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Cablegate: Sri Lanka Core Group Meeting On Tokyo Donor

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


1. On February 25, Minister for Economic Reform,
Milinda Moragoda, chaired a meeting of the "Core Group"
to oversee the planning for the Donor Conference now
scheduled for Tokyo June 9-10. Donors who have been
invited to co-chair the Tokyo meeting were requested to
be part of this Core Group. Those attending the meeting
included the Japanese Ambassador and representatives of
JABEC, the Norwegian Ambassador, the Country directors
for the IMF, World Bank, ADB and UNDP and Ambassador
Wills and the USAID Director. The GSL representatives
included the Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Secretary
General of the Department of External Resources and
several key advisors in the Ministry of Policy
Development and Implementation.

2. In preparation for the Tokyo Conference, four pre-
Tokyo Seminars will be held, the first of which is
planned for Washington on April 14 for a half day.
Ambassador Wills pointed out that this seminar cannot
have LTTE representation. This was accepted by the
group. When asked about US views on program content for
the Washington Seminar, the Ambassador deferred to the
GSL to determine what it wanted to accomplish at that
seminar. Minister Moragoda stressed that he hoped that
the Washington event would feature attendance by
ministers attending the IMF and IBRD annual meetings.
He was especially interested in having ministers from
countries not attending any of the other seminars or the
Tokyo conference at the Washington meeting, i.e., Saudi
Arabia, the Gulf States, etc. The second seminar will
be hosted by Brussels (and Norway); the third is planned
for Colombo on May 3 and the Japanese Ambassador said
the GOJ would like to host a fourth seminar in Tokyo
prior to the main conference in June.

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3. The discussion covered a variety of topics including
the purpose and composition of the Wider Tokyo group,
the status and timing for the completion of key
documents to be presented in Tokyo and their
availability prior to the Conference, and preliminary
preparations for the seminars and outline for the Tokyo
Conference program. There was considerable discussion
regarding the issue that is being raised in other fora
by several bilaterals about attaching conditionality to
pledges in Tokyo. Ambassador Wills pointed out that the
LTTE needs to do something meaningful prior to Tokyo to
get maximum generosity from the donors and to bolster
the GSL's standing in the south.

4..The next Core Group planning meeting to discuss in
more detail the programs and expected outcomes of the
four pre-Tokyo seminars and Tokyo Conference itself is
scheduled for March 10 and will be followed by an
information meeting with an Expanded Tokyo group.

5. Comment: We still don't know exactly what the GSL
wants to accomplish at the Washington seminar or at the
other three pre-Tokyo seminars. But we expect this to
be clarified in the days ahead as the GSL focuses on the
matter. This meeting was its first attempt to do so.
Our guess is that the Washington seminar will be an
occasion to attract high-level, preferably ministerial-
level donors to a discussion of the situation in Sri
Lanka. No pledging will be involved. We shall be pesky
to the point of obnoxiousness in seeking clarification
of what the GSL and the Core Group want to emerge from
the Washington seminar because we know the Department
and USAID are keen to be informed.


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