Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G. L. Peiris met with CSIS, A Washington based think tank specializing in foreign affairs and security issues. The CSIS consists of distinguished members of the society and includes many former government officials. The meeting Prof. G. L. Peiris attended was moderated by one such official, Teresita Schaffer, a former U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Dr. Peiris then went on to explain the current situation of Sri Lanka, the confidence of people and the political stability that we have not seen for decades. All this have lifted the mood of the country and its people.
“we have achieved a great deal in an extremely short period. I think Sri Lanka has to be given due credit for this achievement.” said the Minister refering to the reconstruction and rehabilitation in the North and East of the country. “We have shed the over-powering constraints that have inhibited any kind of development. Hotels are a coming back. Companies are putting up factories in Trincomalee and Kilinochchi.” said the Minister.
Dr. Peiris mentioned that the ICG never provided a copy of the report to Sri Lankan Government in advance. The report it self is a collection of allegations and accounts from unnamed sources. He also mentioned that the United Nations Human Rights Council debated these matters for three days, and concluded that it would not take action.
Dr. Peiris also discussed possible changes to Sri Lanka’s constitution, including the establishment of a bicameral legislature and amendments to the electoral system.
Minister also met with Rep. Howard Berman, who chairs the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs of the House Committee on Appropriations. The Members of the Congress were updated about the nation’s unprecedented economic development and process of reconciliation.
Dr. Peiris will meet with more members of the Congress and government officials and explain and educate them about the progress Sri Lanka is making and specially the the appointment of a Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission in Sri Lanka.
On May 10, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, welcomed Sri Lanka’s intention to establish a commission (Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission).