Colombo Telegraph

WikiLeaks: US Embassy Clueless About Fonseka’s Sis-In-Law’s Bucks

Asoka Tillakaratne, was questioned by CID personnel on February 15 about her son's involvement with Hi-Corp, and was then arrested on February 17, with the government alleging a connection between the Hi-Corp case and a sum of money found in several of Ms. Tillakaratne's safe deposit boxes

By Colombo Telegraph –

“CID Chief Inspector Mohan Siriwardena reportedly told court officials involved in the case that he was seeking assistance from Interpol to investigate Tillakaratne’s U.S. bank account.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL”  and written by the Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis.

Ambassador wrote “Tillakaratne’s mother, Asoka Tillakaratne, was questioned by CID personnel on February 15 about her son’s involvement with Hi-Corp, and was then arrested on February 17, with the government alleging a connection between the Hi-Corp case and a sum of money found in several of Ms. Tillakaratne’s safe deposit boxes, reported by different media outlets to be either approximately 70,000 USD or 700,000 USD in a combination of U.S. dollars, Sri Lankan rupees and British pounds. Ms. Tillakaratne claimed through relatives that it was leftover campaign money. The magistrate handling her case granted her bail that same afternoon.”

“On February 15, the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) issued a warrant for the arrest of Danuna Tillakaratne, the son-in-law of Sarath Fonseka, as part of an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) into his alleged role in several tenders submitted by Hi-Corp, Inc. to supply military equipment to the Sri Lankan Army, tenders which the government says were fraudulent. Danuna had not been located as of February 18, and government spokespersons suggested he had fled the country.” she further wrote.

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

VZCZCXRO7366
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #0125/01 0500558
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 190558Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1336
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2432
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9449
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7704
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5451
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3871
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0037
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0237
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0182
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4500
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 0010
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7244
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0232
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0144
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 000125

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/18/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: FOCUS ON FONSEKA FAMILY CONTINUES

REF: A. COLOMBO 111
     B. COLOMBO 108
     C. COLOMBO 105

COLOMBO 00000125  001.2 OF 002

Classified By: AMBASSADOR PATRICIA A. BUTENIS.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY:  Sarath Fonseka lodged an election petition
with the Supreme Court, alleging many violations of elections
law and asking the court to overturn Rajapaksa's victory, and
declare Fonseka the winner.  The government issued an arrest
warrant for Fonseka's son-in-law, Danuna Tillakaratne, in
connection with his alleged involvement in the Hi-Corp
procurement investigation.  On February 17, Tillakaratne's
mother was arrested for her possible involvement, but she was
released that same day on bail.  There are conflicting
reports on whether Fonseka has access to his choice of
doctors while in detention.  END SUMMARY.

DANUNA TILLAKARATNE AND
THE HI-CORP INVESTIGATION
-------------------------

3. (C) On February 15, the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL)
issued a warrant for the arrest of Danuna Tillakaratne, the
son-in-law of Sarath Fonseka, as part of an investigation by
the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) into his alleged
role in several tenders submitted by Hi-Corp, Inc. to supply
military equipment to the Sri Lankan Army, tenders which the
government says were fraudulent.  Danuna had not been located
as of February 18, and government spokespersons suggested he
had fled the country.  CID Chief Inspector Mohan Siriwardena
reportedly told court officials involved in the case that he
was seeking assistance from Interpol to investigate
Tillakaratne's U.S. bank account.  Tillakaratne's mother,
Asoka Tillakaratne, was questioned by CID personnel on
February 15 about her son's involvement with Hi-Corp, and was
then arrested on February 17, with the government alleging a
connection between the Hi-Corp case and a sum of money found
in several of Ms. Tillakaratne's safe deposit boxes, reported
by different media outlets to be either approximately 70,000
USD or 700,000 USD in a combination of U.S. dollars, Sri
Lankan rupees and British pounds.  Ms. Tillakaratne claimed
through relatives that it was leftover campaign money.  The
magistrate handling her case granted her bail that same

COLOMBO 00000125  002.2 OF 002

afternoon.
BUTENIS
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