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Remarks to the Media by Foreign Minister following talks with US Permanent Representative to the UN

HonFM-RemarkstoMedia-21Nov

Remarks to the Media by

Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Minister of Foreign Affairs

following talks with H.E. Ambassador Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the USA to the United Nations

Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 21st November 2015

 

 

Good evening ladies and gentlemen.

 

It has been an honour and a privilege today to welcome Ambassador Samantha Power to this historic Republic building.

 

As all of you know, Ambassador Power is the second member of President Obama’s Cabinet to visit Sri Lanka in the space of a year.

 

This I believe indicates the level of excellence that relations between our two countries have now reached.

 

I met Ambassador Power in New York in February for the first time soon after being sworn in as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maithripala Sirisena administration. We have come a long way since then in laying the foundation for a strong Sri Lanka-US partnership.

 

Ambassador Power has been, and continues to be, a good friend of Sri Lanka. Even in the most difficult times, she always maintained faith and trust in the people of this country and in the latent strengths of our nation.

 

Her presence here with us is a source of encouragement to us as we proceed on the journey we began on the 8th of January to make our country a truly peaceful, reconciled, prosperous, nation which abides by the best democratic traditions; promoting and protecting the human rights of each of our citizens and celebrating the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and multi-lingual nature of our society.

 

Today, Sri Lanka is taken note of by the world community, not merely in terms of geographic positioning but in terms of the changes that have been ushered in by the people of our country.

 

In our meeting, we discussed about working together to ensure that the people of our country benefit from these changes and from the peace and democratic dividend; ways of making our partnership stronger, including enhancing bilateral trade and investment.

 

It is a challenging path that we have chosen for ourselves as a nation. We have a long way to go and this is the first time that the people of Sri Lanka require the assistance of the international community to ensure that are gains are built upon; the dreams of our people are realized, and we define and create our future today by our hopes and aspirations without being held back anymore by the fears and prejudices of the past.

 

I am grateful to Ambassador Power for undertaking this visit. I look forward to staying engaged with her, and to work closely with her to further enhance US-Sri Lanka relations. I wish Ambassador Power and her team a very pleasant stay in Sri Lanka. 

 

Thank you very much.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Colombo
21st November 2015

suncloudsAudio of Remarks to Media by Hon. Mangala Samaraweera, Foreign Minister

sunclouds Audio of Remarks to Media by H.E. Ambassador Samantha Power, US Perm. Rep. to the UN    

 

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Remarks to the Media by

H.E. Ambassador Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the USA to the United Nations

Mr. Minister, it’s wonderful to be here in Sri Lanka. I just touched down a few hours ago and I already feel immersed in the warmth and hospitality of your dynamic country – your dynamic and welcoming people. You reminded me in our meeting that we only met for the first time in February of this year, and I had to pinch myself because I feel in such a short time we have together been able to cooperate already on so many issues both bilaterally – through the relationship between the United States and Sri Lanka – but also on shared collective security and how to reach out to the broader international community. 

Sri Lanka has been a real partner of the United States at the United Nations. The Sri Lankan president came to President Obama’s summit on peacekeeping in September and made one of the most ambitious announcements and set of commitments of any leader – extremely important. On issues of human rights and democratic accountability around the world, Sri Lanka has become, again, a close partner and someone we can count on to also stand up for the aspirations of people who aren’t doing so well elsewhere in the world. 

So, again, I can’t believe it’s been only nine months that I’ve had the privilege of getting to know the Foreign Minister. But it’s really great to be here to discuss the future of the partnership between the United States and Sri Lanka, which I think is taking off in a wholly new and fresh way.   

This is my first time in Sri Lanka since 2010 and it is very refreshing to see some of the changes and to see the spirit of the people that has been demonstrated now in I think two elections where the Sri Lankan people came out and chose democratic and accountable governance, chose the path of reconciliation over division, and chose a path of hope over fear. As you know President Obama ran eight years ago on a campaign slogan of hope. Even in recent days, with some of the terrorist attacks around the world, President Obama has appealed to the American people and to communities everywhere to not succumb to fear, but instead to think about human dignity and to think about the aspirations of peoples around the world, which are universal in so many respects.

So I’m going to very much enjoy my time here, I’m going to reach out to broad swaths of Sri Lankan society as best I can in the time I’m here. Of course I’ve arranged government meetings that I’m looking forward to. And I also will meet with the opposition, with civil society leaders, with human rights defenders, journalists, and I’m very pleased I’ll be visiting the northern part of the country tomorrow. And I’ll have the chance to see places that I visited five years ago and to see the effects on the ground of some of the new policies that have been put in place in recent years and months. 

I will also – when I get back to this great city – I will have the privilege of doing a town hall with students. I’m going to try to hear from young people about how they see the path forward in terms of their democracy, because ultimately the kinds of things that the leaders of today in Sri Lanka – the kinds of decisions they make – are decisions that of course are going to create, we hope, a vibrant and ever more prosperous Sri Lanka to the young people of today. And those young people have a huge hand in shaping that future.             

The last thing I’d just like to say – which I shared with the minister and his team in our bilateral meeting, but I’d just share with the Sri Lankan people – is the world is watching what’s happening in Sri Lanka far more closely I think than any of you can imagine. The changes that have been put in place in a very complex and diverse political environment over the course of the last nine or ten months have grabbed the world’s attention. To give just one example that I shared with the minster, the president’s intentions to dilute the powers of the presidency at a time when all around the world we have presidents who are trying to extend their powers and term limits, change their constitutions in order to ensure that they have more power – this is a breath of fresh air and extremely important in terms of strengthening the checks and balances in Sri Lanka. But also extremely important in sending a signal around the world for how important checks and balances are, and how significant it is that they not be eroded and when they get eroded that they be restored and strengthened. And there are a lot of difficult things that are happening around the world, as we’ve seen with the attacks in Paris, from yesterday in Bamako, Mali, and before that in Beirut, Baghdad, and Ankara – it’s a very difficult time for a lot of communities and Sri Lanka really stands out as a place and a people who have given the world great hope. It’s a country that dealt with terrorism itself and now is dealing with the very difficult legacies of a long and very arduous civil conflict. But it’s putting one foot in front of the other, facing hard problems, and again showing no signs of moving away from confronting difficult issues of the past in order to help contribute to that brighter future. 

So we are watching, we are rooting for you, and I am here to discuss with the people of Sri Lanka what more the United States can do to support your efforts to form and to become a stronger and more prosperous democracy. So thank you, everybody.

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Hon. Foreign Minister's Remarks (TEXT IN SINHALA)  (Word Doc) (PDF

(Full Text follows below)

(Please note: Text in Tamil is being translated and will uploaded shortly)

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එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ ඇමරිකානු නිත් නියෝජිත සමන්තා පවර් තානාපතිනිය සමඟ පැවති සාකච්ඡාවෙන් අනතුරුව

විදේශ අමාත් ගරු මංගල සමරවීර මහතා විසින් සිදුකල මාධ් ප්රකාශය

2015 නොවැම්බර් 21

 

සුභ සන්ධ්‍යාවක් වේවා! 

අද දින සමන්තා පවර් තානාපතිනිය මෙම ඓතිහාසික රිපබ්ලික් ගොඩනැගිල්ලට මිවිසින් පිලිගනු ලබන්නේ ඉමහත් ගෞරවයෙනි. 

ඔබ සියළු දෙනා දන්නා පරිදි, පවර් තානාපතිනිය, වසරක් තුල දී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට පැමිණි ජනපති ඔබාමාගේ කැබිනට් මණ්ඩලයේ දෙවැන්නියයි.   

මා සිතන ආකාරයට ඇයගේ පැමිණීම අප දෙරට අතර අද වනවිට ගොඩනැගී ඇති විශිෂ්ඨ සබඳතාවය මැනවින් කියාපායි. 

මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන පාලනයේ විදේශ අමාත්‍යවරයා වශයෙන් දිවුරුම් දීමෙන් නොබෝ දිනකට පසු නිව්යෝක්හිදි මට පවර් මහත්මිය පළමුව මුණගැසිණි. එතැන් සිට අප ශක්තිමත් එක්සත් ජනපද-ශ්‍රී ලංකා සබඳතාවයක් සඳහා අවශ්‍ය අඩිතාලම දැමීමට කටයුතු කලෙමු. 

පවර් තානාපතිනිය සැමවිටම ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට හොඳ මිතුරියක් වූවාය. ඉතාමත් අපහසු කාලයන්හිදී පවා ඇය අප ජාතිය සතු ශක්තිය පිළිබඳව හා අප රටේ ජනතාව කෙරෙහි විශ්වාසය තැබුවාය. 

ඒ අනුව, අද දින ඇයගේ පැමිණීම, අප රට හොඳම ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී සම්ප්‍රදායන් සහිත, සියළු පුරවැසියන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් සුරකින, සමාජයේ පවතින බහු වාර්ගික, බහු සංස්කෘතික, බහු ආගමික හා බහු භාෂිකත්වය අගය කරන,  සාමකාමී, සංහිඳියාවෙන් යුත් සෞභාග්‍යමත් දේශයක් කිරීම සඳහා අප විසින් ජනවාරි 8 වන දින ආරම්භ කරන ලද වැඩපිළිවෙල ඉදිරියට ගෙන යාම සඳහා කරනු ලබන දිරිමත් කිරීමක් ලෙස අප සලකන්නෙමු. 

අද වනවිට ශ්‍රී ලංකාව එහි භුගෝලීය පිහිටීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් පමණක් නොව අප රටේ ජනතාව විසින් උදාකරගෙන ඇති වෙනස්කම් හේතුවෙන් ද ලෝකයේ අවධානයට ලක්වී තිබේ. 

අපගේ හමුවේ දී, මෙම වෙනස්කම් තුලින් සහ සාමකාමී මෙන්ම ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී ලාභාංශ තුලින් අප රටේ ජනතාවට ප්‍රතිලාභ අත් කර දීම තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා එක්ව කටයුතු කිරීම පිළිබඳව හා ද්වීපාර්ශ්වීය වෙළදාම හා ආයෝජනය හරහා දෙරට අතර හවුල්කාරීත්වය තවදුරටත් ශක්තිමත් කරගත හැකි ආකාරය පිළිබඳ සාකච්ඡා කලෙමු. 

ජාතියක් වශයෙන් අප විසින් ඉදිරියට යාම සඳහා තෝරාගෙන ඇත්තේ අභියෝගාත්මක මාවතකි. අපට තවත් බොහෝ දුර යා යුතුව ඇති අතර අප විසින් දිනාගත් දෑ වැඩිදියුණු කරන බවට හා අප ජනතාවගේ සිහින සැබෑ කරන බවට තහවුරු කිරීම සඳහා අපට ජාත්‍යන්තරයේ සහයෝගය අවශ්‍යව ඇත්තේ ප්‍රථම වරටය. අද දින අප අතීතයේ සැක සංකා වලින් තවදුරටත් අධෛර්යමත් නොවෙමින් අපගේ සිතුම් පැතුම් අනුව අපගේ අනාගතය නිර්මාණය කරන්නට මුල පුරා ඇත්තෙමු. 

ශ්‍රී ලංකා වෙත පැමිණීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් මා සමන්තා පවර් තානාපතිනියට බෙහෙවින් ස්තූතිවන්ත වන අතර එක්සත් ජනපද - ශ්‍රී ලංකා සබඳතාවය තවදුරටත් ශක්තිමත් කිරීම සඳහා ඇය සමඟ අඛණ්ඩව කටයුතු කිරීමට ද මා බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමි. අවසන් වශයෙන් මා පවර් මහත්මිය ඇතුළු ඇයගේ කණ්ඩායමට ප්‍රීතිමත් ශ්‍රී ලංකා සංචාරයක් ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරනු කැමැත්තෙමි. 

ස්තූතියි! 

 

 විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යංශය

කොළඹ

2015 නොවැම්බර් 21

Hon. Foreign Minister's Remarks (TEXT IN TAMIL)  (Word Doc) (PDF)

ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் அமைப்பிற்கான அமெரிக்க ஐக்கிய இராச்சியத்தின் நிரந்தரப் பிரதிநிதி அதிமேதகு தூதர் சமந்தா பவர் அவர்களுடன் நடாத்திய கலந்துரையாடலைத் தொடர்ந்து வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சர் மாண்புமிகு மங்கள சமரவீர அவர்களினால் ஊடகங்களுக்கு வழங்கப்பட்ட குறிப்புரை

வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சு: 2015 நவம்பர் 21ஆந் திகதி

 

அம்மணிகளே! கனவான்களே! உங்கள் அனைவருக்கும் எனது மாலை வணக்கம்.

இன்று இந்த வரலாற்று ரீதியான குடியரசுக் கட்டடத்திற்கு தூதுவர் சமந்தா பவர் அவர்களை வரவேற்பது எனக்கு வழங்கப்பட்ட ஓர் கௌரவமும் சிறப்புரிமையுமாகும்.

தூதுவர் பவர் அவர்கள் ஓர் ஆண்டுக்கால இடைவெளியில் இலங்கைக்கு வருகை புரிந்த சனாதிபதி ஒபாமா அவர்களின் மந்திரி சபையின் இரண்டாவது உறுப்பினராவார் என்பது நீங்கள் அனைவரும் அறிந்த ஓர் விடயமாகும்.

இது தற்போது எமது இரண்டு நாடுகளுக்குமிடையே நிலவுகின்ற அதிசிறந்த மட்டத்திலான தொடர்புகளைக் குறித்துக் காட்டுகின்றது என்பதே எனது நம்பிக்கையாகும்.

மைத்திரிபால சிறிசேன நிருவாகத்தின் வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சராக சத்தியப்பிரமாணம் எடுத்தவுடன் நான் பெப்ருவரியில் முதற்தடவையாக தூதுவர் பவர் அவர்களை நியூயோர்க்கில் சந்தித்தேன். அதன் பின்னர் பலமான இலங்கை - அமெரிக்க ஐக்கிய இராச்சியத்தின் பங்காளித்துவத்திற்கான அத்திபாரமொன்றை இடுவதில் மிக நீண்ட அளவில் முன்னேறியுள்ளோம்.

தூதுவர் பவர் அவர்கள் இலங்கையின் சிறந்த நண்பராகவிருந்துள்ளதுடன் தொடர்ந்தும் அவ்வாறே திகழ்கின்றார். மிகவும் கஷ்டமான காலப்பகுதிகளில் கூட அவர் எப்போதும் இந்நாட்டு மக்கள் மீது விசுவாசத்தையும், நம்பிக்கையையும் வைத்திருந்தாரென்பதுடன், அவர் எமது நாட்டின் மறைமுகமாகவுள்ள சக்திகளிலும் நம்பிக்கையுடையவராகவிருக்கின்றார்.

எமது சமூகத்தின் அதிசிறந்த சனநாயக பாரம்பரியங்களைக் கடைப்பிடிக்கின்றதும் உண்மையானதும் நல்லிணக்கம் கொண்டதும் வளவாய்ப்புள்ளதுமான பல்லின, பல்கலாசார, பல்சமய மற்றும் பன்மொழியியல் தன்மையையும் கடைப் பிடிக்கின்றதுமாக எமது நாட்டை உருவாக்குவதற்காக சனவரி 8ஆந் திகதியன்று ஆரம்பித்துள்ள பயணத்தில் நாம் முன்னேறிச் சென்றுகொண்டிருக்கும் போது அவர் இங்கு சமூகமளித்துள்ளமையானது எமக்கு ஊக்கமளிக்கின்ற ஓர் மூலமாக விளங்குகின்றது.

இன்று இலங்கையானது புவியியல் அமைவிடமாகவிருக்கும் நிலைமைக்காக மட்டுமன்றி எமது நாட்டின் மக்களினால் முன் இட்டுச் செல்லப்பட்டுள்ள மாற்றங்கள் காரணமாகவும் உலக சமூகத்தினால் கணக்கிற்கு எடுத்துக் கொள்ளப்பட்டுள்ளது.

எமது சந்திப்பில் நாம் இந்த மாற்றங்களின் நியதிகளினால் மட்டுமன்றி சமாதானத்தினாலும் சனநாயக இலாபப்பங்கினாலும் எமது நாட்டின் மக்கள் நன்மை பெறுவதை உறுதிப்படுத்துவதன் பொருட்டு ஒன்றிணைந்து பணியாற்றுவது பற்றியும் கலந்துரையாடியுள்ளோம். அத்துடன் இருதரப்பு வியாபாரத்தையும் முதலீட்டையும் அதிகாரிப்பதையும் உள்ளடக்கி எமது பங்காளித்துவத்தைப் பலப்படுத்துவதற்கான வழிவகை பற்றியும் கலந்துரையாடியுள்ளோம்.

இது நாட்டினமொன்றாக எமக்காக நாமே தெரிவுசெய்துள்ள ஓர் சவால் விடுக்கின்ற மார்க்கமாகவுள்ளது. நாம் நீண்ட தூரத்தைப் பயணிக்க வேண்டியிருக்கின்றதுடன் இலாபங்கள் கட்டி எழுப்பப்படுவதையும் எமது மக்களின் கனவுகள் உண்மை வாழ்க்கையில் நிறைவேற்றப்படுவதையும் அத்துடன் கடந்தகாலம் பற்றிய பயங்களின் காரணமாக இன்னும் தடுத்து வைக்கப்படாமல் எமது எதிர் காலமானது கடந்த காலத்தின் பயங்களினாலும், தப்பெண்ணங்களினாலும் தடைசெய்யப்படாமல் எமது நம்பிக்கைகள், அபிலாசைகளினால் இன்று எமது எதிர்காலத்தை நாம் நிருணயித்து உருவாக்கப்படுவதை உறுதிப்படுத்திக் கொள்ளல் வேண்டும்.

இந்த விஜயத்தை மேற்கொண்டமைக்காக தூதுவர் பவர் அவர்களுக்கு நான் நன்றியுடையவனாக இருக்கின்றேன். அமெரிக்க ஐக்கிய இராச்சியத்திற்கும் இலங்கைக்கும் இடையிலான தொடர்புகளை மேலும் அதிகரிப்பதன் பொருட்டு அவருடன் ஈடுபாட்டுடனும் நெருக்கமாகவும் பணியாற்ற விரும்புகின்றேன். தூதுவர் பவர் அவர்களுக்கும் அவருடைய குழுவினருக்கும் இலங்கை விஜயமானது மிகவும் மகிழ்ச்சிகரமானதாக இருக்க வேண்டுமென நான் வாழ்த்துகிறேன்.

 

உங்களுக்கு மிகவும் நன்றி.

 

வெளிநாட்டு அலுவல்கள் அமைச்சு

கொழும்பு

2015 நவம்பர் 21ஆந் திகதி

 


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