For press freedom by Sunanda Deshapriya
“He added that it ‘looked like’ EPDP cadres, along with the SLN, had perpetrated the mid-August burning of the pro-LTTE Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.
The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable is classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” and recounts details of a meeting US Ambassador to Colombo has had with President’s advisor and his brother Basil Rajapaksa on October 04, 2006. The cable was written by the US Ambassador to Colombo, Robert O. Blake.
Ambassador Blake wrote “‘We have had trouble with other Tamil groups,’ Rajapaksa explained, naming Douglas Devananda’s Eelam People’s Democratic Party (EPDP) and the Karuna Faction who ‘might have weapons.’ Rajapaksa said that the Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) has requested Devananda and the Tamil Mukkal Vidutalai Pulikal (TMVP – Tamil People’s Liberation Tigers, a.k.a. the Karuna faction) to control their members and in the case of the TMVP to ‘go back to Batticaloa.’ ‘We have clearly instructed Douglas and Karuna that they are personally responsible for the actions of their members.’ He added that it ‘looked like’ EPDP cadres, along with the SLN, had perpetrated the mid-August burning of the pro-LTTE Uthayan newspaper office in Jaffna.
Under the subheading “Winning Hearts and Minds in Jaffna” the ambassador wrote “Rajapaksa spoke proudly of the GSL’s efforts to improve the humanitarian situation in Jaffna, where fighting since August 11 has cut off the supply line by land. He said that in Jaffna ‘the Tamils feel we are trying to look after them by sending supplies. They know that the LTTE refused to allow the ICRC supply chain but that we have never stopped supplying food despite the cost.’”