Minister of External Affairs, Prof. G.L. Peiris, took part in a series of Capitol Hill meetings yesterday on the second of his four-day official visit to Washington, discussing with members of the House of Representatives about Sri Lanka’s progress in post-conflict reconciliation and development, as well as reform measures that are designed to ensure a lasting peace.
Prof. Peiris first met with Representatives Chris Van Hollen Democrat - Maryland and Robert Aderholt Republican - Alabama, to discuss recommendations made in late 2011 by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission , which examined Sri Lanka’s conflict against terrorism, which was successfully concluded three years ago.
Minister Peiris explained that the Sri Lankan government has developed a mechanism for implementation of recommendations accepted by the government, which will be directed out of the office of Sri Lanka’s presidential secretariat.
Both Van Hollen and Aderholt are co-chairs of the Sri Lanka caucus in the House of Representatives. Van Hollen’s father once served as U.S. ambassador to Sri Lanka.
Prof. Peiris also briefed the two congressmen on Sri Lanka’s trilingual language initiative – a program to urge Sri Lankans to learn Sinhala, Tamil and English – to foster better understanding among all Sri Lankans.
The government, he said, has also established a national database to aid people whose relatives had gone missing during the conflict.
Minister Peiris rendered an invitation to the American Congressmen to tour Sri Lanka and witness progress.