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Cablegate: Sri Lanka Supports Postponing Unga Vote On Rights

VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLM #1710 2900502
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 170502Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4494
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 9501
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1427
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0459

UNCLAS COLOMBO 001710

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR IO/UNP AND SCA/INS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM KTIA UNGA CE
SUBJECT: SRI LANKA SUPPORTS POSTPONING UNGA VOTE ON RIGHTS
OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

REF: A) STATE 169257 B) COLOMBO 01020

This message is sensitive but unclassified.

1. (SBU) The Australian High Commission approached us
regarding joint delivery of reftel demarche, to which we
agreed. Poloff accompanied Australian Deputy High
Commissioner and political officer to a meeting on October 13
with Sumedha Ekanayake, Deputy Director for UN and
Multilateral Affairs at Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign
Affairs. The Australians took the lead, and providing copies
of ref (a) non-papers. We, in turn, emphasized that the
absence of a definition of indigenous peoples was a
fundamental flaw that could easily encourage self-selected
population subsets to disregard national laws.

2. (SBU) Ekanayake responded that Sri Lanka has no
strongly-held positions on this matter and would likely go
along with an emerging consensus. However, Ekanayake said
some members of the Asian group, particularly Bangladesh,
have significant objections to the text. Barring the
emergence of an Asian group common position, he undertook to
instruct the Sri Lankan permanent representative in New York
to push for postponement of the UNGA vote.
MOORE

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