John McCain championed individual freedom and democracy: Sri Lanka PM

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister said the late US Senator John McCain championed individual freedom and democracy, recalling a visit to the island and his last meeting.

Wickremesinghe said he and wife Maithree was saddened by his death.

"John was a great champion of the American values with a deep conviction on individual liberties and democracies," Wickremesinghe said.

"This cemented our friendship. We in Sri Lanka and the US and the world will miss this global leader."

Wickrmesinghe said he first met McCain in the 1990s when he visited Sri Lanka.

"In 2014 we met at his Sedona Forum Conference in Arizona," Wickremesinghe said.

"The place he spent his last year."

"John was a true and reliable friend of Sri Lanka through the years in between supporting democracy and development through support for Sri Lanka through challenging times for the bilateral partnership."

McCain, a member of the Republican Party has been a critic of current US President Donald Trump, who has been engaging politics based on white nationalists and backed by religion, is so-called identity politics.

Defying the so-called ‘hyperpartism’ that has gripped US politics since Trump and is seen in some illiberal democracies, he voted against a bill brought by his own party.

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He also used language that sought to preserve ‘civility’ that has declined amid the rise of nationalism in the US.

McCain was a Navy pilot in a civil war between the North and South Vietnam where the US supported the South.

He was shot down over the north and was kept a prisoner. 

Later he played a major role in re-building normal relations between the US and Vietnam.

A former jailor told the AFP, the French news agency, that McCain taught him English. (Colombo/Aug27/2018)
 
 

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