US says Sri Lanka has made progress on human rights

IMG_9186The United States says Sri Lanka has made progress on democratic rights, reconciliation, rule of law, and freedom of expression.

The US Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Atul Keshap, speaking at the Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) Inter-sessional discussions in Colombo today, said that the changes in Sri Lanka have created new trade and investment opportunities between Sri Lanka and the rest of the world, laying the foundation for new markets, new industries, and new jobs.

“Indeed, Sri Lanka is showing the world how reconciliation and economic growth can go hand-in-hand,” he said.

The Ambassador said that the US and Sri Lanka have a mutual goal to strengthen the economic relationship between the two countries and also help improve Sri Lanka’s trade, investment, and labor rules in order to encourage foreign direct investment and provide economic benefits and jobs to the Sri Lankan people.

Assistant US Trade Representative Michael Delaney, who also spoke, said that the US has been Sri Lanka’s largest trading partner and Sri Lanka’s trade with the US is an important bedrock of the economy, accounting for many thousands of jobs across the island.

” I do firmly believe that the task of national reconciliation will be made much easier in an environment characterized by rapid economic growth and job creation. Conversely, the task of national reconciliation will be all the more challenging in the environment of stagnant or even declining growth and employment prospects,” he said.

Michael Delaney said the US aims to grow the role of external trade and investment and in the process create jobs and prosperity for the people of Sri Lanka. (Colombo Gazette)