A leaked confidential US diplomatic cable written by the US Embassy Colombo has raised queries about the correct nature of the drama staged by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) when they left the Chandrika Kumaratunga led coalition government.
At that time the JVP mentioned that they had quit in protest at government’s plans for a tsunami aid deal with the LTTE which could assist efforts to set up a Tamil state.
According to a leaked US diplomatic cable, the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington “Vijitha Herath, the JVP Minister of Culture and National Heritage, complained to us that President Chandrika Kumaratunga was ignoring his party’s recommendations to create a multipartisan consultative mechanism to inform the reconstruction process. Rather, he charged, she had appointed Ministers and celebration members–some of whom are not even MPs–from her own Sri Lankan Freedom Celebration (SLFP) to all decision-creating positions. Not a single JVP Minister or MP occupied any crucial position, Herath said, even even though numerous represent tsunami-affected districts.”
The Colombo Telegraph located the associated leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The “Confidential” cable is signed by the US Ambassador to Colombo Jeffrey J. Lunstead on February 15, 2005.
The ambassador wrote “The Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP), the Government’s contentious coalition companion, boycotted the February 9 Parliamentary debate on tsunami reconstruction. The JVP leadership cited dissatisfaction with the minor function the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) has assigned it in reconstruction organizing as the purpose for their absence. The JVP was the only no-show at the lively debate. Even MPs from the pro-Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Tamil National Alliance (TNA), who have regularly accused the GSL of brief-changing Tamil areas in the distribution of help, took part.”
Ambassador Lunstead wrote “He accused the President and other SLFP leaders of utilizing the effectively-funded reconstruction method to serve their own private and political agendas. When asked why JVP leaders deemed it greater to boycott the debate than to argue their issues ahead of Parliament, Herath responded that folks might mistakenly assume, since the JVP is part of the government, that it endorses GSL reconstruction plans. Since the JVP had not been consulted in any of the crucial choices, “we can’t take responsibility”–or blame–for how the method unfolds, he emphasized. By not taking component in the debate, the party hoped to make that distinction clear to the common public, he indicated.”
“The JVP’s therapy is especially unfair in light of its energetic efforts to aid those impacted by the tsunami, Herath asserted, adding that the celebration has raised practically $ 12 million on its own at property and abroad. This aid is being distributed to all affected communities, he continued. The LTTE fears that JVP philanthropic activities in the east will enhance the celebration’s popularity there, specifically among Tamils, Herath claimed, and has therefore fabricated stories about the JVP hijacking help intended for Tamil communities. (Note: Jayantha Wijesekera, the Tamil-speaking, rabble-rousing JVP MP for Trincomalee, told us that the LTTE is especially concerned about his appeal and has therefore threatened him on many occasions.) When asked how the JVP viewed possible GSL/LTTE cooperation on tsunami relief, Herath repeated the normal JVP line: Cooperation is all proper in principle as extended as the Tigers do not take benefit of it–which, of course, he implied, they will” he additional wrote.