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.
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