The United States said yesterday said that there would be no major change in the US policy regarding Sri Lanka following the election of Barack Obama (a Democrat) as the 44th US President.
US Ambassador Robert Blake told the Daily Mirror that there had been a long-term bipartisan agreement in the US about its policy regarding Sri Lanka and the US remained firm in being committed to a political solution to Sri Lanka s ongoing conflict.
Irrespective of which party is in power, I do not expect a major change in U.S. policy regarding Sri Lanka. The United States is committed to a political solution to Sri Lanka `s ongoing conflict and continues to support the people of Sri Lanka in their efforts to build a strong economy and civil society, Mr. Blake said.
Soon after Obama s victory, Foreign Minister Rohita Bogollagama told the Daily Mirror that Obama s election as the next US President was a major transformation of the political landscape of the US and his win was a victory for the world.
Minister Bogollagama added that Obama s true leadership skills had been demonstrated and since he stood for a change, countries could expect a change that would better the world. Regarding Sri Lanka, we look at him to help us defeat terrorism as we too stand for a democratic country with liberty and security. We know that his victory will bring a change to us all, Minister Bogollagama said.
He added that the Sri Lankan government also did not expect a change in the US policy regarding Sri Lanka and instead of expecting a change, the government is certain that the policy will further be strengthened and widely focused under Obama s leadership.
Meanwhile President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday telephoned the US Ambassador in Colombo Robert Blake and congratulated him on the outcome of the US Presidential elections which was won by a Democratic candidate.
The US envoy told invitees who were attending an event held in Colombo for election coverage organized by the US Embassy that the President had contacted him just as the international media projected that Obama will be the next President, based on results out at the time.
Several US citizens in Sri Lanka as well as media and other invitees attended the event which had balloons, a band, badges supporting both candidates and even life size cutouts of Obama and McCain. to coincide with the elections coverage.