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US opens $450,000 school faculty in Jaffna

US Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power in opened the new facility of the Osmania College in Jaffna that was built using the approximately $450,000 funding from the US.

Photograph: US Embassy Colombo

Addressing teachers and children at the opening of the new Science Lab with a Tamil translator, Ms Power said,

“President Obama and the American people are committed to supporting you and your country in the long rebuilding process, and in the difficult journey of reconciliation among all peoples. And as we work to do that, I know that there is no better way to help than to support schools like Osmania.”

Noting that the all communities in Jaffna including the Muslims had suffered a great deal, Ms Power added,

“We are also here today to celebrate the future, but as we of that, we do not – we cannot – forget the past. That is particularly true on these grounds, where just over 25 years ago the Muslim community of Jaffna was gathered and told to leave their homes. Before the term “ethnic cleansing” was known, the Muslims of Jaffna experienced it. The Damage, of course, was not just to buildings, like these ones, but also to people. There was great suffering, and the effects of that suffering are still being felt today.Without reliable access to schools like Osmania, a whole generation of young people suffered from limited educational opportunities. I know that this community – like the rest of Jaffna, the Northern Province, and all of Sri Lanka – are still rebuilding and recovering.”

Calling on the students help  work towards an accountable government, Ms Power said,

"You are the future of your country, and we know that you are going to help your country on a path to accountable government, active civil society, and lasting democracy and prosperity. Thank you so much, it's a great honour for me, a true pleasure, to be with you. Nandri."

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