US stands ready to work with Sri Lanka's new president: Pompeo

Lalit K Jha

Washington, Nov 18 (PTI) The US stands ready to work with Sri Lanka's new president Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday and urged him to uphold the country's commitments to security sector reform respect for human rights and non-recurrence of violence. Gotabaya stormed to victory on Sunday in the presidential election, trouncing his nearest rival Sajith Premadasa by a margin of over 13 lakh votes - 52.25 per cent of votes polled against 41.99 per cent.

'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,' Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo, called on Rajapaksa to uphold Sri Lanka’s commitments to security sector reform, accountability, respect for human rights, and non-recurrence of violence.

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, he said.

The United States, he said applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commission, Sri Lankan civil society, and the candidates themselves for promoting a peaceful election.

'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,' Pompeo said. PTI LKJ NSA