Plaudits in US for Lanka’s reconciliation drive
Appreciating the serious and comprehensive plan the Sri Lankan
Government has prepared to follow up on the Lessons Learnt and
Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) recommendations the Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton has said US looked forward to work with Sri Lanka to
pursue a better future for all Sri Lankans.
External Affairs Minister Prof.G.L. Peiris who is in Washington since
Wednesday held bilateral discussions with the Secretaty of State on
Friday. At the meeting the two counterparts discussed wide ranging
issues including accountability and reconciliation as well as the
possibility of cutting down crude oil imports from Iran.
Minister G.L. Peiris said a great deal has happened in Sri Lanka
since the end of the conflict and ‘by any standard those developments
represent a substantial accomplishment’ when he addressed the media
jointly with the Secretary of State before bilateral discussions began
The Secretary of State welcoming the Minister said ‘We were
encouraged to see the end of a very long, bloody, terrible conflict, and
look forward to working with Sri Lanka as they pursue their commitment
to a better future for all the people’.
She emphasized that the “United States wants to be a supportive
partner in those efforts”.
The State Department spokesperson told reporters in Washington at the
daily press briefing late Friday the Secretary of State had underscored
the importance of making the comprehensive LLRC implementation plan
public, winning the confidence of masses in the process and speeding up
the overall healing process.
Minister Peiris speaking to the reporters prior to the meeting added,
the most striking development during the past two years had been in the
Northern province with a 22 per cent economic growth as against the
average 8% in the rest of the country.He said the development in this
sector was given top priority due to his Government’s deep conviction
that there was an intimate connection between economic growth and
reconciliation. However the other key issues concerning, land, language
and constitutional reforms are also being addressed by the government to
ensure a complete reconciliation.
He met Assistant Secretary Robert Blake, the Special Assistant to
President Obama on National Security Samantha Power and several other
senior officials of the National Security Council, Trade representatives
and a number of senators and briefed them on post-conflict development’s
in Sri Lanka separately.
Prof. Peiris was accompanied by Minister Anura Piyadharshana Yapa,
Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, President’s Secretary Lalith
Weeratunga and Sri Lankan Ambassador to the U.S. Jaliya Wickramasuriya.
The U.S. was the largest single buyer of Sri Lankan goods in 2011,
taking nearly 22% of total exports worth US $2.15 billion.