Clinton's visit - a fillip
THE return of former US President Bill
Clinton to Sri Lanka, this time in the capacity of UN Special Envoy for
Tsunami Recovery, we hope, would have the effect of impressing on all
concerned, the need to forge ahead vibrantly with our country rebuilding
effort. According to a UN source, a principal aim of Clinton is to "keep
everyone focused on results, transparency and accountability". The
public would recall that Clinton along with another former US
President, George Bush (Snr.), visited this country in February as part
of a tour aimed at galvanizing world wide support for the rebuilding of
tsunami-devastated regions of Asia and for establishing a steady
help-line for states which suffered in the catastrophe, at the request
of US President George Bush.
Besides, hopefully, speeding-up our country rebuilding process,
Clinton's current visit is certain to further bolster US-Lanka relations
and inject these ties with a substantial degree of warmth and
cordiality. However, Clinton's central area of concern would be Lanka's
rebuilding effort and the progress made by us in our endeavour to fully
recover from the tsunami tragedy. We hope this visit by the UN Special
Envoy would be a fillip to an accelerated country rebuilding drive, with
special emphasis on "results, transparency and accountability".
These are, indeed, three very crucial factors in putting Sri Lanka
back on its feet and we hope they would be receiving the attention of
all concerned, particularly the Lankan State. As mentioned by us,
concrete progress needs to be achieved in Lanka's rebuilding process and
we hope a substantial degree of efficiency has been registered in the
effort in this direction on the part of all concerned, including our
State sector personnel.
Coupled with efficiency, there absolutely needs to be transparency
and accountability on the part of all those involved in this momentous
enterprise. These factors are particularly important at a time when our
donor community's aid pledges have exceeded $ 3 billion. If the world
community is to continue to stand by our side the standards of concrete
progress, transparency and accountability need to be scrupulously met.
The Lankan State, however, could take heart from the fact that more
and more political parties are now supportive of the joint mechanism
proposal. This mechanism needs to be in place if the rebuilding of the
North-East is to be speeded-up and Clinton would be seeing for himself
the effort currently underway to restore a degree of normalcy to the
East. We hope he would be encouraged by what he sees in this district
because it suffered considerably at the hands of the tsunami.
We have no alternative but to put in an all out effort to bring
normalcy to our tsunami-ravaged regions. We hope this recovery drive
would be made the launching pad for a renewed peace effort too.