The United States says it will stand “shoulder to shoulder” with the Sri Lankan Government as it rebuilds the economy, advances good governance and the rule of law, and works to ensure equal rights and human rights and equal opportunity for all.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Colombo, Robert Hilton said that the US Embassy is extending support for a reconciled and unified Sri Lanka.
The US Embassy in Colombo quoted Robert Hilton as expressing these views at the opening of a US-funded refurbished school in Batticaloa.
“The future of Sri Lanka is its youth, and that future depends on access to a quality education in a safe and nurturing environment. Originally built in 1976, this all-girls school was selected by the U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) for upgrades based on recommendations from the Sri Lankan Eastern Province Ministry of Education and the Disaster Management Center. Together, the US Government and the Sri Lankan Ministry of Education have invested 95 million rupees (approx. $624,750) to build this three-story addition to the school. This addition means that another 480 students will have the opportunity to pursue their education,” Robert Hilton said.
He said the walls of the new addition offer a safe environment for students to explore new concepts and challenge old notions.
“The windows provide students a view of different landscapes of ideas, while the doors open to new opportunities. This is what a school represents: a chance for Sri Lanka’s youth to learn, to examine, to challenge. It is especially important to offer these opportunities to young women and girls. The education of women has historically been overlooked in many societies, including my own. I’m pleased we can provide this assistance to the future female leaders of Sri Lanka. There is more to this structure than just a school, however. We are standing in a densely populated area that is unfortunately vulnerable to natural disasters. Because of this, we have worked with the Disaster Management Center to construct a building that can serve as an emergency shelter for the local population in times of need. The kitchen can prepare 500 meals a day and the new 35,000-liter water catchment system and 2,000 and 500 liter water tanks will ensure safe drinking water for anyone who shelters here,” he said.
“This cooperation is part of the U.S. Embassy and government’s support for a reconciled and unified Sri Lanka. We stand shoulder to shoulder with the Sri Lankan government as it rebuilds the economy, advances good governance and the rule of law, and works to ensure equal rights and human rights and equal opportunity for all. I am pleased to be here today to inaugurate a small piece of this vision,” he added. (Colombo Gazette)