The Sri Lankan Government has assured the United States that it will address issues related to accountability over alleged human rights abuses during the war.
The assurance was given to visiting US Secretary of State John Kerry who met President Maithripala Sirisena and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera this morning.
“Ensuring accountability in the New Sri Lanka, will feature as a key component of the reconciliation process, and the architecture of a domestic accountability mechanism with international technical assistance as promised by our manifesto are now being planned. In this context there are also several areas where the United States can assist us by enhancing local capacity and providing technical expertise,” Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said after talks he had with Kerry.
The Foreign Minister said he believes the discussions Kerry will have in Sri Lanka, will provide an opportunity for both sides to understand their respective priorities and that the discussions will also heighten our existing close and friendly relations.
Kerry said that he had pledged to the Foreign Minister that the US wants to work with Sri Lankans and help in anyway to shape the future the people of Sri Lanka want.
He also noted that Sri Lanka has also shown progress in several areas over the past few months, including on creating more accountable governance.
“This is a time of opportunity for Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka today many of us see a moment of extraordinary promise,” he added.
He also said that the new Government has backed its words with actions.
Kerry said that Sri Lanka has many challenges before it but he also noted that the Government is not afraid to tackle tough issues.
The US Secretary of State said that the US intends to broaden and deepen its partnership with Sri Lanka.
He also said that the US has agreed to provide technical assistance to Sri Lanka in its reforms process. Kerry said that teams from the US Government will visit Sri Lanka in this regard.
Full statement made by Minister Samaraweera is here