7
    2

    Most corrupted family. I think Dr Sunimal’s survey is a credible one.thank you Dr for sharing it with US.

    • 2
      0

      [Edited out]

    • 0
      0

      Sunimal is one of a few of those from a good background close to MR.
      Cultured, Soft-spoken, Oxford-educated. Of the much commented Cbo 7
      breed. Enjoys the distinction of being a Secretary (Private?) to Mrs. B in 1970.

      Kettikaran

  • 1
    11

    This Sunimal is a traitor.

  • 2
    9

    This man Sunimal is not good for the President. he looks American informer.

    • 5
      1

      yes , because he is not a yes-man. Mr Wimal the issue is not Dr Sunimal, but the corruption. see what people think. how he won by 2million ??? read the other news too. neck to neck race one!

  • 2
    1

    “Only about 10% cared about the president’s creation of a “patriotic society” after the war or his willingness to stand tall against the west.”
    so, why the hell are you playing with people?? trust Sunimal’s polls. the way he ran it looks credible.
    Dear Rajapaksa please please don’t play foolish!

  • 1
    2

    As I have commented in the article “race is neck and neck”. Someone commented against my comment and said “All the SF’s advisors are from foreign country…You know the heart beat of Sri Lankan real villagers…they are the most dedicated for the victories in the country….so u can,t guest about the results from Austrailia….try to understand how real sri Lankan people thinks.”

    I did reply to his comment by saying Mahinda Rjapaksa also hired strategists from India to work for him. I think you can see the truth in this leak report. so please don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched.

    • 1
      1

      M Jeeran, well said!

  • 6
    3

    what does this say about the people in SL?……MODAYAS?

    • 1
      17

      No politician if there is no corrupt but, my personal believe is HE.Rajapkasha and his family must control our country for another decades.today we have undivided country because if him.As a sinhalese buddhist we have only one country. so who save that for us? Rajapaksha Family

      • 3
        0

        Any need to guess what “B” stands for in your name?

  • 5
    0

    This is a great revelation . thank you Colombo Telegraph!

  • 4
    1

    Something Sri Lankans have come to terms with.
    It’s sad that corruption is an integral part of our politics.
    I think voters have settled down and ready to accept development at any cost. They are happy to use the new road and forget about who earned how much???
    Perhaps we don’t have powerful institutions or a people’s voice to nail such issues.

  • 5
    3

    sinhalese villager is only interested in handouts….. These issues are only appreciated by the middle class which is tiny

  • 2
    1

    Brothers in arms…;)

  • 11
    1

    That is not rocker science. Everybody knows MR and Family are corrupt.Singhalese are 75% of the population, and they need to do something. That needs guts, balls, brains and spine.

  • 6
    1

    And you can bet there are many more in government with helping Hambantota type bank accounts.

  • 5
    2

    What Sunimal says is correct, MR should make changes and definetly his star would rise without depending on Astroligical charts for good time and bad. He should kick all the jokers out including weerawansa and Chmapika,, mervyn and hakeem then we could see a happier country.

  • 5
    2

    this is the worst corrupt president of sri lanka in our history

  • 8
    2

    Dear readers,

    No one could say Rajapaksa family is running a clean office.They have robbed billions in cash,lands,hospitals,companies,hotels so on.I think no leader robbed money in this pattern so far in our country.Well one day they should be brought to courts after their wings are down and all the wealth should be removed with interest and jailed.Real disgrace to Sinhalese community.Just imagine the work what have Prabhakaran done in his service to north? They have done the best without corruption.This is the difference.

  • 8
    2

    The worst and corrupt regime after independeance. Will this record go for the Guiness Books. And may this be the percentage 85-15 in favor of MY3 on 9 Jan 2105. Long live Sri Lanka, the nation of the majority Sinhalese and Minority ethnic groups living in peace n harmony.

  • 9
    1

    most corrupted man in Lankan history. He looted much national resources. He build palace in Jaffna, Kandy. in his native place and other places. He leads a life of king at public money

    • 3
      2

      Aney Dr Nass; Who gave you your doctorate. Must be a drunken man. Please learn to write proper Engliees beforte you pick up your pen. Drs like you sheme for all Silly Lankans, no;

  • 2
    0

    This man has many assets in many countries. Gaddafi is much better. That is why he is appointing his relatives to foreign service to look after these assets got out of Sri Lankan poor people money. Remove him from votes or Arab types of struggle.

  • 2
    0

    Do you need a poll to tell you that this fellow MR and clan are corrupt? The remaining percent of people are part of his family.

  • 1
    1

    This poll was done in 2009 ! The so called pollster says 85% of sri lankans think MR is corrupt. But the pollster does not say whether he is in that 85% or the 15% who did not think MR is corrupt. But at the 2009 December presidential election MR won with a very large majority.So I suspect the integrity of this poll and the pollster. While doing so called damaging polls the pollster is feeding information to the US Embassy ! What kind of a presidential aid is this professor ?

  • 0
    0

    This website is not available for Sri Lanka. I view this using proxy. This may be blocked.

  • 0
    0

    Our post-independence political history proves beyond doubt that only dirty politicians can “get things done”.

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