Thilak Marapana discusses open Indo-Pacific policy with US

Thilak Marapana discusses open Indo-Pacific policy with US

Written by Staff Writer

17 May, 2019 | 9:18 pm

Colombo (News 1st): Minister of Foreign Affairs who is currently in the United States, engaged in several diplomatic discussions. He met with the United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington this morning.

According to the communique, Secretary Michael R. Pompeo reiterated the United States’ condemnation of the attacks that Sri Lanka suffered last month, which also killed five Americans and strong U.S. support for Sri Lanka in its fight against terrorism.

It adds that Foreign Minister Marapana noted appreciation for U.S. support in the aftermath of the bombings and conveyed Sri Lanka’s interest in deepening cooperation to prevent future attacks.

The US state department said both parties welcomed the approval of a $480-million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact as an important development that will contribute to prosperity and economic sovereignty in Sri Lanka.

It also said Secretary Pompeo also welcomed Sri Lanka’s renewed commitments to accountability, justice, and reconciliation.

Minister Thilak Marapana also met with US National Security Advisor John Bolton on Wednesday.

In a tweet, John Bolton said “Met with Sri Lankan FM Marapana to reiterate the U.S. resolve to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation and bring to justice those behind the despicable Easter Day attacks. We also pledged to deepen our partnership to advance our shared goal of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

Also, the US Embassy in Colombo tweeted that the Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale and Sri Lanka Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana co-chaired the 3rd U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue.

The dialogue reaffirmed the strong bilateral relationship and commitment between the countries for a free, open, and prosperous Indo-Pacific region.

Meanwhile, on the 15th, Sri Lankan Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha engaged in a discussion on broadening the United States and IndoPacific partnership on counter-terrorism and security, creating conditions for economic prosperity, and advancing good governance and human rights.

He met with Thomas L. Vajda, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Security and Transnational Affairs in the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.

It was previously stated that the funds from MGC were granted to renovate plots of land that could attract investors and develop transport facilities.

However many parties pointed out certain ulterior motives behind the proposal. This is the statement President Maithripala Sirisena made on the matter on the 28th of October.

“Another is the Land Ordinance Special Act, which was presented to Cabinet last week. Then there was the paper on establishing a Land Bank. I lodged strong protests and postponed those cabinet papers. Majority of Cabinet Ministers were against these proposals. If the last week’s Land Ordinance Special Act was passed by the Cabinet and then by the Parliament, all the lands of our Motherland could be bought outright by foreigners without any difficulty. All the agricultural settlements established by honourable leaders like D S Senanayake, Bandaranaike and Gamini Dissanayake will be destroyed. This bill will adversely affect the land rights of the country and must be totally blocked by us.”

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