24 September, 2018

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WikiLeaks: Exchanging Arms With Human Rights; ‘Sri Lanka Totally Committed To Devolution’ – Gota And FM To US

“The government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is committed to the political agenda of devolution, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Deputy Secretary Negroponte in a July 31 meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN.” US Embassy Manila (Philippines) informed Washington.

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence

Secretary to the Ministry of Defence

A classified diplomatic cable which details a meeting the US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte had with Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama on July 31, 2007. The Colombo Telegraph found the related US diplomatic cable from the WikiLeaks database.

The US Embassy wrote; “The FM emphasized Sri Lanka’s intention to encourage a pluralist democratic government in the North, reviewed the military’s recent successes in the East, and committed to reducing civilian casualties in the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The FM expressed hope that the joint U.S.-Sri Lankan military exercises that were postponed last year would proceed this year, and raised concerns about the delay in the delivery of Bushmaster guns and ammunition. He also asked the Deputy Secretary to look into the possibility of another assessment of Sri Lanka’s eligibility for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds. Finally, the FM emphasized that money collected by the LTTE from the Tamil Diaspora in the U.S. is allowing LTTE-sponsored violence to continue, and highlighted Sri Lanka’s commitment to human rights.”

Related stories to this cable;

WikiLeaks: Gota Requests US Law Enforcement Assistance To Address Civilian-Military Issues

WikiLeaks: Gota Raised Concerns About The ‘Delay’ In The Delivery Of Bushmaster Guns And Ammunition – US

WikiLeaks: Diaspora Funding Intended For Tamil People Goes To LTTE: Gota To US

We publish below the cable in full;

VZCZCXRO7781
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #2586/01 2130914
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 010914Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7665
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS IMMEDIATE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE 0513
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO IMMEDIATE 2875
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI IMMEDIATE 2334
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 002586 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR D, SCA, AND EAP 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/08/2027 
TAGS: ASEAN ETRD PREL EXBS PGOV PTER PHUM MOPS RP
CE 
SUBJECT: THE DEPUTY SECRETARY'S MEETING WITH SRI LANKA FM 
ROHITHA BOGOLLAGAMA 

Classified By: Deputy Secretary Negroponte, reasons 1.4 c, d 

¶1.  (C)  Summary:  The government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is 
committed to the political agenda of devolution, Sri Lankan 
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama and Defense Secretary 
Gotabaya Rajapaksa told Deputy Secretary Negroponte in a July 
31 meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN.  The FM emphasized Sri 
Lanka's intention to encourage a pluralist democratic 
government in the North, reviewed the military's recent 
successes in the East, and committed to reducing civilian 
casualties in the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of 
Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The FM expressed hope that the joint 
U.S.-Sri Lankan military exercises that were postponed last 
year would proceed this year, and raised concerns about the 
delay in the delivery of Bushmaster guns and ammunition.  He 
also asked the Deputy Secretary to look into the possibility 
of another assessment of Sri Lanka's eligibility for 
Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) funds.  Finally, the FM 
emphasized that money collected by the LTTE from the Tamil 
Diaspora in the U.S. is allowing LTTE-sponsored violence to 
continue, and highlighted Sri Lanka's commitment to human 
rights.  End Summary. 

Committed to Political Agenda 
----------------------------- 

¶2.  (C)  The government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is "totally 
committed" to the political agenda of devolution, and will 
start with the proposals put forth by the All-Party 
Representative Committee (APRC), Sri Lankan Foreign Minister 
Rohitha Bogollagama told Deputy Secretary Negroponte in a 
July 31 meeting on the sidelines of ASEAN.  The GSL is 
working to bring moderates and opposition members into the 
government, he emphasized, stating that "we want to encourage 
a pluralist, democratic environment in the North, and hope 
the LTTE is involved in the process." 

¶3.  (C)  Reviewing the GSL's recent military successes in the 
East, the Foreign Minister explained that the region had been 
liberated from the hold of the LTTE.  Describing the 
situation there as post-conflict, he noted that the 
government hopes to showcase this area, particularly to the 
Co-Chairs, to gain international assistance for livelihood 
and infrastructure projects.  "We want people to benefit from 
the clearance of the LTTE," he emphasized. 

¶4.  (C)  Violence between the government and LTTE has 
declined compared to last year, Bogollagama stated, adding 
that the GSL has been able to mitigate the effects of 
violence through security measures.  Still, the LTTE 
deliberately draws attention to issues such as human rights 
or other issues of concern to the international community in 
order to detract attention from their own activities.  When 
the attention of the international community is deflected 
onto the government, the LTTE is able to effectively "take a 
breather," and regroup. 

Military Cooperation and Surveillance Equipment 
--------------------------------------------- -- 

¶5.  (C)  Highlighting a reduction in civilian casualties as 
"the one thing to improve," Sri Lankan Secretary of Defense 
Gotabaya Rajapaksa requested U.S. law enforcement assistance 
to address civilian-military issues and improve 
communication.  The GSL has taken measures to reduce civilian 
casualties in the fight against the LTTE, he stated. 

¶6.  (C)  Reiterating Sri Lanka's desire for enhanced maritime 
and ground surveillance capabilities, Rajapaksa also raised 
concerns about the "delay" in the delivery of Bushmaster 
naval guns and ammunition.  He explained that the delay was 
not based on legal restrictions due to the country's internal 
political situation, but because of the need to ship the guns 
through a "staging point" such as Kuwait.  Expressing 
appreciation for the long-standing military training program 
between the U.S. and Sri Lanka, Rajapaksa noted that the 
joint military exercises scheduled last year had been 
postponed. "We hope the exercises take place this year," he 
said. 

Millennium Challenge Account 
---------------------------- 

¶7.  (C)  Arguing that the "goalposts have shifted" in the 
threshold requirements for Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) 
disbursement,  Foreign Minister Bogollagama asked the Deputy 

MANILA 00002586  002 OF 002 

Secretary to look into Sri Lanka's qualification for MCA 

SIPDIS 
funds.  Emphasizing that he had repeatedly raised concerns 
with U.S. interlocutors, the FM asked for another assessment 
of Sri Lanka's eligibility for the MCA before a final 
decision.  Noting that the MCA funds would be used for 
development, he requested that the U.S. consider the Sri 
Lankan people and "not submit need-based judgments to various 
other considerations."  The Deputy Secretary stated he would 
look into the matter. 

Money from the U.S. Keeps the LTTE Operating 
------------------------------------------ 

¶8.  (C)  Money collected by the LTTE among the Tamil Diaspora 
in the U.S. is allowing LTTE-sponsored violence to continue, 
FM Bogollagama emphasized.  "We want to de-escalate the 
violence so that the political agenda gets out," but money 
raised in Europe, Canada and the U.S. is used to purchase 
arms and "hit us at home," he stated.  Without the sources of 
foreign funds, the LTTE would be isolated among its own 
community because of the civilian casualties they inflict, he 
argued.  He explained that the GSL would continue to raise 
this issue "because we want our position to be clear." 

¶9.  (C)  Defense Secretary Rajapaksa clarified that the Tamil 
Diaspora has been funding the LTTE not because of radicalism, 
but because of a desire to make financial contributions to 
their homeland.  The Diaspora thinks the money they send goes 
to the Tamil community, but in reality it goes for purchasing 
weapons, he said. 

Committed to Human Rights 
------------------------- 

¶10.  (C)  Sri Lanka seeks to be transparent regarding human 
rights issues and the detention and prosecution of 
terrorists, FM Bogollagama stated.  "We want to be 
transparent and to see law enforcement authorities 
consciously following human rights norms and be more educated 
toward civilians." He also noted that the GSL remained 
committed to conducting human rights training at every level 
of the military hierarchy.  The International Committee of 
the Red Cross (ICRC) has been providing assistance for human 
rights training at the field level, he said. 

¶11.  (C)  Linguistic differences between military personnel 
and the Sri Lankan communities in which they work pose a 
challenge, he said, comparing the situation to U.S. military 
personnel working in Iraq.  The GSL is making an effort to 
have officers speak the language of the people they come into 
contact with. 

¶12.  (U) July 31,2007; 1615; Manila, Philippines. 

¶13.  (U)  Meeting Participants: 

U.S. 
Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte 
Kaye Lee, Special Assistant to the Deputy Secretary of State 
Siriana Nair, Notetaker 
Adam Scarlatelli, Notetaker 

Sri Lanka 
Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama 
W M Senevirathna, Ambassador to the Philippines 
Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of Defense 
Donald Perera, Chief of Defense Staff 
Dhakshitha Bogollagama, Notetaker 
KENNEY
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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    Bloody joker is full of sh@@.

  • 1
    0

    Quote “Bloody Joker,” the Tamil from the North still insisted on waging war against the GOSL instead of turning against the high caste Tamils who supressed the Low Caste all their lives and used them as cannon fodder for Velu & LTTE to use for their hidden agenda and fortify their positions overseas sefishly sacrificing future of Tamil youth & children………..

    Ungrateful it seems, if not for free education proposed by C.W.W.Kanangara, the Low Caste Tamils of the North would have been engaged in Karaveddy drying, Toddy tapping for jobs and serving as underpaid servants in High Caste Tamil’s homes in Jaffna and Colombo and that is the only way the Low Caste would have ever got to see or visit Colombo.

    IN 2007, A FULL PACKAGE OF DEVOLUTION WAS ON OFFER, BUT, “WE” THE BLOODY JOKER TAMILS FROM THE NORTH FAILED TO GRASP IT AND INSTEAD CONTINUED TO TAKE ON THE GOSL WITH A FALSE ILLUSION THAT FALL OF GOSL WAS IMMINENT.
    ALS !!! THE HAND OF GOD WENT AGAINST THE LTTE, CATHOLIC CLERGY WHO WERE CRAVING FOR A EELAM IN THE NORTH FOR TAMIL CATHOLICS AND WITH ……….IT GOT DROWNED THE “DEVOLUTION”.
    Demographics & fortunes changed, GOSL succeeds to defeat the most ruthless terrorists outfit in the world at their game and now “WE” the bloody joker tamils in the North crying fouls and misleading the world leaders and buying the media to publish false propaganda

  • 0
    0

    Is it any wonder the US is sponsoring resolution after resolution against the Rajapaksa government at the UNHRC. It is clear to all that the Rajapaksa regime lied to its supporters before and continues to lie and deceive them.

  • 0
    0

    If Sri Lanka is committed to the political agenda of devolution according to Gota and FM, why not come out with Federalism. Have they got the courage to criticize Federalism while in USA. I think Sri Lanka need some more heavy pressure. Because of their unbalanced state on the concept of Federalism, there was heavy loss of lives and destruction of properties and still carrying on with the malignant economic policy. If devolution is granted, can the prominent figures carry on with the heroin business and casino business.

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