Kerry will travel to SL on Saturday- State Dept.

28 April 2015 02:37 am - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Sri Lanka on Saturday to meet with its new president, Maithripala Sirisena, the State Department said, following years of strained relations between Washington and the country's previous government.

Sirisena took power in January after defeating President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Asia's longest-serving leader, at the polls. The new president pledged to launch a 100-day plan to roll back a decade of increasingly authoritarian rule.

Ties between Washington and Sri Lanka's capital of Colombo had become strained under Rajapaksa, who had sought closer ties with Beijing and allowed Chinese submarines to dock in Sri Lanka.

Recently, Rajapaksa's once-powerful family has come under accusations of inappropriate activities. His younger brother, Basil, was detained on April 22 on suspicion of misappropriating state funds.

Another brother, Gotabaya, the former defence secretary, has been accused of having a "private military", an allegation he has denied.

The upcoming visit will be Kerry's first trip to Sri Lanka and the first by a U.S. secretary of state since 2004.

During his visit, Kerry will laud the country for a "successful" election and smooth transition. He will also likely underscore longstanding U.S. human rights concerns, especially war crimes committed under the Rajapaksa regime during the country's civil war between 1983 and 2009, according to U.S. officials.

After Sri Lanka, Kerry heads to Africa to meet with government officials and business leaders in Kenya. He will also focus on security cooperation in the face of rising threats from Somali Islamists, U.S. officials said.

On May 5, Kerry will travel to Djibouti to meet with the country's leaders and discuss their support for evacuation efforts from conflict-hit Yemen. While there, he will visit U.S. military personnel at Camp Lemonnier. (WASHINGTON-Reuters)

  Comments - 13

  • jay Tuesday, 28 April 2015 09:35 AM

    Pl; do not make this country another Syria.

    upali Tuesday, 28 April 2015 09:49 AM

    Beware.

    wijethunga Tuesday, 28 April 2015 01:41 PM

    please be careful from US. Because they may create problems in our country.

    Prem Nath Tuesday, 28 April 2015 01:50 PM

    Where ever he travels to,there is disaster.

    Baltimore_Citizen Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:16 AM

    Please come here to Baltimore and save us from Police Shooting

    Mick Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:16 AM

    To check whether their agenda is being carried out to the book by yahapalana

    Guna Tuesday, 28 April 2015 02:59 PM

    No country in the world do anything to our country for free, they all will have their own agenda, This is true either it is India, china or US. It is up to us to use them to much of our advantage. As a small country we have to depend on other country if we want to progress. We have no oil or any resources which is important so we have to make friend as many as possible to get ahead.

    Bindu Tuesday, 28 April 2015 11:26 AM

    Diaspora money at work.

    Sri Wickrama Tuesday, 28 April 2015 11:44 AM

    He will be the most powerful American diplomat to visit Sri Lanka so far. See the mentality of readers who have given comments here. May be they themselves appear to be slaves of MR regime.

    REALPATRIAT Tuesday, 28 April 2015 11:59 AM

    TO CARRY WHAT via DM Android App

    de silva Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:11 PM

    Will he meet Basil also.

    Darm Tuesday, 28 April 2015 08:36 AM

    Please address your war crimes in Japan, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan before you point fingers on others. SL will be better off without this visit.

    Dr. Gervin Samarawickrama Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:26 PM

    Hi,It is very good of him to come let him see Jaffna too. He should stay as long as possible.


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