US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal told reporters that the country is a testament to the rest of the world and reaffirmed their support for Sri Lanka hailing the progress towards institutions of good governance, combating corruption and promoting reconciliation. Assistant Secretary Biswal stated that objective of her delegation’s visit was to reaffirm the strong US support for Sri Lanka and the re-elected Government’s commitments.
“We are incredibly proud of the journey that is being undertaken here, the story that unfolding in this great country is one that stands as a testament to the rest of the world,” Biswal said.
“We are at this momentous occasion to reaffirm the strong support of the United States for Sri Lankan people and for the commitment of the government and the people towards this path of democracy of good governance, peace and prosperity,”
“I was here last May during the historic visit of secretary Kerry and since then we have seen not only in this doing commitment to democracy but also just a tremendous momentum of progress towards institutions of good governance, towards combating corruption and towards promoting reconciliation.”
Biswal further stated that they are planning to support resettlement and education in Sampur with a commitment of one million US dollars in resources. These remarks were made following the bilateral meeting with the Foreign Minister.
US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labour Tom Malinowski said that they have seen “steady progress” towards the forward-looking agenda that the government has set and that it has been “heartening” to people all around the world.
What is most important to us is the message that the people of Sri Lanka has sent, he said.
Malinowski said: “Twice now this year the people of Sri Lanka have told us that they support change. Twice now they have voted for the rule of law, against impunity, for reconciliation, for building, developing this country for everyone and against the politics of ethnic and religious division, against extremism on both sides.”
He stated that the people of Sri Lanka have set an important challenge for their government and for the international community. “They have told us that the promise of this transition now needs to be fulfilled. And what we hear from the government is the recognition that the hard work must continue to meet their expectations.We recognize that some of the choices ahead are going to be difficult. We recognize that this process is going to take time.”
“Nobody expects miracles. But we do see an extraordinary opportunity so long as the forward momentum is sustained,” Malinowski said.
“So long as the Government of Sri Lanka keeps making courageous decisions, the US will standby its side and provide the support that is needed to keep this process going forward until Sri Lanka succeeds in every respect in terms of security, economic development, democracy and playing its rightful role as a respected leader on the world stage.”
Mr Samaraweera briefing reporters said “Now that we have achieved political stability through one of the most free and fair elections held in this country, I outlined measures being taken to address concerns regarding alleged human rights violations including through independent domestic mechanisms.”
The foreign minister said that the two nations agreed on prioritizing closer economic cooperation. The United States is Sri Lanka’s single largest export market with 23 per cent of the island nation’s total exports entering the US market.
“We want to enhance our trade and business relations and encourage more US investors to take advantage of the economic opportunities in Sri Lanka.We look forward to regular high-level interactions at all levels, reflecting the current trajectory in the US-Sri Lanka relationship,” he said.