US cheers polls, urges candidate safety, electoral abuse probe

Jan 28, 2010 (LBO) – The United States congratulated Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his election to a second term in office but said the safety of candidates and campaign workers should be protected and allegations of electoral abuse probed. “The United States congratulates Sri Lanka for the first nationwide election in decades and President Rajapaksa on his victory,” the US embassy said in a statement.

“We look forward to continuing the partnership between our two countries and working with the Government and the people to support a peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.”

The US called on the government to “ensure the safety and security of all candidates and campaign workers.”

As results started to come in the early hours of Wednesday troops surrounded a hotel where the opposition candidate, retired military general Sarath Fonseka and his supporters were staying.

The military said they wanted army deserters who were with Fonseka. He later left the premises.

There were also isolated incidents of post poll violence in which at least two persons died.

The US said there were reports of possible violations of election law during the campaign, voting, and counting, urged a “thorough investigation” of the allegations