SRI LANKA’S AMBASSADOR MEETS KEY
SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS CHAIRMAN
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya with Senator Robert Casey
(D-PA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee
on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs
Ambassador Jaliya Wickramasuriya met with Senator
Robert Casey (D-PA), the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations
Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs,
on Wednesday, August 5, 2009.
Senator Casey and Ambassador Wickramasuriya discussed Sri Lanka’s
reconciliation efforts and the conditions of the centers for civilians
displaced by the conflict with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil
Ambassador Wickramasuriya explained Sri Lankan
President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s plan for redeveloping the
Northern province following the government’s victory in
May over the LTTE. He also informed Senator Casey of the progress
made in the centers for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and
of the government’s plan to return most of the IDPs to their
homes within 180 days.
Senator Casey was pleased to hear that 10,000
IDPs have already been resettled in the northern cities of Jaffna
and Mannar, and that 10,000 senior citizens have been moved to
the homes of relatives or homes for the elderly.
Ambassador Wickramasuriya advised that such resettlements
are continuing on a daily basis.
The Ambassador also stressed the need to return
civilians to communities that are free of landmines and weapons
concealed by the LTTE. He described the urgent need for assistance
in Sri Lanka's de-mining efforts.
Senator Casey pledged the US support for de-mining
efforts in the North, noting that the resettlement of the IDPs
Ambassador Wickramasuriya also briefed Senator
Casey on the Aug. 8 regional elections as a first step toward
the implementation of a political solution to reconcile differences
with Sri Lanka’s Tamil population.
At the conclusion of the very positive meeting,
Ambassador Wickramasuriya urged Senator Casey to speak to a broad
cross section of Tamil Sri Lankans living in the US. He also invited
the Senator Casey to visit Sri Lanka to assess the situation.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
07 August 2009