29 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Sri Lankan intelligentsia and print media are anti-US biased

By Colombo Telegraph –

“ While the newspapers have their decided biases, TV and radio in Sri Lanka are generally apolitical on international issues -- but not on domestic issues where they tend to take sides.”

“It is also the case that much of the intelligentsia in Sri Lanka and much of the press share a general anti-U.S. bias.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” analyses the Sri Lanka’s pro – US foreign policy under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The cable was written on May 29, 2003 by the US Ambassador to Colombo E. Ashley Wills.

Ambassador Wills wrote “Intellectuals, such as they are in Sri Lanka, are mostly influenced by Marxism to a large extent with a fair amount having studied in the former Soviet Union, and they routinely chatter against U.S. ‘hegemony’ and ‘world empire.’”

“In the meantime, Sri Lanka’s press — both the English and vernacular — contains a large amount of anti-U.S. commentary, including the ritual condemnations of our policy on Iraq and alleged excesses in the war on terrorism. The government, including PM Wickremesinghe and especially Moragoda, also come under considerable heat for allegedly wanting to make Sri Lanka a U.S. ‘lackey.’” Wills further wrote.

Placing a note Ambassador Wills wrote “ While the newspapers have their decided biases, TV and radio in Sri Lanka are generally apolitical on international issues — but not on domestic issues where they tend to take sides.”

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

Related news to this cable;

WikiLeaks: “Ranil is a Yankee, like his uncle” US cable implies

WikiLeaks: GL a Pomme, Milinda a Yankee, US cable contends

WikiLeaks: President Chandrika a Francophile, US cable contends

WikiLeaks: Moragoda made a startling proposal to US against NAM

WikiLeaks:Ranil’s tilt toward the US has faced stiff resistance from MFA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000909

SIPDIS

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

LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL

E.O. 12958:  DECL:  05-29-13
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR CE UN
SUBJECT:  Sri Lanka's foreign policy:  Prime Minister
tilts toward U.S., but faces resistance

Refs:  Colombo 873, and previous

(U) Classified by Ambassador E. Ashley Wills.
Reasons:  1.5 (b,d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Since coming to power, PM Wickremesinghe
has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy
closer to the U.S.  In doing this, he has had successes,
including the signing of an ICC waiver with the U.S. and
in regard to Iraq where the GSL steered a constructive
course.  Moreover, one of his key ministers recently
proposed that the GSL take the lead in forming some sort
of counterweight to NAM.  That said, the PM's initiative
has faced stiff resistance from MFA bureaucrats.  In
addition, the president and Opposition, backed by much
of the press and the intelligentsia, have cut into his
room for maneuver via their generally anti-U.S. biases.
12.  (C) It is also the case that much of the
intelligentsia in Sri Lanka and much of the press share
a general anti-U.S. bias.  Intellectuals, such as they
are in Sri Lanka, are mostly influenced by Marxism to a
large extent with a fair amount having studied in the
former Soviet Union, and they routinely chatter against
U.S. "hegemony" and "world empire."  In the meantime,
Sri Lanka's press -- both the English and vernacular --
contains a large amount of anti-U.S. commentary,
including the ritual condemnations of our policy on Iraq
and alleged excesses in the war on terrorism.  The
government, including PM Wickremesinghe and especially
Moragoda, also come under considerable heat for
allegedly wanting to make Sri Lanka a U.S. "lackey."
(Note:  While the newspapers have their decided biases,
TV and radio in Sri Lanka are generally apolitical on
international issues -- but not on domestic issues where
they tend to take sides.)
WILLS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Of course it is.. Not only anti-US.. It’s anti-Western and anti-Semitic (even though they dunno the word “Semitic”).. I’m not surprised at all.. I mean what can be expected when BOTH liberal and conservative (BOTH communist and nationalist as well) leaders in the third world selling chief anti-western propaganda wholesale? While US, West and Israel have their own share of shortcomings, these sentiments in the third world are mostly political (and made outta jealousy and other factors).. Co-operation with a diversity of world powers in an unbiased way is the best strategy to a small insignificant country like ours..

  • 0
    1

    U do not need a rocket scientist like Ashley or his assistants to discover that. It is not the gutless or spineless Sinhalese media but the racist-chauvinist-extremist-jingoist Sinhala Buddhist politicians and the Mahanayakes just sitting in the lap of luxury and doing nothing. Let thm go out and do some charity and good will to the Sinhala people. Buddha after all was a HINDU.

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