By Colombo Telegraph –
“The Prime Minister told the Ambassador that there should be no cause for concern since the agreement was ‘just words.’ Moreover, there had been translation inaccuracies from the signed Sinhala original into English. Rajapakse reviewed his long history of opposition to and district electoral victories over the JVP and told the Ambassador that he knew how to handle them and use them. In order to win the election, the PM said, JVP support was essential, and he knew from experience that the way to handle the JVP is to agree to whatever they want in order to get their support. ‘You must understand this is an election campaign. I want to win, so I need everyone.’ Moreover, Rajapakse concluded, there is nothing in the agreement he signed with the JVP that could be construed as not supporting the peace process. ‘I want peace.’ the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated September 12, 2005, updated the Secretary of State on Sri Lanka’s presidential election 2005. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable was signed by the US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead. The cable details a US meeting with Prime Minister and the Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa.
US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead wrote “the Ambassador, accompanied by DCM (notetaker), called on Prime Minister (and Sri Lanka Freedom Party – SLFP- Presidential candidate) Mahinda Rajapakse September 12. The Ambassador noted that he had just returned to Sri Lanka after five weeks and conveyed condolences on the assassination of former Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and expressed appreciation for Sri Lanka’s gestures of support in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, both of which had occurred during the Ambassador’s absence. Renunciation of Peace Process?”
“Turning to the presidential election campaign, the Ambassador told the PM that the agreement that he had signed with the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) to bring them into his electoral coalition had caught the attention of the international community. (Note: the agreement, signed September 8, calls, inter alia, for a complete renegotiation of the cease-fire agreement (CFA), a re-examination of the role of the Norwegian facilitators, insists on a ‘unitary’ state and trashes the Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) signed with the LTTE, but now entangled in court challenges to its constitutionality. The agreement also criticizes privatization in key economic sectors and promises to follow JVP economic policies. Over the weekend, the press published an acerbic letter to the PM from President Chandrika Bandanaraike Kumaratunga (CBK) in which she criticized Rajapakse for signing an agreement which, in her view, contradicted key SLFP tenets and policies. End Note) The Ambassador noted that, taken at face value, the agreement with the JVP would appear to be a complete renunciation of the ongoing peace process which has long enjoyed the support of the international community. No Cause for Concern: ‘Just Words’” he further wrote.