21 July, 2019

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WikiLeaks: Gota Softens Tone On War Crimes

By Colombo Telegraph – 

“Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa seemed to soften his tone on calls for accountability over possible violations of international human rights. In an earlier interview with the BBC, the Defense Secretary had vigorously opposed any international investigation into possible violations. In a February 8 interview with the local Island newspaper, however, Rajapaksa said “no one would oppose a genuine investigation initiated by the international community” and that the Defense Ministry would take punitive action against any military personnel guilty of war crimes or criminal activity.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable was written on February 10 , 2010 by the Charge D’Affaires Valerie Fowler.

Placing a comment Fowler wrote “The Foreign Secretary’s clarification that Fonseka was under detention to further the investigation appears to reflect the government’s consolidation of its position on his case, making sure they do not box themselves in with any procedural complexities. His arguments about the government’s handling of the case with “complete transparency” resembled the government’s response to the EU’s report on the removal of GSP-plus preferential tariffs. In both instances, a strong statement was made that Sri Lankan laws did not allow for any misdeeds, and therefore nothing questionable could have happened.”

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

VZCZCXRO0502
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #0108/01 0411231
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 101231Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1294
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2414
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9436
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7691
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5442
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3852
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0028
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0228
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0179
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4491
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9996
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7231
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0223
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0134
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 03 COLOMBO 000108 

SIPDIS 

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/09/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA HOT TOPICS: FONSEKA, BUDDHIST CRITICISM
OF GSL, ACCOUNTABILITY, PARLIAMENT DISSOLUTION 

COLOMBO 00000108  001.2 OF 003 

Classified By: CHARGE D'AFFAIRES VALERIE C. FOWLER.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D
)
DEFENSE SECRETARY SOFTENS
TONE ON ACCOUNTABILITY
------------------------- 

9. (C) Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa seemed to soften
his tone on calls for accountability over possible violations
of international human rights.  In an earlier interview with
the BBC, the Defense Secretary had vigorously opposed any
international investigation into possible violations.  In a
February 8 interview with the local Island newspaper,
however, Rajapaksa said "no one would oppose a genuine
investigation initiated by the international community" and
that the Defense Ministry would take punitive action against
any military personnel guilty of war crimes or criminal
activity. 

COMMENT
------- 

10. (C) The Foreign Secretary's clarification that Fonseka
was under detention to further the investigation appears to
reflect the government's consolidation of its position on his
case, making sure they do not box themselves in with any
procedural complexities.  His arguments about the
government's handling of the case with "complete
transparency" resembled the government's response to the EU's
report on the removal of GSP-plus preferential tariffs.  In
both instances, a strong statement was made that Sri Lankan
laws did not allow for any misdeeds, and therefore nothing
questionable could have happened.
FOWLER



CORRECTION

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Earlier version of this article said that the cable date was  June 14, 2007 

Correction: It was February 10 , 2010


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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    WOW WOW, Is this that Gota? LOL

  • 0
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    I wonder why this man crying and shouting now?? :(

  • 0
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    This cardboard sando, quickly got rid of Padmakumaran Gunaratnam the defacto JVP leader, handing him over to the Australian Ambassador fearing that he will divulge all the crimes committed with MR/Wambotta in 88/89 to topple the UNP govt. then.

  • 0
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    Colombo Telegraph says it found the cable dated “June 14, 2007 by the Charge D’Affaires Valerie Fowler”. 2007 is two years before even war got ended. Clearly not the final phase that all want investigate? A typo or cables are having wrong dates?

  • 0
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    Thank you! We have added the following correction to the text;
    This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Earlier version of this article said that the cable date was June 14, 2007

    Correction: It was February 10 , 2010

  • 0
    0

    Very soon this GUY is going to eat his own pie, because 1. He has no experience. 2. All what he firmly utters time to time turns to become weak and baseless. 3. He wants to enjoy the glory of WAR victory only by himself thereby he doesn’t know what he should be talking and what shouldn’t. 4. Sarath Fonseka are the two words he really heats. Anyways he’s a nice man, I like him.

    • 0
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      He had the required experience to get rid of the barbaric Tamil Tiger monsters.

      • 0
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        What experience when he was not even in SL for two decades
        Experience came from the home grown officers and tactics
        He is there due to bro for protecting family interests
        He bought the war crimes, abductions and disrepute .

        • 0
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          GR was a battalion commander at the height of the war. He had plenty of experience. And being Def Sec is an administrative job, not a command job. He had everything it took and got the job done.

  • 0
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    “Defense Secretary” is a wrong wording, it should be “Secretary to the Ministry of Defense”. In USA “Secretary” connotes “a minister”.

    Normally Secretary of a Ministry comes from the “Sri Lanka Administrative Service” . Sometimes a holder of “a doctorate”.

    Can ex officers of the army holds this post.Please someone enlighten me.

    • 0
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      Secretary ministry of defense is an illustrious son of Ananda Matha, Sri Lanka’s premier Buddhist educational institution and remarkable officer of Defense Services Staff College Wellington and Fort Benning and Doctor of Letters by the University of Colombo.

      Military Academy, a perfect university would not teach students that they should hate the country they were born in. Highly acclaimed advanced institution of higher education as above, teaches the value of Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, and Self-discipline, Decisiveness, and Creativity.

      Military academy imparts a balanced education in the arts and sciences which is designed specifically to meet the Intellectual Requirements in leadership. Creativity in leadership means approaching problems in a new way, thinking outside the box.

      Shelton Dharmaratne

    • 0
      0

      Thank you for the quistion my friend, I have been asking the same quistion from lot of people, No one gives me a answer. Finally to see all unqualified people, There for they don’t know the answer. Sorry state of a country of Wonders.

    • 0
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      This is not USA but Srilanka.Pl kep your knowledge to yourself.We are not conducting an English class here.

      • 0
        0

        get loss

      • 0
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        WE KNOW, YOU HATE EDUCATED PEOPLE,YOU [Edited out]YOU, PAID STOOGE OF FOOLS RUN GOVERNMENT,

        • 0
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          Seruwila,
          Are you referring to educated ones like yourself?Next time better use decent language so that it will not be edited out.Hows your Dhamma scam progressing?Keep on buddy keep on as long as $$$ come pouring in!

  • 0
    0

    ado shelta you better join our FSP party with a red shirt.

  • 0
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    One time deserter prefered the US to the war front
    fellows who refused to do that are the real heros
    he is the war criminal, not the forces, killing tigers is not the issue, its the starvasion and bombardment of the ordinary fellow (with the 70 000 plan) & that has no excuse.

    • 0
      0

      He is not a deserter. At least be truthful in your criticism.

      • 0
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        David Blacker

        You must be joking, or you are a comedian !!

        Gota is a deserter and a coward.

        He is betraying our War Heroes and putting all blame on them for war crimes!!

        • 0
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          He is not a deserter. A deserter is someone who deserts his post without authorization. GR resigned from the SL Army quite legally. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, look it up. Also, what is your criteria for cowardice? As I said, he was a combat officer, and a battalion commander.

          He has not put any blame on anyone. Be truthful in your criticism instead of mumbling foolishness.

      • 0
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        Ha…Ha… Ha

        Gota is traitor and coward.

        He is betraying Our Brave Sri Lanka Army to the foreigners and there is a proof too !!!

        • 0
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          Nimal i understand your feelings towards Gotta.Still you can’t come to terms with the exit of your terror lord “Velu” at Nandikadal,ah!

      • 0
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        THE RICH PAY TO GET DISCHARGED
        THE POOR DISCHARGED WITOUT PAY

    • 0
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      Velu,
      You are ashamed to use your own Tamil name,ah!Bloody cowards!Why did your coward leader Velu the sissy take cover behind civilians?

  • 0
    0

    Gota is a fool.
    Any fool can win the war, but can he win the peace ?
    His policy of “white van” disappearances of the opposition politicians, make peace, democracy, stability disappear in Sri Lanka

  • 0
    0

    Dont tell tall tales he. Gota is incompetent soldier, a coward, deserter. He abandoned the motherland for greener pasture.
    Gota the “Super Patriot ” has American papers. Gota worked as security guard for minuscule SevenEleven a road side gas station for many years. This experience is not qualifying him to run a country. He can jail not a country. Sri Lanka under his watch is becoming a jail…

  • 0
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    Gotabhaya Rajapaksa insists that no crime is as heinous as that of criticising ‘war heroes’.

    So , certain Sri Lanka Army personal is above the Law of the Land? The Lankan Forces under the Rajapaksa Command should not engage in extra-judicial killings and other rights-violations ?

    But even during the war, the Armed Forces did not set the tune; they merely danced to the tune set by the Rajapaksas.

    The rights violations happened due to and within the climate of impunity created by the political masters.

    Neither the repeated rights-violations nor the subsequent cover-ups could have happened without the knowledge and the blessings of the rulers.

    So the patriotic Rajapaksas, while hoisting the armed forces on a pedestal, in public, busied themselves with sneaking to the Americans (and perhaps other regional and international powers) in another WikiLeaks cables reveal, there were Rajapaksas betraying the Sri Lanka War Heroes and rather critical of them with American envoys. Thanks to the information supplied by these Rajapaksa brothers , the US knew that Lankan Forces did engage in extra-judicial killings and other rights-violations, often with the assistance of the EPDP and the TMVP.

    The two US informants were Presidential Siblings, Basil and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

    In a private conversation with the US Ambassador, Basil Rajapaksa admitted that his brother’s regime knew that the STF carried out the January 2006 murder of five Tamil students in Trincomalee town. He also informed the US envoy that the STF “must have separate guns when they want to kill someone” – an oblique admission that the STF engaged in extra-judicial killings, systematically and not infrequently.

    Basil Rajapaksa also confided in the US Ambassador that the Lankan Navy “has been credibly implicated in harassment and human rights violations” and that it “‘looked like’ EPDP cadres, along with the SLN, had perpetrated the mid-August burning of the pro-LTTE Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna”. He and brother Gotabhaya admitted to two US State Department staffers that the war had ‘not been clean’. Rajapaksas are accusing the Sri Lanka Army War heroes of the crimes committed in private. The WikiLeaks cables have divested the Imperial Family of their patriotic garb and revealed them for what they are: self-serving opportunists whose sole concern is the continuation of Familial Rule.

    The underlying message in the Rajapaksa warbling is clear: The Sri Lanka armed forces are guilty of the war crimes; ‘We’ knew nothing until after the crimes happened- said Gota. Gota is a coward !!!

  • 0
    0

    Gota’s unchallenged sway over the country. It is truly tragic that the return of peace has also coincided with the flowering of a repressive and intolerant regime from which all the communities now suffer. Even a brief recounting of the measures taken by the government that qualify it to be branded as such suffices. All those in Sri Lanka who have publicly campaigned to highlight the atrocities committed during the last phase of the war are now in serious jeopardy as they have been virtually identified by the state media as “traitors”. For intrepid media-persons, however, risking their lives for exposure of lawless actions by the government and ruling party has been traditionally part of their careers. Some have escaped abroad but others are still in the country and face grave consequences. The repression is clearly aimed to silence human rights workers and mediapersons.

  • 0
    0

    This man has no patience, you arouse him at an Interview he will not know what or to whom he is talking and forgets the Ethics of an Interview. Face changers to anger.

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