Pledges assistance to rebuild economy, prevent corruption, ensure good governance and human rights
By Siva Sivapragasam
The United States has cautioned the new Sri Lankan Government of the challenges it faced ahead while complementing the Government for what it has achieved during the short period of time.
This message to the Sri Lankan Government was conveyed by the visiting US Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Ms.Nisha Biswal when addressing the media in Colombo.
Ms. Biswal has had extensive talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera and stated that Sri Lanka could count on the US to be a partner and friend in the future in rebuilding the economy, preventing corruption, advancing good governance, ensuring human rights and democratic participation for all its citizens.
President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had put forth an ambitious agenda for their first 100 days and much had already been accomplished in a very shorttime, but there was a lot of hard work ahead and some difficult challenges to be faced, she noted.
Ms. Biswal referred to the congratulatory messages that US President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry had sent to Sri Lankan voters on the historic election and new opportunities that had opened up.
Referring to the economic co-operation between the two countries, she observed that since Sri Lanka achieved Independence, the US had not only provided more than USD 2 billion dollars in assistance but also bought more of its products than any country had.
Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said that it was an honour to receive a high level official such as Biswal in the first 100 days of the Srisena administration. “We discussed a range of issues at further strengthening our bilateral relations and want to raise it to a new level of cordiality. I hope to continue this dialogue with Secretary of State John Kerry when I meet him in Washington on February 12,” he said.