Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion told reporters in Colombo that Canada encourages Sri Lanka to take advantage of the current momentum to move forward on reforms, including those to strengthen good governance and economic stability.
“It is clear that delays in the implementation of these critical reforms are not in the public interest,” he said following talks with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera.
Dion, who also had talks with President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, said that Canada has much to share with Sri Lanka including the experience on issues such as official languages, the devolution of power, sustainable economic development, empowerment of women, legal expertise and youth skills development.
“Canada is committed to helping Sri Lanka further strengthen democracy and peace for all of its citizens. We note the importance of meaningful international involvement in such accountability and reconciliation mechanisms,” he added.
The Canadian Foreign Minister also said that there is a need to focus especially on communities most directly affected by the conflict and Canada is ready to contribute to the re-establishment of livelihood opportunities for those displaced.
“Canada would like to explore our trading relationship, because this is for the mutual benefit of both of our people. Partnership opportunities are on the horizon in sectors such as aviation, infrastructure, power supply, clean technology and agri-foods,” the Minister added.
He noted that the long-term objective in post war Sri Lanka must be to respect distinct identities while working to bring them together to strengthen the whole country, adding that in a time where apprehension between peoples is causing havoc, trust must triumph. (Colombo Gazette)