21 September, 2021

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WikiLeaks: "Daily Mirror presented my speech best" – Rajapaksa to US

By Colombo Telegraph –

“The President opined that the opposition “Daily Mirror” had the best presentation of his victory speech in Parliament, superior to that of the government-owned newspapers.” The US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Rajapaksa syas "Daily Mirror" is superior to that of the government-owned newspapers - Editor Daily Mirror Champika Liyanarachchi (L)

The Colombo Telegraph found the leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” recounts details of meetings Ambassador Robert O. Blake has had with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The cable was written on May 26, 2009 and classified by Charge D’Affaires James R. Moore.

Charge D’Affairs James wrote “Ambassador said that an improvement in Sri Lanka’s poor human rights environment was also imperative for reconciliation and long-term peace in Sri Lanka. It would also be important to see an easing up of pressure on independent media, and an end to extrajudicial killings and disappearances, especially since all these had particularly affected Tamil populations. Ambassador said it was equally important to stop extrajudicial killings and disappearances, and disarm all paramilitaries, particularly those in Vavuniya. Further, he stressed it was time to turn the corner on media freedom. A free press was essential to the functioning of democracy”

“The President responded that slain editor Lasantha Wickrematunge was a friend of his, and claimed he was also a source who had provided information on the opposition and civil society. He and the Defense Secretary noted that relations with the government and the media were now much improved, with the press “way ahead of us” in praising the government’s successful conclusion of the war. The President opined that the opposition “Daily Mirror” had the best presentation of his victory speech in Parliament, superior to that of the government-owned newspapers.” James further wrote.

Below we give a part of the confidential 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
HUMAN RIGHTS AND MEDIA FREEDOM
------------------------------

12.  (C) In his meetings with the President and with Defense
Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, Ambassador emphasized that our
military-to-military relations would benefit greatly if we
could solve the problem of child soldiers serving with the
paramilitaries.  The Defense Secretary said that releasing
the child soldiers was part of the process of disarming all
the paramilitaries, which had now begun.  The LTTE no longer
existed, so the police, not militias, could provide security
to the leaders of these groups ) who were now ordinary
politicians.

13.  (C) Ambassador said that an improvement in Sri Lanka's
poor human rights environment was also imperative for
reconciliation and long-term peace in Sri Lanka.  It would
also be important to see an easing up of pressure on
independent media, and an end to extrajudicial killings and
disappearances, especially since all these had particularly
affected Tamil populations.  Ambassador said it was equally
important to stop extrajudicial killings and disappearances,

COLOMBO 00000563  004 OF 004

and disarm all paramilitaries, particularly those in
Vavuniya.  Further, he stressed it was time to turn the
corner on media freedom.  A free press was essential to the
functioning of democracy.

14.  (C) The President responded that slain editor Lasantha
Wickrematunge was a friend of his, and claimed he was also a
source who had provided information on the opposition and
civil society.  He and the Defense Secretary noted that
relations with the government and the media were now much
improved, with the press "way ahead of us" in praising the
government's successful conclusion of the war.  The President
opined that the opposition "Daily Mirror" had the best
presentation of his victory speech in Parliament, superior to
that of the government-owned newspapers.
MOORE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    How does the average citizen know whether to trust what the government says when the ‘spin doctors’ are so good at their game?

  • 0
    0

    Champika Liyanaarachi is now in full control and with the staff she has the Daily Mirror is in a position to tell the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth because the Tiger Eesawaran has now moved to pollute the Sunday Leader after the polluter principal ( Lansi Nona Jansz) is now busy getting her political refugee status in sights. Any country with a brain will have to ask how she managed to escape the Sri Lankan Government she vilified for so long in her biased articles.
    Yohan the “Pope Of Colombo” Perera and Gehan “the Portuguese” Chickera however will have to understand that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country and whatever their pro LTTE notions are they should leave it with the walls of their own homes. Jehan Perera who had a column to himself so he could feed his wife Sumadhu and their child must now get a proper job and earn a man’s wages. Publishing lies about the country you grew up in does not pay for a long time unless you have an ambition of becoming a professional pimp.

  • 0
    0

    Reading with Bell Potinger story I feel something fishy.

    • 0
      0

      Then cook!! ;) :0

  • 0
    0

    Daily mirror took a decisive turn towards Sinhala Nationalist camp as the urban market was full of that. After Sivarama was assassinated there was no counter point to the endless extreme ethnic nationalism that Liyanarachchi penned. She became the English version of Gunadasa Amerasekaras ‘Jathinka’ ideology without the intellectual content.
    Journalism should not be SInhala or Tamil or National it should be civic. Taking the side and agenda of the civic society. Rajapakse has given the best certificate to Liyanarachchi- We all know which cam she belongs to

    • 0
      0

      Sadly Champika Liayanarachchi was the PAID AGENT for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) while she was a working journalist, nobody knew it, I get to know it even recently. Im surprised now , and evaluate her past work with that context and this Bell Potinger context.

      • 0
        0

        @Manike, What do u mean by “PAID AGENT” ?? can u explain??

      • 0
        0

        She is one of the best Editors in Sri Lanka, although Editors Guild never accredited her as an Editor.

  • 0
    0

    wow wow, is Ranijith Wijewardena and Sujan Wijewaradena know it? ;) :) :) :)

  • 0
    0

    hoooo, Lasantha was a informer then?

    • 0
      0

      Dont U know it? not only to Rajapaksas but others too ask her wife, she is witting a book about him. email to her this is her email ( removed by the moderator )

  • 0
    0

    whoever says Daily Mirror is an opposition newspaper ought to have his/her head examined .

  • 0
    0

    “The LTTE was well represented in the Daily Mirror while the war was being prepared. Now Champika has taken over and things are going well. Mr. Wijewardena and his sons are good newspaper people so the balance is good. But the Wijeya group is still pro opposition.”

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