Results

U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs

12/03/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/03/2021 16:48

McCaul, Meeks Urge State to Boost Engagement with Sri Lanka

Media Contact 202-225-5021

Washington, D.C. - Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul (R-TX) and Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-NY) sent a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the administration to prioritize in its Sri Lanka policy the importance of a substantive and durable political solution.

The United States has rightly championed justice and human rights in Sri Lanka. Advancing these values will require solutions to political questions that remain unanswered years after the end of the civil war, including the meaningful devolution of power in an undivided Sri Lanka. We urge the Department to support the government's engagement with opposition parties, including Tamils and Muslims, to find such solutions," the lawmakers wrote.

The full text of the letter can be found here or below.

Dear Secretary Blinken:

The U.S.-Sri Lanka relationship is a critical one for U.S. foreign policy and national security interests in the Indo-Pacific region. Sri Lanka faces several challenges - from an impending financial crisis to an unresolved ethnic conflict - that could affect long-term stability. Since the end of Sri Lanka's almost 30-year civil war, this committee has demonstrated an interest in ensuring that U.S. policy continue to support reconciliation and accountability, while also addressing the root causes of the conflict. We strongly urge the State Department to refocus its efforts in Sri Lanka to emphasize the importance of a substantive and durable political solution.

The United States has rightly championed justice and human rights in Sri Lanka. Advancing these values will require solutions to political questions that remain unanswered years after the end of the civil war, including the meaningful devolution of power in an undivided Sri Lanka. We urge the Department to support the government's engagement with opposition parties, including Tamils and Muslims, to find such solutions.

While the Sri Lankan people should lead the debate, the Department should make it clear that the United States stands ready to support and facilitate this effort. Ultimately, however, it is imperative that any outcome is determined by and meets the needs of all citizens in Sri Lanka, including the Tamil and Muslim people.

Thank you in advance for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to your timely response.

###