Lanka must curb money laundering: US congressman
May 18, 2012
A top US congressman has told visiting External Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris that for long term stability in the post conflict era it was important to put an end to the international money laundering racket. During the visit the minister briefed members of the House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee, including its democratic party representative Howard Berman (Democrat - California), Steve Chabot (Republican - Ohio) the Chairman of the committee's Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee, and representative Ed Royce (Republican - California) the Chairman of the committee's Terrorism, Nonproliferation and Trade Subcommittee.

The minister is reported to have said at the meeting that Sri Lanka gave high priority to monitor the money laundering menace.

The Sri Lankan Government has already signed agreements with several countries to curb money laundering activities.

According to Sri Lanka's mission in the US, Rep. Royce said he was specifically concerned about post-conflict international money laundering which was "vexing and problematic for the future."

The Lankan Mission said committee members commended Sri Lanka on the progress made in its efforts at reconciliation and development since the war against terrorism ended on May 19, 2009. They had also expressed their enthusiasm for continued cooperation between the United States and Sri Lanka, and inquired about Sri Lanka's plans to implement the LLRC's recommendations. The minister met representatives Chris Van Hollen (Democrat-maryland) and Robert Aderholt (Republican-alabama), to discuss recommendations made in 2011 by Sri Lanka's Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC).

At the talks the minister said Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Opposition Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had met on Monday to discuss matters related to multi-party participation in a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) which would consider constitutional amendments.

He said it was important to the government that minority parties in Parliament take part in that process which should be all inclusive. Mr. Van Hollen and Mr. Aderholt are co-chairs of the Sri Lanka caucus in the House of Representatives. Mr. Hollen's father once served as US ambassador to Sri Lanka.

The minister also met representatives Heath Shuler (Democrat-north Carolina), Ben Chandler (Democrat-kentucky) and Jack Kingston (Republican-georgia).

Source: Daily Mirror - Sri Lanka