US knew Rajapaksa election was irregular

[TamilNet, Tuesday, 04 October 2011, 20:24 GMT]
A classified cable of the US Embassy in Colombo, made available through WikiLeaks, shows that the US Ambassador Patricia A. Butenis has informed the US government about a Rajapaksa order to eight SL Government Agents to send election results directly to SL President’s house for his review before sending them on to the SL Election Commissioner. The Ambassador also has cited other irregularities, frauds and intimidations in the last SL Presidential Elections. However, the US Government ‘congratulated’ Rajapaksa on his election and it regularly used to appreciate ‘democracy’ in the genocidal State, Tamil politicians commented.

The Ambassador cited her contact telling that 8 Government Agents, including those in Ampara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Batticaloa were ordered to send the results to Rajapaksa’s house.

The cable E.O. 12958 of January 2010 was on Elections in Ampara: Intimidation and Weak Allegiances. The leaked cable appeared in Colombo Telegraph on Monday.

Business representatives of the Ampaa’rai district told the Ambassador that Iniya Barathy, Karuna's second in command and Rajapaksa campaign coordinator, controlled 600 to 700 armed supporters and had created a climate of intimidation that precluded any expression of support for the opposition.

Yet, according to the cable, “Tamil voters in particular were expected to vote against the president rather than for Fonseka and the cable cited the Business representatives predicting the opposition votes coming from 85 percent of Tamils, 65 to 90 percent of Muslims, and half the Sinhalese in the Ampaa’rai district.

“A group of 59,000 "home guards" were expected to "protect" Sinahalese areas. The guards were reportedly headed by Commander Sarath Weerasekera, the local Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) organizer,” the cable said.

Recording some of the intimidating violence against the opposition, the cable said, “Other potential irregularities included voter identification fraud, stuffing of ballot boxes, and removing ink marks in order to vote multiple times.”

Rajapaksa ‘managed’ to get 67 per cent of the votes against Fonseka’s 30 per cent in the Ampaa’rai District.

 

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