Former Sri Lankan Minister Mangala Samaraweera wanted to open Sri Lanka to the world and fought for justice and reconciliation, said Samantha Power, Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and former Ambassador to the UN paying tribute to the former minister who passed away today from COVID-19.
She tweets:“I am devastated by the passing of Mangala Samaraweera, former Sri Lankan Foreign Minister, a great patriot and statesman, advocate for democracy and human rights, and a treasured friend. My sincere condolences to his family and the people of Sri Lanka.
Mangala entered politics during a brutal civil war because he dreamed of peace, harmony & dignity for all Sri Lankans. He helped found the Mothers’ Front, which tracked information on Sri Lanka’s legion of disappeared while pressing for answers on their fate & accountability.
Mangala fought for justice & for reconciliation. As Foreign Minister he pushed to create the Office on Missing Persons, & for reparations to war victims and survivors. As Finance Minister, he orchestrated the forgiveness of loans taken out by desperate families after the war.
Mangala wanted to open Sri Lanka to the world, & I’m grateful to have worked with him to strengthen US-Sri Lanka ties. He’s one of the most remarkable public servants I’ve known & a profoundly good person. I’ll miss his wise counsel, tremendous wit, & rare gift for friendship.”