Colombo Telegraph

WikiLeaks: Gota And Basil Are To Provide Political Cover To Mahinda

By Colombo Telegraph

“Moreover, one of their biggest roles is to provide political cover to the President. The President often has Gothabaya and Basil take credit for decisions so he can appear less involved in actions that earn the GSL criticism at home and abroad.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Sometimes he avoids decisionmaking altogether by delegating many responsibilities to Gothabaya or Basil, allowing him to avoid blame for unpopular decisions.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” details the Presidend Rajapaksa’s decision making process. The cable was written on May 15, 2007 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake.

Ambassador Blake wrote “The President is often reluctant to make decisions and will stall for time, particularly on important issues. Sometimes he avoids decisionmaking altogether by delegating many responsibilities to Gothabaya or Basil, allowing him to avoid blame for unpopular decisions. The most notable example of the President’s stalling tactics is the slow progress of the All Parties Representative Committee (APRC) process and the delay in the submission of the SLFP devolution proposals to the APRC.”

“The relationship between the President and his brothers, obviously, is a family one as well as a political one. There is much that we don’t know about how they interact. Nonetheless, it is clear that the President’s brothers play an important and influential role in shaping GSL security and political policy. Moreover, one of their biggest roles is to provide political cover to the President. The President often has Gothabaya and Basil take credit for decisions so he can appear less involved in actions that earn the GSL criticism at home and abroad. The concentration of power in the Presidency means that Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the help of his brothers, has a unique opportunity to advance key national interests. Thus far, he has failed to use that power to develop a national consensus on a devolution proposal that could form the basis for renewed peace negotiations.” ambassador Blake further wrote.

We give below the relevant part of the 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).
3.  (C)  The President is often reluctant to make decisions
and will stall for time, particularly on important issues.
Sometimes he avoids decisionmaking altogether by delegating
many responsibilities to Gothabaya or Basil, allowing him to
avoid blame for unpopular decisions.  The most notable
example of the President's stalling tactics is the slow
progress of the All Parties Representative Committee (APRC)
process and the delay in the submission of the SLFP
devolution proposals to the APRC.

16.  (C)  COMMENT:  The relationship between the President
and his brothers, obviously, is a family one as well as a
political one.  There is much that we don't know about how
they interact.  Nonetheless, it is clear that the President's
brothers play an important and influential role in shaping
GSL security and political policy.  Moreover, one of their
biggest roles is to provide political cover to the President.
 The President often has Gothabaya and Basil take credit for
decisions so he can appear less involved in actions that earn
the GSL criticism at home and abroad.  The concentration of
power in the Presidency means that Mahinda Rajapaksa, with
the help of his brothers, has a unique opportunity to advance
key national interests.  Thus far, he has failed to use that
power to develop a national consensus on a devolution
proposal that could form the basis for renewed peace
negotiations.
BLAKE

Back to Home page