Remarks at the Sri Lanka Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Nisha Desai Biswal
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
Colombo, Sri Lanka
August 25, 2015

Good morning everyone, and Mr. Minister, thank you so much. It’s such a pleasure to see you again and to congratulate you on this very important election. We also had the pleasure of meeting with the justice minister, Minister Rajapaksa as well, and members of the minister’s team.

Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, and myself are thrilled to be here, particularly also on the heels of our newest ambassador, Ambassador Atul Keshap, having presented his credentials also just a couple of days ago. We’re here at this very momentous occasion to really reaffirm the strong support of the United States for Sri Lanka, for the Sri Lankan people, and for the commitment of the Sri Lankan government, and the Sri Lankan people towards this path of democracy, of good governance, of peace and of prosperity.

I was here last May, during the historic visit of Secretary Kerry, and since then we have seen not only the enduring commitment to democracy but also just a tremendous momentum of progress towards institutions of good governance, towards combating corruption, and towards promoting reconciliation. As Secretary Kerry noted at that time, “This is a long and difficult road that the United States is committed to walk down with the people of Sri Lanka and to provide support.” And it is in that spirit that Assistant Secretary Malinowski and I are here today to reaffirm our support, the support of the United States, for Sri Lanka.

Just recently, we let President Sirsena know that we would be supporting resettlement and education in Sampur with a commitment of one million dollars in resources, and we look forward to working with the President, with the Prime Minister, and with the new government in this and other endeavors to ensure that the country is able to realize its enormous potential.

During this visit, we will have an opportunity to meet with senior leaders, with political party and civil society leaders, and with the private sector in the spirit of that partnership. I simply want to at this moment say that we are incredibly proud of the journey that is being undertaken here. The story that is unfolding in this great country is one that stands as a testament to the rest of the world. Thank you.