Cablegate: Draft Donor Statement of Principles Re Foreign

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. (SBU) SUMMARY. This is an ACTION message. This
cable contains the latest draft of the Donors' statement
of principles regarding provision of foreign assistance to
Sri Lanka as the peace process proceeds. It has been
agreed to (ad referendum) by all of Sri Lanka's major
bilateral donors at a meeting at Ambassador Wills'
residence 4/8. As an attachment to the statement of
principles, donors also indicate "illustrative milestones"
that ought to be met by the GSL and LTTE. All
participants have been asked to get concurrence/comments
on the statement of principles from capitals by 4/15, when
the donors will meet again at Jefferson House. The
thinking in Colombo is that this document, once cleared,
would be turned over to the Norwegians, who would in turn
pass it to the GSL and the LTTE at the next negotiating
round in Thailand in late April. The GSL and LTTE would
be free to comment on it but the supposition is that they
would agree to it in time for it to be made public at the
Tokyo conference in June. The statement of principles is
not a contract or an obligatory document but rather an
exhortation to the GSL and the LTTE to live up to the
principles if they want donor aid. But the donors
individually would be free to make their own judgments
about whether and how to dispense their assistance. END

2. (SBU) A group of donors met at Jefferson House on 4/8
to consider a draft statement of principles regarding
provision of foreign assistance to Sri Lanka. The
statement was originally drafted by several western aid
directors, who wanted to introduce conditionality to Sri
Lanka's peace and aid processes. It was substantially
edited and recast by Ambassador Wills, then reviewed by
ambassadors from the UK, Japan, EU and US over the
weekend. This all-hands meeting at Jefferson House
included the following: Ambassadors or CDAs from
Australia, Austria, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy,
Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Sweden,
Switzerland and the UK, plus country directors from the
UN, WB, IMF and ADB.

3. (SBU) At the urging of Ambassador Wills, the term
conditionality was dropped and the draft turned into a
statement of principles with an accompanying list of
"illustrative milestones." (The list is being faxed to SA
and INS as it cannot be printed out in cable format.)

4. (SBU) In the 4/8 discussion, all participants save
the HC of Australia were comfortable with the idea of
linkage in the statement's opening paragraph. The
Australian was not sure his government would agree to
linkage, but in the end he agreed to forward the language
to Canberra along with his endorsement. The Japanese
Ambassador was concerned that there be no formal
monitoring mechanism after the Tokyo Conference, when the
statement, it is hoped, will be made public. He proposed
that any further developments/changes related to the
statement post-Tokyo be coordinated by the co-chairs of
June's conference: Japan, Norway, the EU and US. This
was agreed to by all. In other words, the meeting decided
to track compliance in an informal manner.

5. (SBU) The document was reviewed word-by-word and
agreed to by the meeting's participants. It was decided
all should consult home offices and get comments/clearance
by April 15, when the group will meet again at Jefferson
House. It was also decided all should get clearance from
home offices on what to do with the statement. In this
regard, the proposal that arose from the meeting was that,
once cleared, it should be passed to the GON, which will
then table it at the next round of the negotiations in
Thailand in late April. The GSL and LTTE would be asked
to consider and accept it and it would then be issued at
the Tokyo Donors conference in June. There was a lot of
debate about whether it should be signed by all the donors
or just issued, with a majority favoring the latter.

6. (SBU) It was also agreed that this was not a contract
or obligating document. It rather is an exhortation to
the GSL and LTTE to live up to these principles and
milestones to ensure donor aid. But it will be up to each
donor to decide whether and how to deploy its own

7. (SBU) Action Request: Request Washington agencies'
comments/concurrence prior to April 15.

8. (SBU) Begin Text:

DRAFT April 9, 2003

Basic Principles for Peace and Development

1. Purpose
To ensure sustainable resources for peace and development
in Sri Lanka through a process that links development
assistance to adherence to basic principles.

2. Background and Rationale
Sri Lanka is in a period of transition, somewhere between
war and peace but not yet definitively `post conflict.'
Progress towards peace and political settlement must be
encouraged and supported by all parties.

This paper suggests a process for highlighting basic
agreed principles and suggests milestones and indicators
that link development assistance to the peace process.
This is not intended as a prescriptive exercise but rather
as a dialogue and partnership among GOSL, LTTE and donors,
on shared concerns.

Sri Lanka can boast significant progress towards peace.
The ceasefire agreement is one year strong, regular peace
negotiations have demonstrated commitment to address core
issues such as a political settlement, human rights,
humanitarian and rehabilitation assistance and gender.
Development achievements are also noteworthy: SIHRN has
been established and acknowledged by the international
community; NERF is operational; quick impact projects are
being approved; Regaining Sri Lanka, along with a
multilateral group-supported needs assessment for
immediate and medium term rehabilitation needs, will be
tabled at a pledging conference in Tokyo in June 2003.

The peace process and the development process are mutually
reinforcing. There is need, therefore, to develop
mechanisms for ensuring they complement each other.

3. Basic Principles

3.1 Progress on Political settlement
The main message of the Oslo Declaration is that a viable
political settlement should be the desired outcome of the
peace process. Through six rounds of talks, progress
and commitments have been made on substantive issues. At
the Hakone talks, the parties to the negotiation
reiterated their commitment to develop a federal system
based on internal self-determination within a united Sri
Lanka and have begun to discuss the essential elements of
fiscal federalism. This principles framework recognises
that this process will take time, and aims to enhance this
positive momentum.

3.2 Respect for human rights and security
Human security is central to the post conflict peace
settlement process. It encompasses freedom for civilians
from pervasive threats, ensures protection and safety, and
promotes respect for human rights norms by all parties.

The Hakone peace talks demonstrated the parties'
commitment to human rights. We encourage expeditious
development and implementation of the human rights
roadmap. There has also been ongoing substantive
dialogue between the LTTE and a coalition of organisations
led by UNICEF on child rights and children affected by

Considerable commitments were made during 2002 regarding
land tenure and access issues in conflict-affected areas,
and on the rights of IDPs. These positive initiatives now
require support and implementation. Adoption of the
Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement would support
these initiatives.

3.3 Participation and Representation
The Oslo Declaration and SIHRN's Guiding Principles
underscore the importance of recognising the needs and
aspirations of all ethnic communities as well as actively
involving beneficiaries in planning their own development.

At present, ordinary Sri Lankans need a better
understanding of the peace process. Increased public
knowledge and dialogue on the negotiations would both
enhance and deepen public support for peace.

The key to effective engagement with international actors
on development, investment and trade will be the
establishment of plural, representative government in
conflict-affected areas.

3.4 Democracy
The donors accept that it is for the parties to negotiate
constitutional arrangements with which the country as a
whole will be comfortable. Our concern is that the
system must be democratic, transparent and accountable.

There is overwhelming support for a greater degree of
autonomy at local levels, with representative
decentralised local government that is accountable,
responsive to local needs, makes better use of available
local resources and delivers efficient services. While
this transition will take time, developing local
government structures expeditiously will help build trust
within and between communities and create an enabling
environment for increased donor support. The Hakone
proposal to prepare for local government elections in the
North and East is a welcome initiative.

3.5 Transparency and Management of Finances
With additional resources being committed in the conflict-
affected areas, the open and transparent management of
these resources would increase community and donor
confidence. While the guidelines for SIHRN and the NERF
are positive steps, the lack of clarity over systems of
revenue generation, resource distribution and taxation in
conflict-affected areas needs to be resolved.

4. Reconciliation
Ultimately, the goal of the peace process will be
reconciliation between and among communities island-wide.
This will require effective efforts to ensure that the
underlying causes of tensions between and amongst
communities island-wide are addressed and reconciled.
National frameworks such as that for Relief,
Rehabilitation and Reconciliation (3R) make important
recommendations which address both equity and access
imbalances in Sri Lanka. Issues such as language policy,
education and public sector reform require immediate
action, additional resources and unwavering political

5. Milestones
The success of the framework will depend on the setting of
realistic and achievable milestones. Immediate evidence
can be demonstrated on such key issues as:

-- Full implementation of the ceasefire agreement,
including unrestricted access by the SLMM.

-- Adoption of the "plan" leading to a final political

-- Underage recruitment: children no longer subject to
recruitment; progress on the reintegration of current and
former underage recruits into communities

-- Clarification of the respective roles of central and
local government in the administration of taxation and the
management of public funds.

-- Respect for basic operating principles of international
humanitarian and development assistance agencies.

-- Progress on settlement of land and livelihood issues on
occupied lands, including in the HSZ.

-- Development of structures of governance at the sub-
national level that are representative, transparent and

-- No laying of new mines and increased mine clearance.

As the peace process progresses, there will need to be
dialogue to establish further milestones in emerging areas
such as security and related matters.

Annex 1 contains sample, illustrative milestones in
support of the above principles.


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