26 September, 2020

Blog

WikiLeaks: A Top Sri Lankan Major General Is A US Informer

By Colombo Telegraph –

Major General Prasad Samarasinghe the former Military Spokesman and Director, Directorate of Media in the Army has provided valuable information to the US and contradicted government’s official versions, according to a cable sent by the US Embassy Colombo. Major General Samarasinghe who is also the Chief Signal Officer (CSO) of the Army and Chief Controller, Centre for Research and Development at Ministry of Defence. He has also been the Commander for three separate Brigades in Jaffna, Wanni and Trincomalee, Colonel General Staff, 22 Division Headquarters, Trincomalee, Colonel General Staff, Directorate of Operations, Army Headquarters, Assistant Military Secretary, Army Headquarters and the Centre Commandant, Sri Lanka Signal Corps. He previously served as the military spokesman to the Sri Lanka High Commission in London on a diplomatic posting.

Samarasinghe - a political insider within the Rajapaksa administration,

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “SECRET” and discuses Sri Lanka’s problem of political abductions and abductions-for-ransom. The cable was written by the Charge d’Affaires, James R. Moore.

The cable, dated July 6,2007, updated the Secretary of State on Sri Lanka’s issue of abductions and asked strictly protect Military Spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe as their source. Samarasinghe was described as a political insider within the Rajapaksa administration.

The Charge d’Affaires wrote “Despite the GSL’s efforts to tout arrests of alleged abductors, critics and some government insiders claim that there is little genuine connection between the abductions and those that the Government has arrested. Military Spokesman Prasad Samarasinghe (strictly protect), a political insider within the Rajapaksa administration, told us that the arrest on June 26 of the five alleged abductors working with Gajanayake was political retribution against those thought to be disloyal to the Rajapaksa administration. Samarasinghe further alleged that the GSL felt compelled to demonstrate concrete examples of progress on abductions to appease the international community.”

Below we give the relevant part of the cable;

VZCZCXRO4601
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0959/01 1870735
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 060735Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6415
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0269
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 7250
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5357
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3892
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1177
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3963
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1163
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 3049
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7843
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5498
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0301
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2191
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000959

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS AND PM
MCC FOR D NASSIRY AND E BURKE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/02/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA:  GOVERNMENT TAKES STEPS TO ADDRESS
ABDUCTIONS

REF: A. COLOMBO 899
     B. COLOMBO 463
     C. COLOMBO 844
     D. COLOMBO 561
     E. COLOMBO 861
     F. COLOMBO 809

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires, James R. Moore, for reasons 1.4(b,d).

1.  (C)  SUMMARY:  The Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) has
recently made several announcements about its efforts to
eliminate abductions in Sri Lanka.  On July 4 Defense
Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella announced the arrest of 10
suspected abductors in the GSL's efforts to eliminate
abductions-for-ransom.  On June 21 the GSL arrested N.
Gajanayake (ref A), a suspected abductions ring-leader, and
on June 26, the police arrested five other alleged abductors
thought to be working with Gajanayake, bringing the total
number arrested to 16.  Critics of the administration allege
that there is little connection between those arrested and
the rash of abductions-for-ransom, charging instead that the
GSL is arresting scapegoats to appease the international
community.  However, in addition to arrests, the GSL has
established a "help center" to assist family members who wish
to file a "missing person" report.  Minister Rajitha
Senaratne, one of a five-member team appointed to oversee the
new center, said that he is committed to providing a level of
transparency to the GSL's investigations while shielding
civilians afraid to file claims against military or police
forces.  The GSL on June 29 publicly released some of its
findings after looking into a list of alleged disappearances
provided by the Ambassador.  While the Embassy welcomes the
GSL's efforts to investigate the whereabouts of those on the
Ambassador's list, we have informed the Government that it
should take credit for the list rather than making it appear
as though it is acting on behalf of the Embassy.  END SUMMARY.

GOVERNMENT TOUTS ABDUCTIONS ARRESTS;
CRITICS ALLEGE POLITICAL RETRIBUTION
------------------------------------

2.  (SBU)  During his weekly press briefing on July 4,
Defense Spokesman Keheliya Rambukwella stated: "One ex-Air
Force officer (Gajanayake), a serving airman and four police
officers have already been arrested and another 10 suspects
comprising four Muslims and six Sinhalese have been arrested
in connection with ransom cases."  Rambukwella further
alleged that police have identified the suspects involved in
killing two Red Cross employees on June 1 (ref C), but that
they had escaped into territory controlled by the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).  He also stated that the police
were working with Interpol to arrest a suspected abductions
ring-leader who fled to Italy.  Noting that those arrested
comprised both Muslim and Sinhalese, Rambukwella dismissed
critics' allegations that abductions were targeting Muslims
based on their ethnicity.  Rambukwella also dismissed
allegations that United National Party (UNP) Parliamentarian
Lakshman Seneviratne made in Parliament on June 6 alleging
that Rambukwella's security detail was involved in abducting
a Muslim businessman (ref D).  Rambukwella stated that there
have been no abductions in Colombo since June 18 and cited
this as evidence that the GSL's efforts to bring abductors to
justice is working.

3.  (S)  Despite the GSL's efforts to tout arrests of alleged
abductors, critics and some government insiders claim that
there is little genuine connection between the abductions and
those that the Government has arrested.  Military Spokesman
Prasad Samarasinghe (strictly protect), a political insider

COLOMBO 00000959  002 OF 003

within the Rajapaksa administration, told us that the arrest
on June 26 of the five alleged abductors working with
Gajanayake was political retribution against those thought to
be disloyal to the Rajapaksa administration.  Samarasinghe
further alleged that the GSL felt compelled to demonstrate
concrete examples of progress on abductions to appease the
international community.
MOORE
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.