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Cablegate: Peace Corps Visit to Sri Lanka

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

221103Z Sep 03

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001644

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

TOPEC

PLEASE PASS TO PEACE CORPS FOR DIRECTOR GADDI VASQUEZ
FROM THE AMBASSADOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL CE
SUBJECT: PEACE CORPS VISIT TO SRI LANKA


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED -- PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

1.

(SBU) I was delighted when we met in July that you were
enthusiastic about a possible Peace Corps return to Sri
Lanka. After arriving here and getting a sense of the on-
the-ground situation, I was even more excited about the
possibilities for Peace Corps. This country has an
historic opportunity in front of it -- the chance to put
behind 20 years of ruinous civil strife and build a
democratic prosperous nation for all Sri Lankans. Many
of the areas which Sri Lankans identify as crucial in
their plans for the future--such as upgrading the
country's English language capabilities--are areas where
Peace Corps has great strengths.

2. (SBU) Your assessment team has just left and I
wanted to let you know how pleased I was with the
outcome of their two-week visit. The team, after
meetings in Colombo and extensive travel around the
country, told me that they intend to recommend to you
that Peace Corps reopen in Sri Lanka. This is indeed
good news. I fully understand that there are budget and
programming issues to be considered and that a reopening
is not a sure thing. I want you to know, however, that
my staff and I are committed to working closely with
Peace Corps in the coming next months as the concept of
a Peace Corps reopening hopefully moves from idea to
reality.

3. (SBU) We were all very impressed with the
professionalism and enthusiasm of Robert Reid and his
team. This reflects well on Peace Corps and only
increased our delight at the prospect of welcoming Peace
Corps to the country team here.

4. (U) Best regards.

LUNSTEAD

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