SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL SIGNS
CONDOLENCE BOOK AT SRI LANKAN EMBASSY
“We will be standing along with
our Sri Lankan friends for the long haul in order to deal with
this tragedy” Says Colin Powell.
US Secretary of State, Colin Powell signing the Condolence
Book at the Embassy of Sri Lanka, Washington DC.
US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, visited the Sri Lankan Embassy
on Thursday December 30th. Secretary Powell visited the Embassy
both to pay his respects and to offer his condolences to the victims
of the Tsunami tragedy in Sri Lanka.
The Secretary of State was received by the Sri Lankan Ambassador
Devinda Subasinghe. Mr. Powell extended a warm hug to the Sri
Lankan Ambassador upon his arrival. During his stay Secretary
Powell signed a condolence book. Mr. Powell also made several
remarks to members of the press that covered his visit to the
Ambassador Subasinghe in conversation with US Secretary of
State, Colin Powell and
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mr. Donald Camp.
In response to a question on what he wrote in the condolence
book Mr. Powell said “I expressed our sympathy and extended
our deepest condolences on behalf of the President and Mrs. Bush
and the American people to all Sri Lankans, and to let the Government
of Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans know that we will stand with
them in solidarity and do everything we can to assist in this
time of tragedy, in this time of need.”.
Mr. Powell also remarked “This has been a very serious
blow to Sri Lanka and the need is great, and we will be working
with the international community to respond to that need. We have
disaster relief teams on the scene. Supplies are being flown in
from around the world, including from the United States. We have
rescue teams on the way too. We have made an initial allocation
of funds, but as the need becomes better known and established,
you can expect that the United States will add more to the funds
that have already been provided. Its important that we do this
right, deal with the initial humanitarian tragedy and help people
who are in desperate need now, but don’t lose sight of the
need for rehabilitation, reconstruction of homes and businesses
and the economy later on. So we will be standing along with our
Sri Lankan friends for the long haul in order to deal with this
tragedy. It is a rather unprecedented catastrophe. I have been
through many similar situations in my career, but none as serious
as this one.”
Mr. Powell was accompanied by Assistant Secretary of State Mr.
Lincoln Bloomfield and Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of
State Mr. Donald Camp.
Embassy of Sri Lanka
30 December 2004