Sri Lanka ‘democracy dividend’ seen urgent

ECONOMYNEXT – Delivering a ‘democracy dividend’ to the Sri Lankan people is of urgent importance after the corruption and economic mess left behind by the former regime, a United States embassy statement said.

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power has reiterated U.S. support for Sri Lanka’s reconciliation efforts, in talks with former Sri Lankan President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, it said.

“They discussed the Sri Lankan government’s ongoing efforts to counter corruption and overcome the economic challenges left behind by the previous government,” said the statement from the U.S. Mission to the UN.

“They agreed on the urgent importance of delivering a “democracy dividend” to the Sri Lankan people and stressed the importance of U.S.-Sri Lankan bilateral efforts to support trade and economic growth.”

Samantha Power held talks with Kumaratunga, Chairperson of Sri Lanka’s Office of National Unity Reconciliation (ONUR), and Mano Tittawella, Secretary-General for Coordinating Reconciliation Mechanisms, on May 11, 2016, at the Sri Lankan Mission to the United Nations in New York. 

Ambassador Power and Kumaratunga discussed the work and plans of the ONUR and the challenges and critical importance of bridging old divides and reconciling with the past, the statement said.

“They also discussed the importance of accountability. Ambassador Power emphasized the necessity of addressing human rights abuses and urged that transitional justice efforts move forward as soon as possible,” it said.

“She urged that any mechanism be accompanied by proactive outreach to keep the public informed and engaged. They spoke about the challenges ahead and timelines along which progress would be made.”
(COLOMBO, May 13 2016)

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