Colombo Telegraph

WikiLeaks: Discord between the brothers -half to Basil, half to Gota

Many have remarked that they rarely appear in public together

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Basil and Gothabaya appear not to get along very well. Many have remarked that they rarely appear in public together, seem never to attend the same meetings, and at times offer the President conflicting advice.”the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” details the conflicting  issues between Presidend Rajapaksa’s two brothers, Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.  The cable was written on May 15, 2007 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake.

Ambassador Blake wtote “For example, when the GSL was reviewing bids for construction of a proposed new port in Hambantota, Basil and Gothabaya endorsed different Chinese companies. In the end, the President had to split the work between the two companies to appease his brothers.”

“Basil and Gothabaya also disagreed on whether the government should accept the United National Party (UNP) defectors in January 2007. Gothabaya preferred not to take them into the government and to work more closely with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP). Basil wanted the crossovers to shore up the ruling party’s position in parliament, thereby negating the need to depend on the JVP for a majority. Their biggest area of disagreement is quite possibly the debate between a military or a political solution to the ethnic conflict. Gothabaya favors a military solution, while Basil evinces skepticism that a military solution is possible. Despite their different agendas, Basil often relies on Gothabaya to provide the necessary ‘muscle’ to get things done.” Blake further wrote.

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

VZCZCXRO5144
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0698/01 1350532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 150532Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6029
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0380
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 0087
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 7068
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5157
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3729
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0943
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3800
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2880
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7654
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5335
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 2019
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000698

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CE
SUBJECT: PRESIDENT RELIES ON BROTHERS FOR POLICY ADVICE AND
POLITICAL COVER

Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., for reasons 1.4(b,d).
Discord Between the Brothers
----------------------------

7.  (C)  Basil and Gothabaya appear not to get along very
well.  Many have remarked that they rarely appear in public
together, seem never to attend the same meetings, and at
times offer the President conflicting advice.  For example,
when the GSL was reviewing bids for construction of a
proposed new port in Hambantota, Basil and Gothabaya endorsed
different Chinese companies.  In the end, the President had
to split the work between the two companies to appease his
brothers.  Basil and Gothabaya also disagreed on whether the
government should accept the United National Party (UNP)
defectors in January 2007.  Gothabaya preferred not to take
them into the government and to work more closely with the
Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP).  Basil wanted the crossovers
to shore up the ruling party's position in parliament,
thereby negating the need to depend on the JVP for a
majority.  Their biggest area of disagreement is quite
possibly the debate between a military or a political
solution to the ethnic conflict.  Gothabaya favors a military
solution, while Basil evinces skepticism that a military
solution is possible.  Despite their different agendas, Basil
often relies on Gothabaya to provide the necessary "muscle"
to get things done.
BLAKE

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