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WikiLeaks: Sampanthan-Fonseka secret pact revealed

 

“Sampanthan provided a copy of the program signed by Fonseka to Ambassador, noting that we were one of a few foreign missions to receive a copy.” the US Ambassador to Colombo wrote to Washington.

WikiLeaks: Sampanthan-Fonseka secret pact revealed

 

“Sampanthan provided a copy of the program signed by Fonseka to Ambassador, noting that we were one of a few foreign missions to receive a copy.” the US Ambassador to Colombo wrote to Washington.
 
A leaked US diplomatic cable recount details of a meeting the embassy had had with Tamil National Alliance Chairman R. Sampanthan and the political situation after Sampantha’s announcement to support General Fonseka in the presidential election 2010.  The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable written on January 1, 2010, classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis.
 
The Fonseka signed program was also an addendum dealing with broader constitutional questions and the political devolution of power. The addendum was signed by General  Fonseka and leader of the UNF Ranil Wickremesinghe but not Sampanthan. The addendum promised genuine power-sharing on a basis acceptable to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, and Burger communities and noted that power-sharing would take place both at the center in the periphery. It noted that in the ‘North-East’ – - a term chosen to highlight the unification of the two regions, which have been de-linked under Rajapaksas – - local executive, legislative, and judicial bodies would share responsibilities with the center except in certain key areas, such as national defense, monetary policy, immigration, etc.
 
The US ambassador Patricia A. Butenis wrote “ we saw Sampanthan several times in the period leading up to and following his announcement of support for Fonseka and know that the decision weighed greatly upon him. The stakes are very high for the Tamil community, which had gained new-found clout in the split in the Sinhala vote between Rajapaksa and Fonseka but also has much to lose. Sampanthan told Ambassador he agonized over the decision but ultimately had to face squarely the fact that Rajapaksa had done nothing for Tamil beyond releasing IDPs.”  “ Sampanthan also told us he hoped his announcement would not only galvanize Tamil to vote Fonseka but also would convince others that Fonseka had a real chance of winning. While we will not know until election day wheather these hopes will be realized, indications are that a Fonseka victory appears more possible each day” Ambassador Butenis further wrote.
 
Formally announcing Tamil National Alliance support for common opposition candidate Fonseka Sampanthan said that the TNA had consulted both candidates over the last several weeks and found that Fonseka responded to their concerns better than President Rajapaksa. Sampanthan said Rajapaksa holding office for another term would be in the interest of neither the country as whole nor Tamil-speaking people in the north east and enumerated a list of concerns. These included the government’s failure to promote reconciliation or to find an acceptable political solution to the national question, delays, Sampanthan argued, undertaken purposefully to enable the Rajapaksa government to implement a ‘hidden’ agenda to marginalize Tamils. He also called Rajapaksa’s performance on human rights and humanitarian issues “dismal,” noting that extra-judicial killings and  enforced disappearances had been common, mandatory constitutional provisions had been violated, and the enforcement of law and order had “collapsed.” Thus, “the rule of law and good governance have reached the nadir.”
 
To read the full text of the Sampandan – Fonseka pact see the below cable;
 
VZCZCXRO5576
OO RUEHAG RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHLM #            0017/01 0110454      
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 110454Z JAN 10 ZDS
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1092
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA PRIORITY 2242
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD PRIORITY 9264
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU PRIORITY 7519
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 5355
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI PRIORITY 3677
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 5280
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 0141
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM PRIORITY 0811
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO PRIORITY 4402
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI PRIORITY 9826
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI PRIORITY 7115
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO PRIORITY 0136
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3978
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 05 COLOMBO 000017 
 
C O R R E C T E D COPY - ADDED PASSING INSTRUCTIONS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB 
 
RELEASABLE TO: UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA, SWITZERLAND 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/08/2020
TAGS: PGOV PREL PREF PHUM PTER EAID MOPS CE
SUBJECT: FATEFUL STEP: MAIN TAMIL PARTY ANNOUNCES SUPPORT
FOR FONSEKA 
 
COLOMBO 00000017  001.4 OF 005 
 
Classified By: AMBASSADOR PATRICIA A. BUTENIS.  REASONS: 1.4 (B, D) 
 
¶1. (C) On January 6, leader of the Tamil National Alliance
(TNA) R. Sampanthan formally announced the TNA's support
for common opposition candidate General Fonseka.
Addressing a packed news conference at parliament,
Sampanthan said the TNA had consulted both candidates over
the last several weeks and had found that Fonseka responded
to their concerns better than President Rajapaksa.
Sampanthan said that Rajapaksa holding office for another
term would be in the interests of neither the country as a
whole nor the Tamil-speaking people in the north and east
and enumerated a list of concerns.  These included the
government's failure to promote reconciliation or to find
an acceptable political solution to the national question,
delays, Sampanthan argued, undertaken purposefully to
enable the Rajapaksa government to implement a "hidden
agenda" to marginalize Tamils.  He also called Rajapaksa's
performance on human rights and humanitarian issues
"dismal," noting that extra-judicial killings and enforced
disappearances had been common, mandatory constitutional
provisions had been violated, and the enforcement of law
and order had "collapsed."  Thus, "the rule of law and good
governance have reached the nadir." 
 
¶2. (C) Sampanthan said little about General Fonseka and the
opposition in his public statement other than to confirm
that the TNA had found their positions on issues related to
the Tamil community much better than Rajapaksa's and that
the TNA would support the general.  The
government-controlled press the next day was scathing in
criticizing the TNA announcement as "another sell-out" and
in accusing the TNA of having arrived at a secret deal with
Fonseka and the "LTTE diaspora" that would undermine the
gains of the war victory.  Sampanthan denied any secret
deal was made, but Fonseka did formulate a "Programme of
Immediate Relief Measures for War Affected Persons and
Areas or Peace," outlining his plans for the north and
east, which undoubtedly helped solidify the TNA's backing.
(NOTE: Sampanthan provided a copy of the program signed by
Fonseka to Ambassador, noting that we were one of a few
foreign missions to receive a copy.  The full text of the
program is provided below in paragraph 5.  END NOTE.)  The p
rogram includes such measures as de-militarization,
decentralization of political authority, re-settlement and
rehabilitation of all IDPs, demining, restoration of
private land holdings, payment of compensation to those who
lost property, restoration of transport services, relief
packages, general amnesty and rehabilitation of former
fighters, and termination of the state of emergency.  There
was no mention in the program of accountability for war
crimes. 
 
¶3. (C) Attached to the program was also an addendum dealing
with broader constitutional questions and the political
devolution of power (see paragraph 6 below for full
text.).  The addendum was signed by General Fonseka and
leader of the United National Front Ranil Wickremesinghe
but not Sampanthan.  The addendum promised genuine
power-sharing on a basis acceptable to the Sinhala, Tamil,
Muslim, and Burgher communities and noted that
power-sharing would take place both at the center and in
the periphery.  It noted that in the "North-East" -- a term
chosen to highlight the unification of the two regions,
which have been de-linked under the Rajapaksas -- local
executive, legislative, and judicial bodies would share
responsibilities with the center except in certain key
areas, such as national defense, monetary policy,
immigration, etc. 
 
COLOMBO 00000017  002.4 OF 005 
 
COMMENT
------- 
 
¶4. (C) We saw Sampanthan several times in the period
leading up to and following his announcement of support for
Fonseka and know that the decision weighed greatly upon
him.  The stakes are very high for the Tamil community,
which has gained new-found clout in the split in the
Sinhala vote between Rajapaksa and Fonseka but also has
much to lose.  Sampanthan told Ambassador he agonized over
the decision but ultimately had to face squarely the fact
that Rajapaksa had done nothing for Tamils beyond releasing
the IDPs.  When we asked him whether he feared retaliation
by the Rajapaksas, Sampanthan mentioned concerns for his
personal safety but said the Tamil community so far had
gotten nothing from the Rajapaksas and did not believe the
president's statements that he would take positive steps on
reconciliation and a political solution after elections.
Sampanthan also told us he hoped his announcement would not
only galvanize Tamils to vote for Fonseka but also would
convince others that Fonseka had a real chance of winning.
While we will not know until election day whether these
hopes will be realized, indications are that a Fonseka
victory appears more possible each day.  END COMMENT. 
 
¶5. (C) The following is the full text of the Fonseka
program for the north and east provided to Ambassador by
Sampanthan.  Grammatical irregularities are preserved from
the original. 
 
BEGIN TEXT OF PROGRAM 
 
PROGRAMME OF IMMEDIATE RELIEF MEASURES FOR WAR AFFECTED
PERSONS AND AREAS FOR PEACE BY THE COMMON PRESIDENTIAL
CANDIDATE, SARATH FONSEKA 
 
¶I. Restoration of Civil Administration and Normalcy
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
¶1. Full restoration of all institutions of Civil
Administration from the Office of Grama Sevaka upwards --
free from Military, Police and Political interference. 
 
¶2. Committees for each District headed by the respective
District Secretary (GA) and comprising:
-Nominee of the President
-Divisional Secretaries
-Other Officials (Representatives of such Officials)
-Members of Parliament/Their Representatives
-Representatives of Local Authorities
-Judicial Officers
-Security Forces/Commanders/Officers North/East
-DIG -- Police /Officers
-Civil Society Representatives 
 
To prepare Plan of Action for immediate implementation
within one month
Monthly Reports on progress to be submitted to the
President, Cabinet and Parliament. 
 
A dedicated Secretariat to be established under the
President to monitor progress and ensure implementation. 
 
¶3. The immediate measures stated herein to be implemented
through Presidential Orders, including appointing
Presidential Task Forces therefor. 
 
¶4. Security Forces to be stationed at strategic locations
only, taking into consideration national security. High
Security Zones to be dismantled in keeping with the 
 
COLOMBO 00000017  003.4 OF 005 
 
re-location of the Security Forces. 
 
¶5. Free movement of all persons to be guaranteed without
being impeded by Security  and Police personnel. 
 
¶6. Police to be manned, as far as practicable, by Officers
who are conversant in Tamil. 
 
II. Prohibition of 'para-military cadres' and armed groups
(self-styled 'War Lords')
--------------------------------------------- -------------------------- 
 
¶1. All 'para-military cadres' and armed groups to be
disarmed forthwith. 
 
¶2. Areas of civilian activity to be free of weapons. 
 
¶3. Except the Security Forces and Police, only persons with
permits under the Firearms Ordinance would be entitled to
possess firearms. 
 
III. Re-settlement and rehabilitation of internally
displaced persons
--------------------------------------------- ------------------------ 
 
¶1. De-mining of areas to be speedily concluded through
De-Mining Units. 
 
¶2. Displaced persons to be returned to their original
homes, and where homes have been destroyed alternative
accommodation to be provided, with financial support to
establish themselves and develop livelihoods. 
 
¶3. Social infrastructure requirements, such as provision of
essential Foods, Medical Centers, Hospitals, Schools,
Transport etc to be provided. 
 
IV. Land and Agriculture
------------------------ 
 
¶1. Restoration of possession of private land and buildings,
now occupied by Security Forces/Police/ Government
Agencies, to those lawfully entitled to such land and
buildings. 
 
¶2. Committees referred to in 1.2 above to arrange for such
restoration. 
 
¶3. Committees to submit a Scheme to the Government for
payment of compensation for damage caused to buildings. 
 
¶4. a. Eviction of persons legitimately entitled to State
Land from such Lands; b. Other instances of deprivation of
legitimate title holders of State Lands; and c. Unlawful
occupation of State Lands to be reviewed and the position
regularized on lawful and just basis. 
 
¶5. Indiscriminate alienation of State Lands to be
terminated. Allocations thus far made to be reviewed and
cancelled, where such allocation 
 
-has not been transparent, or
-lacked equal opportunity to all concerned, or
-lacked proper consultation with the elected
Representatives of the areas concerned, or
-are unwarranted, or
-has been on a corrupt basis. 
 
¶6. Relief packages for full cultivation of lands. 
 
COLOMBO 00000017  004.4 OF 005 
 
¶7. A special law to be enacted to decide on disputes, as to
ownership and succession of lands. 
 
¶V. Fisheries
------------ 
 
¶1. Full restoration of fishing rights. 
 
¶2. Joint Committees to be set up of Representatives of
those engaged in the fishing industry and the Navy to
ensure security. 
 
VI. Trade and Commerce
---------------------- 
 
¶1. All barriers in respect of transport of passengers,
goods, agricultural and fisheries produce to be eliminated
forthwith. 
 
¶2. No payments ('Kappang') to be levied by anyone.
Stringent action to be taken against those who do so. 
 
VII. Transport
-------------- 
 
¶1. Trains service to be restored, without delay, within the
Jaffna peninsula, i.e. Elephant Pass to Point Pedro. 
 
¶2. All impediments for shipping and air transport to be
removed, with effective facilities which would ensure a
reduction of costs and shipping and air transport. 
 
¶3. Establishment of a new rail line, with private sector
participation, from Point Pedro to Trincomalee. 
 
VIII. Special Relief Packages
----------------------------- 
 
¶1. For dependents of all persons who have lost their lives
during the war, including military and police personnel,
and civilians. 
 
¶2. For persons disabled as a result of the war. 
 
IX. Persons in Detention
------------------------ 
 
¶1. Release of all persons in detention, within a period of
one month against whom there is no evidence, and on the
basis that such detention would not be a stigma or setback
for their future. 
 
¶2. Rehabilitation of those persons, who had been engaged in
war activities, on the basis of a general amnesty. 
 
¶X. [State of Emergency]
    ------------------ 
 
As an overall measure affecting all Sri Lankans, the State
of Emergency presently in force and the Regulations made
thereunder to be terminated, since it affects the liberties
and fundamental rights of all People, in accordance with my
Pledges. 
 
END TEXT OF PROGRAM 
 
¶6. (C) The following is the text of the addendum to the
program dealing with devolution of political power.
Grammatical irregularities are preserved from the original. 
 
COLOMBO 00000017  005.4 OF 005 
 
BEGIN TEXT OF ADDENDUM 
 
Sri Lanka is an indivisible state committed both to
protecting its territorial integrity and to genuine power
sharing on a basis acceptable to Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and
Burgher communities.  Each unit of government will be
supreme in its areas of competence.  Power sharing will
take place both at the Center and the periphery. 
 
In the North-East genuine power sharing of powers of
governance with executive, legislative and judicial powers
over a wide array of subjects, not including national
defense, foreign affairs, monetary policy, national budget,
elections to the Office of President and Parliament,
immigration and emigration, major ports and harbours, and
acceptable to the Tamil speaking peoples with adequate
financial and fiscal powers is necessary.  The North East
should have Council/Councils acceptable to the Tamil
speaking peoples namely Tamils and Muslims and the
Sinhalese living in the East shall be established in
accordance with the law.  All provinces will have
competence over land, law and order and its other areas
exclusive of those areas reserved only for the Center.
Appropriate institutions should be in place to secure and
advance meaningful sharing of power and the pluralistic
character of the State. 
 
It is accepted that the experience of the country over the
last few decades in respect of initiatives embarked upon to
delineate the basic aspirations and principles in the
matter of power sharing shall be drawn upon in the
formulation of detailed provisions. 
 
The demarcation between the central and regional powers
will be worked out in detail between the parties on the
basis of the fundamental principles stated above. 
 
END TEXT OF ADDENDUM 
 
BUTENIS
 
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