Power says Obama places importance on ties with Sri Lanka

United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power Holds Press Conference At United NationsThe US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Samantha Power says US President Barack Obama places importance on the relationship the US has with Sri Lanka.

Speaking at a United States-Sri Lanka Trade and Investment Framework Agreement Council Meeting, Power said that the US is committed to Sri Lanka’s continued progress and is determined to support President Maithripala Sirisena in his efforts to ensure that this progress delivers socio-economic benefits for the people of Sri Lanka.

“Of course, the fact that we are all here in an incredibly positive atmosphere reflects just how much has changed in Sri Lanka since January 2015. That was the month where Sri Lankans cast their votes for a new era: one in which their leadership committed to seeking a durable peace, an accountable democracy, a new relationship with the outside world, and expanded opportunities for all,” she said.

She noted that in the sixteen months since that election, President Sirisena’s administration has made extraordinary progress toward these goals and the difference in the political and the security climate is felt across the island.

“When I visited in November, the change since my last visit in 2010 was palpable. People told me that it felt as though a repressive climate of fear had been lifted and that they could breathe again. Activists felt safe to work openly and, of course, to criticize the Government with new fervor. Journalists reported freely; political prisoners were being released; land was being returned to the people; and the internally displaced were beginning to go home in new numbers. As part of its determination to deal with the abuses of the past, moreover, the Government had committed to justice and reconciliation processes to try to serve all Sri Lankans. I’ve traveled to a lot of places going through transition and change, many of which have gone through conflict – of course every conflict is different from every other conflict – but conflict that also has left deep scars in a nation, as it has Sri Lanka, and I can say I have never seen a country take such swift strides in so little time. And I think it’s extremely important that when a country takes such steps that the United States be there with you and have your back because it’s certainly not easy,” she said.

She also noted that Sri Lanka has, since January 2015, emerged as a global champion of human rights and democratic accountability.

“In an era when you just open a newspaper and see yet another world leader trying to change their constitution, expand the powers of whatever office they hold, here you have a situation where President Sirisena’s Government has passed an amendment to Sri Lanka’s constitution that reintroduced a two-term limit and reduced the power of his own office. To cite another example, Sri Lanka demonstrated last year its emerging leadership in UN peacekeeping, when President Sirisena announced new substantial military and police commitments – including infantry battalions, special forces, and combat logistic units – in a manner that’s going to benefit regional and global peace and security. This was one of the most impressive and significant pledges made at President Obama’s peacekeeping summit. And finally, Sri Lanka is in the midst of joining the Open Government Partnership, which will help it put in place some of the best practices that have been learned around the world in improving transparency, enhancing democratic accountability, and, critically, fighting corruption,” she added.

Power, who is a member of Obama’s cabinet, said that a lot remains to be done in Sri Lanka, including on such goals as transitional justice, promoting lasting reconciliation, improving the quality of governance and clearing out the red tape.

“And we are very clear-eyed about the challenges ahead, including the one that brings us together today, which is ensuring that the progress extends to Sri Lanka’s economy, and that it leads to improvements in daily lives,” she said.

She also said that the the principles laid out in the Joint Action Plan between Sri Lanka and the US and the initiatives they facilitate will help further break down the barriers for women entrepreneurs, and again, that’s to the benefit of all Sri Lankans.

Power says the United States will seek to leverage its assistance this year to further support broad-based economic growth. Sri Lanka’s acceptance as a threshold member of the Millennium Challenge Corporation will provide another means through which the US can provide financial and development assistance.

Power added that everyone wants Sri Lanka to be a country that is peaceful and democratic, where every citizen has a fair chance to build a better life. (Colombo Gazette)

6 COMMENTS

  1. Of course it is important to maintain good ties to keep the division among Sinhalese, in order to achieve your ulterior motives. You had done a fantastic job for Tamils, they can’t do anything other than just following you blindly, even though Tamils are five times in population in the world compare to Sinhalese.

    Eventually, good governance leaders will find out your ulterior motives, and conclude ‘we are not smart as we thought.’ The Rajapaksas thought that they were too smart, eventually they found the reality. Surely, good governance leaders’ turn will come in due time.

    Tamils avoided people like me and gone backward. Likewise, it will happen to Sinhalese as well. Because the West knows how to keep the Tamil and Sinhalese leaders away from intellectuals. The West does a negative propaganda on smart people who do not join them. The Western Countries are the masters at occupying the high ground, and translating it into great power. In their hands morality becomes a weapon, they wield to attract attention to their cause while distracting attention to others. They make such a show of moral superiority that the others feel ashamed to disagree with them.

    Diaspora leaders, the TNA leaders, and the good governance leaders all feel ashamed to disagree with the Western propaganda. South Asia can only move forward when leaders take their stand for their people, not for the White man. Show me some courage of your forefathers who fearlessly fought against the white man to free our region.

  2. AS long as MS goes on his knees to the US, UK, E the soundbites are very sweet!!!!! Hope and pray that Sri Lanka will not end up like Iraq, Libya , a Bosnia orthe 26th state of Endia the biggest cutthroat of the lot.

  3. Antany have you been advising do nothing not my fault no one tells me anything Obama.
    Tragic isn’t it slogans “Hope & Change Yes we can!” distance memory for a lame duck president. As I see it Obama’s greatest achievement is giving chance to loud mouth unprincipled fake haired yet wealthy TV reality character Donald Drumph to run at the precedency.
    And some news for you Tamils are doing very well without listening to your un-coherent muddled up word of wisdom. They have gone to achieve high accolades and hold responsible position on many countries un like you bitter failure who plays look at me I’m so educated so West is after me I’m victim turncoat cape crusader..

    • “Tamils are doing very well without listening to your un-coherent muddled up word of wisdom”

      They have listened to people like you that is why the LTTE became the ruthless terrorist outfit in the world, and Tamils got nothing after thirty years of Asia’s longest brutal civil war. If I achieved nothing, you wouldn’t have deleted my citizenship, or put me in prison for nothing or stopped me from attending my mother’s funeral. You hate me, because I have exposed your fake morality to the world, especially to the dragon.

      My hardships and sacrifices are not in vain. Because the Asians are catching up with your fake morality, especially the dragon. Indians may by your BS, but the almighty dragon won’t. In due time the dragon will wiggle you all by its tail.

      Keep saying to yourself “Antany hasn’t achieved anything” in order to sleep better, but the truth is I have achieved something significant. When you started the Arab Spring I have alerted the Chinese. I have saved a major country in Asia. Read my website and tell me, any Asian, Arab or African have exposed you skillfully with knowledge and experience?

      I have given back to you with interest, not only for what you had done to me, but for what you had done for my parents, grandparents and forefathers. Remember, you had ripped off South Asia for centuries. I haven’t finished with you yet, I still haven’t done enough to Australian Aboriginal children. I will be up close and personal with you soon. I am not scared of you, I am here in Asia to enlighten my fellow countrymen and fellow Asians.

      • [Keep saying to yourself “Antany hasn’t achieved anything” in order to sleep better, but the truth is I have achieved something significant. When you started the Arab Spring I have alerted the Chinese. I have saved a major country in Asia. Read my website and tell me, any Asian, Arab or African have exposed you skillfully with knowledge and experience?]
        Oh! so you are covert adviser to China ? My side’s are ready to explode laughing while rolling on the floor thank for the humor Joke of the 2016!!!
        Di you miss the trip to China with John Key or did you miss the flight.

  4. [Tamils avoided people like me and gone backward. Likewise, it will happen to Sinhalese as well.]
    So the Joker still alive !! Listen and learn that’s why two ears and one mouth.

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