By Colombo Telegraph –
“The Ambassador demurred and told Rajapakse that, for example, the call to renegotiate the CFA and the disavowal of the P-TOMS both could be seen as indications of a lack of faith in the peace process and could, therefore, be used to stir up trouble by those opposed to a lasting peace agreement with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Of course the PM wanted peace but it was also important to avoid the possibility of an ‘accidental return to war,’ fueled by incendiary campaign rhetoric. The international community, especially the co-chairs scheduled to meet in New York on September 19, would parse every word of the agreement. ‘Words matter,’ the Ambassador counseled.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated September 12, 2005, updated the Secretary of State on Sri Lanka’s presidential election 2005. The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable was signed by the US Ambassador Jeffrey Lunstead. The cable details a US meeting with Prime Minister and the Presidential candidate Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“The Ambassador asked Rajapakse if, by signing the agreement, he wanted to see the Norwegian facilitators replaced. ‘No,’ replied Rajapakse. ‘Nobody else could do the job.’ The Ambassador suggested, in that case, that the PM issue a statement saying he thought the Norwegians and the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) are doing a good job. ‘If I say that, I will lose the elections,’ Rajapakse replied, noting that ‘98 percent’ of Southern voters believe the Norwegians are biased in favor of the LTTE. The PM told the Ambassador ‘I can one hundred percent guarantee you the peace process will continue’ and cited as an example his public declaration that he will meet LTTE supremo Prabhakaran face-to-face if he wins. The Ambassador said that was a significant gesture but it is important to continue ‘step by step’ progress on the ground and that the contents of the PM’s pact with the JVP could easily complicate that task.” Under the subheading “Ambassador: ‘Words Matter’” Jeffrey Lunstead further wrote.
Related post to this cable;