The Embassy of Sri Lanka to the United States has noted with disappointment the unjustified and undue criticism leveled against the eight member delegation led by the Minister of Finance who are currently attending the Spring meetings of the Bretton Woods Institutions in Washington DC. It must be emphasized that these meetings and the various bilateral engagements undertaken by the Sri Lankan delegation are aimed at garnering international support in aid of Sri Lanka’s economic recovery pursuant to the several challenges being faced by the country.
Among the meetings in the schedule of engagements, apart from the regular Spring meetings of the IMF/Worlds Bank, a number of additional meetings were held with relevant divisions and departments of the IMF/World Bank including meeting with the Managing Director of the IMF and the World Bank’s Managing Director of Operations. In addition, during the short duration the delegation met with the US Department of the Treasury, the US Department of State, USAID, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and had a number of bilateral engagements including with the Finance Minister of India. The delegation will continue with its work with the expectation of garnering the best possible outcomes for Sri Lanka.
Social media postings have been made with distorted accounts and malicious attempts to denigrate the delegation and its work. These are apparently made with the invidious goal of undermining Sri Lanka’s efforts for overtly political gain by fostering hatred against and opposition to the delegation – aimed specifically at Sri Lankan-Americans and Sri Lankans resident in the United States and, generally, at Sri Lankans all over the world. These efforts to incite enmity among national stakeholders apparently seek to undermine national efforts that will accrue to the benefit of Sri Lankan people and the nation.
Among the negative comments made are the supposed wastage of funds at a time of economic crisis, particularly on facilities for transport and accommodation made use of by the 8-member delegation.
The posts show a photograph taken at random of two luxury vehicles parked at some location, insinuating that these are the vehicles being made use of by the delegation. The Embassy would like to state for the record that the delegation has been provided with two sedans which are non-luxury vehicles. In addition, an extra vehicle was provided free of charge by the Embassy for the use of the delegation due to space constraints.
As to accommodation, the hotel/s chosen were from a list recommended by the IMF/World Bank for the use of all international delegations visiting Washington DC. These hotels are offering concessionary rates for the delegations in Washington DC at present. The Hotel chosen by the Sri Lankan delegation is not among the more expensive in the list.
It can only be assumed that the posters of the distorted, inaccurate information only intend to sow disharmony and disapprobation among Sri Lankans and those interested in the country’s welfare. The Embassy wishes to place on record the factual situation in order that these misleading statements and misrepresentations are understood in context and the motivation and intent behind these mischaracterizations and the personalities involved, are exposed.
Embassy of Sri Lanka