The United States said that Sri Lanka “continues to be a valued partner in the Indo-Pacific,” as Ambassador Alice G. Wells, Acting Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, addressed a virtual press briefing on Wednesday.
The latest comments come despite the Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who as defence secretary oversaw a military offensive that killed tens of thousands of Tamils, being elected to president of Sri Lanka last year.
Nevertheless, Wells, who called Rajapaksa’s pardon of a convicted war criminal “deeply troubling”, said the” strength of this partnership was on display following the horrific terrorist attacks on Easter Sunday 2019”.
“The United States offered full support to the immediate manhunt, the longer-term rebuilding, and sustained counterterrorism effort,” she added. “The Sri Lankan Government advancing justice, accountability, reconciliation, and human rights we believe will foster its long-term stability and prosperity.”
Read the full press conference here.
The United States recently announced that it is contributing a total of US$5.8 million to Sri Lanka, as part of coronavirus relief efforts, in line with its “long tradition of US support for Sri Lanka’s security and sovereignty”.
The announcement comes after US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Alaina Teplitz met with Sri Lankan prime minister, and accused war criminal, Mahinda Rajapaksa this week.