Remarks by Ambassador Atul Keshap Conveying Condolences and U.S. Disaster Relief Support Following a Meeting with President Sirisena

June 3, 2017

It was my great honor today to pay a call on President Sirisena and convey to him the condolences and sympathies of the American people for all of the loss of life of the flooding taken place in southern Sri Lanka in the past week.

I also informed him that we had made a decision to provide assistance of 350 million Sri Lankan Rupees to help with immediate flood relief and flood assistance. Help for people to get back into their livelihoods, back into their homes, and get their children back into schools.

This is part of the American partnership between the United States people and Sri Lanka for over a many decades. Since 2001, we have provided over 19 billion rupees in assistance to help Sri Lanka manage and overcome natural disasters. I told the President that we will always be there as friends to support the Sri Lankan people.

We also have experts from our U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, who are here working with Sri Lankan government authorities. We have military folks from the U.S. Embassy working closely with the Sri Lankan military on disaster relief. We have U.S. Army engineers, as well as U.S. Army cadets who are visiting Sri Lanka, assisting with relief activities.

This additional infusion of 350 million Sri Lankan Rupees from the American people will hopefully provide assistance at time of need, as friends always do. We pray for a good outcome for everybody. We are very sorry for the lives of the lost.

We will continue our robust bilateral friendship and relationship between the American and Sri Lankan people.