TNA shared its vision for a united Sri Lanka - Kerry
May 4, 2015 01:05 pm
US Secretary of State John Kerry says that it was interesting to hear Sri Lanka’s Tamil leaders share their vision for a united and peaceful Sri Lanka, even though there are difficult issues still to “get over.”
He made these remarks during an interaction with the staff of the US Embassy in Colombo before leaving for Nairobi on Sunday, following the conclusion of his two-day visit to the country.
During the visit which was the first official visit by a US Secretary of State in 43 years, Secretary Kerry called on President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, and had a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe who hosted the visiting Secretary of State and delegation to lunch at the Temple Trees.
“I’m enormously excited to be in Sri Lanka for the first time, and I wasn’t aware, actually, when I came out here that it had been so long since there had been an official visit by a Secretary of State,” he said.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had visited Sri Lanka during the time of the tsunami very briefly for a few hours in early 2005.
Kerry said that it was a pleasure for him to be able to spend time with the new Sri Lankan leadership and “get a sense of the excitement about the future for Sri Lanka and the end of so many years of war, so many years of this island nation being torn apart, and now coming together.”
“And I just met this morning with some of the Tamil leaders, which was really interesting to hear them share their vision for a united, peaceful Sri Lanka even though there are difficult issues still to get over,” he said, addressing the embassy staff.
Kerry was referring to his 40-minute discussion with the leaders of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) at a hotel in Colombo.
He also thanked the staff of the US Embassy including the local employees for their service.
Kerry said that the reason they represent the US in Sri Lanka is because “we believe in the future of democracy, of stability, and the opportunity for people in other countries to be able to live better lives free from persecution and free from dictatorship, and most importantly, just able to share in the global community’s aspirations for everybody – for all human kind.”