Sri Lanka says it takes maritime security seriously

Sri Lanka takes the security of sea lanes and maritime security in the oceans around the island seriously, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Prasad Kariyawasam said.He said that Sri Lanka is eager to work with the maritime powers of the Indian Ocean and beyond, to make Sri Lanka’s oceans secure for unimpeded commerce and peaceful navigation. Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the US, Prasad Kariyawasam was speaking at the East – West Center in Hawaii. The Ambassador also said that Sri Lanka intends to broaden the existing Indo-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement. He said the Free Trade Agreement between India and Sri Lanka was the first for both countries when it was signed in 1998.He also noted that Sri Lanka enjoys a Free Trade Agreement with Pakistan, and is now working towards such an Agreement with China. “We are determined, as it is in our interest, to work with the maritime powers of the region to ensure that the Indian Ocean is conflict free. We will therefore work with the maritime powers of the region with commitment to prevent conflict, combat terrorism and piracy and assist to harmonize geo-strategic complexities,” Ambassador Kariyawasam said. The Ambassador also said that after almost thirty years of conflict, peace has now been consolidated in Sri Lanka.In addition, he said the Government is working with all stakeholders in the country as well as the international community, in particular with the United Nations to establish mechanisms for truth-seeking, justice, and reparations to give solace to all those who suffered during long years conflict and promote reconciliation with a firm objective of guaranteeing non-recurrence.The Ambassador said the Government will also soon embark on drafting a new constitution which will address the requirements of a modern, progressive nation with provisions aimed at addressing the grievances of all communities living in the Island and promote social justice. (Colombo Gazette)

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