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U.S.- Sri Lanka Partnership in Development


A Sri Lankan fisherman weighs fish for customers at the St. Jones fish market in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

“The United States wants to see a strong Sri Lanka, one that is a leader in the international community, contributing to the global economy, promoting human rights, justice, and democracy abroad, and helping to uphold international law."

“The United States wants to see a strong Sri Lanka, one that is a leader in the international community, contributing to the global economy, promoting human rights, justice, and democracy abroad, and helping to uphold international law. With its entrepreneurial people, abundant resources, and strategic location, Sri Lanka is uniquely positioned to do so,” said U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs - Designate, Thomas Shannon.

Speaking at the influential Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute in Colombo on December 16th, Ambassador Shannon said Sri Lanka was an example of the power of citizens to reinvigorate their democracy through the ballot box.

“We now look to Sri Lanka to also provide inspiration to others around the world,” he noted, “to show them how justice and compassion can overcome a difficult past and help create a stable and prosperous future, and strengthen a nation’s security, prosperity, and prestige.”

As Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power noted during their visits to Sri Lanka this year, the United States has long worked with the Sri Lankan people to accelerate economic growth, further strengthen democratic institutions, reconcile multi-ethnic and religious communities, promote justice and rule of law, and provide disaster relief.

“For nearly 60 years, U.S. development assistance has invested in the people of Sri Lanka, in their communities, and in the relationship between our two nations,” said Shannon.

Our programs have ranged across the country and spanned almost every sector, including agricultural development, environment and natural resources, health, education, democracy and governance, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance.

This partnership has resulted in remarkable achievements over the past six decades: controlling and eradicating malaria, modernizing the rail transportation network, improving nutrition, enhancing irrigation, developing Chambers of Commerce, and much, much more.

“Our partnership spans virtually all fields of endeavor, and the people of both our nations can expect to reap the benefits,” added Shannon.
Sri Lanka’s future is of global consequence, and the partnership between the people of Sri Lanka and the United States will continue to grow. As Secretary Kerry said in Colombo in May, “We believe in the potential of Sri Lanka, the potential of Sri Lanka’s people – and I mean all of its people. And I can assure you that the United States, that America, will stand with you by your side as you build a stronger democracy and a future that is marked by peace and prosperity after so many years of suffering and hardship.”

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