US Congress committee disappointed Lanka has rejected foreign judges

Mark Feierstein, Roberta Jacobson, Matt SalmonA US Congress committee on foreign relations has expressed disappointment at President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s decision to reject foreign judges in the domestic accountability process on the war.

The views were expressed when the Congress Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific met to discuss Sri Lanka.

Committee chairman Matt Salmon noted the negative impact the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime had on US-Sri Lanka relations and the progress made in Sri Lanka after January 8 last year.

However he noted that there still remains some concerns on Sri Lanka even after January 8 last year, including on the failure to agree to foreign judges to be part of the domestic accountability process in the war.

Salmon also raised concerns on Sri Lanka’s relationship with China, including the construction of a port city in Colombo with Chinese funds.

The discussion on Sri Lanka was held under the topic “Sri Lanka’s Democratic Transition: A New Era for the US-Sri Lanka Relationship”.

Statements were made at the discussion by Ms. Lisa Curtis, Senior Research Fellow at the Asian Studies Center at the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy of the The Heritage Foundation and by Ms. Kara L. Bue, Founding Partner at Armitage International and Nimmi Gowrinathan, Visiting Professor at the Colin Powell Center for Civic and Global Leadership in New York.

In her statement, Kara L. Bue said that the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2015 that brought President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe into power have resulted in a paradigm shift away from the authoritarian and chauvinistic rule of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to a reform-minded era focused on good governance and reconciliation.

This shift, she said, also has effectively ended Sri Lanka’s 10-year self-imposed exile from the international community.

“Presently, the international community is largely focused on the Geneva human rights process. While important, greater economic opportunity and development are both key pieces of any peace dividend and should be supported. Sri Lankan government officials have discussed the need for an international donor’s conference for development in the North and East akin to the 2003 Tokyo’s Donor Conference. Consideration should be given to such an effort,” she added.

Armitage International was formed in March 2005 by Richard L. Armitage, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State.

He was in Sri Lanka recently where he met the Government and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA).(Colombo Gazette)


  1. Hey Uncle Sam, why don’t you mind your own business. Sri Lanka is not your football gound. Would you like countries with a tendency to Al Qaida or ISIS idealogy, poking their nose to your internal matters ? For us Sri Lankans – that’s how we feel when you guys try to interfere in our internal affaires. So keep off.

  2. We all disappointed with the show pony republican candidate discrimination US citizens. Is there anything you can do about it?

  3. America should first show that they do it before preaching others. First there should be an international inquiry into the millions killed in Japan then Vietnam and Cambodia, then it should be Iraq and Libya. Let the world make that decision how US treated their enemies including killing of an unarmed Bin Laden in front of his family, according US reports he was unarmed and didn’t resist at any time. Where are the details of his killing without any legal procedure. How can the Americans talk about the killing of the “Most brutal Terrorist leader in the world (Named by US)” by the Sri Lankan army when they have done the same thing in a very brutal way to Bin Laden. No wonder Americans are not trusted by many around the world anymore. So let the world look into your brutal activities in other people’s countries, where as Sri Lanka did it to protect the innocent public of Sri Lanka after more than 20 years when every other action failed to negotiate a settlement by different governments of Sri Lanka.

  4. Do USA like like to have foreign judges to give ruling in their county affairs. same apply to other independent countries. You are trying to interfere with other other state affairs

    • Please do not compare USA with the Banana republic of Sinking Lanka for delivery of justice to Eelam Tamils.
      All the hoopla and window dressing of justice and reform are for international consumption and the flow of funds.
      The locals don’t see nor feel a bit of these trickle down hand outs including Tamils.

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