Diplomat and Senator Discuss End of Conflict with LTTE, Beginning of Peace in Sri Lanka

Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Senator Richard Durbin. Also in the picture (L-R) - Dr. Jayasiri Fernando, Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya, Senator Richard Durbin, Mr. Hiranya Udawatte, Mr Bhikku Mahinda

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States met recently with the second-highest ranking member of the U.S. Senate to discuss the resolution of the conflict against the Tamil Tigers and aid for Sri Lanka’s future.

Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya accompanied three Sri Lankans from Illinois to the meeting with Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat who is also the Senate majority whip.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya explained the resolution of the conflict to Senator Durbin, as well as the plans for reconstruction in the north of the country, where most of the recent combat took place.

Ambassador also described a plan to rebuild roads and bridges, water and sanitation facilities, schools and hospitals and up to 80,000 homes. He noted that local elections would soon be held to bring a part of the political solution to Tamil civilians who have been displaced by the fighting.

The 250,000 displaced persons now living in welfare centers, he said, will return home as soon as possible after extensive de-mining operations are completed, he said. Earlier this week, Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that most of the civilians would be returned home within six months.

Senator Durbin pledged his support to the government of Sri Lanka and its efforts to rebuild and carry out its urgent humanitarian mission.

Ambassador Wickramasuriya’s meeting with Senator Durbin is the latest in a series of briefings the ambassador has given to members of Congress on the conflict and its resolution.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

22 May 2009


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