Speech by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in the Sri Lanka-German Training Institute Kilinochchi

22.09.2015 - Speech

Dear Ms Kourieh,
Senior representatives of the national and provincial government,
and above all: dear students,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Being here in Kilinochchi with you is something special for me. Not only because this is my first trip to Sri Lanka. Not only because due to the monsoon, it was highly unlikely that our flight here would work.

Here in Kilinochchi, something very important becomes tangible to me: Sri Lanka is living through a moment of renewal

Just think of this place. Here, we are not only constructing the new Sri Lanka-German Training Institute. You, dear students, will come here to lay the foundations of future your careers and your personal future. But I am convinced: At this institute, you will have the chance to achieve more: It will support you in building a better future for your country.

Vocational Training has proved a huge success in Germany. Therefore, here in Kilinochchi, our two countries have joined forces to strengthen Sri Lanka’s vocational training sector, too. In fact, Vocational Training, especially in the North and East of Sri Lanka, is already well underway – that is a very encouraging sign!

You know better than I do that these are the regions of Sri Lanka that were particularly affected by the war. Six years back, no one would have dreamed of us gathering here in Kilinochchi to witness the construction of a new training hub.

I consider this an encouraging signal of hope for a better future. These days, Sri Lankans are taking important steps towards reconciliation after long and bitter years of civil war. As someone who is coming from a country with a past that is difficult to master, I can imagine how difficult a task is lying ahead of you.

This will require a lot of hard work, a lot of patience! Please be assured: On this path, Germany will continue to be a reliable partner of the people of Sri Lanka – no matter whether they live in Kilinochchi or in Colombo.

We are ready to do what we can to help you deal with Sri Lanka’s painful past and to open a fresh chapter in the history of your country.

Dear students, I encourage all of you to make full use of what will be offered to you at this new centre. We all know there will be hard work ahead of you until you hold your certificates in your hands. But the training you receive here will offer you a unique opportunity, for a good future for yourselves, your families and your country!

Thank you.

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