US special representative Shuler commends resettlement of rescued
"I congratulate the Sri Lankan government on their
victory against the terrorists in their country, the LTTE. I also
commend the remarkable work and efforts of the government of Sri Lanka
in putting together the IDP camps in such a short period of time," said
United States representative Heath Shuler( Democrat- North Caroline)
addressing a press conference held in Colombo, today( May 29).
The press conference was called-on following his first
hand experience gained during the past few days while touring in
Vavuniya and Trincomalee. Rep. Shuler visited the IDP centers at
Vavuniya along with his Congressional delegation including Sri Lankan
Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Jaliya Wikramasuriya. According to
officials, Rep. Shuler had the opportunity to speak to a number of
rescued civilian hostages as well as local and foreign officials working
in the camps.
"There is much more that needs to be done in order for
the government to meet its goal of resettling people as soon as
possible. Time is clearly of the essence in this situation and much
needs to be done in terms of de-mining in order to create the conditions
to allow IDPs to return to their homes as safely and as quickly as
possible," Rep. Shuler further asserted.
In addition to touring the camps, Rep. Shuler also met
with His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and a number of
government ministers in order to gain a better understanding of the
situation facing the country at the conclusion of the war. Shuler met
with Secretary of Defence Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, the Foreign Minster
Hon. Rohitha Bogollagama, Member of Parliament and Senior Advisor to the
President, Mr. Basil Rajapaksa, Governor of the Eastern Province Admiral
Mohan Wijewickrama, and Foreign Secretary Dr. Palitha Khohana.
"During this historic time, it is critical that the
Sri Lankan government, along with the United States and the
international community, dedicate the same amount of effort, attention
and resources to the post- conflict reconciliation process as it did the
conflict itself," he said.
"I hope that my visit here is an important step in
building a strong US/Sri Lankan relationship," further stated concluding
his official visit to the island.