US Ambassador Alaina Teplitz, who met with Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, has said the general election results showed that the previous administration has been rejected, the Prime Minister’s Media Division said yesterday.
The Media Division quoting the Ambassador said she noted that the election was conducted in a free, fair and peaceful manner and the results showed the “rejection of the previous administration.”
“We look forward to working with the government,” Ambassador Teplitz has said when she met the Premier at Temple Trees last evening and congratulated him on the successful election campaign.
Commenting on the COVID-19 preventive measures, the Ambassador said the Government certainly is to be commended for its success in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, calling it “a big success story.”
She further said that the Sri Lanka-US economic relationship is also a priority for the United States, including help with generating new job opportunities for Sri Lankans in the private sector.
Asked about the new government’s priorities, Prime Minister Rajapaksa said that economic recovery was currently the main priority due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prime Minister Rajapaksa also suggested that the United States could provide assistance to Sri Lanka to establish vocational training centres around the country to better-prepare the youth for job opportunities
“There are many opportunities,” Ambassador Teplitz said, “especially with the strong advantage Sri Lanka has with a well-educated labour force.”
In discussing the development sector, Prime Minister Rajapaksa informed the Ambassador that certain sectors of the population and certain areas of the country are lacking basic facilities.
The Prime Minister highlighted the need for safe drinking water in certain parts of the country, noting that unsafe drinking water is a major cause of chronic kidney disease.
Other areas discussed included bringing in new investments to Sri Lanka, support for democratic institutions and governance-related projects, and cooperation on the security sector with a specific focus on counter-terrorism, trafficking of people and narcotics, and addressing transnational crime. (Lahiru Pothmulla)