A top secret diplomatic cable made public by Wikileaks reveals that Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) left peace talks with Sri Lankan government in a tactical move to “get more concessions”.
Although the then United National Party (UNP) government led by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, had given more than enough concessions to the terror outfit, the Tigers had confessed to Japan that the terror group suspended peace talks with the motive of getting more concessions
This remark was made by none other than Tiger’s Chief Ideologue Anton Balasingham himself, who along with Tiger Supremo Vellupillai Prabhakaran met Japanese envoy Akashi and Japanese Ambassador Seiichiro Otsuka on May 7. Ambassador Otsuka provided US Ambassador Wills a readout of the Kilinochchi talks early May 8.
“GoJ (Government of Japan) interpreter told Ambassador Otsuka that at one point Balasingham had said, ‘we suspended the peace talks to get concessions.”
Although Balasingham had not elaborated on what he meant, the cable notes that this statement tends to highlight the tactical nature of the LTTE´s recent moves. During the meeting held in the LTTE-controlled town of Kilinochchi, Japanese envoy Akashi pressed the LTTE to return to the peace talks and gave the Tigers one week to make a final decision on whether they will attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo.
Prabhakaran noncommittal “Prabhakaran was noncommittal, although he indicated the Tigers would be cooperative if the GSL met their long-standing demands re assistance and security,”
Otsuka said noted that while it was "good", it was not "conclusive" in that the LTTE had not agreed to return to peace talks and to attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo. Otsuka noted that Akashi had pressed these issues twice and received essentially noncommittal responses both times.
Akashi had also pressed Prabhakaran on other issues, such as human rights. In addition, he had urged the Tigers to return to the Sub-Committee for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN), from which the Tigers pulled out late April. At the close of the meeting Prabhakaran had given Akashi a "Tamil Eelam" map and insignia.
The cable adds that Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim was slated to meet Balasingham in the Wanni on May 8, in a bid to convince the Tigers to come back to the talks and attend the June donors conference.
Wills also says that in fact, "the U.S. can take some credit for this shift, as the Tigers´ move toward a more moderate posture dates from their response to the U.S. statement on their pullout from the talks". He also notes that FCO (Foreign Consular Office) officials had a good give-and-take with Balasingham on May 4 just before he came to Sri Lanka. “All that said, it´s still not clear what the Tigers plan to do and whether they will be back in the ballgame soon”
Full Text Of The Cable
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 COLOMBO 000773SIPDISISLAMABAD PLS PASS TO SA A/S ROCCADEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS, S/CT, INR/NESA NSC FOR E. MILLARDLONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL E.O. 12958: DECL: 05-08-13 TAGS: PGOV, PTER, PINR, EAID, CE, NO, JA, LTTE -
Peace Process SUBJECT:
Tigers meet Japanese envoy and are noncommittal about returning to talks Refs: (A) Ops Center-Colombo 05/08/03 telecon- (B) FBIS Reston Va DTG 070711z May 03- (C) Colombo 764, and previous(U) Classified by Lewis Amselem, Deputy Chief of Mission.
Reasons 1.5 (b, d) 1. (C)SUMMARY: Japanese envoy Akashi met May 7 with Tiger leader Prabhakaran and pressed the LTTE to return to the peace talks.
Akashi also gave the Tigers one week to make a final decision on whether they will attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo. Prabhakaran was noncommittal, although he indicated the Tigers would be cooperative if the GSL met their long-standing demands re assistance and security. At this point, it´s not clear what the Tigers will do, but they seemto have climbed down somewhat from their previous hard-line positioning. END SUMMARY
2. (U)MEETING PRABHAKARAN: A Japanese government delegation led by Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi met with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader V. Prabhakaran on May 7. The meeting took place in the LTTE-controlled town of Kilinochchi in northern Sri Lanka. A large Japanese team, which included Ambassador to Sri Lanka Seiichiro Otsuka, participated in the meeting. Visiting London-based LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham, political chief S.P. Thamilchelvam, andJ. Maheswaran, an Australia-based LTTE official, also attended the meeting.
3. (C) JAPANESE READ OUT: Ambassador Otsuka provided Ambassador Willsa readout of the Kilinochchi talks early May 8. Otsuka said the two-hour meeting was "very cordial and not at all confrontational." In terms of substance, he noted that while it was "good", it was not "conclusive" in that the LTTE had not agreed to return to the peace talks and to attend the June donors’ conference in Tokyo. Otsuka noted that Akashi had pressed these issues twice and received essentially noncommittal responses both times. Akashi had also pressed Prabhakaran on other issues, such as human rights.
In addition, he had urged the Tigers to return to the Sub-Committee for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs in the North and East (SIHRN). (Note: The Tigers pulled out of this joint committee late last month.)
.4. (C)Otsuka s aid Prabhakaran, who rarely meets with foreigners, listened intently to all of Akashi´s points. In his comments, Prabhakaran stressed that progress had not been made in the delivery of humanitarian and developmental assistance because the SIHRN committee was "not efficient." He also complained that the North/East Reconstruction Fund (NERF) was not yet operating and funding projects. Prabhakaran went on to touch on long-standing LTTE concerns about Tamil displaced persons related to the issue of the military presence in Jaffna District (see more below in Para 8). Despite his noncommittal reaction, Prabhakaran did not fully discount the possibility that the Tigers would eventually come back to the talks and decide to attend the Tokyo meeting. He did, however, make very clear that there had to be progress on issues of Tiger concern before the group would do so. Akashi emphasized that the Tigers had one week to decide whether or not they were coming to Tokyo.
5. (C) Sharing a small vignette, Otsuka related that the Japanese side had brought along its own interpreter to the meeting. (Note: Most visitors in meetings with the LTTE rely on the group´s interpreter who is named "George." George has often been accused of spinning his translations.) After the meeting, the GoJ interpreter told Otsuka that at one point Balasingham had said, "We suspended the peace talks to get concessions."
(Note: This statement tends to highlight the tactical nature of the LTTE´s recent moves.) In another vignette, Otsuka commented that Prabhakaran had told him during the more social atmosphere of the lunch following the meeting that his son, Charles Anthony, was studying martial arts. A lively discussion on the matter ensued when Otsuka noted that he had a brown belt in karate.
(Note: Charles Anthony, who is believed to be in London, is approximately 17years old. Prabhakaran is believed to have another son and one daughter with him at his key base in Mullaitivu in northeast Sri Lanka.)
6. (U)(((Note: In other peace process news: early May 8 the pro-LTTE website "Tami Net" posted an article on the Akashi-Prabhakaran meeting complete with several photos. The article was relatively upbeat and its substance largely jibed with Otsuka´s readout. The article noted that at the close of the meeting Prabhakaran had given Akashi a "Tamil Eelam" map and insignia.)))
7. (SBU) (((Note: Following up Deputy Foreign Minister Helgesen´s recent visit and the latest efforts by the Japanese, Norwegian Special Envoy Erik Solheim is slated to meet Balasingham in the Wanni on May 8. Solheim´s brief is believed to be identical to Helgesen´s and Akashi´s, i.e., try to convince the Tigers to come back to the talks and attend the June donors conference.)))
8. (C)(((Note: In another peace process development, Defense Minister Marapana announced May 7 that the GSL was planning a large-scale reorganization of its forces in Jaffna District. The idea behind the reorganization would be to amalgamate forces in Jaffna, and, thus, permit more civilian land use. The plan is clearly meant to appease the Tigers, who have long claimed that the military´s bases in Jaffna -especially the so-called "high security zones" there – are too large. See DATT´s Septel re the GSL proposal and the military´s reaction to it.)))
9. (C)COMMENT: The Norwegians and the Japanese have certainly beengiving it their all in working to convince the Tigers to return to the negotiating track. There seems to be some movement by the Tigers in that they appear to have climbed down somewhat from their previous hard-line positioning. The group, for example, has re-opened lines of communication and adopted a less shrill tone.
In fact, the U.S. can take some credit for this shift, as the Tigers´ move toward a more moderate posture dates from their response to the U.S. statement on their pullout from the talks. (Note: In other potentially positive news, we understand that FCO officials had a good give-and-take with Balasingham on May 4just before he came to Sri Lanka. In their previous attempt tomeet with him, Balasingham had rudely told them he did not want to talk.) All that said, it´s still not clear what theTigers plan to do and whether they will be back in the ball game soon. END COMMENT
. 10. (U) Minimize considered.
WILLS. (Source-Asian Tribune)
Comments - 31
Konde bendapu china Monday, 10 January 2011 12:32 PM
Nandikadal Lagoon ends everything
cracko Monday, 10 January 2011 01:09 AM
Not an alarming revelation. At least they were all awake. But two days ago one LLRC commissioner was fast asleep during a hearing in Mannar.
jayadeva Monday, 10 January 2011 01:51 AM
Thanks Wikileaks.We are waiting for information on why the people of Notheren and Eatern provinces to boycotted the 2005 Presidential Elections
meranchi Monday, 10 January 2011 02:37 AM
this chapter is close i thing no need further publishing sri lanka government understood what the LTTE wanted to do .they wanted to over power whole sri lanka......i
haramanis Monday, 10 January 2011 02:42 AM
damsen Monday, 10 January 2011 02:57 AM
That reminds me the Lord Buddhas noble words "Thanhaaya Jaayathie Soko"
Lanka Patriot Monday, 10 January 2011 04:03 AM
We need more information on what was happening at the front at the later stages of the war. Wikleakes is doing a great job. Letting the cat out of the bag.
Tamil Monday, 10 January 2011 04:18 AM
It's obvious. LTTE did not allow us to vote. They placed their carders and supporters near to all polling stations and chased the people who went to vote. However, More than 98% of the Tamils (except a few who faced some unreasonable problems from LTTE personally) supported LTTE for all their moral attempts again the GOSL, fighting for rights (But no one likes their killing innocent people in buses and trains). Coming to the point....In that Election we all people wanted to vote for Ranil since we saw a peaceful environment that we had never seen before. But it was only LTTE who chosen the war track and put them and the all Tamils who believed on then in infinite misery.
SL Monday, 10 January 2011 04:25 AM
"LTTE wanted more concessions" They sure did get what they deserved!
Truth Exposed Monday, 10 January 2011 04:44 AM
Greediness of LTTE to take all and give nothing has put the entire Tamil community in this sad state of theirs today.
DXB Monday, 10 January 2011 04:49 AM
Exactly , LTTE canibalise the Tamil community ,
cracko Monday, 10 January 2011 05:17 AM
An english translation will help non-Sinhala people to understand the good work of Lord Buddha
SL Monday, 10 January 2011 05:22 AM
Are Tamils having peace right now?
SL Monday, 10 January 2011 05:30 AM
"Thanhaaya Jaayathie Soko" - Greed will lead to eternal suffering
ajith Monday, 10 January 2011 05:41 AM
Wikileaks reveals would be ideal if they reach instantly to public. This will be a headache to all leaders with secret agendas. In the case of LTTE they are all dead and gone!!!!!
citizen1 Monday, 10 January 2011 05:57 PM
As long as you insist on the differences there will be no peace. There has to be a give and take. If this is difficult, one needs to hang out in one's own community in a remote place.
malkanthi Monday, 10 January 2011 07:39 AM
this could be used as a trump card at local government elections since there is nothing much to brag about now.
Jix Monday, 10 January 2011 07:41 AM
Alarming!? Did the alarm just go off on you while you might have been napping all this time? However, it is one thing to speculate, to get confirmation from high officers, nice!
Lasi Monday, 10 January 2011 09:45 PM
You also need to understand what the culture of majority is. Most Tamils and Sinhalese need to live peacefully doing their jobs. If you hesitate to cooperate living together in this small island, you should find elsewhere like Tamilnandu, where you can enjoy your culture. It's hilarious that Eelamists are happy to live in western countries with no rights to enjoy their culture as in SL.
poor but rich Monday, 10 January 2011 09:49 AM
No at all no-peace for SL Tamils. Sinhalese do not understand this at all. Out culture , our way of life is completely different from Sinhalese.
thushi Monday, 10 January 2011 10:23 AM
finally the great sun god got all the concessions he wanted in the Nandikudal Lagoon.
Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.