US says it is ready to work with Sri Lanka's new President Gotabaya Rajapaksa

Washington D.C. [US], Nov 19 (ANI): The US on Monday (local time) said it was ready to work with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the new President of Sri Lanka and called on him to uphold Sri Lanka's commitments to security sector reform, accountability, respect for human rights, and non-recurrence of violence.

"The United States congratulates the people of Sri Lanka on their democratic election and stands ready to work with Gotabaya Rajapaksa as the new President of Sri Lanka. We call on President Rajapaksa to uphold Sri Lanka's commitments to security sector reform, accountability, respect for human rights, and non-recurrence of violence," US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo said, "Sri Lanka continued to show the strength and resiliency of its democracy with a free, fair, and transparent presidential election befitting Asia's oldest democracy."

Applauding the Sri Lankan Elections Commission, Sri Lankan civil society, and the candidates themselves for promoting a peaceful election, Pompeo said, "Sri Lanka is a valued partner, and we want to work with the government and people of Sri Lanka to advance cooperation on bilateral and regional issues, including fostering a free and open Indo-Pacific region where all countries can prosper, deepening good governance, and promoting justice, reconciliation, and human rights."

Sri Lanka's wartime defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa on Monday took the oath of the country's 7th President at Ruwanweliseya, a Buddhist pagoda, in Anuradhapura.

Rajapaksa, 70, defeated Sajith Premadasa, 52, by more than 13 lakh votes, according to the official results announced by Sri Lanka Election Commission.

He is the second member of the Rajapaksa family to become the president. His older brother Mahinda Rajapaksa was president from 2005 to 2015.