MP Mahinda Samarasinghe today resigned from Parliament to accept his new post as the Sri Lanka Ambassador of the USA.
Mr. Samarasinghe said in a statement that he had handed over the letter of resignation of Parliament Secretary General Dhammika Dassanayake.
“Today (25) I take leave from Parliament and expect to assume duties in Washington DC on November 29. Thereafter, I will present my credentials to the President of the United States and commence my duties as Ambassador to Sri Lanka. My lone expectation is to fulfil my role with dedication to Sri Lanka. I feel it my bounden duty, once my three-year service overseas is concluded, to return and once again provide leadership to, and serve the people of Kalutara and Sri Lanka. Although I am taking a brief hiatus after 33 years of active politics, I did so not with a view for personal gain but, rather, in order to render productive and fruitful service to the country. My main goal Is to utilize my years of international experience to uplift the profile and status of the country. I also reassure the people of Kalutara, whose consistent support has enabled me to attain whatever I have achieved in the political sphere, of my enduring respect and my continuous commitment to them,” he said in a communiqué.
I remain sincerely grateful to President Gotabaya Rajapaksa for reposing his trust and confidence in me by appointing me Ambassador to the major global political and economic power – the United States of America – at a critical juncture. This is especially the case in the present environment within which Sri Lanka is faced with many challenges on the international arena. In addition, I am also concurrently accredited to Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago. Among my principal aims and objectives is the engagement of the Sri Lankan diaspora – inclusive of persons of Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim heritage. Many of them hold high-level positions and run successful enterprises. I would welcome them to re-invest in their homeland along with encouraging and attracting new investment inflows from the US. I would also seek the enhancement of our exports which currently stands at 25% of the total exports of the country.
Further, among my main priorities will be strengthening our strong bonds by constantly sharing information, our insights and fostering closer bilateral cooperation. Our efforts at achieving broad-based reconciliation and protection of human rights will be of the highest importance in our engagement with the US Government,” he added.(Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)