China is a predator, Pompeo to Sri Lanka

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday slammed Chinse Communist Party for operating as a ‘predator’ in Sri Lanka.

“We see from bad deals, violations of sovereignty and lawlessness on land and sea that the Chinese Communist Party is a predator, and the United States comes in a different way, we come as a friend, and as a partner,” Mr. Pompeo told a media conference in Colombo, before he leave for Maldives.

Meanwhile, commenting on the controversial MCC agreement, in an interview with a private television channel, Mr. Pompeo said that Sri Lankans will choose not to accept it.

“It’s one of many things that’s being proffered. If it doesn’t make sense for Sri Lanka, then Sri Lankans will choose not to accept that. The relationships, the strengths, the depths, and complexity of our relationship far exceeds any one transaction and one opportunity. There will be plenty. We will work closely on them alongside the Sri Lankan government,” he said.

Commenting on the accountability and on Army Chief Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva who is banned from the United States, Mr. Pompeo said, “…Look we have a set of legal requirements in the United States and we apply them even handedly. We try to get the facts right, and we do that in every case. I talked with the President about this, and I talked to the Foreign Minister too. I’m confident that the Sri Lankan people want accountability and justice, and that these leaders are intent on delivering. We will help where we can. Ultimately, we can provide some technical assistance, we can work with them in international fora to deliver on these ideas of reconciliation and accountability. But ultimately it will be the Sri Lankan leadership and the Sri Lankan people who will have to work on this. It’s important, we hope your country gets this right. It’s the right thing to make sure that part of Sri Lanka’s history is handled in a way that is appropriate and recognises what really transpired, but with an eye towards what is ahead - all the good things that can happen in the future.”

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