As per Mangala Samarweera, Foreign Minister, who had a meeting with John Kerry, the top U.S. diplomat, Sri Lanka is striving to restore normalcy in its relation with the U.S. after several years of thaw and strain. Sri Lanka expects revival and strengthening of the strong ties with America they had had for several decades, he added. He admitted strained relations between the two for the last few years, and described his job as to put the relation back on track. For the new administration of Sri Lanka, he admitted, the U.S.is not a threat, but opportunities galore.
John Kerry while welcoming Samarweera praised Sri Lanka election which he described as a vote for a change. He added that people of Sri Lanka have voted for a new direction, greater accountability, preservation of democracy and human rights, fighting for the eradication of corruption, and a government that is responsive to the needs and aspirations of the people. He further added that he hoped to discuss means and ways to wean away the country from its 30 years of war with Tamilians, and make it a country that is peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive.
Samarweera, while talking to a think-tank, said that he preferred delay in the UN report on alleged war crimes during the civil war in Sri Lanka to facilitate completion of the new government’s own probe into the matter. His maiden visit to the U.S. has come after the victory of Maithripala Sirisena in the presidential election held in January this year. The new government is expected to start a new chapter in the history of the island nation plagued with civil war that lasted for about 27 years and left over 40000 dead. As per an UN estimate, over 100000 people are feared killed in the conflict with Tamil civilians.