23 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Dilan Perera Refused To Defend GSL Action In Parliament

By Colombo Telegraph –

A leaked “secret”  US diplomatic cable, dated June 8, 2007, updated the Secretary of State on “the removal of non-Colombo based Tamils temporarily residing in Colombo lodges and hostels” shows the Justice Minister Dilan Perera had refused a request to defend the government action in Parliament.

Dilan Perera

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “SECRET” and written by the Ambassador Robert O. Blake.

Under the subject “MODERATE PARLIAMENTARIANS CONDEMN GSL ACTIONS” the Ambassador wrote “The Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, currently part of the ruling coalition, has condemned the government’s action. United National Party (UNP) crossovers serving as ministers and SLFP moderates have been instructed by the Government not to comment. Leader of the Up-Country People’s Front Radhakrishnan reportedly told the government he will leave the coalition if the removals continue. Justice Minister Dilan Perera (protect), an SLFP moderate close to former President Kumaratunga, told us he had refused a request to defend the government action in Parliament. Human rights organizations also strongly criticized the Government’s deportation actions and called for an immediate halt to further efforts to remove Tamils staying in Colombo.”

Placing a comment Blake wrote “Chief Justice Silva has generally been viewed as a reliable supporter of the Rajapaksa government. His decision to stay the removal of the Tamils is a welcome demonstration of judicial independence. President Rajapaksa’s expressed concern that the killing of two Tamil Red Cross employees was designed to discredit him before his speech to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Geneva on June 15 (ref B) now appears misplaced. The decision of his brother, Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa, to proceed with the internal deportations has likely done far more damage to Sri Lanka’s image. Government claims that the movements were voluntary are inaccurate based on numerous eyewitness accounts. Inspector General Abeywardena’s comments suggesting that Tamils were removed in response to criticism against the Government for failing to control abductions seemed particularly tone-deaf just a day after opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe accused him, Gothabaya Rajapaksa, and former Air Force squadron leader Nishantha Gajanayake of direct responsibility for numerous disappearances in Colombo (septel). Embassy will monitor closely over the coming weekend whether the GSL complies with the Supreme Court’s stay order.”

Related news to this cable; WikiLeaks: Forced Removals Of Tamils Is A Police Plan – Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe to US

Below we give the relevant part of the cable;

VZCZCXRO9615
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0820/01 1591020
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 081020Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6213
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0450
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0171
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 7152
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5259
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3807
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 1054
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3879
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1112
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2964
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7740
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5402
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0230
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2102
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 000820

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS
MCC FOR S GROFF, D TETER, D NASSIRY AND E BURKE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/08/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: SUPREME COURT STAYS ORDER EXPELLING
TAMILS FROM COLOMBO LODGES

REF: A. COLOMBO 809

     B. COLOMBO 805

Classified By: A/DCM ROBERT GABOR, FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D)

1.  (S) SUMMARY:  On June 8 the Sri Lanka Supreme Court
stayed the removal of non-Colombo based Tamils temporarily
residing in Colombo lodges and hostels (ref A).  The Court
ruled in favor of a Fundamental Rights Application filed by
the NGO Center for Policy Alternatives (CPA).  Military
spokesman Brigadier Prasad Samarasinghe (strictly protect)
told us that the idea for the forced removals came from the
police.  Although the Army was not in favor, Defense
Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa gave the order to proceed.

SIPDIS
Samarasinghe said the original plan was to suspend the
roundups on Friday, June 8, but pursue them with renewed
vigor over the weekend.  It is not clear what impact the
Supreme Court's stay will have on plans to continue the
removals on Saturday and Sunday.  In the meantime, at least a
couple of hundred Tamils are being housed inside a school in
Vavuniya without adequate water or sanitation.  The Red Cross
is helping to care for them.  There were unconfirmed reports
the GSL planned to move many Tamils across the Forward
Defense Line through the Omanthai checkpoint into the
Tiger-controlled Vanni.  Although the Liberation Tigers of
Tamil Eelam (LTTE) stated that the people would be welcomed
in the Vanni, they denied that there have been contacts with
the GSL on this subject.  Numerous members of Parliament,
including several moderate members of the governing
coalition, have objected to the Government's actions.
Embassy issued a press release calling for an immediate halt
to further deportations.  END SUMMARY.
MODERATE PARLIAMENTARIANS CONDEMN GSL ACTIONS
---------------------------------------------

8.  (C) The Sri Lankan Muslim Congress, currently part of the
ruling coalition, has condemned the government's action.
United National Party (UNP) crossovers serving as ministers
and SLFP moderates have been instructed by the Government not
to comment.  Leader of the Up-Country People's Front
Radhakrishnan reportedly told the government he will leave

COLOMBO 00000820  003 OF 003

the coalition if the removals continue.  Justice Minister
Dilan Perera (protect), an SLFP moderate close to former
President Kumaratunga, told us he had refused a request to
defend the government action in Parliament.  Human rights
organizations also strongly criticized the Government's
deportation actions and called for an immediate halt to
further efforts to remove Tamils staying in Colombo.

EMBASSY STATEMENT CONDEMNS FORCED REMOVALS
------------------------------------------

9.  (U) On June 8, the Embassy issued the following press
release:

"The United States condemns the forced removal of Tamils

Colombo, June 8, 2007:  The United States condemns the forced
removal of Tamils from Colombo.  Such measures violate the
Sri Lankan Constitution's guarantee that every citizen has
the right to freedom of movement and choice of residence
within Sri Lanka.

The United States understands and supports Sri Lanka's
obligation to defend itself against terrorism.  But this
action can only widen the ethnic divide at a time when
important efforts are underway to reach a national consensus
to end Sri Lanka's nearly quarter-century old conflict.

We call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to stop the forcible
removal of its citizens from Colombo, to make public the
destinations of those already removed, and to ensure their
safety and well-being."

10.  (C) COMMENT: Chief Justice Silva has generally been
viewed as a reliable supporter of the Rajapaksa government.
His decision to stay the removal of the Tamils is a welcome
demonstration of judicial independence.  President
Rajapaksa's expressed concern that the killing of two Tamil
Red Cross employees was designed to discredit him before his
speech to the International Labor Organization (ILO) in
Geneva on June 15 (ref B) now appears misplaced.  The
decision of his brother, Defense Secretary Gothabaya
Rajapaksa, to proceed with the internal deportations has
likely done far more damage to Sri Lanka's image.  Government
claims that the movements were voluntary are inaccurate based
on numerous eyewitness accounts.  Inspector General
Abeywardena's comments suggesting that Tamils were removed in
response to criticism against the Government for failing to
control abductions seemed particularly tone-deaf just a day
after opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe accused him,
Gothabaya Rajapaksa, and former Air Force squadron leader
Nishantha Gajanayake of direct responsibility for numerous
disappearances in Colombo (septel).  Embassy will monitor
closely over the coming weekend whether the GSL complies with
the Supreme Court's stay order.
BLAKE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    this is truly stupid news Colombo telegraphs. It’s like a headline “Dogs with or without rabies to be catch by the health ministry”. LOL

    • 0
      0

      Bodinayaka, what is important here is; Dilan also dealing with US embassy and telling secrets.

  • 0
    0

    It looks still there are some good guys in this government.

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