26 September, 2020

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WikiLeaks: Sri Lanka is fiscally performing well but moving away from the West

By Colombo Telegraph –

“Ishii and Astrup recommended that the West and the International community try to bring SL back to normalcy and build the level of trust between SL and the West. While the private sector tilted to West, WB’s official noted that SL’s political orientation was moving away from the West.”  the US Ambassador Patricia A Butenis wrote to Washington after a meeting with the World Bank Country Director Naoka Ishii and Senior Economist Clause Astrup.

IMF Resident Representative Koshy Mathai - IMF is not the correct international forum to address humanitarian conditions and political goals.

A leaked US unclassified, but “SENSITIVE” diplomatic cable, recounts details of meetings the US Senate Foreign Relations staff has had with the Country Representatives of the IMF, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank between November 2-8, 2009. The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable was written on December 1, 2009 by the US Ambassador to Colombo Patricia A. Butenis.

Ambassador Butenis wrote “In the StaffDel meeting with IMF Resident Representative Koshy Mathai, he noted that SL was performing fiscally well, but should loosen its monetary policy.”  “While Mathai sympathized with international community on the need to leverage the loan, he argued the Fund was not the correct international forum to address humanitarian conditions and political goals.” she further wrote.

“On corruption issues, Vokes explained that there were tools built in to address fraud and corruption and the ADB worked with tools that addressed ‘strengthening the anti-corruption mechanisms within the country.’” Butenis wrote after the meeting with Richard Vokes, the Country Director of the Asian Development Bank

Read the below cable for further details.The Colombo Telegraph publishes the relevant part of the leaked cable below.

Related news click here US Senate Foreign Relations staff meetings

VZCZCXRO5326
PP RUEHBI
DE RUEHLM #1054/01 3270240
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 230240Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0805
INFO RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 2075
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 9103
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 7345
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 5246
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 3500
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 5184
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0719
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4299
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 9666
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 6960
RUEHON/AMCONSUL TORONTO 0040
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 3842
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 COLOMBO 001054

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR SCA/INSB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL PHUM CE
SUBJECT: SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE (SFRC) FACT FINDING
MISSION TO SRI LANKA

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On November 2-8, Senate Foreign Relations staff
members Nilmini Rubin and Fatema Sumar visited Sri Lanka and held
meetings with senior government officials, international
organizations, political leaders, civil-society activists, and
journalists to discuss post war reconciliation, resettlement of
internally displaced persons (IDPs), the humanitarian situation, and
media freedom.  They also visited the South, East and IDP camp at
Manik Farm.  The StaffDel observed that the post-war situation in
Sri Lanka was complex, particularly in light of possible elections;
Sri Lankans no longer sensed a strong partnership with the U.S.; the
U.S. "tool box" in dealing with the government of Sri Lanka (GSL)
was self-limited; a sense of palpable fear still hung over the media
and civil society; and while the GSL was making progress and doing
some good things, SL had a long way to go on reconciliation and
resettlement.  Recognizing SL's geo-strategic importance to the U.S.
and the current and long-term bilateral relationship, many SL
interlocutors gave their recommendations on strengthening the
relationship and noted a need for more U.S. assistance for
resettlement and demining. END SUMMARY.
IMF: SL PERFOMING FISCALLY WELL
-------------------------------

16. (SBU) In the StaffDel meeting with IMF Resident Representative
Koshy Mathai, he noted that SL was performing fiscally well, but
should loosen its monetary policy.  In Mathai's opinion, there were
no "conflict filters" built in the IMF, but argued that the IMF
strictly focused on macroeconomic conditions.  While Mathai
sympathized with the international community on the need to leverage
the loan, he argued the Fund was not the correct international forum
to address humanitarian conditions and political goals. The first
tranche (roughly USD 320 million) of the loan was in the reserves at
Central Bank as prescribed and the second tranche was also approved.

COLOMBO 00001054  006 OF 006

ASIAN DEVELOPMENT BANK (ADB):
SHIFTS FOCUS TO NORTH AND EAST
------------------------------

17. (SBU) ADB Country Director Richard Vokes told the StaffDel that
while they continued their work throughout the country, their focus
had shifted to the North and East.  Vokes explained the lack of
formal "conflict filter" test, but that ADB still examined their
proposed projects that impacted different communities and conflict
issues.  On corruption issues, Vokes explained that there were tools
built in to address fraud and corruption and that ADB worked with
tools that addressed "strengthening the anti-corruption mechanisms
within the country."

WORLD BANK (WB): "CONFLICT FILTER"
----------------------------------

18. (SBU) The WB Country Director Naoka Ishii and Senior Economist
Claus Astrup briefed the StaffDel on WB's "conflict filters" laid
out in the 2009-2012 Country Assistance Strategy to ensure against
WB activities inflaming the conflict.  Ishii noted that it had been
a useful engagement tool and two of their projects had slowed as a
result of the filter.  Ishii and Astrup recommended that the West
and the International community try to bring SL back to normalcy and
build the level of trust between SL and the West.  While the private
sector was tilted to the West, WB's officials noted that SL's
political orientation was moving away from the West.
 BUTENIS
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Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    So, IMF thinks Sri Lanka is fiscally performing well, but we dont have any money to buy our foods and even money to spend on our kids. Is IMF playing politics too?

    • 0
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      You don’t have money for food but an internet connection. Don’t lie man.

      • 0
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        hey man, we have internet in our office, we read it, not only Saranapala, but we can’t afford money for lots of things, i agree with Saranapala.

      • 0
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        saranapala is saranaya of international lying group, well said by u

    • 0
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      Saranapala, STOP spending time and money on writing comments and find a job that pays you. Then you will have money.

  • 0
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    Cabraal said GSL has done all that the IMF has asked including, for example, introducing new tax measures and altering its monetary policy. so IMF runs patriot regime. :) :) :)
    http://colombotelegraph.com/2011/11/13/wikileaks-what-the-us-is-doing-to-us-is-shocking-%E2%80%93-central-bank-governor/

    • 0
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      @Karu Abesinghe, true! WikiLeaks – We have done all that the IMF asked – Basil said to US
      read http://colombotelegraph.com/2011/10/17/wikileaks-we-have-done-all-that-the-imf-asked-%E2%80%93-basil-said-to-us/
      “Rajapaksa said that the government has done all that the IMF has asked, highlighting in particular the government’s efforts to raise additional revenue by raising the Nation Building Tax from 1 percent to 3 percent.” the US embassy wrote to Washington.

      A leaked cable recounts details of a meeting Charge d’Affaires of the US embassy James R Moor has had with Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapakse on April 29, 2009.

      The Colombo Telegraph found the cable from WikiLeaks database. The cable classified as “CONFIDENTIAL” by the Charge d’Affaires.

      “In a discussion initially concerning other issues, Rajapaksa said that the US is blocking Sri Lanka’s IMF request. Charge and Econ Chief underscored that the US has not threatened publicly or privately to block Sri Lanka’s Stand – by Arrangement (SBA) request, and that Ambassador Blake had confirmed the same to Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal prior to Cabraal’s departure for Fund/Bank meeting in Washington” Moor wrote to Washington.

      Moorr further wrote “when asked by Chrage about GSL efforts to secure a USD 500 million loan from Libya, Rajapaksa noted that discussion continue.”

  • 0
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    This WIKILEAKS could be fake. Why did this come out 1 day after the Budget? Rajapaksa is Master Manipulator. This just another of his deception to fool the gullible Sri Lankans

    • 0
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      Sure if it don’t fit for your diget it should be “fake”.

  • 0
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    Sri Lanka is fastly moving out of the west and already entered the comfort zone of China and parked conveniently at the court yard of India and Russia. It is not wrong to suspect by 2016 – 18, Sri Lanka may not have ties with the west and secure NO USA policy among SAARC Nations.

    Some times the issue may be fueled & created by INDO CHINA to lure strategic Island of the Indian ocean to fulfill their political objectives, leaving USA and the cast of actors out of Asian scene.
    I suspect US politicians may have learn lessons from Asians, but worries it would be too late by then

  • 0
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    I am fed with reading so,e of this garbage written by US embassy. It seems that there are different governments working within Sri Lanka, i.e. other than the one elected by the people. These are the governments planted in the country by IMF, ADB, US or whatever that is manipulating our country. US embassy is linking up with this network of rogue governments in determining what is good for SLk and what is bad. I have no idea what the really elected government is doing about all these gate crashers into SLK. Is the real government just a shadow, or it is impotent, or is it abdicating its responsibilities to the country and just concentrating in filling their private coffers? Come on MR, get hold of the reins and the control of your country, and kick these jokers out or if not harness them. It is up to the elected government to tell what is good for SLK, and all others can either follow suit or get out.

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