Ambassador Chung’s remarks for the Digital Evidence Workshop

June 15, 2022

Attorney General Rajaratnam, dear colleagues, and friends;

It is with great pleasure to welcome you to this workshop on digital evidence, which reflects the longstanding and steady cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka on promoting justice and the rule of law.

I want to thank everyone here with us today, particularly our prosecutor colleagues from the Attorney General’s Department and investigator colleagues from the Criminal Investigation Division, who have helped organize this event. And I also warmly welcome Hon. David O. Carter, of the United States District Court for the Central District of California. Judge Carter is visiting Maldives and Sri Lanka this week to share his expertise, wisdom, and enthusiasm, with the participants here, and, later, with Sri Lankan judges.

Sri Lanka is facing some of the most serious economic challenges it has ever faced, and I know how difficult the last few months have been for the people of this country. The U.S. is committed to supporting our Sri Lankan partners through these challenging times, especially through our ongoing efforts to promote economic prosperity, food security, and inclusive governance. Strengthening Sri Lanka’s criminal justice sector is a critical component of these efforts. The rule of law, equal access to justice, and accountability are pillars of all democratic legal systems and are essential to the safety and well-being of all Sri Lanka’s citizens.

And I think it’s because of today’s challenges that initiatives like this Digital Evidence Workshop give value to our work: to do our part to help the people and government of Sri Lanka strive for best practices in the field of criminal justice generally, and digital evidence specifically.

Computers and the internet bind us together, providing opportunities for friendship, commerce, and education. Unfortunately, they also have a dark side, providing opportunities for crime. Criminals do not respect national borders. As crime becomes more sophisticated, so too must police and prosecutors. The United States welcomes the opportunity to share the expertise of American and Sri Lanka judges and lawyers with you. Our goal is to provide you not only with the most up-to-date information about digital evidence, but, also, to facilitate the creation of relationships that will serve our countries’ mutual interests for years to come.

And of course, none of the work here would be possible without help from the dedicated law enforcement professionals representing Sri Lanka here today. From one public servant to another, thank you for your service. The work that you all are doing have great purpose: not only to strengthen and increase the capacity in your justice sector, but strengthen public confidence in the democratic institutions of this country.

I want to say thank you once more to everyone here, to Attorney General Rajaratnam, and our Sri Lanka colleagues, for their hard work, dedication, and continued partnership.