23 September, 2019

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WikiLeaks: ‘white flag’ accusation particularly was egregious – Gota to US

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Rajapaksa said the government would have to take legal action against Fonseka for illegal involvement in politics while still serving as Chief of Defense Staff and for enticing serving officers to support his campaign for president. He stressed that unlike outrageous claims by regular political opponents, Fonseka’s threats and betrayals had to be taken more seriously. He said the ‘white flag’ accusation was particularly egregious.” the US Embassy Colombo informed to Washington.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is not known as a moderate voice, and his remarks were emblematic of his downplaying government actions while exaggerating the opposition threat.

The Colombo Telegraph found the relevant leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable recount details of a meeting the US Embassy has had with Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa on February 2, 2010. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the ambassador Patricia A. Butenis.

The US Ambassador wrote “On February 2, Defense Secretary Dotabhaya Rajapaksa summoned DATT to a hasty meeting under the pretext of discussing an upcoming engagement activity with the U.S. military. As expected, Rajapaksa also wanted to explain the government’s position on the treatment of General Fonseka following the January 26 presidential election. He did not mention a coup attempt, as had been charged in the media, but said Fonseka was planning violent reprisals against the Rajapaksas and their supporters if he had won. He claimed Fonseka his supporters had no reason to reason to fear government reprisals but also warned there would be more transfers and compulsory retirements of officers who were seen as Fonseka supporters in the security forces.”

“Rajapaksa said that many in government feared for their lives if Fonseka had won. ‘ If you don’t believe me, just ask the family of former Navy Commander Wasantha karannagoda. They were afraid to come outside’” the Ambassador wrote. “Rajapaksa accused Fonseka of manufacturing hysteria among the diplomatic corps, senior religious leaders and others by claiming the government wanted to harm him. He also accused fonseka of inventing grievances as CDS in order to appeal to the opposition. The Defense Secretary claimed Fonseka and his supporters had no reason to fear government reprisals. He pointed out there had been no reprisals carried out after the 2005 election, and there was no reason to expect such behavior now. At the same time, however Rajapaksa warned there would be more transfers and compulsory retirements of officers who were seen as Fonseka supporters in the security forces.” she further wrote.

Placing a comment the Ambassador Butenis wrote “Fonseka held a press conference yesterday and the opposition leadership with Fonseka met with the diplomatic corps today. The hasty summoning of Embassy DATT was an effort to get the Rajapaksa spin on developments. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is not known as a moderate voice, and his remarks were emblematic of his downplaying government actions while exaggerating the opposition threat. It is interesting that he did not mention the allegation of coup plans by Fonseka, but his promise of more military purges to come was ominous.

Below we give a part of the confidential cable.

Related news links;

Death threat to Sunday Leader Editor: If you want to escape you go to Temple Trees – Full text of the threatening letter

WIKILEAKS: FONSEKA OPENS UP PANDORA’S BOX

WikiLeaks – Fonseka did discuss the “white Flags story” with US ambassador

WIKILEKS – FONSEKA TRIED TO ESCAPE THE COUNTRY

WikiLeaks: Fonseka tried to shift blame on war crime to Gota

WikiLeaks: “Fonseka could be assassinated” Basil said matter-of-factly

VZCZCXRO4825
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL
DE RUEHLM #            0085/01 0340618      
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 030618Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1251
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2378
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9400
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7655
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5430
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3815
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 0016
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0216
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID PRIORITY 0170
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4479
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9961
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7208
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0211
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 0098
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000085

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/02/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: DEFENSE SECRETARY ON FONSEKA AND POST-ELECTION
DEVELOPMENTS

REF: COLOMBO 81

COLOMBO 00000085  001.2 OF 002

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

1. (S) SUMMARY: On February 2, Defense Secretary Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa summoned DATT to a hasty meeting under the pretext
of discussing an upcoming engagement activity with the U.S.
military.  As expected, Rajapaksa also wanted to explain the
government's position on the treatment of General Fonseka
following the January 26 presidential election.  He did not
mention a coup attempt, as had been charged in the media, but
said Fonseka was planning violent reprisals against the
Rajapaksas and their supporters if he had won.  He claimed
Fonseka his supporters had no reason to fear government
reprisals but also warned there would be more transfers and
compulsory retirements of officers who were seen as Fonseka
supporters in the security forces.  END SUMMARY.

LEGAL ACTION AGAINST FONSEKA
----------------------------

2. (S) Rajapaksa said the government would have to take legal
action against Fonseka for illegal involvement in politics
while still serving as Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) and for
enticing serving officers to support his campaign for
president.  He stressed that unlike outrageous claims by
regular political opponents, Fonseka's threats and betrayals
had to be taken more seriously.  He said the "white flag"
accusation (that Rajapaksa had ordered the killing of
surrendering LTTE leaders at the end of the war) was
particularly egregious.

3. (S) The defense secretary said the government had to beef
up security after the election because it had become aware of
Fonseka and JVP plans for violence.  He said that many in
government feared for their lives if Fonseka had won.  "If
you don't believe me, just ask the family of former Navy
Commander Wasantha Karannagoda.  They were afraid to come
outside."  Rajapaksa said he knew that Fonseka had deserters
and ex-Army soldiers with him at his hotel and that was why
he had sent additional security there.  Nevertheless, Fonseka
and his supporters had always been free to come and go from
the hotel as they pleased.

HYSTERIA IN THE DIPLOMATIC CORPS
--------------------------------

4. (S) Rajapaksa accused Fonseka of manufacturing hysteria
among the diplomatic corps, senior religious leaders and
others by claiming the government wanted to harm him.  He
also accused Fonseka of inventing grievances as CDS in order
to appeal to the opposition.  The defense secretary claimed
Fonseka and his supporters had no reason to fear government
reprisals.  He pointed out that there had been no reprisals
carried out after the 2005 election, and there was no reason
to expect such behavior now.  At the same time, however,
Rajapaksa warned there would be more transfers and compulsory
retirements of officers who were seen as Fonseka supporters
in the security forces (reftel).
COMMENT
-------

6. (S) Fonseka held a press conference yesterday and the
opposition leadership with Fonseka met with the diplomatic
corps today.  The hasty summoning of Embassy DATT was an
effort to get the Rajapaksa spin on developments.  Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa is not known as a moderate voice, and his remarks
were emblematic of his downplaying government actions while
exaggerating the opposition threat.  It is interesting that
he did not mention the allegation of coup plans by Fonseka,
but his promise of more military purges to come was ominous.
BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    so, he was sent to 3 years just now.

  • 0
    0

    MP Dayasiri’s comments echos here “Who should take legal action for against the Defense Secretary’s involvement in politics?”

    • 0
      0

      Because he is a civilian “Doctor”.

      • 0
        0

        Do you mean Gota is the Doctor of Death?

  • 0
    0

    removed by the moderator

  • 0
    0

    This use of wikileaks is somehow proof that the USA does not believe in the free media. The founder of wikileaks is fighting extradition to Sweden (another country that pretends to be media friendly) on a trumped up charge of sexual offences. Swedish women are known to be the most promiscous in Europe so Julian Assange fear that Sweden is planning to extradite him thereafter to the states means that he will face the death penalty for being a threat to National security. Compare that to Sarath Fonseka who has been trapped into saying that Sri Lanka was involved in crimes of war. It is not his fault but he should have been more careful in trusting the most devious journalist in the world.

  • 0
    0

    Fonseka’s rise and fall is a classic example of people with poor moral standards encounter when move up on the political, social and economic systems. They are the people who have failed to cultivate good moral values to counter temptations. Fonseka, notwithstanding his military acumen, is lacking many qualities to be a leader. He is impatient, quick to get angry, stubborn, and most importantly, and this is what brought him the most trouble, he allows himself to be blind by his ambitions. Ambitions are good and necessary to succeed in life, but you must keep your eyes and ears open to make reason to guide you. Because of these poor attributes Fonseka allowed himself to be misled by the opportunists in the UNP and JVP, parties that are known for their failed tactics and deception. I feel sorry for the suffering he and his family are now going through. I hope he will come out of these troubles as a smart fellow–perhaps this may give him time to reflect, instead of talking.

  • 0
    0

    Sri Lanka is a black stain within the Democratic World. The entire world is aware that the Country is ruled by a power crazy lunatic, and also his Jungle Law & Kangaroo Courts that function. The Country is ruled by intimidation and fear mongering, not surprised that the Judges too are afraid as the civilians and the media personal, to talk against the corrupt family regime. If he consider this as a Birthday gift, the entire world wishes him and his family to rot in hell.

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