US embassy cable - 04COLOMBO250

OFFICIAL INFORMAL NUMBER 023 (02/13/04)

Identifier: 04COLOMBO250
Wikileaks: View 04COLOMBO250 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Colombo
Created: 2004-02-13 06:20:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: AMGT CE MV Elections
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

C O N F I D E N T I A L COLOMBO 000250 
 
SIPDIS 
 
OFFICIAL INFORMAL 
 
FOR SA/INS 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL:  02/13/14 
TAGS: AMGT, CE, MV, Elections 
SUBJECT:  OFFICIAL INFORMAL NUMBER 023 (02/13/04) 
 
Classified by POL Chief Joseph L. Novak for reasons 1.5 (b) 
and (d). 
 
CONTENTS: CAMPAIGN UPDATE 
-         NOMINATION FOR POLITICAL LE TRAINING 
 
CAMPAIGN UPDATE 
--------------- 
 
1.  (C) FYI.  Just wanted to flag the following items 
regarding the Sri Lankan parliamentary election 
campaign: 
 
-- Has Milinda Moragoda officially resigned (see 
Colombo 242)?:  According to February 13 press 
reports, the President has sent a letter to the Prime 
Minister stating that Minister Moragoda's resignation 
letter is not/not valid, as it was addressed to the PM 
and not directly to the President.  She reportedly 
stated that she would take action -- reassign 
Moragoda's economic reforms ministry portfolio to 
Finance Minister Choksy -- only after she received a 
resignation request directly from Moragoda. 
 
-- Corruption Allegations:  SLFP and JVP members have 
leveled corruption allegations against 14 ministers 
and 6 other UNP officials.  Although the charges seem 
to be without a strong basis, they are an indication 
of how fast and furious and vituperative the effort to 
win votes is already becoming. 
 
-- Tigers:  According to contacts, Tiger political 
chief S.P. Thamilchelvam and his delegation are 
extending their European tour until February 18 from 
their original February 14 return date.  Locally, the 
group has been basically quiet; earlier this week, 
however, Tiger eastern military leader "Colonel" 
Karuna was quoted as making some moderate themed 
comments about the situation in the south, indicating 
perhaps that the LTTE wants to underscore a 
willingness to show patience. 
 
-- Polls:  Just want to mention that this is not Iowa 
or New Hampshire and there are not a myriad of polls 
showing how the horse race is shaping up.  In fact, we 
have not seen a poll yet.  We'll tell you when we do. 
We have heard that the Center for Policy Alternatives 
is planning to do a poll which should be ready in mid- 
March.  By the way, there were only two-three polls 
made public during the whole of the last parliamentary 
election campaign in late 2001.  (POL) 
 
NOMINATION FOR POLITICAL LE TRAINING 
------------------------------------ 
 
2.  (U) The Desk will see a front-channel nominating Pol 
FSN Prasad Gajaweera for Political FSN training at FSI 
in September 2004.  We would appreciate it if you would 
touch base with FSI on this soon.  We would dearly like 
Prasad to be able to get the needed training.  Thanks. 
(POL) 
 
LUNSTEAD 

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