The Sri Lankan government says there is no rift with the United States despite differences of opinion on some issues.
The government says genuine support received from the US in terms of technology, training, intelligence sharing and curbing the activities of LTTE front organizations in the US soil has been vital for Sri Lanka’s success in overcoming terrorism.
A statement from the Sri Lankan Embassy in Washington quoted Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya as saying that the US rendered unstinted support during Sri Lanka’s ordeal against terrorism and assisted in post-conflict development and reconciliation.
“I do not have to tell you that Sri Lankans lived in fear for nearly three decades under brutal attack by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. What you may not know is that the United States was the first and most vocal Western nation to label the Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization, and the U.S. Departments of Treasury and Justice were instrumental in tracking foreign funding of the LTTE”, he stated.
Elaborating on the current state of US- Sri Lankan relations Ambassador averred that the two countries are not at odds , but continue to expand mutually beneficial partnerships.
“Now there is the perception that our two nations are at odds, with the introduction of a resolution before the UN Human Rights Council urging Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations of our own LLRC report. This is something Sri Lanka has already undertaken. We could not agree more on the importance of these measures to ensure that terrorism never again returns”, he said.
The Ambassador explained that the only disagreement is about the method and timing of the implementation and exhorted that a resolution at the United Nations Human Rights Council is not in the interest of an effective implementation process, due to the perception of undue pressure from abroad.
“Sri Lanka is moving in the right direction in the interest of our citizens, and we are keen to broaden our bilateral relationship with the U.S. We need to re-chart the conversation beyond humanitarian and political reforms,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)