19 September, 2020

Blog

Today Is A Great Day For The US-Sri Lanka Relationship

By Thomas A. Shannon

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr.

Thank you very much, Mr. Foreign Secretary. What a great pleasure to be here today in Colombo, and what a great pleasure to be standing here with you, sir. As you noted, we worked together in Washington when you were Sri Lanka’s Ambassador during a period of momentous change in Sri Lanka and of enormous advancement in U.S.-Sri Lankan relationships. You played a vitally important role in fashioning that relationship and explaining it to the American people, and to the American Congress, and Executive Branch. You were a great diplomat, and I’m glad that your skill has been recognized by your own government and that you’re here working as Foreign Secretary and playing such an important role in shaping Sri Lanka’s diplomacy, now much further than just our bilateral relationship, but globally.

It’s an enormous pleasure to be here in Colombo for the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue. This is the second time we have met in this format, as the Foreign Secretary has noted, and it has proven to be a valuable forum for discussion of our many important areas of collaboration. I commend Sri Lanka on its courageous decision to commit to a process of reform that promotes greater equality and prosperity for Sri Lankans regardless of ethnicity or religion. The United States fully supports those working to build a reconciled Sri Lanka, and commends the positive steps towards a new constitution and post-war justice, reconciliation, and accountability. As the government makes progress in this area, our bilateral relationship will continue to grow.

During my meetings today with Sri Lankan officials and the Foreign Secretary, we addressed many substantive issues, including further strengthening bilateral relations, security in the Indian Ocean region, sustainable infrastructure development, and our united approach to North Korea’s unlawful weapons program, that threatens and undermines international peace and security.

The United States and Sri Lanka share common goals as fellow democracies, both working to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. We are strong partners, and today our relations are at an all-time high. The United States and Sri Lanka are committed to building an open and resilient Indo-Pacific region, where all countries can prosper, protect international laws and safeguards and standards, and work to protect sovereignty.

Renewing our commitment towards strengthening the bond between us, I am pleased to announce that the United States Peace Corps is working with the Sri Lankan government to return American volunteers to Sri Lanka’s English classrooms. As we know, English language ability opens doors to greater economic and educational opportunities, and opens a window on to a wider world. We stand ready to offer you the talents of our best and brightest Americans in recognition of the progress Sri Lanka has made towards ensuring peace and stability for all of its people.

Additionally, I am pleased to announce a new $21 million project by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Food for Progress Program. This program will help increase the productivity of Sri Lanka’s dairy sector, and connect thousands of Sri Lankan farmers to local and regional markets.

I am also pleased to announce that the United States will offer a second U.S. Coast Guard cutter to the Sri Lankan Navy, pending completion of Congressional notification. This vessel, a Secretary-class, high-endurance cutter, will enable Sri Lanka to more effectively police its coastline and exclusive economic zone, and to protect its sea-lanes of communication. This transfer goes beyond solely providing a capability, this Coast Guard cutter is a tangible symbol of our growing partnership and reflects our shared commitment to regional stability.

Today is a great day for the U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship. As the government of Sri Lanka moves ahead with its reforms to promote justice, accountability, reconciliation, and human rights, the United States will continue to partner with Sri Lanka to foster economic development and advance equal rights and opportunities for all persons in this great nation.

I would like to conclude by thanking you, Mr. Foreign Secretary, for your friendship and for hosting me today, and for all the tremendous work you have done in making this dialogue and partnership a success. Thank you very much.

*Speech delivered by Under Secretary for Political Affairs Thomas A. Shannon, Jr. at the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue, Colombo, Sri Lanka -November 6, 2017

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 3
    0

    Thank you very much, Mr Shannon. It’s an enormous pleasure to welcome you again here in Colombo for the 2nd U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue. Sri Lanka and the United States share common goals as fellow democracies, both working to promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

    Renewing our commitment towards strengthening the bond between us, I am pleased to announce a grant of Rs 76 million for organisations which can come up with ideas and projects to promote religious freedom in the USA.

    We want the applying organisation to come up with proposals to develop and implement early warning systems to mitigate large-scale violence; and implement conflict mitigation programs between the Muslim community and majority groups.

    The applicant also needs to indicate successful programme activities to counter hateful or discriminatory public messages (D J T@Twitter?) with positive messages using all kinds of media.

    *Speech delivered by Foreign Secretary Hon Ravindra Sandresh Karunanayake at the U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue, Colombo, Sri Lanka -November 6, 2018

    • 0
      0

      Yes Blakepala. Sense of humour helps!

    • 0
      0

      Good one Blakepala:
      We need an investigation into the US Role in the UNP-SLFP bi-partisan Avant Guard Scam with Gota, the US citizen and Tilak Marapona the con-man FM to privatize the Sri Lanka Navy operations exposed by Travis Siniah who also opposed the Russian ship scam.
      Avant Guard is the name of a US intelligence and and Global surveillance company.

      The Avant Guard float armoury scam was organized by Gotabaya Rajapaksa, a US citizen who is protected by its jurisdiction, in collusion with Tilak Marapona.
      Why has there never been an investigation of the Avant Guard Scam of Gotabaya and Wijedasa Rajapaksa and Marapona, although Travis Sinniah clearly said that it was a lucrative Naval operation before it was privatized as Avant guard?
      Avant Guard was set up by Gota with, Wijedasa Rajapakse and the other UNP crook Tilak Marapona whose brother is Namal Rajapaksa’s lawyer in money laundering cases.
      Here too we see – bi-partisan SLFP-UNP, Gota a US citizen, supposedly a war criminal but protected by US juridiction and Marapona the Foreign Minister tangoing to tunes and pandering to the double dealing security strategy of a superpower that is militarizing the Indian Ocean against China

      This is important. The UNP -SLFP bi partisan collusion in corruption, clearly evident from the Avant Guard affair, is organized, encouraged and brokered in the name of “reconciliation” by and for the US Deep state security interests, whose orders are followed by bond scam Ranil. Bondscam Ranil who relies on advice of Foreign Economic Hit men is least interested in the fate of Lankans but believes that he must further US interests to survive.

  • 2
    0

    Sir,
    The Secretary, Thomas A. Shannon refers to I guess is Esala Weerakoon. Bradman’s son. One could say Esala is another symbol of nepotism. He has been grabbing plum diplomatic postings all over the world. Via political connections? Yes! Even then, Esala is an incredibly talented diplomat in his own right, who has served SL so well silently. A bit like Travis Sinniah, if you like. As correctly recognized by Thomas A. Shannon, Esala was a great asset to Sri Lanka in Washington. One may also recall, Esala was serving as deputy in Washington. His esteemed ambassador then was His Excellency the notorious Jaliya Wickramasuriya. Defeated Maharaja’s cousin & Tea Mudalali. Now in jail for corruption. We are indeed a “Great Nation”, aren’t we? YES!
    Cheers!
    PS: Thank you very much Mr. Shanon for those Peace Corps English teachers and the Coast Guard Cutter. These are things we actually need very badly. Whether we actually like your hidden Geo-Political agenda in the Indian Ocean or not.

  • 1
    0

    Has anyone listened to Sira’s cyanide speech today!
    Lankaenews blocked by TRC

  • 3
    0

    If these present leaders have any intelligence, they will keep the Americans/Chinese/Indians out of this country. They are always up to some tricks. If they like you, then there is something huge for them at the end of the tunnel. They will use a small piece of cheese and catch a big rat for themselves.

    • 1
      1

      I say European Union, Britain, Tamils and muslims too.

    • 1
      1

      Aren’t the Americans helping the Tamils by fake “human rights” concerns? You should really support them. Don’t say keep them out of this country!

      • 1
        0

        Nuisance, no the Americans are busy trying to fix your mental issues.

  • 1
    0

    When will these US big-shots stop coming to Sri Lanka and yapping crap while their master Trump yaps worse crap in Washington?

    All total crap, I say! Their visits here don’t help anybody. Least of all the yahapalanaya-ites! The US guy in Colombo reminds me of Humpty-Dumpty whenever I see him. Other than for laughs, none of this is useful.

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 1
    0

    Thank you Sri Lanka. This will help us promote our American Evangelical Prosperty Gospel more. As you know, we do not care about Human Rights and Civilian deaths really. We killed thousands of civilians in Vietnam and called it “military body counts” in the 1960s 70s. But we did succeed in converting a lot of South Vietnamese to become Christians. We do believe by becoming Christian your problems can be overcome when you forget you are Muslim, Hindoo or Buddhists because you put your faith in our Jesus. We do not really care about Yemenis starving under the Saudi Blockade. Our New President is keen on killing ISIS but along with that we must also share our gospel. Look at how rich we are. Look at how powerful we are. We can destroy any nation we wish to. But we chose not to do so unless there is oil; because Jesus tells us to love one another. So this is really great. Last time I lived there after the Tsunami we saved a lot of souls in Galle area and we now have lots of churches in that area and even Matara. This time I will be working in Jaffna and Batticaloa to save your people and getting them to accept Jesus. We will continue God’s work and also convert confused gay and lesbian people. Our Vice President Pence is a great Christian and he has set forth us to to convert these misguided souls. That is why we are excited about getting a military base soon in Trincomalee. So with a base we can fight help see your Jesus better

  • 1
    0

    We also very happy for the first time you have American Evangelical Assembly Of God parishioners holding powerful Cabinet positions. This is a sign of progress. We do not like you giving prominence to Buddhism in your constitution. Our constitution does not do that but we say Under God and when we talk of God it is always and only the Christian God we refer to in our public life and prayers. We pray in the Cabinet and we are a good Christian nation. You will do well to follow Christ and our Prosperity Gospel. That way there will be room for hate like ISIS does; we will kill them and their children if we have to; because they are not following our gospel.

  • 0
    2

    The Americans are coming. Alleluiah! (compare their plan for safeguarding our coastline, with that of Kerry, of the former Obama admin, who told us to open our borders to all terrorists).

  • 0
    0

    Trump very tough on ISIS and terrorists. He is brave man. Ve are very happy he is my Presydunt. Ve are going to torture and bomb the shit out of nations we do not like. Ve will make China quiver. We will make North Korea into an ash heap.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.