SRI LANKAN EXPATRIATES IN BOSTON EXPRESS
CONFIDENCE IN PRESIDENT RAJAPAKSA’S EFFORTS TO ELIMINATE
REBUILD THE NATION
Ambassador says, “People in Sri
Lanka are happy to be living without the fear of terrorism”
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya recently urged
a mix of Sri Lanka expatriates here -- including Sinhalese, Tamils
and Muslims -- to support peaceful reconciliation and reconstruction
in the country’s war-damaged Northern Province.
At a meeting organized by the Sri Lankan Diaspora, Ambassador
Wickramasuriya offered a detailed explanation of the situation
in Sri Lanka, including the progress in resettling the more than
287,000 civilians initially displaced when the conflict with the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) concluded in May.
Since then, the government has resettled about 50,000 civilians,
and plans are underway to return another 50,000 home by Sept.
30. That would leave fewer than 200,000 displaced people in government-run
Ambassador Wickramasuriya said that the government is keen to
resettle all displaced civilians as soon as possible, and that
the government is currently taking the necessary steps to remove
landmines and weapons buried throughout the North.
Ambassador further noted that the LTTE, one of the world’s
most ruthless terrorist outfits, had been eliminated by Sri Lankan
forces that also freed thousands of civilians held hostage by
the terrorists. Ambassador Wickramasuriya, who just completed
his first year of service in Washington, recalled his recent visit
to Sri Lanka and elaborated that, "people in Sri Lanka are
happy to be living without the fear of terrorism."
The cross section of expatriates praised the
President of Sri Lanka, Mahinda Rajapaksa, for his efforts to
eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka, and they expressed confidence
that the President would create an atmosphere in which all Sri
Lankans could live happily. The participants also expressed their
willingness to assist the Embassy to achieve this goal.
In response, Ambassador Wickramasuriya invited
the Tamil Diaspora to visit Sri Lanka in order to develop the
nation. He further pointed out that the conflict’s conclusion
provides an opportunity to work together as Sri Lankans, irrespective
of ethnicity and religion.
A group of students from Pennies and Dimes for Better Times also
met Ambassador and explained their activities in Boston. Their
mission provides educational materials and supplies to displaced
children in Sri Lanka. Ambassador Wickramasuriya congratulated
them on their efforts.
During the visit, Ambassador also met the venerable Aluthgama
Dhamma Jothi, Chief Incumbent of the New England Buddhist Vihara
and Meditation Centre. Venerable Aluthgama Dhamma Jothi thanked
Ambassador and invoked blessings.
In addition, Ambassador Wickramasuriya attended at a SaaRangaa
Cultural Show. SaaRangaa shows provide an opportunity for children
to perform works that celebrate Sri Lankan art, culture and heritage.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
03 September 2009