India, US congratulate Sirisena on Sri Lankan election victory
Modi and Kerry look forward to working with new governmentindia Updated: Jan 09, 2015 19:58 IST
India and the US congratulated Sri Lanka's President-elect Maithripala Sirisena on winning Thursday's presidential elections.
"I spoke to Maithripala Sirisena and congratulated him. I congratulate the people of Sri Lanka on the peaceful and democratic poll process," prime minister Narendra Modi said in a statement.
As a close friend & neighbour, reaffirmed India's continued solidarity & support for Sri Lanka's peace, development & prosperity.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) January 9, 2015
US Secretary of State John Kerry also congratulated Sirisena.
"I look 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," Kerry said in a statement soon after Rajapaksa conceded defeat.
"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. His words tonight about accepting the verdict of the people and moving forward are important," Kerry said.
Rajapaksa had called the election two years ahead of schedule, hoping to win a record third six-year term before the defeat of the Tamil Tigers fades in the memory of the people of the island which saw a three decades war over the demand of a separate Tamil Eelam.
More than 11 million people voted across Sri Lanka on Thursday.
"The Sri Lankan people deserve great credit on the successful conclusion of their elections. They turned out in great numbers to exercise their democratic rights and every vote was a victory for Sri Lanka," Kerry said.
"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. It will be important for that effort to continue in the coming days," he added.