Samantha Power remarks in Colombo: US Envoy Keshap and Foreign Minister Samaraweera look on
Following her bilateral discussions with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mangala Samaraweera in Colombo soon after she arrived on Saturday for a three-day official talks and a tour to predominantly Tamil Jaffna, Samantha Power in her remarks gave a subtle but serious message that the United States is serious about the accountability process, a semantic infiltration for war crimes investigation.
While remarking that the world is closely watching the progress in Sri Lanka and at the conclusion saying that “We are watching”, she underscored that “in two elections the people of Sri Lanka came forward and chose an accountable governance”.
“Such a short time we have, together, is able to cooperate on so many issues both bilaterally in terms of relationship between the United States and Sri Lanka. Also on shared collective security and accountability challenges that exist in the broader international community”, she said.
Dr. Power acknowledge that, toward those goals, “Sri Lanka has become a real partner with the United States in the United Nations system”.
She touched on constitutional changes envisaged by Sri Lanka using the word ‘dilute’ giving the impression that the United States expect Sri Lanka to undertake a devolution of power: “One example I shared with the Foreign Minister is the President’s intention to dilute the power of the presidency at a time all around the world we have leaders who are trying to extend their powers and term limits, change their constitutions in order to ensure that they have more power. This is a fresh air in strengthening checks and balances in Sri Lanka”, she said.
“The changes that have been put in place in a very complex political environment over a course of nine or ten months have grabbed the world’s attention”.
Concluding her remarks, Dr. Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN and Obama administration cabinet member, said “so we are watching, I am here to find out from the people of Sri Lanka what the U.S. could do to make your democracy more prosperous”.