COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – US Secretary of State John Kerry lavished unusual praise on the new Sri Lankan government pledging any support "in anyway we can" during a visit marks the island officially ending its diplomatic pariah status.
"This is a paradise. A very beautiful island nation. There are enormous assets, wonderful extraordinary people and great, great promise for the future.
"And I pledge to him (Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera), to his delegation here today that the US wants to work with Sri Lankans and help in any way we can to shape the future the people of Sri Lanka want.
He said Samaraweera during a visit to Washington in February had promised to ensure accountability and restore democratic institutions and tackle corruption.
"Already we have seen those words actually backed up by actions. That’s what makes this government important and that’s what makes this government different.
He said they talked about the "enormous progress that Sri Lanka has made in just a few short months."
He referred to President Maithripala Sirisena’s 100-day program and expressed satisfaction that the new administration had kept its promises to the electorate.
Kerry saw progress in democratic institutions, accountable government and the President giving up some of his powers in line with his manifesto.
He also saw progress in combating corruption and ensuring reconciliation which he said could lead to a "much more enduring peace and a shared prosperioty for all sri Lankans."
Kerry also commended Sri Lanka for rushing relief teams to Nepal to help earth-quake victims and said the move demonstrated the sensitiveness of the new administration.
"I want to commend the government and the people of Sri Lanka for quickly sending response teams to Kathmandu….That is indication of the sensitiveness of this government and a sense of responsibility."