Sri Lanka Faces Serious Leadership Deficiency — Diplomatic Cable Reveals

Sri Lanka is undergoing a serious economic and political crisis, and the situation may lead to further polarization in politics in the coming years.

by A Special Correspondent

In an alleged classified cable sent to the headquarters of a Western embassy in Colombo, it states that Sri Lanka is experiencing a serious leadership and bureaucratic deficiency. Consequently, an entirely different crisis may arise in a short period, according to a reliable source who has seen the cable.

The cable includes assessments of leading politicians in the country based on intelligence inputs from respective intelligence agencies. While expressing high regard for incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe, it notes, ‘Wickremesinghe may not be able to win any elections if he does not gain support from other parties.’ Considering his age, the cable assesses that Wickremesinghe may not be able to sustain the system for a long period, leading to a serious political vacuum in the country.

[Sri Lanka Guardian Illustration]

Regarding Anura Kumara Dissanayake, the cable mentions his linguistic limitations and the lack of adequate human resources in his inner circle, which attempts to bolster itself through hollow arguments. Despite gaining surprising popularity in rural areas and among the lower-middle classes in urban areas, it is deemed unlikely that anyone in his team will be able to navigate the current complicated situation in the country. The sources quoted in the paper remark, ‘When you listen to their answers on serious socio-economic problems, you will understand how meaningless their verbal elaborations are.’

Assessing both Patali Champika Ranakawa and Sajith Premadasa, the cable mentions that these two are planning to contest the next presidential polls. However, it notes that neither of them exhibits stable characteristics and they seem to lack any long-term plan to address the island’s structural issues. A source commented, ‘Both Sajith and Champika are very interesting personalities. When we talk to them, they focus more on other countries and the books they have read to demonstrate their knowledge. However, they do not seem to have any strategies to overcome the serious challenges the island is facing,’ referencing the cable.

Meanwhile, the cable briefly touches on Namal Rajapaksa, whom many people believe is attempting to take over the leadership of the Podujana Peramuna. Contrary to such beliefs, the cable states, “Rajapaksa Jr. does not have any plans to take leadership until 2030. Our intelligence sources assert that he is planning to make his political move for the leadership during the Presidential Elections to be held after 2030.”

Sri Lanka is undergoing a serious economic and political crisis, and the situation may lead to further polarization in politics in the coming years. This could not only deepen the economic crisis but also give rise to new crises, particularly in the central part where South Indian-origin Tamils live, the East where the Muslim majority resides, and the North where the Tamils are the majority, as asserted by the cable.