18 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: TNA leader is a “show-me-the-money" man

By Colombo Telegraph –

TNA leader Sampanthan

In a leaked US diplomatic cable the TNA leader R. Sampanthan has been described by a senior official of the US Embassy, as a “show me the money” kind of individual.

“Sampanthan noted that he recognized the leverage the Tamil community increasingly held as a possible kingmaker in the election and he wanted to extract as many concessions as possible from General Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa before he committed his support to either candidate.” the US Embassy wrote to Washington.

A leaked US diplomatic cable, classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” recounts details of a meeting the Embassy has had with the Tamil National Alliance leader R. Sampanthan prior to the presidential election 2010 .  The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable was written on December 1, 2009  by the Deputy Chief of Mission Valerie Fowler. The cable subject was given a “Show me the money: key Tamil leader delays endorsement in presidential race”.

The Deputy Chief of Mission wrote, “In a 1 December meeting with the Charge and the Polconus, TNA leader R. Sampanthan noted that he will delay his endorsement of either General Fonseka or President Rajapaksa in the January 26 presidential election.”

“Sampanthan assessed that the political environment had changed significantly in the past couple of months in Sri Lanka and that the Tamil vote had become much more important. Sampanthan divulged that many within the Tamil community had asked him to run as an independent candidate, but he assessed that it made no sense for him to win ‘a couple of hundred thousand votes and lose,’ “ she further wrote.

Placing a comment Fowler wrote “Sampnathan was extremely relaxed and appeared confident about his political position. He repeatedly stated that he had no intention of making a quick endorsement and that Fonseka and Rajapaksa would have to earn the Tamil vote.”

Related news; WikiLeaks: Sampanthan – Fonseka secret pact revealed

Read the below cable for further details;

VZCZCXRO0001
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #1094/01 3361324
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021324Z DEC 09 ZDK CTG NUMEROUS SVC
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0868
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9142
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7388
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5262
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3540
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 5199
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0067
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0734
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4316
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9703
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 6994
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0055
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3870
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001094

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/02/2019
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SHOW ME THE MONEY: KEY TAMIL LEADER DELAYS
ENDORSEMENT IN PRESIDENTIAL RACE

REF: A. COLiance (TNA) leader R. Sampanthan
stated that horsing a candidate in the
upcoming presidential election.  Sampanthan noted that he
recognized the leverage the Tamil community increasingly held
as a possible kingmaker in the election and he wanted to
extract as many concessions as possible from General Sarath
Fonseka and President Mahinda Rajapaksa before he committed
his support to either candidate.  The Tamil leader also noted
his concern about a credible election and the involvement of
the military in the election process.  END SUMMARY.

COLOMBO 00001094  001.8 OF 002

In No Hurry to Make a Decision
------------------------------

2. (C) In a 1 December meeting with the Charge and the
Polcouns, TNA leader R. Sampanthan noted that he will delay
his endorsement of either General Fonseka or President
Rajapaksa in the January 26 presidential election.
Sampanthan assessed that the political environment had
changed significantly in the past couple of months in Sri
Lanka and that the Tamil vote had become much more important.
 Sampanthan divulged that many within the Tamil community had
asked him to run as an independent candidate, but he assessed
that it made no sense for him to win "a couple of hundred
thousand votes and lose."

Ready to Exploit Emerging Leverage
----------------------------------

3. (C)  Alternatively, Sampanthan opined that the best
scenario for the Tamil community would be to extract
concessions from the presidential candidates and have the
international and domestic communities hold the candidates to
their promises after the election.  The Tamil leader noted
that he would use a December 2 meeting with Rajapaksa and an
upcoming meeting with Fonseka to gauge their level of
commitment to the Tamil community.  In particular, Sampanthan
opined that he was looking for the manner in which each
candidate would make promises to the Tamil community; he
noted that he would be looking for a public declaration of
commitment to the Tamils, or at a minimum, campaign promises
that the candidates could be held to account for by "key
countries" within the diplomatic community.

4. (C)  Sampanthan noted that he would tell President
Rajapaksa in his meeting that he had not accomplished
anything for the Tamils in his first term and that he would
have to make a strong statement on what he hoped to
accomplish in his second term.  Turning to Fonseka,
Sampanthan stated that he thought Fonseka's initial public
statements and press conference were encouraging, but that
the former General had a lot of questions ned About Upcoming Election
---------------------------------

5. (C)  The Tamil leader noted that he was worried about
pre-election violence and that he was especially concerned

COLOMBO 00001094  002.2 OF 002

about the military's role during the campaign period.
Sampanthan noted that he was especially disturbed by reports
he had heard that Army officers were taking leave from their
jobs and joining the campaign.  Furthermore, Sampanthan
opined that he was worried about the prospect of military
personnel loyal to Rajapaksa and Fonseka clashing and
attempting to influence the electoral process.

Switzerland Conference a Success
--------------------------------

6. (C)  When queried about the recent meeting of key Tamil
and Muslim leaders in Zurich, Sampanthan noted that he was
happy with the progress that had been made in Switzerland.
He stated that a consensus had emerged that minority leaders
need to forge greater unity to have an impact on the
political process.  While Sampanthan acknowledged that
certain minority individuals would continue to support the
Rajapaksa government, he opined that the majority of minority
leaders ultimately would speak with one voice.

Comment
-------

7. (C)  Sampanthan was extremely relaxed and appeared
confident about his political position.  He repeatedly stated
that he had no intention of making a quick endorsement and
that Fonseka and Rajapaksa would have to earn the Tamil vote.
 Possibly as a reflection of his confidence, Sampanthan
agreed to bring up the Tissainayagam case during his meeting
with President Rajapaksa.  On December 2, Sampanthan called
the front office to confirm that he had raised the issue, and
that the President had said he would contact the Attorney
General on the matter, noting that the AG needed to consent
in order for bail to be granted.  Post will report ongoing
contact with key Tamil leaders.

FOWLER
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    Dear Sir, Lot of Tamil leaders not taking policy decisions. Now they do political gambling. They don’t wary about Tamil people. Only they wary about what they gain. There is no any deferent between Sinhala politicians and Tamil politicians.

  • 0
    0

    It’s so disgusting for me, I don’t know how much is it for innocent Tamils.

  • 0
    0

    is it true? unbelievable.

  • 0
    0

    Now the Tamil diasphora is showing him the money.

  • 0
    0

    Show me the Tiger Sambandan.. This fellow is a racist who still wants and insists Tamils can live anywhere in Sri Lanka but in the North and East he still only wants exclusive Tamil Rights. The god damned US Embassy has no clue about his really dirty racist politics. Tamils must have the right to live anywhere they please and so should Sinhalese, Muslims, Burghers, Malays etc..

    • 0
      0

      Not EXCLUSIVE tamil rights. Tamils want equality- equal rights – with all citizens in sri lanka. Such rights are NOT concessions. They are birthrights like those of all others.
      Tamils can live anywhere same as others.
      But tamils own the lands they have lived in, in the north, east and even in colombo.
      They were not taken and thrust by the government to live on state land like what is happening in the north and east.
      All are free to PURCHASE land anywhere

  • 0
    0

    Haha. Typical Tamils. Only interested in furthering themselves

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