Ambassador Teplitz “deeply disappointed” by US Capitol riots

ECONOMYNEXT – Last week’s “appalling scene” at the US Capitol has left US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Alaina B Teplitz deeply disappointed, the diplomat said in a statement yesterday.

“American democracy, as in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, rests on the strength of its institutions and system of checks and balances. Our institutions have been tested and proved resilient through the years – but recent events remind us, once more, that democracy needs constant tending and renewal by leaders and citizens alike,” said Teplitz.

The ambassador posted her statement on her official Twitter yesterday, which was in turn quote-tweeted by the US Embassy in Colombo with Sinhala and Tamil translations added.

The statement stopped short of assigning blame to any one party or political cause for the January 6 riots in Washington D.C., an incident that attracted global attention and drew widespread, bipartisan condemnation in the US. Nor did it acknowledge the deep polarisation in American society that commentators on both sides of the political divide have said the riots were a manifestation of.

“As Americans, we strive to form ‘a more perfect union.’ That aspiration lays bare our imperfections, even as it promises a body politic that is more fair, equitable and diverse,” said Teplitz.

A series of events that began with the incident culminated in outgoing US President Donald Trump’s social media accounts being suspended over the course of last week. Trump was widely believed to have instigated the riots, and tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter expressed concern that his social media outbursts might spark further violence.

Ambassador Teplitz said that providing opportunities and outlets for common understanding is what it takes to address the past and lay the foundation for a more inclusive future.

“We will continue holding ourselves to high standards and encourage others, as part of their journey, to continue reaching for that more perfect governance of the people, by the people, for the people,” she said.

Reported by Himal Kotelawala (Colombo/Jan12/2021)

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