Cablegate: Nomination for Political Fsn Training Course

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





E.O. 12958: DECL: N/A
SUBJECT: Nomination for Political FSN training course

Ref: 02 State 255305

1. In response to Reftel, Mission nominates Ms. Padmini
Raajadurrai to attend the April 7 to 18 training course
for Political FSNs at NFATC.

2. Information on the nominee is keyed to the order of
the queries in Reftel:

Name -- Padmini Raajadurrai
Grade -- FSN-10
Length of Service -- 4 years and 5 months
Time spent in the U.S. -- 6 weeks (In 1979 and 2002 Ms.
Raajadurai vacationed in the U.S.)
Previous training in the U.S. -- None
Previous nominations for political training course --
Yes, for May 2002 course

3. Narrative justification for nomination:

The peace process between the Sri Lankan government and
the Tamil Tigers has sharply increased the Political
Section's workload. Ms. Raajadurai's portfolio has been
crucial in this timeframe, as we turn to her constantly
for information on what is happening Tamil-speaking
areas, including those areas now controlled by the Tamil
Tigers, a notorious terrorist organization. To keep
track of what is happening in the Tamil community,
Mission will be adding a Tamil-speaking Political
Officer in April 2003. We expect that Raajadurai will
play a key role in educating this officer on the
situation in Sri Lanka, including travelling with him to
key points throughout the island.

Raajadurrai has developed excellent contacts, and has
the ability to retrieve vast amounts of information from
those contacts in timely manner. She also manages her
time well and responds to requests from the officers in
the Section in a timely manner. Based on the
contributions she has made to the Section, she was
recently promoted to a FSN 10.

With her recent promotion, however, she will be expected
to perform at an even higher-level. Raajadurrai has the
potential to do so, but must improve in certain areas.
The proposed training will enhance her interview,
briefing and drafting skills. It will also assist in
defining what information is important to the USG.
Raajadurai is also becoming more involved in planning
certain aspects of VIP visits. The training provided in
this area will be used regularly, as Embassy Colombo has
seen a surge in the number of visits since the advent of
the peace process.

In addition, a new FSN recently joined the political
section. If Raajadurai is selected to attend the
training, she can use the techniques and procedures she
learns at NFATC to assist the new FSN in learning his
responsibilities. One of Raajadurrai's strengths is her
ability and willingness to share information with her
co-workers. Thus, training for Raajadurai will have a
multiplier effect within the Political Section.

Mission would also be able to use the time set aside for
consultations to great use. The information that
Raajadurrai provides to the Mission is often shared
directly with the Department. The opportunity to meet
directly with the offices we are reporting to will
assist her in fine tuning her information-gathering
towards fulfilling USG interests.

Currently, neither of the two FSNs in the Mission's
Political Section have had the opportunity to take part
in a NFATC Political FSN training course. It is
Mission's strong belief that providing Ms. Raajadurai
with political training will immeasurably improve the
Section's capabilities, thus helping Mission achieve
U.S. goals in Sri Lanka.


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