EconomyNext – US Secretary of State John Kerry has commended Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa for accepting defeat at Thursday’s poll and peacefully transferring power, a US embassy statement said.
"I commend President Rajapaksa for accepting the results of the election in the proud tradition of peaceful and orderly transfers of power in Sri Lanka," it quoted Kerry as saying.
"His words tonight about accepting the verdict of the people and moving forward are important."
Kerry had called Rajapaksa just before the poll, which the opposition had feared would be rigged or marred by violence, to urge the Sri Lankan leader to hold a free and fair election.
Kerry said he looks forward to working with President-elect Maithripala Sirisena as his new government "works to implement its campaign platform of a Sri Lanka that is peaceful, inclusive, democratic, and prosperous."
Rajapaksa conceded defeat and left his official residence early Friday after it became clear Sirisena had taken a clear lead in Thursday’s presidential poll.
"The Sri Lankan people deserve great credit on the successful conclusion of their elections," Kerry said.
"They turned out in great numbers to exercise their democratic rights and every vote was a victory for Sri Lanka."
"The United States applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commissioner, the security forces, Sri Lankan civil society, and the candidates themselves for making sure this election was not marred by unrest and for ensuring a significant drop in campaign-related violence," Kerry said.
"It will be important for that effort to continue in the coming days."