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04COLOMBO705 2004-04-28 11:14:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Colombo
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Tags:   AMGT CE MV 
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1. (U) FYI. After much wrangling with the President
over the content of their ministerial portfolios (see
Colombo 702, and previous), the JVP accepted the
compromise offered by Kumaratunga and eight JVP MPs
assumed their minister- and deputy-ministerships in an
April 28 ceremony. The JPV took control of the
Agricultural, Lands, and Irrigation; Cultural Affairs
and National Heritage; Rural Economy and Rural
Industries; Fisheries and Aquatic Resources ministries.
We will be providing bio-data. (POL)



2. (C) FYI. Contacts have told us that members of
President Kumaratunga's Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP)
are in low-level discussions with members of the United
National Party (UNP) about the possible formation of a
"national" government. (The DCM heard a similar report
from the Australian High Commissioner, a well-informed
diplomat.) No further details are available. At this
point, it seems unlikely that either the President or
the UNP leadership will put the past behind them and
take the big plunge. Should the two parties reach an
agreement, however, it could be a way for the President
to ease out of her alliance with the JVP, which has
already proved to be contentious. The UNP is also not
thrilled to be working closely with the TNA. (POL)



3. (SBU) FYI. Former Foreign Minister Tyronne Fernando
has officially resigned from the UNP via a letter to
former PM Wickremesinghe. Fernando has been quite
public of late about his ire with the UNP after he was
not accorded a parliamentary seat on the UNP's "National
List." He wrote a public letter of complaint to former
PM Wickremesinghe in the days immediately following the
election (see Colombo 669). There are rumors that
Fernando will join the UNP's rival, the UPFA, but there
is no confirmation of this. (POL)



4. (C) Helgesen and Solheim arrive Saturday, supposed
to see CBK on Sunday. Solheim will then go to the Wanni
while Helgesen will continue to Indonesia to meet a
longstanding commitment there. The Ambassador (in
Jaffna today) is hosting a co-chair lunch Thursday.