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Thursday, June 20, 2024

USA Rejects Rajapaksa’s Story on Softening Stance

Just two days ago on 01 October Colombo based Daily Mirror published a news story sourcing it to the Government , which the heading  US stance on SL softens.

”President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have told the Cabinet meeting that his discussions with US Secretary of State John Kerry had made him realize that the US had softened its stance on Sri Lanka.

According to Government sources the President had said the meetings he had with Mr. Kerry and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly Session in New York were fruitful.”

There was no denial form the Presidential office.

Two days after the Daily Mirror story US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki insisted that there has not been a change of US policy on Sri Lanka.

The  US government web site has this story:

QUESTION: There is a report that I have seen from a Sri Lankan newspaper suggesting that when Secretary Kerry met with the Sri Lankan president, I think it was during UNGA, that he had – that Secretary Kerry had indicated or suggested a softening in the U.S. position on Sri Lanka. The piece I saw didn’t specify what, but I think the inference was that it was a softening on human rights concerns in Sri Lanka. Is there any truth to that? Did he signal that he would take human rights less seriously there?

MS. PSAKI: Absolutely not. I saw the same story. The only thing that was right was that the Secretary did speak with the Sri Lankan president on the margins of the UN General Assembly. He did so with the express purpose of conveying that U.S. policy with regard to Sri Lanka has not changed and it certainly has not softened. We would, of course, like our relationship with Sri Lanka to achieve its full potential, but that will only happen if Sri Lanka builds enduring peace and prosperity for all of its diverse ethnic and religious communities. And that’s why the Secretary, in no uncertain terms, made clear to the president that Sri Lanka needed to take meaningful steps to act like a country that is no longer at war and instead is now building a future that includes all of its citizens. So certainly it had the opposite purpose.



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