11 August, 2020

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WIKILEAKS: US EMBASSY HIRES LOCAL INVESTIGATORS

By Colombo Telegraph –

Army commander moved quickly to replace senior Army officers seen as loyal to General Fonseka

“Post’s local – hire security investigator reported many of his usual contacts in the security forces suddenly were reluctant to speak with him over the phone and would either request a face – to – face meeting or refuse to speak.” US ambassador wrote to Washington.

A confidential US diplomatic cable details military and police transfers with a view of sinister. The cable also discussed possible changes in the Foreign Ministry.  The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the ambassador Patricia A. Butenis written on 2nd February 2010, just a week after the presidential election.

“Post’s local – hire security investigator reported many of his usual contacts in the security forces suddenly were reluctant to speak with him over the phone and would either request a face – to – face meeting or refuse to speak.”

Ambassador Butenis wrote “Key police personnel now thought to be trusted by the government include Senior DIGs Keerthi Gajanayake, Gamini Nawarathne, Nimal Mediwake, Kingsley Ekanayake, and S. M Wickramasinghe.” She further wrote “In the wake of the January 26 Presidential election, incumbent President Rajapaksa, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (the President’s brother) and the Army commander moved quickly to replace senior Army officers seen as loyal to General Fonseka. On January 31, Director of Military Intelligence (DMI) Colonel Anura Wanniarchchi confirmed to PolOff that at least two senior military officers and 21 retired officers and soldiers had been arrested for their perceived political alliance with General Fonseka, and allegedly planning a coup with him against the Rajapaksa.”

The US embassy cable further says “ It is too early to tell whether the result of these changes will be simply a more loyal government that assists the Rajapaksa brothers in assuring their victory in upcoming general elections, or something more sinister and long-lasting.  A number of long-time Post contacts appear frightened by the purge, with one senior military contact telling DATT not to contact him any longer, claiming that his phone was tapped by the government.”

Rajapaksa was ‘extremely unhappy with the MFA and its leadership

According to the cable Post’s local – hire security investigator spoke on February 2 with Senior Deputy Inspector General Gamini Nawaratne, who was assigned to the Elections Commission. The ambassador Butenis wrote “ Nawaratne confirmed media reports that 150 police officers were being transferred because they had ‘showed bias’ during the elections, which Nawaratne interpreted to mean they either had failed to provide support to the government’s campaign or they had tried to prevent election fraud by the government. Nawaratne implied that the government was putting the transferred officers into positions where they could have less of an impact on the upcoming general elections. Elections law in Sri Lanka prohibits transfers or promotions of military or government officials during an election campaign”

Under the subject of “CONCERNS FOR OTHER MINISTRIES” the US ambassador wrote “In a meeting with PolOff on February 2, a senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official warned of future purges of other government officials in other line ministries. He noted that even the MFA might suffer, saying there was a possibility of the MFA being re – aligned to fall under the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s purview. About his own job security, the president was ‘extremely unhappy with the MFA and its leadership’ and would be ‘implementing the appropriate changes’.”

Read the full cable for further details;

VZCZCXRO4147
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #0081/01 0331307
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 021307Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1239
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2366
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9388
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7643
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5421
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3803
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0007
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0207
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0161
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4470
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9949
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7196
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0202
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0089
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 03 COLOMBO 000081

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/01/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA: PURGES IN THE MILITARY, POLICE - AND
MORE?

COLOMBO 00000081  001.2 OF 003

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

1. (C) SUMMARY: Following President Rajapaksa's January 26
re-election, the leadership has undertaken purges of military
and police officials believed to be loyal to Fonseka or
perceived to be overly eager to uphold election laws against
Rajapaksa campaign abuses.  Contacts indicated that two
senior military officers and 21 retirees had been arrested,
and 14 other senior officers forced into retirement.  Other
contacts indicate that 150 police officials have been
transferred.  Senior military contacts loyal to the president
explained the personnel shake-ups as implementing changes
long-overdue that Fonseka had blocked as military commander,
but outside observers interpret the changes as pay-backs
and/or an effort to consolidate power.  A senior MFA official
feared similar purges would be forthcoming in his ministry,
or even possibly a re-alignment of the MFA to put it under
the authority of Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.  END
SUMMARY.

PURGES IN THE MILITARY
----------------------

2. (C) In the wake of the January 26 Presidential election,
incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Defense Secretary
Gotabhaya Rajapaksa (the President's brother) and the Army
commander moved quickly to replace senior Army officers seen
as loyal to General Fonseka.  On January 31, Director of
Military Intelligence (DMI) Colonel Aruna Wanniarchchi
confirmed to PolOff that at least two senior military
officers and 21 retired officers and soldiers had been
arrested for their perceived political alliance with General
Fonseka, and for allegedly planning a coup with him against
the Rajapaksas.  (NOTE: DMI termed the retired officers and
solders as deserters. END NOTE.)  The government also moved
to force 14 senior military officers into retirement since
the election.  This purge was said to be headed by the Senior
Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police who heads the State
Intelligence Service and the Chief of National Intelligence.
Media has also reported that 150-plus police personnel have
been transferred, and Post's local security investigator has
confirmed the transfer or sidelining of senior police
officials seen as loyal to Fonseka or a little too eager to
enforce elections laws that inhibited the Rajapaksa campaign
operation.  There were indications by February 2 that the
removal of allegedly disloyal government officials might
extend beyond the security forces, as a senior MFA official
expressed concern for his position, and an official of the
Tourism Board resigned abruptly under unclear circumstances.

3. (C) There has been much speculation on the motives behind
the military purge.  No official explanation has been offered
yet by the GSL to address complaints of heavy-handedness and
politicization of the Army, although a senior SLA officer
tried to explain the moves to DATT by noting that the
post-election shuffle of senior Army officers was due to two
factors.  First, transfers had been long-overdue because
Fonseka allegedly had prevented many key transfers while he
still was in command, and Sri Lankan election regulations
prohibited the security forces from transferring or promoting
anyone until the campaign was over.  Second, after Fonseka
left active service the new Army Commander convened a board
to review and consider "Redressals of Grievances" (ROGs) from
Army officers who believed Fonseka had unfairly denied them
opportunities for key operational command and staff
assignments.

4. (C) Though both these arguments theoretically might have
merit, few if any observers entertained the idea that these

COLOMBO 00000081  002.2 OF 003

moves were motivated by anything other than vengeance and a
desire by the president to consolidate his power.  The
government continues to maintain, however, that the military
actions taken to reduce the influence of Fonseka loyalists
were not a political vendetta.  They have maintained a public
stance that there was a very real threat from insurgents and
Army deserters.  DMI reiterated to PolOff that the arrests of
the 21 security personnel were a move to crush General
Fonseka's coup and assassination threats against the
president.  Perhaps tacitly admitting the reality of the
situation though, the DMI said the future of Army officers
who were suspected of being Fonseka loyalists was uncertain.

POLICE OFFICIALS LOYAL
TO FONSEKA SIDELINED
----------------------

5. (C) Post's local-hire security investigator spoke on
February 2 with Senior Deputy Inspector General Gamini
Nawaratne, who was assigned to the Elections Commission.
Nawaratne confirmed media reports that 150 police officers
were being transferred because they had "showed bias" during
the elections, which Nawaratne interpreted to mean they
either had failed to provide support to the government's
campaign or they had tried to prevent election fraud by the
government.  Nawaratne implied that the government was
putting the transferred officers into positions where they
could have less of an impact on the upcoming general
election.  Elections law in Sri Lanka prohibits transfers or
promotions of military or government officials during an
election campaign, and the general election campaign could
start soon if the president were to dissolve parliament as
expected.  Key police personnel now thought to be trusted by
the government include Senior DIGs Keerthi Gajanayake, Gamini
Nawaratne, Nimal Mediwaka, Kingsley Ekanayake, and S.M.
Wickramasinghe.

CONCERNS FOR OTHER MINISTRIES
-----------------------------

6. (C) In a meeting with PolOff on February 2, a senior
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) official warned of future
purges of other government officials in other line
ministries.  He noted that even the MFA might suffer, saying
there was a possibility of the MFA being re-aligned to fall
under the Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa's purview.
According to the MFA official, who admitted he was concerned
about his own job security, the president was "extremely
unhappy with the MFA and its leadership" and would be
"implementing the appropriate changes."

COMMENT
-------

7. (C) It is not unexpected that a victorious Rajapaksa would
want to reward his ardent supporters at the expense of those
in the government who appeared to support Fonseka.  The
latter may have been overt or simply upholding of elections
laws when asked by the Rajapaksa campaign to do otherwise.
The degree and severity of the dismissals currently going on,
however, appear much deeper and more vindictive than usual by
Sri Lankan historical standards.  The military purge appears
to have left the Army with officers that have proven their
loyalty to the Rajapaksas and those will be too cowed to
voice dissent.  It is too early to tell whether the result of
these changes will be simply a more loyal government that
assists the Rajapaksa brothers in assuring their victory in
upcoming general elections, or something more sinister and
long-lasting.  A number of long-time Post contacts appear
frightened by the purge, with one senior military contact

COLOMBO 00000081  003.2 OF 003

telling DATT not to contact him any longer, claiming that his
phone was tapped by the government.  Post's local-hire
security investigator reported many of his usual contacts in
the security forces suddenly were reluctant to speak with him
over the phone and would either request a face-to-face
meeting or refuse to speak.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    wow wow,
    According to the cable Post’s local – hire security investigator spoke on February 2 with Senior Deputy Inspector General Gamini Nawaratne, who was assigned as the Elections Commission. The ambassador Butenis wrote “ Nawaratne confirmed media reports that 150 police officers were being transferred because they had ‘showed bias’ during the elections, which Nawaratne interpreted to mean they either had failed to provide support to the government’s campaign or they had tried to prevent election fraud by the government. Nawaratne implied that the government was putting the transferred officers into positions where they could have less of an impact on the upcoming general elections. Elections law in Sri Lanka prohibits transfers or promotions of military or government officials during an election campaign”
    OMG ! is Gamini trusted man?

    • 0
      0

      the issue is not whether he is trust worthy man to MR or not. the issue is he claim publicly all the elections are free and fair. but he told US embassy the officers who were transferred because – they had ‘showed bias’ during the elections, which Nawaratne interpreted to mean they either had failed to provide support to the government’s campaign or they had tried to prevent election fraud by the government. Nawaratne implied that the government was putting the transferred officers into positions where they could have less of an impact on the upcoming general elections. Elections law in Sri Lanka prohibits transfers or promotions of military or government officials during an election campaign”
      so, what is this country? what is this police? what is this election commissioner does?
      apart from those questions this man Nawaratne defiantly in US pay list.

      • 0
        0

        You are correct Gallage, this is how they conduct elections. we dont need any evidence, this is DIG Nawaratne who said about those transfers. is any one need any further evidence? this is how Sinhala State runs their elections.

      • 0
        0

        I agree, no need any more evidence. this all coup drama is for wining the next election. as DIG Nawe said ” transferred officers into positions where they could have less of an impact on the upcoming general elections. Elections law in Sri Lanka prohibits transfers or promotions of military or government officials during an election campaign”

    • 0
      0

      It was either that or an army coup and Sri Lanka’s first Dictator.
      You have to know what Fonseka’s men in lower ranks had to undergo when he was ordering them around. The last time he handled a gun was in 1988-1989 against the JVP. After that he was on planning battle strategies not fighting the LTTE.

  • 0
    0

    dear dear, this is that Nawaratne.;) the media man. ho ho

    • 0
      0

      next IGP, ho hoooo

  • 0
    0

    so, what happened to Chandra Wakishta ( Vari Kakiya) now the big boss. Kelama. i think he is in the pay list too!

    • 0
      0

      Wakiya? he is the boss no.” Dadayama sha horakama” :) ;) :)

  • 0
    0

    Yes, they are hiring Private investigators, I wonder who is he/ she? any clue?

  • 0
    0

    Why go further? Does anyone ask why the U.S ambassdor at first place interfere with domestic affairs of a small country. Isn’t it something like poking their finger in someone’s bottom and complain about the stench?

    • 0
      0

      Simple, Big Brother!

    • 0
      0

      Just as you say. They think they can teach everyone about justice when their own native American are starving in reservations having had all the wealth and land taken off them. These people have never had any justice so how can they preach to anyone.

  • 0
    0

    Mr Sinhaya, issue is not that, but the election rigging and police transfers .

  • 0
    0

    Who said there is no media freedom in Sri Lanka? The Sri Lankan media is allowed to publish the rubbish purported to be true by the Ambassodor of a country whose President George Bush claimed to hear voices from heaven. Usually the man would have been confined to a mental asylum but he led the “most powerful” nation into two wars they have spent billions of dollars on and lost not just the wars by their credit rating. If the US looks under her nose she will see that there are more people starving or on food stamps there than in India and Sri Lanka put together.

  • 0
    0

    Currently Sri Lanka is one step below before becoming a dictatorship. Only foreign Loans and aid keep it under control. Rajapakse family taking the whole of Sri Lanka on a ride with land being sold to foreigners and the money being pilfered with hoarding illegal contracts. The payback is already started with their own internal killings. People suffered for 30 yrs, and now the suffering is worst at the expense of Raja Paula. It’s time to take back our country from thieves and kudu karayas.

  • 0
    0

    Next IGP is finish! thank you Colombo Telegraph. good job! ;) :) :)

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