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US ‘eager to build partnership with Sri Lanka’ says Secretary of State

The US Secretary of State said his government “remains eager” to grow ties with Sri Lanka, as he praised the island in a message released earlier this week.

Marking Sri Lanka’s Independence Day Mike Pompeo said “Sri Lanka’s democratic institutions and constitutional processes have ensured your country’s continued advancement”.

The United States remains eager to build on our partnership with Sri Lanka and advance shared interests in the Indo-Pacific region based on our common democratic values,” he said. “We look forward to working together to further deepen ties between our nations, promote shared prosperity, and secure a stable and peaceful future.”

His statement, just weeks before Sri Lanka is due to be discussed at the UN Human Rights Council, comes as Colombo continues to refuse to deal with accountability for violations of international law committed by the military. Whilst Sri Lankan committed to a UN resolution mandating an accountability mechanism with international judges, no steps have been taken to set up such a process, leading to widespread calls to refer the case to the International Criminal Court.

The United States though has in recent years stepped up its engagement to Sri Lanka, with closer political and military ties.