Obama closely following Sri Lanka says Power

01US President Barack Obama is closely watching the developments in Sri Lanka, a member of Obama’s cabinet and the US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said today.

She said this at a discussion held in Colombo with representatives of youth organisations based in Sri Lanka.

Power, who earlier in the day had talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, said that among the questions President Obama has been asking is about the current status of the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA).

Ambassador Power said that the world is watching Sri Lanka and several, especially the US, is ready to support Sri Lanka and its way forward.

“Sri Lankans made the moment,” she said with regards to the change brought about at two consecutive elections in Sri Lanka this year.

She said that while a lot still remains to be done she cannot think of any country in the world where so much change has taken place in a short period of time like in Sri Lanka.

Ambassador Power said that on her return to the US she will brief President Obama on her visit to Sri Lanka and discuss what more the US can do to help Sri Lanka.

On the way forward, Power noted that it was encouraging that the President and the opposition Tamil National Alliance are attempting to work together on several issues.

She said that while land has been returned to the civilians in the North by the army, more is yet to be given back.

But overall she was happy with the process of reconciliation which is underway in the country and the efforts of the Government to achieve reconciliation.

Meanwhile, the President’s office quoted Power as telling President Sirisena the new Government is performing in more trustworthy and acceptable manner in implementing of the process of reconciliation. She suggested broadening the relationships between the officials and the institutions who are implementing this program.

She commended the transformations that are being made in the country and stated that there is a new awakening in the country due to those changes.

“It is commendable that the President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena is giving up the power while the leaders of Asia and Africa are trying to centralize the power in their hands. This is a worthy example for the world leaders”, she said.

President Sirisena thanked the US government for the assistance provided for reconciliation process in the country. He further said that the reconciliation process will the based on finding the truth, giving justice and ensuring non-recurrence.

The President pointed out that they have to work with different types of social groups with different ideologies inn this regard and Sri Lanka is a country which faced many challenges. (Colombo Gazette)

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