Sri Lanka’s President, Prime Minister and opposition leader have all welcomed the appointment of Joe Biden and Kamal Harris to the Presidency and Vice Presidency, as Colombo looks to shape its relationship with the United States.
Congratulations! president elect @JoeBiden on your historic victory.
Look forward to working closely with you to strengthen the bilateral relations between our two countries pic.twitter.com/bertnZE2Uj
— Gotabaya Rajapaksa (@GotabayaR) November 8, 2020
Congratulations to President elect @JoeBiden and VP elect @KamalaHarris on your victory. As we mark #72 years of diplomatic relations between our two countries, I look forward to working with both of you to further enhance #SriLanka -#USA relations to benefit both our peoples.
— Mahinda Rajapaksa (@PresRajapaksa) November 8, 2020
My warmest congratulations to @JoeBiden on your historic victory on being elected #POTUS46 & my best wishes as you prepare to serve in the highest office. I wish you & Vice President-elect @KamalaHarris, the very best in your efforts to transform America.
— Sajith Premadasa (@sajithpremadasa) November 7, 2020
The message from the Rajapaksas came in the early hours of the morning in Sri Lanka. Premadasa was the first to congratulate Biden and Harris, just minutes after results were called.
The recent US election follows the high-profile visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to Sri Lanka where he was greeted by Sinhala protests and a refusal by the Prime Minister to meet with him. Pompeo’s visit marked the highest-level US government official of cabinet rank to visit the Sri Lanka John Kerry visit in 2015. Prior to his reception in Sri Lanka, government officials were reported to have said it is “not for outsiders to tell Sri Lankans how to run their country”.
In this past week Sri Lanka’s President, who also stands accused of war crimes, openly attacked the US Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement, which would have provided a grant of US$480 million dollars, stating that he would not sign it “even in his dreams”. He has maintained that his administration’s policy is to “protect its sovereignty” and that it will not be influenced by other countries, according to a report in the Aruna Newspaper.