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Cablegate: Eac Held to Discuss Political Situation in Colombo

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

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001915

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DS FOR DS/IP/NEA/SA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC CE CMGT
SUBJECT: EAC HELD TO DISCUSS POLITICAL SITUATION IN COLOMBO

1. (SBU) Summary - Embassy Colombo held an EAC meeting on Nov
5 to discuss the security situation relative to the Sri
Lankan President's actions in recent days. EAC reaffirmed
that, aside from increased police and army presence dispersed
lightly throughout the city, Colombo remains calm and without
incident to date. A determination was made for CONS to issue
a Consular Message to assure the American community that the
Embassy is monitoring political and security developments in
Sri Lanka. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Embassy Colombo held an EAC meeting on Nov 5 to
discuss the security situation and political upheaval caused
by Sri Lankan President Kumaratunga's firing of the Ministers
of Defense, Interior, and Communications, suspending
Parliament until November 19, and declaring a State of
Emergency. The EAC noted that the situation in Colombo
remains calm with no incidents of violence or unrest reported
to date. RSO advised that the SD Unit has been strategically
deployed in the city to monitor security developments.
Increased police and army presence has been reported in
certain parts of the city, but Embassy operations have not
been affected. POL advised that political ramifications of
the President's actions could not yet be determined, and in
fact, a complete picture may not be understood for several
weeks. DAO advised that his Sri Lankan military contacts
have informed him that the officer corps is committed to
following the rule of law. Embassy tripwires were
established, the first of which would be a security incident
or indication of unrest in the streets. The EAC concluded
that Embassy operations would continue as normal until the
security situation changed.

3. (SBU) Charge' instructed CONS to draft a Consular Message
for distribution to the American community. The text of the
message is as follows:

"As you are probably aware from news reports, there have been
a number of political developments in Sri Lanka in recent
days. The U.S. Embassy in Colombo will continue to monitor
ongoing events. The Consular Section's email messaging
system is our primary method of communicating with Americans
in Sri Lanka. Please ensure that your registration
information is current, and as always, we urge you to be
cautious and aware of your surroundings."

4. (U) Additional EACs will be convened as necessary.

ENTWISTLE

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