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Pompeo highlights accountability and security sector reform in statement on Rajapaksa

US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo highlighted Sri Lanka’s commitments to “security sector reform, accountability, respect for human rights, and non-recurrence of violence” in a statement marking Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s assumption as president of Sri Lanka.

“The United States congratulates the people of Sri Lanka on their democratic election and stands ready to work with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the new President of Sri Lanka,” said Pompeo in a statement today.

“We call on President Rajapaksa to uphold Sri Lanka’s commitments to security sector reform, accountability, respect for human rights, and non-recurrence of violence,” he added.

Stating that the election had been “free, fair, and transparent”, he went on to state that Sri Lanka remained a “valued partner” for the US. The Secretary of State concluding by saying Washington wants “to work with the government and people of Sri Lanka to advance cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, including fostering a free and open Indo-Pacific region where all countries can prosper, deepening good governance, and promoting justice, reconciliation, and human rights”.

See the full text of the statement here.

During his campaign and in his manifesto, Rajapaksa repeatedly reiterated how he would shield Sri Lankan troops from war crimes tribunals and vowed to protect senior military officials accused of rights abuses.