WikiLeaks: Hard To Campaign For "Carnival Of Fools"

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By Colombo Telegraph -

“Sri Lankan Foreign Minister (and brother of President Kumaratunga) Anura Bandaranaike told the Ambassador he is contemptuous of SLFP Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapakse’s alliance with the Marxist JVP, will not campaign very hard on Rajapakse’s behalf and is not at all sure he would want to be Prime Minister in such a government-‘a carnival of fools’ the US Embassy Colombo informed Washionton.

mahinda anura colombotelegraph

“Turning to the substance of the campaign, Bandaranaike characterized the alliance of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) candidate, current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) as ‘disturbing’ and ‘totally contradictory to stated (SLFP) policy.’

“He fears religious freedom would suffer under a Rajapakse presidency. Bandaranaike said he looked forward to working with the U.S. on international issues given the shared democratic tradition between the two countries. In particular, he echoed U.S. concerns re Maldives and reiterated Sri Lankan support for Afghan SAARC membership. Engaging and intelligent despite his lightweight reputation, the new FM is clearly someone with whom we can work.” the Embassy further informed.

A leaked US “CONFIDENTIAL” diplomatic cable, recounts details of a meeting the US Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead  has had with then Foreign Minister late Anura Bandaranaike on October 28, 2005. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable was written on October 31, 2005 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead.

Tried to ‘reform’ the JVP by sending them on international trips

Under the subheading “Contempt for Rajapakse’s JVP Alliance” the Ambassador wrote  “Turning to the substance of the campaign, Bandaranaike characterized the alliance of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party’s (SLFP) candidate, current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) as ‘disturbing’ and ‘totally contradictory to stated (SLFP) policy.’ Bandaranaike claimed he had gone to the signing ceremony of the joint SLFP/JVP pact without knowing exactly what the occasion was and thus ‘I had to sit through an attack on my sister.’ The FM said that he had tried to ‘reform’ the JVP by sending them on international trips to broaden their horizons. ‘It had no impact whatsoever,’ he said. Bandaranaike chuckled about the JVP admiration of North Korea and Cuba. Laughing about the party’s adulation of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez, the FM commented: ‘Chavez sits on a sea of oil. What does the JVP sit on, a sea of tea?’ The JVP ‘understanding of policy is zero,’ Bandaranaike concluded.”

Hard to Campaign for “Carnival of Fools”

The US Ambassador wrote “This means that Rajapakse’s dependence on the JVP will, if he wins, make for ‘a hell of a government to run,’ the FM assered. The Ambassador asked the FM about the general assumption that he would be Prime Minister (while keeping the Foreign Minister portfolio) if Rajapakse wins. Bandaranaike confirmed that could well happen but said he was not sure if he wanted to be ‘part of a ridiculous carnival of fools.’”

SWRD the first Sinhalese politician called for a federal system

“Asked about his sister’s recent meeting with opposition leader and United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, Bandaranaike said that Ranil ‘has been making encouraging sounds of a national consensus’ and that the meeting had been a ‘useful one-on-one session.’ Picking up on the Ambassador’s observation that there is a significant congruence of position between the two major Sinhalese parties, Bandaranaike agreed and said he personally had always favored a Sinhalese political consensus since otherwise ‘there will never be a political solution that Tamils can accept.’ He pointed out that his father, SWRD Bandaranaike, had called for a federal system for the country in 1936, making him by far the first Sinhalese politician to do so.” the Ambassador further wrote.

The Ambassador Lunstead wrote “Asked the extent to which he will campaign for Rajapakse, Bandaranaike said he is a loyal SLFP member but it is very difficult for him to restrain himself on the subject of Rajapakse and the JVP. Thus, he will not share the stage with the JVP and will only appear at rallies with his sister. Bandaranaike said there will only be two more such meetings before they both go to Dhaka for the November 10 SAARC summit. He would also tell voters in his constituency to vote for Rajapakse but, beyond that, ‘good luck to him.’ ‘I can’t oppose my own party but my conscience will not permit me to do more.” Asked to handicap the Presidential race, Bandaranaike said it will be very close with Rajapakse “having a tough time.’ Religious Freedom Concerns”

Under the subheading “Religious Freedom Concerns” the Ambassador wrote “Bandaranaike said one of his many concerns with a Rajapakse presidency is that he fears Rajapakse would not be able to stop the reintroduction of anti-conversion legislation. ‘This worries us very much.’ The SLFP has already lost the Catholic vote due to this issue, Bandaranaike opined and he said there was no question that the JHU had been involved in church burnings. He noted that his father’s side of the family is still Christian and emphasized that both he and his sister are firmly committed to a multi- religious Sri Lanka. The Ambassador reviewed U.S. concerns about anti-conversion legislation which he characterized as “detrimental” to Sri Lanka. ‘I agree,’ Bandaranaike responded.”

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 001868

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/31/2015
TAGS: PGOV PREL KIRF CE MV
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER STICKS UP FOR HIS SISTER, SLAMS
PRIME MINISTER AND PLEDGES COOPERATION WITH THE UNITED
STATES

REF: (A) COLOMBO 1864 (B) COLOMBO 1858

Classified By: Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead for reasons 1.4 (d).

 1. (C) Summary.  Sri Lankan Foreign Minister (and
brother of President Kumaratunga) Anura
Bandaranaike  told the Ambassador he is
contemptuous of SLFP Presidential candidate
Mahinda Rajapakse's alliance with the Marxist JVP,
will not campaign very hard on Rajapakse's behalf
and is not at all sure he would want to be Prime
Minister in such a government ("a carnival of
fools").  He fears religious freedom would suffer
under a Rajapakse presidency.  Bandaranaike said
he looked forward to working with the U.S. on
international issues given the shared democratic
tradition between the two countries.  In
particular, he echoed U.S. concerns re Maldives
and reiterated Sri Lankan support for Afghan SAARC
membership.  Engaging and intelligent despite his
lightweight reputation, the new FM is clearly
someone with whom we can work.  End Summary

Campaign Off to Good Start
--------------------------

2. (C) The Ambassador, accompanied by DCM
(notetaker), called on Sri Lanka Foreign Minister
(and Presidential sibling) Anura Bandaranaike
October 28.  Turning first to the ongoing
Presidential election campaign, the FM noted that
preparations seemed to be going well and that the
Election Commissioner was doing a very good job,
especially on difficult issues like making
preparations for voters to come out of LTTE-
controlled territory to vote.  He commented that
the low level of election-related violence so far
is "too good to be true" and stated that his
sister is briefed daily on the security situation
and is "committed to peaceful elections."  The FM
praised the recent announcement by the Election
Commissioner that in the event of polling
irregularities in a given district, there will be
repolling as opposed to just a recount.

Contempt for Rajapakse's JVP Alliance
-------------------------------------

3. (C) Turning to the substance of the campaign,
Bandaranaike characterized the alliance of his Sri
Lanka Freedom Party's (SLFP) candidate, current
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse, with the Janatha
Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) and the Jathika Hela
Urumaya (JHU) as "disturbing" and "totally
contradictory to stated (SLFP) policy."
Bandaranaike claimed he had gone to the signing
ceremony of the joint SLFP/JVP pact without
knowing exactly what the occasion was and thus "I
had to sit through an attack on my sister."   The
FM said that he had tried to "reform" the JVP by
sending them on international trips to broaden
their horizons.  "It had no impact whatsoever," he
said.  Bandaranaike chuckled about the JVP
admiration of North Korea and Cuba.  Laughing
about the party's adulation of Venezuelan leader
Hugo Chavez, the FM commented: "Chavez sits on a
sea of oil.  What does the JVP sit on, a sea of
tea?"  The JVP "understanding of policy is zero,"
Bandaranaike concluded.

Hard to Campaign for "Carnival of Fools"
----------------------------------------

4. (C) This means that Rajapakse's dependence on
the JVP will, if he wins, make for "a hell of a
government to run," the FM assered.  The
Ambassador asked the FM about the general
assumption that he would be Prime Minister (while
keeping the Foreign Minister portfolio) if
Rajapakse wins.  Bandaranaike confirmed that could
well happen but said he was not sure if he wanted
to be "part of a ridiculous carnival of fools."
Asked about his sister's recent meeting with
opposition leader and United National Party (UNP)
leader Ranil Wickremasinghe, Bandaranaike said
that Ranil "has been making encouraging sounds of
a national consensus" and that the meeting had
been a "useful one-on-one session."   Picking up
on the Ambassador's observation that there is a
significant congruence of position between the two
major Sinhalese parties, Bandaranaike agreed and
said he personally had always favored a Sinhalese
political consensus since otherwise "there will
never be a political solution that Tamils can
accept."  He pointed out that his father, SWRD
Bandaranaike, had called for a federal system for
the country in 1936, making him by far the first
Sinhalese politician to do so.

5. (C) Asked the extent to which he will campaign
for Rajapakse, Bandaranaike said he is a loyal
SLFP member but it is very difficult for him to
restrain himself on the subject of Rajapakse and
the JVP.  Thus, he will not share the stage with
the JVP and will only appear at rallies with his
sister.  Bandaranaike said there will only be two
more such meetings before they both go to Dhaka
for the November 10 SAARC summit.  He would also
tell voters in his constituency to vote for
Rajapakse but, beyond that, "good luck to him."
"I can't oppose my own party but my conscience
will not permit me to do more."  Asked to handicap
the Presidential race, Bandaranaike said it will
be very close with Rajapakse "having a tough
time."

Religious Freedom Concerns
--------------------------

6. (C) Bandaranaike said one of his many concerns
with a Rajapakse presidency is that he fears
Rajapakse would not be able to stop the
reintroduction of anti-conversion legislation.
"This worries us very much."  The SLFP has already
lost the Catholic vote due to this issue,
Bandaranaike opined and he said there was no
question that the JHU had been involved in church
burnings.  He noted that his father's side of the
family is still Christian and emphasized that both
he and his sister are firmly committed to a multi-
religious Sri Lanka.  The Ambassador reviewed U.S.
concerns about anti-conversion legislation which
he characterized as "detrimental" to Sri Lanka.
"I agree," Bandaranaike responded.
LUNSTEAD
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8 Responses to WikiLeaks: Hard To Campaign For "Carnival Of Fools"

  1. 0
    0
    This is stale news.Don’t you have any new news against Rajapakse?It seems that the terrorists are running out of steam.Right now Anura’s school buddy Ranil is in the news.He goes on collecting money ostensibly to repair Srikotha.It’s anyone’s guess how much is going to Ranil’s adult entertainment(men only).

    Max Silva
    March 13, 2012 at 1:34 am
    Reply

  2. 0
    0
    Anura started as a young energetic politician. He was well educated, well read and knew hot to tackle domestic as well as international problems. History will reveal one day why he failed as a young capable person, who had his both parents as Heads of the State and one sister as the first female President in SL. People in SL must come to know this ignominious failure of Anura Bandaranayike in politics. Did it pave the way to Mahinda Rajapakse to become the President in Sri Lanka?

    Sathya
    March 13, 2012 at 2:55 am
    Reply

    • 0
      0
      yes.

      Bodinayaka
      March 13, 2012 at 2:29 pm
      Reply

    • 0
      0
      “Well Educated”? He was a clueless bisexual and a disgrace to his mother. That family for tyhose who know were disfiuctional as a unit. Anura wanted to be the Leader of the Party but even his mother knew what a clown he was and gave the leadership to his sister Chandrika. The only reason he was able to stay in Politics is because Ranil and he were classmates and to have one Bandaranaike shovel shit at another was all high on Ranil’s agenda.

      Peter Casie Chetty
      March 13, 2012 at 2:42 pm
      Reply

  3. 0
    0
    “A bunch of uneducated rascals” AND NOW “Carnival Of Fools” – both Bandas had the same vision and both Bandas were also with the same bunch of jokers’ team entertaining the general public

    Dr. Maverick
    March 13, 2012 at 9:51 am
    Reply

  4. Pingback: WikiLeaks: Hard To Campaign For “Carnival Of Fools” – Anura B « Sri Lanka

  5. 0
    0
    SWRD proposed Federalism while JR proposed Sinhala only in 1930s. What a turn of events!! Today the two parties are at opposite ends because both the parties have lost their morals. As for SWRD’s family, only SWRD was intelligent and it was he and he only. He was a politician and his actions were purposeful. Sirimavo was dragged out to politics and left like who had no clue. CBK is made of clay and Anura was made of elephant dung. To say Anura was well educated, is an misconception. He went to a paid university for the elite because he had no school qualifications. He never had a brain, not even in his ass. He never knew the problems of the country, he was never in this world. He had a weird mind. It was a brave decision whoever that made not to make him any bigger or to give him any important position. CBK used to jog in the morning wearing a T-Shirt where ‘wish these were brains’ written on the top front of the T-Shirt. Her ten years at the helm caused so much mayhem and pushed the country 100 years backward.

    Prof.Henricks
    March 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm
    Reply

  6. Pingback: This Week in the Press: 8 – 14 March, 2012

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