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US offers Sri Lanka a vision different to what is offered by China – Pompeo

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Colombo/President’s Media

ECONOMYNEXT – The United States offers a different vision for Sri Lanka of shared democratic values and the exercise of sovereign rights and China offers a “different vision,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a press conference in Colombo today

Speaking after discussions with Sri Lankan leaders Pompeo said the US wants the “people of Sri Lanka to have sovereignty and independence” coupled with sustainable development.

“We think that the United States as a friendly partner offers exactly that,” he said.

Democracies, the top US diplomat said “have shared values. I have travelled to India, to here to the Maldives and on to Indonesia.”

“We know that these democracies have shared visions for freed up shipping lanes, the capacity to trade, for people to travel wherever they want to go. These are visions the people of Sri Lanka share with the United States,” he added.

Pompeo who is due to visit the Shrine of St Anthony at Kochchikade to remember the victims of the Easter Sunday attacks said those strike “is the kind of sectarianism that Sri Lankans want to leave behind.”

The US wants people of all faiths to live together in a “peaceful nation where their Human Rights are respected.”
“In his victory speech last year President Rajapaksa stated that he is the president of all citizens not of only those who voted for him. As our two nations move forward the United States is counting on those words to hold true,” he said.

“We fully expect Sri Lanka to fulfil its pledge to take meaningful concrete steps to promote accountability, justice and reconciliation,” the Secretary of State added.

Asked whether the US would reconsider the travel ban imposed on Army Commander Lt Gen Shavendra Silva, Pompeo said it was a matter of US Law, “a legal question it will be reviewed periodically.” (Colombo, October 28, 2020)

Reported by Arjuna Ranawana

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