The chairman of the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs Edward Royce has written to Kerry saying he supports the increased diplomatic engagement with the Sri Lankan Government.
He noted in the letter that the Government led by President Maithripala Sirisena had made several promises and continues to make “impressive, positive steps”.
“Renewed US diplomatic engagement should continue to support these efforts. To that end, I urge you to continue to press the Government of Sri Lanka to take immediate steps to release political prisoners, repeal the war-time “Prevention of Terrorism Act”, and return land seized during the conflict, These actions, which the government has already committed to take, would help build confidence in Sri Lanka’s ability to undertake even larger reforms.”
Royce also urged Kerry to clearly outline steps the US will take to support reform in Sri Lanka, including implementing the recommendations of the UN high commissioner for human rights Zeid Raad al Hussain and stressed on the importance of a clearly-articulated policy on Sri Lanka.
“I ask you to clearly outline the steps that the US government will take to support reform, including efforts to implement recommendations from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and ensure that development and security assistance are in line with reform efforts. Mr Secretary, I believe it is important that the US carry out a clearly-articulated policy to support reform in Sri Lanka,” he further wrote. (Colombo Gazette)