9 August, 2020

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WikiLeaks: “Fonseka could be assassinated” Basil said matter-of-factly

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Sampanthan also recounted a disturbing conversation he recently had with the president’s brother Basil Rajapaksa, who said matter- of-factly ‘ Fonseka could be assassinated.’” the US embassy wrote to Washington.

A leaked US diplomatic cable says “ Sampanthan said this remark, coupled with the recent decree by nationalist Buddhist monks against Fonseka running in the election and the fact that a Rajapaksa/Fonseka contest would ‘split the army,’ were ‘dangerous trends’ and indicated that the election campaign would get ‘hot.’”

Sampanthan met Rajapaksa privately

A leaked US diplomatic cable recount details of a meeting the embassy had had with Tamil National Alliance Chairman R. Sampanthan on November 10, 2009. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable written on November 13, 2009, classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Deputy Chief of Mission Valerie Fowler.

The US ambassador Patricia A. Butenis wrote “ Sampanthan said President Rajapaksa recently expressed a desire to meet and they did so privately.” “ Sampanthan said the president wanted elections as soon as possible before the ‘war crimes’ issue got any heated, GSP-Plus concessions expired, or the economy got any worse” she further wrote.

“Sampanthan noted the president’s willingness to meet with Sampanthan and other Tamils, but overall he was not sanguine about the Rajapaksas’ commitment to reconciliation. They had stalled implementation of the 13th amendment and the election season would likely further reduce chances for putting the amendment into effect. Asked what other steps short of the 13th amendment would be important for reconciliation, Sampanthan noted the de-militarization of society and elimination – or at least reduction – of checkpoints, which particularly impacted young Tamil men. Sampanthan also urged the elimination of the Emergency Regulations. With the end of the war and complete defeat of the LTTE, Sampanthan thought there was no longer any justification for extraordinary measures.” the US ambassador wrote.

The ambassador Butenis wrote “Sampanthan said he wanted to meet with the US diaspora to stress with them the need to be pragmatic and not extreme in finding a political solution to the plight of Tamils, and to encourage them to become more involved in reconstruction and economic development.” “We encouraged him both in making the trip and in pursuing these goals” Butenis further wrote.

Read the full cable for further details and the ambassador’s comments;

VZCZCXRO7049
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #1031/01 3171024
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131024Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0752
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2028
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9064
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7302
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5211
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3457
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 5163
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0036
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0698
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4274
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9627
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 6921
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0010
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3821
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001031

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/13/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: TAMIL LEADER SAMPANTHAN FORESEES "HOT" ELECTION
CAMPAIGN

COLOMBO 00001031  001.2 OF 002

Classified By: DEPUTY CHIEF OF MISSION VALERIE FOWLER.  REASONS: 1.4 (B
, D)

 1. (C) SUMMARY:  In a November 10 meeting with PolChief,
Tamil National Alliance Chairman Rajavarothiyam Sampanthan
said President Rajapaksa told him there would be early
presidential elections.  He affirmed General Fonseka's
intention to run but noted that a Rajapaksa/Fonseka contest
would "split the army" and indicated that the election
campaign would get "hot."  Key steps on national
reconciliation for the Tamil community included
de-militarization of society, elimination of check points,
and ending the Emergency Regulations.  Sampanthan wanted to
meet with the U.S. diaspora to stress with them the need to
be pragmatic and not extreme in finding a political solution
to the plight of Tamils and to encourage them to become more
involved in reconstruction and economic development.  END
SUMMARY.

ELECTIONS: COULD GET "HOT"
--------------------------

2. (C) Sampanthan said President Rajapaksa recently expressed
a desire to meet and they did so privately.  When Sampanthan
asked the president's intentions whether he would call an
early presidential election, Rajapaksa said he decided to
"leave the decision to the people" and recounted how he had
asked crowds at events whether they wanted elections.
Everyone supposedly put their hands up.  Sampanthan said the
president wanted elections as soon as possible before the
"war crimes" issue got any more heated, GSP-Plus concessions
expired, or the economy got any worse.

3. (C) On Fonseka, Sampanthan said the general would run and
noted that the president would have to accept his resignation
or be seen as "dishonorable."  (NOTE: On November 12, Fonseka
resigned his commission effective December 1, and the
president immediately accepted the resignation.  Serving
military officers are barred from participating in politics.
END NOTE.)  Sampanthan also recounted a disturbing
conversation he recently had with the president's brother
Basil Rajapaksa, who said matter-of-factly "Fonseka could be
assassinated."  Sampanthan said this remark, coupled with the
recent decree by nationalist Buddhist monks against Fonseka
running in the election and the fact that a Rajapaksa/Fonseka
contest would "split the army," were "dangerous trends" and
indicated that the election campaign would get "hot."

RECONCILIATION
--------------

4. (C) Sampanthan noted the president's willingness to meet
with Sampanthan and other Tamils, but overall he was not
sanguine about the Rajapaksas' commitment to reconciliation.
They had stalled implementation of the 13th amendment and the
election season would likely further reduce chances for
putting the amendment into effect.  Asked what other steps
short of the 13th amendment would be important for
reconciliation, Sampanthan noted the de-militarization of
society and the elimination -- or at least reduction -- of
checkpoints, which particularly impacted young Tamil men.
Sampanthan also urged the elimination of the Emergency
Regulations.  With the end of the war and the complete defeat
of the LTTE, Sampanthan thought there was no longer any
justification for extraordinary measures.

DIASPORA CONFERENCE
-------------------

5. (C) Sampanthan was nonchalant about a Tamil diaspora

COLOMBO 00001031  002.2 OF 002

conference reported to be taking place soon, noting that it
had already switched from London on November 12 to Zurich
perhaps on November 19.  Nevertheless, he said he often spoke
to diaspora leaders, and recounted a conversation he had had
that morning with unidentified Tamil leaders in California
who were interested in getting involved in economic
development and reconstruction of the war-ravaged Sri Lankan
north and east.  These leaders encouraged him to plan a trip
to the U.S., which he was eager to do soon.

6. (C) Sampanthan said he wanted to meet with the U.S.
diaspora to stress with them the need to be pragmatic and not
extreme in finding a political solution to the plight of
Tamils, and to encourage them to become more involved in
reconstruction and economic development.  We encouraged him
both in making the trip and in pursuing these goals.

COMMENT
-------

7. (C) The Sri Lankan Tamil community, of which Sampanthan is
now probably the most prominent member, could play an
important role in any upcoming election, whether presidential
or parliamentary.  If Fonseka runs against Rajapaksa in a
presidential contest, the Sinhala vote could be evenly split,
making every vote count -- including those of the Tamil
community.  Although Tamils initially were dead-set against
Fonseka, given his past statements defending Sinhala-Buddhist
nationalism, we have begun to hear some express willingness
to support the general against what many regard as the very
corrupt Rajapaksas.  Fonseka himself appears aware of the
potential of this constituency and added the Rajapaksas poor
treatment of IDPs and failure to move ahead on national
reconciliation to his list of complaints in his resignation
letter.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    PLEASE BELIEVE ME ON THIS AND DO NOT GET CARRIED AWAY. WE TAMILS DO NOT LISTEN TO BLAKE OR BUTENIS WHO ARE ONLY INTERESTED IN THEMSELVES AND AMERICA. THEY ARE PAID FOR THAT JOB AND LIES. NOBODY CARES A SHIT ABOUT THE TAMILS.

    • 0
      0

      There is a saying in Tamil- here is the english version from direct translation:” A fearful person’s eyes can only see ghosts where ever he turns” Sure you are aware, that Srilanka has been a blood soaked country since 1956 and it is still continuing to be, with all the disappearances, but later the ‘disapeared’ is found as corpse ,on the wayside,in thickets or in a disused wells. That is the present day state of play in Srilanka, it’s their pride. But the Prejudice against Tamils continues , that too, if some one wants to show that they do care and wants to help!

      • 0
        0

        @Raja,Whatever state Sri Lanka is in today, it is a millions times better than when LTTE suicide bombers were having a field day in India & Sri Lanka. Since you are referring to ‘prejudice against Tamils’: Please be kind enough to list what rights are denied specifically to the Tamil community that are NOT denied to all other communities.
        After a bloody battle spanning 3 decades, a smart person like you should be able to come up with this list – thanks in advance.

    • 0
      0

      You got that right Thanga…at least…..

  • 0
    0

    F##K BUTENIS AND SAMPANTHAN.

  • 0
    0

    wow wow. Tamil Leader also for so-call development politics. GOD save Tamils!

  • 0
    0

    Sampanthan is a man for all season.

    • 0
      0

      GOSL and the brothers(which is one and the same) are loosing credibility (what ever was left).I wonder whether these guys ever have an open discussions with anyone other than the family.I am sure they will have some good friends and well-wishers who would advise them to change their ways.Or they have none (Even the old friends have given up like the veteran politician Vasudeva)and only people around them who want them to be vanquished.

  • 0
    0

    We have been hearing this line again and again whenever thugs are caught for aggravation.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lanka’s soverginty and self-respect has been mortgaged by the Rajapakses against who there are court cases in the US. They continue to militarize this country and do not know the meaning of decency and respect, never mind reconcilliation. This is why the entire world is now concerned about SL. Actually the US, UK , Europe, India have far more important things to do than waste their time lecturing the Rajapakses in Sri Lanka but they know that the Rajapakse Goons cannot be controlled by us civilian Sri Lankans and hence realize they have to help this country return to democracy.

  • 0
    0

    Here we go again,

    Conflicts within conflicts and confusion within confusion

    Right hand doesn’t know what left was doing and liquid excreta doesn’t know solid excreta is coming.

    Confused !!

  • 0
    0

    look,no matter who rule the country.Tamil need to understand that they must pay within the limits.no more India is giving weapons and money as well as training to re-stars terrorist.activities.over 30 years many of innocent Tamil living in sri lanka pay the price not who ever living in Canada or USA otherwise Europe ,they all going well.they are children are getting good education ,good food and nice place to lives.but look the situation in north and east,let this end and let people to get life back.people are living in north and east need new direction but this old Tamil leaders and terrorist living in aboard will not be in position to get any thinks their future or do nothing at all.if you all settle well and take care your business without listing to overseas terrorist group ,you all will do well in future.

  • 0
    0

    clear Indication US ambassdorrs to Sri Lanka interfering internal politics.

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