US working to help advance Sri Lankan voters’ vision

The United States (US) says it working to help advance Sri Lankan voters’ vision of a country that is a stable, peaceful, and democratic, with freedom, equal opportunity, and equal treatment for all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender.

In a message to mark America’s Declaration of Independence which is celebrated today, the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Atul Keshap said America’s relationship with Sri Lanka is strong and growing, not just in Colombo but throughout the island.

“I was recently in the Eastern Province, where the United States and other international friends of Sri Lanka have funded landmine clearance efforts that allowed us to declare Batticaloa free of residual risk from mines. In May, together with U.S. Congressman Bill Johnson, I visited Jaffna to see how the U.S. Agency for International Development is working with local businesses to create employment opportunities. In southern Sri Lanka, U.S. Pacific Command sailors from USS Lake Erie provided needed humanitarian assistance after recent floods in Matara and Ratnapura, and other U.S. servicemen and women undertook “Operation Pacific Partnership,” providing medical care and training in Hambantota and Ambalantota – along with musical performances by the 7th Fleet Band in Hambantota, Galle Fort, Matara and Tangalle. Meanwhile, our American Corner at the D.S. Senanayake Public Library in Kandy hosted more than 20,000 visitors last year, Sri Lankans of all ages interested in learning more about the United States, and participating in classes about computer coding, entrepreneurship and English language,” he said.

The Ambassador also noted that the new US Embassy on Galle Road, in Colombo when completed in 2019, will offer comfortable facilities for visa applicants, a new American Center, and room for us to host meetings, conferences and social events. It will also showcase the best of American architectural design, Sri Lankan workmanship and materials and include energy saving features such as solar power and capture and reuse of rainwater.

“Today, on July 4, we celebrate the continued friendship between Sri Lanka and the United States. With our shared values and longstanding governmental and people-to-people ties, we are working together to help advance Sri Lankan voters’ vision of a country that is a stable, peaceful, and democratic, with freedom, equal opportunity, and equal treatment for all, regardless of ethnicity, religion, or gender. As we look forward to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and the United States in 1948, it is my great honor to wish all Americans in Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankan friends of America a very happy Fourth of July,” he said. (Colombo Gazette)

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