Last Updated : 18-04-2014 03:30

 
 

LTTE wanted more concessions

E-mail Print
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

From:
Date: 8.5.2003

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)

 
 

Views : 21980
 
SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend


Add comment


Security code
Refresh

ads
.…?
Glad to go home
Video: For a blessed year
Fun at Galle Face
.…?
Glad to go home
Video: For a blessed year
Fun at Galle Face