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Cablegate: Reopening in Sri Lanka

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

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001869

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR GADDI
VASQUES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV EAID AMGT CE
SUBJECT: REOPENING IN SRI LANKA


1. As you know, a security assessment team visited Sri
Lanka a few months ago to investigate whether the Peace
Corps could safely reopen its mission here. At the
moment, we are awaiting a second inspection of Sri Lanka
by members of your staff who can determine the
programmatic and administrative priorities should a
mission by reestablished. I want to reiterate how
important I and our Country Team regard the Peace Corps'
returning to Sri Lanka. Although it is too early to
predict confidently that a peace agreement will be signed
between the government and the LTTE, it appears very
likely that a prolonged period of ceasefire is in
prospect. Already, eight months have passed without
violence. The new government of Sri Lanka has repeatedly
asked me to urge an early return by the Peace Corps. The
Prime Minister himself has frequently raised the subject
with me, and in particular sees a vital role for the Peace
Corps in teaching English and perhaps business education.

2. I know you face many pressures to reopen the Peace
Corps or expand its operations in various countries. I
sincerely hope you will determine soon that the Peace
Corps should reopen in Sri Lanka ASAP. The Peace Corps is
one of America's noblest endeavors internationally and it
certainly has that reputation here from its many years of
service to Sri Lanka and the United States.

WILLS

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