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The Investor Sentiment - Equity and investments forum for Sri Lankans

The Lankan Investor Forum - A more respectable and reasonable place for members to discuss matters regarding the CSEThe Lankan Investor Forum - A more respectable and reasonable place for members to discuss matters regarding the CSE

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    U.S. advised to reach out to Sri Lanka's new government to improve ties

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    U.S. advised to reach out to Sri Lanka's new government to improve ties Empty U.S. advised to reach out to Sri Lanka's new government to improve ties

    Post by Backstage Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:56 pm

    * U.S. advised to reach out to Sri Lanka's new government to improve ties
    Fri, Aug 21, 2015, 10:51 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Aug 21, Colombo: The United States must capitalize on the historic election results in Sri Lanka and reach out to the new government to improve economic, political, and security cooperation, an American conservative think tank says.

    The Washington, D.C. - based Heritage Foundation says the United States must take advantage of the major opening presented by the election of the United National Party coalition in Sri Lanka at Monday's parliamentary elections.

    "It is an opportunity for Washington to encourage peace, reconciliation, and stability in a country occupying a pivotal position in the Indian Ocean region."

    A coalition government headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe's United National Party (UNP) is expected to continue democratic reforms and efforts toward ethnic reconciliation that were started six months ago, Heritage Foundation's Senior Research Fellow Lisa Curtis said in a report.

    The new government is also expected to adopt a more balanced foreign policy that will emphasize ties to the U.S. and India, rather than leaning primarily toward China like the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime.

    Curtis says the U.S. can now breathe a sigh of relief with relative confidence that the positive changes begun under President Maithripala Sirisena will continue and adds that the U.S. must capitalize on the election results by reaching out to the new government and proposing initiatives aimed at strengthening political, economic, and security ties.

    "This will help promote stability and democracy in this strategically located island nation that sits at the maritime crossroads of Asia and the Middle East," the author says.

    According to the author, more specifically, the U.S. should offer technical support and legal mechanisms to help Sri Lanka implement a restorative justice program that strengthens the overall legal and law enforcement systems in the country.

    While noting that the U.S. Congress imposed restrictions on military assistance to Sri Lanka when the Rajapaksa government failed to address the issue of civilian casualties, especially in the final days of the war, the author suggests that the U.S. should resume military training programs and revive security cooperation.

    "The U.S. should make clear that it stands ready to reestablish military training programs and regular military exchanges so long as the new government takes steps to improve human rights and implement accountability mechanisms for past abuses," Curtis said.

    Curtis emphasizes that Washington must not waste any time in reaching out to the new government and should invite the new prime minister to the U.S. for an official visit.

    "U.S.- Sri Lankan ties have stagnated for far too long, and the U.S. should make clear that it supports the new direction the country is taking and is eager to partner with it in strengthening democratic institutions, building economic cooperation, and pursuing mutual security interests," the author stresses.

    "The U.S. should move forward on a variety of initiatives to shore up ties while encouraging the new government to uphold its commitment to unifying the country around an agenda of ethnic reconciliation," the report concluded.


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