VIDEO: ‘To those who say isolate Sri Lanka, I say engage with Sri Lanka’
February 16, 2014 03:03 pm
The Australian government has reaffirmed its commitment to working with the Sri Lankan government to foster peace, prosperity, stability and security in the pursuit of freedom, the rule of law and democracy.
The Australian government places great value on our longstanding relationship with Sri Lanka, the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop said, during a recent ceremony at the Sri Lankan High Commission in Canberra.
She stated that Sri Lanka and Australia have historic ties in various fields such as sport, trade, investment, tourism and education.
Bishop stated that both she and Prime Minister Tony Abbott were pleased to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo last November, “where we reaffirmed our commitment to working with the Sri Lanka government to improve lives of everybody who lives in the country.”
The Australian government recognizes that Sri Lanka has come through a period of conflict over 30 years, nothing less than a human tragedy of massive proportions. And we have urged the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, she said.
“And to those who say isolate Sri Lanka, I say engage with Sri Lanka,” Bishop said, adding, that was precisely what she and her colleague Scott Morrison did when in the opposition.
Bishop said she was part of an Australian parliamentary delegation which arrived in Sri Lanka and toured the North to witness the situation for themselves.
“Yes you can criticize, yes you can judge but you must also recognize that much has been achieved in resettlement and reconstruction,” she pointed out.
“The path for reconciliation will be long, but with the political world and the commitment that we saw during our time in Sri Lanka, I believe that the future will be bright.”
“I believe that the best days for Sri Lanka lie ahead,” Julie Bishop said.