Image: Incoming President Maithripala Sirisena of Sri Lanka. UN Photo/Marco Castro
9 January 2015 – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today congratulated the people of Sri Lanka on the successful conclusion of the country’s presidential election, and welcomed the constitutional transfer of power.
“The Secretary-General applauds the Sri Lankan Elections Commission for its professionalism in ensuring a peaceful and credible election,” according to a statement released by Mr. Ban’s spokesman at UN Headquarters in New York today. The UN chief also commended the efforts of the candidates, including outgoing President Mahinda Rajapaksa, law enforcement agencies and civil society for upholding and respecting democratic governance.
“The Secretary-General looks forward to working with President Maithripala Sirisena and the people of Sri Lanka,” the statement said. The UN will continue to support development, reconciliation, political dialogue and accountability in Sri Lanka.
The South Asia nation has experienced a spate of ethnic and sectarian attacks since its 26-year civil conflict, which pitted the Government against Tamil insurgents, ended in 2009. Most recently, a tide of violence and recrimination against Sri Lanka’s Muslim and Christian communities by Buddhist groups with extremist views has threatened to divide the country once again.