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US calls for greater progress on accountability in Sri Lankan Independence Day message

The United States called for greater progress on accountability in the coming year in its celebratory message marking Sri Lanka's 70th anniversary of independence. 

"In 2015, Sri Lankan voters chose a new government that pledged transparency, reconciliation, and accountability. We look forward to even greater progress on these areas in the coming year, along with increased peace, prosperity, and further growth in our bilateral relations," Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State said. 

The celebrations surrounding Independence Day have been dismissed as irrelevant by Tamils who state they are not free but continue to face oppression on the island. 

Full US statement is reproduced below: 

On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I offer congratulations to the people of Sri Lanka on the 70th anniversary of your independence.

This year also marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Sri Lanka. Our nations share common goals as fellow democracies both working to uphold universal principles and freedoms. As we reaffirmed during the second annual U.S.-Sri Lanka Partnership Dialogue last November, we are committed to promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

In 2015, Sri Lankan voters chose a new government that pledged transparency, reconciliation, and accountability. We look forward to even greater progress on these areas in the coming year, along with increased peace, prosperity, and further growth in our bilateral relations.

Best wishes to Sri Lankans of all ethnicities and religions as you celebrate this historic Independence Day.