GL urges broader, deeper US-SL relationship

Minister of External Affairs Professor G. L. Peiris has called for deeper ties between Sri Lanka and the United States. "We are in ‘unreserved agreement’ with last year’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee report calling for a ‘multi-faceted relationship’ that embraces trade, security and economic ties, not just human rights," he says.

Speaking on human rights, he emphasises the importance of Sri Lanka’s efforts at reconciliation.

"We understand that military victory was not the end but the beginning," Prof. Peiris said on the second day of his 4-day visit to the United States.

Minister Peiris is in the US to apprise the Congress and US government officials of Sri Lanka’s economic development and reconciliation process.

In his remarks to academics at The Heritage Foundation, he noted the "sea change" evident in Sri Lanka since the victory over terrorism a year ago. "Sri Lanka is a land of great potential" he said.

He also discussed Sri Lanka’s economic achievements and a new outlook for tourism to the country in the coming months. He said, "It is time for the US to take a fresh look at Sri Lanka."

Following the Heritage Foundation event, Minister Peiris met with Undersecretary of Defence for Policy Michele Flournoy, who acts as the premier advisor to the Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Deputy Secretary of Defense and handles a wide range of national security and defense policies.

He later met with Congressman Gary Ackerman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia of the Committee on Foreign Affairs. Later he met with National Security Adviser General James L. Jones who serves as the chief adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama on national security issues. 

In an interview with Al Jazeera’s Riz Khan, Minister Peiris spoke of the defeat of LTTE and the great impact it had had on Sri Lanka. He said the end of the LTTE meant "freedom from unmitigated oppression" for all Sri Lankans. When asked about the current state of the Tamil Community after the defeat of the LTTE, Prof. Peiris said, "The vast majority of Tamil’s didn’t want to live under the yoke of the LTTE."  He continued, "They are happy about the freedom that has now come to them."

www island.lk

Copyright©Upali Newspapers Limited.

Hosted by


Upali Newspapers Limited, 223, Bloemendhal Road, Colombo 13, Sri Lanka, Tel +940112497500