Cablegate: Media Reaction: Co-Chairs Statement On Jvp

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.




E.O. 12958:N/A
SUBJECT: Media Reaction: Co-chairs statement on JVP
provokes divided response in Sri Lankan media

REFS: Colombo 1997

1. (U) SUMMARY: The December 15 statement by the Tokyo
donors conference co-chairs on the JVP's agitation against
Norway and the peace process provoked a widespread and
sharply divided response from the Sri Lankan media.
Independent English and Tamil media covered the story
factually with favorable editorials, while government-run
and Sinhala media outlets gave the statement somewhat less
prominence and less favorable editorial response. Coverage
of the statement, however, served to reinforce among the
public the co-chairs' support for the peace process and
concern over the lack of cohesion within the GSL. END

2. (U) The December 15 statement (see Reftel) by the co-
chairs of the Tokyo donors conference received widespread
coverage in all electronic media outlets, with both state-
run and independent broadcasters making it their lead story
in all three local languages. Radio broadcasters also gave
the statement prominent coverage in their noon and evening
news broadcasts December 15, as did several Internet sites
independent website Lanka Academic noted that the "co-
chairs had told the President to bring her Marxist ally to
heel," whereas pro-Tiger website TamilNet reproduced the
statement verbatim without editorial comment).

3. (U) Both the English and vernacular print media also
featured the statement prominently in their December 16
dailies. Independent English Daily Mirror bannered (12/16):
"JVP action shocks donors." Independent English daily
Island (12/16), normally sympathetic to JVP positions,
headlined "U.S., EU, Japan lambaste JVP for opposing peace
process; JVP dismisses allegation." Coverage of the
statement and the JVP response carried into the weekend,
with the independent Sunday Leader (12/19) carrying news of
the statement in an editorial titled "Madam, your slip is
showing," which included the statement" ...If Kumaratunga
is engulfed by a passionate obsession of any kind, it is
only to stay in power for the rest of her life." On the
other hand, the independent Sinahala Sunday Divaina
editorial (12/19) titled "We are also bewildered at that
bewilderment" took a sharply negative view of the statement
and questioned why the co-chairs had not seen fit to
criticize the LTTE for their ceasefire violations in the
same way they had criticized the JVP.

4. (U) COMMENT: Perhaps revealing the fragile state of the
peace process, the media reacted forcefully and prominently
to the co-chairs' statement, lining up along predictable
sides. The JVP's response to the Ambassador, which the
party released to the press, took him to task for not
criticizing the LTTE in the statement. We expect that the
Ambassador's response to the JVP, in which he reminded them
that the U.S. had on many occasions publicly denounced LTTE
actions, will also find its way into the media. END


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>