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Cablegate: Official Informal Number 014 (01/30/04)

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

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000179

SIPDIS

OFFICIAL INFORMAL

FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT CE MV
SUBJECT: OFFICIAL INFORMAL NUMBER 014 (01/30/04)


CONTENTS: CTAG MEETING HERE ON FEBRUARY 5
- AMBASSADOR'S FUND FOR REFUGEES REQUEST
- LATEST ON SLFP-JVP ALLIANCE
- NEW HEAD FOR MONITORING MISSION


CTAG MEETING HERE ON FEBRUARY 5
-------------------------------

1. (U) FYI. As requested in State 14279, Mission will host
a local Counterterrorism Action Group (CTAG) meeting on
February 5 to discuss and compile the counterterrorism
assistance and training that has been provided to Sri Lanka
by CTAG members. We have invited Australia, Canada, EU,
France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands (as local
representative of the EU presidency), the Russian
Federation, Switzerland, and the UK. We will report front-
channel following next week's meeting. (POL)

AMBASSADOR'S FUND FOR REFUGEES REQUEST
-------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Just want to flag for you that Post has submitted
a request for funding through the 2004 Ambassador's Fund for
Refugees. The full text of the request can be found in
Colombo 175. Any information on the progress of the request
would be appreciated. Thanks. (POL)

LATEST ON SLFP-JVP ALLIANCE
---------------------------

3. (SBU) FYI. The SLFP-JVP link-up, now entitled the
"United People's Freedom Alliance" (UPFA), continues to
generate news. The following are some recent
developments:

-- The newly formed alliance held its first political
meeting on January 29, with a rally attended by several
thousand supporters in Colombo. Both JVP and SLFP
officials made remarks, including UK-based JVP leader
Somawansa Amarasinghe. A speech marking the occasion by
President Kumaratunga, who did not attend the January 29
rally, was also read to the crowds. In it, the
President recognized the "policy differences" between
the SLFP and the JVP, but stated that the two parties
"will compromise to find a permanent solution to the
ethnic conflict and establish a lasting peace."

-- The alliance, itself, continues to evolve. Douglas
Devananda, leader of the Eelam People's Democratic Party
(EPDP), an anti-LTTE Tamil political party, has said his
group has joined the alliance. The anti-Rauf Hakeem
Muslim party, the National Unity Alliance (NUA), is also
considering joining. Meanwhile, some small
(traditional) leftist parties within the President's
People's Alliance (PA) have stated they will not be part
of the SLFP-JVP link-up because they are disturbed by
its potential impact on the peace process.

-- There have also been slight indications that
President Kumaratunga's children are not happy with the
link-up between the two parties. While never proven, it
has been strongly alleged that the JVP was behind the
late 1980's assassination of the their father, Vijaya
Kumaratunga. According to media reports, Sunethra
Bandaranaike, President Kumaratunga's sister, has also
expressed her displeasure over the link-up.

NEW HEAD FOR MONITORING MISSION
-------------------------------

4. (U) FYI. Retired Norwegian Major General Trond
Furuhovde will arrive in Colombo on January 31 to take
up duties as head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission
(SLMM). Furuhovde was previously posted to Sri Lanka,
serving as the head of the monitoring group from 2002-
2003. Furuhovde replaces Tryggve Teleffsen, another
retired Norwegian military officer, who was recalled to
Norway after President Kumaratunga called for his ouster
in October 2003. Teleffsen is now serving in Jerusalem
as the head of a monitoring mission there. (POL)

LUNSTEAD

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