“Samaraweera had no faith in the Rajapaksas to address meaningfully the questions of national reconciliation and accountability, despite their great importance for the health and future of Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapaksa was ‘not so bad,’ but his family (that is, brothers Gotabhaya and Basil) had made him a prisoner of the worst racist and chauvinist elements in society. Mahinda himself also was firmly opposed to any devolution of power and had argued in closed government meetings that he wanted Sri Lanka to be a ‘unitary’ not just a ‘united’ country.” the US Embassy Colombo Informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The classified “CONFIDENTIAL” cable recounts details of a meeting the US Ambassador to Colombo, Patricia A. Butenis has had with General Sarath Fonseka’s chief campaign strategist Mangala Samaraweera on January 6, 2010.
Ambassador Butenis wrote; “Fonseka, on the other hand, had made reconciliation and accountability centerpieces of his campaign. Samaraweera noted the 10-point plan the general had just signed with the TNA leader Sampanthan on political rights and economic re-development of the war-affected areas. He also said Fonseka had been ‘surprising me with his liberalism’ and noted that the general himself had come up with the idea of ensuring freedom of religious belief under a new regime. On the very sensitive issue of accountability, Samaraweera again said he was ‘pleasantly surprised’ that Fonseka believed accountability was important for Sri Lanka, agreed with Samaraweera that the country needed a truth and reconciliation process, like the South Africans, and had ordered the campaign to start working out the logistics of a truth and reconciliation commission. Samaraweera thought that if Fonseka won, the Rajapaksas would be marginalized in the SLFP and the SLFP mainstream would want to work with the new government on reconciliation and accountability.”