News ≫ Bridging Communities: U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka visits Staten Island, New York.

Bridging Communities: U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka visits Staten Island, New York.

Jul 10, 2024
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On Friday, June 7, H.E Ambassador Julie Chung, the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, visited Staten Island, New York, accompanied by the State Department’s Senior Advisor for Outreach and Partnerships for South & Central Asia, Jennifer Miller. Ambassador Chung has served as the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka since February 2022.

During her visit to Staten Island, she visited the Sri Lankan Arts and Cultural Museum, the Sri Lanka Association, and the Buddhist and Hindu Temples.

The Sri Lankan Art & Cultural Museum, located in the Stapleton neighborhood of Staten Island, is the first museum dedicated to Sri Lankan culture outside Sri Lanka. Julia Wijesinghe founded the museum to celebrate and educate visitors about Sri Lankan heritage. The museum is associated with the Lakruwana restaurant, owned by Julia’s family, which serves traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.

Julia Wijesinghe stated, “It was a dream come true and a great honor to welcome the U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka, Julie Chung, to my museum in New York City. She traveled from Sri Lanka to visit my museum, which made the moment even more special. Giving her a tour of Little Sri Lanka on Staten Island, including visits to the Buddhist and Hindu temples, was a privilege”.

Ambassador Chung also engaged with the Sri Lanka Association of New York (SLANY) during a Town Hall event at the Stone House at Clove Lakes in Staten Island. The association, established in 1970, plays a crucial role in promoting the welfare of Sri Lankans in the U.S. and those interested in Sri Lanka. It serves as a meeting ground for the community and fosters social activities, while also providing valuable non-political information about Sri Lanka’s history, culture, and religion.

At the Hindu Temple, Ambassador Chung discussed several key initiatives, underscoring the U.S.’s commitment to supporting Sri Lanka. She highlighted the work of USAID and the establishment of the American Center in Jaffna, with plans for a new center in the Middle East. She also announced the return of the Peace Corps to Sri Lanka, which will soon start sending volunteers to teach English in Jaffna.

The Sri Lankan American community in Staten Island, New York, expressed their deepest gratitude to Ambassador Julie Chung for her special visit, saying, “The efforts you have made to maintain and strengthen the relations between our countries have been admirable and appreciated.”

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