Whistleblower platform WikiLeaks has reported that President Ranil Wickremesinghe, while serving as Opposition Leader in 2007, had requested Japanese Special Envoy Yasushi Akashi, who visited Sri Lanka that year, to cease the economic assistance that Japan was providing to Sri Lanka.
WikiLeaks posted a link on its official Twitter account on July 23 to access the relevant post on their website, dated June 18, 2007.
The post revealed that in a briefing to Co-Chair Ambassadors on June 8, 2007, Akashi had stated that he found Colombo more polarised and pessimistic when he arrived on June 5, 2007 than he had seen in any of his 14 previous visits. By the end of his visit, the post read, he was only slightly more optimistic.
It further read: “In response to a private exhortation by Opposition Leader Wickremesinghe for Japan to suspend its economic assistance, Akashi told Wickremesinghe and later reiterated publicly that the Sri Lankan people should not be punished ‘for acts of commission and omission by their leaders’.”
It was further stated that in his meeting with Wickremesinghe, Akashi had emphasised the need for the United National Party (UNP), of which Wickremesinghe is still the leader, and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), then-ruling party which was headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to work together in the Annual Percentage Rate of Charge (APRC).
Attempts to contact the President’s Office for a response proved futile.
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