The United States’ Acting Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs highlighted Sri Lanka’s potential to “become a leader in contributing to peacekeeping operations across the globe (and) promoting human rights abroad” in a speech delivered in Washington this week.
Bruce Wharton addressed a ‘Sri Lanka National Day Reception’, where his speech said “Sri Lanka has the potential to become the next Asian Tiger”.
Mr Wharton hailed the “unprecedented” level of cooperation between the two states, but added “there is always more progress to be made”.
“All of this cooperation wouldn’t be possible without the democratic progress Sri Lanka has made and its renewed commitment to reconciliation, accountable government, and freedom of expression,” he added. “Sri Lanka can become a leader in contributing to peacekeeping operations across the globe, promoting human rights abroad, and ensuring maritime security throughout the region.”
“As the friendship between our nations continues to grow, I have no doubt there will be many more such stories that show how our relationship helps us pursue not just our common interests in trade and security, but also our common values of democracy and liberty,” Mr Wharton concluded.
See the full text of his remarks here.
As Sri Lankan celebrated Independence Day, Tamils across the NOrth-East held a series of demonstrations.
Sri Lanka has faced much criticism over the human rights situation on the island, with a recent UN report describing a “culture of torture” on the island
Meanwhile Sri Lankan troops have also been accused of committing mass atrocities against Tamils during the final stages of the armed conflict in 2009, and were previously involved in the sexual trafficking and sexual abuse of minors in former UN peacekeeping roles.