Colombo Telegraph

WikiLeaks: UNP Leader Under Fire From Within His Party – 2004 US Ambassador

“UNP leader and former prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is under fire from members of his own party who are seeking to clip his wings and/or remove him as party leader. The discontent stems from the view of many party members that Wickremesinghe led the party poorly in the April election in which the UNP was defeated” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and discuses the UNP’s internal crisis after the 2005 April parliamentary election. The cable is signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead on May 12, 2004.

The ambassador wrote; “Despite the heat, Wickremesinghe seems set to hang on as party leader, as there are no clear challengers to his rule at this time. In the mid- to longer term, if the party is to improve its standing, it will have to open up to a new generation of leaders.”

Read the relevant part of the cable below;

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000770 

SIPDIS 

DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS, INR/NESA 

NSC FOR E. MILLARD 

E.O. 12958:      DECL: 05-12-14
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL CE
SUBJECT:  After recent election defeat, UNP leader
Wickremesinghe under fire from within his party 

Refs:  Colombo 760, and previous 

(U) Classified by Ambassador Jeffrey J. Lunstead.
Reasons 1.5 (b,d). 

¶1.  (C) SUMMARY:  UNP leader and former prime minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe is under fire from members of his
own party who are seeking to clip his wings and/or
remove him as party leader.  The discontent stems from
the view of many party members that Wickremesinghe led
the party poorly in the April election in which the UNP
was defeated.  Despite the heat, Wickremesinghe seems
set to hang on as party leader, as there are no clear
challengers to his rule at this time.  In the mid- to
longer term, if the party is to improve its standing, it
will have to open up to a new generation of leaders.
END SUMMARY.
LUNSTEAD

Related cable;

WikiLeaks: Ranil Is A Perennial Loser As Well As A Perennial Survivor – US

WikiLeaks: US Skeptical About Ranil’s Claim That He Has Tremendous Grassroots Support

Back to Home page