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Cablegate: Official Informal Number 041 (03/15/04)

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

UNCLAS COLOMBO 000453

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

OFFICIAL INFORMAL

FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMGT CE MV
SUBJECT: OFFICIAL INFORMAL NUMBER 041 (03/15/04)


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

CONTENTS: PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL TV ADDRESS
- CUBAN OFFICIAL TO SPEAK AT SL INSTITUTE
- ELECTION ASSISTANCE

PRESIDENT'S NATIONAL TV ADDRESS
-------------------------------

1. (SBU) FYI. In a pre-recorded campaign speech
televised on the evening of March 14, President Chandrika
Kumaratunga addressed the nation in Sinhala, railing
against the United National Party (UNP) government and
promoting the election manifesto of her United Party
Freedom Alliance (UPFA). In attacking the UNP, the
President stated that in its two years in charge of the
government, it had undone all the social and economic
advances of her earlier (1994-2001) People's Alliance
(PA) government. In general terms -- and after
criticizing the PM's handling of the peace process, she
also stated that she was in favor of peace and talks.

2. (SBU) As noted above, the President took the
opportunity in the speech to stump for her UPFA -- the
technical name for the SLFP-JVP alliance -- election
manifesto, which was made public on March 11 (see Colombo
446). Following are some highlights of the manifesto:

-- Under "Constitutional Reforms," the Alliance proposes
the formation of a constituent assembly to develop a new
constitution that will replace the executive presidency
with a cabinet, parliament, and new electoral system.

-- Under the third point, "To settle the National Problem
and restore lasting peace with dignity in Sri Lanka," the
manifesto states that the ceasefire (with the LTTE) will
continue and "steps will be taken to enter into a process
of negotiation with the LTTE and other groups to bring
about on reasonable conditions, a sustainable solution."
The manifesto also rejects separatism and violence,
calling for a solution that would safeguard the "unity,
sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka."

-- Under "Rehabilitation and Reconstruction in the North
and the East," the Alliance recognizes the need for
urgent relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction and
calls for changes in the related "Triple R" ministry to
accelerate the assistance programs in these areas.

-- Under "New Economic order for a Strong National
economy," which comprises roughly one-third of the entire
manifesto, the Alliance describes a "new economic order
built up through the competitive participation of a
strong private sector and strong public sector...based on
well-managed foreign investment incentives and promotion
of local industries and enterprises." FYI: You will see
our frontchannel in the coming days on the economy and
the elections. (POL/ECON)

CUBAN OFFICIAL TO SPEAK AT SL INSTITUTE
---------------------------------------

3. (SBU) FYI. On March 11, Mission received an
invitation to a lecture being held at the Sri Lanka
Institute of International Relations. The scheduled
lecturer for the March 17 session is Manuel Aguilera de
la Paz, the Cuban Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs.
De la Paz's talk, entitled "Foreign Policy of Cuba in a
Unipolar World," is being co-hosted by the Institute and
the Cuban Embassy. Just wanted to flag this lecture,
which is being given pride of place at the Sri Lankan
MFA's official institute. (POL)

ELECTION ASSISTANCE
-------------------

4. (SBU) We are organizing a press conference for
Wednesday morning at which the Ambassador will announce
our significant package of election assistance. (DCM)

LUNSTEAD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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