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Outgoing US Ambassador Atul Keshap at a meeting with TNA leader R. Sampanthan today highlighted that Sri Lanka will be able to attract more investors and will have more economic benefits if it adopts a new Constitution, the TNA said in a media release.

“Mr Sampanthan appreciated the role played by the Ambassador and his team and the US state department in the past with regard to Sri Lanka and appealed that the same level of engagement should continue with all parties in the future,” it said.

Ambassador Keshap paying a courtesy call also said that the Government was yet to accomplish most of its commitments to the International community. “The positive image that the Government of Sri Lanka has in the international stage should not be taken for granted,” the statement said quoting the US envoy.

Mr. Sampanthan said the expectations of the international community in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka has not been fulfilled by the Government of Sri Lanka.

Highlighting the commitments made by the Sri Lankan Government in the co-sponsored resolution adopted at the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2015, Mr Sampanthan said “the Office of the Missing Persons was established after a long delay, the Reparations Bill is not yet passed, there had been no steps taken to address Accountability issues, the Commission on Truth Justice Reconciliation and non-Recurrence has not been constituted, the Constitutional process took a positive start but there seem to be delays in taking it forward”.

Given the fact that there had been plenty of work done around the framing of a new Constitution for over 25 years, I don’t see any justifiable reasons for delays in this. Our primary interest is in the best interest of the country, and everyone in this country will benefit from a new Constitution said Mr Sampanthan. Mustering a two-thirds Majority in Parliament need not be that difficult to adopt a new Constitution said Mr Sampanthan.

The vast majority of the Tamil People who live all over the country including the North and the East want a solution within a united, undivided Sri Lanka, there are sections of people not substantial but vocal who adopt a hardline view, but the only way to silence them and keep them away from negatively influencing the community is to deliver on the promises, said Mr. Sampanthan. We have been absolutely reasonable in our demands said Mr Sampanthan. If the Government does not deliver, the Tamil people are not going to be second-class citizens in this country.

The Ambassador pointed out that as far as the United States is concerned that the UNHRC Resolution remains operative and it is fundamental for several bilateral relationships. Further, he said the objectives of the country should remain positive in order to achieve peace and reconciliation. The positive image that the Government of Sri Lanka has in the international stage should not be taken for granted. He also highlighted that Sri Lanka will be able to attract more investors and will have more economic benefits if it adopts a new Constitution. Further, he said the United States of America will remain fully engaged with the progress made by the Sri Lankan government in the future. He also thanked Mr Sampanthan for his support during his tenure as the Ambassador.

Along with Mr Sampanthan TNA Spokesman and the Jaffna District parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was also present at the meeting while the Ambassador was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Hilton and Joanna Pritchett, the Political Officer.

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