(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Addressing the Plenary of the Second Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom hosted by the US State Department on 18 July 2019 in Washington D.C., Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, Rodney Perera, while thanking delegations present for their expression of sympathy, solidarity and support, mentioned that the people of Sri Lanka have lived side by side amicably irrespective of ethnic and religious differences for centuries, and that they continue to do so.
He appealed to the international audience to help Sri Lanka “by visiting the beautiful, historical and diverse, and now safe, Sri Lanka” which would immensely help the country “to improve the livelihoods of the people and business confidence in the island to help defeat extremism/terrorism and further bring the communities closer by solidifying the multi-religious freedoms in Sri Lanka.”
Ambassador Perera also briefed the gathering on the utmost commitment of the Sri Lankan Government to promoting and upholding religious freedoms of all Sri Lankans regardless of their religious faiths and beliefs.
Delivering the keynote speech of the Second Ministerial for Advancing Religious Freedom, the US Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, said that this gathering is the largest human rights ministerial ever hosted by the US, with the participation of government representatives, religious leaders, members of the civil society and officials from over 100 countries around the world.
Addressing the Plenary, Vice President Mike Pence, emphasized US government’s long cherished policy and commitment to upholding freedom of conscience, human rights and human dignity and its stand for the rights and freedom of all religious minorities while stating that advancing religious freedom is a major foreign policy initiative of the Trump administration.
Both US leaders and lead delegates of the countries present expressed their profound solidarity and support for Sri Lanka.