US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission visits Trincomalee
[TamilNet, Tuesday, 21 December 2004, 19:30 GMT]
"Every one in Sri Lanka should work hard to see that the ceasefire now in force is not broken. People must ensure that war is past," said Mr.James F.Entwistle, Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in Sri Lanka Tuesday addressing meetings in Trincomalee and Namalwatte in Morawewa division in the Trincomalee district. Mr.Entwistle visited six projects funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which ranged from a vocational training centre to programs that provide water to formerly displaced persons.
Ms Brenda Barrett hands over candle light to Mr.Entwistle to light the traditional oil lamp at the foundation laying event while Principal Mr.Suntheralingam looks on
|Mr.James F.Entwistle, Deputy Ambassador of US Embassy in Colombo|
|Three girls from three communities light the traditional oil lamp at the event held in Trincomalee Quadalupe Church premises while Mr.Entwistle and Ms Brenda Barrett and other guests look on before unveiling the signboard carrying peace message at the general cemetry in the east port town|
|Mr.Entwistle unveiling the signboard at the general cemetery|
|US diplomats in front of the Trincomalee general cemetery|
|Mr.Entwistle, US Deputy Ambassador in Colombo along with Ms Brenda Barrett (USAID regional programme manager ) being taken to the site to lay foundation for the vocational training centre in the Trincomalee Technical College after unveiling the name board of the project by Principal Mr.V.Suntheralingam|
Mr.Entwistle began his tour in Trincomalee Tuesday by laying foundation for a vocational training centre, an addition to the Trincomalee Technical College which is located in Mihindupura along Trincomalee-Anuradhapura road about four km off east port town.
The building will be used for teaching masonry and plumbing skills to youths of all three communities.
Mr. Entwistle said that the US government is willing to spend money for the development projects believing that it would enhance the opportunities to find permanent peace.
Earlier, Mr V.Suntheralingam, Principal of Technical College, received Mr.Entwistle who arrived at the site with Ms Brenda Barrett, Regional Programme manager of the USAID in Trincomalee. At the commencement of the event Mr.Entwistle unveiled the name board of the proposed project for vocational training centre.
Thereafter Mr.Entwistle visited the burial sites for Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, which are located behind the Trincomalee railway station with youths of all communities and unveiled a signboard carrying a peace message. The signboard signifies the completion of a clean-up program that comes as part of six-months of language and conflict mitigation training and volunteer work in Trincomalee, said a press release of the US Embassy.
Mr.Entwistle then travelled to Morawewa division in Trincomalee district on Trinco-Anuradhapura road. There he declared open a community centre that marked the completion of a rehabilitation project in Namalwatte village. This rehabilitation included water deliveries, well construction, tank rehabilitation and the construction of a community centre for all three communities returning to the homes after years of displacement. Mr.Entwistle also unveiled a billboard that displays peace message designed by local residents of the division.
"These projects, worth over one hundred thousand dollars, represent the commitment the US government is making to increase support for negotiated settlement. This assistance represents an investment in the present peace building efforts in Trincomalee for a peaceful and prosperous future for Sri Lanka," said Mr.Entwistle.
He added: "The absence of war has made these initiatives possible. Now more than ever it is important to continue to work for peace".
"USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) supports efforts to end the long-standing conflict in Sri Lanka by increasing support for a negotiated settlement. Since USAID initiated the program March 2003, OTI has signed 260 grant agreements-mostly with local organizations-totalling over US $ 6.3 million," said the US Embassy press release.