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‘Ramped up international pressure on Sri Lanka is key’ – Samantha Power

Senior US policy figure Samantha power called for “ramped up international pressure” on Sri Lanka this week, amidst violence in parliament between lawmakers.

Stating that the proposed prime minister appointee Mahinda Rajapaksa stands “credibly accused of war crimes,” Power noted that “institutions in SL are bending but not breaking”.

“Ramped up international pressure is key,” she added.

In a tweet on Thursday, Power went on to state that the continued chaos in parliament was a “a crisis of President Sirisena’s own making”.

“Every day it brings [Sri Lanka] closer to the brink of serious conflict,” she added.

Power, who has held several senior US positions including ambassador to the UN, was a key figure in the Obama administration. She won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her book 'A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide', which examined US foreign policy in response to genocide.

Earlier this month she also urged the US to consider suspending aid and imposing targeted sanctions on Sri Lanka, in response to the island’s ongoing political crisis. Her comments have been echoed by various international organisations as turmoil on the island continues. Just this week, a group of British parliamentarians wrote to the UK’s foreign secretary warning that “Sri Lanka’s political stability is at grave risk” and called for discussion on the suspension of trade concessions to Colombo.