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US Senate committee opposes 92% US aid cut to Sri Lanka

The United States Senate Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific opposed a 92% cut in US aid to Sri Lanka.

The cut, proposed by President Trump’s office, was opposed by the Committee’s report, which said,

“Given the geostrategic importance of the country, the Committee does not support the President’s budget request for Sri Lanka, which proposed a 92 percent reduction in assistance from the prior fiscal year.”

Although opposing a complete aid cut, the US Senate committee approved harsher conditions on funds to Sri Lanka.

In its current form the document says that funds will be released for US programmes on Sri Lanka only if the Secretary of State can certify that Sri Lanka is supporting a credible justice mechanism as per the UN Human Rights Council resolution (A/HCR/30/22 L.29) of October, 2015, returning land or compensating owners, publishing a list of all persons who surrendered to the government and redeploying armed forces out of the former conflict zone.

In a meeting of the subcommittee last week, the chairman representative said,

“We want to make sure that the investments we made stay and the long term benefit of that is here in the long time so that we can make sure there is rule of law, and democracies that continue to foster those relationships, trade, economics, security and cultural exchanges. It is so important we do that.”

See more here.