August 17, 2018
Alagalle School, Vavuniya
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. It is a delight on behalf of the U.S. Embassy to welcome Major General Jim Eifert and our colleagues from the Sri Lankan Air Force for what is the 11th Operation Pacific Angel.
U.S. and Sri Lankan military and civilian personnel along with non-governmental organizations have been working together to provide medical treatment, to rebuild schools, and to exchange best practices among practitioners. This helps us to build what we call interoperability, the ability to work together as partners. It helps us prepare for potential natural disasters, humanitarian operations, and it also does, we like to think, a lot of good for the people of Sri Lanka. They have been treating more than one thousand patients, more than one thousand patients every day at these clinics. They’re providing dental care, they’re providing hundreds of pairs of new eyeglasses to people who need them. They’re providing physical therapy, helping people with injuries of various kinds, and again, just building those bonds between people that we think are so important.
So it’s a real honor for me representing the U.S. Embassy to be here. But the people who are doing the real hard work are our colleagues from the military and the NGOs, and I’d love to turn the microphone over to my American and Sri Lankan colleagues.