A Congressional Delegation led by Congressman Jerry Weller (Republican- Illinois), and comprising Congressman Scott Garrett (Republican-New Jersey) and Mr. Allan Tenille, Legislative Director to Congressman Weller visited Sri Lanka from June 29th to July 3rd 2003.

Congressman Jerry Weller who serves on the House of Ways and Means Committee is the Co-chairperson of Sri Lanka Congressional Caucus. Congressman Scott Garret serves on the House Financial and Budget Committees and is a member of the Sri Lankan Caucus.

The purpose of the Congressional Delegation was to provide visiting Congressman with an opportunity to witness first hand the efforts of Sri Lanka Government peacefully resolve the ethnic conflict, economic reform programme undertaken by the government and the possibilities of expanded trade and investment with Sri Lanka.

Prior to the departure of Congressional Delegation to Sri Lanka Hon. Milinda Moragoda, Minister of Economic Reform Science & Technology briefed members of the delegationand Congressional Caucus on the ongoing peace process and economic reform program undertaken by Sri Lanka at the Inaugural Meeting of Sri Lanka Caucus of 108th Congress held on June 26th 2003 at the Capitol Hill.

The delegation called on H.E. the President Chandrika Kumaranatunga Bandaranaike, and had meetings with Hon. Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe, Hon. Professor G.L. Peiris, (Minister of Enterprise Development, Industrial Policy & Investment & Constitutional Affairs), Hon. Ravi Karunanayake (Minister of Commerce & Consumer Affairs), Hon Joseph Michael Perera (Speaker), Hon. Mahinda Rajapakse (Leader of the Opposition) during their stay in Colombo. Congressional delegation also had meetings with a wide cross section of the business community in Sri Lanka including; members of Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association, American Chamber of Commerce, Ceylon Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka. The visiting Congressman also met Sir Arthur C. Clerk at the Arthur C Clerk at the Arther C Clerk Center in Colombo. The Delegation visited a state of art apparel manufacturing factory establish in Sri Lanka by the Mast Industries. The Congressional Delegation had the opportunity to have a glimpse of Sri Lankan cultural heritage during their visit to Sigiriya, and Kandy.

US Embassy in Colombo organized a press briefing presided by the Congressman and Representatives from the US Embassy (please see - Statement by Congressman Jerry Weller and Congressman Scott Garrett and their bios - Congressman Jerry Weller and Congressman Scott Garrett) The Charge d'' Affairs of the US Embassy in Colombo hosted them for a reception.

The visit of the Congressional delegation to Sri Lanka was sponsored by the Federation of Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sri Lanka.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

03 July 2003


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