A delegation from the US State of Montana called on Ambassador of Sri Lanka to the United States, Mahinda Samarasinghe on Monday, October 31, 2022. The delegation headed by Major Christopher Cory, Director of the State Partnership Program, handed over a flag of the State and a certificate addressed to the Embassy of Sri Lanka, signed by Governor of Montana, Greg Gianforte, in acknowledgement of and expressing appreciation for Sri Lanka’s cooperation under the Program. The State flag of Montana was flown in honor of the Embassy of Sri Lanka over the State Capitol in Helena on 21st Oct. 2022. The ongoing cooperation with Sri Lanka is focused on technical advice and training delivered by the Montana National Guard/Air National Guard in the areas of technical training and education for the military in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR), medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and other activities under Subject Matter Expert Exchange program.
Ambassador Samarasinghe, who had spoken with Governor Gianforte, and conveyed Sri Lanka’s gratitude for the assistance already provided by the State of Montana, expressed the expectation that expansion into further areas of cooperation under the State Partnership Program would be possible. Such broadening would encompass the commercial, trade and investment, tourism, education and skills training and cultural spheres. He briefed the delegation on Sri Lanka comparative advantages, possessing skilled human resources, a developed IT sector and infrastructure that could support such cooperation. Sri Lanka is also very interested in developing links that will help grow the renewable energy sector, he added.
The Ambassador also invited the Governor to undertake a visit to Sri Lanka in the near future with a view to assessing the potential for new and expanded cooperation. Through the State Partnership Program (SPP), the National Guard conducts military-to-military engagements in support of defense security goals but also leverages whole-of-society relationships and capabilities to facilitate broader interagency and corollary engagements spanning military, government, economic and social spheres.