23 October, 2017

WikiLeaks: SLFP-JVP MoU; Maithripala Wants Peace With The LTTE, But Not In The UNP Way

“Amid fanfare, President Kumaratunga’s SLFP party and the radical JVP formally entered into a political alliance on January 20. The alliance is basically an electoral pact, but an MOU attacking the GSL’s handling of the peace track was also agreed to. In a related development, Somawansa Amarasinghe, a key JVP leader and noted hard-liner based in the UK (see bio-data in Para 10), is making a rare visit to Sri Lanka. While some observers believe the pact is inherently shaky, there is renewed speculation that parliamentary elections may be in the offing.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Maithri newThe Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The classified diplomatic cable details the “Memorandum of Understanding” between the President Chandrika Kumaratungaled SLFP and the Somawansa Amarasingheled JVP. The “Confidential” is cable signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead on January 21, 2004.

The ambassador wrote; “As flagged in Ref B, President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) and the radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) party formally entered into a political alliance called the “United People’s Freedom Alliance” on January 20. (The SLFP is the core constituent element in the President’s People’s Alliance, ‘PA’, grouping.) The pact was signed amid considerable fanfare and at ‘an auspicious hour’ at a ceremony in a conference hall in Colombo. The ceremony was televised live on state-owned television and was broadcast on radio. The high point of the ceremony was the signing of the SLFP/JVP ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) which is reviewed below. Maithripala Sirisena, chief of the SLFP, and Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP, signed the document on behalf of their respective parties. (For reasons that are unclear, President Kumaratunga did not attend the ceremony.) In his speech, Sirisena said the SLFP supported peace with the Tamil Tigers, but opposed how the GSL was handling the peace process. Silva, meanwhile, condemned the GSL on various fronts in much harsher terms and also paid homage to Rohana Wijeweera, the JVP founder who was killed during the JVP’s 1987-89 insurrection.”

“None of the speeches at the ceremony mentioned the Norwegian government’s peace facilitation role, which has been on hold pending resolution of the cohabitation impasse between the President and the Prime Minister. The MOU also did not mention Norway. At a January 21 joint SLFP/JVP news conference, however, Mangala Samaraweera, a senior PA MP, stated that “Norway’s role has been questioned by many. We will reconsider the role of Norway.” Tilvin Silva of the JVP also piped in to say that he did not think Norway had any role in the peace process.” the ambassador Lunstead further wrote.

Placing a comment the ambassador wrote; “The pact signed on January 20 took almost a year to conclude, with the President mulling over the matter for months before giving it her blessing. This is in fact the second time that the two parties have signed a pact: in September 2001, the JVP agreed to support the then-PA government in Parliament. That pact collapsed about a month later when the PA government fell and elections were called. The September 2001 deal was shaky and this latest pact may be shaky, too. Minister Milinda Moragoda told the Ambassador today that he thought the two parties would get into serious arguments about seat allotments in Parliament down the line. He added that he did not see how a party “run by a family” (the SLFP) could realistically align for long with an ideologically driven party like the Marxist JVP. That said, the signing of the pact has led to renewed speculation that parliamentary elections may be in the offing. Moragoda did not appear too concerned about that possibility. Other observers, however, believe the President may think that the pact provides her party its best chance to defeat the UNP in elections, while also giving her leverage over the PM during the ongoing cohabitation dispute.”

We publish below the “confidential” cable in full;

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000109 

SIPDIS 

DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS, INR/NESA;  NSC FOR E. MILLARD 

PLEASE ALSO PASS TOPEC 

E.O. 12958:        DECL:  01/21/14 
TAGS: PGOV PINS PINR PHUM CE NO
SUBJECT:  President's party signs pact with radical JVP; 
Key JVP leader based in UK on rare visit to Sri Lanka 

Refs:  (A) Colombo-SA/INS 01/20/04 fax 

-      (B) Colombo 103, and previous 

(U) Classified by James F. Entwistle, Deputy Chief of 
Mission.  Reasons 1.5 (b,d). 

¶1.  (C) SUMMARY:  Amid fanfare, President Kumaratunga's 
SLFP party and the radical JVP formally entered into a 
political alliance on January 20.  The alliance is 
basically an electoral pact, but an MOU attacking the 
GSL's handling of the peace track was also agreed to. 
In a related development, Somawansa Amarasinghe, a key 
JVP leader and noted hard-liner based in the UK (see 
bio-data in Para 10), is making a rare visit to Sri 
Lanka.  While some observers believe the pact is 
inherently shaky, there is renewed speculation that 
parliamentary elections may be in the offing.  END 
SUMMARY. 

¶2.  (SBU) PACT SIGNED:  As flagged in Ref B, President 
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom 
Party (SLFP) and the radical Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna 
(JVP) party formally entered into a political alliance 
called the "United People's Freedom Alliance" on 
January 20.  (The SLFP is the core constituent element 
in the President's People's Alliance, "PA," grouping.) 
The pact was signed amid considerable fanfare and at "an 
auspicious hour" at a ceremony in a conference hall in 
Colombo.  The ceremony was televised live on state-owned 
television and was broadcast on radio.  The high point 
of the ceremony was the signing of the SLFP/JVP 
"Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) which is reviewed 
below.  Maithripala Sirisena, chief of the SLFP, and 
Tilvin Silva, General Secretary of the JVP, signed the 
document on behalf of their respective parties.  (For 
reasons that are unclear, President Kumaratunga did not 
attend the ceremony.)  In his speech, Sirisena said the 
SLFP supported peace with the Tamil Tigers, but opposed 
how the GSL was handling the peace process.  Silva, 
meanwhile, condemned the GSL on various fronts in much 
harsher terms and also paid homage to Rohana Wijeweera, 
the JVP founder who was killed during the JVP's 1987-89 
insurrection. 

¶3.  (SBU) None of the speeches at the ceremony mentioned 
the Norwegian government's peace facilitation role, 
which has been on hold pending resolution of the 
cohabitation impasse between the President and the Prime 
Minister.  The MOU also did not mention Norway.  At a 
January 21 joint SLFP/JVP news conference, however, 
Mangala Samaraweera, a senior PA MP, stated that 
"Norway's role has been questioned by many.  We will 
reconsider the role of Norway."  Tilvin Silva of the JVP 
also piped in to say that he did not think Norway had 
any role in the peace process. 

¶4.  (SBU) (Note:  Although Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim 
prelates attended the ceremony, Christian clergy did 
not, though they seem to have been invited.  The fact 
that Christian clergy did not attend could be a 
reflection of their concerns about recent attacks on 
churches, but Catholic and Protestant leaders made no 
public announcement to that effect.) 

¶5.  (SBU) BASICALLY AN ELECTORAL PACT:  At its root, the 
SLFP/JVP political alliance is an electoral pact.  As 
envisaged by its sponsors in the SLFP and JVP, the pact 
will allow the two left-leaning parties to run a joint 
slate of candidates in parliamentary elections. 
(Parliamentary elections are due by December 2006, but 
there is renewed speculation that the signing of the 
pact indicates that the President may call them much 
sooner than that  -- see Para 9.)  By running on a joint 
slate, the two parties hope to combine their vote vis-a- 
vis the governing United National Party (UNP) coalition 
and thus take those seats allocated on a "district" 
basis.  (In Sri Lanka, most parliamentary seats are 
allocated on a proportional representation basis, but 
"bonus seats" are awarded to the party that wins each of 
Sri Lanka's 25 districts and there are also "national 
list" seats.  The UNP coalition won most of these 
"district" seats in the December 2001 election and was 
able to form the government, although its vote total 
nationally was only roughly equal to that won by the PA 
plus the JVP.)  Per the signing of the pact, the two 
parties could also run joint slates during the 
Provincial Council elections slated to take place in 
April, but it is not known whether they plan to do so. 

¶6.  (SBU) MOU BLASTS PEACE TRACK:  The MOU signed by the 
two parties (see Ref A for text) blasted the 
government's handling of the peace process in no 
uncertain terms, stating: 

"The ethnic question of Sri Lanka has taken an 
undesirable turn since the formation of the UNP 
government.  In the name of the aspirations of all our 
peoples for an honorable and durable peace, the UNP has 
set out on a path toward a separatist `Eelamist' state." 

That said, the MOU supports trying to achieve a 
negotiated settlement with the Tamil Tigers.  In a stark 
commentary on the historical difference between the two 
parties' positioning on the matter, however, the MOU 
also explicitly noted that the SLFP supports the concept 
of "devolution" as a means of settling the dispute, 
while the JVP only supports "administrative 
decentralization...within a unitary state." 

¶7.  (SBU) The MOU also contained the following 
highlights: 

-- Economy:  The MOU criticized the GSL's handling of 
the economy, stating, in part:  "The economic policies 
of the UNP are determined by the lending agencies with 
scant regard for local priorities and the aspirations of 
the people...The poor are called upon to bear the brunt 
of these policies." 

-- Human Rights:  The MOU asserts that the UNP 
government has systematically murdered 60 SLFP activists 
and done harm to 3,000 others.  (Note:  These figures 
are wildly inflated.) 

-- Foreign Policy:  In a glancing blow aimed at the U.S. 
and the UNP government's generally pro-U.S. policies, 
the MOU states:  "Our foreign policy which was based on 
regional cooperation and mutual respect has been 
replaced by one of servitude and the absence of national 
dignity." 

-- "Five Noble Objectives":  The MOU also contains a 
hortatory statement reviewing "Five Noble Objectives" 
involving:  (1) the Economy; (2) "Ethnic Harmony;" (3) 
"Strengthening Democracy;" (4) Cultural Policy; and (5) 
Foreign Policy.  (In a clear nod to Sinhalese Buddhism, 
the "Cultural Policy" segment includes a call "to halt 
the rapid erosion of social values and direct society 
toward cultural rejuvenation.") 

¶8.  (C) KEY JVP LEADER MAKES VISIT:  In a related 
development, Somawansa Amarasinghe, a key JVP leader 
based in the UK and a hard-liner, arrived in Sri Lanka 
on January 20 for a visit (see bio-data in Para 10). 
The exact nature of Amarasinghe's rare visit is not 
clear (his last visit was in late 2001) and he did not 
attend the SLFP/JVP signing ceremony on January 20. 
Since his arrival, however, he has been involved in 
meetings with other JVP officials and has been giving 
some media interviews. 
¶9.  (C) COMMENT:  The pact signed on January 20 took 
almost a year to conclude, with the President mulling 
over the matter for months before giving it her 
blessing.  This is in fact the second time that the two 
parties have signed a pact:  in September 2001, the JVP 
agreed to support the then-PA government in Parliament. 
That pact collapsed about a month later when the PA 
government fell and elections were called.  The 
September 2001 deal was shaky and this latest pact may 
be shaky, too.  Minister Milinda Moragoda told the 
Ambassador today that he thought the two parties would 
get into serious arguments about seat allotments in 
Parliament down the line.  He added that he did not see 
how a party "run by a family" (the SLFP) could 
realistically align for long with an ideologically 
driven party like the Marxist JVP.  That said, the 
signing of the pact has led to renewed speculation that 
parliamentary elections may be in the offing.  Moragoda 
did not appear too concerned about that possibility. 
Other observers, however, believe the President may 
think that the pact provides her party its best chance 
to defeat the UNP in elections, while also giving her 
leverage over the PM during the ongoing cohabitation 
dispute.  END COMMENT. 

¶10.  (C) Bio-Data on Somawansa Amarasinghe: 
Amarasinghe, 59, had been in exile in Europe for 12 
years until he was allowed to return to Sri Lanka in 
late 2001.  Now living in the UK, he is the last 
surviving member of the JVP "Politburo" involved in 
launching the failed 1987-89 insurrection against the 
Sri Lankan government.  In that role, he was a close 
associate of Rohana Wijeweera, the slain JVP leader, who 
led the 1987-89 revolt and an earlier revolt in 1971. 
Amarasinghe's current role in the JVP is not precisely 
clear, but he is treated as a major leader of the party. 
He is known to be a hard-liner, who spouts Marxist 
rhetoric.  Earning a reputation as a Sinhalese 
extremist, he also has regularly condemned the GSL's 
peace process policies.  When he returned to Sri Lanka 
in 2001, he gave a number of speeches for the JVP during 
that year's parliamentary election campaign.  His 
speeches were long and verbose, and were not well- 
received.  He is a Sinhalese Buddhist and hails from the 
town of Wadduwa, located about 35 kilometers south of 
Colombo.  He is thought to be related to Wimal 
Wimalwansa and Nandana Goonetillake, two JVP MPs.  End 
Bio-Data.  He is thought to be a widower. 

¶11.  (U) Minimize considered. 

LUNSTEAD
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Latest comments

  • 3
    12

    To all Sinhala Buddhist,
    We Tamils decide who rule u, we will make sure u suffer more….good luck…

    • 10
      0

      What a stupid thing to say. The majority of people who want Mahinda out are people who aren’t bigoted racists- the ones you’re trying to punish are the idiots that have, for the most part, stayed with Mahinda. By not voting this lunatic out the only people you’re punishing are the people who actually have a liberal outlook to this ethnic issue, not the extremists.

      See, this is why this country can go and put its literacy rate figures up the a*se. No amount of book-learning can educate idiots of this calibre.

    • 4
      3

      forgot your pills didnt you . ass ?

      • 6
        3

        Ballige puthas of your kind would never change – nor would you even if your lovely ones would have been raped by Rajapakshes. Wait and see we have already won – Rajapakshe days are numbered.

      • 1
        1

        He forget them in your home. You can have them. ENJOY!!!!

      • 2
        0

        bla bla blAbhaya

        “forgot your pills didnt you . ass ?”

        Would you like to spare him a few?

    • 4
      4

      You think that Tamils can surpass the Buddhist Nationalism? I guess you’ll need to go back to school and learn about the “Majority and Minority” unequal.

      This why these type of idiots don’t deserve to be treated equal to the majority!

    • 0
      1

      Still Singing Hosannas to Jarapassa Regime ?????????.

      Don’t You remember Your’s Loving, So called SOORIYA THEIVAN gave you a TOFEE ya, After getting the bribe from MaRA ya Jarapassa.

      And You Learned a Lesson Hard way,

      we feel very sorry and pathetically to Innocent BABY brigade and Hate 5 STAR Tamizar Diasporas.

      Idiotic 5 STAR Tamizar Diasporas!!!.
      You can dream about, and Think, Who Suffered More, after running to Wellamulli vaaikaal !!!!!!!!!!!!!.

      Unlike MaRaya Jarapassa,
      MY 3 Will Not Give You a Bribe and Not expect any I O U.
      KAS Sumanasekaram is mistakenly comparing MY3 to JRAPASSAS.
      BIG MISTAKE.

    • 0
      0

      dont forget to take your prescription medication.
      you are regressing to the state you were in.

    • 3
      0

      J.muthu

      “We Tamils decide who rule u, we will make sure u suffer more….good luck…”

      What has got into you?

      Always wish your perceived enemies well.

      Hatred will eventually destroy you, always good to remember how VP was driven by hatred human.

      Here is a couplet from Thiruk Kural.

      Transliteration

      Innaasey Thaarai Oruththal Avarnaana
      Nannayanj Cheydhu Vital

      Couplet 314

      To punish wrong, with kindly benefits the doers ply;
      Thus shame their souls; but pass the ill unheeded by

      Explanation
      The (proper) punishment to those who have done evil (to you), is to put them to shame by showing them kindness, in return and to forget both the evil and the good done on both sides

      குறள் 314
      இன்னாசெய் தாரை ஒறுத்தல் அவர்நாண
      நன்னயஞ் செய்து விடல்

      விளக்கம்
      நமக்குத் தீங்கு செய்தவரைத் தண்டிப்பதற்குச் சரியான வழி, அவர் வெட்கித் தலைகுனியும்படியாக அவருக்கு நன்மை செய்வதுதான்

      http://www.gokulnath.com/thirukurals

      I found these 1330 couplets only recently.

      Simply brilliant.

      Here is another gem:

      குறள் 72
      அன்பிலார் எல்லாம் தமக்குரியர் அன்புடையார்
      என்பும் உரியர் பிறர்க்கு

      விளக்கம்

      அன்பு இல்லாதவர், எல்லாம் தமக்கே என உரிமை கொண்டாடுவர்; அன்பு உடையவரோ தம் உடல், பொருள், ஆவி ஆகிய அனைத்தும் பிறருக்கென எண்ணிடுவர்

      Couplet 72

      The loveless to themselves belong alone;
      The loving men are others’ to the very bone

      Explanation

      Those who are destitute of love appropriate all they have to themselves; but those who possess love consider even their bones to belong to others

      Transliteration

      Anpilaar Ellaam Thamakkuriyar Anputaiyaar
      Enpum Uriyar Pirarkku

      • 1
        1

        imagine if J.Muthu was sinhala , how would our aswer react? :D

        Mahavamsa….mahanama, sinhala/buddhist…bla bla…

  • 7
    5

    .
    Even real Lions don’t kill children….. but someone My3 knows ordered to kill VP’s 10 year old kid…..

    watch this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dpDLmi2nhgo

    :-)

    • 1
      1

      Aratai,

      Amazing video.

      Thanks for the link.

      But I don’t see a relevance for this topic though.

      • 0
        0

        “But I don’t see a relevance”

        maithri is the first lion,mahinda the second.Who is TNA going to support,first lion or second.

        I hope that the TNA just tells the tamils to vote for whomever they choose.After all lions are lions and the calf would not have survived any way.Tamils will not be able to retain their culture,identity and language religion etc as the years progress.

        • 0
          0

          “Tamils will not be able to retain their culture,identity and language religion etc as the years progress. “

          I am sick of this propaganda which is totally false and nothing but bullsh1t…tamils losing their culture, identity bla bla…

          Get out of your house and take a walk around Colombo, Wellawatte, Dehiwala and Rathanapura, kandy Sabaragamu and central province which are sinhala majority areas how the tamils have ‘lost’ their bla bla bla..

          The problem with tamils is they are an extremely tribalistic society which hates everything non tamil. I guess the day these tamil tribals will gain equality is the day whole SL was turned into a tamil country…

          Grow out of your tamil tribalism…

      • 0
        1

        Peace , the relevance seems to be

        first lion = MY3
        Second lion = MR

  • 0
    0

    So, a hardline JVP-CBK can cure all ills. All will be equal. Trade with China and others will be government controlled (lesser neo-liberalism). No race/tribe. All are comrades/compatriots. *Lanka will be Unified.* CBK-JVP alliance will usher in fusion of Sinhala/Demala language, religion and culture by a generation. China take-over of trade routes from West will yet exist, but a bit more muted. Excess money making concerns, restricted. Pattern of Sirimavo non-aligned SLFP to re-emerge, but this time with greater realization and awareness. US will be happy. Hmmm, worth a try.

  • 1
    1

    This time Sira is signing IoU more than MoU with the LTTE proxies and Tiger supporters both in an outside…

    • 1
      0

      K.A Sumanasekera

      “This time Sira is signing IoU more than MoU with the LTTE proxies and Tiger supporters both in an outside…”

      Would you like LTTE proxies and Tiger supporters both in an outside sign a MOU with MR?

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