Diplomacy: US Secretary Pompeo’s Meeting With Marapana

Both welcomed the approval of a $480-million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact

Secretary Michael R. Pompeo met with Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana today.  The Secretary reiterated the United States’ condemnation of the attacks that Sri Lanka suffered last month, which also killed five Americans, and strong U.S. support for Sri Lanka in its fight against terrorism.  Foreign Minister Marapana noted appreciation for U.S. support in the aftermath of the bombings and conveyed Sri Lanka’s interest in deepening cooperation to prevent future attacks.  

Both welcomed the approval of a $480-million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact as an important development that will contribute to prosperity and economic sovereignty in Sri Lanka.  Secretary Pompeo also welcomed Sri Lanka’s renewed commitments to accountability, justice, and reconciliation.

Meanwhile, A high endurance cutter, a gift from the U.S. Coast Guard, arrived in Colombo on Sunday, May 12 after a 42-day voyage from Hawaii.  The ship was officially transferred to the Sri Lanka Navy in a ceremony held in Honolulu, Hawaii on August 27, 2018.  After the ceremony, the vessel underwent refit and upgrades while its new Sri Lankan crew participated in training. 

“The cutter represents the United States’ commitment to a sovereign Sri Lanka able to protect its security and prosperity,” said U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina B. Teplitz.  “The Indo-Pacific must remain free and open to all nations.” 

The cutter is the second U.S. Coast Guard ship to be given to Sri Lanka and, at 115m long, becomes the largest platform currently in the Sri Lanka Navy fleet.  Captain (ND) Rohitha Abeysinghe and the crew of 22 officers and 111 sailors were received by Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Piyal De Silva, Navy Chief of Staff Rear Admiral Nishantha Ulugetenne, and other senior officers from the Naval Headquarters and Western Naval Command.  Senior staff conducted an initial ship inspection after the arrival ceremony.  The ship will receive its Sri Lankan name after its commissioning by President Maithripala Sirisena in the near future. 

The new vessel will be utilized by the Sri Lanka Navy for patrol and surveillance missions in the deep seas around Sri Lanka, providing maritime security and assistance to search and rescue operations. The United States continues to support Sri Lanka and its allies in their efforts to promote a free and open Indo Pacific.


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