483. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Sri Lanka1

57199. New Delhi for Ambassador Toussaint. Subject: Jayewardene Letter to President Carter.

Following is text of letter from Sri Lankan President Jayewardene to President Carter. Letter, dated February 22, was hand-carried to Washington by Finance Minister De Mel.2

Begin text


It gives me great pleasure to send the Hon’ble Ronnie De Mel, my Minister of Finance and Planning, as my special envoy to you.

Our two countries have a long record of friendship and cooperation based on a shared attachment to democratic ideals and human rights. As you are aware, Sri Lanka is one of the few developing countries which has demonstrated her deep commitment to these ideals. I am sure you also appreciate how difficult it is for a country like Sri Lanka to sustain and nourish these ideals without rapid economic growth and increased prosperity for its people.

It is in this context that my government has embarked on an accelerated programme of economic development within the framework of [Page 1100] a liberalised economy. The success of this programme is not only of vital importance to the people of Sri Lanka but is also a test of the applicability and viability of this type of democratic and economic system in a developing country. I therefore look forward to my Minister having an opportunity to explain to you the scope and priorities of our programme of development. I am confident that we will have your understanding and cooperation to find a solution to some of the problems that face Sri Lanka in the implementing of this programme.

May I also take this opportunity to convey to you my sincere appreciation of the assistance the United States has given in the past and gives now to Sri Lanka to maintain and to continue its programmes of development.

Yours sincerely,

(J.R. Jayewardene)

End text.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800110–0930. Limited Official Use; Immediate. Sent for information Immediate to New Delhi. Drafted by Lee O. Coldren (NEA/INS); cleared in NSC and S/S; approved by Schaffer.
  2. See Document 482.