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US says tracking situation 'very closely' after Sri Lanka President Sirisena dissolves Parliament

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

The Saturday said it was tracking the situation "very closely" after dissolved Parliament, with the voicing concern over the island nation's external debt situation.

Friday dissolved Parliament and announced snap polls on January 5 after it became evident that he did not have enough support in the House for Mahinda Rajapaksa, who was appointed by him under controversial circumstances.

"We're certainly tracking the situation very closely in Sri Lanka," a senior told foreign reporters in a conference call ahead of Vice Mike Pence's visit to the region.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was responding to a question on the latest development in

He expressed concern over Colombo's external debt situation.

"We are of course quite troubled by the dynamic that predated the current political situation in which you had significant increase in debt that was taken on by the previous government there in the name of development assistance," the said.

Without naming any specific project, he said the commercial liability of many of those projects appears to be questionable.

The US is "watching" the current situation in and is "studying it very closely", he said.

Earlier, the South and Bureau of the State Department said in a tweet, "The US is deeply concerned by that the will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis."

"As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity," it said.

The senior said, "I would say speaking about countries generally, not just the country we're talking about, generally speaking one of the key tenants of (Donald) Trump's free and open Indo-Pacific concept and our Indo-Pacific Strategy is to protect the sovereignty of countries all across the region."

"The idea of sovereignty and that sovereignty resides with the people of countries; people have the right to know what kinds of agreements their governments are making with foreign countries and foreign creditors," he said.

According to the official, and concrete steps that are going to be announced over the next week by the are "in real sense, ultimately about preserving the independence and sovereignty and the freedom for countries to be themselves without being subject to interference by ambitious regional powers".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 10 2018. 11:16 IST