20th December 2015 17:43:07 Hours
A high profile US delegation, headed by Dr Amy Searight, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia Friday (18) morning met Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva, Commander of the Army and exchanged views on matters, pertaining to UN troop deployment, progress of de-mining work, troop training at Kukuleganga Institute of Peace Support Operations Training Sri Lanka (IPSOTSL), Practical readiness for UN troop deployment, etc.
During the meeting at the Army Headquarters, Dr Amy Searight spoke high of the contribution, being made by UN peacekeeping troops of Sri Lanka and expressed her satisfaction of their commitment to the UN roles and tasks.
Dr Searight made inquiries into possible UN troop deployment in the future too and Sri Lanka Army’s readiness to provide contingents at short notice.
Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva in return spelt out the status quo and explained the visiting US delegation on the feedback the Sri Lankan peacekeepers have received to-date as well as the continuous training going on at the IPSOTSL to meet with any emergency requirement at international level.
Commander of the Army touching the subject of de-mining in Sri Lanka told her that Sri Lankan Army de-mining teams had by now made remarkable achievements by clearing a large chunk of minefields that had been scattered by LTTE terrorists in the North.
Lieutenant General Crishanthe De Silva opined that the speed with which Sri Lanka succeeded in the field of de-mining would certainly be a landmark in the global history of de-mining activities.
Cordial discussions further shed light on preparedness of Sri Lankan troops for future UN assignments, exchange of expertise in technical fields, present overseas deployments and training for UN assignments,etc.
The US delegation included Mr Kevin Zhou, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Knox Ross, Defence Attaché and Lieutenant Colonel Sanford and the cordial meeting was attended by Major General Mahesh Senanayake, Military Secretary, Major General R. Rathnasingham, Quarter Master General and Brigadier Jayantha Gunaratne, Director Operations, representing the Army.
Towards the end of the meet, the visiting delegates exchanged mementos with the Commander of the Army.
Dr Amy Searight is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for South and Southeast Asia within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. Dr. Searight serves as the principal advisor to senior leadership within the Department of Defence for all policy matters pertaining to development and implementation of defence strategies and plans for the region.
Her area of responsibility includes bilateral security relations with India and all other South Asian countries, excepting Afghanistan and Pakistan; and with the nations of Southeast Asia, plus Australia, Timor Leste, New Zealand, and the Pacific Island States.
She joined the Office of the Secretary of Defence in October 2012 as the Principal Director for East Asia, and prior to that served as Senior Policy Advisor for Asia at the United States Agcncy for International Development (USAID).
Dr. Searight was assistant professor at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University and adjunct fellow at the Japan Chair at CSIS, where her research and teaching focused on Asian regional architecture, Japanese politics, and U.S. foreign policy. As a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow in 2003-2004, Dr Searight served in the U.S. Department of State on the Policy Planning Staff, where she helped formulate U.S. regional policy toward Asia, and was special adviser to the U.S. Ambassador for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum. She has also been a faculty member at North-western University, a research fellow at Harvard University, and a vice president at Stonebridge International, a strategic advising firm.
Dr Searight received her PhD in political science from Stanford University.