28 October, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Rajapaksa Trio Powerful, But Increasingly Isolated

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Ever since the 1978 Constitution transferred broad executive powers from the Prime Minister to the new Presidency, power has tended to gravitate toward the President. Although Rajapaksa’s electoral campaign manifesto promised to abolish the executive presidency, the concentration of power in the Presidency has accelerated during the Rajapaksa administration.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” details the Presidend Rajapaksa’s decision making process. The cable was written on May 15, 2007 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Robert O. Blake.

“At the same time, the Rajapaksas are increasingly isolated. The President both fears and despises what he disparagingly refers to as the "Colombo 7 Crowd,"

Under the subheading “Rajapaksa Trio Powerful, But Isolated” the Ambassador wrote “The recent cabinet reshuffle, which left Sri Lanka with one of the largest Cabinets of Ministers in the world, perversely has contributed to the centralization of power in the Rajapaksas’ hands because many ministers have overlapping or undefined responsibilities. The resulting confusion has meant that most important issues are handled by the President and his advisors, not by the ministers. The President himself holds ministerial portfolios including Finance, Defense and Ports and Aviation. He thus directly supervises over a hundred government departments and administrations. Together with discretionary Presidential spending powers, he personally controls over 60 percent of the national budget.”

“The President also has bypassed the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, which says the President should appoint the heads of key commissions and certain senior government officials on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council. His personal appointment of these officials calls into question their independence, and means there is little oversight of his decisionmaking. The constitutional changes that his SLFP put forward in its ‘devolution’ proposal would, rather than decentralizing power, actually tend to increase the President’s prerogatives. For example, he would appoint two-thirds of the new Senate’s members under the SLFP draft.” he further wrote.

Ambassador Blake wrote “At the same time, the Rajapaksas are increasingly isolated. The President both fears and despises what he disparagingly refers to as the “Colombo 7 Crowd,” Colombo’s western-educated, wealthy elite (most of whom live in the 7th district of the city). He has not included them in his inner circle and is not in touch with their views. In addition, his brothers lived out of the country until just before the election in 2005. As a result, they have a limited understanding of the Sri Lankan public’s concerns and few contacts within the country’s elite. This isolation has meant that almost all important decisions are made by a small inner circle with limited exposure to input and ideas from the country’s public or elite.

Related news;

WikiLeaks: Discord between the brothers -half to Basil, half to Gota

WikiLeaks: Basil is corrupt, limited educated and expelled from school

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 04 COLOMBO 000698

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INS
MCC FOR D NASSIRY AND E BURKE

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/12/2017
TAGS: PGOV PREL PTER PHUM MOPS CESUBJECT: PRESIDENT RELIES ON BROTHERS FOR POLICY ADVICE AND
POLITICAL COVER

Classified By: Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., for reasons 1.4(b,d).
Rajapaksa Trio Powerful, But Isolated
---------------------------------------

8.  (C) Ever since the 1978 Constitution transferred broad
executive powers from the Prime Minister to the new
Presidency, power has tended to gravitate toward the
President.  Although Rajapaksa's electoral campaign manifesto
promised to abolish the executive presidency, the
concentration of power in the Presidency has accelerated
during the Rajapaksa administration.  The recent cabinet
reshuffle, which left Sri Lanka with one of the largest
Cabinets of Ministers in the world, perversely has
contributed to the centralization of power in the Rajapaksas'
hands because many ministers have overlapping or undefined
responsibilities.  The resulting confusion has meant that
most important issues are handled by the President and his
advisors, not by the ministers.  The President himself holds
ministerial portfolios including Finance, Defense and Ports
and Aviation.  He thus directly supervises over a hundred
government departments and administrations. Together with

COLOMBO 00000698  003.2 OF 004

discretionary Presidential spending powers, he personally
controls over 60 percent of the national budget.  The
President also has bypassed the 17th Amendment to the
Constitution, which says the President should appoint the
heads of key commissions and certain senior government
officials on the recommendation of the Constitutional
Council.  His personal appointment of these officials calls
into question their independence, and means there is little
oversight of his decisionmaking.  The constitutional changes
that his SLFP put forward in its "devolution" proposal would,
rather than decentralizing power, actually tend to increase
the President's prerogatives.  For example, he would appoint
two-thirds of the new Senate's members under the SLFP draft.

9.  (C)  At the same time, the Rajapaksas are increasingly
isolated.  The President both fears and despises what he
disparagingly refers to as the "Colombo 7 Crowd,"  Colombo's
western-educated, wealthy elite (most of whom live in the 7th
district of the city).  He has not included them in his inner
circle and is not in touch with their views.  In addition,
his brothers lived out of the country until just before the
election in 2005.  As a result, they have a limited
understanding of the Sri Lankan public's concerns and few
contacts within the country's elite.  This isolation has
meant that almost all important decisions are made by a small
inner circle with limited exposure to input and ideas from
the country's public or elite.
BLAKE
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Rascals :)

    • 0
      0

      Uneducated Uncultured!!

  • 0
    0

    “The President himself holds ministerial portfolios including Finance, Defense and Ports and Aviation.” O/L Maths failed, but holding Finance ministry. where is this country heading to?

  • 0
    0

    This country is finished, mate. As a practicing lawyer down South, I can assure you of that!

    • 0
      0

      You are right Pandu, especially when we have a synthetic lawyer, a playboy M.P. and son of our regime chief.

  • 0
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    “……., especially when we have a synthetic lawyer, a playboy M.P. and son of our regime chief.” and
    fits well as the successor in North Korea is the precedent and guide to the future.

  • 0
    0

    This Pearl in the Indian Ocean will soon be depleted of its resources and fully taken over China

  • 0
    0

    “This country is finished, mate. As a practicing lawyer down South, I can assure you of that!”

    “they have a limited understanding of the Sri Lankan public’s concerns “

    The ambasodor and the southern lawyer might as well lived in the Neverland.

    The truth of the matter is that we never before had a leadership that is in tune with the masses!

    Suprising thing of it all is the fact that the ambasodar with all that resources at his disposal come to a such an erroneous conclusion is just mind boggling.

  • 0
    0

    Three stooges should be thrown out of politics and Educated/cultured Elite group shoup in colombo should or from any other region in SL should run the country ASAP. MR’s burn in hell.rascals

  • 0
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    As mentioned by a former President of Sri Lanka, they are Uneducated Uncultured rascals. This statement has been proved beyound any doubt by their actions. Looking back they have disgraced our Country among the International Community. Robbed the Country to bankcruptcy. Turned the democratic Sri Lanka to a corrupt, lawless Banana Republic. Made the Police to protect the criminals and haress the innocent. Politicised the Judicery to Jail the innocent to satisfy the needs of the ruling corrupt family. Act like our mother Lanka belong to this family. Ruling the Country by intimidation and fear mongering will not be for long. God save our mother Lanka.

  • 0
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    JUNTA, Your rotten and stenching name fits you very well! This bundle of filth says “..The truth of the matter is that we never before had a leadership that is in tune with the masses!..” Take for instance the leadership in tune with the masses where A/L results have been bungled but no solution or no one is responsible. Instead of solving it these moron Rajapakshas appoint committees of fools to look into it! Don’t know where they looked into but it seems they have looked into posterior of Rajapakshas and found filth only and therefore now utter filthy findings! Sri Lanka is lost and gone to dogs like Junta and Rajapakshas.

  • 0
    0

    HELLO MR.BLAKE,

    AMERICAN SOLDIERS URINATING ON DEAD TALIBAN SOLDIERS MAKES U PROUD ??

    ILLEGAL AMERICAN TORTURED CAMPS AROUND THE WORLD MAKES U PROUD ??

    SPYING ON OTHER COUNTRIES USING UR UN-MANNED DRONE MAKES U PROUD ??

    KILLING MORE THAN 200,000 INNOCENT CIVILIANS IN IRAQ & AFGHAN MAKES U PROUD ??

    WAR FOR OIL MAKES U PROUD ??

    LIKE TO BORROW MONEY FROM CHINESE & YET HATE CHINESE MAKES U PROUD ??

    “GUANTANAMO BAY” UN-HUMAN TORTURES MAKING U PROUD ??

    MAKING 1000’s OF PORN MOVIES EVERY YEAR MAKES U PROUD ??

    SELLING LICENSED WEAPONS ON UR STREETS MAKING U PROUD ??

    LOOSING “AAA” CREDIT RATING MAKING U PROUD ??

    MORETHAN 13MILLIONS ARE STILL UNEMPLOYED IN “USA” MAKING U PROUD ??

    THERE IS A SAYING ” CRAB KEEP “SH#T IN IT’S HEAD & YET WORRY ABOUT OTHERS”

    GOD BLESS U & UR NATION BLAKE !!!

  • 0
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    O/L maths failed. what nonsence. I have not done Maths to O/L. I am a graduate from Vidyadaya. and an advocate In 1960s and before we did only arithmatic. without arithmatic you can’t pass O/L exam. you talk about present day requirements. even to enter Law college O/L was sufficient. people talk without knowing the truth.
    about the Presidential powers the only person who made used of it was RJ. others did not do anything. look he got resignation letters from all the MPs and ruled for 6 years. He amended the Constitution 15 times. we have forgotten the past.

  • 0
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    But I like Rajapaksha . They deliver results. It’s a fact. Any body in those circumstances would steal or not steel the public money they end up getting label ” Hora,. Rata keewa, Any way. We won you lost.

  • 0
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    Raja hora is the fake president of sri lanka . Real president l in the fail for noi reason.

  • 0
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    Many comments hating Rajapaksha family are from LTTE supporters living in abroad that shows grievances of their lost cause. These Rajapaksha brothers did their best when eradicating the LTTE terrorism from Sri Lanka. Whether they are educaed or not they had backbone to refuse international calls for saving Babarian Prabakaran. The country is developing under this government, some people don’t have stomack to accept the truth. There are no perfect political leaders in any country in this world, because nobody is perfect. So we can’t expect perfectnism from Sri Lankan government but the present government is 100% better than previous governments. That’s how majority of Sri Lankans think.

  • 0
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    KUMARI YOU CAN EXPOSE YOUR SELF TO THIS RAJA PARAYA AND HE WILL PUT SOME PADURU TO YOUR DEWALAYA.

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