( Nisha Desai Biswal speaking at the Center for a New American Security)
Sri Lanka deserves special attention as it continues to consolidate democratic gains in the past two elections and put the country on a path to reconciliation. The United States was among the first to welcome these moves and offer our support and assistance. Both Secretary Kerry and Ambassador Power visited last year – and I myself visited four times in 2015 – and this year we launched our first-ever Partnership Dialogue.
While there is still much to be done to pursue justice, strengthen political rights, and establish enduring peace, the current government has shown that it is committed to moving the country forward: among many other moves, it has already returned over 3,400 acres to displaced families, including another 177 acres just this past week. USAID has launched several programs to stimulate economic growth and development in the country’s north and east, and U.S. businesses are seeing many new and attractive investment opportunities.
(Excerpts from the Remarks made by Nisha Desai Biswal, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs at the Center for a New American Security, Washington, DC on March 28, 2016)