18 April, 2019

Blog

WikiLeaks: LTTE’s Motives For Playing A ‘Surprise Card’ In Oslo Were Two Fold – GoSL To US

By Colombo Telegraph

“Taking an evenhanded tone, Palihakkara stated that he surmised the LTTE’s motives for playing a ‘surprise card’ in Oslo were two fold. First, they wanted to demonstrate to the Tamil diaspora, which in large part funds the terrorist organization either willingly or unwillingly, that the E.U. ban had neither affected their fundraising and recruitment abilities nor their resolve. Second, Palihakkara contended, the LTTE wanted a well-publicized platform from which to release their clearly premeditated ‘Oslo Communiqu’ of June 9: the document may have presaged LTTE military or other violent action against the GSL.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Palihakkara

A Leaked ‘Confidential’ US diplomatic cable, dated June 13, 2006, updated the Secretary of State regarding and a meeting Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead had with Foreign Secretary H. M. G. S. Palihakkara. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead.

The ambassador wrote; “Ambassador met with Foreign Secretary Palihakkara on June 13 to discuss the situation after the LTTE scuttling of talks with the GSL in Oslo. Palihakkara said he had opted out of accompanying Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to Oslo to meet with the Norwegians June 12 in order to wait for Oslo delegation head and Peace Secretariat chief Palitha Kohona’s debrief upon the latter’s return to Sri Lanka.”

“While Palihakkara admitted the possibility of “nasty” Tiger violence, he said, “My gut feeling is that the LTTE is more posturing than substance. I don’t think there will be a major security problem.” On the issue of LTTE refusal to accept EU nationals as members of the SLMM, Palihakkara recommended patience. “The LTTE needs the SLMM as much as anyone else.” Similarly, Norway is “correctly facing a lot of criticism by trying to accommodate the LTTE” but “Norway must be given some space” to facilitate.” Lunstead further wrote.

Under the subheading “Devolution Think Tank” he wrote;  “Palihakkara noted that President Rajapaksa is taking a proactive approach to the peace process following the failure of the Oslo talks. Three initiatives include: the appointment of a bipartisan committee or ‘think tank’ of Sri Lankan academics to draft a proposal for maximum devolution of power to the North and East; ‘humanitarian focal points’ to deal with displaced persons in the East; and increased political dialog with the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and other Tamil groups. ‘The TNA,’ Palihakkara added, ‘is also in an impossible situation. They are afraid.”‘(Presumably Palihakkara meant that the TNA has little choice but to toe the LTTE line.)”

Read the relevant part of the cable below;

VZCZCXRO6947
OO RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #0998/01 1641136
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 131136Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3660
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9715
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 6144
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 4179
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 9250
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 3133
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 2210
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 3044
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0254
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 6695
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 4578
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1209
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000998 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/20/2016
TAGS: PREL PTER PHUM CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: FOREIGN SECRETARY DISCUSSES OSLO,
POSITIVELY RECEIVES AMBASSADOR'S DEMARCHE ON TERRORISM
WORKING GROUPS 

REF: A. COLOMBO 990 AND PREVIOUS 

     ¶B. STATE 94541 

Classified By: Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead.  1.4(b,d)
---------------
The Tiger Card
--------------- 

2. (C) Ambassador met with Foreign Secretary Palihakkara on
June 13 to discuss the situation after the LTTE scuttling of
talks with the GSL in Oslo.  Palihakkara said he had opted
out of accompanying Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera to
Oslo to meet with the Norwegians June 12 in order to wait for
Oslo delegation head and Peace Secretariat chief Palitha
Kohona's debrief upon the latter's return to Sri Lanka. 

3. (C) Taking an evenhanded tone, Palihakkara stated that he
surmised the LTTE's motives for playing a "surprise card" in
Oslo were two fold.  First, they wanted to demonstrate to the
Tamil diaspora, which in large part funds the terrorist
organization either willingly or unwillingly, that the E.U.
ban had neither affected their fundraising and recruitment
abilities nor their resolve.  Second, Palihakkara contended,
the LTTE wanted a well-publicized platform from which to
release their clearly premeditated "Oslo Communiqu" of June
9: the document may have presaged LTTE military or other
violent action against the GSL. 

------------
Gut Feeling
------------ 

4. (C) While Palihakkara admitted the possibility of "nasty"
Tiger violence, he said, "My gut feeling is that the LTTE is
more posturing than substance.  I don't think there will be a
major security problem."  On the issue of LTTE refusal to
accept EU nationals as members of the SLMM, Palihakkara
recommended patience.  "The LTTE needs the SLMM as much as
anyone else."  Similarly, Norway is "correctly facing a lot
of criticism by trying to accommodate the LTTE" but "Norway
must be given some space" to facilitate. 

----------------------
Devolution Think Tank
---------------------- 

5. (C) Palihakkara noted that President Rajapaksa is taking a
proactive approach to the peace process following the failure
of the Oslo talks.  Three initiatives include: the
appointment of a bipartisan committee or "think tank" of Sri
Lankan academics to draft a proposal for maximum devolution
of power to the North and East; "humanitarian focal points"
to deal with displaced persons in the East; and increased
political dialog with the pro-LTTE Tamil National Alliance
(TNA) and other Tamil groups.  "The TNA," Palihakkara added,
"is also in an impossible situation.  They are afraid."
(Presumably Palihakkara meant that the TNA has little choice 

COLOMBO 00000998  002 OF 003 

but to toe the LTTE line.)
LUNSTEAD
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comment

  • 0
    0

    one of Sri Lanka’s best diplomats, unlike the present lot of uneducated relatives.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 300 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically shut off on articles after 10 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.