Colombo Telegraph

WikiLeaks: Moragoda made a startling proposal to US against NAM

By Colombo Telegraph –

Re the U.S., the intelligent, articulate Moragoda is a perfect fit. Born in Washington, D.C, he is a dual national Amcit, married to an American, with plenty of Washington connections,

“More recently, Minister Moragoda made a startling proposal to U.S. officials. In discussions in Washington, Moragoda stated that the GSL was interested in forming some sort of group that would counter the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) block of countries.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeak database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” analyses the Sri Lanka’s pro – US foreign policy under Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The cable was written on May 29, 2003 by the US Ambassador to Colombo E. Ashley Wills.

Ambassador Wills wrote “Moragoda was a bit vague about his idea. He indicated, however, that the GSL — although a charter member of the group since its formation decades ago — felt that the NAM was too strident and too anti-U.S., and that greater practicality was now called for. The way forward is still being worked on, but once the idea is fleshed out further, the current thinking is that PM Wickremesinghe might announce some sort of formal proposal re a new grouping at the UN General Assembly this September.”

“Re the U.S., the intelligent, articulate Moragoda is a perfect fit. Born in Washington, D.C, he is a dual national Amcit (please protect) married to an American, with plenty of Washington connections, many from his days as a visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and at Harvard. A “big picture” person, Moragoda is also highly aware that the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, and he feels that it is better that Sri Lanka recognize that fact and work within it.” Wills further wrote.

Below we give the relevant part of the confidential cable;

Related news to this cable;

WikiLeaks: “Ranil is a Yankee, like his uncle” US cable implies

WikiLeaks: GL a Pomme, Milinda a Yankee, US cable contends

WikiLeaks: President Chandrika a Francophile, US cable contends

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 COLOMBO 000909

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SA, SA/INS, S/P, IO, INR/NESA; NSC FOR E.
MILLARD

LONDON FOR POL/RIEDEL

E.O. 12958:  DECL:  05-29-13
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR CE UN
SUBJECT:  Sri Lanka's foreign policy:  Prime Minister
tilts toward U.S., but faces resistance

Refs:  Colombo 873, and previous

(U) Classified by Ambassador E. Ashley Wills.
Reasons:  1.5 (b,d).

1. (C) SUMMARY: Since coming to power, PM Wickremesinghe
has taken steps to steer Sri Lankan foreign policy
closer to the U.S.  In doing this, he has had successes,
including the signing of an ICC waiver with the U.S. and
in regard to Iraq where the GSL steered a constructive
course.  Moreover, one of his key ministers recently
proposed that the GSL take the lead in forming some sort
of counterweight to NAM.  That said, the PM's initiative
has faced stiff resistance from MFA bureaucrats.  In
addition, the president and Opposition, backed by much
of the press and the intelligentsia, have cut into his
room for maneuver via their generally anti-U.S. biases.
...............Moragoda's direct focus has been on cultivating
relations with the U.S. and with India.  Re the U.S.,
the intelligent, articulate Moragoda is a perfect fit.
Born in Washington, D.C, he is a dual national Amcit
(please protect) married to an American, with plenty of
Washington connections, many from his days as a visiting
fellow at the Heritage Foundation and at Harvard.  A
"big picture" person, Moragoda is also highly aware that
the U.S. is the most powerful country in the world, and
he feels that it is better that Sri Lanka recognize that
fact and work within it.

5.  (C) (((Note:  Of late, the duo of Peiris and
Moragoda have been joined by a new pro-U.S. player:  In
just several months on the job, Ambassador Devinda
Subasinghe, a U.S.-educated financier and close friend
of the PM, has already made a mark in Washington.)))
7.  (C) More recently, Minister Moragoda made a
startling proposal to U.S. officials.  In discussions in
Washington, Moragoda stated that the GSL was interested
in forming some sort of group that would counter the
Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) block of countries.  Moragoda
was a bit vague about his idea.  He indicated, however,
that the GSL -- although a charter member of the group
since its formation decades ago -- felt that the NAM was
too strident and too anti-U.S., and that greater
practicality was now called for.  The way forward is
still being worked on, but once the idea is fleshed out
further, the current thinking is that PM Wickremesinghe
might announce some sort of formal proposal re a new
grouping at the UN General Assembly this September.
WILLS

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