US to help Sri Lanka heal ethnic tensions

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Kolkata: The US will help Sri Lanka’s new government to restore democracy and heal “fragile ethnic tensions”, a senior American official said on Tuesday.

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Addressing a two-day seminar here, US Department of State Regional Affairs’ deputy director Neil Kromash said: “Positive developments have taken place in Sri Lanka where the January elections brought a new government, overthrowing a longstanding autocratic regime.

“The US will do all it can to support the new government in restoring democracy and heal fragile ethnic tensions,” he said.

Maithripala Sirisena became Sri Lanka’s new president in January after defeating Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had been ruling the island nation since 2005.

The Rajapaksa regime has been accused of killing thousands of innocent Tamils during the end stages of the ethnic conflict that ended in 2009 when the military crushed the Tamil Tigers.