Barack Obama Congratulates Sri Lanka’s New President Sirisena
WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama today congratulated Sri Lanka’s newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena for his stunning electoral victory over Mahinda Rajapaksa.
“On behalf of the American people, I congratulate the people of Sri Lanka on the successful and peaceful conclusion of Sri Lanka’s presidential election and incoming PresidentMaithripala Sirisena on his victory,” Obama said in a statement.
He praised outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the smooth transition of power.
“I also commend the outgoing administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for facilitating a swift and orderly transition of power,” Obama said, adding that beyond the significance of this election to Sri Lanka, it is also a symbol of hope for those who support democracy all around the world.
International and domestic monitors and observers were permitted to do their jobs, he said.
The US President further said Sri Lankans from all segments of society cast their ballots peacefully, and the voice of the people was respected.
“At this moment of hope, the United States looks forward to deepening its partnership with the people and government of Sri Lanka and to working with President Sirisena to advance peace, democracy, and prosperity for all Sri Lankans,” he said.
Sirisena– Health Minister under Rajapaksa and General Secretary of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party till he defected– got 51.2 per cent of the votes against Rajapaksa’s 47.6 per cent.
He took the oath of office along with his new Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who till now was the leader of opposition.