Almost had Obama here in 2016: Mangala

27 February 2019 06:49 pm - 18     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The Government of Sri Lanka almost pulled off the impossible by having President Barack Obama in Sri Lanka in 2016, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said on Tuesday.

He revealed this at the opening ceremony of the latest American Corner at Matara which was also attended by US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz and Matara Chamber of Commerce and Industry Board President Metta Widanagamachchi.

Addressing the gathering, Minister Samaraweera said the date former President Obama gave for a one-day visit while visiting the region was the same day as the Vesak Day. 

“It was the only day that was available for him and we had to regret it with great sadness because if he did come then, that certainly would have been a historical visit but I’m sure in the future one day, we certainly will have the President of the US coming here to Sri Lanka,” he said. 

He also said that the US Government approved the Foreign Military Financing as well as the Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact Programme for Sri Lanka. “This was put on hold, but we are looking forward to a new team coming to Sri Lanka next month and I’m hoping that the board meeting to be held in March will decide to give us that elusive compact again,” he said.

Commenting on the American Corner, Minister Samaraweera said Matara is now offered to be directly connected to the United States, where there are ample opportunities for business, education, cultural and other prospects. 

“Specially at a time when we endeavour to regain Sri Lanka’s historic role as a major trade, maritime, and shipping hub in the Indian Ocean, it is important to improve connectivity to the outside world. Matara had been since ancient times, known for its entrepreneur spirit and the old Dutch Fort here remains evident to a very active commercial centre in the Southern coastal belt. 

The United States, being the largest export market for Sri Lanka, accounting over 25% of our total exports, the opening of an American Corner in Matara offers greater opportunities. As for the manufacturers and producers in the South, you have to seize this momentum with the support of the Matara Chamber of Commerce and Industry to expand trade, investments and exports to one of the best and largest markets in the world,” he said. (Lahiru Pothmulla)

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  Comments - 18

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  • dilip Wednesday, 27 February 2019 08:47 PM

    "Obama in Sri Lanka". What's the big deal ????????

    butterfly has no legs Wednesday, 27 February 2019 09:08 PM

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH... maybe but im sure not when him and his buddies are ruling Sri Lanka

    Be Fair Wednesday, 27 February 2019 10:03 PM

    Almost.................... we have had much.

    VRSriLanka Wednesday, 27 February 2019 10:30 PM

    I cannot understand why Mangala says he could not accommodate US President Obama to visit SL because it was Vesak day. Is it because Mangala had to got to the Temple? The country and the govt must get their priorities right. Country comes first and if Obama coming was good for SL, Vesak or not it should have been arranged.

    N. N. PERERA Thursday, 28 February 2019 03:21 AM

    "We had to regret with great sadness...…………." After 80 years of independence, you still appreciate and cannot forget the "taste" of Western "Tokku parawal".

    N. N. PERERA Thursday, 28 February 2019 03:21 AM

    "We had to regret with great sadness...…………." After 80 years of independence, you still appreciate and cannot forget the "taste" of Western "Tokku parawal".

    VENUS Thursday, 28 February 2019 03:39 AM

    what a sad life! clear example of being impotent and useless as always these people act differently, look up for someone because they cannot do anything the common man does. So the outsiders who are opportunists, take the opportunity and put their nose into our issues, and capitalise them to show the outside world and the locals that their doing good rather than bad, similar thing happen during the last kingdom, the greedy people who were fighting for positions, looked up for the outsiders' help, who were looking an opportunity, so they did gladly and ruined and robbed the wealth of the nation. HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF!

    Naspuk Pissa Thursday, 28 February 2019 08:16 AM

    We don't need anymore psycho's to visit here. We already have one we cannot get rid off.

    Milroy Byrde Thursday, 28 February 2019 08:26 AM

    LOL

    Sarath de Alwis Thursday, 28 February 2019 08:52 AM

    He may go to the US and lend his ....s to any one. Why bring them hear? create another Libiya,? Thank goodness the ...g..r did not come.

    ET Thursday, 28 February 2019 09:02 AM

    Why should we have a visit from this smiling assassinator of children in the womb thru his planned parenthood program ?

    Kalu Albert Thursday, 28 February 2019 09:12 AM

    This homosexual is terminally sick. He can't escape the American grip because he want their connivance to legalise gay marriage here. He should be swept in to the American corner with Teplitz. She may be able to service his weird cravings.

    Sammy Thursday, 28 February 2019 10:25 AM

    Let's not have Trump in Sri Lanka.

    Dallas Thursday, 28 February 2019 10:36 AM

    This shows the slave like mind set of Mongala This is why he cosponsored the resolution against SL in Geneva and exactly why this government should be chased away.Respect US how ever do not behave like we are theire slave

    True petriot Thursday, 28 February 2019 11:20 AM

    What waste, this Moron thinks he can do whatever his western masters need in this land.

    Nelum Fernando Thursday, 28 February 2019 12:22 PM

    ඔබ මා හමුවුන දා කියලා අත අල්ලන් ඉඹින්න තිබ්බා ආවා නම්. අපරාදෙ නෙහ්?

    Psg Thursday, 28 February 2019 01:24 PM

    Who the hell cares!

    firenice Thursday, 28 February 2019 01:36 PM

    what importance is obama anyways and why do you regret that he couldnt visit? is he your master? you think we are still a colony? arrogant fool


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