Mon, 15 Apr 2024 Today's Paper

Protecting sea lanes vital for Indo-Pacific economic growth: US Deputy Secretary of State Verma

23 February 2024 10:24 pm - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

A A A

Colombo, Feb 23 - The United States remains committed to the economic growth and prosperity of Sri Lanka, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Richard Verma told government, civil society and economic leaders during his February 23 to 24 visit to Sri Lanka. 

Verma met President Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Minister Ali Sabry to discuss the progress on Sri Lanka’s IMF programme, including inclusive economic and governance reforms aimed at keeping Sri Lanka on the path to sustainable economic growth. 

Deputy Secretary Verma stressed the vital need to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression. They also explored opportunities to deepen defense and maritime cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka, including strengthening the Sri Lanka Navy’s capabilities to safeguard national security and promote a more stable Indo-Pacific region.

On February 23, aboard the SLNS Vijayabahu, one of three former U.S. Coast Guard cutters transferred by the United States to Sri Lanka, Deputy Secretary Verma said, “I am pleased to announce that the Department of State has notified Congress of our intent to transfer a fourth medium endurance cutter to Sri Lanka.  The Department obligated $9 million in Foreign Military Financing to support this effort.  We look forward to offering the cutter, pending the completion of Congress’ notification period.  If completed, this transfer would further strengthen defense cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka.  The ship would increase Sri Lanka’s ability to patrol its Exclusive Economic Zone, monitor its search and rescue area, and provide additional security for ships from all nations that transit the busy sea lanes of the Indian Ocean.”

Participating in the announcement at Colombo Port were Sri Lanka State Minister of Defense Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera, and U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Julie Chung, who remarked, “The United States has previously transferred three cutters to the Sri Lankan Navy, which deploys these ships for maritime operations and law enforcement missions, countering human trafficking and drug trafficking, while supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster response efforts. The eventual transfer of a fourth vessel would be just one more point in a long history of cooperation between Sri Lanka and the United States in preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

Deputy Secretary Verma also visited the site of the West Container Terminal (WCT), a deepwater shipping container terminal in the Port of Colombo. The WCT, currently being constructed by Colombo West International Terminal (CWIT) Private Limited with $553 million in financing from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation, will provide critical infrastructure for the South Asian region. Operating near capacity since 2021, the Port of Colombo’s new addition will be the port’s deepest terminal and aims to boost Colombo’s shipping capacity, expanding its role as a premiere logistics hub connecting major routes and markets, boosting prosperity for Sri Lanka without adding to its sovereign debt.

Richard R. Verma serves as the Deputy Secretary of State for Management & Resources. In this role, he acts as the Chief Operating Officer of the Department, and leads the Department’s efforts on modernization, foreign assistance, and a wide range of workforce and strategic issues. Deputy Secretary Verma previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to India, where he led one of the largest U.S. diplomatic missions and championed historic progress in bilateral ties. 


Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka

  Comments - 8

Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka
  • melville perera Friday, 23 February 2024 11:46 PM

    that is what the NON ALIGNMENT MOVEMENT means and thankful to the international nuclear powers giving Sri Lanka such importance if not pride of place in the international landscape by surrounding the SEA OF SRI LANKA with their nuclear powered vessels under a meaningless exercise of defending SRI LANKA whose small battalion of armed forces destroyed a world class terrorist group compared to some of the above who forcefully invaded countries lost and forced to withdraw. What have we to hide. They have even sent spacecrafts to other planets even so their state of the art equipment can trace a shoe size 20,000 feet deep in Sea of Lanka from their own country so why send your nuclear powered "floating dock" to surround our country uninterested in any invasion

    Think about it Saturday, 24 February 2024 12:34 AM

    This guy is a half Indian, mother white American and father Hindu Indian. His official role in his trip to Sri Lanka is to promote the American interests in Sri Lanka but his private role is to look after Indian interests in Sri Lanka. Which company is pocketing the $553 million of the American aid in building the terminal ?

    Fred Saturday, 24 February 2024 01:33 AM

    What a visiting US professor told us many many years ago at University(Ceylon) Peradeniya when speaking about the success of the US that Self Reliance was the key so techno logy transfer which will then get to the right sources and not money when there is no money the crooks will disappear the country will learn to survive and thrive.Sri Lankans are intelligent educated if India can develop despite a billion mouths to feed why can't Sri Lanka with a fertile land and 123? river systems

    Zak Saturday, 24 February 2024 03:58 AM

    Dravidians have penetrated the top hierarchy of US gov and Wall Street. In 20 yrs they will be as powerful and the jews in US. Smart people with intelligence and integrity. I guess we had the cream of the crop in our northern Tamil community. How unfortunate that most of them left the country due to our own mistakes. At least now we should realise the past mistakes and correct them.

    Shunmugam Saturday, 24 February 2024 05:59 AM

    This American is coming from thousands of miles away and telling us how to protect our sea lanes in Asia, but China an Asian power talking about Asian sea lanes is not acceptable to the West.

    Sokrates Saturday, 24 February 2024 09:15 AM

    The US is truly and honestly interested in helping Sri Lanka's economy get back on its feet. You can do far better and more profitable business with an economically well-positioned partner than with an economically weak partner. China, on the other hand, has a completely different trade policy. China is not interested in the economic advancement of its trading partners; on the contrary, it wants to keep them weak and lure them into debt traps. This means that China can take over entire economic sectors of a weak country and also make these countries politically dependent.

    Ahmed Saturday, 24 February 2024 05:43 PM

    why do they bother about this region ? let them focus on their own region

    Navi Sunday, 25 February 2024 07:49 PM

    Yes. Pay us Royalty annually for the using sea lane within SL boundary each year by your vessels. A US $ 5m Royalty would be fine for now..


Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment





Order Gifts and Flowers to Sri Lanka. See Kapruka's top selling online shopping categories such as Toys, Grocery, Kids Toys, Birthday Cakes, Fruits, Chocolates, Clothing and Electronics. Also see Kapruka's unique online services such as Money Remittence,Astrology, Courier/Delivery, Medicine Delivery and over 700 top brands. Also get products from Amazon & Ebay via Kapruka Gloabal Shop into Sri Lanka