“I want to congratulate all of you for the tremendous work you are doing. What happens in Sri Lanka is of global consequence,” the visiting US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Designate) Thomas Shannon said in the eastern port town of Trincomalee.
“Your success in rebuilding your country and reconciling your people will be an example to the rest of the world,” he said.
He said the US will work toward equitable economic growth especially in less-developed regions creating more jobs and higher incomes.
“We will work toward an enhanced partnership between the state, civil society, and citizens. That means a strong legal system, a robust civil society, and an effective government that is able to deliver services to all Sri Lankans,” he added.
The US which moved three UN human Rights Council resolutions against Sri Lanka between 2012 and 2014 under Mahinda Rajapaksa regime has supported the current government headed by Maithripala Sirisena. The US and Sri Lanka co-sponsored a pro-Sri Lanka resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in October.
Since Maithripala Sirisena government came to power in January, there has been a stream of top level US officials visiting Sri Lanka. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s visit in May was followed by a host of other senior officials. Sirisena’s government has taken several steps to achieve reconciliation with the Tamil minority and the US has expressed support for such moves.
Several confidence-building-measures such as the release of Tamils-owned lands, lifting of travel restrictions to the North and de-escalating the military presence have been taken since January. Lanka’s main Tamil political party has accepted the government efforts to ensure reconciliation after three decades of ethnic war that claimed over 100,000 lives. (Outlook)