17 June, 2019

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WikiLeaks:The Rajapaksa Position In The Party Is Strengthened At The Bandaranaikes’ Expense

By Colombo Telegraph

“Nirupama Rajapakse, a cousin of the PM and former SLFP MP, told poloff that relations between the President and Prime Minister have always been “very bitter,” but are worse than ever now. The President has long regarded the Rajapakse family, which has had SLFP Members in Parliament for as long as the Bandaranaike clan, as the only real rival to her family’s dynastic grip on the party, Rajapakse said. Kumaratunga thus sees the Prime Minister’s candidacy as a lose-lose situation for her, Rajapakse suggested. If he wins, the Rajapakse position in the party is strengthened at the Bandaranaikes’ expense; if he loses, the party (the leadership of which Kumaratunga wants to pass on to her son Vimukthi, now a 27-year-old veterinary student) as a whole is weakened. (Note: Besides three sons of his own for whom he nurses similar ambitions of political ascendancy, the Prime Minister, like the President, has a brother who is an MP.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

Mahinda and Chandrika | Pic by Ishara S. Kodikara

A Leaked “CONFIDENTIAL” US diplomatic cable, dated September 30, 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 LunsteadThe cable details a US meeting with Deputy Minister Nirupama Rajapaksa, a cousin of Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The Ambassador wrote “Rajapakse agreed that the election was likely to be extremely close–perhaps separated by just a few hundred thousand votes–and thus the President’s apparent decision so far not to campaign for the SLFP candidate (she is scheduled to leave the country soon once again–this time to Paris) is likely to hurt the PM. ‘It is also strange of the brother (Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike, who is still overseas) to stay away’ during the campaign, she noted. The pair’s behavior is fueling renewed speculation that the President may scuttle the PM’s chances by dissolving Parliament–perhaps just days before the election. Besides her brother, the President can count on the support of ‘very few SLFP’ers,’ according to Rajapakse–primarily Buddhist Affairs Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Information Minister Dilan Perera and Deputy Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.”

“The local press, meanwhile, has been full of reports of confrontations and flare-ups between the President and the Prime Minister and his camp since her return. According to one unconfirmed report, the Prime Minister threatened to walk out of a September 29 Cabinet meeting in which the President raised the contradictions between the positions espoused by the Prime Minister in the JVP and JHU agreements and SLFP policies. In an apparent back-handed slap at the President’s efforts to rein him in, the PM has appointed outspoken JVP propagandist and Kumaratunga foe Wimal Weerawansa as official co-spokesman (along with pro-JVP Ports Minister Mangala Samaraweera) of his presidential campaign. Another front-page article highlighted the President’s call at a September 29 public ceremony attended by the Prime Minister for the PM not to abandon educational reform efforts–as he his electoral pact with the JVP implicitly threatens to–begun during her administration.” he further wrote.

Placing a Comment the ambassador wrote “We have been hearing the same rumor about the dissolution of Parliament for more than a month, but have no indication that this is something seriously under consideration by the President. That said, Kumaratunga’s displeasure with the PM is obvious. She had hoped to leave a legacy as a pro-peace president, with the controversial tsunami aid agreement (known as the P-TOMS) with the SIPDIS Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a hallmark of those efforts. That the PM’s agreement with the Kumaratunga-baiting JVP repudiates these policies–and specifically vows to abnegate her cherished P-TOMS–must be especially unbearable to her. The contents of the still-unpublished manifesto should provide a good indication of which SLFP heavyweight prevails in this battle.”

Related posts;

WikiLeaks: ‘Who Knows? Mahinda Will Never Say What He Believes’ – Nirupama Rajapaksa

Read the Cable below for further details;

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 001730 

SIPDIS 

STATE FOR SA/INS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/29/2015
TAGS: PGOV CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA FREEDOM PARTY INTERNAL BATTLE LINES
DRAWN UP WITH PRESIDENT'S RETURN 

REF: A. COLOMBO 1672 

     ¶B. COLOMBO 1639 

Classified By: DCM JAMES F. ENTWISTLE.  REASON:  1.4 (B,D). 

¶1.  (SBU)  With the September 27 return of President
Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga from abroad, the internal
battle lines within the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) are
hardening, with the first major confrontation--the contents
of the party manifesto--likely to occur during the Central
Committee meeting scheduled for September 30.  The President,
who has reportedly already drafted the manifesto and wants
its speedy approval, is expected to use the document to force
her errant presidential candidate, Prime Minister Mahinda
Rajapakse, to backtrack on the nationalist hard line endorsed
in his electoral pacts with the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna
(JVP) and Jathika Hela Urumayu (JHU) (Reftels).  Kumaratunga
has already made several public statements--including an
address before the Asia Society in New York that stressed
federalism as part of the solution to the ethnic
conflict--that directly contradict the positions espoused in
the pacts. 

¶2.  (U)  The local press, meanwhile, has been full of reports
of confrontations and flare-ups between the President and the
Prime Minister and his camp since her return.  According to
one unconfirmed report, the Prime Minister threatened to walk
out of a September 29 Cabinet meeting in which the President
raised the contradictions between the positions espoused by
the Prime Minister in the JVP and JHU agreements and SLFP
policies.  In an apparent back-handed slap at the President's
efforts to rein him in, the PM has appointed outspoken JVP
propagandist and Kumaratunga foe Wimal Weerawansa as official
co-spokesman (along with pro-JVP Ports Minister Mangala
Samaraweera) of his presidential campaign.  Another
front-page article highlighted the President's call at a
September 29 public ceremony attended by the Prime Minister
for the PM not to abandon educational reform efforts--as he
his electoral pact with the JVP implicitly threatens
to--begun during her administration. 

¶3.  (C)  Nirupama Rajapakse, a cousin of the PM and former
SLFP MP, told poloff that relations between the President and
Prime Minister have always been "very bitter," but are worse
than ever now.  The President has long regarded the Rajapakse
family, which has had SLFP Members in Parliament for as long
as the Bandaranaike clan, as the only real rival to her
family's dynastic grip on the party, Rajapakse said.
Kumaratunga thus sees the Prime Minister's candidacy as a
lose-lose situation for her, Rajapakse suggested.  If he
wins, the Rajapakse position in the party is strengthened at
the Bandaranaikes' expense; if he loses, the party (the
leadership of which Kumaratunga wants to pass on to her son
Vimukthi, now a 27-year-old veterinary student) as a whole is
weakened.  (Note:  Besides three sons of his own for whom he
nurses similar ambitions of political ascendancy, the Prime
Minister, like the President, has a brother who is an MP.) 

¶4.  (C)  The Prime Minister's gratuitous decision to defy the
President by signing electoral pacts with the JHU and
JVP--especially when he did not need to do so to gain their
support--had only exacerbated tensions, Rajapakse observed.
"It was very foolish of him," she commented.  When asked why
he chose to sign the pacts, Rajapakse replied that he had
calculated that it was more important to snag JVP votes--and
pre-empt any possibility of them running a candidate--than to
woo minority voters.  In the PM's view, the minorities would
never vote for him anyway, she explained.  On the other hand,
the SLFP, which is organizationally weak at the grass roots
level compared to the opposition United National Party (UNP),
has lost many supporters to the JVP in the south, and the PM
believes he needs the JVP's organizational abilities to help
him win against the UNP.  When asked if the PM truly believes
the anti-peace process positions he espoused in the JVP and
JHU agreements, Rajapakse responded, "Who knows?  He will
never say what he believes." 

¶5.  (C)  Rajapakse agreed that the election was likely to be
extremely close--perhaps separated by just a few hundred
thousand votes--and thus the President's apparent decision so
far not to campaign for the SLFP candidate (she is scheduled
to leave the country soon once again--this time to Paris) is
likely to hurt the PM.  "It is also strange of the brother
(Foreign Minister Anura Bandaranaike, who is still overseas)
to stay away" during the campaign, she noted.  The pair's
behavior is fueling renewed speculation that the President
may scuttle the PM's chances by dissolving
Parliament--perhaps just days before the election.  Besides
her brother, the President can count on the support of "very
few" SLFP'ers," according to Rajapakse--primarily Buddhist
Affairs Minister Ratnasiri Wickremenayake, Finance Minister
Sarath Amunugama, Deputy Information Minister Dilan Perera
and Deputy Power Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage. 

¶6.  (C)  Comment:  We have been hearing the same rumor about
the dissolution of Parliament for more than a month, but have
no indication that this is something seriously under
consideration by the President.  That said, Kumaratunga's
displeasure with the PM is obvious.  She had hoped to leave a
legacy as a pro-peace president, with the controversial
tsunami aid agreement (known as the P-TOMS) with the 

SIPDIS
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam as a hallmark of those
efforts.  That the PM's agreement with the
Kumaratunga-baiting JVP repudiates these policies--and
specifically vows to abnegate her cherished P-TOMS--must be
especially unbearable to her.  The contents of the
still-unpublished manifesto should provide a good indication
of which SLFP heavyweight prevails in this battle.
LUNSTEAD
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    We live in a primitive democracy in deed.

    Where family clans kill each other for dynastic ambitions.

    These family clans do not produce any real patriots. They are driven by greed for power and wealth.

    Sri Lankans should think twice before voting for these people.

  • 0
    0

    Julian Assange the Internet activist, as he was called was the one who started the Wikileaks to expose the hypocrisy of the Western Diplomacy, that spied on countries”sitting” in place as diplomats.
    They sent reports mostly on information collected from local “spies” on government activities. These were coded messages to the respective State Department in USA and Foreign Ministries in other Western Countries. The web site is not reliable any more as it was before Assange was imprisoned.

    Now the Western Countries use the Name Wikileaks to create dissension among political parties within developing countries and discredit developing countries abroad among the Western Countries.

    These wikileaks should be boycotted by respectful News papers which have no “Agendas” of there own or act on “Agendas” imposed upon them by the West.

    Colombo Telegraph should take note and refrain from publishing these false document.

  • 0
    0

    Nirupama Rajapakse, is not a cousin of Mahinda. She is (Mahinda’s cousin) George Rajapakse’s daughter

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy
    http://colombotelegraph.com/comments-policy/

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