474. Telegram From the Embassy in Sri Lanka to the Department of State1

3050. Subj: Meeting With Prime Minister J.R. Jayewardene.

1. In first interview with new PM Jayewardene, I offered to arrange briefing on naval activity of Soviet and American navies. He showed no interest, saying he was adequately informed for his purposes. The important thing from his point of view was that the external fleets not disappear since that would “leave us at the mercy of the Indians, who have the only regional navy of consequence.” He said he had discussed this with Mrs. Bandaranaike already and she agreed.

2. I indicated the seriousness with which the U.S. and the Soviets were trying to reach mutually agreed limitation, but there was no evidence either were ready to abandon the Indian Ocean to the other or to Ceylon’s larger neighbors. His forthrightness is far more characteristic of the present PM than his predecessor, but his frankness must be protected.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770302–0297. Secret; Exdis.