24 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: ‘Karuna As A Military Force Is A Myth’ – Gota To US

“Mann expressed concern that government forces had given excessive freedom to the LTTE-breakaway “Karuna group,” which was using this freedom destructively. Ambassador noted that reports from NGOs and international organizations in the Batticaloa area indicated that the Karuna cadres were roaming freely and out of control through the cities, intimidating the population and plundering NGO warehouses of whatever they could use for their bases.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Gota and Karuna

The US Embassy wrote; “Gothabaya, smiling, said he had recently received a scolding from his brother, the President, on this matter. He told us that once the army gets control of Thoppigala (the area to which the LTTE retreated from Vakarai), it could assure full governmental control in Batticaloa. ‘Why go to the effort to clear an entire area just to hand it over to someone else?’ The plan, he said, was to hand over control of the towns soon to the police, including the Special Task Force, leaving the military to deal with the jungle fighting. In the long run, the GSL would need to recruit Tamil and Muslim policemen who would be subject to local control to improve relations with those communities. Previous attempts to recruit and train Tamil-speaking police had failed because they were premature, he thought.”

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “Confidential” and recounts a meeting the US Embassy had with the Secretary to the Ministry of Difence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The cable was written on March 14, 2007 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake.

The ambassador wrote; “Gothabaya said that he would not have a problem with the Karuna group emerging as a purely political force. In fact, he said ‘Karuna as a military force is a myth. It’s a plus for us that he’s no longer with the LTTE ) but all our operations are carried out by the Sri Lankan military. We do not need or want his help.'”

Placing a comment Blake wrote; “Gothabaya’s comments on the relations between the Karuna group and the government confirmed what the president had told us an hour before ) that the government will seek to draw the Karuna group into the political mainstream as a normal political party. Embassy, however, agrees with most observers that the near-term prospects for a return to normalcy in the East in a political landscape dominated by the Karuna group, with its terrorist origins, are remote. Gothabaya’s explanation of the government’s six-month military strategy pointedly did not include an all-out drive to invade the Tiger-held Vanni and finish off the LTTE once and for all, something that few analysts here feel the government forces could do. On the other hand, there are a number of indications that the Sri Lankan defense leadership is in fact bent on pursuing a decisive military victory.”

Read the cable below for further details;

Related posts to this cable;

WikiLeaks: Gota Agreed To Provide US A Copy Of Prabhakaran And Karuna Tape

WikiLeaks: Mahinda, The Right Leader To Make Progress On A Solution To Ethnic Problem – US


VZCZCXRO4586
OO RUEHBI RUEHLMC
DE RUEHLM #0416/01 0730542
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 140542Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5651
INFO RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN PRIORITY 0275
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 9963
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 6932
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 5009
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 3603
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 0747
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 3690
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 1012
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 2770
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 7505
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 5209
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0137
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1888
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000416

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS AND SCA/RA
MCC FOR S GROFF, D NASSIRY, E BURKE AND F REID

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/13/2017
TAGS: PTER PGOV MOPS PREL CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: DEFENSE SECRETARY OUTLINES SIX-MONTH
MILITARY STRATEGY

Classified By: AMBASSADOR ROBERT O. BLAKE, JR. REASONS: 1.4 (B, D)

¶1. (C) SUMMARY: Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa told
visiting SCA PDAS Steven Mann that the government was certain
that the LTTE was not interested in a political solution to
Sri Lanka’s ethnic conflict. Nevertheless, he said, the
government would try to reach out to the Tamil populations,
bypassing the LTTE leadership. The security forces were
finding it difficult to choke off LTTE resupply of arms and
ammunition, but would redouble its efforts. Security forces
would seek to consolidate their hold on the East by drviing
the LTTE out of its remaining base in Thoppigala, then
replace troops in the cities with police and Special Task
Force units. He said the Karuna group was not a partner of
the government in military operations, but that he saw no
problem with the Karuna faction transforming itself into a
mainstream political party. The government would try to push
the LTTE back in the Vavuniya sector in order to control LTTE
infiltration and secure the overland route to Mannar. Then
it would press the LTTE to retrun to the negotiating table.
End summary.

¶2. (C) PDAS Steven Mann, accompanied by Ambassador and Pol
Chief, met Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa on March 8.
Gothabaya, noting that an overwhelming majority of Sinhalese
Buddhists had voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa in 2005, told us
that his brother’s popularity among the majority community
was still strong. However, Sri Lanka’s system of
proportional representation in Parliament meant that the
President’s party would never secure an absolute majority on
its own. This, he explained, had made it necessary to create
such a big cabinet to satisfy everyone. Mann responded that
the President’s considerable political skills and his strong
support made him the right leader to make progress on a
solution to Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem. The U.S. hoped that
the new power-sharing proposals that emerge form the current
consultation process would be of a quality that hadn’t been
seen before.

¶3. (C) Gothabaya told us that the government was sure the
LTTE did not believe in a political solution. He said the
GSL has recently come into possession of a videotape of a
speech by Prabhakaran apparently recorded about two months
after the signing of the CFA in 2002. In the video, Karuna
was standing next to Prabhakaran and introduced him.
Prabhakaran asserted that the LTTE knew it would never reach
its goal of a Tamil Homeland (“Eelam”) through peaceful
means. He told Karuna’s cadres, who were about to return to
the East, that the CFA only signified a pause for the LTTE,
during which they could regroup, rearm, resupply, recruit and
retrain. Gothabaya agreed to provide the Embassy a copy of
the tape.

¶4. (C) Gothabaya thought the government could reach out to
the Tamil people, particularly their educated technocrats.
“People need to know that there is a normal life waiting for
them after the conflict,” he said. It was therefore
important for the government to intervene immediately and do
development work in the areas in the East that had recently
come under its control. The Tamils also needed genuine
representation, Gothabaya said. The people had no confidence
in the Tamil National Alliance, which was simply a
placeholder for the LTTE. On the other hand, Gothabaya
asserted that previous attempts by Sri Lankan government to
“introduce” alternative Tamil representatives in the North
and East had failed, and would not work in the future, either.

COLOMBO 00000416 002 OF 003

¶5. (C) Gothabaya said that over the next six months, the
military planned to consolidate its control over the East,
then stabilize the border region adjacent to the LTTE-held
Vanni. Vavuniya remained a problem, with much LTTE
infiltration, which was also causing problems in an
east-to-west arc toward Mannar. In order to secure
unfettered access to the population in government-held
Mannar, the army would seek to push the Tigers back a bit
more. The government would try to deny the LTTE resupply of
arms and ammunition, then put pressure on them to return to
the negotiating table.

¶6. (C) Gothabaya noted that cutting off arms LTTE shipments
to Sri Lanka might be easier than stemming financial flows.
The Tigers didn’t need t bring the money they raised abroad
to Sri Lanka he said, but used it abroad to purchase arms.
Wile the Navy and other security forces had found i
difficult enough to choke off LTTE resupply of mmunition, it
was worth the effort to try to do s. While Prabhakaran,
with his terrorist mentaliy, would likely never give in, his
younger cadre might eventually grasp that there is no
militar solution to the conflict, he thought.

¶7. (C) rime Minister Wickremenayake had visited a number of
Southeast Asian countries and concluded MoUs oncooperation
against LTTE arms smuggling with sevral governments,
including Indonesia and Thailan, Gothabaya noted. He added
that the LTTE arms hip sunk on February 28 had refitted and
replenished in an Indonesian harbor. However, Gothabaya
thought that the LTTE smuggling operations were not occurring
with the approval of those governments, but that certain
corrupt officials were abetting them.

¶8. (C) Mann expressed concern that government forces had
given excessive freedom to the LTTE-breakaway “Karuna group,”
which was using this freedom destructively. Ambassador noted
that reports from NGOs and international organizations in the
Batticaloa area indicated that the Karuna cadres were roaming
freely and out of control through the cities, intimidating
the population and plundering NGO warehouses of whatever they
could use for their bases.

¶9. (C) Gothabaya, smiling, said he had recently received a
scolding from his brother, the President, on this matter. He
told us that once the army gets control of Thoppigala (the
area to which the LTTE retreated from Vakarai), it could
assure full governmental control in Batticaloa. “Why go to
the effort to clear an entire area just to hand it over to
someone else?” The plan, he said, was to hand over control
of the towns soon to the police, including the Special Task
Force, leaving the military to deal with the jungle fighting.
In the long run, the GSL would need to recruit Tamil and
Muslim policemen who would be subject to local control to
improve relations with those communities. Previous attempts
to recruit and train Tamil-speaking police had failed because
they were premature, he thought.

¶10. (C) Gothabaya said that he would not have a problem with
the Karuna group emerging as a purely political force. In
fact, he said “Karuna as a military force is a myth. It’s a
plus for us that he’s no longer with the LTTE ) but all our
operations are carried out by the Sri Lankan military. We do
not need or want his help.”

¶11. (C) COMMENT: Gothabaya’s comments on the relations
between the Karuna group and the government confirmed what
the president had told us an hour before ) that the

COLOMBO 00000416 003 OF 003

government will seek to draw the Karuna group into the
political mainstream as a normal political party. Embassy,
however, agrees with most observers that the near-term
prospects for a return to normalcy in the East in a political
landscape dominated by the Karuna group, with its terrorist
origins, are remote. Gothabaya’s explanation of the
government’s six-month military strategy pointedly did not
include an all-out drive to invade the Tiger-held Vanni and
finish off the LTTE once and for all, something that few
analysts here feel the government forces could do. On the
other hand, there are a number of indications that the Sri
Lankan defense leadership is in fact bent on pursuing a
decisive military victory.

¶12. (U) PDAS Mann cleared this message.
BLAKE

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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    If Karuna as a Military Force is a myth, then why did Gota pack him off to the UK where his family is domiciled under a false Passport? Todate there is no inquiry on the matter or any investigation. On Karuna’s return he was appointed as a Minister and as the Deputy Leader of the SLFP by none other than MR, although Gota claims that he received a scolding from his brother MR.

    • 0
      0

      You never could understand, Gamini … Because you were so biased and reality had left you long time ago …
      Read it again, Gamini … Gota wanted Karuna as political force rather than terror force and Gota had done many many things to achieve that … even sacrificing his good name in the case of British passport scandal …
      Reading what had written by the former vicar general of Ceylon ( Robert Blake) in 2007, I now understand the clear and the exceptional brilliant mind of Gota under the worst circumtances … Sri Lanka is blessed with brilliant, capable and practical mind of Gota and it is upto the Srilankans to get full use of him ….

      • 0
        0

        Sri lanka has never produced any geniuses but 90% of the folk have an IQ < 60% while the Caucasian’s have an IQ <120.
        To talk of brilliant man you must surely be a gaas gemba from meeharaktota asslicking moron

        • 0
          0

          One

          Do not forget Gota and Co have cleaned up your beloved blood sucking terra leader Podian Preba by hook or cook. You all though he was invisible until he was visible half naked in Nandekaadal mud bath.

          Gota’s <60% IQ was well enough for that meritorial action that 120% Sri Lankans was dreaming about.

          Thanks Gota.

          • 0
            0

            Gota’s brilliance?? Gota and SF would have been over had they succumbed to the two suicide bombers sent by VP, when Gota and SF together tried to lure VP in to a trap outside the designed plan laid by the Americans to finish VP, trying to be smarter than the Americans. The Americans not only have set their foot hold on Sri Lanka through the Rajapaksas but have secured Maldives as well. The US will rule Asia through India who is in their pay. So for all those anti Americans, it is a case of cuting the flesh of the pig on the pig itself. As to who the IDIOTS are, time will tell. See who is nurturing the Bodu Bala Sena?

      • 0
        0

        Hi Leela How are you doing? Can for a change write somehting worthwhile rather than licking the asses of some stupid idiotic morons.

      • 0
        0

        So, he is an American, not Sri lankan.

      • 0
        0

        Gota should be our next President, if he contests would get over 70 % of vote, a record in this contry.

        Gamini is an ace idiot , with LTTE mindset, just ignore him.

        • 0
          0

          I thought it is 74% Sinhalese including Gota who is an american.
          Welcome America!

        • 0
          0

          “Gota should be our next President,” malli henende then hitagende!

  • 0
    0

    hey !1 You are indeed ONE hell of a gas gemba.
    Just leave that 60% IQ alone to multiply.

    • 0
      0

      “alone to multiply”
      Clueless Muththa thatte motte it has nothing to do with literacy in mother tongue.
      Guilty conscious pricks a mile.

  • 0
    0

    Not many political stunts or photographs disgust me than the one in this article. Where is humanity, self respect and pride of a so-called respected and feared and the number no public servant of srilanka embraces a terrorist who is responsible for the attack on the most respected place Bhuddhist could worship, a terrorist who killed many a hundred policemen and led many attacks and bombed places where the innocent public traverse.
    And, they still talk of liberation.

  • 0
    0

    Not many political stunts or photographs disgust me than the one in this article. Where is humanity, self respect and pride of a so-called respected and feared and the number one public servant of sri lanka embraces a terrorist who is responsible for the attack on the most respected place a Bhuddhist could worship, a terrorist who killed many a hundred policemen and led many attacks and bombed places where the innocent public traverse.
    And, they still talk of liberation.

  • 0
    0

    What lovely pic two Hero brothers from two mothers in loving joyful embrace xo xo xo! a true miracle or a mirage of Asia?

    • 0
      0

      len

      It is to their credit that both worked very hard to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

      The similarities begin there.

      Miracle…………? What miracle in Asia?

      • 0
        0

        Native Vedda

        Oh no well I see sarcasm is bit hard for you to understand. If I really believe Sri Lanka is miracle of Asia I have to believe pigs really do fly. Word mirage in my comment ring a bell for you I guess not.

        • 0
          0

          len

          I only confirmed it.

          • 0
            0

            Native Vedda

            OK my mistake.

  • 0
    0

    How can 2 enemies in a war be hugging like this? This photo is for keeps. Save it people, one day we might need it to throw in the face of Gota.. who is a US criticize…but holds the public office of secretary of defense. The most ceremonial post, better than that of the President.. Gota calls teh shots.. Now it has gotten to a point, He embraces TERRORISTS like Karuna, KP ,Daya Master and the rest, where is ethics here? Does Gota live by ethics and self respect? I DON’T THINK SO. IF he does, he would NOT have made this photo op available…BTW KP came out of slumber 2 days back in giving his 2 cents worth in regard to giving more right and freedom to the citizens of the North… KP has BLOOD IN HIS HANDS. he was part and parcel of the terror network who was killing innocents and now leading a cushy life in the heart of COLOMBO… THANKX TO THE SELFISH AGENDA OF THE ROYAL FAMILY…

  • 0
    0

    Citizen NOT criticize… LOL damn bad typo

  • 0
    0

    “Gothabaya thought the government could reach out to
    the Tamil people, particularly their educated technocrats.
    “People need to know that there is a normal life waiting for
    them after the conflict,” he said.

    The structured genocidal move by the regime using the 1948 Act re
    dual-citizenship has put and end to this thought?

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