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* U.S. committed to strengthen democracy in Sri Lanka - Biswal
Fri, May 2, 2014, 09:30 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 02, Washington: The United States says it is committed to working with the Sri Lankan government and the people to strengthen democracy despite being disappointed by the government's failure to take adequate steps to support accountability and reconciliation.

Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said Sri Lanka is still undergoing a fragile transition although the war ended in 2009.

"In Sri Lanka, while we saw the end of a brutal conflict in 2009, the country is still undergoing a fragile transition."

Biswal made this remark to the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific on Wednesday, at a hearing to assess the U.S. foreign assistance priorities in South Asia.

"While we are disappointed that the government has failed over the past four years to take adequate and meaningful steps to support accountability and reconciliation, the United States is committed to working with the people and the government of Sri Lanka to strengthen its democracy and to help the country move towards a more durable peace," she told the subcommittee.

The U.S. President's fiscal year 2015 budget request for South Asia comes in at just shy of $350 million, not including the countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and it recognizes the important role that the United States continues to play in supporting democratic development and promoting economic opportunity in the region, the State Department said.

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