It was a privilege to visit Colombo to witness for myself the sense of excitement and optimism that the Sri Lankan people have ushered in through the historic January 8 election, says U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal.
Issuing a statement today she said; “In my meetings with government, civil society, private sector, and political parties, I heard a consistent message of hope about translating this promise into a brighter reality for all Sri Lankans.
“I had very productive conversations with President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Urban Development Minister Rauff Hakeem, and State Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene.
“In my conversation with the TNA leadership I heard their perspective for meaningful progress on reconciliation and political inclusion to ensure a peaceful, prosperous future for their constituents within Sri Lanka.
“I also had a chance to meet with other political, civil society, religious, and business leaders. In all of these meetings I reiterated our desire to see the U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship grow to the benefit of both our nations.
“I congratulated President Sirisena on his victory and expressed the United States’ willingness to work with the new government as it pursues a future for Sri Lanka that is peaceful, inclusive, and prosperous. Clearly, there is a lot of work to be done. The United States looks forward to partnering with the Sri Lankan people to address the challenges and help Sri Lanka realize its true potential.”