2 December, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Influencing Rajapaksa ‘Requires Psychology’ Akashi Emphasised

By Colombo Telegraph

“Since Norway preferred not to deliver the private messages to the Sri Lankan government to preserve its facilitator role, participants accepted that ambassadors in Colombo should meet with Rajapaksa separately. Participants rejected an EU suggestion for high-level visits by Co-Chair officials from capitals. German Ambassador to Sri Lanka Weerth raised concern that these visits are often “spun” by the government to imply international support for its actions. Ambassador Blake disagreed, stating Boucher’s last visit led to positive results. Akashi seconded this view, but emphasized that influencing Rajapaksa ‘requires psychology,’ as his southern constituency is nationalistic and irritated by what it perceives as outside interference.” the US Embassy Oslo informed Washington.

A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated July 24, 2007, recounts the details of a meeting the representatives of the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs (United States, European Union, Japan, and Norway) had in Oslo on June 29,2007 to discuss the  developments in Sri Lanka.The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database which is classified by DCM Kevin M. Johnson.

Placing a comment the US Embassy Oslo wrote “the The Oslo meetings offered a good opportunity to exchange views on current strategy and dispel the rumors that Co-Chair unity is fragmenting. While participants agreed that there is little to no progress to report since the Co-Chairs met in Washington in November, there was also a sense that the rising economic consequences of the conflict, the Tigers, stronger than expected showing in recent engagements in the north and east, are for the first time exerting political pressures on President Rajapaksa from his southern base to give peace a chance and address the human rights problem. Participants also agreed that the Co-Chairs continue to have an important role and must press forward in their efforts to encourage a credible All Parties outcome, greater progress on human rights, and greater humanitarian access in the north and east.”

Related posts to this cable;

WikiLeaks: The International Community Should Not Try To Isolate Rajapaksa – Akashi

WikiLeaks: GSL And LTTE Not Interested In Diplomatic Niceties – Solheim To Co-Chairs In 2007

WikiLeaks: Solheim Presented Five Points Plan To Present To The GoSL And Tigers

WikiLeaks: Boucher Noted The Difficulty In “Reading” Prabhakaran

Read the cable below for further details;

VZCZCXYZ0027
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNY #0723/01 1871108
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 061108Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY OSLO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5955
INFO RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO PRIORITY 0372
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 1610
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0444
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0609
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 0755
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 1459
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 0252
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1313
C O N F I D E N T I A L OSLO 000723 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

SCA/INS (MGOWER, CSIM), EUR/NB (RDALLAND) 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/06/2017
TAGS: PHUM PREL PTER CE NO
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA CO-CHAIRS MEET IN OSLO 

Classified By: DCM Kevin M. Johnson, Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d) 

¶1. (C) Summary: Representatives of the Sri Lanka Co-Chairs
(United States, European Union, Japan, and Norway) met in
Oslo on June 29, to discuss the latest developments in Sri
Lanka.  All participants agreed that the situation is bleak
with few small signs of opportunity.  Assistant Secretary
Richard Boucher heading the U.S. delegation stressed that the
Government,s failure to address human rights problems and
the need for a devolution proposal that meets Tamil needs had
united Sri Lanka,s Tamils on the wrong side.  In response to
Norway,s skepticism that the All Parties Representative
Committee would develop a viable devolution proposal, Boucher
urged that the Co-Chairs give the All Parties process a
chance since a credible proposal would be an important signal
to Tamils.  The Co-Chairs discussed the political/security,
humanitarian, development assistance, and civil society
situations.  Participants agreed that Co-Chair ambassadors in
country will present five points to President Rajapaksa (see
paragraph 7) while Norway will present Co-Chair points to the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.  The participants also
agreed to begin a dialogue with the Tamil diaspora
communities in their respective countries.  End Summary. 

-------------
Briefings
------------- 

¶2. (C)  Norwegian Special Envoy Jon Hanssen-Bauer opened the
discussion by giving a summary of the working level meeting
that took place on June 28.  The political and security
group, chaired by U.S. Ambassador Robert Blake concluded that
the Sri Lankan government needs to take bold steps to achieve
peace.  These included expediting the All Parties
Representative Counsel efforts to develop a credible
devolution proposal that goes beyond the proposals outlined
by President Kumaratunga in 2000, not undertaking any
military offensives in the North, stopping human rights
violations, encouraging the main Sri Lankan political
opposition UNP to cooperate on a devolution proposal, reining
in the Karuna group, and allowing Norway to resume meeting
with the Tamil Tigers. 

¶3.  (C)  With regard to human rights, participants agreed
that while there are major areas of concern, there are also
some positive indicators.  The Government should be
encouraged to take bold actions to stop all human rights
abuses.  Participants agreed the Co-Chairs should support the
International Independent Group of Eminent Persons (IIGEP)
and encourage them to resolve their dispute with the Attorney
General through dialogue rather than public letters, bring
indictments in four cases that the Government claims are
ready for this phase, and support UN High Commissioner for
Human Rights Louise Arbour,s proposal to establish a field
office in Sri Lanka.  The EU, which led the human rights
discussion, agreed to report on estimated human rights
trends, based on statistics. 

¶4. (C)  Japanese Special Representative Yasushi Akashi led
the discussion on development assistance.  The largest aid
donor to Sri Lanka, Japan reported that total aid flows to
Sri Lanka fell from $1.6 billion in 2005 to $1.5 billion in
2006 (reflecting a decrease in tsunami recovery assistance).
The Japanese also revealed that because all of their
longstanding aid in concessionary yen loans, the value of Sri
Lankan repayments on such loans exceeds the value of the new
money Japan is allocating.  The Co-Chair participants agreed
that external humanitarian assistance to the civilian
population should continue.  However, development assistance
for the east should await an improvement in the security
situation in the East and improved access for international
non-governmental organizations.  Co-Chairs and other donors
must also press for improved humanitarian access to the Vanni
region.  Several participants expressed concern that the
Government equates aid with support for its policies.  The EU
noted that it plans to increase aid, channeled through the
government, conditioned on the improvement of the political
situation.  Norway suggested engaging China in aid
discussions.  The EU suggested such a dialogue be conducted
in Brussels where recent engagement with China on Africa has
proved productive.
5 (C)  The final working group discussion  dealt with "Track
Two" and diaspora issues.  Participants agreed on adopting a
"long-term" approach, with the Co-Chairs engaging their
respective diaspora communities, regardless of the hard-line
pro-Tiger views that many in the diaspora espouse.  Norway
emphasized and all participants agreed that these contacts
cannot replace Norway,s direct contact with the Tigers in
Killinochchi, particularly given that diaspora communities
may be reticent to talk to governments following the recent
arrest of Tamil activists in London on charges of aiding
terrorist organizations.  More enerally, participants agreed
that Track II initatives that several countries have
underway can help define the differences between the
negotiatin positions of the Tigers and the government and
erhaps offer suggestions on how to bridge the gaps. 

-------------------------
Principals Statements
-------------------------- 

 ¶6. (C)  Norwegian Minister of International Development Erik
Solheim described the government and the Tigers as "two
entities not interested in diplomatic niceties," who are not
responding to Norway,s messages.   Solheim said President
Rajapaksa is focused on his Sinhalese electorate in Sri
Lanka, "like a US Congressman" focused on his constituents.
While Solheim,s recent meeting with Rajapaksa in Geneva was
"pleasant," his overall sense was the president has no plan
or strategy to solve the Tamil issue nor does he appear that
interested since he does not even have a good Tamil advisor.
On the other side, Tiger leader Prabhakaran is preoccupied
with waging war.  Solheim stated that it has become more
difficult for Norway to assess the current Tiger position
without regular contact and without a senior Tiger leader
outside the country to fill the shoes of the late
Balasingham.  Solheim emphasized the need to keep Norway,s
communication with them open, particularly through access to
Killinochchi. 

¶7. (C)  Solheim summarized five points that the Co-Chairs
agreed to present to the government and Tigers: 

- There is no international support for war in Sri Lanka.
The conflict cannot be won through military means. 

- Human rights abuses must stop now.  There are no acceptable
excuses.  As long as human rights abuses continue, all those
working in Sri Lanka (aid groups, journalists,
businesspeople, etc.) will continue to be afraid. 

- Both parties must give uninhibited humanitarian access,
even if the war continues. 

- If the government wants to restart talks, it must establish
contact with the Tigers, at least through Norway.  The
government cannot be advised by the Norwegian facilitators if
the latter have no contact with the Tigers. Preparations for
potential talks should begin immediately. 

- The All Parties process should be completed, and a credible
devolution package for resolving the conflict presented.
(FYI: On this point, Solheim thought not much progress will
result from the All Parties process.  Even if there is a
devolution proposal, he believes it is unlikely to be of
interest to the Tamil Tigers. End FYI) 

¶8. (C)  Assistant Secretary Boucher emphasized the futility
of further military action.  He stated the Government has
begun to see the consequences of its actions such as
decreased tourism and investment, and the shutdown of Colombo
airport following the Tamil Tiger aerial attacks.  Boucher
noted the difficulty in "reading" Prabhakaran and suggested
broadening discussions with the Tamil side to include
non-Tiger Tamils such as the Tamil National Alliance.
Boucher suggested that groups of experts from countries with
significant Tamil diasporas such as Canada and India could
usefully meet to map out what can be achieved in
negotiations.  Finally, while accepting Solheim,s point that
the All Parties process should not be overstressed, Boucher
emphasized that if the process can deliver a credible
proposal, it would provide a strong signal to Tamils.  For
the moment, the absence of action to address their grievances
had united Tamils on the wrong side. 

¶9. (C)  Akashi agreed that the All Parties process is a
"slender hope that should not be discounted" and urged the
Co-Chairs to press President Rajapaksa to use all his
energies to bolster the process and sell its final proposal.
Akashi said the international community should not try to
isolate Rajapaksa, but rather capitalize on whatever positive
actions emerge.  Although Akashi felt All Parties Chairman
Vitarana may be overconfident about the All Parties process,
Vitarana is also highly competent.  If and when the All
Parties reach a consensus, the Co-Chairs should press
Rajapaksa to push the package through parliament and a
referendum quickly. 

-----------------------------
Delivering the Messages
----------------------------- 

¶10. (C)  Since Norway preferred not to deliver the private
messages to the Sri Lankan government  to preserve its
facilitator role, participants accepted that ambassadors in
Colombo should meet with Rajapaksa separately.  Participants
rejected an EU suggestion for high-level visits by Co-Chair
officials from capitals.  German Ambassador to Sri Lanka
Weerth raised concern that these visits are often "spun" by
the government to imply international support for its
actions.  Ambassador Blake disagreed, stating Boucher,s last
visit led to positive results.  Akashi seconded this view,
but emphasized that influencing Rajapaksa "requires
psychology," as his southern constituency is nationalistic
and irritated by what it perceives as outside interference. 

Comment
------------- 

¶11.  (C)  The Oslo meetings offered a good opportunity to
exchange views on current strategy and dispel the rumors that
Co-Chair unity is fragmenting.  While participants agreed
that there is little to no progress to report since the
Co-Chairs met in Washington in November, there was also a
sense that the rising economic consequences of the conflict,
the Tigers, stronger than expected showing in recent
engagements in the north and east, are for the first time
exerting political pressures on President Rajapaksa from his
southern base to give peace a chance and address the human
rights problem.   Participants also agreed that the Co-Chairs
continue to have an important role and must press forward in
their efforts to encourage a credible All Parties outcome,
greater progress on human rights, and greater humanitarian
access in the north and east.
Whitney
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Conversations with Lee Kuan Yew: Citizen Singapore: How to Build a Nation (Giants of Asia series) (2010):
    ”Sri Lanka is not a happy “united” country. The present president of Sri Lanka believes he has settled the problem now that the Tamil Tigers are killed, and wants others to believe that too,”…. Referring to the Sri Lankan president he said: “I have read his speeches and I knew he was a Sinhala extremist. I cannot change his mind.”

    • 0
      0

      Akashi is a geriatric joker and a grinning jackass and should have been asked to leave long ago when the peace process with the Norwegians failed.
      Japan is merely lending huge funds to the Rajapakse regime for white elephant infrastructure projects, in-debting Lanka and propping up the Rajapakse dictatorship – just like China- while pretending to be a nice Asian Donor.
      All the Japanese loans to be paid back are massive and the Kallady bridge they funded is being built for 10 years and no questions have been asked about the corruption for that and other Japan funded ADB projects in Trincomallee.

  • 0
    0

    Any way. All Sri LAnkan owed to MR because rescue the country from Prabakaran and SF(kalawedda). If Sf won the Presential election we cant think ourselves and Country.

    • 0
      0

      Now rescue the country from Rajapakses.

      • 0
        0

        no elligible person instead of MR

        • 0
          0

          we thought that you can compete as you are licking him like KUDU MARVIYA.

        • 0
          0

          yes and we admire the GR (goobairya) anti-Muslim policy.

  • 0
    0

    We elect our presidents. So, do not insult our vote. The power is all ours to change the incumbent, if necessary. My view is that, the president had to face 1001 obstacle to create peace in the country. That was a humungous task which need to be commended and appreciated.

    No leader can please everyone. Nor can they make Sri Lanka the perfect country in 4 years after a 30 massive terrorism by the Tamil terrorists.

  • 0
    0

    One Joker completely destroying the Country and another as the Joker of the opposition supporting him.

  • 0
    0

    Eureka – Just wondering why MR and his jumbo pack of drug traffickers, pimps, comfort women, idiots and the lot have not begged for a visit to
    Singapore. He has invited himself to most places where other leaders will not be seen dead. Is it because old and wise Lee Kuan Yew can’t
    stand undiluted crooks in the garb of political leaders. See what he had to say about that Pakistani rogue Zardari – also a persona non grata there?

    Senguttuvan

  • 0
    0

    Who say MR a Sinhala extremist. That’s a lie.He is an extrimist Opportunist using every wheels within wheel to spread discard in politics, economics,Judicial, communal, religion, opposition and even among international community for his own benefit. But he won’t be able to fool people all the time.Using party and opposition scapegoates to fulfill his adjanda will not help or benefit the country.

    • 0
      0

      WHAT,

      MR a Sinhala extremist;

      MR IS Malabari kerala deScent, so those Malabaris only think of only their personal gain.

  • 0
    0

    “The southern constituency being nationalistic and irritated by what it perceives as outside interference” is a result of what has been continuously ochestrated by people like MR and their mouth peices.

  • 0
    0

    J. Amaraya _ MR of Kerala extraction?? No way. Show the evidence.
    Vasudeva N – maybe. MR, Basil, Namal look more Indonesian looking. The Dutch did bring Malagasay slaves is recent history. Some of them relocated to Hambantota area – as the name of the District suggests.

    Senguttuvan

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